Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Did David O. McKay speak to the Maori people in their own language?

1989 Ensign Article

BYU Article on Maori Talk

One of the spiritual highlights of pre-World War II Church history in the Pacific was Elder David O. McKay’s visit to the missions of that vast area. And one of the most important events of that tour occurred during the Hui Tau of 23–25 April, 1921. Elder McKay spoke at least seven times during the three days of meetings, but as he began his first talk he said: “O, how I wish I could speak to you in your own language to tell you what is in my heart, but since I cannot, I am going to pray that while I speak in my own tongue you may have the gift of interpretation and discernment. While you may not understand my words, the Spirit of the Lord will bear witness to you of my words that I give to you under the inspiration of the Lord.” Gordon C. Young, one of the missionaries who was there, later described what happened as Elder McKay continued to talk:
“He spoke several sentences and then Stuart [Meha] would interpret into Maori. Then he’d make another statement in English and Stuart would interpret. All at once everything was quiet, and all over the congregation the Maoris … called out, ‘Stuart, sit down, don’t interpret, we can understand what the Apostle is saying.’ They didn’t [all] speak English, and they didn’t understand anything President McKay was saying before, but now they were calling out to Stuart to sit down. He was rather disconcerted. … Stuart didn’t know what to do, so he started to interpret again. The calls came again, ‘Stuart, sit down. Don’t interpret.’ So Stuart just sat down, and President McKay went on and gave one of the most beautiful talks I have ever heard in my life, and those people all understood what he was saying.”5

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The "Windows of Heaven" Myth

Most Mormons are familiar with the 1963 movie Windows of Heaven about Lorenzo Snow's 1899 trip to St. George and the revelation about tithing he received there.  

What you might not be aware of is that the story is A MYTH. 

1. Snow had been pushing tithing for months before that.
2. He promised a return to Missouri in 20 years, not rain. 
3. The rain that did come was so violent that it washed out roads. 

1890 - Wilford Woodruff Issues the "Manifesto" ending polygamy.  The church has spent years fighting the U.S. Government and was in deep debt.  The Edmund's Tucker Act of 1887 had nearly destroyed the church financially.  

1893 - The Salt Lake Temple is finished and dedicated.  

1893 - There was a financial panic and depression that lasted four years.  Some states had 40 percent unemployment.  Utah was also badly affected.  

1898 - Lorenzo Snow becomes the 5th LDS Church President and Rudger Clawson is called as an Apostle.  Snow feels that his special mission is the get the Church out of debt.  

1899 - Clawson produces a detailed analysis of the Church's finances and announces that the church is $1,333,475.89 in debt.  
Early in 1899 - To solve the debt, President Snow make several measures to help solve the problem:

  1. The Church sold securities and bonds totaling more than $1 million.
  2. The Church stopped borrowing money.
  3. Church bookkeeping practices were fixed.
  4. The practice of tithing was reinforced.  
May and June of 1899, 85 year old Lorenzo Snow, his 43 year old wife and many of the Church leaders took a trip through much of Utah.  He speaks to more than 20 congregations throughout Southern Utah and has a consistent message of Tithing and Returning to Zion in Missouri.  Including predicting that they would return to Zion within 20 years.  Little or nothing is said about paying tithing to end the drought. 

1902 - St. George drought finally ends.  (Not remotely like it happened in the movie)

1934 - 1938 - Lorenzo Snow's son Le Roi writes the several articles emphasizing the myth of the tithing revelation, including the article "Out of Bondage" in the Improvement Era.

1950's - LDS Church is again in deep debt and needs to again promote tithing.  

1963 - Movie "Windows of Heaven" is released. 

Wikipedia - Windows of Heaven

Mormon Historical Studies Article

BYU - Lorenzo Snow's Re-emphasis of Tithing

Pure Mormonism Article about Tithing 

Rudger Clawson's 1899 Report

Journal of Mormon History (Starts at Page 45)

Church History Primary Lesson on Lorenzo Snow / Tithing

Mormon Stories - Tithing

Further Reading:  

Will Brooks’ reaction to the dramatic scene of revelation in the movie Windows of Heaven: “I must protest the whole thing—that is NOT how it was. President Snow was not weak and shaky . . . . Nor was there the great dramatic moment of the picture. He made a good talk, a strong talk. He did pause for a while at one point, but the audience saw nothing that could be interpreted as a revelation.” Juanita Brooks, Uncle Will Tells His Story (Salt Lake City: Taggart & Company Inc. 1970), 64. 

Returning to Zion
At the conclusion of the trip, in a meeting of congregated church leaders, the prophet, as well as other speakers, spoke powerfully and in detail about the timeline and the mechanics of the return to Jackson County. Elder Anthony W Ivins recorded that President Snow taught, “Within ten, fifteen or 20 years, perhaps sooner, we are going to Jackson County.” Elder Francis M. Lyman echoed this prophecy in his own comments, supposing that President Snow himself would be alive for the return to Jackson County. 

Text From Primary Story: 
On 17 May 1899 President Snow spoke at a conference in St. George, Utah. During his talk, he suddenly paused. The room was still as everyone waited for him to speak. When he started talking again, his voice was strong, and the people could tell that he was speaking under the inspiration of the Lord. He said, “The word of the Lord is: The time has now come for every Latter-day Saint … to do the will of the Lord and to pay his tithing in full. That is the word of the Lord to you, and it will be the word of the Lord to every settlement throughout the land of Zion” (quoted in LeRoi C. Snow, “The Lord’s Way Out of Bondage,” p. 439).
President Snow told the Saints that the Lord was displeased with them because they had not been paying their tithing. He promised the people that if they paid their tithing, rain would fall and they would be able to plant and harvest good crops.
After his talk in St. George, President Snow wanted the whole Church to know about the revelation he had received. On his way back to Salt Lake City, he stopped in many settlements to preach the law of tithing to the people, and when he returned to Salt Lake City, he called an important meeting in the temple to talk to priesthood leaders about tithing. In one talk he said: “The poorest of the poor can pay tithing; the Lord requires it at our hands. … Everybody should pay tithing. … The law shall be observed. … And we shall pay our debts. … God bless you” (quoted in Carter E. Grant, The Kingdom of God Restored, p. 546). The Saints everywhere accepted what President Snow said and started paying tithing.
Because of an excessive building program and other causes, in the late 1950s the Church was once again in a financial crisis. The Presiding Bishopric hence commissioned this film of the BYU Motion Picture Studio to help in a reformation similar to that in 1899; the brief was for a film on tithing, and Scott Whitaker struck upon this particular story.
Both the scope of production and publicity for the film were the greatest of any BYU film up to this point. The thirty minute commission grew into a fifty minute production--their longest yet--and hundreds of Church members were involved, including Harold B. Lee, who scouted for period locomotives. The members in St. George, including some who had been present in the actual meeting with President Snow, were particularly stallwart in creating this film, which they saw as their story. President David O. McKay, who had also known President Snow, was greatly moved, and after a St. George premiere it was distributed throughout the wards and missions and became BYU's most popular film; it effected a similar retrenchment in tithing, and the financial crisis was solved.
Scott Whitaker's script was apparently based primarily on the writings of Lorenzo Snow's son LeRoi. In his article, E. Jay Bell discusses several of the differences between the historical and the filmic events, foremost among them the fact that President Snow never mentioned anything about rainfall in connection with tithing.

Friday, March 15, 2019

British Mission Success in 1840's....

The Success of the 1840's Mormon Mission to England:

Woodruff and Young
The British Mission of Wilford Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Brigham Young and others was an absolute success.  Around 5,000 English joined the church by 1842.  The majority immigrated to the United States.  

Why did they have such success?  

The missionaries were teaching a message of hope, miracles and the coming Millennium.  They taught of angels, Prophets, Apostles and the Gathering of Israel.  The missionaries were young, charismatic and taught with clarity and power.  

But also....

The 1840's in Victorian England was a pretty horrible place to live.

England had suffered several economic disasters and crop failures just prior to the Missionaries arriving.  Queen Victoria had just become Queen and Charles Dickens was writing his famous stories including Oliver Twist.  The fertility rate was almost six children per adult woman and the average lifespan was less than 40.  About 1/4 the babies born died before reaching their first birthday.  
Please, sir, I want some more

Some quotes: 
In 1839 there was a serious slump in trade, leading to a steep increase in unemployment, accompanied by a bad harvest. The bad harvests were repeated in the two following years.  Source

Toilets would have been nothing more than cesspits. When these were filled they had to be emptied and what was collected was loaded onto a cart before being dumped in a local river. Source

Wilford Woodruff Wrote:  
I have seen more beggars here in one day than I saw in all my life in America. I have seen delicate females gathering manure to get a living for their famishing children. Source

My Final Thoughts More than 100,000 British immigrated to the United States each year between 1838 and 1842.  About one  percent of those were Mormon converts.  The beauty and promise of Zion and Nauvoo was taught.  Rolling hills, cheap farm land and a gathering of like minded people motivated many.  

From my reading of history and through personal experience, I know that greater the poverty, the greater the chances of receiving a spiritual prompting about making a dramatic change.  


Victorian Fertility Rates

English Demography - Oxford

1987 Ensign Article on British Mission

"Truth Will Prevail" Pageant held in England

Brigham Young heals Mary Pitt

BYU Article on Wilford Woodruff Mission. 

Charles Dickens Timeline

BYU - The British Mission 

Mormon Mecca in England

Priscilla Stains

Mormon Migration - Liverpool to Nauvoo

One More Quote
Perhaps no Mormon doctrine spoke more familiarly to some British folk than millennialism. Fundamental to the theology of many groups especially the dissenting sects was not only a belief in the literal Second Coming of Christ but also in the imminence of that event. It took little religious adjustment to accept the Mormon teaching that Christ would come again soon: only the concept that he would establish the Kingdom of God in America was different.  The Mormons taught further and with monumental self assurance that they would soon witness a millennial revolution.  Source

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Were 19th Century Mormon Miissionaries “Sex Traffickers”?

19th century Mormon missionaries targeted European girls with promises of perfect lives in America. They were poor, uneducated and desperate get away from the misery.  Once they were trapped in Utah, they were bartered for like cattle to serve men with sex and hard 

sex traf·fick·ing

Dictionary result for sex trafficking

noun: sex trafficking; plural noun: sex traffickings
  1. the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

    By the 21st century definition this ISN’T sex trafficking because they did not “ illegally “ transport the women. .... UNLESS they lied to them about what they would get when they arrived.  Polygamy was publicly announced in 1852 and the story spread quickly through Europe.  So literate European women might have known that they were heading into polygamy, but since the missionaries targetted the uneducated, they likely did not know.  

    It is a common theme even in LDS Sunday School classes today to praise young teenage girls from Denmark or Germany that were willing to leave their families to join the church, “embrace the gospel”. And follow the missionaries to America and Utah.  I now realize that all it was, was a sexual recruiting tool for Brigham Young and the other men of The Mormon Church to exploit the poor conditions of women in Europe.  

    So, were 19th Century Mormon Missionaries “Sex Traffickers”?


Friday, March 1, 2019

Proof that the Catholic Church is Run by the Devil....

Photo taken 30 AD by Dove
The Mormon Church has never, ever, ever changed anything in their ordinances.  

The most obvious reason that the Catholic Church is run by Satan is that they changed the baptism ceremony.  Jesus was baptized by immersion in the River Jordan when he was 30 years old.

John the Baptist held Jesus in the exact manner shown.  Jesus did not have to use his free hand to pinch his nose.  Jesus wore white, and John wore gray.... wait, that part isn't essential.  
which is better left or right?

John the Baptist then later appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and gave them the priesthood and they baptized each other.  
Photo taken by John T.B.

This took place in 1829 but Joseph and Oliver forgot to tell anyone for six years.  

Back to the important part.   Mormons LDS Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are baptized exactly like Jesus was at age 30.  And they have never changed any ordinances... ever.  That would be really bad, and clearly from the Devil.  OK.  Now it is 8 years old, not 30 but no babies.  
Satan is Happy

Aware of polygamy, 2nd Anointing
polyandry, racism, Shinehah.
The Catholics sprinkle babies.  Why does a baby need to be baptized?  They are so cute and soft and perfect and they can't possibly make an eternal  decision as babies.  One that might cause them to hire a lawyer many years later as adults.
(See ) 8 year olds are totally aware of all the issues in the Church and are prepared to make these covenants and would not chose to be baptized in order to have an ice cream party with friends.  

Conclusion:   Members of the Church... 
Mormons have never changed their temple ordinances!!  
Although we don't talk about the temple ceremony, it is essential that we show some of the things about the temple in order to present evidence that Mormons have never changed ordinances like the Great and Abominable Church.  

Washing and Anointing - Not Changed
Garments - Not Changed
Veiling faces - Not Changed
Penalties - Not Changed
Oaths and Covenants - Not Changed
Veil Ceremony - Not Changed

Final Conclusion:  Clearly you can see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have never changed an ordinance.  So the Church of Jesus Christ is the one true church of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church is run by the Devil himself.  

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Willford Woodruff embellished his life story.....

I've realized that every "miracle" in Mormon History has been embellished.  I've been slogging through Woodruff's personal history.  These are examples of what he wrote in his daily journal and then how he re-wrote the stories in 1865.  In each case, they became more miraculous.  

John Taylor Almost Died - August 28, 1839

Actual Journal Entry
28 We rode through Williamstown & pleasant garden & other towns & spent the night. Elder Taylor had a poor turn & fainted to the ground. He soon recoverd & was well at evening.
29th We Passed through Indianapolis the Capitol of the State. Rode two miles & stoped. But this was a gloomy day to my soul & body both. The enemy made a powerful grasp upon the life of Elder John Taylor. He fainted several times & it seemed as though he would die. We were oblieged to stop. We called for a few hours in a house by the way side. We then took him into the waggon & drove to Elder Eldridge & spent the day nursing Elder Taylor. He took a Course of Thompsonian medicine.
Publication version
On the 28th, while travelling, Elder Taylor fell to the ground as though he had been knocked down. We administered to him, and he revived. On the following day he fell again, and fainted several times; it seemed as though the destroyer would take his life. We travelled with him four days after he was taken sick. His sickness proved to be bilious fever. We stopped with him two days at a German tavern, in Germantown, Wayne County, Indiana, with a kind family with whom he was acquainted. Father Coltrin would stay no longer. I proposed to remain with Brother Taylor, but as I was sick with fever and ague, and not able to take care of myself, Brother Taylor advised me to continue my journey with Father Coltrin, saying, "It is easier to take care of one sick man than two." I committed him into the hands of God, and the family promised to do all in their power to make him comfortable. I parted from him with a heavy heart.

Changes in the story
In the revised version Woodruff adds that he had administered to Taylor and revived him.  He also comments more on his own sickeness and how much he wanted to help Taylor and how sad it was to leave him.  He also doesn't mention that Taylor had taken a medicine.  The word enemy is changed to be "destroyer".  

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wilford Woodruff Embellishments - July 22, 1839

Did Wilford Woodruff Embellish his journal?  

Journal Entry as written in 1839
22 Joseph was in Montrose & it was a day of Gods power. There was many Sick among  the Saints on [p.348] both sides of the river & Joseph went through the midst of them taking them by the hand & in a loud voice Commanding them in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from their beds & be made whole & they leaped from their beds made whole by the power of God. Elder Eligah Fordham was one among the number & he with the rest of the sick rose from his bed & followed Joseph from house to house & it was truly a time of rejoicing.
What Woodruff wrote in 1862 when preparing his Journal for publication:  
July 22.--I was with President Joseph Smith [Jr.] and his council and the Twelve; it was a day of God's power with the Prophet. He healed many who were sick nigh unto death, among whom were Elijah Fordham and Joseph B. Nobles [Noble]; even the wicked rabble followed to see the sick healed. As Joseph was about to cross the river, a man came to him and asked him if he would go about three miles and heal two of his small children, who were twins, about three months old, and were sick nigh unto death. He was a man of the world, he had never heard a sermon preached by a Latter-day Saint. Joseph said he could not go, but he would send a man. After hesitating a moment, he turned to me and said, "You go with this man and heal his children," at the same time giving me a red silk handkerchief, and said, "After you lay hands upon them, wipe their faces with it, and they shall be healed; and as long as you will keep that handkerchief, it shall ever remain as a league between you and me." I went and did as I was commanded, and the children were healed.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Wilford Woodruff Leaving for his British Mission....

I'm bothered by embellishment of Church History stories and have written about them for years.  This one might be the worst.

Comparison of Wilford Woodruff Journal Entry and the re-write of it 20 years later for publication.  

Phebe Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff

August 8th, 1839
"Early on this important morning I took my departure from the embraces of my companion to go on my mission. She parted with me with that fortitude that becometh a Saint realizing the call & responsibility of her companion. Phebe farewell. Be of good cheer. Remember me in your prayers esspecially as the sun sets in the western horizon. I leave these pages for your careful perusal while I am gone. I shall see thy face again in the flesh. I am gone to obey the Command of JESUS CHRIST."   

The time had come for me to take my departure from my family to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of Europe in fulfillment of the commands of God. Accordingly I left a parting blessing with my wife & took my farewell of her & other Saints on the morn of the 8th day of Oct Aug 1839 & left Montrose & crossed the Missisippi river for the purpose of commencing my mission of about six thousand miles & I started without purs or scrip and that to with the fever & ague resting upon me every other day  (original spelling)

August 8, 1839
"I laid my hands upon my wife and children, blessed them, committed them into the hands of God, and started upon my English mission, leaving my family sick, and with not more than four days' provisions.
Brother Brigham Young rowed me across the Mississippi in a boat; I was sick and feeble. When I landed, I laid down upon the bank of the river on a side of sole leather. The Prophet Joseph [Smith, Jr.] came along and looked at me, and said, "You are starting on your mission." I said,"Yes, but I look like a poor instrument for a missionary; I look more fit for a hospital or dissecting room than a mission." He replied, "What do you say that for? Go ahead in the name of the Lord, and you shall be healed and blessed on your mission." I thanked him.
A brother came along with a wagon, carried me a few miles on my road. I started without purse or scrip, and passed by Parley P. Pratt, who was hewing logs for a house; he was barefooted, bareheaded, without coat or vest on. He said, "I have no money, but I have an empty purse; I will give you that."
I went a few rods, and found Elder H. [Heber] C. Kimball building a log cabin. He said, "I have one dollar, I will give you that to put in your purse." He blessed me, and I went my way, accompanied by Elder John Taylor. I had a shake of the ague every other day, and lay on the bottom of the wagon while I travelled."

My commentary
Comments on original Journal Entry: 
Like most men leaving on a mission, his thoughts as he left Nauvoo were about his wife and family.  His journal entry mentioned his wife by name.  He missed her.  He promised her that he would see her again.  

Comments on Woodruff's rewrite of Entry for Publication:  
Woodruff embellished all these details 20 years later:
  1. That he we was so sick he couldn't even walk.
  2. He stated that his family only had four days worth of food. 
  3. He failed to mention the name of his wife Phebe. (by 1862 he had 9 wives) 
  4. Woodruff bragged about how humble his was.
  5. That he laid hands on his wife and family to bless them.  
  6. That he ran into Joseph Smith who gave him a blessing and promises.
  7. That he ran into a nearly naked Parley P. Pratt who gave him a purse. 
  8. That he ran into Heber C. Kimball who gave him a dollar.
  9. It's obvious that he want to show that he left without "Purse or script" but God provided. 
  10. It's amazing that he happened to run into all the most important men in the church.  And that he didn't run into any of the men that by 1862 were considered evil apostates:   William Law, Sidney Rigdon, William Smith, John C. Bennett.  

British Converts leaving for America

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

"I go like a lamb to the slaughter"

Joseph goes like a lamb to the slaughter
Another error in the LDS "Church History Primary Manual". 

From the Primary Manual Lesson 37.
Joseph knew that if they went back they would be killed, but he told other Church leaders: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me ‘He was murdered in cold blood!’”

The lesson gives the false impression that Joseph was a quiet simple man that was quick to turn himself in.

Another Church History Book paints a different picture:
The Saints Chapter 44 - written in 2018
“It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied with my destruction,” he said, “but I tell you that as soon as they have shed my blood, they will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single spark of the spirit of the fullness of the gospel.”
Drawing his sword and raising it to the sky, Joseph urged the men to defend the liberties that had been denied them in the past. “Will you all stand by me to the death,” Joseph asked, “and sustain, at the peril of your lives, the laws of our country?
The truth is that he went to his death swinging.  We do know that he had a gun smuggled into his jail cell and that he shot at six times.  Some sources say that two men died from the gunshots, but it isn't certain.
It is also questionable if Joseph really thought he would die.  He had been remarkably resourceful in the past at getting out of tough situations and he did have the assurance that Governor Ford would protect him.   

Other Resources:
Mormon Mosters Blog
Bernhisel Letter