Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Evidence of Ecclesiastical Abuse

Recently in the news:  

1. A Baptist Minister promised a 14 year girl that if she would have sex with him all of her family was guaranteed to go to Heaven.  

2. A Catholic Priest secretly married a young lady and made her promise to not tell anyone, including her best friends and family.

3. A School Counselor told a girl in his high school that if she wouldn't marry him that he would be murdered. 

4. A Jewish Rabbi promised a young woman that if she would marry him that she would go straight to Heaven. 

5. A girl's volleyball coach told a teenage girl he had worked with for many years, that the best thing she could do to get better was to have sex with him. 

6. A college professor was secretly courting two sisters at the same time.  He married them both illegally and it wasn't until later that they knew of the other's relationship. 

Although unfortunately, things like this happen all the time, if you change each of the underlined words to Joseph Smith the Mormon Founder, you will learn more.....


PLEASE KEEP READING

JOSEPH SMITH WAS A SEXUAL PREDATOR.....

Some background..,


I work with students in a High School.  I often give presentations to the students about the dangers they face from online sexual predators.  

Joseph groomed his victims
I go through the patterns that predators use to entice young girls and boys and the precautions students need to take in order to stay safe.  

I also tell the students that at any time they can come to me, the counselor or any trusted adult and we will believe them, protect them and go to the ends of the Earth to help them.  No matter what the young person has already done, we will not shame them, we will not blame them. 

Sexual predators are clever, ruthless and patient.  Predators look for the most vulnerable and exploit their victim's weaknesses and trust to eventually achieve their goal. 

As I was reviewing my notes for an upcoming assembly, I was horrified to notice parallel methods used by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith in selecting his "Eternal Wives" to the ways that sexual predators use today.  Although Smith didn't have the internet as a tool, he had a far more effective approach:  His followers believed he spoke to and for God. 

I prepared this list to demonstrate that Joseph Smith's pattern for luring his polygamous wives has all the same markings of the worst of today's sexual predators:  
Threats, shame, and false promises.  


Source Preference has been given to Official LDS Sites.


Helen Mar Kimball

Evidence that Joseph Smith was a Sexual Predator

1. Joseph Smith told his victims that HER FAMILY’S salvation was dependent on giving into his wishes.
Quote:  "After which he said to me, ‘If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father’s household & all of your kindred. This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to him."

How does this violate 21st Century LDS Teachings?
"The Lord has prescribed requirements for eternal life in the celestial kingdom." 
2.  Joseph Smith told his victims to keep his actions secret from family and friends.
Quote:  "Participants in these early plural marriages pledged to keep their involvement confidential."
Source:  LDS.org Essay
3.  Joseph told his victims that HE would be killed if THEY didn't comply.
Quote:  "During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully."
Source:  LDS.org Essay
Angel with a sword.
4.  Joseph Smith promised his victims salvation if they complied with his requests.
Quote:  "In the revelation on marriage, the Lord promised participants “crowns of eternal lives” and “exaltation in the eternal worlds."
Source:  LDS.org Essay
5.  Joseph's role as "Prophet of God" gave him a position of trust and authority over his victims.
Quote:  "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it."
(Although written after Smith's death, it gives a clear sense of how he was revered.)

6. Smith married sisters living in the same house and did not allow them to tell each other.
Quote: " Both girls “were married to Bro. Joseph about the same time, but neither of us knew about the other at the time; everything was so secret”"

Note:  Eliza Partridge was 22 and her sister Emily was 19.  They were both living and working in the Smith home but even though they both married Joseph within a few days, neither was allow to tell the other.
7.  Joseph Smith told women to pray about his advances while at the same time telling them as their Prophet the answer to expect.
Quote: "Lucy Walker recalled her inner turmoil when Joseph Smith invited her to become his wife. “Every feeling of my soul revolted against it,” she wrote. Yet, after several restless nights on her knees in prayer, she found relief as her room “filled with a holy influence” akin to “brilliant sunshine.

Source:  LDS.org Essay

8. Joseph told his victims that once they had given into him once, if they were to leave, they would be "destroyed".
Quote:  "Verse 63: But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed;"
9.  Joseph told his victims that the way to glorify God was through their consent.
Quote:  "…for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified."
10. Joseph's victims thought of Joseph like a father figure.
Quote:  “Emily Partridge recalled she was "a nurse girl, for they had a young baby...That is what I delighted in, tending babies...Joseph and Emma were very kind to us; they were almost like a father and mother."
Emma Smith
11.  Joseph made his victim's consent a test of their faith.
Quote:  "Lucy Walker said "He asked me if I believed him to be a Prophet," and when Lucy said yes, Smith informed her that God had instructed him to take another wife, "and you are the woman."
Source:  Compton, In Sacred Loneliness Pg. 463
12. Joseph would prey on the vulnerable and orphans
Note:  Sisters Emily and Eliza Partridge lost their father in 1840.  They were hired by the Smith family to live in their home and help care for the Smith children.  By 1842 Smith had married both sisters.
13. Joseph taught his victims that even though their actions might feel wrong in their heart that it was still commanded by God.
Quote: "I am often led to wonder how it was that a person of my temperament could get along with it and not rebel; but I know it was the Lord who kept me from opposing his plans although in my heart I felt that I could not submit to them." (Eliza Partridge)
14.  Joseph told his victims to hide their actions from his wife Emma.
Quote:  "He may have thought Emma’s rejection of plural marriage exempted him from the law of Sarah. Her decision to “receive not this law” permitted him to marry additional wives without her consent."
Source:  LDS.org Essay
Nauvoo Mansion House
15. Joseph told his victims that they were promised to him by God.
Quote:  "Mary Rollins Lightner said, "Joseph said I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in hell should never get me from him”

16. He threatened victims with destruction for their refusal. 
Quote: "But after several hesitations, Lucy was informed of the other side of Smith's sealing power. He told her that rejecting his offer would bring eternal damnation. Of his marriage proposal to her, Smith said: "It is a command of God to you. If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you."
Source:  Compton, In Sacred Loneliness Pg. 463
17. Joseph Smith used his authority to send husbands of his victims out of the country.
Quote: (About Marinda Hyde) "In the Spring of 1842 she married Joseph.  In Joseph’s diary is a list of his marriages.  It includes the entry: “Apr 42  Marinda Johnson to Joseph Smith.”.  Eight months later, in December, Orson returned from his mission." 

18. Joseph knew and associated with many of his victims and their families since they were small children. 
Note:  Joseph Smith knew Helen Mar Kimball, Eliza Partridge, Emily Partridge, Sarah Ann Whitney and Nancy Winchester all before they were six years old.
Source:  The Wives of Joseph Smith
Sarah Ann Whitney
by Leslie O. Peterson

19. Joseph held power of salvation, position and authority over most of his victim’s fathers.
Note:  At least ten of Smith’s youngest brides had fathers who held positions of power in Nauvoo.  Joseph Smith held control over their jobs, farms and incomes. His victims would have known that he had the authority to excommunicate their fathers or remove theme from their jobs and leave the families destitute. 

20. Joseph took extreme measures to have his victims live in his own house.
Quote:  (To John Walker) Joseph said, “You must have a change of scene, a change of climate.  You have Just such a family as I could love.  My house shall be their home...place the little ones with kind friends, and the four Eldest shall come to my house and [be] received and treated as my own children...” He then sent Walker on a mission.

21. He publicly shamed those women and girls who refused him.
Quote:  When a woman turned him down and then went public with the details of his proposal, Smith and the church leadership's policy was to slander the reputation of the woman or man who made it public. When Martha Brotherton published her story in the St. Louis Bulletin, on July 15, 1842, the [Nauvoo] Wasp on August 27, 1842 denied such a marriage proposal was made, and branded Martha a "mean harlot." When Nancy Rigdon turned down Smith's offer on April 9, 1842 and publically opposed him, Smith's good friend…wrote, “Nancy was guilty of unlawful and illicit intercourse."
Source:  Van Wagoner , Mormon Polygamy Pg. 235


22. Joseph Smith ask his victims to do something that was specifically taught in the scriptures they held to be true.
Quote: Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband,

Final Notes:
After compiling this list. I became emotional just thinking about the fear, guilt and loneliness that Joseph placed upon so many young girls.  I can only imagine them thinking, "Who in the whole world would believe what has been forced upon me?"  

This was the dawn of the Victorian Age. A time when sex was not discussed, especially by teenage girls.  Their first night for a 14 year old sleeping with Joseph would have been horribly confusing and frightening.  

I hope that by putting the spotlight on Joseph Smith and calling him out as a sexual predator it may play a small part in getting the Mormon Church to admit that polygamy was not from God. 

How else can young LDS girls learn to avoid these dangerous situations in 2016 without admitting that the grooming practices of sexual predators hasn't changed much in 200 years? 

October 8, 2016 Comment by author
I was amazed at the number of views this received.  The responses ranged from praise to personal attacks.  I know that comparing Joseph Smith to rapists and molesters is a strike at the foundation of Mormonism.  
Nearly all Mormons are amazing, hard working people who give so much to their community, but there are still those men who use their position and influence in the Church to groom and rape women and young girls.  This will not stop until the Church acknowledges that Joseph's actions were wrong.

Nov. 15, 2016 Comment by author:  I am in the process of adding quotes and links that specifically show that most of the things that Joseph Smith did were specifically against the teachings of 21st century LDS Prophets.


Additional Sources
Characteristics of Sexual Offenders
Avoiding Online Predators
Tactics of Sexual Predators

Modern Sexual Predator

Dr. Kristy Money's Op-Ed about Joseph Smith
FairMormon's Response to Dr. Money

Wives of Joseph Smith
Brian Hales
Point by Point Response by Brian Hales
This list is unfortunate because it reflects such a narrow interpretation and misses many details.

1. Helen also said she was too young to understand what Joseph said. This conversation took place in front of Helen’s parents, neither of which recalled this supernal promise.

2. Secrecy was sometimes required, but polygamy insiders were free to talk to each other as in the case of Sylvia Sessions attending the sealing of her mother Patty to the Prophet.

3. This is misleading. No wife reported Joseph saying he would be killed if they personally did not comply.

4. The promise is if “a man marries a wife.” It is a promise of eternal marriage not plural marriage—Monogamy not Polygamy.

5. It is true Joseph was revered, but we know of at least five women who turned him down without at repercussion.

6. Within days Joseph allowed them to speak to each other.

7. Joseph told them all to pray about everything. Several reported angels and other divine witnesses.

8. This is a misrepresentation. It speaks of a woman committing adultery after she is married. Being “destroyed” is to not receive exaltation.

9. This is a misrepresentation. Vv 16-17 explain that without eternal marriage, a person lives eternally without exaltation. An eternal marriage performed by proper authority, including a plural sealing, makes a person eligible for exaltation. Consent is unimportant. Obedience is.

10. It appears you haven’t read much of what Emily wrote. She considered herself Joseph’s wife in every way.

11. Joseph knew that many of his followers had received a testimony of his divine calling as a prophet and eternal and plural marriage came as revelations, just as the Book of Mormon.

12. This is dramatic. Initially, Emily told Joseph to not bother her and he complied, but on her 18th birthday he asked again and she was then willing. Since Emily lived for many decades, her experience with Joseph is well documented and this version problematic.
13. This quote from Eliza (who wrote very little) doesn’t mention Joseph so it isn’t an example of what “Joseph taught” his “victims” (and I expect Eliza would bristle at the idea that she was a victim).

14. Joseph initially sought non-sexual eternity sealings after an 1841 sealing to Louisa Beaman but reported a February 1842 visit from the angel commanding polygamy. Thereafter he entered time-and-eternity sealings without telling Emma. Emma learned in the Spring of 1843 and participated in four including sealings. It seems unfortunate that Joseph didn’t tell Emma sooner and perhaps this is why D&C 132:56 tells Emma to forgive Joseph, which she did

15. This is the only reference to a relationship that began in the pre-mortal existence. Nothing more is known about this possibility.

16. You speculate what “gate” would be closed. It could be destruction or simply the opportunity to be sealed to Joseph. Other women turned him down and he said, “I will pray for you—Sarah Granger.” Eternal marriage is required for exaltation but not plural marriage or being sealed to Joseph Smith.

17. This is very misleading. There are two sealing dates for Marinda and the more reliable is after Orson returned. The “Spring 1842” date was over a year after Orson had left on his mission, hardly consistent with the idea that Joseph had sent Orson (as a member of the Twelve) away so he could be sealed to Marinda).

18. We marry people we know. This seems meaningless.

19. This is speculation. None of the men complained against Joseph or accused him regarding his plural sealings.

20. This again is speculation. Joseph did approach Lorin Walker, Lucy’s brother, for permission to be sealed to Lucy before he approached her.

21. This is simply not true. Five women turned him down without any repercussion. When Nancy, Martha, and Sarah Pratt went public, Joseph publically denied the false accusations.

Joseph was sealed to 35 women and none of them left any criticism of him, even the seven that left the Church. Personally, I think they would be very displeased with accusations as those published in this list.


Links to Mormon Sexual Abuse Cases (Taken From Mormon Stories)

News Stories Involving the LDS Church and Child/Sexual Abuse

30 comments:

  1. This list is unfortunate because it reflects such a narrow interpretation and misses many details.

    1. Helen also said she was too young to understand what Joseph said. This conversation took place in front of Helen’s parents, neither of which recalled this supernal promise.

    2. Secrecy was sometimes required, but polygamy insiders were free to talk to each other as in the case of Sylvia Sessions attending the sealing of her mother Patty to the Prophet.

    3. This is misleading. No wife reported Joseph saying he would be killed if they personally did not comply.

    4. The promise is if “a man marries a wife.” It is a promise of eternal marriage not plural marriage—Monogamy not Polygamy.

    5. It is true Joseph was revered, but we know of at least five women who turned him down without at repercussion.

    6. Within days Joseph allowed them to speak to each other.

    7. Joseph told them all to pray about everything. Several reported angels and other divine witnesses.
    8. This is a misrepresentation. It speaks of a woman committing adultery after she is married. Being “destroyed” is to not receive exaltation.

    9. This is a misrepresentation. Vv 16-17 explain that without eternal marriage, a person lives eternally without exaltation. An eternal marriage performed by proper authority, including a plural sealing, makes a person eligible for exaltation. Consent is unimportant. Obedience is.

    10. It appears you haven’t read much of what Emily wrote. She considered herself Joseph’s wife in every way.

    11. Joseph knew that many of his followers had received a testimony of his divine calling as a prophet and eternal and plural marriage came as revelations, just as the Book of Mormon.

    12. This is dramatic. Initially, Emily told Joseph to not bother her and he complied, but on her 18th birthday he asked again and she was then willing. Since Emily lived for many decades, her experience with Joseph is well documented and this version problematic.

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    1. I always have to laugh when religious folk, like yourself, say stuff like "This list is unfortunate because it reflects such a narrow interpretation and misses many details." If there is any group of people who have narrow interpretations, and miss (leave out) details it is those who are religious. If you want to dispute the claims by all means have it, but you are in no position to call others views narrow, and missing details. Those with so called testimonies are the most narrowed minded people in the world.

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    2. Brian,

      My rebuttal to you here is one simple question: Is it *ever* acceptable - under any circumstances - before your god and church leadership for a man in his 30s in a position of power to have sex with a girl younger than 17 and as young as 14? I will accept no answer other than a "Yes" or "No". If the answer is "Yes", why should any reasonable person who isn't a sex offender be interested in your god or church? If the answer is "No", then you need to admit that JS was a sick man, because the evidence overwhelmingly points in that direction and you know it. Stop defending sex offenders.

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    3. Brian,

      My rebuttal to you here is one simple question: Is it *ever* acceptable - under any circumstances - before your god and church leadership for a man in his 30s in a position of power to have sex with a girl younger than 17 and as young as 14? I will accept no answer other than a "Yes" or "No". If the answer is "Yes", why should any reasonable person who isn't a sex offender be interested in your god or church? If the answer is "No", then you need to admit that JS was a sick man, because the evidence overwhelmingly points in that direction and you know it. Stop defending sex offenders.

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  2. 13. This quote from Eliza (who wrote very little) doesn’t mention Joseph so it isn’t an example of what “Joseph taught” his “victims” (and I expect Eliza would bristle at the idea that she was a victim).

    14. Joseph initially sought non-sexual eternity sealings after an 1841 sealing to Louisa Beaman but reported a February 1842 visit from the angel commanding polygamy. Thereafter he entered time-and-eternity sealings without telling Emma. Emma learned in the Spring of 1843 and participated in four including sealings. It seems unfortunate that Joseph didn’t tell Emma sooner and perhaps this is why D&C 132:56 tells Emma to forgive Joseph, which she did

    15. This is the only reference to a relationship that began in the pre-mortal existence. Nothing more is known about this possibility.

    16. You speculate what “gate” would be closed. It could be destruction or simply the opportunity to be sealed to Joseph. Other women turned him down and he said, “I will pray for you—Sarah Granger.” Eternal marriage is required for exaltation but not plural marriage or being sealed to Joseph Smith.

    17. This is very misleading. There are two sealing dates for Marinda and the more reliable is after Orson returned. The “Spring 1842” date was over a year after Orson had left on his mission, hardly consistent with the idea that Joseph had sent Orson (as a member of the Twelve) away so he could be sealed to Marinda).

    18. We marry people we know. This seems meaningless.

    19. This is speculation. None of the men complained against Joseph or accused him regarding his plural sealings.

    20. This again is speculation. Joseph did approach Lorin Walker, Lucy’s brother, for permission to be sealed to Lucy before he approached her.

    21. This is simply not true. Five women turned him down without any repercussion. When Nancy, Martha, and Sarah Pratt went public, Joseph publically denied the false accusations.

    Joseph was sealed to 35 women and none of them left any criticism of him, even the seven that left the Church. Personally, I think they would be very displeased with accusations as those published in this list.

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    1. Brian, on number 21, how do you "know" these accusations were false? Do you "know" they are false or do you "believe" they are false? It just seems like a very objective statement to apply to a "he said, she said" situation. I have a pioneer ancestor who had an experience very similar to what Nancy Rigdon claimed, but, with Brigham Young in SLC. Teacher/pupil.

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    2. The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one...

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    3. Anyone who is not Mormon would find your answers creepy.

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    4. Thanks for your answers Brian.

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    5. Brian Hales,
      Before responding to your rebuttal in full, I'd like to establish some common principles. Firstly, do you consider yourself a faithful scholar or a person who is faithful to the principles of scholarship? (ie. considering and seeking all available evidence, treating the evidence dispassionately and even handedly, following the law of parsimony, logical rigour and a willingness to yield to a better argument when it's presented).
      FairMormon, I know, is officially based on faithful scholarship as its fundamental principle, which is hardly worth arguing with, since such a concept it is fundamentally contradictory to scholarship.
      Secondly, do you understand the thrust of the argument being described by the author you've attempted to refute? Can you describe what the nature of the argument is and then, whether you've addressed the fundamentals of that argument?
      If you won't do this, then let me suggest what the thrust of and evidence for the argument is:
      Joseph Smith had marital and intimate relations with multiple women, including minors.
      The process by which he persuaded those women to join him in his intimate relations has many similarities with the grooming practices of pedophiles.
      The article presents a number of these.
      There are a two main ways one could argue the case:
      1. demonstrate that few enough of these processes really happened to suggest that there is no pattern
      2. Even if there was a pattern, because of a pre-existing belief that somehow Joseph Smith was justified in doing what he did, that this makes it something different to child abuse.
      So, considering your blow by blow refutation of the article, can you comment on the following:
      Do you think, in the spirit of scholarship (as opposed to faithful scholarship), you have achieved the first argument and are you willing to be shown where your scholarship has let you down?
      Are you so convinced that Joseph Smith was justified in his actions that you are prepared to sacrifice key elements of scholarship in the aim of defending his reputation?
      I give three examples of your poor scholarship letting you down as an incentive to respond to my questions as a foundation for a dialogue.
      Item 21: The thesis is that Joseph was acquainted with some of these women as little children and was present in their lives from a young age. There is clear evidence that such a position of trust and influence is used by pedophiles to establish a position of power over those they target. Your responses was dismissive, saying that, "of course we marry people we know". Is this a serious refutation of the point and its part in the pattern being discussed?

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    6. Secondly, item 7. Women who were under extreme stress to come up with a satisfactory response reported angelic visitations. Do you seriously represent yourself as someone who doesn't understand how unreliable this is and how typical this is of what happens psychologically when people are presented with high value contradictory positions? Are you completely unaware of Leon Festinger's experiments? Are you familiar with the incident with Sydney Mission President Orson Wright in 1981, well after polygamy was disbanded? He forced sister missionaries onto their knees, one by one, in his office, to pray to confirm his "revelation" that they were to be his plural wives. Not surprisingly, some had revelations. Where were those "revelations" from? He was very quickly released and dispatched once one brave woman told her parents. Many didn't and didn't tell each other.
      Thirdly, item 5. There is clear evidence that Martha Brotherton suffered character assassination for her refusal of Joseph Smith and going public about it. There are two problems with your argument that 5 others refused without repercussions. One, it avoids the evidence of the character assassination. Secondly it avoids discussing what might have been the discriminating factors, such as going public. Can you comment on this?
      If you're prepared to respond to these principles and issues, then I think you can be taken seriously. If, on the other hand, you persist with the "faithful scholarship" line, then there is no point in either heeding what you have to say, since you are just creating noise, or in taking up the argument.

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    7. Brian, if you were alive during the early days of Mormonism, what would be your reaction if you were sent on a mission by Joseph Smith himself only to return to find out he had been sealed to your wife? What would that do to your sealing with her? Would you joyfully submit to the will of your "prophet"? It would seem to me this is an easy matter to defend with others but quite different if experienced personally.

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    8. Mr. Hales,

      Although I respect you as a historian, and for all the invaluable research you have compiled, it surprises me that you are incapable of seeing any abuse of authority by Joseph Smith.

      Your best apologetics may work for a point or two or even ten items on my list but the weight of evidence is that Joseph did not treat girls and women as a Heavenly Father would ever condone.

      One has to make a decision: were Joseph Smith's actions inspired by a loving God or a man who saw an opportunity for abuse in his authority over women and young girls.


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    9. Oh Brian. What a pathetic apologetic cause you have devoted your life too. Such a waste of an otherwise impressive intellect. Even a child knows this emperor is wearing no clothes.

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    11. A most devastating rebuttal to Mr. Hales can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/50lueq/evidence_that_joseph_smith_was_a_sexual_predator/d7bpz8o

      1. Helen's own words. You can't deny that she claimed this happened.

      2. Brian's agreeing while making it read like he's disagreeing. He admitted that they pledged not to tell anyone outside of the group.

      3. Notice the apologist's words here. They were told he would be destroyed with an implication to death.

      4. D&C 132 is all about polygyny. Brian is pretending it's suddenly about monogomy all of the sudden.

      5. Citation needed.

      6. Brian is agreeing with the poster, but trying to make it sound like spending "days" (as in weeks of them) without knowing the other sister was also banging Joseph somehow makes it better.

      7. Angels that Joseph is accused of fabricating via chemicals.

      8. Brian is redefining the text of D&C 132 again.

      9. Brian again agrees while making it sound like doesn't. I'd just like to repeat what he said here for context: "Consent is unimportant. Obedience is." Brian. You make it sound like you're in a cult.

      10. Temple lot testimonies show that the partridge sisters considered themselves part of the family, not boarders. They considered him his father.

      11. Terrible misdirection is terrible. Just say that you agree with the quote without trying to change the conversation because you don't like the conclusion.

      12. Nice use of years to try to make it look like he stopped. He didn't bother her for a "many months" while he pursued her sister. He then tried again later, which was successful. That's not complying with her wishes to leave her alone. That's grooming her, and I wonder if she ever burned his letter as instructed. I assume so.

      13. More misdirection. The quote is there, and you saying she didn't write much is irrelevant.

      14. You just made this up, ignoring a plethora of evidence to do so. Why? I think it's because you know that you would otherwise have to admit that Joseph was sleeping with other men's wives. That violates both D&C 132 and Jacob.

      15. [Citation needed - see 20]

      16. It's a direct quote, not the author's speculation.

      17. Open, public, and socially acceptable marriages, sure. This is grooming. That's kind of the point.

      18. True, this is speculation; however, you can look to other leaders to show what happened when they tried to expose Joseph's misdeads or stand against him. Rigdon and Law come to mind.

      19. This happened multiple times, but I personally believe it was simply his access to the victims as opposed to him seeking them out. He stayed with other families and seduced wives and children. He did the same when they stayed in his home, and he was always willing to open it up to more women (families included or not).

      20. Brian, outright lies are beneath you. Well, they should be. See the quotes here. Joseph slandered the three girls you mentioned. Nancy was called a "poor miserable girl out of the very slough of prostitution' even after he said it was all a test. Sarah was called a "[whore] from her mother's breast", and Martha was called a "mean harlot."

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  3. I grew up thinking that JS was the bomb diggity. In reality, I'm not even believing in the foundation of this church as truth anymore. My heart is broken at the thought that this man treated women with such disrespect. To make a women who was already happily married, turn her back on her man only to be abused by HIM a fallen prophet, makes me want to burn my garments and rip my collar and say I AM OUT!!!! Who in the hell did this creep think he was? Playing on the hearts of literally millions? What he created and the ripple effect of polygamy is proof that he is and was nothing but a manipulative man.

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    1. That Brian Hales is actually an expert on the plural marriage of the early church leaders. He is authority on this issue since he knows tje documents and ecidence like you might know your family members. Might be a good idea to actually read some of the studies written by him or other in the field. To speak such harsh words about a topic that you know only few cropped quotations about is exactly what propagandists want. It is interesting that also some non mormon historians accept that the polygamy is not proof of sexual predator or linertine behavior. Other evidence seems to clearly show that he was not like that at all. The problem of tje internet age is that people don't read books anymore. Rough stone rolling is quite good book to start with in order to see Joseph in bigger context, yes the book deals with all the co troversial issues too but instead of cropping quotes, it tries to understand the man in the world in its proper context and suddenly these issues don't seem so awful any more. But you have to be willing to read actual studies and not some few lines.

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    2. Relative morality is crap. Racism, misogynism, pedophilia etc. etc. etc. cannot be wished away by claiming historical normality. Same reasoning for justifying withholding the priesthood is what people try to pass off with young brides. That it was "common" to be married younger...except when you actually look at census numbers. Except when you actually look at the overall total of wives and their ages. Sorry but do your own research as well as believing what someone else may have written. Ask your own questions.

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    3. How many studies did it take you, Jarkko, to be ok with sexual abuse of a minor? Religion really sucks.

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  4. Jarkko, I've read quite a number of Brian's articles and papers. Depth of familiarity with a topic is not the same as scholarship. Brian has started with and maintained a position of defending Joseph Smith. His arguments and evidence accentuate the positive and water down the negative, as with his response above. This is not scholarship. See my highlights of Brian's lack of scholarship above. FairMormon is about "faithful scholarship", which in and of itself undermines their credibility. Assigning academics to find evidence that paints a favourable picture of a subject is not scholarship. Just keep in mind that the best Mormon minds of the mid 19th century were working to conceal polygamy. That wasn't scholarship then and whitewashing it now isn't either.

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    1. Yep. Starting with a foregone conclusion and working backwards to fit your paradigm/model isn't scholarship. I will give it to Brian though he has become an expert in the Joseph Smith method of reasoning.

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  5. Brian wrote "Consent is unimportant. Obedience is."

    That's the same reasoning that led to Brock Turner only serving 30 days for rape

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  6. "Helen also said she was too young to understand what Joseph said." This is disgusting. She was too young to even understand what was being said but old enough to marry a man more than twice her age? Religion used to abuse women and children is nothing new.Defending it in this age of information I find repugnant.

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    1. Brian is trying to say that, I think, that Helen was one of the wives in name only. However, Brian, I would like to draw your attention to the letter that Joseph Smith II wrote to Helen and her parents. I believe it was written in less than a week after their spiritual marriage took place. Joseph asks Helen to come visit him in the night, but to make sure that Emma was away or else he couldn't guarantee her safety. What would he be hiding from his legal wife that Helen should only come to his home at night when Emma wasn't home? He's very specific on that point. What would there be to hide from Emma, if he only ever intended Helen to be a celestial wife only, as she was told? So, yes, Joseph Smith was having sex with a 14 year old girl. It was not a marriage in name only. Also, Helen expressed when she was older, had she known that she was to be more than a celestial wife, she wouldn't have agreed.

      Here's what I would really like you to address though Brian. What do you think about the Fanny Alger affair? How do you explain Emma catching them in the barn? Or Emma's anger? Or the fact she had the girl expelled from her household?

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  7. Joseph Smith biographer Richard Bushman acknowledged the pressure Joseph placed on these women. I cite him in this article on the parallels between Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs. http://mit.irr.org/warren-jeffs-joseph-smith-polygamy-parallels Pressure for compliance = manipulation = abuse.

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  8. Joseph Smith's gospel if built on lies. The Book of Mormons says that having more than wife is an abominations (Jacob 2:23-24). One can use logic, or their brain, to reason that the BOM contradicts Smiths' teachings of plural marriage. Kind of funny how Smith wrote scripture saying the Lord finds plural marriage a sin and then he turns around and says it is a commandment (LDS essay and D@C 132) Caught in a lie? I believe so! Also No where in the Bible did God say plural marriage was a commandment, but God warned people-especially kings, against this practice. Read the BIBLE people! Sara gave Abraham her handmaid- God did not do it. Another point- no where in the Bible did anyone practice eternal marriage. Nor did God give such a commandment that eternal marriage is necessary for salvation. Did we forget that Jesus is the ONLY WAY to salvation (Gal 2: 20-21, John 14:6, John 3:16) Smith made it up so he could marry other men's wives. Yes, he practice polyandry. There is no rational reasoning for a man to marry another mans wife. There is no logic or reasoning for a wife to have two husbands. Let alone, some of these women were married to men who were members of the church- so why did they need to marry Smith in the temple when their husband could of been sealed to their own wife? God gave you a brain-use it!

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  9. Wow Brian.

    If you read a defense of technicalities for Warren Jeffs you would probably be shaking your head at how nonsensical it is, if not repulsive.

    You haven't stepped outside and looked back in at this, have you

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  10. Brian Hales, in my eyes you have shrunk from being a scholar to being a "lier for the lord".

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