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. 

Timeline:  
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. 

Resources:  
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.  

Sources

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 labor.  

sex traf·fick·ing

Dictionary result for sex trafficking

noun
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”?

    YES.


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 quitmormon.com ) 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.