Historians debate the role of Brigham Young in the massacre. Young was theocratic leader of the Utah Territory at the time of the massacre.

Dubbed “Lion of the Lord”

This week marks another anniversary of The Mountain Meadows Massacre.   Without doubt the Mountain Meadows Massacre forms one of the darkest chapters in the history of Mormonism.

 In the middle of September 1857 a company of emigrants from Arkansas, consisting of about 120 men, women, and children, were murdered in Mountain Meadows, Washington County, Utah Territory [i]. People who were traveling between California and Utah saw the dead bodies lying around in the meadow and gave a shuddering report of it. In Utah they replied the Indians had done it, and this account was accepted for some time. But such a frightful mystery could not be hidden for very long. A rumor was spread that it was the Mormons who perpetrated the massacre at the instigation of Brigham Young.

Polygamist, Danite Vigilante, Mass Murderer, Mormon Scribe & Missionary

Arizonans may be interested in knowing that the famous fishing and rafting destination, Lee’s Ferry, was named after John D. Lee who was executed by firing squad for his role in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Lee was a friend of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the LDS Church. He was the adopted son of Brigham Young under the early church doctrine the Law of Adoption.  Lee led the initial assault, and falsely offered emigrants safe passage prior to their mile-long march to the field where they were ultimately massacred.

[i]  For a thorough study of the Mountain Meadows Massacre see John Ahmanson, Secret History: A translation of Vors Tids Muhamed (Chicago: Moody Press, © 1984).


For Further Reading:

The Strange Case of Parley Parker Pratt – Mormon Apostle and Ancestor of Mitt Romney, by Eric Holmberg


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  1. shematwater September 8, 2010 at 4:58 PM #

    Actually, there is no proof that anyone outside the immediate area had any involvement in the massacre, and even proof that Brigham Young had order them to leave the people alone.

    I don’t know all the relationships you reference, though more references would help. However, regardless of these relationships they do not connect the others to the event in and of themselves (unless you condemn all families who have a criminal in them.)

    However, I do agree that this was an evil and vile act that was committed and likely more than just Lee should have been executed for it.
    Having said this, let us remember all those of the LDS who were killed in Missouri, and concider the many who were massecred at Hawn’s Mill. Let us also concider that Parley P. Pratt, then an Apostles, had been killed in Arkansas only months before the MMM occured.
    Let us try and look at all the things that occured to the LDS members that might have contributed to this event that can be called a retaliation.


  2. Nicholas Voss September 9, 2010 at 6:54 AM #

    Actually, there is an abundance of evidence that shows Brigham Young ordered the Mountain Meadow Massacre. I will post this evidence later next week. At the time of this writing I am preparing for a large project and am quite busy.

    Parley Pratt, a devote polygamist, was one of the leading members of the LDS church. He seduced the wife of H.H. McLean. Parley wished to make Mrs. McLean his seventh Mrs. Pratt. In order to prevent his wife from joining the Mormons and becoming an adulteress, McLean sent their children to her father’s home in New Orleans where Mrs. McLean quickly followed and pretended to repent of her sins. As son as she regained possession of the children, she started for Utah to become engaged to her lover (Pratt). McLean pursued her. During this time McLean intercepted a letter Mrs. McLean sent to Parley Pratt and discovered they were going to rendezvous. McLean brought legal action against the adulterers which went to trial. There was so much public excitement about this trial that the judge had to step in to prevent a public lynching of Pratt who was found guilty by many evidences presented. But somehow Pratt got off the hook. McLean became so enraged at the injustice that he followed Pratt out of town and killed him.

    Ironically, a year before Pratt was killed, he wrote an article fervently approving of death penalties for adulterers. I guess Pratt got his wish — it turned on himself.

    So are you justifying the killing of 120 innocent men, women, and children (who had nothing to do with Pratt’s death) at Mountain Meadows by linking these two events???? Sounds like you are. After all, you brought it up, I didn’t.


  3. shematwater September 9, 2010 at 1:07 PM #

    You really need to read my words before you try to give them meaning.

    I said, and I quote, “I do agree that this was an evil and vile act that was committed and likely more than just Lee should have been executed for it.”
    How this can be seen as trying to justify those involved is beyond me.

    This is what I was saying: Do you ever remember the vile atrocities committed against the mormons for so many years? Do you concider that such acts were just as vile, if not more so, than the MMM? Or do you prefer to consider only those few events that show the mormons as the villians?
    This is what I was saying, as I am curious.

    As to Brigham Young, I have seen all the evidence, and no credible historian concurs with the conspiracy theory that is held by so many. The evidence is incifient to prove any involvement, and actually suggests his disaproval of it.

    As to Parley and Eleanor, let us consider a few things. Hector McLean was a violent abusive Husband who had almost killed Eleanor once, and then tried to have her declared insane for believing in the LDS church. In his desperate desire to control her he sent their children on a journey of several thousand miles without escort. During this time there is no evidence of any relationship between Elinor and Parley beyond that of friends.
    Eleanor did try to get her children away from Hector, and she had every right to do so soncidering the violent nature of the man. The charges brought against Parley and Eleanor was that of stealing the clothing her children were wearing at the time they left. She was aquited on the first day, he an the next. The Judge, the Marshal, and the Lawyers all agreed that it was a false charge and offered help to protect them both from Hector.
    Hector himself admits that the charges were false, but they were the only charges he could come up with to warrent any kind of arrest. He even used a friend who seems to have imperinated a marshal to make the arrests. Long before it ever went to trial he and his friends planned to kill Parley if he wasn’t convicted, and after killing him several wanted to kill Eleanor as well.
    Yes, it is true that after Eleanor move to Salt Lake she married Parley, but considering the abuse she suffered and the hands of Hector all marriage ties between them were effectly desolved, and thus she was a single woman at the time in the eyes of God. She was not an adulteress, nor was Parley and Adulterer.
    There was no evidence against Parley Pratt. He was aquitted after Hector tried to shoot him for testifying at his own trial, basically proving that there was nothing to really substantiate the claims. Parley and Eleanor were not lovers before they were married, and there is no evidence of a relation before Hector destroyed the family.

    Now that we got that straitened out, let us get back to the original topic of violence against the innocent.


  4. shematwater September 9, 2010 at 1:08 PM #

    Oh yeah, you can read all about Parley and Eleanor right here:


  5. Nicholas Voss September 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM #

    I am not struggling with the meaning of your words. I know what you are intending to say. You simply need to get your histories straight and realize Mormonism is a subchristian cult — or you can learn to defend your lies better than you are.

    You can select your historians of choice and I will select mine. Why didn’t Pratt simply say, “Hey look Mrs. McLean, you’re married and I already have six wives so thanks but no thanks?”

    I live among Mormons here in Arizona and their lifestyles fit the caricatures everyone has about your cult. Sadly, many ex-Mormons have given up on religious faith altogether due to lies and misstatements your cult has spread since its invention in 1830.

    Joseph Smith is dead. Jesus Christ is alive. I do not need to learn from a dead prophet.

    Joseph Smith and Muhammad and Jim Jones and all the other “prophets” are all dead. You can point to their graves and say “Here they are, rotting in their tombs.” On judgment day they will arise at the command of our Lord and be judge for their wicked sins.

    Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.

    BTW: I will be writing a lot about Mormonism since I am in possession of your “seminary” textbooks. I will be tearing down these lies one by one. Please check by often.

    I will write more when I have time. Gotta go ….


    • NSH September 17, 2010 at 3:11 PM #

      Amen, Brother.

      I specially like the truth:
      Joseph Smith and Muhammad and Jim Jones and all the other “prophets” are all dead. You can point to their graves and say “Here they are, rotted long ago in their tombs.” On judgment day they will arise at the command of our Lord and be judge for their wicked sins. Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.

      But allow me to point out that they all have rotted away looooong time ago!


  6. shematwater September 10, 2010 at 2:09 PM #

    I know my histories as well.

    Parley Pratt did not say what you suggest because she was no longer Mrs. McLean, but was once again single as a result of the abuse she sustained at the hands of her husband. She declared this herself long before they had a relationship, and again to the Judge at the trial in Arkansas, and the judge seemed to agree with her.
    As far as either were concerned, and as far as I am concerned, she was a single women, and thus her marriage to Parley was perfectly justified and they will enjoy an eternity together.
    Now, if her husband had been loving, caring, and supportive of her and she still left him than I would agree with you. But this was not the case.

    I find it funny that you say you will not listen to a dead a prophet when the entire Bible was written by dead prophets. Do you think Paul is still alive, or Peter, or James, or Luke. You can say you follow Christ all you want, but as long as you hold the Bible as your final source all you are doing is following the words of dead prophets.

    As to selecting Historians, I choose to select those who have the credentials to make them trustworthy sources for the information they are delivering. Choose who you want, but just know that not all are going to accurate, or even honest in what they say, so choose carefully.

    I am ready for all the “lies” to be exposed. I have seen many people try to do just this, and all have failed; some a little better than others, but none proved a thing.


  7. Nicholas Voss September 10, 2010 at 2:27 PM #

    The prophets teaching that I follow are not dead, they are alive in heaven. They were appointed by Jesus Christ Himself at the time of Jesus’s earthly ministry. They saw and knew the Lord personally, including Paul.

    Joseph Smith is in hell, awaiting the great day of judgment. And none of his teachings agree with what the Apostles of Christ taught.

    You are missing the point on Pratt. He took seven wives in his possession. He was a sexual deviant, like all the other Mormons of his time. And the account you have of Mrs. Mclean is different than the historians I am reading who were contemporaries of Pratt and his trial. OJ Simpson got off the hook too for his crimes, too, but that does not mean he is innocent.

    Thanks for staying engaged. I will be writing more soon. However, I am on a big project now.

    The Book of Mormon by its own admission is “another testimony ” of Jesus Christ. That is to say it is another “gospel.” We are told to reject new testimonies like this in the book of Galatians. And Mormons such as Orson Pratt believe the Holy Bible has been “polluted” and cannot therefore be trusted, yet they use the King James Bible instead of the JST. How do you explain this paradox?

    Christians do not need Joseph Smith. Christians have no need for “another testimony” such as Mormonism offers. We have Jesus Christ who is very much alive. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ is more alive to me than you are!


  8. shematwater September 14, 2010 at 8:02 AM #

    What is the proof that these old prophets saw and heard Christ, especially Paul? The proof is in their personal testimony, and that is it. So, why are you taking their testimony when you refuse the testimony of Joseph Smith?
    Like most people who rail against the church you have no sound reasoning to support what you say. You use a double standard for your belief.

    As to what you say about Parley, I suppose you consider Abraham a sexual deviant, or Jacob, or David. (Of course David did become one, but he didn’t start as one.) All these men took multiple wives, and with the authority and approval of God. Why are they not judged as “sexual” deviants?
    Again, you deplay a double standard.

    Just to rap up, another testimony is not another gospel. In court, two witnesses give different testimonies, but they are used to prove the same case. In like manner, the Bible and the Book of Mormon are two testimonies, but they work together to establish one gospel.

    And lastly, we do not use the JST for two reasons: 1-it was never completed. 2-the legal copyright is held by the RLDS and we believe in obeying the law. However, we do use certain portions that we have been given permission to use.
    It is also true that when we can show our doctrine using the same translation as others it is easier to convince them.


  9. Michael Babcock September 14, 2010 at 9:24 AM #

    Interesting comments, Shem…
    The proof the apostles saw and heard Christ is more than their personal testimony, it was the fact that Christ Himself showed His choice of them by giving them the power of doing miracles and healings (called signs and wonders in the Greek). On more than one occasion we find them doing mighty acts than no man could ever do apart from God. Where are the attested and verified miracles and healings of Joseph Smith? Moreover, the Lord attested to the calling of the Apostles, especially Paul, by their writings. These Scriptures and revelations of the New Testament agree with the teachings of the Old Testament, and explain the OT, and proclaim the Gospel of Christ as He commanded them “Go into all the world and make disciples teaching them all that I have commanded you.” Furthermore, these men didn’t claim that they were writing Scripture so much as attributed it to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. Therefore, as writings of the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures are self-attesting. The Holy Spirit speaks through the words of the Scriptures with His power to testify of their veracity. It needs no human backing to prove that (although there are all kinds of evidences for it). But Joseph Smith — he was never inspired as the Apostles. He was supposedly given plates, had to use stones to translate from a language no one in the world ever heard of, the end result was a mixture of quotes from the Bible (KJV), wild stories, and incoherent thoughts that at times even contradict the revelation of both the OT and the NT. Many other of his “revelations” recorded in the D&C are false in that many of them never came to pass or again contradict the Bible. There is no double standard, therefore.

    And as for polygamy, the early Mormon church did in fact show how deviant it was from God’s purpose. Abraham is often accused by Mormons for having multiple wives. Indeed he did, but not at the same time. Hagar was never his wife. She was ALWAYS called, “the Egyptian” or “Sarai’s slave,” but NEVER Abraham’s wife. In fact, Paul used this very fact as an illustration of those who seek to be justified by the Law (the effort of the flesh — even as Abraham tried to have a child through his fleshly effort through the slave Hagar) as opposed to those who seek to be justified by the promise (symbolized by Sarah who had the promise given to her). After Sarah died, Abraham took Keturah as wife. But he never had more than one wife at a time. Now Jacob and David did, but that was not sanctioned by God (although used by God to further His purpose in saving mankind). In fact, concerning David, he went in direct violation of Dt. 17:17 where God commanded that the kinds not take many wives.

    Moreover, it is clear from the NT, which is the clearer teaching of the Bible, that God’s intention from creation that marriage was for one man and one woman. For instance, Jesus Himself interpreted Gen. 2:24 when He said in Matt. 19:25, ‘For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’” TWO, not Three or five or seven shall be one flesh. Moreover, Paul gives us the reason why: Eph. 5:28-32, “He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” In other words, Paul says that the marriage relationship was always (even from the beginning in the creation of Adam and Eve) to be a type or picture of Christ and His church. Christ is called the Groom and the Church the Bride in many places, most notably in Revelation.

    And for this reason, Paul lays down strict statements concerning leaders in the church:1 Tim. 3:2 “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, temperate, prudent, respectable, dhospitable, eable to teach” … v. 12 “Deacons must be HUSBANDs OF ONE WIFE, and good managers of their children and their own households.” And Titus 1:6, “if any man is above reproach, HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion….” I find this to be most interesting because the teaching of the Apostle of Jesus Christ directly stated that if one was to be a leader in Christ’s church, he could not be a polygamist. Joseph Smith and the early Mormons disqualified themselves from being leaders in Christ’s Church because of their polygamy.

    And since Joseph Smith taught this doctrine as coming from the Lord, he also incurs the curse of God as in Dt. 4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (cf. Dt. 12:32) and Rev. 22:18, “I testify to everyone who hears athe words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book.” The point of these verses is to show that the Word of God is to be protected and distinguished from the words of men. Joseph Smith took God’s direct command for one wife, threw it away, and added a supposed revelation that now God wanted men to have multiple wives. But then how does Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change” play into Joseph Smith’s ideas?

    And as for the BoM being another testimony of Christ– not so. It does not agree with the teachings of the OT with its understanding of the temple, the priests, the place of Israel in redemptive history, nor does it show any understanding of the covenants of the Bible. It is a complete fabrication of human ingenuity, and a bad at that.


  10. shematwater September 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM #


    Actually, Joseph Smith did do many miracles, as witnessed by thousands. Such as the healing of hundreds on the banks of the Mississippi from deadly fever. There ae also many witnesses to the visitation of angels, and many other miracles of healing and power done by Joseph Smith. The records are there for anyone who wishes to actually read them.
    As to the writing of scripture, Joseph Smith never took the credit, but spoke just as the ancient Apostles and prophets did, that he was delivering the words of God as spoken to him. As to the stones he used, these were also used in the Old Testiment for the purpose of revelation, as is attested to in Ezra, when it is proclaimed that a prophet was needed with Urim and Thummim to reveal the truth (Ezra 2: 63).
    So, when actually examined Joseph Smith fits all these criterion that you have set out, even in that the Book of Mormon does agree with the Bible (and I have read articles by non-mormons who agree).

    As to Plural Marriage, let us examine a few things.
    You say Abraham never marriage Hagar. So, he simply committed adultery without even the attempt to conceal it. This would be more of a sexual deviation than having two wives. You make him even worse than we do.
    As to Jacob, please show me where he was ever chastised for his taking of four wives (or where Abraham was). Please show me any reference to the idea that he was in error. Where is his repentance? I claim God’s approval because we have no evidence of his disapproval. As it goes, silence is assumed concent. As God is silent, we can assume he approved.
    As to David, I did mention that he became a sexual deviant, but did not start that way. As to Dueteronomy, the command is to not multiply wives “unto hemself.” That is to say he is not to go around marrying everyone he feels like. However, it does not mean that God cannot give him additional wives if so desired.
    There are many places in the Old Testiment, particularly in the Law of Moses were Plural Marriage is spoken of as acceptable, and in other places implied as a type of social remedy.
    Thus, for Joseph Smith to declare it to be from God is simply to agree with the Old Testiment.

    As for Paul, there is a simple reason for him giving the counsel of having one wife. Polygamy was illegal in the Roman Empire, and that was the civil law of the day. While some provinces were allowed to practice it as part of their law, not all were. So, to keep unity in the church it was forbidden to all.
    So, the circumstances dictating one wife were no longer in force at the time of Joseph Smith, so nothing was changed.

    Got to go.


  11. Michael Babcock September 15, 2010 at 12:39 AM #


    Thanks for the response. It is a very interesting read and amazing bit of reasoning.

    You said that Joseph Smith performed miracles. I know that several were reported from him, mainly by himself, the rest were written or reported after his death. The famous miracle of healing on the banks of the Mississippi was an account written by three people years after Joseph’s death. Some events in Joseph’s life achieved mythic proportions after his death in 1844. It is clear how through oral tradition and written accounts, an interpretation of events evolved to show the power and majesty of the “prophet.” But like Benny Hinn’s claims, I find no miracles like bona fide cases of raising the dead or restoring vision that were verified by unbelievers.

    Nevertheless, even if he did perform miracles, that in itself does not put him into the same category of the apostles who spoke in Jesus’ name. For one thing, Christ warned the Church in Mark 13:22 “false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.” Doing miracles in itself is no guarantee that a person is sent by Christ, which is why I also said that the Apostles taught all that Jesus taught them, but Joseph Smith contradicts Jesus’ teachings, showing he is one who is leading others astray. For instance, Jesus said that God was Spirit (Jn. 4:24) while Smith said that God has a body, even claiming that he saw God (though the Bible says no man can see God (Jn. 1:18; 6:46; cf. 1 Tim. 6:16). Jesus said that He would build His church and the gates of hell could not prevail against it (Matt 16:18) and that He would be with His church to the end of the ages (Matt 28:20), yet Smith said that the Church totally apostatized and needed to be restored through him. Jesus said that no one would be married or given in marriage in heaven (Lk. 20:35), yet Smith said that marriage goes beyond this life into heaven.

    Moreover, Smith said, “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam… Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I.” (History of The Church, 6:408–409). Of course that goes directly against what Christ said in Matt. 16:18 but also against the spirit of the Lord’s apostles who said that they laid the foundation but Christ was the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).

    And concerning Abraham and Hagar, I did not say he committed adultery. His wife was the one who suggested it as it was a well-attested practice of that era that if a wealthy woman could not bear a child to be heir, she would give her slave to her husband to have a child through her (cf. Code of Hammurabi and texts from Nimrud and Nuzi). Sarai said to Abraham, “Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her” (Gen 16:2). Hagar was simply seen to be a surrogate mother and the authority over the child belonged to the wife not the slave. And that Abraham did not regard Hagar as his wife is clearly seen in Gen. 16:5-6, “Sarai said to Abram, ‘May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the LORD judge between you and me.’ But Abram said to Sarai, ‘Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her what is good in your sight.'”

    As for Jacob’s two wives and their two concubines who bore their children when they couldn’t, there is no repentance from Jacob. There was certainly a custom of polygamy in that land and he followed it. But the Lord’s silence on the issue doesn’t mean He approves it. You have ignored the fact that the NT is clear in its teaching that from the beginning God’s intention for marriage was only for one man and one woman as a type of Christ’s marriage to His Church. That God permitted polygamy is like how God permits divorce: “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way” (Matt 19:8).

    And it is absolutely crazy to say that God gave David additional wives. 2 Sam. 2:7-8 is not saying that God gave David Saul’s wives to be his own wives, but that he inherited Saul’s kingdom. but as for the wives he acquired, David married them according to his own desire and cultural norm, not by God’s command which forbade it. Your exegesis on Dt. 17 is novel but wrong. But to say that polygamy was OK and ordained by God for David, then what do you do with your own BoM, Jacob 2:24, “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord”?

    And you need to read Roman history. Rome did not make polygamy illegal, though it was discouraged. But the culture aside, when you read a passage of Scripture, you must read it in the context of the whole revelation. The Bible is clear as to why polygamy is not lawful for Christian leaders. It is not to keep unity but because God did not ordain that practice as it goes against the typology. But your argument fails in that you said it was illegal in the Roman Empire but though it was legal in other provinces, to keep the peace no one could. However, polygamy was illegal in the US when Joseph Smith practiced it. Of course that goes against Rom. 13. But the point is, the same circumstances were still in force at the time of Smith.


  12. shematwater September 15, 2010 at 11:10 AM #

    As to polygamy: The fact that God is silent is sufficient to assume his approval. As to the new Testiment, what you quote says nothing to what you are talking about.
    Yes and man and women are to cleave to each other and become one flesh. However, it is never said that a man cannot cleave to more than one women. This was to illustrate the intended permanency to the marriage covenant. The context, as you are so fond of referencing, is the question of divorce, not marriage. When a man and a woman marry they are to be inseperably connected, and are thus one flesh. This should not be destroyed at every wim.
    As to Dueteronomy 17: 17, where is your proof that I am wrong? I give proof that I am right. Deut. 21: 15-17 and Exodus 21: 10-11 are God’s law regulating Plural Marriage. In many instances, as I said, it is suggested as well. There is no place in the laws given by God anywherein the Old Testiment that forbids the taking of a second wife, or even a third or fourth. The only place is in Duet 17: 17, which talks about multiplying wives unto oneself, in the smae way as one multiplies horses and sheep (verse 16) suggesting a whoredom of desire, and not an actual covenant of marriage.

    You reasoning that Abraham and Jacob just followed local tradition is rediculous. God has always commanded his people to separate themselves from the rest of the world. They were forbidden to even cut their hair at times for this purpose. What you are basically saying is that God doesn’t really care what we do. Your reasoning is not reasonable.
    Some prophets could be “sexual deviants” because it was a common custom at the time, but God doesn’t really like it. Why did God wait 4,000 years to reveal that the taking of more than one wife is wrong. Why did he leave that little nugget of knowledge out?

    Oh, and by the way. If you are going off ancient custom than Hagar was Abraham’s wife. The custom was not one of surregate mother, but of second class wife. They were the wives of the men.

    Speaking of Joseph Smith, just briefly, Polygamy was not illegal when he introduced the practice. It was made illegal in the 1850’s. As to his supposed contadictions, the Gates of hell mentioned in Matthew are a reference to physical death, or the grave. As such, since all will be resurrected, they will not prevail. Second, Christ did stay with his church. It is just that the true church left the earth, and so Christ left left. As to boasting, let us look at the cercumstances. Joseph Smith had been falsely arrested yet again, was being harrassed on all sides, and had finally had enough. I know people like to use this one quote to prove this idea of boasting, or whatever, but it fails when you consider everything else in the history of Joseph Smith.
    My point is that I have just as much evidence in support of Joseph Smith as you do in support of any of the ancient prophets.


  13. Melissa Marsh September 16, 2010 at 12:50 PM #

    Get out of the CULT THINK now, Shema!


  14. Michael Babcock September 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM #

    It is dangerous ground to assume that because God is silent on an issue, that He approves it.

    As for my citations of the NT, it has everything to do with what we are discussing. First, while it is true that Jesus was talking of divorce, but in that he was describing the true nature of marriage as God intended it, which makes the divorce so reprehensible. In that Jesus specifically said, “For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” Again, Paul brings out the reason, because the marriage relationship is a type of Christ’s marriage to His Church, which is one (Eph. 4:4).

    And as for the fact that God did allow for plural marriages in the OT, it is for the same reason that God allowed for divorce: because of the hardness of their hearts. He did not command polygamy (as Joseph Smith did), He simply allowed it. There is a difference!! But again, the NT is quite clear that in the NT Church that Jesus built and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, anyone who assumes a leadership position (elder or deacon) is to be the husband of ONE wife. That fact immediately disqualifies Smith and any other Mormon who held to that practice. While God tolerated polygamy in the OT, in the NT He definitely does not. Your convoluted reasoning that Paul was just trying to establish unity in the church which had wide variety in cultural understanding in marriage is historically unproven and exegetically strained.

    And my statement about Abraham and Jacob following the cultural norms of that time is certainly historically provable. There are various ancient texts to show that the law allowed for childless women to use their slaves as a surrogate. And read Hammurabi and the biblical text. It was not a wife, it was a slave. In fact, again I remind you that Abraham NEVER called Hagar anything but Sarah’s slave. If anyone ought to know what Hagar was, it was Abraham. But if Hagar was Abraham’s wife, then God commanded him to divorce her as he was told to send her away. I don’t think so.

    But to jump and say from this that God doesn’t care what we do is simply irrational. Did God approve of that practice? No. In fact, Abraham was chided for his lack of faith in this issue. But He used it, as He will use all sin for His purposes, but just as He allowed polygamy within the Mosaic covenant without approving it, so He tolerated this.

    And to change gears, I don’t care what pressures Joseph Smith had upon him, he has not right to blaspheme and declare himself greater even than Christ. “I’ve done what no man has ever done, even Jesus Christ, by keeping a church together!” My point in bringing it up was to show that he was not at all like the Apostles in that THEY always submitted to the Lord and praised Christ and said that HE held everything together, while Joseph Smith spoke against Jesus’ Word, and rather than praising Christ, boasted that He was better than Christ in this regard. When a person states that they are better than Christ, that is the spirit of antichrist. And you, Shem, are following an antichrist.


    • NSH September 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM #

      Brother Babcock,

      I thank God for your clarity!

      I particularly like the stated truth:
      “When a person states that they are better than Christ, that is the spirit of antichrist. And you, Shem, are following an antichrist.”

      May God-the-Holy Spirit sanctify us so that we get closer to the image of God-the-Son Jesus the Christ. May we continue the sojourn here serving Him and glorifying Him alone, until we’re summoned before the throne of Jehovah, as we sure are heaven bound. What an amazing grace!


  15. Michael Babcock September 18, 2010 at 10:16 PM #

    What an amazing grace, indeed!! Yesterday I ministered to a man in our congregation who was on his death bed. He left the darkness of Mormonism years ago and placed in faith in the true Prophet and Apostle of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. His faith was resolute that while he was a sinner, Christ is perfect and His perfect obedience to God’s Law is imputed to him. That brought such comfort to him to know that he could stand before God in righteousness. Nothing in him, all in Christ! He passed into glory this morning. O what joy to know this Gospel of free grace in Christ. It is a comfort in life and in death.

    May the Lord bless us and as you said, sanctify yet more and more, creating the image of Jesus in us.


  16. Nicholas Voss September 19, 2010 at 2:25 PM #

    True Christians rest in the obedience and righteousness of Christ. He is our righteousness.

    Christ is our Sin-bearer! Our right standing before Him is established on one thing only: the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 19:30, compare with 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Revelation 5:9; and others too numerous to mention). We are released from our sins by His blood (Revelation 1:5). He has reconciled us in His earthly body through His death (Colossians 1:22). Jesus bore our sins in His own Body on the cross so that by His wounds we are healed (1 Peter 2:24). We are made holy through the offering up of Jesus’ Body as a sacrifice once for all (Hebrews 10:10). Christ appeared once for all to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26). God sent His Son to remove the wrath that we ourselves deserved (1 John 4:10). The penalty of sin that is rightly ours is absolved by grace through faith, not by any righteous deeds of our own (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    When we have a Living Prophet like Jesus, who needs a dead Joseph Smith????

    Jesus lives!


  17. shematwater September 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM #


    If we are going to use the local customs of the Old Testiment time to interpret scripture than why can I not use the local customs of the New Testiment to interpret scripture.
    Abraham and Jacob were allowed to commit adultery because it was a common practice, but Paul is not allowed to counsil “one wife” because it was a local custom? Seems a little double standard in interpretation.

    As to the nature of marriage, again, Jesus was talking about the Marriage covenant, and explaining divorce. If a man marries a woman he has entered into the marriage covenent with that woman, and they are now one flesh. If he marries another they are one flesh, including the family.
    Even the analogy of Christ’s Marriage to the church fits this, as we are all individuals, but are one in the covenant.

    God did allow plural marriage in the OT, but not for the reason you give. You are applying the Law of Moses to the entire OT, and it is not correct. The gospel as taught be Christ was had by the ancient patriarchs, and was originally restored to Israel at the time of Moses. However, for the lack of faith it was taken and replaced with the Law of Moses. The original Law did not allow divorce except for fornication, but the Law of Moses did. As Jacob lived under the original Law, and was permitted to have multiple wives, we can see that this was part of the original law, as restored by Christ.
    (I take this from Galatians 3 – the Abrahamic Covenant being different than the Law)

    So, Moses allowed divorce, or the Law of Moses did. But this law was added to the origianl, and thus the original, as held by the ancient patriarchs, did not.
    (I do not think Abraham divorced Hagar, just separated from her while on this earth.)

    As to Joseph Smith and his supposed blasphemy, I don’t see it as such. What he said was true, for the church did fall away, and many who had believed left even while Christ was yet alive (John 6: 66). There has never been another time when the true leaders of the church have kept the majority of the members as faithful followers. He was honest, telling the truth, for not even Christ had done so while ministring on the Earth. Did he mean that he was greater than Christ? Of course not. He meant exactly what he said, that he had lead the most faithful group of saints in the History of the world. The way he said it may not have been the best choice of words, but the pressure can easily excuse the slip.
    You are assigning a meaning to his words that he never intended, trying desperately to make something to critisize.


  18. Nicholas Voss September 20, 2010 at 12:27 PM #

    Hey Shamatwater-
    Even if your claim is true (that the church fell away), that does not mean the LDS church is the one true church, the restored church, or any other kind of church. And which of the many LDS/Mormon “churches” do you expect people to believe in? There are many churches which have branched off from Joseph Smith. All of these LDS churches think they are the original and true LDS church.

    Secondly, why don’t you reveal your identity? Why do hide behind a pseudonym? You’re a coward. But if I believed in the Mormonism, I’d hide too!

    Joe Smith could translate “reformed egyptian” but could not translate Hebrew and Greek texts:


  19. shematwater September 20, 2010 at 5:38 PM #


    If you want to be an idiot you are welcome, but please do not insult me in your idiocy.
    My name on these blogs is Shem Atwater, which happens to be my real name. I am not hiding anything, and I am proud of who I am. Only an idiot would assume I was hiding anything.

    As to the many branches off of the LDS church, the true one would be the one that holds to the same doctrine as that taught by Joseph Smith and the rest of the standard works. The only one that can honestly claim this is the one still known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and is currently lead by Thomas S. Monson. All others have gone from that original path and are thus apostate groups, just like the rest of the world, including all supposed Christians.


    Speaking of Hagar being Abraham’s wife, you claim she is never called this. Here is Genesis 16: 5 “And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.”
    This clearly states that Abraham married Hagar, as she was given to him to be his wife. This is what I have held from the beginning, and the Bible supports this.
    It does the same with Jacob and his wives.
    Genesis 30: 4, 9 “And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her…When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.”
    He married Leah and Rachel, and then he married their handmaids. They are not refered to as wives later because they are of the servant class, and are thus second class wives. However, they are still wives. Abraham had two wives at one time, and Jacob four. Neither man commited adultery, as they were married to all of their wives.
    Now, please show me where in the Bible Abraham is chastised for marrying Hagar. I know he is chastised for doubting that Sarah would conceive, but but for the marriage. So please enlighten me.


  20. Nicholas Voss September 20, 2010 at 6:14 PM #

    Hey Shem –
    Were you not the fellow who only a few days ago was crying about how mean we were by calling you names?

    Have you forgotten how you scolded us for calling you stupid? And now you are doing the same thing!

    Like most Mormons I’ve met, you sure are paranoid. Relax, friend, there is nothing to be upset about.

    Joseph Smith is dead. Jesus is alive. The world does not need Joseph Smith; it needs Jesus.


  21. shematwater September 21, 2010 at 1:18 PM #


    I also said that if you are going to be insulting I will likely respond in kind. As you did just that, I responded.

    Joseph Smith is alive and well, and when all men who ever lived will one day acknowledge the great work he did for the salvation of the Human race. Christ is our saviour, and the only one who could have fulfilled the requirements of the atonement, but that does not deminish Joseph Smith, or any other prophet of God, as all have done their part for the salvation of man, and without them no one could have been saved.


    • Nicholas Voss May 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM #

      Joe Smith is rotting in his grave at this moment. Jesus’s grave is empty. I have no need for Joe Smith. All I need is the Lord Jesus Christ. Go ahead and follow the dead if you wish. I will follow the Living Lord Jesus.


      • shematwater May 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM #

        It’s been a while.

        Joseph Smith’s body is in his grave. He is not. He is in the world of Spirits, still doing a great work, and he will return to this earth in glory with all the prophets and faithful saints, heralding the return of Christ.


  22. Nicholas Voss May 27, 2012 at 5:36 AM #

    Joe Smith will stand in judgment at the Great White throne. Agreed, he is in a world spirits mind you — in hell.

    I do not need Joe Smith. I know the Living Lord Jesus Christ.


  23. Godbey May 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM #

    Well written articles like yours renews my faith in today’s writers. You’ve written information I can finally agree on and use. Thank you for sharing.



  1. Nicholas Voss Blog 2010 in Review « Nicholas Voss - January 2, 2011

    […] MORMONISM’S MOUNTAIN MEADOW MASSACRE September 2010 23 comments 4 […]


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