FARENHEIT LDS: Book Burning, Racism & the KKK?


Mormon_Doctrine-Burning

CONTENTS:

Part I. Bigotry in Ignorance?
Part II. The “Sensible” Klu Klux Klan
Part III. Nameless Oracles

Introduction

pingbackIn the diverse world of the Blog-o-sphere we are sometimes linked in ways that might be new to some. One of these links is called a “pingback”. This occurs when someone links to a Blog Article. Most of the time I don’t bother investigating them, I just approve them and go about my business. But I recently got a pingback on one of my articles and the title of the piece that it linked to was,

Blacks and the Priesthood: Burn McConkie Now!

With that title burned into my mind, I set about reading the article that had linked to one of mine, and it was so inaccurate and full of bigotry that I decided to take the time to respond to it. The Author, who goes by the moniker  “IrWhitney” or the “Phantom Saint”, starts off by telling everyone to burn any copies of Bruce R. McConkie’s book, Mormon Doctrine, and then asks his audience to throw another on the pile:  Answers to Gospel Questions, by  Joseph Fielding Smith.

The Phantom claims that the reason that people should burn these books is because they are “officially shameful and embarrassing”.  This line of reasoning advocates that anything written by Mormon “Authorities” that is deemed shameful and embarrassing to the Mormon Church should be burned.  Now that’ll solve any problems, won’t it? It worked for Nazi Germany, didn’t it? Well… maybe not.nazi_book_burning

What I do find shameful and embarrassing is that the Phantom would actually post a defense of Mormon racism on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday; as if that would somehow assuage his conscience or bolster his fantastical claim that “’the Brethren’ in their more subdued fashion essentially agree with all my various arguments, officially, and in public.”

Since he speaks of Mormon “authorities” pulling doctrine out of their backsides… well, if the shoe fits…

Seriously though, far from setting the record straight about Mormon racism, the Phantom only makes it worse, because the arguments that he claims “the brethren” are down with, don’t really explain anything; and the Phantom’s are (for the most part) simply speculations he has gathered from the four corners of the internet, into which he mixes a strong dose of his own bigotry towards Christians.

I. Bigotry In Ignorance?

And those arguments? To put Mormon “authorities” institutional racism and bigotry “in perspective”.  This is nothing new of course. Isn’t that what the skinheads try to do with Adolf Hitler’s bigotry? Put it in perspective? After all, they still admire the guy, just like Mormons still admire Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and every other racist “prophet” that inherited the mantle of Smith. But Mormon “authorities” did one better than Adolf Hitler, they made God himself into a bigot:

The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord… (First Presidency Declaration, 1949)

Poor Phantom, don’t you know that “the Brethren” aren’t agreeing with anything that you say? If one goes to the link provided by the Phantom that accesses the article he referenced above one reads,

The Church acknowledges the contribution of scholars to the historical content presented in this article; their work is used with permission.

Their work. Nameless “scholars”. Have the very oracles of God been turned over to nameless scholars? It appears so, if one is to believe Phantom, since he thinks that these are “the brethren” (or Mormon General Authorities).

And when all else fails, put the blame on those horrible Christians as Phantom does with this rant:

For the anti-Mormons out there, and certainly the non-Mormons in general: I’m not defending the bigotry in early LDS leadership at all. Just putting it into perspective. Neither am I defending the racism apparent in the writings and sermonizing of many LDS leaders over the generations. I can only offer that it was always ever based upon ignorance rather than malice, and that it never even slightly attained the level of contempt and hatred, the outright damnation of the “Negro” race as openly practiced and professed by most of “historic” Christianity over the last 2014 years. Not even slightly. It wasn’t the Mormons who brought slavery to America. That was “historic” Christianity. It’s hard to take criticism from Christian sects who were the religious arm of the KKK for generations, or tolerate the tongue clucking of other Christian denominations like the now often very liberal Lutherans, who’s founder Martin Luther (the original)  clearly and openly denounced the Jews as a filthy, contemptable race that needed extermination. Or for that matter, compared to some pretty inane reasoning relative to the Curse of Cain over the years from various Mormon leaders, I feel no moral equivalence between that and a Holy Roman Empire that slaughtered “barbarians” and “savages” all over the globe, tortured generations of mankind through ruthless rule and Inquisition, and attempted to exterminate the Jews to “liberate” the Holy Land over the course of hundreds of years and a score of centuries. Brigham Young wasn’t invented in the hills of Utah. He came from respectable Quaker stock. He and his brethren brought the Curse of Cain and all its attendant racism and bigotry from “historic” Christianity–it was never an invention of Joseph Smith or his newly “restored” One True Church. (the Phantom)

slaveryGee, if the criticism is valid, (as Phantom seems to agree with, sorta) then why not take criticism from Christians? He can’t, because he is too bigoted to do so. What he needs to do is a little more research about the affects of the Great Awakening on the problem of slavery in the United States.

But this really isn’t about taking criticism from Christians because he’s really not “defending the bigotry in early LDS writings at all”, he’s just telling us all that it was bigotry in ignorance, (an oxymoron if there ever was one) bigotry without malice, (ditto) and that it was just all those crazy Christians who are really to blame for Mormon racism (which he can’t seem to make up his mind about), not the Mormons themselves who picked up that evil doctrine and ran with it, and then had the audacity to tell everyone that it all came from God himself. Funny, how doctrines like this are classed as “carry overs”, and statements like this one from Joseph Smith are subsequently ignored,

As Paul said, “The world by wisdom know not God;” so the world by speculation are destitute of revelation; and as God in His superior wisdom has always given His Saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit, as John says, is the true spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus. I may safely say that the word “Mormon” stands independent of the wisdom and learning of this generation. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.400)

Or this,

Joseph Smith, Kirtland Ohio, 1836 by grindael

Joseph Smith circa 1836

It is in the order of heavenly things that God should always send a new dispensation into the world when men have apostatized from the truth and lost the priesthood; but when men come out and build upon other men’s foundations, they do it on their own responsibility, without: authority from God; and when the floods come and the winds blow, their foundations will be found to be sand, and their whole fabric will crumble to dust.

Did I build on any other man’s foundation? I have got all the truth which the Christian world possessed, and an independent revelation in the bargain, and God will bear me off triumphant.  (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.479)

I don’t think anyone would consider the Curse of Cain doctrine one of those “truths” by any stretch of the imagination. So Joseph got it from God. So he says. Brigham Young echoed this in 1855:

Brigham-Young

Brigham Young, circa 1860

The American Government is second to none in the world in influence and power, and far before all others in liberal and free institutions. Under its benign influence the poor, down trodden masses of the old world can find an asylum where they can enjoy the blessings of peace and freedom, no matter to what caste or religious sect they belong, or are disposed to favor, or whether they are disposed to favor any or none at all. It was in this government, formed by men inspired of God, although at the time they knew it not, after it was firmly established in the seat of power and influence, where liberty of conscience, and the free exercise of religious worship were a fundamental principle guaranteed in the Constitution, and interwoven with all the feelings, traditions, and sympathies of the people, that the Lord sent forth His angel to reveal the truths of heaven as in times past, even as in ancient days. This should have been hailed as the greatest blessing which could have been bestowed upon any nation, kindred, tongue, or people. It should have been received with hearts of gratitude and gladness, praise and thanksgiving.

But as it was in the days of our Savior, so was it in the advent of this new dispensation. It was not in accordance with the notions, traditions, and pre-conceived ideas of the American people. The messenger did not come to an eminent divine of any of the so-called orthodoxy, he did not adopt their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek, the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowlege of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.

No sooner was this made known, and published abroad, and people began to listen and obey the heavenly summons, than opposition began to rage, and the people, even in this favored land, began to persecute their neighbors and friends for entertaining religious opinions differing from their own. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p.171, Feb. 8, 1855)

So much for “folklore” being carried into the Mormon Church from the Christians, Mormon “prophets” deny it. As for malice, one striking example is that of John Taylor, who left us with this rant about Horace Greely:

The majority of the people think you [The Mormons] are a most corrupt people, following a doctrine something like those Free Love societies in the East. Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, was associated with one of those societies, and was its principal supporter.

John-Taylor

“Apostle” John Taylor

That is what is called a virtuous kind of an abomination, used under a cloak of philosophy, a species of philosophy imported from France. Hence they call Greeley a philosopher; and, in writing about him, I have called him the same. I believe him to be as dishonest a man as is in existence.

These are my sentiments and feelings. I have examined his articles, watched his course, read his paper daily, and have formerly conversed with him a little; but lately I would not be seen in his company. I was thrown in his society in traveling from Boston, and occasionally met him afterwards; but I would not talk to him. I felt myself superior to such a mean, contemptible cur. I knew he was not after truth, but falsehood.

This Greeley is one of their popular characters in the East, and one that supports the stealing of niggers and the underground railroad. I do not know that the editor of the Herald is any more honest; but, as a journalist, he tells more truth. He publishes many things as they are, because it is creditable to do so. But Greeley will not; he will tell what suits his clandestine plans, and leave the rest untold. I speak of him, because he is one of the prominent newspaper editors in the Eastern country, and he is a poor, miserable curse. (Journal of Discourses, Volume 5, pp. 118-119)

Not only does Taylor’s malice show in this rant towards the blacks as well as Greely, Taylor has to be dishonest to make his point. Instead of speaking to the man, he claims superiority over such a “contemptable cur”. If he had spoken to him, he might have realized that Greely didn’t advocate “free love”. Or maybe Taylor did speak to him. He lied about polygamy, didn’t he? This arrogance on the part of Taylor spilled over into his religious beliefs, too. Abraham H. Cannon recorded that,

Father [George Q. Cannon] holds that we who live on the earth now and are faithful, will stand at the head of our lineage and will thus become Saviors as has been promised us. Pres. John Taylor was not sealed to his parents though they died in the Church, as he felt that it was rather lowering himself to be thus sealed when he was an apostle and his father was a high priest… (Diary of Abraham H. Cannon, Thursday, Dec. 18th, 1890)

Horace_Greely

Horace Greely

Greely didn’t support the “Free Love” movement at all, he in fact destested it as this letter to M.A. Townsend in 1860 shows:

When we were publishing Judge Edmond’s series of articles commending and extolling Spiritualism, I never heard complaints from you or other Spiritualists that we did not comment on and dissent from their inculcations. I do not see why we should do so when it proves to be your bull that is gored and not t’other fellow’s ox. Your letter is arrogant in its tone and sheds no light on the subject; so I have thrown it aside. I do not take ground for or against what is called Spiritualism, but it is my definite judgment that the abominable sophistry and lechery termed “Free Love” has received decided aid and comfort from Spiritualism. That I don’t like; and it is my sorrowful conviction that there are more adulterers and libertines, harlots and false wives in the country today than there was before or would have been but for the advent of Spiritualism. If there be any truth in Spiritualism, I am afraid the spirits who visit us mainly tenanted bad bodies while on earth and have not improved since. (Horace Greely to M. A. Townsend, March 1, 1860)

Even Brigham Young had more tact when speaking of the blacks, he knew that the word “nigger” was a slur:

Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.

Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands. (Journal of Discourses Vol. 10, p.250)

And,

Brother Taylor says that language cannot express the conduct, the feelings, and the spirit that are upon the people in the States. Well, suppose you take up a labour and swear about them, what are the worst words that can be spoken? ‘Nigger stealing,’ Mobs or Vigilance Committees, and Rotten-hearted Administrators of a Government are three of the meanest and wickedest words that can be spoken. I expect that somebody will write that back to the States, as being treasonable, because spoken by a Latter-day Saint. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p.127, August 9, 1857)

They knew. In spite of all that Brigham and his apostles said, overthrowing the sentence of the Almighty upon the supposed seed of Ham is exactly what the Federal Government did. And yes, thousands upon thousands died to make that happen. Even Wilford Woodruff showed that he was not not above demeaning the blacks:

We had a Great Celebration of the 4 to day as the 4 Came on Sunday. We had a great display of all the Mechanics Artizens tradesmen & Farmers school Children &c & A Long windy speech from Judge [Cyrus M.] Hawley on the Nigger Question & severall Edifying speeches from others.(Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 6, p.485, July 5, 1869)

Cyrus Hawley was a Federal Judge appointed by President Grant. Of course what he advocated about the blacks would stick in the craw of the racist Mormons. Still, Mormons (according to the Phantom) are bigots only in ignorance, simply because they didn’t invent what they chose to believe (written into scripture by their founding “prophet”); and because the Christians are definitely the ones to blame for every racist and evil act since the time of Christ.

Case in point:

While many LDS detractors try to claim that anti-Negro racism is an essential doctrine of LDS theology, and that the basis for this prejudice is found in the uniquely Mormon, Book of Abraham, in the canonical “Pearl of Great Price,” the truth is that Christianity had been condemning Negroes to hell as the irredeemable, inherently damned seed of Cain for some 1820 years before Joseph Smith was ever in a position to give it a thought. Likewise, in Smith’s time, many of the most fundamentalist and adamant progenitors of today’s Christian critics of Mormonism’s “racism,” were eagerly buying and selling Cain’s children, forcing them into a lifetime of starvation and crippling hard labor, raping slave women for sport and breeding them for profit. Even more ironically, while the parents of the German commentator who accused Gordon B[.] Hinckley of “racism” were learning how to spot non-Aryans in the Hitler Youth, and his grandparents were burning Jews in ovens and excusing the Third Reich’s humiliating defeat in 1932 to black Olympic champion Jesse Owens by claiming it was an unfair match between God-created man and a half-evolved ape, Mormonism had by way of comparison, merely interpreted its own available canonical evidence to mean that blacks were to barred from the priesthood, at least in this lifetime. (The Phantom)Scenes in Memhis, Tennessee, April 30, 1866-001

How could it be “their own” canonical evidence if it came from the Christians? The bigotry in this paragraph is simply stunning. So all Germans were burning Jews in ovens? All Christians before the time of Joseph Smith were condemning Negroes to hell, and advocated the Curse of Cain doctrine? The hatred here of Christians by Phantom is palpable. But you can’t blame this only on the Christians. According to Historian David M. Goldenberg,

“The notion that all humanity is color coded is expressed in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim biblical interpretations that see Noah’s sons as representing the three human skin colors of the world’s population. “ (David M. Goldenberg, The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, pp. 184-185)

He quotes Jewish and Islamic writings that show this, and then says

“in the third century story it was Ham who was darkened and became the ancestor of all dark-skinned people, by the eight to ninth century in Islamic sources and the ninth to eleventh century in Jewish sources it was understood that it was really Kush, one of Ham’s four sons, who was darkened and became the ancestor of dark-skinned people. In the Islamic version we can actually see how the Kush interpretation is grafted onto the earlier story mentioning only Ham: “When Noah awoke … he said to God, “Allah, blacken his face and the face of his descendants of the one who disobeyed. [i.e., Ham] and had intercourse with his wife.” So Ham’s wife had a black son and he named him Kusha (Ibn Hisham). Noah curses Ham and his descendants but the result is a blackening of Kush alone.  (pp. 186-7)

And,

This new Arabic-Islamic way of looking at the world’s population was then incorporated into the thinking and literature of others in the Near East, whether they be Jewish, such as the authors of Tanhuma and Pirqei R. Eliezer, or Christian, such as Bar Hebraeus. (p. 193)

Seems like just about everybody picked on the poor dark skinned Africans. Although the issue of slavery through the ages was complicated, (especially in the Catholic Church) there were Papal decrees against it, and in 1839 Pope Gregory XVI issued In Supremo, which cited earlier Bulls against slavery and added,

gregory xvi

Pope Gregory XVI

“The slave trade, although it has been somewhat diminished, is still carried on by numerous Christians. Therefore, desiring to remove such a great shame from all Christian peoples … and walking in the footsteps of Our Predecessors, We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery (<in servitutem redigere>) Indians, Blacks or other such peoples. Nor are they to lend aid and favor to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not humans but rather mere animals, having been brought into slavery in no matter what way, are, without any distinction and contrary to the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold and sometimes given over to the hardest labor.”

But the Mormons are ok, they only had racist attitudes towards the blacks in this life, and unlike those he mentions like Johanna Southcott, their “interpretations” aren’t done in malice, but hers certainly must be, because she was a Christian. Funny that.

It’s obvious that the Phantom didn’t really comprehend the article that he linked to his article that explains all about this. Hint: yes some Christians had problems with accepting the Curse of Cain doctrine and used it to justify slavery, but many did not and worked hard to change it. Funny how the Mormons would defy the Federal Government’s laws when it came to polygamy, but would not when it came to slavery. (see quote from the 1835 D&C below).

And… actually, it was not just in this life that the blacks were to be second class citizens. Brigham Young taught,

Adam had two sons Kane & Abel. Cain was more given to evil than Abel. Adam was called to offer sacrifice also his sons. The sacrifice of Abel was more acceptable than Canes & Cane took it into his heart to put Abel out of the way so he killed Abel.

The Lord said I will not kill Cane But I will put a mark upon him and it is seen in the face of every Negro on the Earth And it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cane & the Curse untill all the seed of Abel should be re[deem]ed and Cane will not receive the priesthood untill or salvation untill all the seed of Abel are Redeemed. Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane in him Cannot hold the priesthood & if no other Prophet ever spake it Before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ. I know it is true & they know it. The Negro cannot hold one particle of Government But the day will Come when all the seed of Cane will be Redeemed & have all the Blessings we have now & a great deal more. But the seed of Abel will be ahead of the seed of Cane to all Eternity.

Let me consent to day to mingle my seed with the seed of Cane. It would Bring the same curse upon me And it would upon any man. And if any man mingles his seed with the seed of Cane the ownly way he Could get rid of it or have salvation would be to Come forward & have his head Cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground. It would also take the life of his Children.

It is said if a man kills another that he takes that that He cannot give. If a mans head is cut off [p.98] his life is not destroyed or his spirit that lives. His tabernacle is destroyed But I can make as good tabernacles as I can destroy. If you do not believe it look at my Children. Much blood was shed in ancient days both of man & Beast. The firstlings & best of the flock was sacrafized on the Altar & in some instances many men & almost whole Nations were sacraficed or put to death because of their sins & wickedness. This was the ownly way they could be saved at all. If Jesus Christ had not had his Blood shed the Blood that He received from his Mother Mary the world would not have been saved.

There is not one of the seed of old Cane that is permitted to rule & reign over the seed of Abel And you nor I cannot Help it.

Brigham Young 1851

Brigham Young Circa 1850

Those that do bear rule should do it in righteousness. I am opposed to the present system of slavery. The Negro Should serve the seed of Abram but it should be done right. Don’t abuse the Negro & treat him Cruel.

It has been argued here that many of the Jews were Black. Whenever the seed of Judah mingled with the seed of Cane they lost their priesthood & all Blessings.

As an Ensample let the Presidency, Twelve Seventies High Priest Bishops & all the Authorities say now we will all go & mingle with the seed of Cane and they may have all the privileges they want. We lift our hands to heaven in support of this. That moment we loose the priesthood & all Blessings & we would not be redeemed until Cane was. I will never admit of it for a moment.

Some may think I I know as much as they do But I know that I know more than they do. The Lord will watch us all the time. The Devil would like to rule part of the time But I am determin He shall not rule at all and Negros shall not rule us. I will not admit of the Devil ruling at all. I will not Consent for the seed of Cane to vote for me or my Brethren. If you want to know why we did not speak of it in the Constitution it was because it was none of their Business. Any man is a Citizens Black white or red and if the Jews Come here with a part of the [p.99] Canaanite Blood in them they are Citizens & shall have their rights but not to rule for me or my Brother. Those persons from the Islands & foreign Countries know nothing about Governing the people. The Canaanite cannot have wisdom to do things as the white man has. We must guard against all Evil. I am not going to let this people damn themselves as long as I can help it. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.97-99, February 4, 1852)

The Negroes could not hold the Priesthood because according to Young they would never rule over the seed of Abel (the whites), and that would be for “all eternity”. The whites would always “be ahead” of the Negroes “for all eternity”. But according to those like the Phantom, Brigham only spoke in ignorance, there was no malice at all to what he said above. Tell that to Jane Manning and Elijah Abel and thousands of others who were denied the blessings reserved only for white people. Imagine going through this interview with then “prophet” Wilford Woodruff:

We had Meeting with several individuals among the rest Black Jane wanted to know if I would not let her have her Endowments in the Temple. This I Could not do as it was against the Law of God. As Cain killed Abel All the seed of Cain would have to wait for Redemption untill all the seed that Abel would have had that may Come through other men Can be redeemed.(Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 9, p. 322, October 16, 1894).

Not policy, but the law of God. What was stopping Woodruff from getting his own revelation? He had no problem doing it with polygamy. I guess the plight of the black man wasn’t very high up on his “to-do”list. Even with Jane Manning knocking on his door.

For a great read about how racism is justified by ignorance and stupidity, enjoy the exploits of one Petroleum V. Nasby in “Swingin Round the Crinkle”. President Lincoln loved his exploits, and used to quote him often.

"...in their enthoosiasm five nigger families were cleaned out"

“…in their enthoosiasm five nigger families were cleaned out”

I guess the Phantom must think that getting your head cut off for “mingling seed” is an act of love. At least that’s how Brigham Young described it once. Really. (See, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p.220)Go to the Top

II.  The “Sensible” Ku Klux Klan

The Phantom then tries to enlighten us with another rant, this time against the “lefty’s” or all who advocate Civil Rights and dare to call racism what it truly is:

It’s easy for the ignorant and self-interested to paint Mormonism with the Lefty’s favorite tar brush of common racism. In fact, since the Civil Rights Movement set upon the mission of bringing down the LDS church, it is even held that Mormons are close friends with the KKK, the favorite bugaboo of the “enlightened” Left. These slanders, when repeated widely, naturally become the assumptions of rational, fair-minded people as well. Frankly, Mormonism has given even the most forgiving investigator cause for suspicion. But Mormonism and its attitude toward the Negro, isn’t really a Right-Left, racist/colorblind debate in the usual Christian American sense. (The Phantom Saint)

Ku Klux Klan circa 1870

Ku Klux Klan circa 1870

So, what kind of racism did the Mormons practice, uncommon racism? To Phantom, racism just isn’t really racism if Mormon leaders are involved. Why? Because those damn Christians did it first. (It’s all Joanna Southcott’s fault) He then gives us this whopper:

Many of the members of the anti-Mormon mob that murder the first President of the Church, Joseph Smith, are members of a secret racist society called the “Knights of the Golden Circle.” After the Civil War the organization is outlawed. A few members of the Knights of the Golden Circle found a new organization called the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.—1844 (See BlackMormon)

I’ll get to the Ku Klux Klan below. But the Knights of the Golden Circle didn’t even come into existence until 1854, ten years after Joseph Smith’s death. I don’t know where BlackMormon got their information from, but they are wrong about this, and many other things. For more information on the Golden Circle, see this article by the Texas State Historical Association.

I just have to sigh when I read this next bit of information that Phantom unloads on the unsuspecting public, that the Church outright rejected the KKK, from the beginning (1868). They later actually lauded what they called “Another Ku Klux Klan”, which was what they deemed the original Ku-Klux Klan, said by them to be full of “sincere men” who “saw no other way of remedying the existing evils that threatened moral and financial ruin.” This sounds just like Joseph Smith’s Danites, who he wrote about in his diary, which said:

We have a company of Danites in these times, to put to right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of very great evils which hath hitherto existed among us inasmuch as they cannot be put to right by teachings & persuasions. (Scott Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, p. 198).

This describes the KKK to a tee. But before I go into that, let’s see some of the Phantom’s quotes that are supposed to enlighten us about how Mormon racism “isn’t really a Right-Left, racist/colorblind debate”:

Soon after its formation, an LDS apostle writes that the KKK will prove a “curse” upon America.—1868  (See BlackMormon)

There is absolutely no documentation to back up this quote.  In fact, in 1868 Mormon “Apostle” George Q. Cannon claimed that the Klan was less dangerous than other secret societies. (see below)

The KKK holds anti-Mormon meetings and, in the south, kills and in some cases tortures Mormon missionaries.—1870s-1890s (See Blazing Crosses, pp.11ff)

From the Silent Film, "Birth of A Nation"

From the Silent Film, “Birth of A Nation”

This is just ill-informed. And if you pick up the book Blazing Crosses in Zion: The Ku Klux Clan in Utah,  by Larry R. Gerlach,  you might want to keep in mind that he was denied access to the Church archives, which makes it a very flawed work, according to this review by John R. Sillito, who writes,

Not only does Gerlach’s study suffer because he was denied access to these important documents, but as long as key materials are denied to scholars, efforts to chronicle Utah history and the history of the LDS church will be seriously hindered. A final irony is that if these documents were unavailable for fear they might be used to discredit the church, Gerlach’s study, and the efforts of most scholars, suggest the opposite result. (Dialogue, Vol.17, No.1, p.166, Spring 1984)

As Historian Patrick Mason writes,

“Strictly speaking, it is anachronistic to speak of Mormons being attacked by the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1870’s or 1880’s, as federal legislation and military enforcement had outlawed and effectively disbanded the paramilitary organization in the early 1870’s. Vigilante violence persisted throughout the South, or course, often led by former Klan members, and the Klan became something of a generic brand for all southern vigilantism.” (The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South, page 147).

As Mason also points out, the Klan did leave a legacy of violence that many in the South perpetuated against blacks, Mormons and other minority groups. But there was no official Ku Klux Klan during this period.  Though two Mormon Missionaries were murdered in 1884 at Cane Creek—by men wearing “masks and colorful disguises, this was a vigilante killing that had nothing to do with an official Klan, even though the Mormons later blamed it on them. Still, there is nothing here to show that the Mormons were in the least bit concerned about the Klan’s racism.

The Phantom then gives a series of quotes from the Deseret News about the resurgent Klan of the early 20th Century and how it was “rejected” by them (remember, this is all about racism now):

When a nation-wide tour of the stage version of “The Clansman,” a story that insults blacks and glorifies the KKK as white heroes, arrives in Utah, the anti-Mormon “Salt Lake Tribune” praises the production. The Church-owned “Deseret News,” however, while recognizing that the play is well done in technical terms, states that the Klan is not to be praised, for it “rode about the country at night killing or torturing negroes and their sympathizers…[and] became a band of idle, dissolute and vicious individuals who entered upon a career of brutality and violence that appalled the country.”—1908  (See Deseret News, Nov. 2, 1908)

This is a very interesting quote, mostly because it is excised out of a larger article to make it appear that the Church (or the Deseret News which is the Church according to BlackMormon) had always come out against the Klan. Perhaps a full reproduction of the article is in order:

Deseret News Another Klan

Deseret News, Nov. 1908

ANOTHER KU KLUX KLAN.

“The Ku Klux Klan movement which has been so forcibly represented to the public at the Salt Lake Theater in the excellent performance of “The Clansman,” began in 1868, for the purpose of breaking up negro suffrage in the South. In many states negroes were members of the legislatures, and in some they were in the majority. Most of the negroes were ignorant and they were controlled by “scalawags,” and “carpet baggers,” that is to say, by white politicians who used the negro vote for the furtherance of their own personal ends. The result was that taxes were increased, public debts ran up, and the extravagance and corruption of legislatures were almost beyond belief. The state debt of Alabama increased from $8,000,000 to $25,000,000, in six years, and the legislature of South Carolina spent $350,000 in one session, for “supplies, sundries and incidentals,” alone. Such fearful exactions came after the exhaustive war and the taxpayers became exasperated.

Then the Ku Klux Klan was formed. The people undertook to break up negro suffrage. Young men, masked and disguised, rode about the country at night, killing, or torturing negroes, and their sympathizers. The “carpet baggers”—Northern adventurers who had gone to the South in order to make a living out of politics—were often caught and driven out by violent means.

There is no doubt that the Klan was at first formed by sincere men who saw no other way of remedying the existing evils that threatened moral and financial ruin. It was founded by men who believed they had a patriotic purpose in view. But when the reign of terror was over, honest men with-drew from the Klan, content with the development of society under a regime of law and order. The Klan minus its respectable, peace-loving members became a band of idle, dissolute and vicious individuals who entered upon a career of brutality and violence that appalled the country.

The so-called night riders that now infest some of the Southern states may be considered as the successors of the terrorists of thirty years ago. In fact the ghastly procession of night riders in Georgia a short time ago exceeded in malignant wickedness the most lurid orgies of reconstruction. And laxity in dealing with these outlaws who claim to act under the authority of a “higher law” is having its dire effects.

Quentin_Rankin&R_Z_TaylorThe atrocious murdering of Capt. Rankin at Walnut Log, Tenn., and the narrow escape from a similar fate of Col. Taylor, both noted attorneys in the section, may be traced directly to the indifference which the authorities manifest toward this latest form of terrorism.

The night riders began by burning the warehouses of tobacco growers who persisted in selling their product at a price below that dictated by them. When the firebugs first showed their hands some effort was made by state officials to the end of running them down. But soon the interest of the law waned and the spirit of wantonness blazed up more fiercely than before. Murders were committed with impunity and the campaign of fright by gun and firebrand resulted in dozens of growers abandoning their properties or obeying the commands of the night riders in fear of their lives.

The decent citizens of the south will have to put down this lawlessness, by the application of law. If they do not do so without delay, the evil will grow beyond their control. (Deseret News, 11-2-1908, page 6)

La Clansman Play asked to be supressed

LA Herald, October 16, 1908.

Notice that the News states that the play is an “excellent performance”, and goes on to laud the Klan that was set up to destroy Negro Suffrage.  An article from the Los Angeles Herald reported that some in the country had a different take on the play:

The fact that “The Clansman” is to be produced at one of the local theaters has aroused the indignation of a large number of the best negro citizens, and they yesterday sent a petition to the mayor to have the play suppressed. . . . they say “The Clansman” . . . deals with features of the negro national life in such a way as to reopen wounds that have cost the life blood of the nation in their healing. They claim it excites race prejudice by portraying one of the most brutal of crimes [rape] and the triumph of mob law. The petitioners feel race prejudice should not be excited, in view of the friendly relations which exist between the races in Los Angeles. Other cities have suppressed the play, they declare, and they ask that the mayor do likewise. Mayor Harper will investigate before acting on the petition. (Los Angeles Herald, October 16, 1908)

The Deseret News was hardly denouncing the play, or what they deem as the original Ku Klux Klan, which they praise, saying that “There is no doubt that the Klan was at first formed by sincere men who saw no other way of remedying the existing evils that threatened moral and financial ruin.”

What they are denouncing in the article are the “successors of the terrorists of thirty years ago,” who they say have become “a band of idle, dissolute and vicious individuals who entered upon a career of brutality and violence that appalled the country.”The Clansman 1905 Title Page

Why? Because it was a movement that stank of vigilantism, which soon turned on the Mormons and anyone else the vigilantes didn’t like. But it was ok when it was used to stop the Negroes from gaining political power in the South or to better themselves through equal rights.  The Phantom then once again shows off his bigotry against Christians with this gem:

The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News are fascinatingly blatant records of Mormon-v-anti-Mormon, meaning Christian populations of the State of Utah:

1908: The stage version of Thomas Dixon’s bestselling novel The Clansman, which portrayed blacks as ignorant and ravenous brutes, and glorified the KKK as white heroes, had toured all over the United States. Finally, the tour came to Salt Lake City. The Gentile (non-mormon) newspaper in the city, The Salt Lake Tribune, praised both the play and its message. The Mormon paper, the Deseret News, said that while the play itself was “an excellent production” in technical terms, the Klan was not a heroic organization as the play portrayed, but “rode about the country at night killing or torturing negroes and their sympathizers” in a “reign of terror” and “became a band of idle, dissolute and vicious individuals who entered upon a career of brutality and violence that appalled the country.”(Deseret News, Nov. 2, 1908).Clansman Troupe

1916: The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah’s Gentile (non-mormon) and Anti-Mormon newspaper (which almost daily contained anti-Mormon articles) wrote a critique of the silent movie Birth of a Nation; which was a film version of the play The Clansmen. The Tribune wrote that “Mob violence and outlawry [by blacks] are depicted, followed by spectacular vies of the Ku Klux Klansmen who organized secretly to control the negroes through their superstitious fears. The Klansmen were fearless night-riders and they wore white shrouds. Acts of vengeance were perpetrated [upon blacks] under the cover of darkness, and the pictures show clearly why such extreme measures were necessary for the continuance of law and order.” (Salt Lake Tribune, April 2, 1916)

SL Tribune Apr 2, 1916 Header

Salt Lake Tribune Section Banner

Actually, the Tribune Review appeared in the News and Gossip of the Stage section of the Newspaper, and was simply a review of the movie. Not exactly front page news. It describes the movie exactly, and how the Klan was depicted in the movie and states that the movie “shows clearly why such extreme measures were necessary…”

But Phantom has to bigotize the whole of this, not realizing that the Deseret News also published a favorable review about The Birth of a Nation:

“The Birth of a Nation” is a thrilling and awe-inspiring revisitation of war—war in all its cruelties; we behold not only the tragedy on the field of battle, where fall the dead and dying, but in the home where wait the aged parents and little brother and sister, or daughter or son, for the message that too often comes telling that the dear one has died for the flag—the Stars and Stripes, or the banner of the blue with the single star. There is a great 30 piece orchestra to aid in the interpreting this photo-drama. Suffice to say, about this organization that it is one of the best musical organizations that has ever visited Salt Lake City. There are only three more performances, tonight and two on Saturday. Those who miss it will always have something to regret.  (Deseret News, April 17, 1916).

Deseret News, April 7, 1916 with favorable review of "Birth of a Nation"

Deseret News, April 7, 1916 with favorable review of “Birth of a Nation”

Don’t miss Birth of a Nation! It’s thrilling and awe-inspiring! If there were any objections to the Ku Klux Klan by the Deseret News, they are not in this article, which says that anyone who doesn’t get to see the film would regret it.  It was a favorable review of the picture, just like the Tribune’s. Funny that. The Birth of a Nation was spectacular and groundbreaking, and many people bought into it’s message, including (say it ain’t so!) many Mormons, just like (yup) many Christians.

The whole point of the movie was to promote the Klan, which it did very effectively. As for The Clansman,  we have already debunked that part of the Phantom’s argument. So much for Mormon vs. Critics in this instance, eh Phantom?

Perhaps The Phantom (or BlackMormon) are also unaware of an interesting article from the Deseret News written by George Q. Cannon from 1868 about the Ku-Klux Klan. It seems that there is more to the story than just the rejection of the Klan by Mormon “Authorities”.

DN, Apr 23, 1868 George Cannon, KKKCannon mentions the murder of George. W. Ashburn, who was assassinated by the Klan on March 30, 1868, who was the first murder victim of the Klan in Georgia.

At the end of the Civil War, Ashburn was appointed a judge by the military Governor of the state, George G. Meade, and was instrumental in authoring provisions in the new Constitution that assured civil rights for blacks. He even lived among the blacks, which infuriated the Klan. After his murder, he was vilified by his enemies, who even accused him of living with a black woman in a house of prostitution.  As Historian David Rose writes,

Historical events do not become flashpoints of contested memory without good reasons. One of the explanations for the posthumous vilification of G. W. Ashburn is the political struggle of which his murder formed a significant part: the largely successful terrorist campaign to limit or remove the rights of Georgia’s African-Americans. This “required” their most important white Columbus advocate to be demonized, and at the same time to be seen as having acted over many years against their real interests. In Telfair’s phrase, the purpose of Ashburn’s assassination was “merely to remove a public menace.” Generations after his death, the guardians of white Southern memory found that the bleakest assessments of his life and character still fitted with their overall view of Reconstruction as a time of Northern cruelty and injustice. (The Big Eddy Club: The Stocking Stranglings and Southern Justice, by David Rose, pages 69-70)

George Q. Cannon (then Managing Editor of the Deseret News) writes that,

The conclusion in many quarters seems to be that the action in the case of Ashburn [against the Klan] has been deliberate and concerted, and it is thought that it may and will be repeated, more or less generally, throughout the Southern States. Those who thus think say the motive of the act is not confined to that locality, nor to the individuals who perpetuated this particular crime. It extends, they say, throughout the Southern States, and influences to a greater or less extent the mass of the white population. Of course there are many who differ from this view, and who assert that there are other organizations in the South, which are more dangerous than the Ku-Klux Klan. There are “Loyal Leagues” and other secret organizations among both whites and blacks—organizations armed and oath-bound all over the country, which have for their object, they state, the elevation of the negro and the subjugation and abasement of the whites.Murder_Of_George_W._Ashburn-001

The condition of the affairs in the South is deplorable. Nearly all concur with this opinion. Thinking men in the North fear that the murder of Ashburn, and the other acts of the Ku-Klux Klan, are but precursors of the “war of races” in the Southern States, of which so much had been said during the last two or three years. Many of the opponents of the reconstruction measures of Congress appear to be of the opinion also that a war of races is inevitable. They expect to see internecine conflicts, and a harvest of blood and rapine follow the policy pursued at present in the South. The organizations of these secret associations are very suggestive at the present time.  (Deseret News, April 23, 1868)

According to Cannon, the Loyal Leagues, (also known as the Union League) were more dangerous than the KKK. And what was the Union League? According to wiki,

Freedman's_bureau

Anti-Black Propaganda 1869

The Union Leagues were a group of mens clubs established during the American Civil War to promote loyalty to the Union, the Republican Party, and the policies of Abraham Lincoln. They were also known as Loyal Leagues. They were composed of upper middle class members who provided financial support for organizations such as the United States Sanitary Commission, which provided medical supplies to treat wounded soldiers after battle. The Clubs supported the Republican Party, with funding, organizational support, and political activism.

During Reconstruction, Union Leagues were formed across the South after 1867 as working auxiliaries of the Republican Party. They mobilized freedmen to register to vote and to vote Republican. They discussed political issues, promoted civic projects, and mobilized workers opposed to certain employers. Most branches were segregated but there were a few that were racially integrated. The leaders of the all-black units were mostly urban blacks from the North, who had never been slaves. Foner (p 283) says “virtually every Black voter in the South had enrolled.”

The Union or Loyal League

The Union or Loyal League had a dual agenda that caused problems

The activities of the Union League in the defeated South during the early Reconstruction years did not meet with much favor among local whites. There, the Union League was dominated by Radical Republicans intent on controlling the black vote and disenfranchising white Democrats, in particular former Confederate soldiers whom they characterized as traitors. Historian Walter Lynwood Fleming asserts that the Union/Loyal League was successful in driving a wedge between blacks and Southern whites where little animus had existed, and used methods of political and violent intimidation—similar to those later used by the first Ku Klux Klan—to destroy the influence of Southern whites in politics and with blacks.

Interesting that Cannon would say that the organization that supported “the elevation of the negro” or civil rights for blacks, (and was not accused of being behind any murders) was more dangerous than the one that did not.

Also interesting, is that the Church thought it important enough to publish a “manifesto” devoted to rationalizing the Ku-Klux Klan in The Millennial Star a month after Cannon’s article appeared in the Deseret News.  This article claims that,

Millennial Star, May 15, 1868

Millennial Star, May 15, 1868

While citizens of the United States can only become members of the Ku Klux Klan, radicals, infidels, and negroes cannot become members of the Ku Klux Klan; for the meaning of the term is a Circle of Friends, the sole object of which is the perpetuity of constitutional liberty. The organization of the Ku Klux Klan originated from a necessity—the result of radical legislation and the formation of the secret political orders of the “Loyal League” and the “Grand Army of the Republic;” consequently the Ku Klux Klan is the effect of radical despotism and injustice. … The Ku Klux Klan is, therefore, a secret political organization, the result of necessity, the sole object of which is to thwart radicalism, arrest negro domination in the South, negro equality in the North, perpetuate the Federal Union, and preserve the constitution as the fathers made it. And whoever asserts to the contrary utters falsehood. That the Ku Klux Klan have secrets unknown to the uninitiated is not denied; so have the ancient orders of Free Masonry, Odd-Fellowship, and other secret orders and societies; but like Free Masonry and Odd-Fellowship the objects of the Ku Klux Klan have thus far been for the first time promulgated. The incredulous and guilty may carp and misrepresent; but the wicked, the ungodly, and perjured, will soon feel the keen edge of the sickle and the invisible boring of the white ant. (Millennial Star, Vol. 30, No. pp. 342-343, May 15, 1868).

Harper's Weekly, November, 1869

Harper’s Weekly, November, 1869

On May 30th, the Star published another article on Secret Societies in which they mention the Ku Klux Klan, along with the proclaimed enemies of the Klan, The Grand Army of the Republic and the Loyal League.  The Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization that was composed of Civil War Veterans, (hardly a secret society) and was never linked to any violence, though it did back the Republican Party.

Though the intentions of the Union League were good, the movement in the South was mostly dominated by radical Republicans, who used some of the same tactics as the Klan (such as violent intimidation), but it died out as a political organization by 1870. It is simply illogical to say though, that this organization was involved in “subjugation and abasement of the whites, since that would go against their own interests. In fact, the term “scalawag” or “carpetbagger” meant someone who was only out for their own interests (mostly northerners) and they were for the most part, white men. Obviously, to Cannon, racial equality meant that the whites would be subjugated and abased.

Chapters of the Union League in the United States continue to exist, and have been instrumental in promoting charity work and projects like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, funding the Statue of Liberty pedestal, and Grant’s Tomb.Freedman's_Bureau_Rations

The existence of these organizations according to the Star article was a “sure sign, among others, of the speedy downfall of that once prosperous and mighty Republic “(the United States). “The Ku Klux Klan, the Loyal League and the Grand Army of the Republic” the article claims, “all secret, oath-bound orders, are spreading fear and dismay through the North and South” and “the overthrow of any nation where they are allowed to exist is only a matter of time.”

The article then mentions the murder of Mr. Ashburn, who was killed by armed and masked men “supposed to be members of the Ku Klux Klan.” It then states that “The Grand Army of the Republic and the Loyal League appear to be in the interest of the Radical party [Republicans], and we shall doubtless soon hear of dark deeds and bloody reprisals on their part.” The article tells “the Saints of God to keep free from all secret combinations and political associations” and that if the United States only repents the Lord will “give them power to search out and destroy those secret combinations.”

This article also states that God “permitted” Satan to work among the Nephites and Jaredites with his “secret and wicked suggestions and deceptions by which such bands as Gadiantons were organized, and the same measure which a guilty people had meted out to God’s Prophets, was measured to them again pressed down and running over.”

Freedmen's Bureau_whites&blacks

A Race War seemed inevitable, but never happened in spite of Mormon prophecy

The article also states that “the United States is guilty of shedding the innocent blood of the Prophet Joseph Smith and many of the Latter-day Saints, and of striving to accomplish the destruction of the people of God,” and that “the Lord is now bestowing upon them the reward of their wickedness.” They predict that if the United States continues “in their present course, their present troubles will increase, secret combinations will multiply among them, their leaders will fall by the hand of treachery, party feuds and a war of races will waste them away.”

The article also links these secret societies to Cain, claiming that “the oaths and covenants of the secret order which was established among the Jaredites, and afterwards among the Nephites and Lamanites, were the same that were had in the days of Cain, who received them from the Father of Evil.”

“It is interesting”, claims this article “to watch the progress of events in the United States, the great nation of the Gentiles, so frequently referred to in the Book [of Mormon] and to see in the gradual fulfilment of its predictions, a repetition of the same incidents and occurrences which it describes. The old secret combinations of the Gadiantons are revived, and an era of bloodshed and terror is re-inaugurated. The Chief Magistrate of the nation was smitten down in the midst of his friends in the very hour of his triumph, like Pahoran upon the judgement seat, and secret, oath-bound orders, like that which planned his death, are now bringing about similar destruction to that which overtook the Jaredite and Nephite nations upon the same land.”

Assassination of Lincoln, Currier & Ives

Assassination of Lincoln, Currier & Ives

So what is this article decrying then? So called secret societies that “lead to the shedding of blood”; certainly not racism. Joseph Smith had himself predicted that “slaves shall rise up against their masters” which would be part of a war that would be “poured out upon all nations” (D&C 76). It seems that they would help sweep the “wicked Gentiles” off the American Continent, until there were non left but the Mormons and the Indians. Parley P. Pratt was so certain that this would happen by the date Joseph Smith gave for the return of Jesus Christ that he gave a prophecy about it, declaring that if it did not come true, the Book of Mormon was false:

Concerning prophecy, he [LaRoy Sunderland – Zion’s Watchman] remarks that “it cannot be proved, that one prediction in that book, which is not taken from the bible, was written before the event, said to be described.” Again he says, “there are no predictions, peculiar to this book, yet to be fulfilled, no names of persons or places, or periods of time, are referred to, by which anything definite can be known, as to what is meant by the jargon of Mormon Prophets.” Now, Mr. La Roy Sunderland, we will prove to the world that this in one of the most barefaced falsehoods ever uttered by man. The Book of Mormon contains many prophecies, yet future, with names, places, and dates, so definite, that a child may understand; indeed, it is one of the peculiar characteristics of the Book of Mormon, that its predictions are plain, simple, definite, literal, positive and very express, as to the time of their fulfilment. Notice a prediction of Nephi, page 125, second edition. “For after the book of which I have spoken, shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many, which shall believe the words which are written, and they shall carry them forth, unto the remnant of our seed, (the Indians) and then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us; how that we came on from Jerusalem; and that they are the descendants of the Jews; and the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be declared among them; wherefore they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers; and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers; and then shall they rejoice for they shall know, that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God. And their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people. And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ, shall also be a delightsome people; and it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth. * * * For the time speedily cometh, that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy, and he will spare his people.”

Also page 121, 2d edition. “Behold that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof: for the kingdom of the devil must shake; and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance. or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger and perish; for behold at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.”

Also, page 122 2nd edition. “Woe unto all those who tremble and are angry, because of the truth of God; for behold he that is built upon the rock, receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth, lest he shall fall.” Also. page 123 2nd edition. “Woe be unto the Gentiles, says the Lord God of Hosts; for notwithstanding I shall lengthen out my arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me.” See also, page 514, and read the fate of our nation, and the fate of the Indians of America; in the day that the Gentiles should reject the fullness of the gospel.–(The Book of Mormon.) See also, page 526, where a sign is given, and the time clearly set for the restoration and gathering of Israel from their long dispersion, namely, the coming forth the Book of Mormon, should be the sign; and in the day this work should come forth, SHOULD THIS GREAT EVENT COMMENCE among all nations. Also, p. 527, where all who will not hearken to the Book of Mormon, shall be cut off from among the people; and that too, in the day it comes forth to the Gentiles and is rejected by them. And not only does this page set the time for the overthrow of our government and all other Gentile governments on the American continent, but the way and means of this utter destruction are clearly foretold; namely, the remnant of Jacob will go through among the Gentiles and tear them in pieces. like a lion among the flocks of sheep. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. This destruction includes an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our Cities, Forts, and Strong Folds–an entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the Covenant, and are numbered with Israel.Parley_P_Pratt_Predicts_End_Of_The_World

Now, Mr. Sunderland, you have something definite and tangible, the time, the manner, the means, the names, the dates; and I will state as a prophecy, that there will not be an unbelieving Gentile upon this continent 50 years hence; and if they are not greatly scourged, and in a great measure overthrown, within five or ten years from this date, then the Book of Mormon will have proved itself false. And furthermore, as Mr. LaRoy Sunderland has lied concerning the truth of Heaven, the fulness of the Gospel; and has blasphemed against the word of God, except he speedily repent, and acknowledge his lying and wickedness, and obey the message of eternal truth, which God has sent for the salvation of his people. God will smite him dumb, that he can no longer speak great swelling words against the Lord; and a trembling shall seize his nerves, that he shall not be able to write; and Zion’s Watchman shall cease to be published abroad, and its lies shall no longer deceive the public; and he will wander a vagabond on the earth, until sudden destruction shall overtake him; and if Mr. La Roy Sunderland enquires, when shall these things be? I reply, it is nigh thee–even at thy doors; and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I hope Mr. Sunderland, will no more complain of the jargon of the Mormon Prophets being unintelligible or indefinite. (Parley P. Pratt, Mormonism Unveiled, 1838, p.14 – p.16)

There never was any interest in rebutting the admitted aim of the Ku Klux Klan, which their manifesto stated was to oppose “negro equality and negro domination”, and to promote “white men, and white men alone [who] are the comprehensive exponents of constitutional liberty, and must and will exclusively rule and govern the American republic.” This is exactly in line with what Brigham Young stated when he said that,

There is not one of the seed of old Cane that is permitted to rule & reign over the seed of Abel And you nor I cannot Help it. … The Devil would like to rule part of the time But I am determin He shall not rule at all and Negros shall not rule us. I will not admit of the Devil ruling at all. I will not Consent for the seed of Cane to vote for me or my Brethren. If you want to know why we did not speak of it in the Constitution it was because it was none of their Business. Any man is a Citizens Black white or red and if the Jews Come here with a part of the [p.99] Canaanite Blood in them they are Citizens & shall have their rights but not to rule for me or my Brother.  … The Canaanite cannot have wisdom to do things as the white man has. We must guard against all Evil. I am not going to let this people damn themselves as long as I can help it.

This was the reason for the Priesthood ban, which went hand in hand with the doctrine that Joseph Smith was teaching from the Bible since 1836:

“DEAR SIR: —This place (Kirtland) having recently been visited by a gentleman who advocated the principles or doctrines of those who are called ABOLITIONISTS, and his presence having created an interest in that subject, if you deem the following reflections of any service, or think they will have a tendency to correct the opinions of

"let loose upon the world"

“let loose upon the world a community of people who might… overrun our country and violate…chastity and virtue…”

the Southern public,…you are at liberty to give them publicity… I FEAR that the sound might go out, that ‘an Abolitionist’ had held forth several times to this community,…all, except a very few, attended to their own vocations, and left the gentleman to hold forth his own arguments to nearly naked walls. I am aware that many, who PROFESS to preach the Gospelcomplain against their brethren of the same faith, who reside in the South, and are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship, because they will not renounce the principle of slavery, and raise their voice against every thing of the kind. This must be a tender point, and one which should call forth the candid reflections of all men, and more especially before they advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fair states of the South, and let loose upon the world a community of people, who might, peradventure, OVERRUN OUR COUNTRY, AND VIOLATE THE MOST SACRED PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN SOCIETY, CHASTITY AND VIRTUE…. I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall. “How any community can ever be excited with the CHATTER of such persons, boys and others, who are too indolent to obtain their living by honest industry, and are incapable of pursuing any occupation of a professional nature, is unaccountable to me; and when I see persons in the free states, signing documents against slavery, it is no less, in my mind, than an army of influence, and a DECLARATION OF HOSTILITIES, against the people of the South. What course can sooner divide our union? “After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt, but those who have been forward in raising their voices against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling, unkind, and wholly unacquainted with the Gospel of Christ….the first mention we have of SLAVERY is found in the Holy Bible,… And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the DECREE OF JEHOVAH, to the shame and confusion of all who HAVE CRIED OUT against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in SERVITUDE…. I can say, the CURSE IS NOT YET TAKEN OFF FROM THE SONS OF CANAAN, neither will be until it is affected by as great a power as caused it to come; and the people who INTERFERE THE LEAST WITH THE PURPOSES OF GOD in this matter, will come under the LEAST CONDEMNATION BEFORE HIM; and those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the DECREES OF THE LORD, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do his own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by His counsel.” (Letter from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery, April 9, 1836, for the Messenger and Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 7, pp. 289-291. See also, History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Vol. 2, pages 436-438)

The Phantom blames the whole Priesthood Ban on events that involved William McCary, but if that is so, then how did this article appear in the Times and Seasons only 8 months after Joseph Smith’s death:

After the flood and after Ham had dishonored the holy priesthood, Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son Ham, had done unto him. And, as the priesthood descended from father to son, he delivered the following curse and blessing, as translated by King James’ wise men and recorded in Genesis:

“And he said, cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”

“And he said, blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

“God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

History and common observation show that these predictions have been fulfilled to the letter. The descendants of Ham, besides a BLACK SKIN which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as A BLACK HEART, have been servants to both Shem and Japheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom.

Again Shem or his descendants were blessed with receiving the revelations, prophets, and Savior:-A blessing truly which even the most sagacious infidel has not been able to explain away.

Again, Japheth has dwelt in Shem’s tent, both in the land of Canaan and in America; for “tents” is a figurative expression which in Hebrew, would signify the residence or abode.

noahs-sonsNow our short chapter will soon end, for the Savior said Jerusalem should be trodden down till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and the very movement of every nation shows the eternal truth of the above quoted passage of scripture. It frustrates the designs of sectarians; it chokes the deists; astonishes the world, and delights the saints-Amen. (Times and Seasons, April 1, 1845, Vol. 6 No. 6, pg. 857)

At that time John Taylor was the editor of the Times and Seasons. The Phantom then tries to enlighten us with a little history lesson:

Well, that was then and this is now. Except the LDS church has never authoritatively justified, apologized for, or retracted the many boldly racist theories and observations its leadership at least in singular cases has made over the generations. Was it racism in the dictionary sense? Yes, in many cases it was, but not because of the priesthood restriction itself so much, as Mormon leadership’s clearly human and bigoted attempts to rationalize this vaguely canonical restriction by inventing supplemental folk-doctrine and applying faulty and biased “scientific” or “empirical” evidence to prove the Negro race deserving of the ban. They did this, because otherwise, the[y] knew either they or God would look petty and unfair.

The curse of Cain is however, still stuck solid in the Christian canon. Christians interpreted the curse to be a black skin and being a perpetual slave. It’s clarified to mean only a restriction from the priesthood in Mormon canon. But you’re stuck with a scriptural curse on Cain and his descendants either way. If none of the Mormon canon existed you’d still have an accursed Cain. God’s curse was indeed Biblically argued as justification for institutionalizing American slavery–but not by Joseph Smith or the Mormons. That was Christian America who did that. Until they killed him for it, Ol’ Joe Smith was in fact running for US president on an Abolitionist platform.

DetailPortRoyalSouthCarolinaSlaveQuartersLOCLC-DIG-cwpb-00806sliderpanelActually, I just proved that Joseph Smith taught the Curse of Cain from the scriptures in 1836, and was against Abolitionism. And isn’t the curse of the black skin still in the Book of Mormon, and the curse of Cain doctrine still in the Book of Abraham? In fact, Smith would repeat his views against Abolitionism in 1838:

“Are the Mormons abolitionists?” No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free (History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 29).

And this view was even canonized in 1835:

12. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them, contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with, or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men: interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every Government allowing human beings to be held in servitude. (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, Section CII. Of Governments and Laws in General.)

sustain the prophetAs for his presidential platform, that too is a myth. Smith actually opposed Abolitionism, even then:

“On the annexation of Texas, some object. The anti-Mormons are good fellows. I say it in anticipation they will repent. {page 23} Object to Texas on account of slavery. Tis the very reason why she should be received.

“Houston says, ‘Gentleman, if you refuse to receive us we must go to the British’ and the first thing they will do will be to set the negroes and indians [against us] and they will use us up. British officers running all over Texas to pick a quarrel with us — more honorable for us to receive them [Texas]and set the negroes free and use the negro and indians against our foes.

“Don’t let Texas go lest our Mother and the daughters of the land will laugh us {page 24} in the teeth. If these things are not so God never spoke by any prophet since the world began. I have been [several lines left blank] ] south held the balance of power &c. by annexing Texas, I can do away this evil liberate 2 or 3 states and if that was not sufficient, call in Canada.

Send the negroes to Texas [and] from Texas to Mexico where all colors are alike. Notice was given for the Relief Society to meet Saturday 2 P.M. to adopt “the voice of Innocence from Nauvoo” (Joseph Smith Diary, Feb. 8, 1844, Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, p.456-7)

negro-soldiers-fort-wagner“Use the negro and indians against our foes”. Make them equal, but separate. Of course this would not really be equal if they were forced from American Society and restricted to a country of their own, would it? He even disses the Hispanics. This is ample proof that Joseph’s views about equalization were simply politics.

Texas came into the Union as a Slave State. Smith was all for it. Smith claimed that some “objected” to Texas being admitted to the union on account of slavery, but said that “THIS WAS THE VERY REASON WHY SHE SHOULD BE RECEIVED”, and was for freeing the slaves ONLY to use against a British Invasion. And how would Smith use the negroes and Indians against our foes if they did not want to fight? Make it a condition of freedom? How is that not slavery? But he was still against intermarriage, so he was still a racist:

Thursday, Feb[ruary] 8[th] 1844 [several lines left blank] Court trial on 2 negroes trying to marry white women. Fined 1, $25.00 and 1, $5.00. Evening had a political Meeting in the assembly room and Br[other] Phelps publicly read my views of the Gen[eral] Government for the first time. Elders Hyde and Taylor made a speech and myself also.(An American Prophet’s Record)

A 19th Century interracial familyHad anything changed by 1920? No, the Church was still against any political organizations that used violence to promote their agendas, not because of racism, but because they were linked to the political secret societies mentioned in the Book of Mormon, which were supposedly all “of the devil”.  We then have the Phantom giving us a few snips from a Deseret News article from 1920. Will it condemn racism? Or will it only condemn methods? Here is what Phantom writes,

The Church owned “Deseret News” calls the KKK “an insult and a menace to orderly government” that would lead “to riot and bloodshed.”—1920s  (See Deseret News, 23 Dec., 1920)

The article states that,

“The organization is being worked out along somewhat different lines than was its predecessor of the same name years ago, but its object is avowedly the same—to maintain white supremacy. What means may be taken to attain this object will depend upon circumstances.”

The article then goes on to describe the methods of the “new” Klan, which they say “keep the superstitious negroes trembling with fear.”

The article then states that “In Virginia, for example it is pointed out that the negroes are for the most part well behaved and peaceable. Revival of the Ku Klux Klan will stir up far more trouble than it will cure—trouble that may speedily develop into riot and bloodshed.”Killing Blacks Antebellum South-001

Nowhere does the article state that the Deseret News condemns the racism of the Klan or their white supremacy views, only their methods, and even adds that the Klansmen “should realize they are proceeding in a wrong way to attain these ideals and that the method they seem to have adopted, following the same lines as the organization of years ago, is an insult and a menace to orderly government.” Again, method was at the heart of the objections to the Klan.

By 1921, the Klan had made inroads into Utah, and so Church “Authorities” spoke up. The Klan was not rejected by the Mormon people outright. As Kerry William Bate writes,

The Ku Klux Klan first organized in Utah in 1921, and after some initial struggles, false starts, and internal feuding, chapters sprung up statewide. There were fiery evidences of its success; crosses were burned in Ogden and on Salt Lake’s Ensign Peak, as well as in little hamlets and burgs throughout the state: Eureka, Tooele, Dividend, Centerville, Magna, Brigham City, Bingham, West, Jordan, Helper, Spring Glen, Richfield. The movie Birth of a Nation perpetuated the Klan’s mystique: the “problems” facing native Utahns in the 1920s gave it an immediate and practical impetus.

One of the first causes of Klan activity was hatred of southern European immigrants who were seen as Catholic, heavy drinking, whoring unionists who, if allowed to run lose, would bring Bolshevism or worse upon the state. Consequently, the KKK was most successful in areas where mining had attracted immigrants. Working closely with Masonic orders, the Klan had such a high profile that Cedar City’s college debated it as a timely issue of the day.

Once organized, the Ku Klux Klan began a campaign to gain political power in the state. On the surface, it might have seemed an easy thing, for besides the xenophobia of the local culture, racism was so acceptable that social clubs held “Nigger Night” in LDS wardhouses, and it was commonly believed that Anglo-Saxons were morally, mentally, and socially superior. The emergence of a successful immigrant entrepreneurial class further fueled resentment and seemed to guarantee Klan success in the Beehive state.

In some ways it was successful. Plenty of cross burnings indicated to immigrants that life in Utah meant they should be quiet, submissive, and fearful. Blacks were terrorized. Catholics intimidated, and in Price it was demanded that only “American” be spoken. (Perhaps English was too difficult for Utah natives.)kkk-cross-burning

Politically, the Klan made some impressive inroads. They helped defeat an Ogden mayor and were credited with a sweep of their candidates in Salt Lake City. They controlled Helper’s government, infiltrated the Salt Lake County Republican Party (pro-Klan editorials appeared in one Republican newspaper), and there were Klan sympathizers or members in several different law enforcement agencies.

These frightening successes mobilized anti-Klan sentiment. The objects of Klan hatred responded with outrage. A rally in Ogden was disrupted: despite secrecy and masks, many Klan members were identified and their businesses boycotted; the Klan’s concrete platform in Carbon County was dynamited; and Catholics burned circles in contempt for the blazing crosses.

Newspapers joined in the castigation of KKK activities. The unrelenting hostility of the Ogden Standard-Examiner practically destroyed it in that community. The Logan Journal classified the Klan with “anarchists and Bolshevists. Other papers ran letters from missionaries serving in the South, who pointed out that the Klan in that region was still harassing Mormons.

Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Logan passed anti-mask ordinances which were more successful in interrupting Halloween and de-bearding Santa Claus than they were in unmasking the KKK. but which resulted in giving the Klan the unenviable reputation as the organization that banned Santa.

One is tempted to believe the Klan was laughed out of existence, but it was not that simple. Another, stronger power structure took on the Utah Klan and overpowered it. That power structure was Mormonism. (Sunstone, Volume 7, September-October 1982, p. 66)birth-of-nation-movie-poster-big

But what exactly did they object to? The Klan’s racist ideology? Here is Charles Nibley at the October General Conference of 1921:

There are great problems also before our nation, which demand solution; they are burning, pressing questions which must be solved, and which can only be solved on the principles of righteousness. These principles will help to adjust the jarring, warring, contentious problems which selfishness very largely produces, and which can only be solved through the principles that the Lord has revealed. It is not in man that walks, to guide his steps aright. It is not in man of his own power to solve these problems, nor can any man do it of himself alone. It is only by the help of the Spirit of the Almighty that will bring us to the point where justice and righteousness can at least approximately be approached. We have had contentions in our own nation during the recent months of railroad strikes, coal strikes, and other contentions that have threatened the very existence of our government; and also there have grown up in our nation, secret organizations, combinations of men, no doubt desiring to protect their own selfish interests, even though those interests should conflict with the strict principles of justice. Some of these organizations like the Ku Klux Klan have undertaken to administer what they call justice, independent of Constitutional law, and the rights of men, and they have taken the law into their own hands and have dealt with certain people in a way which can only result in disorder, turmoil, strife, and in the breaking down of Constitutional law. For these Secret organizations undertake to administer punishment upon men and women, irrespective of the laws of the land.negroes-discussing-political-rights

It has been the counsel of the leaders of this Church from the beginning, to observe the Constitutional law of the land, and it is stated in the revelations that whatsoever is more than this or less than this, cometh of evil. We do not need anything outside of this strict letter of the law, for if we do go beyond it, or come tardy of it, we are liable to make a mistake. The agency that the Lord has given to his sons and daughters was given to all — the free agency to choose between right and wrong, and that agency makes us free, for the Lord has said, “If ye abide in my truth, then are ye free indeed.” Now, whenever any man enters any organization, secret or otherwise, that takes from him a certain degree of that free agency to choose between right and wrong, and makes of him a servant, to do as he is told in certain matters, quite irrespective of the righteousness or justice of the case, or of the right or wrong of the case, then that man surrenders that much of his free agency which he ought not under any circumstances to surrender. (Charles W. Nibley, Conference Report, October 1922, p.37)

Nibley does not mention anything about the Klan’s racist agenda. He only mentions that they take the law into their own hands, and therefore this is what results in “disorder, turmoil, strife and the breaking down of Constitutional Law. The Phantom then give us this quote by the Deseret News from 1921:

“So far as its operations are known–its secrecy, its mummery, its terrorism, its lawlessness–it is condemned…These mountain communities of ours have no place whatever for it in their social scheme of things…[he who tries to establish it among us] should be made emphatically to understand that his local endeavors will be worse than wasted, and his objects [goals] are detested, and his [absence] is preferred to his company. The people of Utah have no taste or patience for such criminal nonsense…”—1921 (See Deseret News, July 23, 1921)

Lots of ellipses in this quote. Seems to be a trend with the Phantom. The relevant section of the article without the ellipsis reads,

So far as its operations are known—its secrecy, its mummery, its terrorism, its lawlessness- it is to be condemned as inimical to the peace, order and dignity of the commonwealth.

Nothing here about racism. Again, this addresses the Klan’s methods, (as Charles Nibley did in Conference) not their racism. We are then told, according to the Phantom:

Because of the Church’s condemnation of the KKK, the KKK “Grand Wizard” of Wyoming considers the Church it’s “greatest enemy.” “In the Realm of Utah and scattered over the West in general, we have another enemy, which is more subtle and far more cunning [than other anti-KKK groups] in carrying its efforts against this organization…the Latter-day Saint Religion!”—1923 (See Papers Read at the Meetings of Grand Dragons, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, 1923, pp.112-3)Papers Read at the Meeting of Grand Dragons Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at Their First Annual Meeting Held at Asheville, North Carolina, July 1923, pages 112-113.

Here we have another case of misquoting. If one reads what is actually written in the Book cited, there is no way that the Klan considered the Mormon Church to be its “greatest enemy”, and the Grand Wizard says nothing at all about the Church’s “condemnation” of the Klan:

In addition to the Roman Catholicism, in the Realm of Utah and scattered over the west in general, we have another enemy, which is more subtile and far more cunning in carrying out his efforts against this organization.

They have excellent schools, well conducted but build their church in the same yard with the school and where this is not possible use the schoolhouse itself for religious purpose, teaching the Latter Day Saints religion constantly in the class room, ever keeping in mind the power that is exerted on American youths, yet avoiding all external appearance of being un-American.

The Mormons are unlike the Catholics in marriage, seeking rather than avoiding, the inter-marriage of their women with Protestant men, thereby hoping for conversions and the concentration of capital into their strongholds. Let us study this situation and make a decision just what is the best method to pursue.

The history of Mormon political activity has always been along the line of showing favors where something was to be obtained for their personal benefit. The first marked recorded instance of this action occurred at Nauvoo, Ill., back in 1841 when the Prophet Joseph Smith and Dr. Bennett a smooth politician, secured the Charter for the city of Nauvoo and the Nauvoo Legion, giving them military control greater than in any part of the state as though they were a separate part of the state of Illinois.

They set at naught the laws of the land when the same conflict with their teachings even going so far as to practice polygamy and other things that are equally distasteful to the majority of American citizens. Claiming they have a right to do so because the head of their church, according to their belief, is in direct communication with God.

A case is now on trial in the state of Utah to test the law with regard to whether a candidate who has been elected to office through ecclesiastical influence can hold the office to which he has been elected. Through intrigue it now looks as though the law has a good chance to be set aside in order to carry out the wishes of the heads of the Mormon church.

Instead of including the entire paragraph, Phantom (and whoever originally put this quote together) just uses ellipses to make the KKK say what he wants them to say. Some would call this dishonest.Go to the TopBirth_of_a_Nation_poster_2

III. Nameless Oracles?

In 1870, Brigham Young preached a sermon to the assembled Latter-day Saints in the newly constructed Salt Lake Tabernacle, and said:

“I will make a statement here that has been brought against me as a crime, perhaps, or as a fault in my life. Not here, I do not allude to anything of the kind in this place, but in the councils of the nations—that Brigham Young has said “when he sends forth his discourses to the world they may call them Scripture.” I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God…” (Brigham Young, October 6, 1870. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 264)

As far as the Tabernacle (this place) is concerned, in 1952 Stephen L. Richard, then First Councilor to David O. Mckay, stated:

“In the providence of the Lord, this pulpit has never been any one man’s forum. Rather it has been the oracle of a divine dispensation where the cause has overshadowed the man, where humility has higher rating than self-assurance, where worship is measured in deeds rather than protestations.

Ponder for a moment, my brethren and sisters, and all who listen, the glorious and vital truths which have been proclaimed in this building — the nature and composition of the Godhead, the organization of the universe, the history and placement of man in the earth, his purpose in living, and the divine destiny set for him, the laws governing his conduct and his eligibility for exaltation in the celestial presence the true concept of family life in the eternal progression of the race, the truth about liberty and the place of governments in the earth, the correct concept of property, its acquisition and distribution, the sure foundations for peace, brotherhood, and universal justice. All these elemental things, and many others incident thereto, have been the burden of the message of truth which has come from this building through the generations.

…What confidence and assurance it brings to us to know that our men and women of today, surrounded by an environment radically different from that of our forebears who brought this great building into existence, proclaim the same doctrine as did they. How upsetting it would be if we had to choose between the principles and doctrines of their time and ours. We in this Tabernacle hear the same message as did the people in Kirtland and Nauvoo.Salt Lake Tabernacle

It is true that methods and practices change. They have done in the past, and they may be expected to in the future. It is within the province of a receptive priesthood, obedient to the inspiration of our Father, to adopt and adjust methods, looking toward the advancement of his kingdom. It is also within the province of his chosen servants to interpret and apply the law, but they will never change it, for the law of God is eternal.

… In all humility I bear witness that here is the seat of the government of the kingdom of God, here is the place where the authorized servants of our Lord are sustained and confirmed by the voice of the people. Here in this venerated Tabernacle has every President of the Church, save only one been upheld as prophet, seer, and revelator, and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From here has gone forth the law out of Zion, and the blessings, the love and compassion of the servants of the Lord for his children.

Every portion of the building was dedicated that it might fulfill its sacred purpose. Listen to the words regarding this historic rostrum, where my associates of the General Authorities of the Church now sit in your presence: “And we dedicate and consecrate that portion of this house where our president and thy servants now are, to be a holy and sacred place wherein thy servants may stand forth to declare thy words and minister unto thy people in the name of thy Son forever….

“May thy holy angels and ministering spirits be in and round about this habitation, that when thy servants are called upon to stand in these sacred places, to minister unto thy people, the visions of eternity may be open to their view, and they may be filled with the spirit and inspiration of the Holy Ghost and the gift and power of God; and let all thy people who hearken to the words of thy servants drink freely at the fountain of the waters of life that they may become wise unto salvation, and thereby overcome the world and be prepared for an everlasting inheritance in the celestial kingdom of our God….

“We pray thee to bless the Twelve Apostles; fill them with the spirit of their office and calling, clothe them with the intelligence of heaven, the light of revelation, and the gift and power of God.”  (President Stephen L. Richard, Conference Report, April 1952, p.43-49).

As for the changing nature of Mormon Doctrine mentioned by Richard, see Salt Lake City Messenger, Joseph Smith’s Changing Scriptures, no. 116 (May 2011).

This claim to know the mind of God and that his discourses were “good as scripture”, was not an idle boast by Brigham Young, who made this claim on more than one occasion.

In an earlier address, Young said:

Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains. Let this go to the people with “Thus saith the Lord,” and if they do not obey it, you will see the chastening hand of the Lord upon them. But if they are plead with, and led along like children, we may come to understand the will of the Lord and He may preserve us as we desire. (Journal of Discourses Vol. 13,  p.139, January 2, 1870).

But do the collected sermons of Brigham Young and other Mormon ‘General Authorities’, compiled in the Journal of Discourses and other publications qualify as Mormon doctrine? As with many other aspects of the Mormon Church, this view has changed over time. In recent years, the Mormon Church has made official declarations concerning the Journal of Discourses, (one of the greatest collection of early sermons in print) the most recent of which can be found on the Church’s official website:

“The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It included some doctrinal instruction but also practical teaching, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest.” ( This quote can be found here).

But this has not always been the case, as we shall see below. Most Mormons today have a view of the Journal of Discourses as untrustworthy, error-filled, second-hand speeches that are of little consequence except perhaps for their historical value. In comparing them to recent General Conference Addresses, a poster on an LDS Social Network Forum put it this way:

The JOD are not necessarily the same as conference talks. They were written by second hand witnesses, and not by the speaker. Nor were they approved or edited by the apostles, and they were never sustained or approved by the body of the church. So, they are useful from a historic standpoint, but are in no way considered declarations of truth, as the Ensign transcripts are.(This quote can be found here).

Mormons seem to have convinced themselves that the Journal of Discourses are no longer a “vehicle of doctrine”, as Brigham Young Jr. attested they were in 1867. He said,

Brigham Young, Jr.

Brigham Young, Jr.

Each successive year the power of God is manifestly increasing upon his people, and more especially upon His ministers in the Holy Priesthood, whose duty it is to build up and instruct the Church in His most holy will. The “Journal of Discourses” is a vehicle of doctrine, counsel, and instruction to all people, but especially to the Saints. It follows, then, that each successive volume is more and more valuable as the Church increases in numbers and importance in the earth, and its doctrines become more abundantly developed and are brought into practical exercise by His peculiar people. Every step of its advancement is fraught with the greatest possible importance to the human family. No Saint can afford to do without these precious precepts until they are able to exemplify them in their daily lives and conversation.(Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. iii (1867)

But a thorough study of their historical background, and the statements of Mormon Authorities will show that this (that they are not doctrine) is not the case.

On January 2, 1870 Brigham Young said that “the Lord is in our midst”, and that ‘the people have the oracles of God continually.”

Just what are the “oracles of God,” and what is the significance of this expression? The Apostle Paul, in the Book of Romans explains:

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans 3:1-3 (KJV)

The New International Version of the Bible translates verse 2 as “the words of God”. So Brigham Young is telling the Saints that they have the words of God continually. Paul’s words in verse three become very important, because it goes to the heart of how the early Mormons viewed their prophets and apostles. Paul tells us, “for what if some did not believe, shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”

In the above quote about the Journal of Discourses by our Mormon friend, we read:

“Nor were they approved or edited by the apostles, and they were never sustained or approved by the body of the church. So, they are useful from a historic standpoint, but are in no way considered declarations of truth, as the Ensign transcripts are.”

We shall find that the first part of this statement is untrue (they were approved and edited as attested to by George D. Watt, See Chapter 6 of The Mormon Passage of George D. Watt), but it is the second part of the statement I wish to focus on.

Does the fact that they were “never sustained or approved by the body of the church” make them any less “declarations of truth”? Are the Conference addresses printed in the Ensign any different in this regard? Paul answers this question with his declaration that “shall their unbelief” (or lack of a church vote) “make the faith of God” (or the statements of His ‘oracles’) “without effect”? Not according to the early Mormon Authorities.

On March 8, 1833 Joseph Smith recorded a “revelation” that has become Section 90 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Here, Smith writes that he has the ‘keys to the kingdom’ and the ‘oracles’:

“Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears. Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time. Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.”  (Doctrine & Covenants, Section 90:1-5.  See also, D&C 21:1, 2, 4-6, 5:10, 1:4-5).

Daniel H. Well, Apostle and Second Counselor to Brigham Young explains that Church Authorities are ‘living oracles’:

Daniel Hamner Wells

Daniel Hamner Wells

“We are blessed in having the living oracles in our midst, and in having a standard erected around which we can rally. The Bible is good, and we believe in it more than any other people. The Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants are the word of God, and they contain many precious gems; every line is full of knowledge, intelligence, and truth, and is calculated to be a benefit to us; but yet, above and far beyond all, we have the living oracles in our midst to tell us what to do to-day. A great portion of the Scripture we have was the living oracles to the people in the day in which it was given, and it has become Scripture because it was given by the inspiration of the Almighty. It was applicable to the day in which it was given. We have the living oracles in our midst to give us that which is applicable to our day. Let us make our ways correspond to the Lord’s, for we read that “as high as the heavens are above the earth so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts.” We are blessed in having His ways made known to us, because He knows best. He has more knowledge and understanding and greater ability, and can perform and accomplish more than any other power that exists; and that people only may be said to be blessed who walk in His ways and do His bidding.” (Daniel H. Wells, Journal of Discourses Vol. 13, pages 28-29).

This is not a light claim. The “living” words of God. Marion G. Romney would make perfectly clear what this meant:

“What we get out of general conference is a build-up of our spirits as we listen to those particular principles and practices of the gospel which the Lord inspires the present leadership of the Church to bring to our attention at the time. He knows why he inspired Brother Joseph F. Merrill to give the talk he just gave. He knows why he inspired the other brethren who have talked in this conference to say what they have said. It is our high privilege to hear, through these men, what the Lord would say if he were hereIf we do not agree with what they say, it is because we are out of harmony with the Spirit of the Lord.” (Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1950, p.126)

Apostle John Taylor gives the criteria for all who would “teach the things of God”:

“Well, who were the ancient Apostles? They were men chosen and selected by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Who were these Prophets? Men who were in possession of the spirit of prophecy; and you show me a man who is called and inspired of God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I will show you a Prophet, for we are told that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;” and if a man has not the spirit of prophecy and revelation he is not the man to teach the things of God, for that is the principle by which all God’s chosen and authorized ministers in every age have been inspired, and by which they have taught the things of eternal life to the children of men.” ( Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, page 372).

Taylor would also expound on the other ‘General Authorities’ of the Church, and their responsibility:

“And then come the general authorities, who preside over and minister in the affairs of the Church in all the earth. These general quorums are not local, are not limited to any particular Stake or quorum. Their business is to see that the Gospel is preached to the whole world; to impart counsel by the spirit of revelation according to the spirit of their apostleship and calling, as special witnesses and messengers to the world of mankind. These are the First Presidency, and the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies, whose calling and duty is to labor under the direction of the Twelve and bear the gospel to all nations and to regulate the affairs of the Church in all the world. These general authorities are therefore brought before the general conference assembled, for their approval and for them to uphold and sustain by their faith and prayers; and in like manner are they presented at the several Stake conferences so as to reach the masses of the people, to insure the confidence and prayers of the whole people, for whom they minister, and whose eyes are upon them, who are criticising their teachings, their walk and conversation before God and man.

For God proposes to deal with His Church as a whole, and as a whole to hold them responsible to work the works of righteousness and to defend the faith of the everlasting gospel committed to them, and to purify and sanctify the whole Church and see that evil is put away from our midst, whether it be in the family circle or private walks of life, or in its high officials and those who minister in public capacites; in like manner he requires of them to see that all our organizations and municipalities are in a wholesome condition, and are administered with integrity and uprightness before God and the people.

And as mouthpieces of the Almighty and as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, God requires of us his servants, the Apostles, the Elders, the Presidents of Stakes, and the Bishops everywhere, not only to minister in their several callings in a church capacity, but also to instruct officers of every kind intrusted with the municipal affairs of life, that they may be found faithful in magnifying the law and discharging the trust reposed in them in secular affairs as well as ecclesiastical; for civil organizations and powers of civil government are also appointed and ordained of heaven for the welfare of mankind, for the protection of all flesh. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, p. 183-4, Apr. 7, 1879).

Wilford Woodruff circa 1880

Wilford Woodruff circa 1880

Wilford Woodruff, would take this thought to the entire Church in 1880:

The Lord, in a revelation given to Orson Hyde and William McClellan in the early days of the Church, in sending them out to preach the Gospel, told them that when they preached they should speak as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and that if they did not have the Holy Spirit to direct them, they were told not to teach. “And,” said the Lord, “when you do speak as you are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, your words are the words of God, they are scripture, and they are the mind of the Lord to the people.” (Sec. 68.) Many have an idea that it is something very strange for men now-a-days to have revelation, and that nobody should have revelation excepting Brother Taylor.

Here, my brethren and sisters, you are upholding the quorum of the Twelve twice a year in General Conference, besides doing so at your quarterly conference, as prophets, seers and revelators, and you pray for them twice a day, and perhaps oftener, and should it be anything very strange if they should receive a revelation? How strange, indeed! There are in this Church some six thousand seventies, and four thousand high priests, and for thousand elders, who hold the Melchisedec priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God, besides many thousands of priests holding the Aaronic priesthood, and I would like to ask, if it was wrong to desire revelation? What business have we with this priesthood, if we have not power to receive revelation? What is the priesthood given for? If we do not have revelation, it is because we do not live as we should live, because we do not magnify our priesthood as we ought to; if we did we would not be without revelation, none would be barren or unfruitful.

We have one man who holds the keys of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and it is his business to give the word of the Lord for the guidance of the Church. But here we have apostles and men of God, holding the holy priesthood, acting in behalf of the Church in different parts of this Territory, and also in different parts of the earth; and we have men, say, acting as Church agents in Europe, part of whose business it is to charter ships for the transit across the ocean of tens of thousands of the people of God; is it the right of such men to have revelation from the Lord to guide them in their operations? Yes, it is; and no man should undertake to act in positions affecting the interests of Zion, unless he lives so as to be guided and directed by revelations of God.

And every man who presides over a temple should live day by day in the revelations of Jesus Christ. And every seventy, and every high priest, and every man bearing the holy priesthood should live in that way to get revelation to guide and direct him in his labors. This idea that no man has any right to call upon God and receive revelation is wrong, and it has been wrong wherever it has existed in any age of the world. As was said of old, when a complaint was made concerning certain of the elders prophesying in the Camp of Israel, so say I: “I would to God that all were prophets;” because the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.” (Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 21, p. 297-98, August 1, 1880).

There is no room in this equation for “folklore”. None. Unless these men are not what they claim to be. Doctrine & Covenants, Section 68, verses 1-5 read:

My servant, Orson Hyde, was called by his ordination to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the Spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them. And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth—And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.

Orson F. Whitney

Orson F. Whitney

In 1916 Apostle Orson F. Whitney would explain “the great distinguishing feature that differentiates God’s Church [Mormonism] from all other churches under the sun”, and that, he says, is “that while they are founded upon books and traditions and the precepts of men, this Church is built upon the rock of Christ, upon the principle of immediate and continuous revelation.” He then concludes:

“The Latter-day Saints do not do things because they happen to be printed in a book. They do not do things because God told the Jews to do them; nor do they do or leave undone anything because of instructions that Christ gave to the Nephites. Whatever is done by this Church is because God, speaking from heaven in our day, has commanded this Church to do it. No book presides over this Church and no book lies at its foundation. You cannot pile up books enough to take the place of God’s priesthood, inspired by the power of the Holy Ghost. That is the constitution of the Church of Christ.” (Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, October 1916, p.56)

Whitney would go on to say,

In saying this, I speak with all due reverence of the written word of God, that which is printed in the books part of which may be obsolete, having fulfilled its purpose and been laid upon the shelf, while the other part is virile, full of life, and applicable to our present state–our present degree of development. But even this part must be interpreted aright. No man ought to contend for what is in the books, in the face of God’s mouthpiece, who speaks for him and interprets his word. To so contend is to defer to the dead letter in preference to the living oracle, which is always a false position. What the Lord said to the Jews and Nephites, two thousand years ago, or what he said to the Latter-day Saints fifty or sixty years ago, has no force whatever at this time, unless it agrees with present-day revelation, with the Lord’s most recent instructions to his people through his chosen or appointed servants or servant; and they who ignore this fact are liable to get into trouble. It is the latest word from God that must be heeded, in preference to any former revelation, however true. The same God who says do thus and so today, can repeal that commandment tomorrow, without being changeable or inconsistent. The legislature, meeting every two years, repeals old laws, or such of its former enactments as have served their purpose; but no one thinks of charging the law makers with inconsistency or self-contradiction. How then can God be considered inconsistent if he says one thing today, and changes it tomorrow, or next month, or next year, in order to suit altered circumstances? He commanded Abraham to slay his son, and Abraham was about to do so, when the same God said: “Lay not thy hand upon the lad.” Abraham was under obligation to carry out the first command, until the second one was given, and then he was under obligation to obey the second command instead of the first; and he would have been a transgressor had he failed.” (ibid, p.57).

This of course is a false dichotomy, because how can you repeal “truth”? This idea of “folklore” simply dismisses the whole reason the church was supposedly set up with “prophets” and “apostles”, and that living “prophets” can repeal truths given by dead “prophets”. This idea has been denied by those very “apostles” and “prophets”. Take this example, given by George Q. Cannon:

When I think of the mighty men that have stood in our midst, filled with the power of God—Prophets and Apostles, whom God chose and whom He honored, and upon whom He bestowed His gifts and graces; and how many of them have worn themselves out preaching to this people, entreating them in the most eloquent

George Q. Cannon

George Q. Cannon

manner, adducing the greatest and strongest reasons that could appeal to our human natures, and revealing to us the mind and will of God, it does seem to me that a terrible responsibility rests upon us if we depart from the path which God has marked out. We can never say we have not been taught, that we have not had opportunities. We can never blame our Father for not imparting to us, in the utmost plainness, and through the demonstration of His Holy Spirit, His word and His counsel. President Young, while he lived, labored indefatigably to the utmost of his ability; never sparing himself, but constantly teaching the people, teaching them with his counsels, and giving them suggestions that are unequalled. I do not know such a record anywhere to be found as even the record of his discourses to this people; and then, think of President Taylor, and the others associated with President Young, and the effect their labors have had in teaching this people.

Now we are brought face to face with this question, shall we take these counsels to heart, shall we listen to the voice of God through his servants which we have heard now these 42 years in these valleys, and follow the direction which they have given concerning the people of Zion, or shall we make a new departure? Shall we throw aside all that we have heretofore been taught as the correct course and policy to be adopted in building up the kingdom of God, shall we throw it aside, cast it behind us and adopt some new principles, some new policy and practice concerning the Zion of our God in the earth? This is a question that is forcing itself upon us. I have seen things already which I never believed I would see; I have witnessed conduct I never believed I would witness. I had hoped better things. I have observed a disposition to disregard the counsels of the servants of God, to turn aside from the path that God has marked out, to spurn that authority which He has said shall reign. I have seen a disposition to bend and bow to the wishes of the world, to take to heart and to partly believe as true the accusations and the misrepresentations and the charges that have been made by the enemies of the Kingdom of God against the [p.349] Kingdom of God and its policy, and against the men whom God has chosen. And today in our midst there is a great amount of falsehood in circulation concerning the truth, concerning the work of God, and concerning the servants of God; and a disposition to believe evil and to misconstrue conduct and counsel and various things of this character.

If this spirit should prevail among the Latter-day Saints it will certainly prove disastrous to those who receive it and afford it a lodgment in their hearts.

I do not think that those who are present today are the ones who are susceptible to this influence—at least very few, if any. Many of those that are absent I am afraid are the ones who ought to be talked to and reasoned with upon this point. The men and women who attend meetings regularly, and who think it important to come here to receive instructions are not the ones, as a rule, who require censuring or reproof; as a general thing they are found in the path of duty and are walking in the ways of the Lord.

One of the speakers at our meeting last evening called your attention to and spoke upon the subject of union. Whenever the Latter-day Saints become divided; whenever you see one Latter-day Saint arrayed against another, you may know that one or both are in the wrong. When they become divided in their interest, when they seek their own aggrandizement, careless about the rights of their fellowmen; whenever you see this spirit prevail, then it betokens trouble among ourselves and we shall lose power. Let me ask you what is it that gives us strength? Are we numerous? Why, we are but a small handful of people; our opponents outnumber us by millions. Are we wealthy? Our wealth is not to be mentioned in comparison with the wealth that is opposed to us. Are we learned? We do not compare in worldly learning with those who are arrayed against us. In what then does our strength consist? It consists in the union of the people, and their faithfulness in keeping the commandments of God; it consists in our obedience to the counsels of God’s servants. Whenever this people shall fellowship a spirit to disregard the counsels of the Priesthood, seeking to accomplish ends by methods that are popular in the world, then they become like other people, and their strength leaves them. Samson, after he disregarded certain commandments to him personally by shaving his head and divulging the secret of his wonderful strength, easily fell a prey to the Philistines. This will be the case with us if we take the course advocated by many so-called Latter-day Saints, and which they think it right to take. I will tell you, and risk my reputation as a prophet upon it, although I don’t often talk about being a prophet; I say, I am willing to risk my reputation as a prophet upon this, that the man who takes this course, the family or the community that takes it will become as weak as water, and eventually become part of the world for departing from the way that God, through his servants, has pointed out. Our strength consists not of being part of Babylon, but the very opposite of that. Our strength consists in God; and the fact that this is so has made us a peculiar people. Divest ourselves of this peculiarity and we then become like the rest of the world, no better, no stronger than they are; and we will be overcome by them, for their forces are stronger and greater than ours. Can you not see this? To me, it is as clear as the light that shines. If we are strong at [p.350] all, we are strong because we are Latter-day Saints. That is the cause of our strength—the strength which God has given unto us through His Gospel. Whenever we depart from that policy we become weak like other men. It is time we understood this; it is time we looked at it in its true light. We are going arm and arm with the world, are we? We are going to be like them? Whoever has that spirit will apostatize as sure as God lives, unless he repents. I do not mean by this to say there is any antagonism between us and the world. We have no warfare to wage, none whatever. All we have to do is to be true to our principles. If our enemies conspire against us, let us be true to our God, true to Zion, true to the methods that God has revealed unto us for the building up of His Kingdom, and take the course that will be right and pleasing in the sight of God. I do not mean by this that I wish to put myself in opposition to the laws, or to that which is now the counsel concerning matters. I want to define my position so you will understand it, that no advantage be taken of it.

God has established His Zion, and He is building it up in the way He has revealed and that He communicates to His servants from time to time. (Brian Stuy, Collected Discourses Vol. 1, p. 348-50, Salt Lake City, Monday Afternoon, September 2nd, 1889).

What Cannon describes above is what we see now with the Curse of Cain and Priesthood Ban doctrine, Mormons pitted against Mormons. So according to Cannon both are wrong. This presents quite the dilemma, as it does with other issues.

Brigham Young taught that the father was Adam, and said it was true by revelation. How does one repeal a revelation on the nature of God and then supplant it with another (that renders the previous false) that is also the truth? Of course this statement came at a time when the church was re-inventing the Godhead, claiming that Jesus was now Jehovah, and backpedaling from Brigham Young’s “revelations” about Adam. This quote is very instructive though, because it gives us the modern Mormon stance on why they no longer accept some of the doctrinal statements of previous “prophets”.

Apostle Alonzo A. Hinckley (uncle of Gordon B. Hinckley) would speak of the ‘oracles of God’ in a 1935 General Conference Address. He states that “my brethren live in the love and favor of God and that they carry their responsibilities with fidelity.” He recognized the “unswerving integrity under every condition of life,” of President Heber J. Grant, and that his counselor J. Reuben Clark, was “a born straight thinker, a righteous defender of the truth, is a man of undeviating and unfaltering devotion to the Church” and that David O. McKay with his “manly physique, a perfect physical specimen,” was “presided over by a trained and a keen mind,” and that “he enjoys a spirituality that has made him, not of his own volition but by common consent, the idol of youth.” He then concludes that,

Alonzo Hinckley

Alonzo Hinckley

“These men constitute the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the oracles of God chosen to receive the mind and the will and the word of the Lord and to impart it unto the people. I bear testimony that the avenues of revelation are open. The brethren are worthy. Jesus is at the helm. This is his work and he leads his servants.”

“God bless the leaders of Zion and bring into our hearts a renewed felling of reverence, that henceforth their voices, as they speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be unto us as the voice of God.” (Alonzo A. Hinckley, Conference Report, October 1935, p. 24).

These are the very men who made the First Presidency Statement about the Negro Doctrine that banned them from the Priesthood, and agreed with Young that they would not be able to have it until all the seed of Abel did first. Apostle George F. Richard made it clear that,

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. When a man speaks by the power and authority of the Priesthood of the Son of God and under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, what he speaks will be scripture; it will be the mind of the Lord, the will of the Lord, the word of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. (George F. Richard, Conference Report, October 1939, p.107).

Milton R. Hunter

Milton R. Hunter

In 1948, Milton R. Hunter of the First Council of Seventy declared,

“I wish to emphasize the fact that this revelation [D&C 68] is not limited to Joseph Smith and the other great prophets who preceded him. We have standing at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today living oracles through whom God reveals his will. Certainly the words of this revelation apply to President George Albert Smith, to his Counselors, to the Twelve Apostles, and to me Patriarch to the Church just as much as they did to Joseph Smith, or to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, Nephi, Alma, Peter, Paul, or to all of the other ancient prophets of God.” (Milton R. Hunter, Conference Report, April 1948, p.31).

He would add,

The greatest job that a prophet has to accomplish is to be teacher of the divine truths revealed to him from on high. He is God’s mouthpiece here on earth–God’s spokesman, the revelator of the plan of salvation. Through the keys and power of the priesthood which he holds, the kingdom of God is established upon earth and all the ordinances requisite for the salvation and exaltation of the human family are performed. It is in their capacity of teacher and dispenser of the mind and will of God  that the holy prophets in all ages have made their greatest contributions.” (ibid, page 32).

On January 27, 1860, Orson Pratt met with the First Presidency and most of the Authorities of the Church to discuss certain of Pratt’s teachings, especially some found in his periodical, The Seer. The meeting did not go well, because Pratt could not agree with two of Brigham Young’s doctrines, that God was Adam, and was still progressing in knowledge. But a few days later, Pratt had come around, and made this statement to the assembled Church:

“This I consider is a very important item—Behold, “I say unto you, Be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine.” This is very pointed, plain, and definite language, that no man can misunderstand. Upon what principle are we to he one? It is by hearkening in all things to that eternal and everlasting Priesthood which has been conferred upon mortal man upon the earth. When I say that Priesthood, I mean the individual who holds the keys thereof. He is the standard—the living oracle to the Church.

“But,” says one, “suppose that we hearken to the word of God in the Old and New Testament—suppose that we hearken to the word of God in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants—suppose we hearken to the word of God in the Book of Mormon, and at the same time we feel disposed in our hearts to lay aside the living oracles, what then? I would answer, in the first place, that the premises are false. Why? The very moment that we set aside the living oracles we set aside the revelations of God. Why? Because the revelations of God command us plainly that we shall hearken to the living oracles. Hence, if we undertake to follow the written word and at the same time do not give heed to the living oracles of God, the written word will condemn us: it shows that we do not follow it according to our profession. This is what I wish to bring home to myself as an individual; and if the same thing will suit any other person in the congregation, I hope that he will take it home to himself.

Orson Pratt

Orson Pratt

“But,” inquires one, “how is it that you are going to apply this to yourself?” I will tell you. But first let me quote from another revelation contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. [Section 21:1-5] Perhaps I had better read the passage which I wish now to bring to your understanding:—”Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a Seer, a Translator, a Prophet, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder of the church, through the will of God the Father and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith; which Church was organized and established in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and in the sixth day of the month which is called April. Wherefore (meaning the Church,) thou shalt give heed unto his words and commandments, which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; for his word shall ye receive as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.”

Here, then, we perceive what is binding upon the Church of the living God, what was binding upon them thirty years ago, and what has been binding upon them ever since, from the day that it was given, until the day the Prophet was martyred, down until the year 1860, and until the present moment of time. All this time there have been a kingdom and Church of the living God on the earth, and a man placed at the head of that Church to govern, direct, counsel, preach, exhort, testify, and speak the truth to the people, and counsel them in the things pertaining to their duties and pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  (Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p.372-73 January 29, 1860).

How did an apostle of Jesus Christ, directed by his prophet Brigham Young to teach doctrine in a publication go so wrong? Funny that it was Pratt’s views about Adam and God not progressing, that were later taken up by the Church, not “the living prophet” Brigham Young. A few months later, Apostle Heber C. Kimball would declare,

Heber C. Kimball

Heber C. Kimball

“This is the religion of Jesus Christ as taught in these books—the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and it is in accordance with that which is in my breast and which is a better book, for it is life in Christ; and that living being that receives light and intelligence from the heavens through the revelations of the Holy Ghost is a living oracle. It is the living Oracle that is within us that will guide us in the way of life.

Now, you require brother Brigham to live in that manner that he can hold the oracles of God and be to you a living oracle—the mouthpiece of the Almighty, to communicate line upon line, and precept upon precept and have the word of truth constantly on hand. Now, why should you require more of the head than of the other members? The Lord has said that upon those members that you consider the least honourable he has conferred the most honour; and he will confer upon every man and woman that honours the Priesthood, the Presidency, the Bishops, and all the members of the body. We cannot honour God except we honour his authority: there is no possible way of honouring the kingdom of God only by honouring its authorities. (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8,  p. 86, June 3, 1860).

As early as 1843 Brigham Young emphasized that the Quorum of the Twelve should follow their superiors without asking questions:

In the evening I met with the Quorum; Bro. Joseph was not present. B. Young was called to the chair who addressed the meeting in a very feeling manner and interesting to our minds. He reasoned clearly that we should follow our file leaders and our Savior in all His laws and commandments without asking any questions why they were so. (Wilford Woodruff Journals, Vol. 2, 1841–1845, p.331, December 10, 1843)

With this in mind, now read the Phantom’s take on how this all works:

What Joseph Smith actually restored was the “Church,” a system of mortal government, through which allows man to regulate man’s own participation in God’s Kingdom. God doesn’t need the Church. Man needs the Church. The Church is a mortal institution run by and for mortals. The difference between Mormonism and any other “Christian” church, is authority. Mormonism, if you care to buy it, claims to have direct authority from Jesus Christ to administer to His believers in His name. That’s authority mind you. Along with authority comes power and inspiration, and there’s where it gets a bit sticky. The Mormon hierarchy holds the “keys,” which means the token authority to talk directly to God, to commune with angels, the Holy Spirit, or see visions, heal the sick, raise the dead, any of all that miraculous stuff. I fully believe that the current LDS president for example, could talk to Jesus personally. I take that on faith. But I don’t have to believe that he doesn’t do that however, because he has said he doesn’t. I therefore know he doesn’t talk to God and Angels. That is not faith based. So what I know for a fact is, that Jesus doesn’t sit in the Salt Lake Temple and directly administer HIs church. And more to the point, Jesus isn’t up in the Church Office Building passing on daily lessons to the Brethren about bigger and bigger doctrinal concepts just for entertainment purposes. The Church is about salvation. It’s about serving Christ and feeding His sheep. You just don’t need to know that much to accomplish this mission. Jesus doesn’t need to come down and micromanage the operation. And sure, by the time you read this some LDS “Prophet” may say he’s had a face-to-face with Jesus, and I’ll gladly accept this as the truth if and when it happens. It simply hasn’t happened since Joseph Smith to date. (The Phantom)

It is so easy to rationalize anything, isn’t it? So easy. What the Phantom does here is say that God gave the “keys” to His kingdom on earth and “authority” to act in his name to a bunch of liars who don’t really talk to Him at all. They just kind of make up things as they go along, and that is all right, because they have supposedly been given the “authority” to save people by a guy who doesn’t have a track record any better than his successors.

They could talk to Jesus if they really want to, but yet “it simply hasn’t happened since Joseph Smith”. This is the kind of convoluted thinking that one has to go through to try and give “perspective” to the men that claim that Jesus gave them authority to act in his name. Kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

And then it comes back to those hateful “Christians”:

The problem we have with Mormonism in the area of ongoing prophecy, is that starting with Joseph Smith, you do now in fact have a highly structured bureaucracy leading a permanently constituted organizational “Church” structure. Its president takes upon himself the title of “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator,” and then uncomfortably waits for the next church-related job God feels a need to personally take an interest in. It’s like the Book of Mormon system only it happens in real-time. You end up with caretakers making perfunctory notes for posterity just to say they did something, as did Omni and Jarom and Enos, just handing down the book generation after generation, sometimes adding a note about how nothing much was happening so they’re just passing down the records like they were told to do. This, honestly speaking, is exactly what the “Restored” Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) has become since the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. This is not necessarily a reflection upon LDS leadership. Joseph Smith was shot all to hell by Christian mobs to shut him up and kill the movement, and perhaps that was part of God’s plan, but it is mostly a good indication that God generally calls any given “major” prophet to do a specific job and then whatever happens to him afterward just happens, because the job is done. In Smith’s case the claimed job was “Restoration,” and having “Restored” the structure and key doctrines necessary, we can assume that not only was Joseph Smith done with the assignment, but God was fairly happy with the wisdom and knowledge He’d revealed in the process, and therefore Smith’s successors could expect not a whole lot of additional conversation with Deity until conditions according to God’s timetable and desires warranted it. (The Phantom)

Just throw everybody after Joseph Smith under the bus. They don’t matter. A bunch of monkeys could run the church (and probably do it better) because they don’t talk. They wouldn’t be able to embarrass the church with what comes out of their mouths. And they don’t know much, either. A perfect solution to the Phantom’s problem.

Christians killed Joseph Smith. Great job at broad brushing that incident. But I’m not surprised that the Phantom thinks so; they’re so obviously to blame for every thing else, aren’t they? Well folks, I’m about done here. I think you have enough to go on, to realize that the Phantom is the one who is really pulling things “out of his backside”.

Perhaps the Phantom can benefit from the words of James E. Faust,

I do not believe members of this church can be in full harmony with the Savior without sustaining his living prophet on the earth, the President of the Church. If we do not sustain the living prophet, whoever he may be, we die spiritually. Ironically, some have died spiritually by exclusively following prophets who have long been dead. Others equivocate in their support of living prophets, trying to lift themselves up by putting down the living prophets, however subtly. In our lifetime we have been favored with ongoing communication from the heavens, which have been open to the prophets of our time. (James E. Faust, Continuous Revelation, Conference Report, October 2013)

As Phantom says folks, don’t expect a lot. As James E. Faust says, Phantom is dead spiritually. This is the dilemma of Mormonism. Thankfully, I leave that to those who are still members of the Church to try and figure out. And whether to start burning books. I’ll be keeping mine, and encouraging every one I know to read them.

Joseph Fielding Smith & Bruce R. McConkie

Joseph Fielding Smith & Bruce R. McConkie

Go to the Top

A DOG RETURNS TO ITS VOMIT

Recently Timmy Berman posted another one of his whining rants on his blog, where he tries to garner sympathy for his cyber-bullying by trying to play the victim. (Wah!).  This was brought to my attention by numerous friends, and my attitude has been, “who cares?” My article Wanna Bee, speaks for itself and people are free to draw their own conclusions from the article. But Timmy just can’t seem to shut up, and has been up to his old tricks of making accusations and drawing conclusions without any evidence, and so I thought I would set the record straight.

First though, Timmy made these comments on a page that he loves to frequent, and here they are for your perusal.

The page (Challenging Anti-Mormon Apolegitcs) posted this comment:

This little exchange was brought to my attention earlier this morning. A couple of things I noticed are (1) nowhere does Timothy Berman admit to being behind “flag attacks” against anybody; and (2) somebody there seems to think that Cornelius St. Bartholamew (who I see joined this page earlier this morning) is the same person as our Mr. Berman.

I DO have to wonder how Timothy’s remarks in his article can even remotely be construed as “flag attacks”when in fact he is talking about trolls (who may not be associated with M&LDSF in any way) who can be blocked from making their presence known on any pro-LDS FaceBook page or group. In other words, he writes not of flagging those pages/groups who are critical of the LDS, but of those individuals who take it upon themselves to take their low-brow behavior to LDS pages/groups.

There is no shame in “admitting” to defending oneself. The “flag attacks” nonsense sounds a little paranoid to me. If, however, M&LDSF is actually having trouble with flag attacks, I recommend they look elsewhere for the culprit or culprits. I rather think they are barking up the wrong tree.

> Eusebius (Donald Neighbors)

Just In —> Mormon “apologist” admits (again) to being behind flag attacks against Christians who disagree with him.

Admittedly, we are tired of the petty flag attacks against us and are saddened that people would try to silence us instead of engage in civil discussion and respect our freedom of speech. However, we understand that those trapped in false beliefs may sometimes be fearful, angry and have things they wish to hide.

Nevertheless we count it a privilege to suffer for Christ and His true gospel. We choose to forgive and invite you to please join us in pray for those who persecute us. – [Mormon & LDS Facts] Admin Team

Timmy then comments below:

I believe the person behind this is Grindeal. (sic) I linked to his elongated ad hominem  article and since this came out and to my attention, I removed the link to his article. It is very telling because he is the one that has lashed out at me as being behind the flag attacks on Facebook and is the only person that has taken upon himself to have it out for me in this manner.

Wrong Timmy. (Wah!). Though I have been a part of Mormon & LDS Facts in the past, I ceased to have anything actively to do with the page months ago, because I have been in the hospital having surgery and recovering from that, and no longer wish to take the time to run the daily operation of a Facebook Page.  Instead I’m doing research and writing for this blog and finishing two books, that will appear shortly. You can attack me all you want, but it won’t do you any good, because I’m no longer tied to the M&LDS Facts Page in any way.  Have fun. But your problem is not with me, it’s with others that your bullying is being noticed by, and by your own admissions.Timothy Berman anti comments 2

Timmy again,

Jo Stephens may also be behind this as well since she is also quite vocal as to believing I am Cornelius St. Bartholomew. I have fielded several FB messages from people who are critics asking me if I am this Cornelius. He commented on the blog article (Which I subsequently deleted)

I’m not Jo Stephens. (Wah!). From what I understand there is credible evidence that you were indeed Cornelius, but I’m not interested in pursuing any sock-puppet profiles you may have invented to carry out your bullying.

Timmy again,

Oh, and if you feel that I posted as Cornelius and then as myself on M&LDSF, you know you are a liar because I am not able to post over there at all. Go ahead Jo Stephens/Grindael/Johnny Stephens. It is quite telling all this happened when I published this article and you know what they say when someone takes this kind of offense, they are guilty. I personally will not tolerate any more harassment and cyberbullying.

Me thinks you protesteth too much. (Wah!) And my name is Johnny Stephenson.  All this time and you still can’t get it right? LOL. I’m not offended at all. I don’t wish to get into any discussions with you because all that comes out of your mouth is trash. That is why your comments won’t be published here, and you can go holler and scream and gnash your teeth to anyone you care to. Good luck with that. But your past bullying will stay up for all to see, because you keep trying to blame it all on everyone but yourself.

Also, you pontificate to others about making fake profiles, and then do the same yourself to comment on the Wanna Bee article:

The IP Address for Michael Porter is none other than Timmy’s, from Marysville, Washington where Timmy lives:

Timmy get this straight. You are not a “fellow brother”, just a Wanna Bee Christian, who doesn’t know what a Christian is. Since you left Mormonism, then said you became a Christian and then left the Christians and went back to being a Mormon, the Bible tells you how you are to be treated:

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 7-11).

Timmy again:Timothy Berman anti comments 3

Yes and it seems someone or a group of someone’s decided to do this. Now people understand why it ruffles my feathers when people like Jo Stephens, Matt Cason, and others come here and get away with their Anti-Mormon bullcrap and are allowed back on here so they can come back and attack me. Trust me, someone needs to start doing some housecleaning and enforce the rules and keep these vipers off this page. If they want to gossip and praise one another with their vile vomit and dung speech, that is on them. I could care less, but when they start coming after me and making me aware of their childish cyber bullying antics, I will speak up and will call them on it. They are nothing but a bunch of pathetic losers with no life. They are not Christians at all and their claim “Well Christ and Paul did the same thing so we are doing it exactly how Christ and Paul did it” truly do not understand the scriptures at all. They are destitute and without life. There is no Christlike attitude in their walk and ministry. They are angry vile bullies. Whoever is flagging their comments, then they deserve it because if they talk and insult people like me in this manner, they are surely out of line and deserve it. And in one of their posters statement, the true Cry baby cowards are the owners of M&LDSF. Grindeal, grow up and get a life and go see a counselor, your pathetic attempt is not doing you and your group any good. Even other fellow Christians are taking note of your lack of civility and perversion.

Actually, I haven’t been on Don’s page in a long time. I don’t care about attacking you on Facebook. I’m only responding to your attack on me here (again) which gets far more notice. You see, you started all of this. The evidence is there in my article Wanna Bee, and you can’t stand that it shows you are a liar and a troll. Even though you’ve tried to cover your tracks by deleting some of the links, and then whining about it, people are smart, and will judge for themselves who is telling the truth.

Timmy, you had a chance to make all this go away, but you kept up the attacks and the bullying and the lies on your blog. Too bad. The article will stay up until you repent, apologize and admit on your blog that you were wrong and that you slandered me and others. And the thing that is sad is that YOU ARE STILL DOING IT. And if my article isn’t doing any good, why do you continue to whine about it?

Timmy again,

And the hate mail is coming in. Surprise, surprise, surprise. These people are the ones with no life.

What do you expect when you act like a troll? (Wah!) My advice, get rid of your computers, phones and anything to write with and someday you might stop looking like an ignorant fool and people will stop commenting on your articles (why they would after knowing who you are, is beyond me) and you can then stop whining about “hate mail”.

Donald then gave Timmy some advice, some of which reads,

If you think about it, the fact they wrongfully attack you and blame you for the flagging is actually funny. I (sic) shows how little thinking they actually put into what they say and do. Essentially, they are condemned by their own words, shown for the fools they just might be. You and I both know you aren’t behind the flagging attacks. If they cannot see that, then it is obviously their problem. That Grindael has chosen to go after you for things you may or may not have done prior to getting your life straight only shows they lack a primary Christian attribute: The ability to forgive. Again it is their loss, and something they will have to face on Judgement Day.

Another thing worth considering is the fact that their online behavior can bite them in the end. In this day and age employers and potential employers can simply noodle about on the internet and find what these people post. Those who are cyber-bullies or are simply narrow-minded and bigoted can be found out. As a result, they can ofttimes lose their jobs or otherwise have their employment potential sharply curtailed. The job market is far less forgiving than God is.

I’m retired Donald. So much for that idea. As for forgiveness, well, there has to be some kind of repentance involved first, and Timmy is still as trollish as ever.  (And yes he did what I documented in my article). As for you knowing that Timmy isn’t involved in trolling and flag attacks, well, even your prophet didn’t know that he was being snowed by Mark Hoffman. I don’t have much faith in the Mormon ability to discern people, so if you want to believe a liar, hypocrite and bully, go right ahead, but again, my article speaks for itself and I invite all to read it for themselves and judge me accordingly.

And I’m not scared or concerned with Timmy’s whining that even “fellow Christians” are taking note of my “lack of civility and perversion”. The only one perverse here, is you Timmy, who wrote and distributed porn on the internet.  (Who can’t even admit that it was porn, but has to call it “erotica”.) Of course anyone who does such things and claims to reform (and then like Timmy doesn’t reform) would be worried about the truth. And yeah, Peter and Paul and even Jesus called out those who are liars, hypocrites and sexual predators.  Here is one I particularly love,

If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (Revelation 2:2)

I hate your practices Timmy, and I’m justified in doing so. As Peter says;

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;  if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;  if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;  and if he rescued Lot,a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless  (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;  yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!  They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:1-22)

To show who is a liar here, there is a conversation that Timmy and I had on 24 March 2012 in which Timmy tries to lie his way out of the date he posted his porn piece At The Ocean, (saying that he didn’t publish anything there after 2005) and that there were no stories there published by him at all.  These lies are easily provable:

Your profile at Literotica was last edited in 2005, not your posts. You must think people are stupid, Timmy. Thanks though, for letting us know it really was yours.  Now go and whine some more Timmy. (Wah!) Now you have more to whine about as you continue to wallow in the mud. Now Notice the date for that post is April 28, 2006. If Timmy says that he wasn’t a Mormon then, why does he say so here, on February 4, 2006?

Tim Berman a Mormon on Feb 4, 2006

“My particular religious belief is that of the LDS Faith (Mormonism). It seems that Timmy just can’t keep his lies straight.

Note: A rogue is defined as a a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel. How apt for the Wanna Bee to use this moniker; but this is typical of those that don’t understand how to apply context in relation to word associations (such as “Rogue Apologist”.) As Forest Gump would say, Stupid is as stupid does.

Wanna-bee (a.k.a. Seattle Ghost Writer)

INTRODUCTION

“In a sense, this article does two things, exposes the foolishness and blind ignorance and hate an individual has, as well as publishing [his] own words to show forth that [he] is held accountable for what [he] had said and published.” ~Timothy Berman, Cyber Bullying and Stalking [Blog Deleted]

The world is full of wannabe’s.  Some want to be astronauts, and some want to be President. Some actually get to be what they want. But others just wannabe and don’t have the intelligence or the skill to really pull it off. The tragic thing is, everyone seems to know it but them. (Wah)

In the Mormon world, some wannabe Apologists. They perhaps want to write for F.A.I.R, or for F.A.R.M.S, or some other “prestigious” group, and be known as a Church “defender”. They want to be the “big man” of their local Ward, or perhaps the “seasoned” Sunday School Teacher that regales their class with stories about how they “trounced” on those horrible “Anti-Mormons” and showed them who was boss.  They can then tell them all about their blogs (they have to do something to get traffic) and Facebook pages (same thing, ad nauseum) and urges them to go read the latest “scoop” about how they are policing the internet and refuting those evil “apostates” and Church critics. They may be a wannabe writer. Though this may not exactly describe them, it is probably close to the mark.  One of these “Wanna-Bees” that recently crossed my path is Timmy “the wanna-BEE” Berman.

Timmy probably reads the New Era and the Ensign (and maybe The Friend) dreaming of someday getting one of his articles published for the whole Mormon Universe to fawn over. What a badge of honor that would be!  And he can’t help but promote himself, advertising on his blog about how he is up for awards (that of course he nominated himself for – and that is why there is only one nomination), and he (of course) has that novel he has been working on for years and years,  (rushed into print by a disreputable publisher) so he can refer to himself in online writing communities as an “upcoming author” and a “devilish rogue” with a “golden tongue” and a “silver pen.” [Note: This profile has been erased by Timmy, but here is a screenshot of the bio he wrote to describe himself]

Deleted Bio of Timmy Berman

Deleted Bio of Timmy Berman

Unfortunately, Timmy is no William Boyd, and his online writing [erased by Timmy] might be a little too risqué for the Ensign or Friend, with its “obtuse” (one of Timmy’s favorite words) prose about  those forbidden cigarettes and coffee, (that he has said he can’t do without on his Twitter Feed) and the graphic sex written into the story where the dark haired hero, (with the receding hairline? – nah, he wouldn’t write that in – and mustache)  stirs his coffee with a knife and with a gleam in his eye asks the woman he is having an affair with if she wants him to “take care of” her husband.  (Note:  This is one of his “milder” tries at Porn. Warning: later things will get much more graphic.)

Timothy_Berman_An_Old_Love_ReturnsYou know the guy.  (Or maybe you don’t) But he’s the one who’s always right, who claims to be the leader in “Defending the Latter-day Saint “Christian” Faith and presenting the “Restored” Gospel of Jesus Christ in proper context”.  He’s the one with the shrill voice screaming about those horrible “Anti-Mormons” and their lies, distortions and oh my, improper context! (He’s also the one caught writing porn on the internet.)

But alas, Timmy’s blog doesn’t seem to generate many comments, and his Facebook pages are reaching a whopping 60 people. Itching to show his prowess, (and in his words “kahonas”), he has to resort to trolling. But coming up against the frustrating reality that he can’t defend the indefensible, he has to resort to lying and bullying to overcome his (jealous rage perhaps?) at those he claims “are not welcome where they decided to hang out”, and so it was left to him to get a “big stick” and whack at the “beehive”, and “beat their cozy little nest”, because he was the only one with the “kahonas” to do so.

Here is the saga of Timmy “Wanna-BEE”, who allows others on his blog to accuse critics of Mormonism of violence, when it is he, who uses the violent rhetoric of the “baseball bat” to strike at those he is obviously in a jealous rage over, (at their very existence), and who sets himself up as the “righteous” critic of Christians when he can’t seem to get his own life in order, all the while using  the very tactics of lying and bullying to decry those he falsely accuses of the same.

As Timmy himself has written (badly at that), lets expose,

“the foolishness and blind ignorance and hate” that he has, “as well as publishing [his] own words to show forth that [he] is held accountable for what [he] has said and published.”

Berman on Cyber Stalking 1

I.  THE EMMA SMITH DRAMA

On a Facebook Page that I Co-created called Mormon & LDS Facts, we had been having a rough couple of weeks with some ornery Mormon trolls. They ran their course and most of them were eventually banned.  At the end of this period, one of the new Administrators on the Page posted a description (and quotes) from an article that appeared in the New York Sun in 1846 and was alleged to have been written by Emma Smith.

I wasn’t happy with the way the post was worded, so in the comment section I clarified the history surrounding the supposed letter, and said that I thought the letter might have been written by John C. Bennett, and not Emma Smith, who denied in the Times and Seasons that she had written it. I also posted a link to Rick Grunder’s site, which is selling a copy of another paper that carried the article, found here.

This link also provides very good historical information about the letter. I posted my clarification of the post a few hours after it went up.  Since one Mormon had asked for proof of the letter, I posted the link to a copy of the actual newspaper (above) and left the post (it was not a picture so could not be edited) as it was, in case this Mormon told other Mormons about it. I then posted a message to all the personnel at Facts, which read,

“I don’t think the lead in to the Emma letter is good. It really should have been that she “allegedly” wrote the letter to the NY Sun. No offense [    ], but I wrote that I thought it spurious.”

And what I feared happened. The post got “passed around”. One of those people who got a hold of it was Timmy Berman.  He immediately wrote a blog article (Did Emma Smith write to the New York Sun?, December 18, 2011)  denouncing Mormon & LDS Facts, and me personally by name, and said that we were making “intentionally false statements” adding, “these people … claim … to speak truth, and claim to be Christians.”

He then quoted the post, which read, “Emma Smith denounces her late husband in a letter to the New York Sun. She says “he labored under a diseased mind”.

Timmy actually gets this right (the only thing he does).  That is what the post said.  He then claims in his article that he tried to research the facts surrounding the letter, and related that he contacted a F.A.I.R. “apologist”.  He relates that he wrote

“I happened across this gem at a Facebook Page operated by the infamous Bob Betts and gang…” [Can you feel the “Christian” love folks?] and added,

“I have tried to find the exact source as well as any rebuttal to it in order to make an adequate response”.

Berman Emma Smith Article 2He then pleads for information. What is funny, is that Mr. Berman didn’t just come to us and ask, or go back to the post and check out the comments.  If he would have, we would have told him that it was posted by a new Admin, or he would have seen that we had clarified the post. But nope, Timmy waits for his “apologist” friend to get back to him, then proceeds to write a blog article with most of the facts that I posted on our Facebook Page, with additional comments like,

“Why would an active Apostate Anti-Mormon perpetuate a lie? The answer is simple, they despise the truth… and are servants of the adversary to prevent people from knowing the truth. They are like the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who beguiled Eve by copulating [yes, he says copulating] lies with truths. Lee Griener and her partners over at the Facebook Page Mormon & LDS Facts posted an intentionally false statement.”

Berman Emma Article Screen 1

He then took the time to visit other Facebook Pages and crow about how he had shown us to be “liars”.

II. OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT

Timmy had taken a stand. He had shown us what “proper context” really is! (Slander someone without bothering to check the facts). He was dead set that he was “right” about me and my Page, and he set us straight, calling us “servants of the adversary” who “prevent people from knowing the truth”, and that we had posted “intentionally” a “false statement.” (Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah).

Having found out that he was dead wrong, how do you get that big stinky foot out of your mouth? You can’t. But Timmy tried. He sure did. But he only made it worse. (Wah).

Imagine my surprise when I got a bunch of e-mails later that day (the 18th of December), informing me of his blog article. Pretty incensed with this guy’s obvious rush to judgment,  I quickly fired off a response to Timmy’s blog article on the Fact’s page. He then responded back the next day, (December 19, 2011) with another blog article called “In Conversation: Emma Smith’s “alleged” letter”. It seems that Timmy didn’t like my response much, because this article was even worse than the first. In it, he whined (Yes, whined – he even had written a blog article with that in the title when he got booted off the Facts Page) about not having “enough time” because something else (life as a “big time” writer I suppose) had happened in the meanwhile. But here is what happened.

It seems a group of Mormon trolls got together and started reporting our page for obscene material and hate speech. They also claimed “harassment” because we used their names in comments when they came to our page, when we replied to their own questions! These attacks were so vicious, and so numerous, one Admin, (not me) had their personal account shut down for alleged Facebook “violations” for three days. To stop the trolls from inflicting further damage, this Admin “unpublished” the page.

But before that happened I responded to Timmy’s rant.  I informed him via the Facts Page that his comment “that he didn’t spend all his time in front of the computer” rang false (look at his Twitter Feed @seatttleghost for example to see how many times a day he’s on just that forum). I also informed him that I was aware that he had gone to multiple Facebook Pages informing people of what he had done, and in one, had told them all about it. Seems he had time to do all that, but not double check to see if the Facts Page had clarified the post. I had caught him in another lie. That is when the harassment of our Page started, and it was “unpublished” for a short time so we could sort out what was going on.  Immediately, Berman went to another “pseudo” Facts page, called “Real” Mormon & LDS Facts, and said,

“It appears that M&LDSF is no longer online” then Timmy added, “Good, NOW we should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”

When confronted with the evidence of his involvement, Timmy wrote yet another blog article, this time called “Mainstream Christians Bearing False Witness”, (December 22, 2011) and made up some more lies. In this whopper of an article, he uses comments that I made on my personal Facebook page (not opened to the public) that he had gotten a hold of through a Mormon I had friended. Having no scruples at all in using someone’s personal comments that were not authorized for public dissemination, Mr. Berman quotes me as saying,

“We have found out who is behind the FB attacks on us, and they are now starting to target other Ministries that focus on Mormonism. Here is a post from “Real Mormon & LDS Facts” Page, by Tim Berman, who is behind this. For all who don’t know who he is, go here, and see how he slandered us.”

[Timmy has made access to this blog private.] He then makes this conclusion about the above comment:

 “All of this rhetoric and vitroil against me because a well-known Facebook page titled Mormon & LDS Facts had recently been shut down. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently single-handily requested Facebook to take down the page in one day. Here is where critical thinking skills come into play – Where is their evidence to support their charge against me? Thus, I challenge one of them to come here and post where, how, and in what manner I had anything to do with their Facebook Page getting closed down. Also, where is the proof of slandering and bullying Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormon Research Ministries, and Johnny Stephenson – including within my two recent articles on the letter that allegedly was written by Emma Smith that someone had posted on the M&LDS Facts page? In all honesty, they are more than welcome to come here and respond to the article and discuss the article. The true cowards are those who sit behind blocked Facebook wall postings and then condemn someone in childish and schoolyard antics. They have a warped sense of definition if they consider bullying posting something in their own words that expose them and their lies.”

For the record, you see Timmy here asking to be shown the truth. So that is what I am doing. Also, you see that he can’t help himself from making up the lie that I ever said that he “single-handedly requested Facebook to take down the page in one day.”

This is not even close to what I said. If you read my words above, it only says that we found out who was behind the Facebook attacks against us and I mentioned THEY (plural), not “he”(singular). I then quoted Berman’s own words, which said,

“Good, now WE should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”

When someone uses the word “we”, it means that you are including yourself.  Timmy here, admitted that he was behind the attacks with some others. But Timmy can’t just admit the truth, because it appears he is a pathological liar. He whines about where the proof is, about his bullying, knowing full well that he took down the blog articles where he does so. (But I have copies of them).  Here is how he tries to lie his way out of the comment where he say that “we” should now focus our attacks on other Ministries,

“Many of those counter-cult minitsties that have had their Facebook pages attacked have singled out myself as the sole perpetrator. Initially, one individual came outright and blamed me as being the instigator and sole individual responsible, only later to comment to someone else that the admins had taken the page offline and it was not removed by facebook as he initially claimed. …Their personal profile, and then one or two additional profiles where they use them to publish, harass, attack, and even bully particular individuals…In that sense those pages that are being targeted is not due to “blatant modern day Mormon Danites” but are being looked at from a safety perspective.” (Quoted from a Facebook Page that Timmy Admin’s on.)

Notice that Timmy puts forth the same lie that it was stated that he was the “sole individual responsible” for the attacks, when the facts show that this is a blatant lie. He then claims “bullying”, when it was he that came to our page, and was thrown off of it for name calling. Angered at not being able to come to our Facebook Page any longer, Timmy actually admits to calling people names on his own blog. In an article titled “Banned for “Lying and Whining” – Typical Behavior of Counter-Cult Groups (on March 9, 2011), Quoting a Facebook Page that banned him, (CMA) Timmy writes,

“No, Timothy has been banned for his behavior of calling prople (sic) ignorant and liars when he was indeed deceived!” This is not uncommon for groups like these to accuse Latter-day Saint apologists for lying, all the while not allowing them time to defend and rebut their fallacious arguments.”

Timmy admits using the word, then tries to qualify it with one instance of it’s use. (There were many). Regardless, Timmy on the Mormon & LDS Facts Page, was banned for rudeness and blatant disrespect for others. What Timmy does not want you to know, is that he uses the very tactics that he accuses others of using on his own Facebook Pages. On his now defunct “Biblical Mormonism” Page, Timmy had this to say to a critic of Mormonism,

Biblical Mormonism: “Russ, your post violated the Facebook Page rules. Warning #1. Third warning, you will be banned from posting on this page.”

Russ: Huh? What’s allowed to be discussed?

Rick: It’s not OK to have a differing view here? Pro Mormonism only?

Biblical Mormonism: That is not the issue here. It is not ok to promote known Anti-Mormon propaganda or rhetoric. Neither is it okay to publish links here to known anti-Mormon sites. There are plenty of those types of pages. This page is for those who want to cut past the arguments and want to engage in a decent conversation without the threat of being mocked or ridiculed. If you do not like that answer, then you are welcome to leave.

Russ: Admin, is it okay to ask questions and express views about how Mormonism differs from biblical Christianity?

Biblical Mormonism: NO, IT’S NOT OK.

You see here folks, this is what Timmy does. He whines that he can’t defend Mormonism on pages critical of the church, but then doesn’t allow Christians to do that very thing on his page. He even says, “Again there are plenty of other pages that are designed by that where Mormon’s (sic) are not allowed to defend on those pages.

But actually, on M&LDS Facts, they were. One Facebook Page owner, (where Timmy currently Admins) was on our page for over a year, (and is still welcome) and never got banned for his extensive comments defending Mormonism. The only reason why Timmy was banned, was for being rude, calling people names, and harassing people. His Mormon friend was allowed to say whatever he liked. And he did. (See this article I wrote about how he defended Mormon racism)

On January 5, Timmy tries to worm out of the comment he made showing that he was one of those behind the attacks on M&LDS Facts:

“Yes, there is a screen shot of a comment I had made that someone from M&LDSF took (which is a violation of Facebook’s Terms, Privacy and Policy because no one asked me if they could take a screen shot of what I said, and it is contrary to collect information without the knowledge of that individual). The screen shot shows me saying something to the effect that maybe we should go after Ephesians 2. Which is more of a question and not an incitement or statement to a call of action.” (January 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm)

Uh, no Timmy. There was no “maybe about your comment”. Shall we look at it again? It said, ““It appears that M&LDSF is no longer online” then Timmy added, “Good, NOW we should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”

Again, Timmy uses a lie to try and shift the blame to those that caught him in his lie. Timmy made this comment on a Page called “Real Mormon & LDS Facts” (a rip off of our page) and this is a PUBLIC Page. Here is what Facebook says about PUBLIC pages:

Facebook Page Terms

2. Content posted to Pages is public information and is available to everyone.

Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

2. Sharing Your Content & Information

4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, [Posting on Public Pages] it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).

As for screenshots:

Q: Is taking a screenshot of a public web site (like Google or Flickr) and posting it to your weblog or in a presentation considered copyright violation, or does it fall under Fair Use?

The (in)famous fair use doctrine requires a non-rigid application of copyright law, and application of the doctrine requires a case-by-case analysis. Courts have repeatedly refused to set bright-line rules regarding what is and what is not fair use.

Generally, four factors must be considered in context, as a whole to determine whether a reproduction is fair use or unfair use, i.e. copyright infringement. The four factors of fair use are:

1.The purpose and character of the use: Reproduction for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not copyright infringement. This probably covers most blogs and personal websites, but there are other factors to consider.

2.The nature of the copyrighted work: The Supreme Court has said that this factor is often “not much help,” but the nature of the original could become more important when dealing with digital works that may be reproduced not one time, but one million times, in a fraction of the time.

3.The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: If the original is 10,000 pages, and the culprit reproduces one page, that is probably not infringement. But, if the original is one page, and the culprit still reproduces one page, he has probably infringed on the copyright.

4.The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: This one gets fun. The Supreme Court has rejected an irrebuttable presumption that commercial reproduction eliminates the fair use defense, but reproduction for a commercial purpose may push the secondary use closer to infringement and farther away from fair use. This factor requires the court to consider the relevant market and the competitive atmosphere while simultaneously trying to increase the welfare of Americans, two often competing interests. For instance, although a corporation may limit many forms of unauthorized reproduction of its software, the FCC has stated that truthful, non-deceptive comparative advertising is both legal and important to a healthy marketplace.

As is true in most intellectual property, courts seek to strike a balance between the rights and incentives of the rights holders and the welfare and benefit of the general public.

Timmy loves to whine about “special pleading”, but notice how he limits comments on his own Pages and Blogs. Timmy has provided us with lots of “fair use” material, in the public arena, that will help us explore who this person is, and why he is a Troll of the worst kind. Here for example, is a comment he made about “special pleading” in response to an article published by Sharon Lindbloom at Mormon Coffee,

“Therefore, if Lindbloom and critics of the Latter-day Saints want to cry foul that their First Amendment right to free speech is being denied, they are the greater perpetrators in denying Latter-day Saints to post, publish, comment, and criticize on the very same Facebook Pages that they are complaining about being shut down. This is a classical case of special pleading”.

If you look at the comments to that article, you will find Timmy absent. Why? Because he knew that his lies had been exposed. Here is his tactic: Go to a forum critical of Mormonism, act like a troll, get banned for doing so, then whine to anyone who will listen that they won’t let you speak. Do we have examples of this? We sure do.

We had asked Timmy to take down his articles with the false accusations, but he would not until we published some of the facts on our Facebook Blog. We then took that article down, but with his renewed attacks on Bob Betts and others, I have chosen to publish this Blog Article, which will stay up.

(I removed this article for a short time after Timmy promised to stop attacking others, but he did not keep this promise, so I republished this article. I have documented some of his later attacks here.)

III. PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR

There is a great forum on the internet called Mormon Discussions. Someone had stumbled across Timmy’s Blog titled “The Journal of Mormon Apologetic Research Studies”, and had connected him with the handle “SeattleGhostWriter”. This was first brought up here. 

They found that Timmy had misrepresented the blog, and was asking for paypal donations. As the comments went on, it came out that “SeattleGhostWriter”  was also  connected with some Porn stories written by the same person, our Timmy. (wah) They then quoted some of the dialog, and it was extremely graphic. Here is a sample of what was posted,

Please don’t miss Brother Berman’s erotic fiction. I found it quite…handy.

“At the Ocean”

Here’s a teaser to arouse your interest:

Brother Timothy Berman (MAD’s ‘SeattleGhostWriter’), Mormon apologist, Elder of Israel wrote:

…She ventured a finger along her well-developed chest; her nipples were already hardened as she closed her eyes and craning her neck to one side. She recalled his lips pressing softly against the curve of her neck as she allowed her fingers to caress her smooth skin…

Another person commented,

“A Mormon apologist who also writes erotica and publishes both under his real life name using his own picture as a logo/avatar: That is not “LOL”. That is just plain creepy.”

Now it seems that those posting at Mormon Discussions found Timmy’s Facebook account and published his picture and that of his family. (Which were taken down) and then Timmy threatened them with legal action (over a profile picture of him from another forum) and so Mormon Discussions took their page offline for a short time to sort through the mess and clean up any comments that may have infringed on his privacy rights, because Timmy had threatened them with legal action. The battle that went on, is recapped here.

What is interesting, is what this tells us about  Timmy. On the Further Light and Knowledge Forum, we read the following,

SeattleGhostWriter wrote:

I just received a final answer from Dreamhost that hosts the infamous Dr. Shades Mormon Discussions forum. I have been personally battling with Dream host to remove a particular thread on that discussion forum where they made vile threats towards me, published photo’s of myself and family members, and participated in the most outlandish defamation ever.

After consulting with my attorney, they noticed that the photo’s they kept online in a discussion thread were copyrighted. I sent my brother-in-law (who took the photo’s and is a photo journalists) a copy of the email regarding a “Take down notice” since the photographs of me were copyrighted.

If you go to the website, you will find that Mormon Discussions is no longer online and will get a message from Dream host that the website has not been uploaded. Thankfully, I sent Dr. Shades the same email (when I sent it to Dream Host).

I would not be surprised that they will come back with a new Mormon Discussion, however, maybe Dr. Shades and his ilk followers will realize that they need to maintain some decency and have their discussion forum members realize that they can’t simply just swipe someone’s photographs without permission, alter those photographs, and then participate in defamation of Latter-day Saint members.

Then the response from one who took part in the conversation:

He’s not really representing things accurately, though. What happened is that CaliforniaKid began a thread discussing something called the “The Journal of Mormon Apologetic Research Study,” which is run by SeattleGhostWriter (aka, Timothy R. Berman). CaliforniaKid had seen a series of links in the guy’s Mormon Dialogue & Discussion signature and clicked on one. Well, SeattleGhostWriter also had links to material on Associated Content, including a soft-core porn/”romance novel” short story called “At the Ocean.” (This is still cached on Google if you’re feeling prurient.)

Well, another poster linked to “At the Ocean and people began commenting/laughing, etc. The story was pretty bad/hilarious, FWIW. E.g.:

Quote: She reached for the brush and began brushing out her hair. The scent of French Vanilla was soon mingled with bacon. All she could do was smile as she pictured him standing over the stove, fixing up some breakfast for the two of them. She returned the brush to the bureau and examined her tan body in the mirror. Her breasts were rounded, firm and had not sagged like most women her age have already experienced. Her figure was a curved as she turned to examine her plump firm a**. She was attractive and wondered how she could have been seduced by a man that pleased her in a way most men never knew how. In any case, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what happened.”

Further Investigation found out,

SeattleGhostWriter was likely embarrassed by his rather salacious and ill-written piece in Associated Content and attempted to distance himself from it by having the thread removed from MDB.

Curiously, when I typed in SGW’s copyright number into My Free Copyright’s database, it shows that no such “copyright” is found. (From my understanding, My Free Copyright doesn’t issue actual copyrights, anyway, but rather provides a time stamp for particular digital material. To carry out a lawsuit, a copyright must be on file with the federal government.) Here is where SGW’s not-quite-real-copyright can be searched: http://myfreecopyright.com/verify_copyright

Here is the number he provided on MDD: MCN: BUNQ2-WQ1SN-S8JK8

I am the MDB poster who first objected to the use of SGW’s photo. I objected to the posting of his family photo, as I don’t believe his wife and children need to be subjected to criticism on an online message board on which they do not participate.

I do not believe SGW’s facebook page was hacked, as he suggested on MDD. His facebook page was set to “public” and I was able to access it even though I am not his facebook friend. Nothing was posted on MDB which was not publicly accessible, including the picture of his family, though it was undoubtedly unseemly to post it.

SeattleGhostWriter is misrepresenting the facts and, it seems, misrepresenting his copyright claim as well. Kimberly”

Instead of confronting them Directly at Mormon Discussions, (maybe too embarrassed?)Timmy threatened them, and then went scurrying to a Pro-Mormon Forum to whine. Here is what he said:

Posted 03 June 2011 – 05:19 PM “I just received a final answer from Dreamhost that hosts the infamous Dr. Shades Mormon Discussions forum. I have been personally battling with Dream host to remove a particular thread on that discussion forum where they made vile threats towards me, published photo’s of myself and family members, and participated in the most outlandish defamation ever.

After consulting with my attorney, they noticed that the photo’s they kept online in a discussion thread were copyrighted. I sent my brother-in-law (who took the photo’s and is a photo journalists) a copy of the email regarding a “Take down notice” since the photographs of me were copyrighted.

If you go to the website, you will find that Mormon Discussions is no longer online and will get a message from Dream host that the website has not been uploaded. Thankfully, I sent Dr. Shades the same email (when I sent it to Dream Host).

I would not be surprised that they will come back with a new Mormon Discussion, however, maybe Dr. Shades and his ilk followers will realize that they need to maintain some decency and have their discussion forum members realize that they can’t simply just swipe someone’s photographs without permission, alter those photographs, and then participate in defamation of Latter-day Saint members.”

Unfortunately, that is not what happened, as “Dr. Shades” from MDB explains,

“Here’s the text of a “form letter” that I have been sending to everyone who has asked me about this:  Our ISP received a complaint that a copyright was being infringed by us. You see, there is a thread about the apologist “SeattleGhostWriter” from MD&D and his dabbling into erotic fiction. Someone posted his photo, now one of two things have happened:

A) He found out about it on his own and complained to our ISP about the photo being a copyright infringement, or

B) Our poster named “Joseph” notified “SeattleGhostWriter” about it and then “SeattleGhostWriter” contacted our ISP.

You might think that the latter scenario is bizarre, but there’s a precedent: Joseph complained to Blixa about a photo that she had posted from NASA’s website, saying it was a copyright infringement, and after Blixa left it up Joseph contacted the image’s copyright holder who then complained to our ISP. We NARROWLY avoided being shut down that time. This time we weren’t so lucky.

So Mav and I have been e-mailing our ISP folks. I don’t know what Mav has said, but I asked them to put the site back online long enough for me to delete the photo. It looks like they left for the weekend before they saw our e-mails, though.

If/when we get the site back up, I’m going to ask Joseph if this was his doing this time around, too. If so, I’m going to make sure he knows to never become a busybody again, since the whole board suffers, not just the person who posts the photo. If he had nothing to do with it, then I’m probably going to disable the image linking feature entirely to avoid this sort of thing in the future.

I was recently informed that SeattleGhostWriter started a thread about this at MA&D. I haven’t read it yet, but here’s the link: EDIT: The funny thing in all this is that I would’ve happily deleted whatever photos or text he wished had he simply PMed me directly.”

Then, Timmy rails on them for NOT discussing the issue with them on the Pro-Mormon Boards, who said,

“ FYI we will ban any recruiters,sock puppets and those trying to pick a fight here.”

As “Dr. Shades” points out,

“Nothing happened to SGW. [SeattleGhostWriter] Blixa made it plain that the ouija board graphic was directed toward MrStakhanovite (or was it RockSlider?), not SeattleGhostWriter. Also, the images were simply LINKED, they weren’t HOSTED by us. So his complaint should be directed toward his own photobucket people.  The text was reproduced for purposes of commentary, so it fell under the Fair Use doctrine. Even so, like I said, I would’ve been perfectly happy to delete any or all such things had he simply made his wishes known to me, ’cause that’s just the type of stand-up guy I am. Ergo, he spent far more time and effort than was necessary.”

Timmy claimed that all this was “defamation”, but was it? As one of the posters in the above forum stated:

“Moral of the story: if you publish badly written erotica under your real name, ppl can find it and giggle. But it you publish it amid your mormon apologetic efforts, including an essay on ‘modesty’ where you caution ppl from reading and posting salacious material on the web, ppl are going to really wonder.”

What is interesting, is that Timmy’s Erotic Story was posted to “Associated Content” on June 30, 2007.

Timmy himself, stated on his MySpace Writers Forum:

“Afternoon one and all … After taking a step back from writing and dealing with what was going on in my life. I am glad to say that I am back writing. Unfortunately, all my writing is lost and I don’t have any way of recovering them. However, not only am I back here, but I am also back on myspace. Yes, it is the same

At the same time as his Erotica story was put up by Timmy, he also wrote,  “Mormonism and the Doctrine of Pre-Existence Examined” on May 25, 2007.

Timmy has tried to claim that this attacks Mormonism, and though he disagrees with the premise that the pre-existence doctrine did not appear to be taught by early Christians, he still leaves readers with,

“My only question is how did Joseph Smith ever come into such philosophy and understanding of something that was of Antiquity?”

Now of course people can repent of their mistakes. But lying about them, isn’t true repentance, is it? It seems that Timmy still has a problem still with lying. He may have written the story in 2006, (See the story here, under a pseudonym, “Antonio Silvano” whose bio reads),

“Antonio, is a  Washington State resident and has an upcoming novel debuting the end  of October 2006. Currently resides in Seattle, Washington and is working on other  writing projects, one of which includes a second novel. He enjoys reading  Suspense/Mystery, Supernatural/Psychological Thrillers, Mainstream Fiction, Fantasy,  Dark Fantasy, and enjoys crafting such works of fiction.” (Warning: Extremely Graphic)

Timmy has tried to deny that this is him, but I will let the reader decide if this is true. What chance is there of another writer posting this same story (as Timmy did a year earlier) who is from the same state and self published a novel at the end of 2006?

If one wants to know if the story really is Timmy’s, yes it is. He joined a Porn Forum to promote it, called “Literotica”, and his profile can be found here.

He also asks for a “critique” of the story, (therefore owning it) here.  (Warning: Explicit Language) [Note: If you now click on the link you will see that Timmy deleted the entry below. Notice the date: Last edited by SeattleGhostWriter : 10-28-2012 at 08:13 AM. Reason: deleting] But this screen shot shows exactly what is deleted:

Considering the fact that Timmy had claimed “repentance”, why did he re-post the story at “Associated Content” in June [and later lie saying it was November] of 2007, when he was writing Apologetic Articles for the Church? But better yet, we have the words of Timmy himself, from June 04, 2011 – 5:16PM which read,

“By the way, At the Ocean was published in November of 2007. If you go to my AC profile page, my very first article was the last article I had written against the LDS Church. Notice, when you also get there, that I did not start publishing articles defending the LDS Faith until about November 2008.”   (Wah, wah, wah)

That doesn’t jibe with the above links, which show that Berman was writing pro-Mormon articles in May of 2007. Even if it was November, that still means (by his own words) he posted the Porn after the apologetic article! Here we catch him in another lie. If that isn’t enough, here we have Timmy admitting that he is an apologist in this profile (that he has probably forgotten existed – since he last visited it in 2008) on “Your Christian Space”:

“I am a passionate writer, student of the word and an Apologist who defends the Latter-day Saint Faith from the Calvinistic perspective. I have studied much of the Biblical Accounts, researched doctrines, heretical thoughts, classic doctrines, historical developments of religion history in general and specifically pertaining to the Ancient Near Eastern Religions and First Century Judaism and Christianity.”

Timmy opened this account on 05/13/2007, as you can see in the screenshot below, found here

Again, the issue here is Timmy’s claimed “repentance”, and this shows that he still hasn’t really repented, because he is still lying, that he was not writing Mormon Apology at the same time he published his porn. His article where he disagrees with the Mormon “pre-existence” fits in well with his admission of a “Calvinistic approach” cited above.  He ends with this, even bigger lie,

“The reality is I know what is true, they don’t. If anyone of them had any ounce of common sense and applied some critical thinking skills, they would not have engaged in this behavior. Blame me all you want, the reality is they stepped over the line when they brought my family into this and violated the law and engage (and continue to engage) in unethical and illegal acts. Believe what you want, I know the truth and that is between me and Heavenly Father. If you don’t believe me now, that is find, but one day we all will stand to account for everything we have said and done in this life: Many of them will not open their eyes until it is too late.”

Yes, Timmy, we will all stand to account, and your time is now, (for your slander) because I also “know the truth”, and it’s all from your own internet history, open to anyone who takes the time to google “Seattleghostwriter”. This isn’t “stalking” as some have messaged me (even Timmy himself, using a fake profile), or doctored internet links – (he has changed a few of them since this article was published). This is all easily proved by Timmy’s own trail of blogs, discussion forums, and social media accounts – all open to the public.

And then there is the forum called Ghost Place, where Timmy posts on February 4, 2006 that his religious faith is Mormonism:

Tim Berman a Mormon on Feb 4, 2006

And then, four months later he posts “At the Ocean” on the Literotica forum, which he denied doing.

This is a pattern of behavior: Threats and bullying when his true “identity” and “background” is exposed, and claiming that he can’t confront them on their sites, but failing to go to the sites to do so, instead going where he can control the conversations and edit the comments of critics, along with the constant lying.

As a last note, I would leave you with Timmy’s conversion story. What is interesting about it, is that Timmy wrote two different versions of it. One that he wrote and posted on May 2009 reads, in part:

“While waiting for the bus, someone had a copy of the Book of Mormon in their hand. They were laughing at how the Missionaries gave them the Book and they promised to read it to appease the young men. This gentleman decided to leave the book on the bench. I froze. Well, time seemed to have frozen as he got onto the bus. I just sat there dumbfounded. Staring at the book for a long moment. When someone came to sit down on the bench, they picked up the book and asked if it was mine. I stammered a bit before reluctantly taking it from them and apologizing. Nothing more was said as I placed it in my backpack and sat there. The bus came and went, and I found myself forgetting what it was that I had planned on doing, nor where I was heading.”

The other,  that he wrote later for his “Apologetic” blog, reads like this,

“It was not until I had lost my job when I started to search out an answer. Abandoning all my reasoning and intellect, I walked into a used bookstore where I finally spent a couple bucks, making a purchase of a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was when I brought it home with me that I sat down and started reading it. Started paying close attention to what it had to say. The more I read, however, the more I began to realize that the passages were calling for a repentant heart. Calling for one to repent of their transgressions and that once they came to Christ, with humility, sincerity and an obedient heart, he is quick to forgive, quick to restore and the blessings would be profound and enormous. I read the Book of Mormon within three days.”

Seems Timmy can’t even get his “re-conversion” story straight, and though he tried to erase all traces of his past, there is still much out there that proves him to be what he is: a liar.

IV. YELLOW JOURNALISM?

In a Blog Article ironically titled “Getting Past Immaturity”, written on January 6, 2012, Timmy promises,

“One of the things that will be an ongoing project is the archiving of previously published articles. These articles will either be taken “offline” from public view or removed from the blog itself. This is not meaning that they have no relevance, it means that because of the direction the content of this blog will be focusing will have more of an opportune impact on the discussion pertaining to the Mormon Faith and Religion and will focus on the object initially envisioned for this blog. In essence, the blog has become a platform as a personal angst against particular counter cult ministry groups instead of focusing on the criticism itself. Taking these previously published articles offline will take the focus of past mistakes, immaturity, and emotive behaviors and to allow a more mature level of articles to come forth.”

But it seems that this attitude did not last long, for after this Timmy cloned our Facebook Page, (which he took down after being reported to Facebook), and recently has been up to his old tricks with this article recently published by him:  “Anti-Mormon Angst – The Real Truth”, (January 21, 2012) where Timmy rants,

“Note: The following information is from a public Facebook Group that particular individuals can see. It comes from the group Mormons and Evangelicals. The commentary provided is from a prolific Anti-Mormon by the name of Bob Betts, administrator for Concerned Christians  a counter-cult ministry group that attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What he provides gives the summation of the mentality and purpose behind the counter-cult movement and why they have taken up a fervent crusade against Latter-day Saint Members.”

This guy can’t even keep his own word for two weeks.  The whole diatribe of Timmy’s from this article is all about …. His “personal angst against… counter cult ministry groups”.  You know what they say folks, the apple don’t fall far from the tree. Timmy’s professions of change aren’t worth a whole lot are they? And this guy is teaching High School students in Sunday School?

V. CONCLUSION

What we see here, is an “angst ridden” (by his own words) hypocrite, who has never been able to hold a legitimate conversation with a Mormon Critic without resorting to lying, name calling and bullying.

Claiming to have “transformed” himself into a “righteous” judge of what is the “proper context” of Mormon teachings is just a sham, for he will stop at nothing to deride, ridicule, and lie about any who are critical of the Mormon Church. Instead of focusing on himself, and his own desperately needed recovery as a porn addict and serial liar, he instead chooses to use his time to attack other’s Facebook pages, and spread lies across the internet about any who are unlucky enough to cross his path.

This Article shows who the real Timmy is, a man whose mind is in the gutter,  a Wanna-BEE Mormon Apologist that can’t understand that he will never be taken seriously, because he can’t get his stories straight, and his on line escapades will always be there to haunt him and show the public who he really is. As Timmy himself wrote about cyber-bullying,

“The other thing to do, and this will infuriate the cyber stalker and bully further is to publish their comments online in a blog posting… Publish their comments because it is their own words that you want to expose, and the more exposure that their words receives, the more they realize how much of a greater fool that they are showing themselves out to be. I would not worry about removing hyperlinks that lead someone to their Facebook Page, twitter account, or any other online username account. After all, once they publish it (and more specifically, when they delete the comment), you still have the record of what they said, when it was published and they can’t falsely accuse you of making it up: “I did not say that, they are lying” because they want to save face. They don’t want people to know how idiotic they truly are acting online and how foolishly they are portraying themselves to be.”

Berman on Cyber Stalking 1Yes, Timmy has batted the beehive.  Shame he didn’t notice the big one hiding behind the tree with something better than the violent rhetoric of the Wanna-BEE.

The truth.