'Replies from Mormons'

1. Andrew Miller (cont.)

17th September, 2003

(Continued from page 313)


Unforgivable Sin

It has been stated that we Mormons believe that murder and repeated adultery are unforgivable sins. This is false, both of these sins can be forgiven, but they require a much tougher repentance process then simply asking for forgiveness. The reason why is because they are quite possibly two of the only three sins which are outside the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
For clarification's purposes, Adultery can be repented of once, and the repentant can inherit the Celestial Kingdom, but if it is done again, it can not be forgiven of (Doctrine and Covenants 42:24-26). Therefore, we see that adultery is in fact forgivable.
The point however is the fact that there are some sins which are beyond the atoning power of the savior. The bible condones the death penalty for these crimes, (Romans 13:4). The only ones are murder, repeated adultery, and the denial of the Holy Ghost.
Murder is forgivable, if the condemned is willing to die himself for his sin. If that is the case, his own blood acts as an atonement and he is spared the depths of hell. If that is not the case, there is no way for him to simply ask the father for repentance, after death, he will be cast down into hell until the final resurrection where he will attain the lowest degree of Glory. (Mormon Doctrine, Page 520).
Denial of the Holy Ghost is the most terrible of all sins possible to commit. Not even the person's own blood can save him from that. He becomes a son of Perdition, condemned to spend eternity in hell (Matthew 12:31-32). However what we must understand is twofold. One: that committing that sin requires more then simply stating, "I don't believe in the Holy Ghost," it is an outright denial of all things which are righteous. Two: upon committing that sin, the person's heart becomes so hardened, that he will never desire repentance, he will forever be an enemy of God.

Blood Atonement.

I have spoken before about how some sins do in fact require that the sinner's own blood be shed. That is true, however some people have accused the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of; in the past, committing blood atonement to apostates. While various sermons of past church leaders have stated that blood atonement is necessary for some sinners, to this accusation I have one thing to say, "From the days of Joseph Smith to the present, wicked and evilly disposed persons have fabricated false and slanderous stories to the effect that the Church, in the early days of this dispensation, engaged in the practice of blood atonement… These claims are false, and were known by their originators to be false." (Mormon Doctrine, Page 92).

Mountain Meadows Massacre.

A black day in church history was the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Yet it is also a day in which anti-Mormons have; for their own wicked purposes, sensationalized beyond all recognition. While it is true that it was a terrible event in the history of; not only the Church but the civilization of the American West. It was indeed a massacre, and indeed there were church members who took part in it, but they were all without exception excommunicated. Some of them were executed for their parts in the Massacre. When Brigham Young first learned of the massacre, he was furious, and immediately excommunicated those church members involved. The leadership of the Church had absolutely no part in the massacre.
To quote Brigham Young exactly, "In regard to the emigration trains passing through our settlements, we must not interfere with them until they are first notified to keep away. You must not meddle with them.
The Indians we expect will do as they please but you should try and preserve good feelings with them" He encouraged good relations with the non-Mormon emigrants, this quote was made, just before the massacre occurred, meaning he could not have had any part in it.

Salvation by Faith and Works.

Furthermore it has been accused of us by mainline Christians that we believe in salvation by works. This is a lie, we recognize that works alone can not save anyone. However Faith without works to back it up is not faith, and therefore will not save anyone either. "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead" (Meaning it doesn't exist) "Yea a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:14-18)

Baptism for the Dead.

"Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5). Christ said that unto Nicodemus, it clearly means that baptism is essential to salvation. Yet, if baptism is so essential, what happens to those who have never had the opportunity to be baptized, and to except the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do they simply fall into the bottomless abyss of eternal hell. I tell you, nay. Logically, there must be a way for our righteous dead to except the gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit world, that is why we have the true doctrine of Baptism for the Dead.
In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians he made reference to the doctrine of baptism for the dead. Back then we had the fullness of truth, so everyone knew that baptisms for the dead were practiced, but either no one bothered to write it down for us to read, or simply it was lost amongst many other lost scriptures. But Paul makes reference to it by stating, "Else what shall they do which are
baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Corinthians 15:29) So even the bible supports baptism for the dead.

The Three Kingdoms of Heaven.

Many mainline Christians make accusations that we believe in three Kingdoms of Heaven, the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. They make that accusation, and simply leave it at that. They make no other biblical reference to combat it at all. The reason is because the bible even recognizes the fact that there are at least two kingdoms of heaven, the Celestial and Terrestrial, The Telestial came by way of Latter-day revelations.
"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also
celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." (1 Corinthians 15:39-41). The same passage goes on to talk about the resurrection, this passage is clearly talking about the fact that there are at least two kingdoms. When it refers to the glory of the stars, it talks about the Telestial Kingdom, but it doesn't make direct reference.
To explain it simply, those who receive the Celestial Kingdom are those who are valiant in their testimony of Christ. They are those who are valiant in their fulfilling of the commandments of Christ. The most valiant of that group is to be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom, and become Gods, to rule worlds without end.
(Doctrine and Covenants 76: 50-70).
The Terrestrial Bodies are simply those who live the law of righteousness. They are those, who may or may not have accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ but they were not valiant enough to attain the Celestial Kingdom. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:71-78). Those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom along with those who will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom are all righteous, and honorable. Therefore they will come forth in the first resurrection, immediately after Christ's second coming, when he reigns personally upon the earth (Mormon Doctrine, Pages 115-117 & 783-784)
The Telestial Bodes are those who are wicked. In the end they will inherit a Kingdom of heaven, yet they must go through an extremely hard repentance process, which will include a thousand years of dwelling in the outer darkness of hell. Then and only then, can they come forth in the second resurrection, after the end of the millennial reign of Christ upon the earth, and enter into the lowest degree of heaven, the Telestial Kingdom. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:81-90)

Is Jesus "Uncreated"?

Mainline Christians next try to state that we are not Christian because we believe that Jesus was a creation of our Heavenly Father, instead of actually being our Heavenly Father. I find this interesting for the actual word that they use to describe Jesus is "uncreated." While at the same time they bring up several verses to justify their position, none of which contain the actual word "uncreated." These verses are,
John 1:1-17, and Colossians 1:15-17. Nowhere in the texts of these verses does it say that he was uncreated. In fact in Colossians 1:15, it states very plainly that he is "The firstborn of every creature." That just explained where Christ came from in a nutshell, it just told you that Christ was God's "Firstborn of every creature." How can he possibly be God's first created, and uncreated at the same time. This doesn't make sense at all.
What these verses do say is that Jesus created all things, and one might question how this is possible, when he himself is a spirit creation. This is an understandable question and the answer is quite clear. Jesus created all things in this physical realm, under the direction of the father. In the book of Genesis when God said "Let there be light: and there was light," What one must realize is the fact that God the father said, "let there be light," But the actual being that caused the light, or created it, was Jesus Christ, his son. So while the Father created him spiritually, he created all things that are physical.


Eternal Hell.

Mainline Christians accuse us of not believing that hell is eternal, lie! We believe that for the Sons of Perdition, hell is eternal (Mormon Doctrine, Page 746.) However, there will probably be very few Sons of Perdition, for they are only the ones who have known the holy ghost, and committed the unforgivable sin, (Mormon Doctrine, Page 746.). Most of the wicked, however, will only spend a thousand years in hell, not eternity.

Book of Abraham.

In 1835, Irishman Michael Chandler brought an Egyptian exhibit with him to Kirtland Ohio, which at the time was the church headquarters of the early LDS Church. Among his exhibits was a group of papyri which was written in hieroglyphics, which at the time people did not know how to translate. The prophet Joseph Smith bought the hieroglyphics and translated it by the power of the Holy Ghost. The translation of these papyri is called the book of Abraham.
Apparently, these writings were thought to be lost, until they were found in a vault in the Salt Lake City Temple. They were then translated by non-Mormon experts who claimed that they were actually totally different then what Joseph Smith claimed.
My argument is simple, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The Hieroglyphics were untranslatable at the time, and while we have since then been able to translate them, our method is still imperfect. Thus I will trust a prophet of God above a so called "expert" who is studying something using an art which he himself cannot deny may be incorrect.

The Negro.

People love to claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used to be segregated. I find this funny, because this argument is so incredibly flawed. First of all it claims that Negros were not allowed to hold our priesthood which is true, but theoretically not even true Gentiles were even allowed to hold the priesthood at the time.
God allows whom he will to hold the priesthood, and at times in the past it has been by heredity that his people have held the priesthood. At first, only the Levites could hold the Aaronic, or Levitical priesthood (Numbers 8), while the Melchizedek priesthood was open to all the Hebrews. Also during this time, only the Semites (descendants of Noah's son Shem, whom the Hebrews came from) could even be among the congregation of the Lord, Gentiles and Canaanites were not welcome (Deuteronomy 23).
The Gentiles came from Noah's son Japheth (Genesis 10), and include the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Mesopotamians, the ancient *Greeks, the ancient *Slavs, the ancient Babylonians, the ancient *Romans, etc. The Negros were Canaanites, and they were descendants of Noah's son Ham, who saw his father naked, for that, his son Canaan was cursed.
This was not the time however, that this seed had been cursed with dark skin. Noah's son Ham married Egyptus, who was of the seed of Cain. Cain's seed had been marked with dark skin (Genesis 4:15) so that others would no not to crossbreed with them.
During the Early days of the Hebrew Church before Christ came, the Gospel was not open to these people, for they were not Semites (or the descendants of Shem), who's seed included the Israelites, and the Ishmaelites (Arabs/Late Egyptians). They could be among the congregation of the Lord, but only the Levites, who were one of the twelve tribes of Israel, could hold the Lower Levitical Priesthood.
When Christ was resurrected, he said, "Go ye therefore unto all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19). Now all nations (meaning the Gentiles and the Canaanites) could now become members of the congregation of Christ. However, only those of Abrahamic descent could hold the priesthood. This was in effect until 1978, when Spencer W. Kimball issued the second official declaration of the Church declaring that anyone could hold the priesthood.
The reason why people who were of modern Slavic, Roman/Latin, and Germanic descent could hold the priesthood in the early days of the church is simple. In 600 B.C. the Israelites were carried off into bondage by the Babylonians, and ten of the twelve tribes were lost (Jeremiah 34:1-35). They must have mix-bread with the ancient peoples of the various continents over a period of time so that now, the members of the lost ten tribes Israel probably span the entire globe, and there are very few (if any) true Gentiles left upon the face of the Earth (Mormon Doctrine, Pages 456-458). Yet somehow (for the most part) Canaanite blood remained pure.
In addition remember that blacks who were of Asian descent were allowed to hold the priesthood, because those of Asian descent could trace their bloodline back to the Arabs who were descendants of Abraham.
The truth of all this is, is the fact that God allows who he will to hold the priesthood. Now, anyone can hold the priesthood, yet before 1978, certain peoples were denied that privilege because of heredity, it did not make them evil people, in fact it meant that they were held less accountable then those of Abrahamic Descent, and their lot was easier.
However, Blacks were never denied their right to be baptized. They were never segregated from white congregations. This accusation that we were a segregated church is a lie. Since the early days of the church, there have been many black members, and since the beginning of the church, they have worshiped in the same congregations as white members. We were one of the only churches at the time to practice that kind of integration. Most churches held separate meetings for whites and blacks, we did not.
Also, there is an undeniable fact that one of the primary reasons for the Missouri persecution was because most of the church members were from Northern states, and an overwhelming majority of them were abolitionists. Missouri was a slave holding state, and the slave holding people of Missouri formed some of the most ardent opposition groups against the Church. (Our Heritage, Page 40).
What does this all lead to? We do not now, nor did we ever practice the evils of segregation.
* Races which were originally Gentiles, but became Israelites due to crossbreeding after the fall of Jerusalem in 600 BC.
†Originally Egyptians were Canaanites, however, Ishmael's seed conquered them and took over Egypt, I refer to them as Late Egyptians. That's the reason why Jacob and his family managed to be friendly with the Egyptians.
‡There are several definitions of the Word Gentile. It is mostly used to mean non-Jewish, however I use it in the context of the book of Genesis which means descendants of Noah's son Ham.

Joseph Smith's Character.

There are many testimonies against Joseph Smith's Character. They are all, to a one refutable. The reason why is because they are not based upon a firm foundation at all. "Many critics have disparaged the character of Joseph Smith, founder and first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many times they rely on the testimonies of some of his old neighbors in New York, who claimed they always knew he was a rascal, or that he was a "glass looker". The problem with these testimonies is that they don't cite any credible events that show this -- they almost always say that others said it was so, or they describe rather imaginative conversations, to which they were the only witness." (Character of Joseph Smith by Woody Brison, accessed online at http://mail.lds.net/pages/wwbrison/jschar.htm.)
At the same time there were even more eye witnesses, with even more credibility who claimed that Joseph Smith was a gentlemen, a kind man, etc. (same source.). People accuse him of being a "glass looker," and he was in fact convicted of fraud in 1826, however many claim that the so called "trial" was no more then a Kangaroo court, where anti-Mormon persecution manifested itself like no other.
He was called "money digger," but honestly, I happen to like to build scale models. That is one of my hobbies, building scale models. One of Joseph Smith's hobbies (and he even admitted this.) was treasure hunting. He was a treasure hunter, there is absolutely nothing wrong with treasure hunting. I'm sure that he probably had quite a collection of heirlooms. He's also not the only one in the world who liked to treasure hunt. There's an entire sub-culture of people who use global positioning systems to find "cashes" of worthless junk lying around the world. There are people with metal detectors who go around looking for treasure, that does not make them evil. Joseph Smith also liked stick pulling, wrestling, and debating, are those evil?

The Persecution

The darkest chapter in world history is the time period when an entire religious sect, which had no desire to harm anyone, was denied its constitutional rights to practice its own doctrines. But the saddest part about this was the fact that it happened right here in the United States, and it happened to the Mormons. There were four areas where this persecution manifested itself. The first was in Kirtland, where Joseph displayed his keen financial abilities (sarcastically of course). I'll be the first Latter-day Saint to admit it, he could not handle money, but Noah was a prophet and he got drunk once. So just because Joseph had some financial problems, does that make him any less of a prophet? I tell you nay.
In Kirtland his life was threatened by church members who blamed him for the collapse of the "Kirtland Safety Society," a church banking union, which failed miserably causing many of the early Mormons to lose a lot of money. However, historical sources now site the financial depression which was occurring in the Untied States at the time as responsible for the collapse. In fact, Joseph Smith's actions had little, if anything to do with the actual collapse (Our Heritage, Page 36).
Yet many Mormons incorrectly blamed Joseph for the collapse, and apostatized from the church. Soon these apostates threatened the prophet's life, and the lives of many of those who remained loyal to him, forcing him and most of the other Mormons to flee to the Mormon settlement in Far West Missouri.
In Missouri, persecution had already begun in large amounts. This time it was for political reasons. Most of the Mormons were from Northern states, and an overwhelming majority of them were abolitionists. The Slaveholders of Missouri felt that they would act as a voting block on the slavery issue which was very prevalent during the 1830's. The pro-slavers began violent persecution in 1833, when a mob showed up at the printing house of the "Morning and Evening Star" a Mormon newspaper. They forced out the editor, destroyed the printing press, and burned the building. Soon thereafter they showed up at the home of the Mormon leader, Bishop Edward Partridge, and tarred and feathered him.
These acts soon boiled over into a battle in the big blue river valley. After this, the Missouri Governor Daniel Dunklin ordered that the state militia be deployed to disarm both sides, yet somehow the only side which was disarmed was the side of the Mormons. The reason was because Colonel Thomas Pitcher of the Missouri State Militia was an ardent Anti-Mormon who took the liberty not disarming the mob, these actions led the mob to literally drive the Mormons out of Jackson county and in to clay county.
Eventually Alexander W. Doniphan, a member of the state legislature, who had not condoned these acts was able to establish two new counties for the Mormons to live in Davies and Caldwell (called Far West).
In 1838, Joseph Smith joined the Mormons in Far West Missouri, where persecutions mounted into a full scale war which started over a brawl at a voting booth, where anti-Mormons refused to allow Mormon voters to cast their ballots. The Governor of Missouri Lilburn W. Boggs dispatched the militia to keep the peace, however the militia failed as atrocities on both sides were committed.
Most of the atrocities which were committed by Mormons were committed by a band of Mormons known as the Danites, led by Sampson Arvard. Arvard later proved to be using the Danites as a tool to replace Joseph Smith as the leader of the Church. None of the "atrocities" committed by the Danites were ever condoned by Smith, and Arvard was excommunicated for Apostasy (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume1).
Eventually Joseph Smith was arrested without being formally charged, and condemned to death at a firing squad by a military tribunal. One of the non-Mormon Militia officers, (also a state legislator) General Alexander Doniphan refused to carry out the order stating that it was, "Cold blooded murder." He then carried out a semi-prophetic warning to the Militia General who gave the order, that if he carried it out, "I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God." (Alexander W. Doniphan, 1838).
The prophet was confined in Liberty Jail, held without being charged until finally the Missouri state government simply let him go. Yet they made it look like he escaped in order to allow the Missouri citizens to think that they were actually going to prosecute him.
From here, Joseph Smith and the remaining Mormons went to Illinois and founded the city of Nauvoo. Most of the persecutions here came for three reasons. One: many of our doctrines which people consider strange (including plural marriage) were first introduced here. Two: many non-Mormons became financially angry at the fact that in a few short years, Nauvoo had become the largest city in Illinois. Three: when Joseph Smith announced his candidacy for the presidency in the 1844 election, many feared that he was becoming too powerful.
Several anti-Mormon newspapers began to print threats upon his life and against the lives of the citizens of Nauvoo. As mayor of the city he legally exercised his power thereof to shut down one of these dissident newspapers known as the Nauvoo Expositor. In doing so he angered the anti-Mormon mob to the point of where they demanded his arrest.
Illinois Governor Thomas Ford almost had no choice but to concede to their demands despite knowing himself that the charges of treason for which Smith was arrested were false. In addition, Ford sent Smith a letter guaranteeing his protection. It was a promise which the governor could not carry out, for on June 27th 1844, a mob broke into Joseph Smith's jail cell and murdered him.
Finally in Utah, after following Brigham Young across the country in a terrible trek west, the church was told that we couldn't practice our harmless doctrine of plural marriage. And the government passed unconstitutional anti-polygamy laws, yet the supreme court upheld them. Since plural marriage is not essential for salvation by our doctrine, Wilford Woodruff, our forth president in line from Joseph Smith ceased its practice. To this day we have agreed to the laws of the land not practiced plural marriage, despite the unconstitutionality of the laws against it.
SEE (Our Heritage, Pages 36-100)

The Danites.

The Danites are the most misunderstood part of our history of. Many believe that they were personal body guards of Brigham Young, some believe that they organized and carried out the Mountain Meadows Massacre, many believe that Joseph Smith was their founder, these are all false accusations.
The Danites were a band of Mormon militia, assigned to defend Mormon property in Far West Missouri. They were established by a man named Sampson Arvard. In the beginning the Danites had the blessing of Joseph Smith, yet in 1838, Far West Missouri had erupted into a state of virtual War. Arvard had then corrupted the original ideals of the Danites and led them to commit certain illegal acts and atrocities.
The moment Joseph Smith was reported these things, he quickly removed Arvard from power, and disbanded the Danites. Arvard would later testify in a court inquiry that Joseph Smith was in command of the Danites, yet modern documents prove this to be a totally false claim. Arvard was eventually excommunicated.
There are a number of claims about the Danites which are totally false. First of all many claim that they began in Far West, followed Joseph Smith to Nauvoo, and the Brigham Young to Utah. This is false, they were formed in 1838, and disbanded by Joseph Smith in same year (David J. Whittaker, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume 1 accessed online at http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Missouri.shtml).
Many people claim that they journeyed around Utah preventing non-Mormon settlers from settling in Utah, again false, they were disbanded several years before the Mormons even made it to Utah. Many say they went around committing blood atonement, some say that they organized the Mountain Meadows Massacre, these claims are all false for the same reason (David J Whittaker, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume 1, accessed online at http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Missouri.shtml).
What Mainline Christians have to understand is the fact that most of the wild accusations about the Danites are a tissue of lies.

Freemasonry and Mormonism.

I once visited a site known as the Christian Expositor which was dedicated purely to denouncing religions they consider anti-Christian cults. It made known the fact that all of the early church leadership was involved in Freemasonry. They state that the first five presidents of the Church were all members of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, along with most of the original church hierarchy. (The Christian Expositor, accessed online at http://www.thechristianexpositor.org/page56.html.) My response is simple SO!
Many people have criticized Freemasonry over the centuries as being occultist or secretive etc. But the truth of the Freemasons is simply that they are a fraternal charity organization (The Freemasonry Network, accessed online at http://www.freemasonry.net/YourQuestionsAnswered.asp?1). It is a secular organization, that does not mean that it is anti-religion, it means that people of all faiths may enter into it. Their membership even requires belief in a God (same source.). They are totally open to all religions, and they do not in any way condone the occult.
They do not even consider themselves a secret society (same source), and their goals and disciplines are open to the public. There are very few things which they keep private, but that is every organization's right. In truth, Joseph Smith, and his friends were members of a club. That's just it, they were members of a harmless club. So what? To put it modern teenage vernacular, they went out with the guys a couple of nights a week and went to the Masonic lodge for meetings. Great! Good for them! That does not make them any less prophetic.
However there are some accusations that Temple endowments were inspired from Masonry. Well Joseph Smith did say that The Masons are in fact an apostate group of people who retained some of the true temple rituals, remember that this is possible because they originated in Egypt several thousand years ago. As far as the significance, I'm not exactly sure. It is possible that their rituals were once as such, but as of now, they are simply a charity organization with some private rituals.

The Occult and Mormonism.

This is a really simple accusation to respond to, because it has so little foundation to it. Yet I must admit that in my stupidity, Satan tempted me to fall away when I first read this accusation. Apparently Joseph Smith was a member of the occultist movement simply because… One: he was a member of the Freemasons, and Two: he had a Jupiter Talisman. These are quite possibly the stupidest things I have ever heard.
First of all I have already shown how Freemasonry is not Occultist. Next, I am a member of the honorary Native American tribe of Mic-O-Say. While in Mic-O-Say it is customary to where ceremonial fake Eagle Claws. I occasionally where them for luck, do I believe that they will really bring me luck, No. Joseph Smith probably wore his Jupiter Talisman because it was a family heirloom. He probably didn't really believe in it at all, but merely wore it for the same reason girls wear nice necklaces, they look good. Just because he happened to own a Jupiter Talisman proves absolutely nothing.

The Nauvoo Expositor incident

I love it how people try and bash the Mormon Prophet's last secular act of destroying the press of the Nauvoo Expositor. They try and use it as a reason to justify his death, and anti-Mormon literature sensationalizes this beyond all recognition. It is true that Joseph Smith acted, as Mayor of Nauvoo Illinois to suspend the press and destroy the Nauvoo Expositor Newspaper. But were his acts really unconstitutional? The answer is no. In fact the actions of the Nauvoo Expositor were more then illegal, they threatened the life of Joseph Smith. Law and Order was on Joseph Smith's side, just not the mob rule.
First of all let's look at the legislative powers of the city of Nauvoo city council, granted to them under Section Seven of the Legislative Powers of the City Council of Nauvoo, in the Nauvoo Charter.
"Sec. 7. To make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants, to declare what shall be a nuisance, and to prevent and remove the same in the streets for the extinguishment of fires, and convenience of the inhabitants". (Nauvoo Charter, accessed online at http://www.mindspring.com/~engineer_my_dna/mormon/nauvchar.htm). To declare what shall be a nuisance to the citizens of Nauvoo, and remove them for the public safety.
Notice also that the Mayor had the power to carry out the orders of the city council (Section 17). The city council of Nauvoo ordered him to do what he did by declaring the Nauvoo Expositor a "public nuisance" (Reed C Durham, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, accessed online at http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/1831_1844/nauvoo_expositor_eom.).
But was the Nauvoo Expositor really a "public nuisance?" According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the comments made by the Nauvoo Expositor were "threatening and polarizing." One of these comments was that Joseph Smith was, "the biggest villain that goes unhung." (Same Source.) The biggest villain that goes unhung, that is obviously a threatening remark. In addition the Nauvoo Expositor was lead by a subgroup of people who were planning to Kill Joseph Smith, and had threatened his life before. (Same Source.). The Nauvoo City council not only was constitutional in their actions, they were obligated in them.

The Martyrdom.

The final question that I'd like to pose is, was Joseph Smith killed in a massacre, or a gunfight. The answer is really a little of both, but either way he was a martyr. First of all, he knew that he would die if he submitted to arrest. He even left Nauvoo for a brief time to avoid it, yet his wife, and several of his friends persisted in begging him to return to the city. Once he realized that the city was in danger of violence should he not submit, he returned for the good of the city of Nauvoo, not thinking of himself, but of his brethren.
To explain the events of the actual martyrdom in chronological order, at around five O'clock on June 27th 1844, a mob of over 200 people stormed his jail cell in Carthage. It is unclear as to whether or not the Illinois Militia allowed them to enter the jail, or was simply overrun by them, but either way they got in some how. They began to attempt to break down the door to his. Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, and Willard Richards attempted to hold them back with John Taylor knocking down the muskets; which stuck out the crack of door, with his cane.
Eventually a shot rang out, a bullet came through the door, and struck Hyrum Smith in the face. Joseph Smith left the door to tend to his brother, who was dead. It was reported by John Taylor and Willard Richards that Joseph stated at this time something to the effects of, "My dear brother Hyrum." Hyrum was killed almost instantly, but still having only a second to utter, "I am a dead man."
Notice how Joseph left the door. This proves either one of two things, One: he was obviously not thinking that two less persons now meant that the mob was sure to break in. Or two: he knew he was going to die, so he tended to his brother before attempting in vain to save his own life. I'll let the reader make his own decision on this question.
The door inevitably did break down. Willard Richards was thrown to the side, yet was miraculously unharmed, and walked away from the incident. Joseph then attempted to separate himself from John Taylor and Willard Richards in an attempt to draw the mob's fire. John Taylor made a quick dash for the room's only window, but was shot in the attempt. The wounded Taylor crawled under a bed for safety.
At this moment Joseph must have thought that he had failed to defend his friends and that John Taylor and Willard Richards were dead, and there was no point in staying. Therefore he suddenly donned a pistol which had been previously sneaked in by one of his visiting comrades. He made a dash for the mob coming through the small doorway. He fired three shots, and reportedly killed three of them. He then made a run for the window, but was shot and fell out the window to the ground.
Reportedly, he died attempting to give the Masonic distress signal "Oh Lord My God, is there no help for the widow's son?" He was only able to finish, "Oh Lord My God!" However.
I know what others say about his incident, yet I have read the various accounts of it, and I still remain convinced, that Joseph Smith; after doing all that was required in this life, sealed his testimony of the book of Mormon in his very blood. This I bear testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
SEE (Our Heritage, Pages 62-66) and (Doctrine and Covenants 135)


*****************************************************

8th October, 2003 - TCE replies:

Dear Andrew

thank you for your replies to our response to your 'greeting card'.

Sadly, the tone of your responses reflects badly on the Mormon church and even contradicts your own '72 page essay.' We are not surprised to find you contradicting yourself page after page, since this is the spiritual heritage you gained from Joseph Smith. That you can write -
'Tolerance of other faiths is worked into the fundamental doctrines of our church. We do not attack other faiths accept to say that we believe that we are the one true faith. If that is attacking other faiths, then I guess we do attack other faiths. However, we are openly tolerant, and you will never find a good Mormon Missionary being too overbearing. If you do, he is not a good Mormon Missionary' - while sprinkling your work with inflammatory statements, reveals the unchanging face and attitude we have come to expect from the LDS church.

If you are going to accuse others of being
'absolutely clueless', '[of] pitiful self asteem [sic]', and '[of using] really stupid arguments', you might at least make sure that your own work is of a reasonable standard instead of being littered with errors, both in spelling, grammar, logic, scripture, and fact! Normally we would put the accepted standard [sic] in brackets to emphasise errors in quoted passages but, in your case, this would add considerably to the length of text. You may consider your blanket excuse:

'I the Author would ask that the reader trust the General Authority before trusting this book. Though nothing I say in this book is false (to the best of my knowledge) I am an imperfect human being, who is within the bounds of error. Therefore I ask that the reader not accept this book as official Church Doctrine.'

allows you to make countless errors, but you have instead proven your hypocrisy. It would be true to say that your work demonstrates a very common attitude among Mormon missionaries and, as such, deserves space on our website as an excellent example of LDS attitude and 'logic.'

Please read the conditions under which we accept e-mails at:

http://www.thechristianexpositor.org/page5.html

Even your opening statement to your '72 page letter' (
'I know I said I didn't have to respond, I stick to that, but after reading the rest of your letter, I couldn't resist. My response to your attacks...' - emphasis added) reveals that you had already made up your mind to ignore anything we wrote - before you had even read it! It is also clear that you have visited our web-site and decided to totally ignore our exposé of many of the failures of the Mormon Church, for your 'letter' blunders along without even attempting to address points which we have already totally refuted.

Do you really consider yourself to be a 'debater'? When you write:
'I know that there is no way to win a religious argument if both sides are equally as devout, for the argument will simply go on and on, because the simple existence of protestantism and catholicism manifest the truth that one can interpret the Bible any way he wants to' - you deceive yourself.

It is unfortunate that any Mormon should research Freemasonry by visiting a Freemasonic website (ref. your letter heading - 'Freemasonry and Mormonism')! Did you really expect them to tell the truth (assuming they knew it!) about their deceptions? Here we find a typical representation of the errors which abound in your work where you claim (emphasis added):

'I once visited a site known as the Christian Expositor which was dedicated
purely to denouncing religions they consider anti-Christian cults.'

FACT: our website is not 'dedicated purely to denouncing religions [we] consider anti-Christian cults' - if you search more carefully you will find a massive amount of material exposing the unrepentant errors of orthodox Christian denominations. We acknowledge that the disciples of Christ are capable of error - but this does not negate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ one iota - while the Mormon Church has pretended, throughout its history, that it is infallible while it presents 'another gospel' (Galatians 1:6-9) which the apostle Paul denounces as anathema. The massive cover-ups over every major error they have committed, the deceptions regarding Joseph Smith's 'First Vision' accounts (there are NINE, or more, contradictory accounts!), and atrocities such as the 'Mountain Meadows Massacre' prove this to be fact.

'Many people have criticized Freemasonry over the centuries as being occultist or secretive etc. But the truth of the Freemasons is simply that they are a fraternal charity organization (The Freemasonry Network, accessed online at
http://www.freemasonry.net/YourQuestionsAnswered.asp?1)'.

FACT: the Freemasons hide the real background of their organization because few would join if they knew the truth about occultic Masonry which is an anti-Christian religious cult that 'does not specify any God of any creed [but] requires merely that you believe in some deity, give him what name you will...any god will do....' (Carl H. Claudy and other authorities, e.g. Little Masonic Library, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1977, Vol. 4, 32). Would a Mormon seriously join an organisation in which he could find himself fellowshipping with a Muslim or a Satanist! Or do some Mormons discount the warnings against being 'unequally joked with unbelievers' (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)? Masonry claims to be the religion 'around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Hindu, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer....' (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Charleston, SC, The Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, 1906), 226). Masonry's 'God,' symbolized by the All-Seeing Eye, is called 'The Great Architect of the Universe' (G.A.O.T.U.) and its 'Heaven' is called 'the Celestial Lodge above.' Its rituals and initiations into the ascending degrees are highly religious. Masonry teaches salvation by good works and secret rituals and rejects the finished work of Christ upon the cross as the only way to God. In the initiation into the very first degree, the lambskin is presented as representing 'that purity of life and conduct which is necessary to obtain admittance into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.' In the 19th degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry the initiate is told that attachment to Masonry's 'statutes and rules of the order' will make him 'deserving of entering the celestial Jerusalem [heaven].' In the 28th he is told that 'the true Mason [is one] who raises himself by degrees till he reaches heaven' and that one of his duties is 'To divest [him]self of original sin....'. Masonry, as its own documents reveal, comes from pagan religions and occultism and involves the Mason in oaths and rituals that are a blasphemy against the God of the Bible and are opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ (Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge and The Facts on the Masonic Lodge by John Ankerberg and John Weldon).

' They [the Masons] are totally open to all religions, and they do not in any way condone the occult.'

FACT: they do not condemn the occult, neither could they since that would contradict the first part of your statement!

'In truth, Joseph Smith, and his friends were members of a club. That's just it, they were members of a harmless club. So what? To put it modern teenage vernacular, they went out with the guys a couple of nights a week and went to the Masonic lodge for meetings. Great! Good for them! That does not make them any less prophetic.'

FACT: Masonry is no harmless club and it is no coincidence that the descriptions supplied above fit Mormon temple doctrines too - since that is where Smith 'borrowed' them from and the reason he was thrown out of the Masons!

'However there are some accusations that Temple endowments were inspired from Masonry. Well Joseph Smith did say that The Masons are in fact an apostate group of people who retained some of the true temple rituals, remember that this is possible because they originated in Egypt several thousand years ago. As far as the significance, I'm not exactly sure. It is possible that their rituals were once as such, but as of now, they are simply a charity organization with some private rituals.'

FACT: it is impossible for anyone to prove that Freemasonry 'originated in Egypt several thousand years ago' or that their temple rituals are anything but pagan and occultic. If any Mormon or Freemason desires to try and prove otherwise we await their best efforts. It is no spiritual accident that the phallic symbolism of Freemasonry is also found in Mormonism through this Egyptian-occult connection and the Book of Abraham deception when the ichthyphallic serpent figure is found presenting the wedjat-eye symbol of good gifts to pagan deity, Min, rather than Joseph Smith's invented dialogue which purports that he is revealing the grand key-words of the priesthood, with the sign of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove before him.

Regarding your comments about Protestantism and Roman Catholicism we wonder if you are aware of the number of off-shoots of Mormonism? Mormons try to give the impression that they are the only true church because they all believe the same things. Why don't you tell us about the (approximately) one
hundred different factions of Latter-Day Saints who accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and the Book of Mormon as the word of God. Many of these splinter groups believe they alone are the true church that Joseph Smith was to restore. They likewise believe the other LDS churches are in a state of apostasy along with the various Christian denominations. One of these splinter groups is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, headquartered in Independence, Missouri. It is the largest Mormon group outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, though they do not like to be referred to as 'Mormons.' They followed Joseph Smith*s son as their second president and prophet rather than accept Brigham Young as the successor to the 'martyred prophet.' Traditionally, they have always had presidents who were descendants of Joseph Smith and, in many respects, are more true to the 'revelations' of Smith than the official LDS church. Other splinter groups include the Strangites, the Cutlerites, the Temple Lot Mormons, the Church of the Lamb of God, the Church of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion, Christ*s Church of the First Born, the Church of the Messiah, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Israel - to name but a few. The argument for a unified LDS church is very weak, for Latter-Day Saints have always been splintered and at odds over issues critical to the unity of the Latter-Day Saint movement.

This is why we wrote:
'If you doubt the veracity of our claims simply choose a topic we have already dealt with in our web-pages - or another of succinct nature - so the discussion can be drawn to a conclusion and you can see where the truth lies.'

Since you have supplied us with your material, but nevertheless shown that you have no interest in considering the facts which prove you are deceived, we will address one main issue which we have chosen from your work: your section on 'Book of Mormon Vs. The Bible' - and then take one example of the utter confusion that resulted from those in the Mormon Church accepting Joseph Smith's work as 'Scripture'.

(Continued on page 186)

Topics Discussed on pages responding to Mormonism:

Book of Mormon versus The Bible

Doctrinal Errors Resulting

Polygamy

Grace versus Works

Baptism as 'Work'

Justification by Faith Alone?

Another Christ?

Just 'Believe'?

Possessions Hinder

Faith without Works is Dead?

Salvation a Gift - not by Works!

Saved at the point of Faith!

Water Baptism-Spiritual Baptism

The Mormon Christ

Blood Atonement

Sons of (which) god-'Adam-god'?

Universal Salvation!


Mormon 'Second Chance Theology'!

You Must Be Born Again - Again?!

God vs 'council of gods on Kolob'

Polygamy - 'restoring' an error!

Mormon 'god' can only organise!

Mormon evil vs Biblical view

Tests for a 'prophet'

Mormon 'testimony' vs Facts

Compare 'testimonies'?!

Smith's Occult Activity

'Familiar Spirit' of Mormonism

My Opinion versus Your Opinion?

A Counterfeit Spirit

Wicca, 'Folk Magic' & Mormonism

LDS attack Old Testament

Jeremiah 36 exposes LDS claims

Anachronism exposing BOM

'Gilgamish Epic' vs Noah

Noah's Ark vs BOM vessels!

Polygamy - no excuse for Smith!

Confusion of Mormonism

Mormon invention when challenged

Mormon bluster when caught out!

Problem with experiential belief!

Problem with no absolutes!

Truth is as each perceives it?

Wicca & Karma & Reincarnation

'Isms' usurp God's Word

Failings of the Mormon 'gospel'

A Better Way - the True Christ!

There are errors in the Bible!

Topics Discussed on following pages:

Book of Mormon versus The Bible

Doctrinal Errors Resulting

Polygamy

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