Reason #97: Mormonism and Masonry — Denied at first

Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS Church “became a first-degree Mason on the night of the installation, and the next night rose to the sublime degree,” as documented by historian Fawn McKay Brodie in her book, No Man Knows My History (page 280.) Though the Mormonism-Masonry connection was flatly denied when I was a Mormon, LDS scholars now not only acknowledge the connection but have written quite extensively on it in recent years. LDS author Reed Durham noted, “I believe there are few significant developments in the Church, that occurred after March 15, 1842, which did not have some Masonic interdependence. . .There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment. . .had an immediate inspiration from...

Reason #96: Modern Polygamy justified by Joseph Smith’s teachings

Irene Spencer, author ofShattered Dreams:  My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife pointed out that based on the teachings of the Doctrine and Covenants 132:62, the current mainstream LDS Church could justify — as have the polygamists — the marrying of ten “virgin” girls by middle-aged men. Spencer in a 2008 radio interview recounted her acquaintance with a polygamous Mormon man who married a previously-married woman, and then married her two daughters – age 9 and 11; and fathered children with all three. A recent radio interview with Irene concerning her new book about polygamy, Cult Insanity:  A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets and Blood Atonement can be heard on the Iron Sharpens Iron radio program of WNYG (Long Island, NY).  Click here to listen to...

Reason #94 Timing of Polygamy Revelations in D&C

The revelation commanding polygamy was not announced to the LDS Church as a whole until 1852, eight years after the death of Joseph Smith. It was not until 1876 that it was added to the Doctrine and Covenants and assigned the section number 132. Up until that time, though, there was another revelation (numbered 101 in the 1835 edition and 109 in the 1854 edition) which flatly denied that polygamy was practiced among Mormons, stating: . . . Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy; we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. This revelation was dropped from the Doctrine and Covenants when the...

Reason #95: Mountain Meadows Massacre

September 11, 2009 marks the 152nd anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I never heard of it when I was a Mormon, and even after leaving the LDS church I refused to believe that priesthood leaders, church officials, ordered the death of peaceful people who meant them no harm, and then tried to blame the slaughter on American Indians. Here’s a perspective from another ex-Mormon, Sandra Tanner.

Reason #93: Rewriting Biblical history to fit LDS doctrine

Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants purports to be God’s explanation of why ancient prophets were allowed to have multiple wives and concubines. The revelation is in the form of an answer to Joseph’s question. Verse 1 sets the tone for the entire section by assuming that God approved heartily of the “doctrine” of polygamy: Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines (italics mine). Thus, with no prefatory argument, Joseph Smith resolved for the LDS mind the question of...