I don’t think the current leaders of the LDS Church are intentionally trying to deceive the saints. They’ve inherited this huge unwieldy beast and are doing the best with what they have. Brigham created a monster because of his insistence that polygamy was commanded of God. Church leaders today don’t even want to talk about polygamy, the elephant in the room.
I used to be very careful to ensure I was on the right side of every question, in the right place at the right time and that when I taught, I made sure what I taught was very much in line with what I knew the Brethren taught. I studied their words just as much as I studied the scriptures, perhaps even more so.
Last week, for the first time that I can recall in the five years since I had resigned my membership in the LDS Church, a good brother of the ward stopped me on my way to the car after church and said, “I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you. Each Sunday you come to church, sit next to your wife and listen carefully to the speakers. I know you’re here supporting your wife even though you’re not a believer. You stand tall in my book.” I wanted to correct him that I AM a believer, but the time wasn’t right.
If you love LDS history as I do, especially the Nauvoo era, you will love this book. Be prepared for a refreshing and unusual treatment of the subject. This is decidedly not a telling of the story of Mormon polygamy from the standard or traditional LDS point of view. The author takes advantage of RLDS sources that most LDS authors will dismiss. This book is a call to repentance, especially to those who still believe polygamy is ordained of God or was taught or practiced by Joseph Smith. If you are a descendant of a polygamous family, you must read this book. Your appreciation for Joseph will increase and your eyes will be opened about how polygamy really came about in Mormon history.
In the comment section of a recent post here on LDC, a long-time reader asked some excellent questions about the sealing power, the temple and the ordinances there. His questions caused me to go to the Lord in prayer to obtain greater understanding. I share some of what I have learned here in the hopes it will help others with similar questions.
I don’t live in Utah so I’m not used to hearing stories like this: My niece married later in life, and now has two lovely stepdaughters. Someone among the friends […]
Richard Bushman is a highly respected historian who probably understands the beginnings of Mormonism as well as or better than anyone else. Besides being the co-general editor of the Joseph Smith Papers, he chairs the board of directors of the Mormon Scholars Foundation. He knows early church history.