Friday, April 2, 2010

Lying by Omission

Of course the general membership know very little about Joseph Smith's 'harem', the church white-washes it's history.

Article about John Johnson's family. (the part I want to highlight begins with the paragraph "Records aren't complete" which is more than half way through the article).

"...when we examine the lives of the Johnson family, they reflect both the glory and the tragedy of these early Church experiences."

Was Marinda's life an example of the 'glory' or 'tragedy' side of things?

Compare the LDS (Mormon) article with this one.

The LDS article mentions that Orson Hyde was sent far from home on many missions. It mentions the difficult circumstances that Marinda was left in with her young children. It also mentions that Joseph Smith provided better living conditions for Marinda and her family.

What it doesn't mention is that while Orson was away on mission Joseph Smith married Marinda. It also doesn't mention that Orson later married extra wives and that in 1870 he and Marinda divorced.

The LDS article ends with this lovely statement:

"Marinda’s death ended the earthly career of the original John Johnson family, a family who left a lasting impression on the Church and all those who knew them. Like Lehi’s family, their disobedience resulted in unhappiness and tragedy, and their faithfulness resulted in the blessings and happiness of the gospel."

Hold on... I'm confused. Who ended up happy? and who got the rough end of the stick? The whole mess looks pretty miserable to me.

It seems to me that critics of the Mormon church aren't the only ones who don't include all relevant information..... "The problem is, critics of the LDS Church use scriptures selectively, and not fully, in their arguments, therefore their interpretations are faulty of what LDS teachings really are." Michael Fordham.

Let's just say that transparency is not really one of Mormonism's strong points. Lies, deception, white-washing, cover-ups... it's all there.


  1. "Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing"

    so when a church/cult/organisation prescribes which texts you should and shouldn't read, be afraid, be very afraid.

    Thak God I'm An Aetheist

  2. While I believe that greater candour would ultimately work in the Church's favour, I can also understand why Perkins would choose not to bring up the subject of polyandry in an Ensign article.
    I'd like to point out for your readers, however, that the contrast article you referenced relies heavily upon the book, 'In Sacred Loneliness' - written by a believing Mormon historian (Todd Compton), primarily for a Mormon audience, and is frequently recommended reading for those interested in Nauvoo polygamy.
    Far from being a banned book, it was sold for a long time through the Church owned Deseret Book store, as was 'Mormon Enigma', I believe.

  3. You may like to look into this as well.

    Orson Pratt is one of my great, great.... grandfathers.

    Thank Zeus I am an Atheist.

  4. It is still a cover-up. I know why Perkins chose not to write about some very significant events in the article but I am saying that this is serious business. Just because the church has chosen to 'protect' the general membership from the distasteful realities of early Mormonism does not make their coverup noble or just in any way (not that I'm suggesting that you think it is noble). In fact I don't event think the church thinks it is noble, I think the church is scared that many people would leave the church if they knew the full history.

    'In Sacred Loneliness' is another great read that I highly recommend. The fact that it is written by a TBM does not have to influence anyone either way. The authors of 'Mormon Enigma' (Newell and Avery) were also active members. The church however, refused to allow Newell or Avery to talk about their research or book in church mtgs.

    I have found (and this is my own personal opinion and experience here) that in general, men in the church fail to acknowledge the deep hurt that careless talk of polygamy causes women. I spent a good 15 years feeling utterly sickened by the idea and hurt beyond measure by the idea that I would one day be required to practice it. Then, I also have found that the majority of women I have spoken to console themselves with the idea that it will not be required of them for some reason or that it will not be sexual in nature.

    This widespread lack of knowledge about the history of polygamy in the church and the future plans for it's practice (as well as the current 'practice' of it in the temple) is damaging to people right here and now. The church's choice to play dumb and innocent about it is IMO despicable. The fact that the leadership is ALL men makes this issue even more problematic. I doubt that men get as fired up about polygamy as women. Maybe if there were some female leaders then we'd see a different approach to the issue of 'talking about polygamy in the church'.

    The above books may not have been banned by the church but the church does tell it's members to stick to the core manuals and the scriptures and not to deviate outside of that. That is why for my teenage and adult life I did not look into all of this crap, I thought that the info would all be 'anti' and scary and wrong and make me susceptible to the devils influence! stupid yes, but I went along.

    oh dear, I feel my blood boiling again... ha!

    btw, thanks for the link Jeffrey, there are so many interesting stories. Thank Dionysus for people like you and for people like those who put 'Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought' together and have kept editorial independence!

  5. Blah... You're soooo boring Maureen. Get a life already.

  6. Good morning to you too anonymous! Am I to assume that you judge everyone's use of time as harshly as you judge mine? What about your own time?

    Why are you reading my blog if you find it boring?

    Once again, you display the best of Christian benevolence, congratulations.

  7. Oo that other anonymous is so ridiculous its funny!

    If you think its so boring why do you continue to read? Surely there are more useful things you could be doing with your time? I suggest reading up on your precious 'religion'. You might just learn something.

    Thank God I'm an Aetheist

  8. You know what's really boring? Anonymous single-comment drive-by trolls.

  9. The anonymous person whose comment I just had to delete will know why I have done that. I am happy to hear anyones comments concerning the content of this blog but if you attack myself or the readers I can only accept it up to a point... and boy did this person cross the line. Please take your anger elsewhere anonymous.

    I thought I could leave the blog unmoderated but I have changed it back to moderating all comments, sorry for the hassle everyone.

  10. It seems to me that you use a lot of your time to fine fault with the Mormon church. You would be better to go out and do some good in the world by helping her family and friends,if you have very many of them left.
    Try being a good example to your children in doing good. Being a foul month is not a good example.

  11. I'd like to just go on record here as being in complete disagreement with the above comment. I think you do a fantastic job and anybody who's no longer your friend because of this didn't deserve to be your friend in the first place.
    I'd also like to think that I'm fairly representative of most of your Mormon friends on this point. I don't have to agree with everything you say in order to understand where you're coming from.

  12. Hear, Hear, Cavalcanti!

    Maureen and most of the commenters on this blog CHOOSE TO ACTUALLY DISCUSS THE TOPIC AT HAND. There is at least one (maybe more) anonymouses (anonymousi?) who seem to come solely to attack Maureen and her supporters at a personal level,making assumptions and generalisations about their non-mormon lifestyles. A word of warning to this person/persons- you do not earn any respect this way. Informed, intelligent contributions are welcome and respected (for examples, see Cavalcanti's posts).It also says something about a persons own feelings of self-worth, when they choose to engage in such activities.

  13. and I know what the post that got deleted said, and you should be ashamed of yourself! Aside from bing downright disgusting behaviour on your part, what you did walks a fine line to illegal. Saying things like that doesn't make your religion look good. Do the church a favour and find a hobby that doesn't involve this blog

  14. Hi Cavalcanti,
    It would be nice to think that people who were Maureen's friends before have stayed as her friends now. Especially those that claim to be members of the one and only true Christian church.
    It would be nice, but it wouldn't be true.
    There has been a fair amount of bitchiness, backstabbing and a whole slew of Mormon "friends" who have whole-heartedly dumped Maureen - including husbands who have "forbidden" their wives from associating with her. There have been emails sent from members to other members encouraging others to sever contact with Maureen. Friends who were given a private insight into the difficult journey that Maureen is undertaking, and who rather than trying to offer solace and comfort, agreeing to disagree and accepting that they can be friends even though they no longer share the same beliefs, chose to get fired up, "dob" her in to the powers that be, and start a witch hunt that included excluding her from her social group.
    Christian? Not likely.
    Friends? Not even close.
    My best guess is that these people are so insecure in their own beliefs that they could not handle having a friend leave. If they were really so sure of what they believe, they would not find the need to attack and reject someone whose life has taken a different path.
    And keep in mind that this blog only became "public" through the actions of people that Maureen trusted.
    And yes, I am a Mormon.
    And yes, after seeing what Maureen has been through, I am not willing to come out and say who I am.
    After all, I don't want my husband to "ban" me from talking to her, or be called into my Bishop's office to answer for being a friend to someone going through a difficult time.
    But for the record, the behaviour of these "friends" makes me ashamed to be on the rolls of the church.

  15. Hallelujah! A normal Mormon! Nice to meet you, I look forward to reading more of your comments :)

    Thank God I'm an Aetheist

  16. Look at me!

    and if you're wondering about the pic, google invisible pink unicorn :)