Monday, June 27, 2011

Love Bombs in memory of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Jr. died on June 27, 1844.

I don't celebrate his death but I hear that in Utah (and other parts of the U.S.A.) June 27th is a day where it is hard to escape constant messages praising the man. Over here in Australia I am relatively sheltered from such messages but facebook does increase that phenomenon. This year a facebook event has been created encouraging ex-Mormons (and anyone else who would like to get involved) to Love Bomb facebook today with testimonies, quotes, videos and links sharing the truth about Mormon history.

The creator of this event states... "PLEASE do all of this with Love in your heart, and in appreciation that someone once took the time to share the truth with us, enabling us to now live Joyous, peaceful, and authentic lives."

Living in Australia also means that I get to be amongst the first share these posts. My first one was a link to an "I am an Ex-Mormon" Video  . Accompanying this video I wrote ... 

"RIP Joseph Smith Jr. (Died June 27, 1844) Even though I am very very mad at you I think maybe you were a bit screwed in the head and so I am trying to forgive you. Although I doubt there is a life after this one I do know that there is life after Mormonism ♥

...and now I realise how far I have come. I used to openly hate the man. I called him "bastard, scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, snake, jerk, swine, cad, knave.... " I regularly told him to "Fuck off" and so it was a welcome discovery today when I typed out RIP in front of his name... and actually meant it. Then I watched the youtube link of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing 'Praise to the Man' whilst doing some research for this post. Yes, some of the lyrics pissed me off but I felt moved by the music and even got a little teary. I think that I felt sad for the many people who have been hurt by Mormonism as well as thoughtful about the goodness that can spring from just about anywhere, even from a false prophet. I like the idea that I can enjoy listening to this song whilst disagreeing with the man and the religion. Progress? I think so. The people singing the song believe in Joseph as a prophet and they try to live good lives and to honour the good man that they think he was. Now, I may be on the path to forgiving the man but the things that he did and the people that he hurt are recorded in history and I will not forget their pain. 

A couple of things about that 'Praise to the Man' youtube video (if you decide to watch it or if you already know it). The line - "Praise to his mem'ry, he died as a martyr;" gets the goat of ex-Mo's not so much because he had a gun with him, not so much because he shot it into the mob but because he had practised polygamy, kept it a secret (even from the husbands of women he married) and then burned down a printing press that dared to write about the truth of Mormon polygamy. This is why he found himself in prison!!! Whilst he did not deserve to be killed by a mob he was no saint and the church absolutely white-washes the story. As a child I heard and read the Mormon version of events many times. I was lead to believe that he was unarmed and that he was in jail because the law of the 'Wild Frontier' deemed his religion to be a nuisance, i.e. they were being discriminated against. AND I was taught that he was shot inside the jail-room and that the force of the bullet forced him out of the window where he fell to his death. In fact he had tried to jump out of the window to escape and was shot trying to do so. Again, still a sad story and I pity him but not the version of events that I was taught in Sunday School. 

Another line - "Earth must atone for the blood of that man". Can anyone say 'Holy War'? Seriously don't go around saying shit like that! Someone might actually take you seriously and either start a Holy War on your behalf or against you. Either way I think the less people keen to throw us into some kind of thermo-nuclear armageddon the better!

Finally, did you see that final painting of Joseph Smith there in the video? Um, whilst I think Joseph might like this image of himself I don't think it is very realistic and uh, it kind of looks like the artist! Check out the jaw line, the artist seriously just painted a picture of Joseph Smith in his own likeness!

Aaaaaaanyhooo, I think that the idea behind this facebook event is a good one. Reading sickly sweet messages about a man who has had a negative impact on your life kinda tends to leave bile in your mouth so it helps to be able to respond with a Love Bomb. Check out LAM (Life After Mormonism) or the iamanexmormon website and rest assured that you are not alone!


  1. Funny you should mention 'Praise to the Man'. The original lyrics:

    'Long may his blood which was shed by assassins
    Stain Illinois while the earth lauds his fame."

    Apparently the early saints were a bit peeved about that.

  2. It really seems like you don't know a lot about the LDS faith, I grew up LDS and new that Joseph ran to the window gave the masonic sign for distress and jumped. What's wrong with that? From your posts I think your knowledge about the LDS faith shows that you lack credibility.

    Also how can you know the Joseph Smith is a false prophet? The only real evidence we can judge him on is the book of mormon. Prove the book of Mormon wrong then you can start talking. You are actually giving Joseph more cred by bringing one of his prophecys to light that throughout the world his name will be used for good and for evil.

  3. Uh, you just made that up eh Daniel? It's very good!

    Anonymous - I'm not saying there is anything wrong with Joseph's actions in his last moments of life. I am saying that I was taught a whitewashed version of events (as with many other aspects of Church history) in Primary, Sunday School, Seminary and Institute. My point is that many people are taught the sanitised version of events. If you had better teachers then I think you may be in a minority category there.

    Anonymous - I think my 'lack of knowledge about the LDS faith' demonstrates the deficiencies of the teachers and the purposeful attempts by the church to white-wash it's history.

    Anonymous - I strongly suspect that the LDS church will soon come out and say that the BOM is an allegorical book. The evidence against the book mounts up daily whilst evidence for it is still to be found. And if that is the only evidence for old Joe then my next answer is easy, yes he is/was/and always will be a false prophet. The evidence tells me so.

  4. I feel the Book of Mormon is an amazing book filled with subjects and information that Joseph would have no hope of knowing in his day and age.

    You still need to explain how this book came into existence to discount Joseph as a prophet. Even those who witnessed the plates and left the Church and had every opportunity to denounce that the plates existed never did.

  5. Feelings don't cut it for me anymore. Feelings are not evidence.

    I don't actually need to explain anything. One reason for that is that this is my blog where I am recording whatever feelings, experiences, thoughts etc I might have about leaving the LDS religion and forging a new way of life. This is not a blog for answering the kind of question you asked. You can google that for yourself. All I care to say on the matter is that I left because I realised first that god 'is' an arse-hole and second that he actually doesn't even exist so...

    The info about the Book of Abraham nonsense and the many evidences against the BOM etc came later.

    No-one is going to find those answers here and I recommend looking elsewhere for them. Let's about-

    just to get you started...

    ...and then come back for some light-hearted banter. I'll leave the serious stuff to the experts.

  6. Interesting post. Yes, Facebook has been interesting for the past week or so. I weighed in on a FB page called "Sharing the Gospel Through Social Media," which was run by an obvious TBM. Every time someone posted something other than the Mormon Party Line, they comments were deleted. Censorship, anyone? It amazes me that TBMs can say anything they want, bear their testimonies all day long, but the minute anyone brings up anything negative about the Mormon Church, TBMs are completely and utterly offended.

    And Maureen, I'm with you on the white-washed version of Joseph Smith's supposed martyrdom. I was born and raised Mormon and was always told that Joseph Smith as killed because of "religious persecution." It wasn't until I started doing some research prior to going on a Mormon Church History tour in the Summer of 2001, so I would know more about what occurred at the key places, that I began to discover the truth behind the facade. Joseph Smith was no more a martyr than I am. Instead, he was more likely a criminal since the reason he was arrested and placed in Carthage Jail was because he ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor (and the burning of the building in which it was housed) after they dared to print a story about his practice of polygamy and polyandry. I could kick myself now for just going along all those years instead of doing my own independent research before I finally did. Thinking about the words to Praise to the Man now makes me nauseous, and that's why I wrote a hymn parody to it entitled Who is the Man? as well as many others. Very cathartic. If you want to read any of those hymn parodies (23 and mounting), you can do so on one of my blogs - or

    Keep up the great blogging... love reading your thoughts!!

  7. Strange reasoning, it doesn't matter what he was brought to court over, the fact is he was shot and killed in cold blood by an angry mob who was bell bent in destroying the Mormon movement and getting them away from any political influence in the area. He didn't get to defend himself, I think those circumstances equate to being killed as a martyr.

    So its ok for you to share your feelings, but anyone else needs to be quiet? You shouldn't enable comments if you don't really want people to comment.

  8. Gah! when did I say to be quiet or not to comment? I didn't. I said feelings don't count as evidence, at least not to me anyway. I know that my feelings are worth paying attention to but I wouldn't accept them as evidence of the truthfulness of anything. Our feelings are complex... and entirely valid in this form here expressed in any way you wish! Just don't expect anyone to take your feelings as evidence for the BOM.

    " doesn't matter what he was brought to court over..." What the?? of course it matters. It matters very much. It explains a lot about the particular case. To pretend that the mob just hated Mormons bcos of their peculiar beliefs in the cosmos is to be deluded and to ignore the very BIG and real events that angered non-Mormons. He should never have been killed that way, it was ghastly, no-one deserves that. He should have been brought to trial and given the opportunity to speak for himself and be punished by the law, not a mob. I am not arguing that he deserved mob treatment, I am saying that the info given to you at church is very different to the actual events... and that at least begs the question "why?"

    Hey Anonymous, I'd love it if you could make up a blogger name for yourself so as I can distinguish amongst all the other anonymi around here :) be creative, make me laugh ;)

    Hey Diane :) I tried accessing your blogs today but you must have been very popular today bcos I couldn't open them. I have mormonismschism on my blogroll but I hadn't seen exmormonhymnbook b4, will check it out again in a minute, see you there!

    It is very frustrating being censored on believing LDS blogs. Especially when nothing rude has even been said. I have only ever censored one comment here. It was early on. It was a very violent remark and I chose to delete it. Otherwise, people have said mean things about me here but I have left the comments there. What's the fun of blogging if people delete comments that they don't agree with?!

    I thought the hymn would make me feel sick too so I really was very surprised to find myself enjoying it. I think I lean toward Joseph being not quite right in the head and so I find myself kind of in awe of the amazing following that he still manages to maintain. A man deified, all his failings washed away, perfection in the flesh, according to followers :P (well, just about)

  9. The truth is clearly not an important ingredient in your blog. That's ok though...its your blog. It makes for entertaining reading, especially when half-truths become your weapon of choice for supporting half-baked arguments against the church.

  10. Hey Dave, nice to see a person with a name!

    You got an examples? half-truths and half-baked arguments? where? All you've done is complain but not point to anything.

    Truth is very important to me. I think I have also stated several times in this post that the half-truths were taught by the LDS church. Would you agree that in Sunday School many facts are conveniently left out of the manuals. For example. If you look at section 132 you'll find that the manual only discusses the first half of the section. Right when it gets to polygamy and damnation of Emma the manual goes silent.

  11. Thoughts on the martyrdom of Joseph Smith:

    It happened about twenty years too late.

  12. @Daniel your ignorance and intolerance speak for themselves. I honestly feel bad for you.

  13. Hmm, just noticed I called Dale Dave! sorry about that. I was thinking during the week about the half-truths thing and how that is exactly what pisses many people off when they leave the church and discover just how many half-truths the LDS church tries to pass off as truth and I also realised that if you (Dale) think my blog contains a bunch of half truths then doesn't that make a whole lot of sense?! Herein is found the missing halves of the Mormon half-truths! I only need to talk about half of the truth, the missing half ;)

    There are days when I agree with Daniel. But then maybe I would have grown up under the thumb of some other wacko religion. Dale - "ignorant and intolerant" ? no, just flaming mad at the gall of some people (e.g. JS and particularly BY, IMO). Seriously, if you look at it from the POV of an ex-Mo you can see why someone would wish for an earlier death for both of those men.

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  15. No worries about the name...

    The half-truths comment had little to do with the so-called half-truths that you say the church tries to pass off on its unsuspecting victims. My comment was directed towards the partial-truths and misinformation that you use as a platform for your hate and venom of someone (Joseph) and something (the LDS church) that you seem to know only superficially.

    One specific example of a partial truth in your blog is the allusion to the fact that your lack of understanding about the actual events of church history is the fault of bad teachers. You are the only one responsible for your knowledge or lack thereof. The comfortable recitations of early church history are not intended to replace or sanitize the actual events...they are intended to educate in a sequential manner, line upon line. When you took math in grade school did you start with differential calculus?

    The sanitization and white-washing comments are red-herrings and prey upon your penchant for the controversial. All of the "secret" or "hidden" information referenced or "revealed" by many ex-mormons and anti-mormons is easily accessible in documentation and literature provided by the church.

    I am frankly not surprised by the venom and deceipt of exmos and antis...its to be expected. That same spirit of hatred was in the hearts of those that martyred Joseph and Hyrum, why would the fruits of this hatred be any different today?

    I have researched and read much of the information available regarding the history of the church. I have even read a substantial amount of unofficial information as provided by less than credible and even specious sources. We have obviously reached different conclusions, the difference is: 1. the source and credibility of historical information is actually important to me. 2. I dont jump to unsupported conclusions as soon as I encounter something I dont understand 3. I can look at the big picture and draw reasonable conclusions that the current state of the LDS church is directly and inseparably connected with the foundations of mormonism, ie: by their fruits shall ye know them

    Its not sufficient to claim that Joseph was a sexual deviant, a pedophile and a false prophet just because you say so or just because you quote a less than credible source of partial truth.

    If you do even superficial research into the amount of original documentation, administrative structure, religious doctrine and social engineering accomplished in Joseph's short life it is not a stretch to come to the conclusion that Joseph was exactly who he said he was.

    A person who was hell-bent on proseletyzing new virgins into the church in order satisfy his unquenchable sexual appetite (as the writers of the Nauvoo Expositor claim) would never have sufficient time, stamina and the spiritual acumen to accomplish a fraction of the things he managed to achieve in the few years he lived.

  16. I do realize that polygamy is a difficult and polarizing doctrine. I must apologize for the tone of my comments and hope that you can see through my zeal to the issues at hand.

    I think a comment from Bushman (Rough Stone Rolling) is interesting:

    “Polygamy is an interesting thing because it serves as a Rorschach test. People project onto Joseph Smith and polygamists their own sense about human nature.”

  17. @Dale

    You said that I only seem to know the church superficially. I suppose here on this blog I don't really care to go into great detail about the church. The details can be found elsewhere on the web. I am talking here about my own experiences after coming out and I care more about that journey than I do about the ins and outs or Mormonism. For me that is all in the past. I know that some people read the things that I have read and choose to remain Mormon but I didn't do that and I honestly can not imagine ever going back so I just want to process the journey out and move on.

    Your comment about 'line upon line' got me thinking and I agree with you to an extent BUT I did do 4 years of Seminary and then YEARS of Institute and I taught many classes and was on Presidencies. I studied. I love to read and learn. and I NEVER came across the kind of info that I have since found in so-called 'anti' literature. I was purposefully told NOT to read certain things and I don't buy the 'milk before meat' metaphor... any of my childhood friends could tell you that if anyone could handle the 'meat' it would have been me. So why was it still withheld from me, nay more than withheld, barred! If this was not your experience then I am happy for you but for me it was and it would seem for many people it was.

    I stand by "sanitised and white-washed" bcOs I know first hand that that IS what is done in the church. It is how I was taught and it is how I was taught to teach. I don't believe that I am being dramatic at all by saying that. Yes you can find the evidence in church material if you search (very hard) but there is a problem before you even get there and that is that the membership aren't looking!!! they believe and they obey, they do not question and they do not look! that is what they are taught to do. Pay, pray and obey. I know bcOs I did it and I taught others to do it and a hate that I did that.

  18. I too care about the sources for information. BUT this is not how I lost my testimony. The doctrinal mess was secondary. I lost my belief in god and Mormonism when reading Jacob 2 and then D&C 132 about 2 years ago (for the upteenth time) but this time really paid attention to the bit which tells Emma that if she won't accept polygamy then she will be destroyed". I was gutted. I realised that god loved me less than my (male)husband and that I was property and that I was expendable. I told god to f**king well destroy me then! later I realised he didn't even exist so my anger turned again to JS. The doctrinal pieces of the puzzle all came later and I really am not all that fussed about them. Nothing will bring me back to Mormonism. I told the Mormon god that already. I'd rather be destroyed/expired/obliterated than be a Mormon.

    JS was a pedophile bcOs he married women NO, children! as young as 14. I'm not even bothered by the actual polygamy part anymore I am actually interested in polyamory myself these days. I am still P.O.'d that the women were coerced/forced into it. If everyone is a consenting adult then I have no problems w/ whatever anyone wants to do w/their sex lives. My issue is female rights and power. As in they didn't have much of it!

    I think JS is/was an intriguing person, and not all bad. I am reading Bushman's book atm (very slowly though, it makes me gag a lot!) but he (JS) did not treat women (or children) well in the case of polygamy and that passed on to BY etc etc and still exists now in the church (for future use ;)

    I hope some of that made sense. I am happily buzzing off a few G&Ts w/rosy cheeks and a warm body so I don't know how coherent I am ;)

    I'm enjoying our chat though. I hope that you can see that my anger towards JS and BY and the church is completely separate to how I feel about Mormons themselves. It is a point that I have to drive home all the time. Having lost some friends and family over it it is a point that I try to remember and remind others of...

    again I think the gin is talking now :P hugs all round!

  19. I've lived in Utah, Georgia, & California, and I've never seen or heard of June 27 being any kind of Memorial day to JS.

  20. Yeah, I dunno Anonymous. I was referring to the buzz on facebook that day. There seemed to be an awful lot of promotion of JS by the believers and grumbling by the unbelievers. It certainly spiked the volume of usual JS chatter. As I said, living in Australia I don't know much about what happens on the ground in Mormon dense areas in Utah etc. However, I can attest to the deification of JS by Mormons above and beyond that of jesus regardless of what day of the year it might be. But maybe that's just been my experience of Mormonism.