Ask the Mormon Gal!

According to Mark Twain, most Polygamous Mormons “married” their deceased brother’s wife, which has Biblical authority. However, I am a little disturbed at the # and ages of Brigham’s Young’s “wives”., would you like to explain/ justify that?

And, like I pointed out in the polygamy thread, those “mormons” who practice it are members of “outlaw” sects & cults, and are not accepted members of the actual LDS church. It does appear, tho, that some actual Mormons ignore and “wink at” the practice- any comment here?

And, re “hot beverages”, I know some Mormons will drink herbal, but not real, tea. Any comment? And how about “Mormon tea”?

And, altho Mormons certainly accept Jesus, would you consider Mormonism a “Christian” religion?

Pepperlandgirl wrote:

Well, that is what the LDS church believes, so to them. “he did”. To the RLDS church, this is their stance (I quote from one of the links I provided previously.)

This is a thread about “Ask the Mormon Gal”, not “differences between LDS and RLDS”. That could be another thread (but I won’t be starting it!) I am not attempting to hijack this thread (and I couldn’t even if I wanted to.) Just pointing out that amongst the different factions of “Mormonism” (LDS, RLDS, etc. etc.) that polygamy is a hotbutton issue. It is not a flat “yes Joseph Smith did start Polygamy” thing. There is a lot of differing evidence, a lot of difference of opinion. The RLDS church feels it has powerful proof that JS did NOT ever advocate polygamy, the LDS church feels as strongly that he DID. And all sides have their own “evidence”. Whether Emma Smith just deluded herself about the polygamy issue, or whether it was something that Brigham Young cleverly introduced - and then atributed to JS - is something that each person will have to decide for themselves.

Now I’ll conclude that tangent, and let more questions to the Mormon gal commence!

BY’s situation probably stemmed from the fact there were more women than men, especially widows. He married the widows for Time but not for eternity, and that was just so he could take care of them. It was a dangerous world for unmarried women and fatherless children back then. He married the majority of these women BEFORE they left Nauvoo and headed towards Utah, because they were not sure when they would have the chance to build another Temple. Like I said before, not being married is a very SERIOUS matter, and the single women may not have counted on surviving such a large, dangerous trek from Illinois to Utah, especially if they did not have husbands. So by marrying the widows, he offered protection. By marrying the single women, he killed two birds with one stone, offering them protection on the trek and someone to provide for them once they reach their unsure destination, and ensuring they would reach the Celestial Kingdom if they should die before they reached Utah.

I remember when I was working in a restaurant, and this REALLY old couple came in with a huge slew of kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. I didn’t think anything of it. Large families are the norm in Utah. But my boss whispered in my year “They are a polygamous family. Those two women are the wives. They’ve been coming here for years and years. Don’t tell anyone.”
This is an interesting story because my boss was NOT LDS.
The Church does not condone it. I can’t speak for the members of the Church however. If any members DO think it’s alright, they are acting on their own as individuals, with no authority from the Church. I repeat, the Church condemns, but individual members MIGHT condone. If there are any that do condone plural marriage, they are probably in the minority.

This, like the caffeine question, is a matter of personal interpertation and revelation. Some think all hot drinks are completely off limits. Some think certain herbal teas are alright, especially if used for remedial purposes. The best road to take is to stay completely away from all tea, including Iced Tea. Just like the best road to take is to stay away from all Coffee products.

I personally always considered Mormonism “Christian” in the traditional sense. I figured, “We believe in Christ. They believe in Christ. We’re all Christians! I don’t see a problem.”

But the “Traditional Christian Churches” don’t consider the LDS Church “Christian”.

I know. He consumated his marriages because he had to. But he only did it once, and apparently he got lucky. Although, the woman (Eliza R. Snow) who Emma pushed down some stairs was reportedy pregnant with JS’s child.

To the LDS faith it IS a flat “yes JS did start Polygamy” because the revelation given to JS before he ever met BY is the D&C.

But Yosemite is right, this is not the “Difference between LDS And RLDS thread.” If anybody has anything to add on this particular point, email me please. :slight_smile:

How is the LDS church laid out organizationally? What bodies or individuals decide things? How are they selected?

Presumably, the following terms (from your previous posts) play a part in this.

  • 1st Presidency
  • 12th president of the Church
  • Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1987

Roughly like this. I MIGHT miss a few offices, but I don’t think so.
1 prophet who is also acting president of the Church. Right now it’s Gordon B. Hinkley.
Directly under him is the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. You know the 12 Apostles in the Bible? Well, it’s basically the same thing. Inside the 12 there is 1st Counselor (Right spelling?) to the President and 2nd Counselor. After 2nd Counselor is President of the Quorum. So, there are 13 people at the head of the Church and 4 offices. Once these men are called to serve in the Quorum of the 12, they are there for life. Gordon B. Hinkley has been there for about 40 years I think. They make the decisions that affect the WHOLE CHURCH. If the President has a revelation, and all 12 of the Apostles act as witness and sign the revelation, it becomes Scripture, the Word of God. Right now two come right to mind. The Strength of Youth Pamplet (When to start dating, how modestly to dress) and The Family Proclamation (Basically, the importance of the Family.) The lower offices make important decisions that are more localized to their Ward or Stake.
These are the only people who actually get paid for what they do. But it’s not a lot. It’s just to make up for the fact that they are so busy with God’s work they can’t have outside jobs. The money includes funds for food, shelter, transportation (When they fly to other states/countries etc), and miscellaneous stuff. But it’s really not a big paycheck.
Under that is the House of 70. But there aren’t 70 people in the House, just room for 70. They have various jobs and titles, such as treasurer. etc etc.
Under that is the Stake Presidency. The Stake Presidency have authority over all the wards (churches) in their area.
I think there is a president, 2 counselors, a secretary and a treasurer for the Stake. Under them is the Bishopric for each individual Ward. That includes a bishop, 2 counselors, a treasurer and a secretary.
These of course don’t count all of the offices that people are called to hold. Teachers, missionaries, etc etc.
All of these offices are called by God. No man gets to make the decision. It’s entirely up to God. He calls them in, and when the people are finished serving, He calls them out. The only offices that are life offices and paid offices are the Quorum and the President of the Church. The rest change every year or so, depending on the situation, and none of them get paid.

Hot drinks? How hot? And would ice coffee be okay? What about decaf?

Well, if you own the church, it isn’t really grafitti, is it?

Also, what did you mean when you said that the Supreme Court had declared polygamy unconstitutional? Did you mean that it declared anti-polygamy laws to be constitutional? I can’t imagine the Supreme Court declaring individual acts to be unconstitutional.

Pepperlandgirl - Not trying to get into the RLDS/LDS polygamy thing again, but this one thing you mentioned is confusing me:

I don’t get it. 22 wives, and NO kids? Did he not have sex with any of these women? If not, why? Was there birth control involved? And if so, why?

Ice tea, Ice coffee, decaf, none of them are OK. All of them are big no-nos. Coffee and tea have chemicals in them other than Caffeine that can harm the body. Of course at the time, Ice Tea and Ice Coffee was NOT invented, so the scripture doesn’t specify cold drinks. However, the 1st Presidency has stipulated that almost all forms of tea and coffee are bad for you and against the Word of Wisdom.

Bodies are *God’s Temples *

Sorry, my mistake. Congress passed anti-polygamy laws which the Supreme court deemed Constitutional. In the hurry I was in, I shortened that to “Polygamy was unconstitutional”
Here is the actual statement from the Church on it

I don’t get it either. But for 3 years I dedicated my life to LDS Church History, and quite frankly, I never saw evidence of any children from his wives.
This is what I SPECULATE the case was, based on what I’ve read etc.
JS did NOT like plural marriage. He actually hated it. But he couldn’t defy God, so he was forced to take wives. He probably had to consumate his marriage with each individual wife. I have no idea if he did or not. However, I do know that he probably was appalled by the idea. Remember, he loved his wife more than any othe person on the Earth. The only person more important was God Himself. I don’t know if he 1) did consumate his marriages and just got lucky 2)Did consumate his marriages and used some form of birth control (Withdraw method maybe? I don’t know) 3) or if he simply refused to make them his wives in every sense of the word.
That is something I’m going to have do a LOT of research in to find the answer, if there is even one to be found.

Alright, enough for tonight. Gotta go to bed.
Keep those questions coming though! :slight_smile:

pepperlandgirl, thanks.
How are the offices of President and Quorum selected? How does God call them in? Offices below, I suspect are appointed from above, no?

All of the offices are appointed by God.
Let’s do this on a small scale. Let’s say it’s time for a ward to receice a new bishopric. The Stake President will fast and pray and ask God who should replace the old bishopric. The SP eventually receives an answer, and calls that person to ask if they will accept the calling.
Basically the office directly above the one that needs to be replaced is responsible for asking/praying to God and finding out who is worthy to fit the needed roll.
Hope this answered your question sufficiently.

Ok, I’m really going to bed now.

I don’t understand this either. To just HATE one of God’s commandments, to be “appalled” by it? Yet feel “forced” to do it? I’m not trying to be contentious, really. But I get the impression, from how you have explained it, that JS was made miserable by the whole thing. He was “appalled” and he “hated” it. Yikes. (Obviously his wife was miserable too, if she managed to delude herself that it “never happened” later on. It says on that link I provided that she insisted that even on her deathbed.)

Also, if he married all these wives because he was commanded to, wouldn’t there be an obligation to at least try to have kids? If kids were not one of the ultimate goals of marriage, what was the reason to have so many wives? Don’t Mormons consider kids to be a big component of marriage? I get the impression that Mormons like big families.

If there was some sort of obligation with all these marriages to procreate, how did JS justify not at least “trying”? (It seems obvious to me that he did not. There’s no way to explain 22 wives and NO kids otherwise. We know he did not fertility problems, since he had kids by his wife.) If he felt “forced” by God’s commandment to marry these women in the first place, why would he then defy God’s wish (if indeed it was God’s wish) that a decent attempt should be made to produce offspring?

Hi Pepper…I’m so busy this week and you just had to start this thread! I’ve been wanting to ask you things about your faith for a long time. Let me try to quickly explain.

I have always thought of Mormons as Christians. Never anything else. Years ago I let a couple of young men on a mission in my area into my home and we talked for awhile. They gave me a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon. I skimmed through it and never really thought much about it again. Then 3 years ago my sister started dating a man who was raised Mormon. Mind you he isn’t active. It was about that time that I read a book documenting the case about Mark Chapman. So at that time I got a little idea about the paranoia of the heirarchy of the LDS church. Then recently I watched the A & E program on polygamy in Utah. So I started looking into the history of polygamy in the LDS church. I found an awful lot of other things too.

This is my question to you. I was raised a Christian, a Baptist, yet I question. Do you not question the history and accuracy of the doctrines of your faith? I’m not all that educated and certainly sometimes I’m not all that smart but when it comes to the question of my spirituality, whether or not I even have a soul, then I just need to know. Don’t you question? Do you not have just a little trouble reconciling some of the teachings of your church? Haven’t you even researched some of the contradictory testimony that is out there concerning Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and even some of your modern day leaders? Many people who were very much tied up in the everyday spiritual life of your church have left because there is so much contradictory information available.

Take Joseph Smith and polygamy…it has been documented through letters and diaries that Joseph Smith took upwards of 34 wives during his lifetime. Eleven of which were already married to other men. Doesn’t that blow the whole “not enough men to go around theory” right out of the water? There is also documentation that in some instances men who might have opposed his choice of a new “celestial bride” were sent away on missions. Much of this documentation is through his own writings. It’s also true that Joseph hid these marriages from Emma. And after his death she denied they ever happened. But it is documented that she knew about them because she tossed two of his “secret wives”, a pair of young sisters, out of her house after he tried to “come out”, so to speak.

Then there is the question of the Book of Mormon itself. Now don’t get me wrong, because I was raised to believe that the Bible was the “breathed word of God” then it has never seemed impossible to me that God might inspire anyone he chose. But in the case of Joseph Smith, what of the claims that he was involved in “money digging” scams before he established his church? What of the claims that during this time he was actually baptized into the Methodist church? There is also the question of the “witnesses”. Didn’t a couple of them recant? Yes, they had a falling out with Smith. But ALL of the witness later clarified their testimony by saying that they never actually saw the plates except in a “inspired, or trance like” state. There are also the gross inacuracies in the book itself…

Christian archeologists have long looked for proof of many of the stories from the Bible. Naturally because the old testament was an oral tradition for generations then many things like the great flood and the plagues of Egypt cannot be proved. (They have found a papyrus that might back this up.) But much of what we know about the New Testament can be at least documented archeologically. How does the Book of Mormon stand up with it’s tales of elephants and vast civilizations that never exsisted here in North America?

Even if there weren’t so many questions, doesn’t the “living prophet” thing bother you just a little bit? Doesn’t it seem just a little to pat that the heirarchy in your church can “pass down” revelations from one generation to the next, superceeding what went before based on the current prophets whim? Have you studied what has been found about the history of your church?

Anyway, I’ve gotta go. I was just wondering, not anything about doctrine or anything like that. Just wondering how you personally view much of this. Please don’t tell me that you take the “official” word of the church on any of this, that just wouldn’t be very discerning now would it? Have you checked any sources that are not “official”? I’ve question the accuracy of the Bible itself. I know that it isn’t the only written word that describes the life or teachings of Christ. How can you not check into any of this? There are a large array of books written about the history of your church. Some of them by people who were even trying to be objective.


Ok. First you say that by hot drinks, caffeine wasn’t meant. Then later you say that drinking iced tea was a no no because they have other chemicals that can harm the body. The first quote above says nothing about other chemicals.

From personal experience I think the hot drinks quote is generally accepted to mean no caffeinated beverages. Of the many mormons I knew in SLC they all seemed to interpret things like that, and thus they wouldn’t consume caffeine in beverages.

As for the baptism for the dead. You say that they still have to accept God and Jesus after they’re baptized in order to enter a higher kingdom. Well how could you not accept God after you just died and you’re in the after life? I don’t see how you could.

A third thing. I’ve also heard that brigham young had a sort of hitman who took care of those who opposed his views. I’ve forgotten the hitman’s name but I imagine you’ve probably heard of this before. Why would BY want to have people killed?

Next. You act as though women are equal to men in the church since they can create life. Why is it that women cannot go on a mission until they are 21 while men have to go when they are 18? Also women don’t really have the priesthood as you say. I’ve seen many men priests with a container of consecrated oil on their key chains that they use to bless others. Why don’t women have this? Because they are not priests.

Beeto…You’re referring to the Danite or Avenging Angels. They were supposedly a splinter sect of the early Church and possibly responsible for the Meadow Mountain (think I got that right) Massacre. Don’t worry I didn’t even ask Pepper what she thought of the violent past in her church. Things like the doctrine of “blood atonement” and such.

These are things that I believe she should look into for herself.

Oh yeah, someone in this thread said that they confused Momonism with Jehovah’s Witness not a hard thing to do. Both sects were born during a time in our country when Christianity was experiencing a doctrinal shift toward what they call “Aventism”. There were many “prophets” and preachers circulating about the country talking about the “end times”. Both of these sects founders were influenced by the doctrine of these times. And “Adventism” is a very big part of their dogma. Preparing ourselves for the second coming. Jehovah’s Witness have even gone so far as to give dates.


For another view of the Mormon Church, both books are very interesting.

Salamander : The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders
By Linda Sillitoe, Allen Roberst, Allen Dale Roberts

Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman’s Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond
by Deborah Laake

I’m still waiting for pepper to answer my question.

I might be able to answer that for you Vanilla. The “priesthood authority” you are talking about is part of the doctrine of the LDS church. Probably located not in the Book of Mormon but perhaps in their (I think I have this right, I’m sure I’ll be corrected if not.) “Articles and Covenants” (something like that) or perhaps “The Pearl of Great Price”. More than likely the former.


Ok, I just woke up, that’s why there are a couple posts I haven’t answered yet. I’ll tackle Needs2Know points first.

No, I never have. I never had a reason to. I have a very strong testimony for the Church. I have faith in the teachings, but also to me everything makes sense. Every time I hear something to the effect of “Well he’s God, why doesn’t he <insert question here>” I can look it up in one of the many revelations and scriptures and find the answer.

I’ve never seen or heard anything contradictory. But if contradictory information was the basis of leaving any Church, well then, most Christians would stop believing in The Bible. There is a contradiction every time you turn a page.
Plus, one thing to always remember The Church is perfect, the men inside the Church are not. If they were, they wouldn’t be here on Earth with us.

Not quite. The women who were already married were NOT married in a Temple, therefore, were not married in the Eyes of God. JS never took any wives just cuz he felt like it. Every single one of them were given to him by God, so he could take care of them.

He had to hide it to keep the peace in the house. She didn’t like the principal, neither did he. Think of it has a test. Remember Abraham and Isaac? God was testing Abraham’s faith. Well, you could apply the same idea to JS.
I don’t really like getting into the conversations about JS’s wives and family life. Yes, it is important. But the problem is, nobody knows for sure what was going on. There’s just a bunch of second hand accounts.

Well, if he was he hid the money well. He was always very poor. Being the President and Fouder of a Church that taught something other than the norm he was not exactly rolling in the dough. If he had the money, it would stand to reason he would use it. The only time I’ve seen rumors like this are in the Anti-Mormon literature.

He was considering being baptized into the Methodist Church. THat’s why he prayed to God when he was 14, and Jesus told him that all the Churches have part of the truth, but not the whole Truth. He never was baptized into any church other than the one God commanded him to establish.

A couple of them recanted true. But they also said after they left the Church that they never doubted the veracity of the Book of Mormon. They left the Church because of the falling out with JS, period.
As for the gross inacuracies. Can you name any other than the elephants? There are bound to be inacuracies in any Scripture. You said that Egypt has records of the plagues. That’s nice, but they have no record of Moses. And even if they did, he probably didn’t part the Red Sea, and he CERTAINLY didn’t destroy Ramses’s entire army.
The point of all this is, there are some inacuracies in the Book of Mormon, there are some in the Bible. But the overall truth of the books are the same. They are both testements of Jesus Christ, both inspired by God. If men made some mistakes in the translations, well, that’s not God’s fault. Even men inspired by God are not perfect.

Vast civilizations never exsisted in North America. True. However, they DID exist in Mexico and South America. I remember hearing some similarities between the Mayan, Aztecs and Incan empires and the people in the Book of Mormon. It seems that the Golden Plates ended up in New York because Moroni wondered the continent for 21 years after the Lamanites wiped out all of the Nephites Plenty of time to walk from Central American to New York.

Why should it bother me?
Why can there only be prophets in Biblical times? Why would God decide that our generations are not good enough to talk to?
The prophets in the Bible did the same thing that the Prophets of the Latter Day do. If I ever doubt Joseph Smith or any of the men up to Gordon B.Hinkley, I’ll stop believing in the Bible too.
God talks to men in Biblical times and in Latter Days.

Ok, I’ll tackle the next questions with a new post. This is kinda long

Who were these women that Joe Smith married?