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Prophetic teachings best forgotten

February 19, 2011

My kids will be taught tomorrow that “The Church of Jesus Christ has Prophets to Teach Us.” But prophets have made some statements that I’d rather not have my kids believing as being teachings from God. For example:

Masturbating makes men gay
“What is more, it too often leads to grievous sin, even to that sin against nature, homosexuality. For, done in private, it evolves often into mutual masturbation— practiced with another person of the same sex—and thence into total homosexuality.”
—Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball, p. 282

Interracial couples must die
“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God is death on the spot. This will always be so.”
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110

Any man having children with a black woman must be beheaded, and his children must be killed
“And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cane [sic] the ownly [sic] way he could get rid of it or have salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground it would also take the life of his children…”
—Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, recording a speech by Brigham Young, January 16, 1852, typed copy; original located in LDS Church Archives

Dark skinned people are cursed by God and must be slaves
“Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.”
—Discourse By President Brigham Young; Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 10:, p. 250

Monogamy is the source of prostitution and whoredom
“Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout Christendom, and which had been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.”
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 128

When your wife can’t have more children, marry younger women
“But the first wife will say, ‘It is hard, for I have lived with my husband twenty years, or thirty, and have raised a family of children for him, and it is a great trial to me for him to have more women;’ then I say it is time that you gave him up to other women who will bear children. If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bare, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children.”
—Sermon by Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4., pp. 55-57; also printed in Deseret News, Vol. 6, pp. 235-236

To be fair, I really haven’t heard Hinkley or Monson say anything crazy or immoral since I’ve been a member of the church. But these men are just men, well intentioned to be sure, but subject to error.

Turning to the Catholic church, think of the millions of lives that could be saved from sexually transmitted infections and the countless families that could be brought out of poverty with one word from the Pope approving contraception. But apparently he’s too religious to care.

Yes, “The Church of Jesus Christ has Prophets to Teach Us”… that authority is a bad reason to believe that something is true.

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  1. Carrie permalink

    Brigham Young was REALLY obsessed with Blood Atonement. Mormons try to distance themselves from the FLDS and their practices of polygamy and blood atonement when those practices were central in practice and in teachings in the 19th century. The FLDS really do deserve their name: they are living “fundamental” Mormonism. What is going on now is a watering down of doctrine to try and hide the sordid doctrinal and historical past.

  2. Carrie permalink

    Spencer W. Kimball really liked to pontificate about masterbation (so does Boyd K. Packer. It’s not perverted to masterbate, but when they kept/keep telling young boys to stop doing it over many talks, you wonder if they thought/think about that subject a lot (closet pervs??)), If you want to listen to something interesting, there’s a guy called Samuel the Utahnite and he has a 20 part podcast you can find on iTunes under “Mormon Truths”. In the 6th podcast he critiques a speech SWK gave at a BYU devotional going over how you’re better off dead than committing sexual sin. What a kind and loving man!

  3. Nelson permalink

    Joseph Smith wrote:

    “Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the 7th of April), I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon, and he began to write for me.”

    Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus:

    “These were days never to be forgotten–to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘Interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon.'”

    Later, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, testified:

    “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgement-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.”

    Um abraço forte, Nelson

    • Carrie permalink

      First of all, I know that later Martin Harris said he didn’t see the plates with his natural eyes but with his “spiritual eyes”. Hmmm… Martin Harris was a witness to a lot of religious movements, including the Strangites. He never repudiated those testimonies either!

      David Whitmer made a comment that the angel he saw had no shape. When pressed further, he said that the whole experience was more of an “impresion”. Hmmm

      Oliver Cowdery in his youth used a divining rod. In fact, all three of these witnesses had a worldview seeped in magic.

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