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August 7, 2020 7:40 pm
.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism.
So glad you could be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM yesterday show I started off with the question, why isn't the LDS church more open about some of the controversy all things in its history and I explained that that wasn't a question that I personally was raising but it's actually the title of an article in the July 2020 edition of & magazine article written by Kate Holbrook Kate Holbrook works for the church history department and she's telling a story in this very short article found on page 14 about when she was a young girl of four years old. How she had learned from her mother and grandmother who worked at the beehive house which was Brigham Young's home in downtown Salt Lake City. She learned that Brigham Young had many wives and that 10 years later, she learned that Joseph Smith had many wives as well and we were just talking about the fact that a lot of Latter Day Saints seem to know and not have a problem with the fact that Brigham Young did have many plural wives. But when it comes to Joseph Smith having many wise Mormons always react quite the same way that's changed since the church came out with its gospel topics essay on polygamy where they admit that Joseph Smith had as many as 40 plural wives. But before those essays came out that wasn't the case. So, she also mentions seer stones which Joseph used to help translate the book of Mormon. She didn't learn about that until she was an adult. Why is it that she did not know a lot of these things and she argues that the church did not hide information from me.
She says but the historical information was not as emphasized when I was young. And then yesterday show I agreed with what Kate Holbrook was saying and we asked the question will what would it really look like if the church was in fact hiding information from its members. Because let's be serious Mormonism research ministry has been around since 1979, and we've been talking about a lot of these things that she probably did not know in her young years. So where did we find it. Well it's out there you just need to know where to look. It's not as if you're going to the church library and you're asking for.
David Witmer is an address to all believers in Christ where he talks about the seer stone and a person at the library looks at you and says oh we don't have anything like that. Go away they're not like that at all. We do admit that they are being much more transparent with their history. In this day and age, but it's not like they were always as transparent as they are today. Bill if you go to the main article that what were talking about with Kate Holbrook's articles a sub article there actually seven articles that are sub articles to the church history, a source of strength and inspiration that's found on page 12 that was written by apostle Quentin L. Cook, and so his is the main story, and then we have the sub articles that deal with questions like what we were dealing with yesterday and today but I want to read a quote of cooks found on page 13, where he talks about the transparency of the church and this is what he wrote in the over 24 years that I have served as a general authority. The desire of the brethren has been to be as transparent as possible both in terms of church history and in doctrine. We feel that the effort to put forth new resources, particularly the Joseph Smith papers the gospel topics essays church history topics and now the multivolume Saints is a wonderful way of getting people to study things in context that are true and that will help them understand the gospel of Jesus Christ in a credible way. Now, Bill. He became a member of the second quorum of the 70 in 1996. Two years later he ends up becoming the first quorum of the 70 and then in 2007. He becomes an apostle so he and his 24 years has been was considered to be a general authority on the top leaders of the church and he says in church history and in doctrine that the church has been as transparent as possible. But is that really the case. What you say I would say that's probably not the case though, I would not accuse the church of making a concerted effort to actually hide information. I think the way Holbrook explains it is the way it is.
They just don't emphasize it. Let's take for instance a talk that was given by Russell M. Nelson, who later would become the 17th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and in 1992.
He is an apostle in the church and he gives a talk in which he mentions how Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon using the seer stone and I have any siding from David Witmer's and address to all believers in Christ that was published in July 1993 in the & magazine, but how many more times do you hear that mentioned in another & magazine or in a general conference message after that, I can't recall any times.
Come to think of it, but yet he did say it in 1993. So the very fact that Nelson did mention it when it was published in 1993 shows that the church is not hiding it. I would say yes you're correct, but I would go back to what Kate Holbrook says the information was not as emphasized as other things. For instance, the first vision all Latter Day Saints know about the first vision do they know about all the various accounts of the first vision, probably not, but they all know that basic story, but even the first vision itself is something that wasn't being discussed like it's discussed. Now the church is trying very hard to spin all the wood I would still think are contradictory accounts. They think they harmonize.
I disagree. There are some things that certainly don't harmonize but this was also something that you didn't hear a lot in earlier years, though I think we need to bring out something that we haven't talked about for a while, but we did a whole series of close to 30 shows back in 2013, and that has to do with the sweetest rescue that took place in 2010.
Maybe you could tell us a little bit about the sweetest rescue and about what exactly took place there with some Latter Day Saints who were upset about finding things on the Internet.
We need to understand 2010, not that long ago the interest been around for at least 15 years and why hasn't much more been said, these saints were asking correct Hans Matson was an area 70 at the time and he talks about how people were coming to him asking questions about early church history that they were finding on the Internet.
He tells the story of how originally he thought. Will these are just the accusations of anti-Mormons just don't worry about it. But as the questions kept coming forth. He realized that this is a real problem and he needs to delve into this and he finds out that he doesn't even have a lot of answers for a lot of this controversy will history that were discussing today.
So the church sent to historians to Stockholm Sweden and there were questions being asked of these two historians. The historians were Marlon K.
Jensen and Richard E. Turley, as you mentioned Eric this happened in 2010, we don't really care about this for another three years but then it starts getting out because there was a tape recording of the meeting and that we could hear what was being asked and we could also hear how these two historians were fielding. The questions when we heard these. We were interested to find out that a lot of the questions that the Swedish members were asking were the very same questions we were hearing members here in the United States asking having to do with Joseph Smith's polygamy having to do with the issues regarding the priesthood ban for those of African heritage in such so those questions were the same. It seems everywhere around the world, not just in the United States but also in Europe. You bring out a good point because the same questions they were asking. It seems like the 11 gospel topics essays that we talked about yesterday were aimed specifically at the very things that the sweetest saints were bringing up.
We do have a website. If you've never heard of this, you need to go in. Read some of the things we have on our website MRM.org/fiery fireside with a hyphen between fiery and fireside will in this in this Q&A with these two historians, Jensen and Turley. It's mentioned that the church is going to come out with some answers to these very questions so it shows us that in 2010.
It was already in the works to come up with some responses some official responses to these very questions at the Swedish members were asking. But what's fascinating is when the essays were finally launched. There was a lot of confusion about them.
Many members wondered why is the church, allegedly saying things that we were always understood to be lies by enemies of the church. There was even one rumor that someone had hacked into the LDS church computer and change their website. There was a lot of confusion about this because the church did not put the authors names on the essay. We don't even know to this day who was behind these essays that are still anonymous but one thing we do know they were not written by LDS church authorities. They were instead written by LDS church scholars and historians no doubt, but there are no names on there and so there was a lot of confusion in the church had eventually come out with a statement letting people know that the first presidency was behind the publication of these essays, Kate Holbrook writes in her short article. I know that for some people it can be really painful to learn about something you thought you should have known, but didn't know, and I think that's how those sweetest saints felt about this issue of not knowing about these things and I think that's why we have seen a number of Latter Day Saints leave the church after 2013, 14 and 15.
A number of them have said. I used to think that those things were false because they were anti-Mormon sources that I was getting on the Internet. But now, when the church says it that really bothers me. Joseph Smith's polygamy is a big issue book of Abraham, the seer stone that we've been talking about. I mean it wasn't until 2015, when the church came out with a picture of the seer stone and that was brand-new and now if you look at the church art when it talks about the translation of the book of Mormon before used to see plates and Joseph Smith running his finger across a place now what you see in the end, at least two different examples. I have where Joseph Smith has a top hat and there's a there's a stone and there is not necessarily looking into it right that time, but his hand is on top of the top hat and he's looking over to Oliver cattery to tell him the translation go to our website. Again, I would encourage you to see those pictures MRM.org/BOM-seer-stone or just type in seer stone on the search engine and you get an article that has those paintings on that page. The seer stone is controversial. For this reason alone I would think, and that is that 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith denied that the seer stone was even used in the translation of the book of Mormon. He said this can be found in doctrines of salvation, volume 3, beginning on page 225 seer stone not used in book of Mormon translation. He said while the statement has been made by some writers that the prophet Joseph Smith used the seer stone part of the time in his translation of the record and information points of the fact that he did have in his possession. Such a stone. Yet there is no authentic statement in the history of the church, which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation.
The information is all hearsay and personally I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose.
As I mentioned, Russell M. Nelson in 1992, admits that he used the seer stone. We have a case of two Mormon apostles disagreeing on what Joseph Smith used in bringing forth the book of Mormon. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information when guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter research. We hope you'll join us again as we look at another viewpoint is