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Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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May 9, 2021 9:01 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 9, 2021 9:01 pm

John G. Turner wrote a response to the “Peace and Violence” Gospel Topics essay, and this week Bill and Eric discuss his review and more about one of the 13 original essays published by the church. This is part of a series covering the reviews from a variety of authors writing in the book The … Continue reading Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 1 →

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Perhaps the book Mormonism 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker look at your favorite Christian bookstore .1 is examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a perspective view .1 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 to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM. The LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement, a book that was published by signature books in late 2020 critiques the 13 original gospel topics essays that were produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints between the years 2013 and 2015. Let me just recap that these chapters are written by different authors.

There is no one author who writes this entire book. It was edited by Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst. Today we are looking at chapter 6, a chapter titled things are so dark and mysterious. The Thomas Lewis case and violence in early LDS Utah. This chapter was written by a man by the name of John G Turner, John G.

Turner also wrote a book on the life of Brigham Young that was titled Brigham Young Pioneer profit.

That book came out in 2012.

This chapter is supposed to be based on the essay titled peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints. But Eric is we've looked at this chapter, it becomes very apparent that he kind of steers away from the essay to focus more specifically, or at least a lot of his pages focus more specifically on the treatment of a Mormon man by the name of Thomas Lewis and will be getting to that story but let's just jump into this chapter and what John Turner has to say in his opening lines. He writes it is well known that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints repeatedly suffered from violent persecution during their Church's first quarter century Mormon collective identity was forged in part through the churches expulsions from Missouri and Illinois and through the deaths and hardships endured by the church members during their exodus to the great basin at the same time the church has been dogged by accusations that during the mid to late 19th century, it sanctioned vigilante reprisals against both dissenters and non-Mormons in 1838, for instance, a number of Latter Day Saints organized ammonites to threaten Mormon dissenters and defend church members against anti-Mormon mobs that when you turn the page he explains what the gospel topics essay was all about. Towards the bottom of page 164. He says this gospel topics essay addresses the fraught relations between Mormons and other Americans in the quarter century. That being Dan with the Mormon settlement of Jackson County, Missouri and ended with the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre.

He goes on and says peace and violence reassures readers that throughout the church's history.

Church leaders have taught that the way of Christian discipleship is the path of peace. The essay asserts that quote the vast majority of Latter Day Saints lived in peace with their neighbors and families and sought peace in their communities."

At the same time. Early Mormon suffered intense persecution from their opponents and the essay allows that the actions of a few.

Latter Day Saints quote cause death and injury freight community relationships, and damage the perception of Mormons as a peaceful people." In short 19th century Mormons were a persecuted people and a small number of church members, ignore their saviors peaceful teachings and responded in kind toward their enemies. I think we should talk about that because it's funny how sometimes the Mormons are depicted historically. I remember watching the movie years ago, I can ever remember the title of it but there was a real quick scene that had some alleged members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it portrayed them as pacifists. Almost like they were all mesh which certainly is not a good description of the politics of the early LDS church, but then you have just the opposite, sometimes noteworthy depict them as being these horrible kidnappers and such are all over the spectrum, as far as how the church is pretrade. We have said many times on this show were not denying that the LDS people were often treated very badly harshly persecuted as Mr. Turner explains here on page 165 of this book, but he's right when he says that the Mormons certainly were not entirely innocent when it came to reprisals or responding in kind to how they were persecuted and sometimes I think a lot of Latter Day Saints seem to miss that part of their own history.

They always want to look at themselves as being the unnecessarily persecuted innocent people.

When that wasn't always the case and I will say this I do commend this gospel topics essay titled peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints because it does seem to go into a lot of detail or at least a lot of confession you might say that the LDS people were guilty of bringing about violent acts on others not only perceived enemies from outside of the church. But even using violent acts against those who tended to disagree, as members of the church. It goes both ways, I think. And when we are talking about the Mormon idea about persecution. You hear that often times from Latter Day Saints who talk about how they were persecuted in the earlier years and that's true.

But we also have to remember that sometimes these were instigated by Latter Day Saints or there was retaliation that took place that often times is forgotten by many who want to claim that the church was persecuted throughout the years while he mentions the day on nights and in the next paragraph on page 165.

He says peace and violence.

And that's the shortened term for this essay. Peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints.

He says peace and violence reaches plausible, if not definitive conclusions about the day on nights and the Mountain Meadows massacre.

The essay states that quote. Joseph Smith approved of the Dan-ites but that he was probably not briefed on all their plans and likely did not sanction the full range of their activities." What you think about that statement everything goes through Joseph Smith. Just as later on.

Everything went through Brigham Young. I'm sure that some people could read that sentence that's in the essay and kind of rolled her eyes. Could Joseph Smith really be that ignorant of some of the things that the Dan-ites did while Joseph Smith was still alive.

He just throws it out there at this point he doesn't even address it. But then in the next sentence.

It says in its discussion of the September 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre. The essay summarizes the conclusions of LDS historians Ronald W.

Walker, Richard E. Turley and Glenn M. Leonard that while fiery preaching quote contributed to a climate of hostility Brigham Young quote did not order the massacre local church leaders planned and executed the mass murder. If this is speaking of the murder of over 120 immigrants in a wagon train coming from Arkansas heading towards California now. That's just one view I mean, there is the view that local church leaders planned and executed the mass murder. That's certainly the view of Walker Turley and Leonard but there are others. Bill who have written on this topic who would disagree with that, including Will Bagley and I remember being at a Mormon history conference in downtown Salt Lake City. I think I've told this story before on air and I was sitting next to a gentleman who was a Latter Day Saints. I recognize who we was based on him meeting you at the temple outreach on the Newport Beach years before he had mentioned to me that his daughter had been working with these historians and I simply asked him this is will did she find anything interesting about evidence of being destroyed or maybe doctored up and we didn't have time for him to ask his daughter, who I believe was sitting at the end of the aisle, but during the Q&A he raise that question and I believe it was Turley who is taking the Q&A at that time he asked in their research did they find any evidence that look like it could have been doctored up or perhaps even destroyed.

Turley admitted to that will Will Bagley, who wrote a book on the Mountain Meadows. He made a comment I heard him say this myself. He made a comment speaking at a bookstore in Salt Lake City where you don't destroy evidence to protect your innocence. That always stuck with me because I totally agree with that, there would be no reason to destroy evidence if it's going to show you to be innocent and yet Turley admitted that they saw cases of where this probably did happen. So how are we ever going to know when you draw the conclusion that Brigham Young did not order the massacre you have to ask some other questions and one of the questions that I've often asked is you really think for a minute that the average religious Latter Day Saints would participate in the murder of over 120 innocent men, women and children on the words of the stake president Isaac hate, and that's basically the story that these three Mormon historians, Walker Turley and Leonard are trying to sell in their book on the Mountain Meadows massacre. I can't imagine any average Latter Day Saints going up to Isaac Kate being told to go kill these people said.

You gotta be kidding me on the academic be involved in this. The only way in my opinion that you can get Latter Day Saints to do such an act is first you have to prime the pump that what you're doing is a righteous act. And of course the doctrines being taught during that time seem to clearly indicate that that kind of stuff could be considered a righteous act as perverted as we would say it is. Looking back, but the only way I could see any average Mormon doing that is if they felt they could be protected or they had the permission of the supreme leader of the church at that time which of course would be Brigham Young and that's why I have a real struggle with this idea that these men were involved in this heinous crime based on the orders of someone of a lower local level such as a man like Isaac hate. I just don't buy that story built in that whole story.

It just seems hard to believe that Brigham Young when it had anything to say about that that there would've been any knowledge that he would've had, but they did have a scapegoat later and they actually kill John delete for this, but he was the only one there were others that were involved.

That did not receive the punishment and John delete went to his grave claiming his innocence and it's interesting because John delete's execution, which happened to take place at the site of the Mountain Meadows. He was sitting on the edge of his coffin and there was a firing squad and he was shot to death 20 years after the fact to think about that folks 20 years.

Why did it take 20 years to execute only one man involved in this crime that raise a lot of questions and that point alone.

It's not that Brigham Young did not know about this right after it took place.

He most certainly knew about it but it goes back to what I was saying. Who would have the power to protect the people involved, it would be Brigham Young and I have to believe in studying the story that Brigham Young did do everything he possibly could to make sure that were this crime did not get out to the public but once it did. Somebody had to pay the price and you're absolutely correct, Eric.

It was John the Lee, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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