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Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2021 9:14 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 11, 2021 9:14 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.


You were not the door and opened it to find two friendly representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon church. So what you say will you send them away without a Christian witness or will you engage them in a meaningful in Christ honoring conversation if you desire. The latter, we suggest a book, answering Mormons questions why Mormonism research ministries Bill McKeever and Aaron Johnson answering Mormons questions is available wherever you find quality Christian books .1 Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You .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. Our thanks to Adams Road band for that musical introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at M. R. M.

The LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. It was a book published by signature books in late 2020, and it covers the gospel topics essays that were produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints between late 2013 and 2015. Each chapter in the book is supposed to critique. One of the original third team gospel topics, essays, and today we're looking at chapter 6. It's titled things are so dark and mysterious. The Thomas Lewis case and violence in early LDS Utah bill that just reminds me to advertise our website that has a whole series of articles on the original 13 essays. If you go to topics essays that's topics with an S essays with the nest with hyphens between the three words gospel topics essays. We have a whole series of articles that respond to those as well as a number of podcasts that we did a few years ago chapter 6. As I mentioned, was written by John G. Turner, who was also the author of the book Brigham Young Pioneer profit. Now he is not a latter-day St. He claims to belong to the Presbyterian USA denomination but he was given the opportunity to discuss the essay titled peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints. I can kind of understand why the publisher chose Mr. Turner to write this chapter because when you write a book on Brigham Young. It's kind of hard to ignore a lot of the violence that took place during Brigham Young's presidency, Turner would know a lot of this and he certainly did a lot of in-depth research when it comes to what happened to Thomas Lewis who was a Welsh immigrant and a church member. By the way, in my opinion. However, I kind of wish he would've tackled some of the subjects he mentions on page 166 that we talked about yesterday, but it's this chapter he can do whatever he wants and probably a lot of people wouldn't share my interest on this subject, so I'm just give us a okay fine.

This is what he did.

He spends a lot of time on the Thomas Lewis incident, but let's talk about that because he introduces it at the bottom of page 166.

He writes in the following response. I focus on the observation made by peace and violence that quote a few Latter Day Saints committed other violent acts against a small number of dissenters and outsiders" the essay explains that quote the heated rhetoric of church leaders directed toward dissenters may have led these Mormons to believe that such actions were justified," and continues that quote perpetrators of these crimes were generally not punished."

Still, the essay cautions that many allegations of such violence are unfounded and asserts that anti-Mormon writers unfairly blamed church leaders for many unsolved crimes or suspicious deaths. While the essay's observation about anti-Mormon literature is true in many instances, peace and violence fails to recognize the extent to which church leaders explicitly sanctioned and condoned extralegal violence in order to support this point I reconstruct one episode of violence in his gruesome detail. It took place at the height of the 1856 to 57 Reformation, one of the darkest and most troubling times in the history Mormonism, I conclude that peace and violence does not provide contemporary church members or outsiders with sufficient theological resources to understand the actions of 19th-century Mormon leaders. What is needed is more than just accurate history Latter Day Saints like members of other religious traditions need a realistic ecclesiology to make sense of their past and present to do agree with what Turner says in that paragraph, and he does mention the 1856 to 1857 Reformation or the Mormon Reformation as it's been known that he's going to address that later on in the chapter but now he's going to turn his attention away from the essay itself and he's going to focus on this one incident that happens with a man by the name of Thomas Lewis, who, as he says, was a Welsh immigrant and church member.

In his early 20s who lived in central Utah. Sanpete Valley you're not familiar with the geography of Utah. Sanpete Valley is about in central Utah in two towns that are significant to that area are made anti-Utah were for years.

The Mormon miracle pageant was held and also Ephraim, Utah which is about 7 miles north of man time. This area becomes prominent in this story because of a man by the name of Bishop Warren Snow in the 1870s to prominent former church members published accounts of the misfortune that befell Lewis in the fall of 1856 in the process of divorcing her husband, and church president Brigham Young analyze a young web published wife number 19 a portrait of her life in bondage and a broad indictment of her church and its leaders as part of a broader discussion of church sanctioned violence.

She introduced Thomas Lewis as quote a very quiet and offensive fellow who lived with his widowed mother." In Mantell Utah and avoided gay society per analyze the young Lewis in his local Ward Bishop wanted to marry the same young woman.

Lewis was unmarried at the time Bishop Warren Snow already had several wives. So in this brief introduction, we tend to get an idea of what is going to happen. Here we have this man Thomas Lewis described by analyze the young. Her maiden name was Webb. She talks about Thomas Lewis is a very quiet and offensive fellow note. Now that's controversy only that of itself because the research that Turner introduces us to in this chapter doesn't really paint a picture of Thomas Lewis quite like that. It sounded like he was kind of a hothead and he was prone to be inviolate himself and he talks about how we get this mending price with a shovel over disagreement. The point is is that we have a power struggle. Here we have a prominent member in the church. A man by the name of Warren Snow whose Bishop is a practicing polygamist. He is interested in the same woman that Thomas Lewis is interested in, and this is what gives us the impetus for this whole conflict on page 168 Turner writes. Despite all inducements and threats. Lewis refused to relinquish his bride to be. Thereupon Snow called faithful members of the community to a meeting in man ties schoolhouse. This is the town of Manta given a final chance Lewis rebuffed Snow's demand and then it says quote the lights were then put out an attack was made on the young man.

He was severely beaten and then tied with his back down on a bench with Bishop the snow. This is Warren Snow took a bowie knife and performed the operation in a most brutal manner and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the schoolhouse on a nail so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards so I'm in pain, just having you read that well he's talking of course about the punishment known as castration something that happened to Joseph Smith after he made advances on a young woman had not the doctor who was going to perform that operation on Joseph Smith backed out at the last minute so apparently castration is not something that's totally unusual in the minds of the Latter Day Saints when it comes to punishment, especially we would assume when it comes to crimes of a sexual nature, though I don't see anything like that in this story, but you can see how when a powerful man and bite like Warren Snow who wants a woman that is also wanted by another person, Thomas Lewis, in this case how performing an act like that on him would certainly deter that woman from seeing anything favorable in Thomas Lewis at this point, so it makes. I guess you could say 19th-century territorial sense. Turner admits that despite some differences in detail in both analyze the young and John Dean Lee, who talks about this story in his expos titled Mormonism unveiled which we should mention was published shortly after John delete was executed for his role in the Mountain Meadows massacre in 1857 he was executed. 20 years after the fact will the Lewis case has remained obscure to most historians of the mid-19th century Utah. According to Turner in his biography of Warren Snow, John a Peterson provided a detailed account of the incident's analysis does much to explain the mutual loyalty between snow and Brigham Young and I guess this is really weird. Turner is wanting to go with the story.

He's not only showing that there were violent acts perpetrated not only on non-members of the church. But even members within the church who were deemed to be troublemakers or dissidents.

You might say what Turner is trying to bring out is that Brigham Young would turn a blind eye to this he wouldn't do anything about it. And that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to the castration of Thomas Lewis will, he goes on as I said, and spends a lot of pages talking about what happened to Thomas Lewis, the history behind who Thomas Lewis was and he mentions another man by the name of Dan Jones who was a prominent Mormon at that particular time. He's related in some way to this whole story. He goes into a lot of these details that really don't have anything to do with the essay itself. Other then he's trying to show that the statement in the essay were the authors. The anonymous authors of this gospel topics essay admit that violence was perpetrated on individuals, but they tend to make it sound at least in my opinion I'm assuming in John Turner's opinion that this was done, but there were no repercussions for a lot of these crimes that you think should have been taken to trial and people felt guilty and punished for doing these things.

I think what he's doing in telling the story certainly supports his premise and as I mentioned earlier, it's an interesting story. It probably needs to be told, I don't know Eric would you have taken that many pages to tell the story and like we were talking about yesterday to ignore all those other interesting bits of Mormon history that probably could've been elaborated on as well and maybe he just assumes that most Mormons already know about those other stories and they were too common, so he picked something that was more obscure, but I think that would've been better to do what you're saying to deal with some of the major issues that he talked about that we mentioned in yesterday's show he does mention that Thomas Lewis after this court" operation. He lived and he lived in a lot of pain suffered greatly, mentally and tomorrow show were going to look at what is called the Mormon Reformation because Turner does talk about that and that is certainly an important part that relates to the essay peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints. Thank you for listening you would like more information when guarding this research ministry.

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