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Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2021 9:16 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 6 Turner Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 12, 2021 9:16 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.


Could you ever wondered where you can going downtown Salt Lake City to browse the largest inventory of books that examine the Mormon religion will the answer is the Utah lighthouse bookstore located at 1358 S. on West Temple just across the street from Smith's ballpark. Sandra Taylor and her staff will assist you in finding the appropriate resources so you can better understand the faith of your LDS friends and loved ones.

Utah lighthouse bookstore also carries dozens of books that Sandra and her husband Gerald have written over the past five decades including Mormonism shadow reality.

And if you have questions, there was always someone on the premises will be happy to speak with you Utah lighthouse bookstore is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM and on Saturdays Bill McKeever or Eric Johnson will be there from 1 to 5 PM so come check out the Utah lighthouse bookstore located right there at 1358 S. on West Temple.

They look forward to seeing you soon .1 Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint on 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 welcome to visit this a viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM violence in early Utah were talking about chapter 6 in the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. This particular chapter was written by John G Turner, and as I've mentioned earlier this week. Turner is the author of a book titled Brigham Young Pioneer profit that came out in 2012. He is given the job of discussing the gospel topics essay titled peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints and today were going to be looking at page 175 where he gets into the subject of what is known as the Mormon Reformation as we brought out in yesterday's show he spends a lot of time talking about the castration of a Mormon member by the name of Thomas Lewis operation as it's called, that was performed by a Mormon bishop by the name of Warren Snow have to say on page 175. He writes in the spring of 1856. Young announced that it was time for the elders quote to put away their velvet lips and smooth things and preach sermons like pitchforks times downwards that the people might wake up" Young and his counselor Jedediah Grant soon began hurling those rhetorical pitchforks in a sermon that September, Young condemned a multitude of sins, ranging from adultery to dishonesty to a failure to tie mincing no words. He complained that some things kept their quote brains below their waistbands." He warned that the quote whole people will be corrected if we do not lop off those rotten branches."

Grant and other LDS leaders traveled the communities across the territory, insisting that church members confess their sins secret baptism and demonstrate a higher level of commitment and obedience as part of that obedience.

Young encouraged hesitance Latter Day Saints to enter into or expand their practice of plural marriage, reminding them of their sacred duty to prepare tabernacles or bodies for spirit children ready to assume their time on earth.

Now some of those sins.

We certainly do find in the New Testament.

Not all but some bubbling Turner goes to the We start to see something really change and seriously get away from what we understand the New Testament message to say he writes during the season of Reformation Young and other church leaders preach that some men would have to atone for their sins, but their own blood. The death of Jesus did not make satisfaction for all human sins. There are transgressors.

Young explained who, if they knew themselves and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness would bag of their brethren to shed their blood that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them. Young explained that to kill such centers was a form of spiritual charity when facing individuals who sins could not be atone for without the shedding of their blood. Young asked, will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood. That is what Jesus Christ meant in a reinterpretation of the golden rule. Young suggested that killing people before they had the opportunity to forsake their salvation is loving our neighbor as ourselves. In the late 1840s and early 1850s, young and other high-ranking church leaders had occasionally hinted at this teaching, but during the Reformation. They preached it openly and repeatedly let me stop you there because I think most people listening to this word of a Christian mother thinks that are probably asking themselves really it's the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.

Brigham Young is supposed to be a prophet of God speaking on behalf of Jesus Christ and yet he is preaching sermons such as this, Jedediah Grant, who was his counselor there.

Both preaching sermons such as this note. There's no doubt that Brigham Young taught these things and one of the footnotes has Journal of discourses, volume 4, page 53, as well as Journal of discourses volume for pages 219 and 20.

Let me just read you a portion of the sermon that Turner is referring to. This was a message that he gave on September 21, 1856. He said there are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world or in that which is to come in if they had their eyes open to see their true condition. They would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins and their smoking incense would atone for their sins. Whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

So another words Brigham Young is teaching that if your sin is so bad that you must shed your own blood. On behalf of those sins. If you don't do that. He says your sins will stick to you and remain upon you in the spirit world now going back to my earlier question. These are really the words of a New Testament type prophet who supposed to be representing the teachings of Jesus Christ, I would to object, and I think Turner objects as well.

And that's why he elaborates on this teaching, but that was a very real part of Mormon history during the mid-1800s felt again I would like to commend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for including this part of their history.

In this essay, peace and violence among 19th-century Latter Day Saints. They do talk about that in fact it says in one of the paragraphs at times during the Reformation president Young, his counselor Jedediah M. Grant and others preached with fiery rhetoric warning against the evils of those who dissented from or oppose the church drawing of biblical passages, particularly from the Old Testament leaders taught that some sins were so serious that the perpetrators blood would have to be shed in order to receive forgiveness. My question is how in the world can you assume that Brigham Young is a true prophet of God when he is teaching nonsense like this. The question then becomes was he meant to be taken literally, because the essay tends to make it sound like this was a lot of hyperbole. It's just an exaggeration but yet there are some who assume that because of the sermons being given by Brigham Young as well, as Jedediah M. Grant, and we might say. Others, including Warren Snow who was involved in the castration of Thomas Lewis. They were all teaching this kind of a doctor. And if you're going to assume those messages were merely to be taken as hyperbole. I have to ask you, would people listening to those messages. At that time take it that way. I mean, we tend to undermine what you think Brigham Young is trying to accomplish is trying to get his people fired up for the things of Mormonism and if he's letting on that I'm just talking and hyperbole that wouldn't seem to have the same effect so I can understand why someone would take what he saying seriously and not figuratively, but quite literally well. Will Bagley. We talked about him earlier this week and that he wrote on the Mountain Meadows massacre. He suggests, according to page 178 that the sermons of Brigham Young and Jedediah Grant helped to inspire their followers to acts of irrational violence and then on page 179 it says in their chronicle of the massacre at Mountain Meadows Walker Turley and Leonard. The three authors of that book. They state that quote the tough talk about blood atonement and dissenters must have helped create a climate of violence in the territory, and I think it's only obvious when these leaders are talking the way that they are. Many of the people are going to follow through and they're going to do violence if they think that that's what the church is approving. John Turner mentions this Mormon author Paul Peterson who did conclude that a lot of this talk was merely just hyperbole or incendiary talk likely designed to frighten church members into conforming with latter-day St. principles.

I struggle with that. Because, as you just mentioned. Eric Will Bagley certainly didn't take it that way.

He saw this as inciting this kind of irrational violence as he describes it, and then you have Dr. D Michael Quinn that he was an award-winning historian who wrote several books on LDS Church history. Sadly, Michael Quinn passed away on April 21, 2021 but he worked for the church as an assistant to church historian J. Arrington, and taught history at Brigham Young University for over 10 years. He was quite honest in his reporting of LDS history. He was excommunicated from the church in September 1993. Michael Quinn is quoted in this book. On page 178, at the very bottom and then again at the top of 179 were Turner says Michael Quinn contends that the establishment of an LDS theocracy in the great basin fostered a culture of violence and he argues that the Mormon hierarchy bore full responsibility for the violent acts of zealous Mormons who accepted their instructions literally and carried out various forms of blood atonement. Turner quotes this and then brings us back to the story of Thomas Lewis who really recall earlier in our series wanted to marry this woman that a Mormon bishop by the name of Warren Snow also wanted to marry, and even though the book says we can't know for sure why Warren Snow had Thomas Lewis castrated. I think it's pretty obvious that that's probably the reason Lewis wanted the same woman. Snow wanted, and this is a good way of getting Thomas Lewis out of the picture. Turner says on page 183 dismissing the explanations of Mormonism unveiled that was the expos written by John D. Lee, who was executed for the Mountain Meadows massacre and and Eliza Young, who we mentioned earlier this week, who also talks about the Lewis incident. John Peterson this morning. Author concludes that the sermons delivered in the main antiwar because that's where this incident took place was an anti-the spirit of the times the form of punishment itself in the record of Brigham Young's reaction to it. Make it clear that Lewis had committed a sexual crime, but we don't have any example of this. Even Turner says there's no record of Lewis having committed a sexual crime or indiscretion in the Ward minutes or court records on September or October 1856. However, Snow has more authority than Lewis. Plus he also has the ear of Brigham Young and that's why snow is never held accountable for this crime.

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