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The Death Of Joseph Smith — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2019 5:00 am

The Death Of Joseph Smith — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical 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 welcome of 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 M.

R. M. June 27 today is the anniversary of the death of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon movement founder of the church, currently known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and important day in the history of Mormonism.

But today we wanted to talk about some of the details involving the ultimate demise of Mormonism's founder and were going to do that by reading from a book written by two LDS historians James B.

Allen and Glenn M.

Leonard, it's titled the story of the Latter Day Saints. I'm reading from a first edition. This book came out in 1976 and the reason why I wanted to do that is because we have found that a lot of Latter Day Saints really don't know a lot of the events that led up to the death of Joseph Smith and I and I feel citing to Mormon historians would be one of the best ways to tell the story this way any Mormons who might disagree with what these two authors have said. Can't blame us because it's not us doing the talking.

Now we are certainly going to inject some commentary as we go along, but I think these two authors do a pretty good job of telling the story in an understandable way. So I want to give a shout out to a video that you did call the untold story of the death of Joseph Smith, along with an article that you wrote and our listeners can go to of Joseph Smith with hyphens between those words. If you like to see what you said about that whole issue.

I'm going to begin reading from page 190 under the subheading of the martyrdom and this is how these two authors begin this section of their book. Again, this is page 190 from the first edition. The 1976 edition. The search for political and religious refuge ended abruptly for Joseph Smith in June 1844, while his supporters campaigned on a platform designed to unite factions under uninspired government ruled by good men, a disgruntled Cabal plotted dissension at home, Mormon apostates, influential man once close advisors to the prophet were setting in motion events that would lead to his murder. Now I think it's important to understand this. They are crediting a lot of men who were very close to Joseph Smith at one time to gain the position that they had at this time. You would have to assume that they were loyal not only to Joseph Smith but wouldn't you also assume that they were loyal to the teachings of Mormonism. I would say yes that has to be true. The authors go on to say, the rumors that fit the fears of non-Mormons in Hancock County and this is where Nauvoo and Carthage in cities that are going to play a role in this story. This is where they were located in Hancock County burgeoned after several key Latter Day Saints became disaffected and join the opposition goes on and says the most prominent defector was John C. Bennett, whose much-publicized departure from Naboo in May 1842 created a sensation in both camps affiliation with the church and Naboo apparently did not reform him for Bennett seduced a young woman there through a misapplication of the doctrine of plural marriage, church leaders privately confronted Bennett with his past in mid-1841 in the following spring began publicly refuting the argument he was using to cover his Amore now that's an interesting statement to insert there because it looks like the authors here are trying to discredit one of Joseph Smith's accusers by bringing out his sins but was fascinating as during this time Joseph Smith himself was involved with amorous affairs with several women it mentions in the mid-1841 and will in April 1841, we find Luisa Beeman being married to Joseph Smith, secretly, of course, but then later in October 1841 designer Huntingdon Jacobs marries Joseph Smith. She is a living husband by the name of Henry Jacobs and also that same year the end of the year December 1841 Joseph Smith marries, and again I'm using the word Mary's in quotation marks.

He marries percent Dia Huntington Buhl, who also had a living husband, a man by the name of Norman Buhl so I find it fascinating that the authors want to bring out John Bennett's sins with other women, but we don't seem to get here in this particular portion of the book of Joseph Smith being involved with a lot of other women as well. It's this involvement with a lot of these other women that is going to cause some of the other man mentioned in this story to be upset with Joseph Smith. No doubt it probably looked very hypocritical in their eyes, of what was being said about John Bennett knowing that Smith himself was involved in some amorous affairs with other women.

Married women by the way, on page 191. It continues Bennett's distorted exposures cause some Saints to waiver and a few to leave the church in April 1844. Several of those who disagreed with the prophet over the plurality of wives and other new doctrines withdrew and organized the reformed church based on teachings as they had stood in 1838.

The dissenters included William law of the first presidency's brother Wilson law Austin cows of the Naboo high Council James Blakeslee, Charles G. Foster, Frances M. Higbee and businessman Robert D. Foster, Chauncey Higbee and Charles Ivins. The grievances of these men and about 200 others who joined with them extended beyond polygamy let me stop you there because let's let's consider this again.

We have listed here by these authors on page 191 of the book the dissenters included William law of the first presidency. That's a pretty high position in the LDS church being a part of the first presidency's brother Wilson law Austin Cowles of the Naboo high Council. Again, I would say that these are not just the average members who were walking the streets of Naboo at the time. These were probably very close people to Joseph Smith had a loyalty to Joseph Smith at one time but because of Joseph Smith's behavior find him to be problematic and perhaps even not quite the man that he was claiming to be as far as a prophet of God. But notice it says the grievances of these men and about 200 others. That's a lot of people could argue. I guess that perhaps in a city as large as Naboo.

At that time they would look at that as being somewhat inconsequential, but I would agree with you for 200 men to become vocal against the prophet of the restored church that teacher of the restored gospel for them to come out publicly against the prophet. Put yourself in in in that position.

Back then, I would think that would be pretty significant and to have 200 of them feeling that these men were certainly in the right and joining them in their disapproval of Joseph Smith goes on to say that they denounce Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet, a political demagogue and immoral scoundrel and a financial scheme or these men publicize their charges in a newspaper, inaugurated June 7, 1844 as the Nauvoo expositor, the infamous novice expositor. Only one issue was ever printed, and as we've said on this show in the past. It was this newspaper that we feel really led to the death of Joseph Smith because what this would do as it would trigger a number of events afterwords. That certainly would put Joseph Smith in a very uncomfortable position. The Reed's reaction came so quickly from those attacked in the paper the City Councilman and long sessions on Saturday, June 8 and again the following Monday. The councilmen suspended one of their own number non-Mormon Sylvester Emmons who was editor of the expositor and discuss the identity of the publishers and the intent of the newspaper. After analyzing legal precedents and municipal codes. The Council decided the paper was a public nuisance that had slandered individuals in the city public indignation threatened mob action against the paper they reasoned, and if the Council failed to respond the libelous newspaper would arouse anti-Mormon mobs early Monday evening the Council acted under the nuisance ordinance, the mayor, Joseph Smith then order the city marshal to destroy the press scatter the type and burn available papers.

Within hours the order had been executed, the publishers ostensibly fearing for their personal safety fled to Carthage where they obtained an arrest warrant against the Naboo city Council, on a charge of riot notice your folks, Joseph Smith is the sitting Mayor of Nauvoo and he, as the mayor orders the city marshal to destroy the printing press scatter the type and burn available papers. I can understand perhaps destroying the papers that were printed, but they go beyond that to make sure that nothing else was ever printed on that press again so they end up destroying the printing press. Now the authors, the historians of this book go on to comment about that in the The Council had acted legally in its right to abate a nuisance. No contemporary legal opinion allowed only the destruction of published issues of an offending paper, not destruction of the printing press itself. The city fathers had not violated the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press.

Though they had probably erred in violating property rights. Witnesses affirm that even this intrusion had been orderly and contrary to the publishers claims that there had been no riot.

Joseph Smith was released on June 13 following a habeas corpus hearing before the Municipal Court of Naboo on the following day as judge of the same court.

He dismissed the other defendants. Let's fascinating as judge of the same courts of Joseph Smith is the judge of this court. And so he's dismissing the other defendants.

He's the one that started this whole process, but I find it fascinating to the way it's described here it says that the city fathers had not violated the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press. Though they had probably erred in violating property rights and hopefully can wait a minute. They certainly did seem to violate the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press by destroying the printing press. Certainly those seven men would not be able to use that press in order to practice their First Amendment right of freedom of speech. So what we have here folks is definitely a case of censorship on the part of the leadership in the Mormon church seen that since that time. Throughout the history of the Mormon church a bit of censorship when people start saying things that the leadership did not like that somehow they would be excommunicated and things would not get published, they would be warned behind the scenes that they shouldn't talk about things like this. Now, it could be said that in today's 21st-century LDS church that maybe that's done less and less, but certainly, this case was not the only case when people who were saying things bad about the prophet found themselves in trouble. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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