Episode 008

This week’s episode has been posted over at http://ironrodpodcast.com

Last week’s episode covered the history of the church beginning in 1829 up to the dedication of the Kirtland temple in early 1836. It was a period of amazing revelations and spiritual manifestations. But even then there were signs that all was not well.

This week’s episode picks up in 1836 and shows how the scriptural expectations surrounding the Kirtland temple were not fulfilled and how quickly things began degrading for the church. Financial troubles in Kirtland followed by strife among the leaders and violent conflict with non-members in Missouri eventually led to a new beginning in Nauvoo. But instead of returning to the original doctrines of the church, new practices and doctrines were introduced right up until the death of Joseph and Hyrum. We discuss these issues and put them into historical and scriptural context.

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5 thoughts on “Episode 008

  1. Thanks for another podcast. As I was listening at minute 58:00, MD mentioned that the saints had gathered in a general conference about a year before the martyrdom. How does this event reconcile with the command, referenced in earlier commentary, that the saints NOT hold a general conference until they could do so in the completed Nauvoo temple? What am I missing? Thanks!

    1. Good observation. This is an example of where things get “gray”. Yes, Joseph declared that there were to be no more baptisms nor conferences until they could be held in the temple. Interestingly, a few months later they built a temporary font in the basement of the uncompleted temple (keep in the mind the exterior walls didn’t even complete the second floor by June 1844, so this was barely more than an unfinished basement) and began baptizing in there. There is no revelation indicating that God accepted these baptisms in a temporary font in a nowhere-close-to-finished building. Likewise, despite the “thus saith the Lord” pronouncement, the church continued holding general conference every April and October, despite not having the temple anywhere close to a condition that they could hold conference inside it.

      Here are a few possible explanations (with a healthy dose of sarcasm):
      A) The church ignored the revelation from God and did what they wanted.
      B) Joseph was a fallen prophet and the church rightly ignored his false revelation.
      C) God can’t be trusted and says things he doesn’t mean.
      D) All is well. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      Personally, I suspect this is an example of where Joseph had brief periods of revelation in the Nauvoo era, then sank back into darkness with the rest of the church and ignored the revelations they had received.

  2. I love your podcasts and all 3 of you! Thank you so very much… So much good stuff!

    In terms of the evidences of Joseph practicing polygamy (or not) I do think that the counter narrative is still worth examining, rather than rejecting out of hand. For one, the whole history of the Cochranites should be touched upon, especially the extensive involvement Brigham had with this sect of restorationist minded people. The involvement of certain early church leaders with this polygamist/polyandrous sect, coupled with Brigham, Orsen, Heber, and Willard’s known propensity for revising our history (through backdated journal entries and meeting minutes, for example) to fit their own narratives help paint a very VERY interesting and plausible motive and means for their own adopting of these ideas, outside of Joseph’s approval. Let’s not forget that years where spent by the majority of the twelve in Europe, in an apostate state after Kirtland, where the notion and allure of polygamy could foster… Add that to the secrecy of the Danites and Masonry, and you have a wonderful breeding ground where Satan may do his work…. Again, Joseph and Hyrum and Sydney never taught it publically, Emma denied it to her dying day, enduring all sorts of nasty things said by Brigham, and most “evidence”, including the scetchy D&C 132 was produced long after the fact, by known polygamists who HAD to attach this doctrine to Joseph… We will never know the whole truth, but some of the counter evidence is still compelling enough to examine….

    1. Anthony,

      Thank you for summarizing this in such a great way.

      Have you read The Exoneration of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma by Ronald Karren?


      This book was an eye open for me. Especially when he called into question the political campaign for Joseph in the eastern states and how the democratic convention happened months earlier than what Brigham had wrote in his journal to cover up his involvement in Jospeh’s murder.

  3. Yes MD, I have read it. And most open-minded LDS should, and of course be discerning and cautious… There is no clear evidence that Joseph is innocent of polygamy (or guilty of it). Nor is there clear evidence that Brigham is guilty of murder… But my goodness, history has sure left some tantalizing breadcrumbs… 2 Nephi 28: 3-6, 9-14 would sure be spot on if there happened to be a fullness restored among the Gentiles, but then lost through polygamy and murder and other abominable acts… Isn’t it interesting that the VERY FIRST thing the Nephites did after Nephi died was run straight to polygamy…. Surely they tried to pin it on Nephi, haha… I am convinced we are in the awful situation Ether 8 describes… The only question is, HOW AWFUL? But, regardless, our need to submit fully to the Savior and repent is dire. Thanks Brother!

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