Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Debauchery and despotism at Nauvoo

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Debauchery and despotism at Nauvoo?

A FairMormon Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 196 (hardback and paperback)

"Apostates...preached against the evils thriving in Joseph's city of debauchery and despotism."

Author's Sources

Endnote 119, page 549 (hardback); page 547 (paperback)


ONUG takes liberties with the sources to come up with the "evils thriving in Joseph's city of debauchery and despotism." The cited source (History of the Church) makes no mention of "debauchery and despotism." The reference provided simply states the following:

Friday, 10—Rode out after breakfast to the prairie to sell some land to some brethren.

The court-martial was held in the Mayor's office on the charge against Robert D. Foster, Surgeon-General, for unbecoming and unofficer-like conduct, &c.; Brigadier-General George Miller presiding. The charges were sustained.

A prospectus of the Nauvoo Expositor was distributed among the people by the apostates.

The jury of Lee county, Illinois, awarded $40 damages and the costs against Joseph H. Reynolds and Harmon T. Wilson for illegal imprisonment and abuse, which I suffered from them last June in that county.

  • So what does the Nauvoo Expositor say regarding "debauchery"? Here is the only mention of "debauchery" in the Expositor:

Resolved 7th, That we discountenance and disapprobate the attendance at houses of revelling and dancing; dram-shops and theatres; verily believing they have a tendency to lead from paths of virtue and holiness, to those of vice and debauchery. (emphasis added)

  • Here is what the Expositor says about "despotism:"

[W]e believe religious despotism to be incompatible with our free institutions. What we conceive to be despotism, engendered by an assumption of power in the name of religion, we shall have occasion to show hereafter.