Detailed response to CES Letter, Polygamy and Polyandry

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Response to section "Letter to a CES Director: Polygamy/Polyandry Concerns & Questions"



A FAIR Analysis of: [[../|Letter to a CES Director]], a work by author: Jeremy Runnells
Chart CES Letter polygamy.png

Response to section "Polygamy/Polyandry Concerns & Questions"

Summary: Regarding Joseph's practice of polygamy, the author states that "Joseph Smith’s pattern of behavior or modus operandi for a period of at least 10 years of his adult life was to keep secrets, be deceptive, and be dishonest – both privately and publicly."


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Response to claim: "Joseph Smith was married to at least 34 women"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith was married to at least 34 women.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This is correct. Interested readers should see the linked pages to research the wives of Joseph Smith


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Most members of the Church are completely unaware that this alleged...1831 revelation Joseph F. Smith is referring to was a secret (and still uncanonized) 'revelation' that Joseph and other men were to marry the descendants of the Lamanites"

The author(s) of Debunking FairMormon, July 2014 make(s) the following claim:

It’s unfortunate that the Church is not as open, straightforward, and transparent to their members and investigators today as Joseph F. Smith and the 1912 First Presidency were on Joseph Smith’s polygamy.

“…plural marriage was first revealed to Joseph Smith in 1831, but being forbidden to make it public, or teach it as a doctrine of the Gospel, at the time…”[the author is quoting FairMormon here]

Most members of the Church are completely unaware that this alleged (it was written down 30 years later in 1861 by William W. Phelps) 1831 revelation Joseph F. Smith is referring to was a secret (and still uncanonized) “revelation” that Joseph and other men were to marry the descendants of the Lamanites, or the Native Americans, to raise seed so “that their posterity may become white and delightsome.”

In addition to being written down 30 years after the fact, being an uncanonized revelation, and concerning the marrying of only Lamanite women, this 1831 revelation is also contradicted by passages in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants (101:4, 13.7, and 65:3). Thus, FairMormon's position requires us to believe in a seemingly schizophrenic god who gave explicit commands against polygamy in revelations but who just a few years earlier told Joseph Smith that plural marriage is legitimate but to keep it a secret? Despite giving Joseph Smith contrary and opposite revelations a short time later? That this polygamy revelation in 1831 is for the purpose of raising seed with the Indians so that their posterity would “become white and delightsome”?

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is false

First, there is no indication within the quote we shared from Joseph F. Smith that he is referring to this event. Second, the best evidence suggests that the revelation on plural marriage was given incrementally starting with the Book of Mormon, continuing with his translation of the Bible (evidenced by the text of D&C 132), inculcated by angelic ministration, and finally implemented in the Nauvoo period. Third, the fact that the revelation wasn't written down until 30 years after the fact should have indicated to the author the dubious nature of its officialdom and his interpretation of events is contradicted by the documentable historical data.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Of those 34 women, 11 of them were married women of other living men"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Of those 34 women, 11 of them were married women of other living men.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Joseph Smith was sealed to the wives of some living men. None of these appears to have been "for time," and none appear to have involved sexual relations, with the possible exception of one woman who had separated from her husband. In all other cases, the women continued to live with their earthly husbands after the sealing.


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Response to claim: "Among them being Apostle Orson Hyde who was sent on his mission to dedicate Israel when Joseph secretly married his wife, Marinda Hyde"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Among them being Apostle Orson Hyde who was sent on his mission to dedicate Israel when Joseph secretly married his wife, Marinda Hyde.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The spin: It isn't as simple as the critics wish to portray it.The facts: There are multiple sealing dates - one after Orson had been away for at least one year, and the other after Orson had already returned and asked Joseph to seal him to a plural wife of his own. When Hyde returned, he not only resumed living with his wife Marinda, but they had children together.

Logical Fallacy: False Cause—The author assumes that a real or perceived relationship between two events means that one caused the other.

Joseph did not send Orson away on a mission so that he could secretly marry his wife.


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Response to claim: "Joseph was 37-years-old when he married 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph was 37-years-old when he married 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball, twenty-three years his junior. Even by 19th century standards, this is pedophilia.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The mistake: All available evidence indicates that Joseph was sealed to Helen for eternity, and that it was at her father's request. If the union was also intended to be "for time" as well as eternity, the available evidence indicates that such marriages were not consummated until the wife had reached a certain age.The facts: Helen continued to live with her parents. There is no evidence of sexual relations. On the contrary, the fact that Helen was not called upon to testify in the Temple Lot case, despite the fact that she was available for such testimony, is evidence against her ever having had sexual relations with Joseph. The Church only called upon those women to testify who could attest to the nature of Joseph's plural marriages. Helen went on to become a big supporter of plural marriage in her adult years.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Even by 19th century standards, this is pedophilia"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

[Regarding the sealing of Joseph to 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball]: Even by 19th century standards, this is pedophilia.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is false

The falsehood: No, actually it isn't pedophilia.The facts: Joseph being sealed to Helen does not meet the definition of "pedophilia." The term "pedophilia" is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as "psychosexual disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child of the same or the opposite sex". Pedophilia requires that the adult involved have sexual acts with a prepubescent child.

Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion—The author attempts to manipulate the reader's emotional response instead of presenting a valid argument.

< While the term "pedophilia" is a favorite of some critics for its emotional punch, any supposed sexual interaction between Joseph and Helen appears only in the minds of critics, without supporting evidence.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "The Church now admits that Joseph Smith married 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball in its October 2014 Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (October 2014 revision) make(s) the following claim:

The Church now admits that Joseph Smith married 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball in its October 2014 Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The spin: The idea that this was recently revealed is the critics' "spin," given that this information was provided by the Church back in 1882.The facts: The Church "admitted" this in 1882, over 130 years ago! Helen Mar Kimball Whitney wrote all about it in “Scenes in Nauvoo,” Woman’s Exponent 11, no. 5 (August 1, 1882)


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Response to claim: "Among the women was a mother-daughter set and three sister sets"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Among the women [who were Joseph Smith's polygamous wives] was a mother-daughter set and three sister sets.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The spin: For the shock value, the author has invoked a biblical prohibition under the Mosaic law and applied it to 19th century plural marriage.The facts: Joseph Smith was not observing the biblical Mosaic Law, which was fulfilled and done away with at the time of Jesus Christ.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Some of the marriages to these women included promises by Joseph of eternal life to the girls and their families"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Some of the marriages to these women included promises by Joseph of eternal life to the girls and their families.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The principle of plural marriage was portrayed as a means of attaining eternal life.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Some of the marriages to these women included...threats of loss of salvation"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Some of the marriages to these women included...threats of loss of salvation.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The references to loss of salvation have been hyped up.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "threats that he (Joseph) was going to be slain by an angel with a flaming sword if the girls didn’t marry him"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director make(s) the following claim:

Some of the marriages to these women included...threats that he (Joseph) was going to be...

slain by an angel with a flaming sword if the girls didn’t marry him. (April 2013)
slain by an angel with a drawn sword if the girls didn't marry him.(October 2014)

[Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs] was married for 7.5 months and was 6 months pregnant with her first husband, Henry Jacobs, when she married Joseph after being told Joseph’s life was...

in danger from an angel with a flaming sword. (April 2013)

in danger from an angel with a drawn sword. (October 2014)

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The mistake: There is no mention of a "flaming" sword. The author corrected this error, but still makes the mistake of stating that Joseph would be slain by the sword "if the girls didn't marry him."The facts: The "drawn sword" references refer to Joseph's postponement the implementation of the practice of plural marriage, not "if the girls didn't marry him." Some of these women, in fact, refused.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "President Hinckley publicly stating that polygamy is not doctrinal"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

A lot of members don’t realize that there is a set of very specific and bizarre rules outlined in Doctrine & Covenants 132 (still in LDS canon despite President Hinckley publicly stating that polygamy is not doctrinal) on how polygamy is to be practiced.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The author wishes to imply that President Hinckley was lying when he said that polygamy was "not doctrinal." Polygamy is not doctrinal in the 21st century. We do not practice polygamy in the 21st century - it used to be doctrinal, and is no longer doctrinal.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "D&C 132 is unequivocal on the point that polygamy is permitted only 'to multiply and replenish the earth' and 'bear the souls of men'"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

D&C 132 is unequivocal on the point that polygamy is permitted only 'to multiply and replenish the earth' and 'bear the souls of men'. .... D&C 132:63 very clearly states that the only purpose of polygamy is to 'multiply and replenish the earth' and 'bear the souls of men'. Why did Joseph marry women who were already married? These women were obviously not virgins, which violated D&C 132. Zina Huntington had been married seven and a half months and was six months pregnant with her first husband’s baby at the time she married Joseph; clearly she didn’t need any more help to 'bear the souls of men'.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The mistake: Polygamy was not permitted only for the purpose of procreation.The facts: Joseph established the practice of plural marriage as part of the "restoration of all things." The lack of children from Joseph's polygamous marriages demonstrates that.

Logical Fallacy: Composition/Division—The author assumed that one part of something had to be applied to everything.

The author takes a statement dealing with the purpose of the practice of polygamy and assumes that it is the only reason for the practice.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "These married women continued to live as husband and wife with their prior husband after marrying Joseph"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph married 11 women who were already married. Multiple husbands = Polyandry. These married women continued to live as husband and wife with their prior husband after marrying Joseph.....Also, [D&C 132] verse 63 states that if the new wives are with another man after the polygamous marriage, they will be destroyed. Eleven of Joseph’s wives lived with their prior husbands after marrying Joseph Smith. Most of them lived on to old age. Why weren’t they “destroyed”?

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The mistake: The author conflates being sealed for eternity with being married for time.The facts: Joseph's "polyandrous" wives continued to live with their current husbands because they were married to them until they died. In the early days of the Church, it was possible to be sealed for eternity to a different person than the one you were married to for time.


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Response to claim: "What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith said “…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.” – History of the Church, Vol. 6, Chapter 19, p. 411

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This is correct. Joseph was responding to accusations of adultery.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Emma was unaware of most of Joseph’s plural marriages, at least until after the fact"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (October 2014 revision) make(s) the following claim:

How about the consent of the first wife, which receives so much attention in D&C 132? Emma was unaware of most of Joseph’s plural marriages, at least until after the fact, which violated D&C 132.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Due to a lack of documentation, it is not known whether or not Emma was unaware of "most" of Joseph's plural marriages. We know of a few that she was aware of, and a some that she was not aware of.

Logical Fallacy: Argument from Silence—The author has formed a conclusion that is based on the absence of statements in historical documents, rather than on their actual presence.

There is little recorded information to indicate what Emma knew. The critics simply choose to assume that she didn't know about "most" of these marriages.


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Response to claim: "She certainly did not consent to most of them as required by D&C 132"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (October 2014 revision) make(s) the following claim:

[Emma] certainly did not consent to most of them as required by D&C 132

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Again, we do not know what Emma's knowledge was regarding "most" of Joseph's plural marriages. If she did not consent to them, then D&C 132, which the author cites, states that Joseph could proceed without her consent.

Logical Fallacy: Argument from Silence—The author has formed a conclusion that is based on the absence of statements in historical documents, rather than on their actual presence.

There is no record to support the assertion that Emma did not consent to "most" of these marriages. The author simply assumes that because Emma is known to have not consented to some of them, that she did not consent to most of them.


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Response to claim: "The Church’s new October 2014 Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay acknowledges that Joseph Smith was a polygamist"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (October 2014 revision) make(s) the following claim:

The Church’s new October 2014 Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo essay acknowledges that Joseph Smith was a polygamist

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

This has never been a secret. More correctly stated: The Church's November 1946 issue of the Improvement Era acknowledges that Joseph Smith was a polygamist...almost 70 years ago.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "The following 1835 edition of Doctrine & Covenants revelations bans polygamy"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

The following 1835 edition of Doctrine & Covenants revelations bans polygamy:

1835 Doctrine & Covenants 101:4:

“Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This was added by Oliver Cowdery after he learned that plural marriage had been restored. After the Saints moved to Utah and the practice of plural marriage was made public, this section was removed and replaced by Section 132.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Unions without the knowledge or consent of the husband, in cases of polyandry"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph’s polygamy also included...Unions without the knowledge or consent of the husband, in cases of polyandry.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Each case was different, and the author simply makes a global assumption that none of the "earthly" husbands were aware of this. This provides greater "shock value." The actual data, however, demonstrates that many of the husbands were not only aware of this, but they approved of it, in some cases because they were not members of the Church and didn't believe in marriage after this life anyway.


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Response to claim: "Joseph’s marriage to Fanny Alger was described by Oliver Cowdery as a 'dirty, nasty, filthy affair'"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director make(s) the following claim:

Joseph’s marriage to Fanny Alger was described by his cousin, Oliver Cowdery, as a “dirty, nasty, filthy affair." (April 2013)
Joseph’s marriage to Fanny Alger was described by Oliver Cowdery as a “dirty, nasty, filthy affair” (October 2014)

Author's sources:
  1. Richard L. Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p. 323.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Oliver did not approve of the restoration of plural marriage, and accused Joseph of adultery - one of the charges that was brought up when he was eventually excommunicated from the Church.


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Response to claim: "Joseph was practicing polygamy before the sealing authority was given"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph was practicing polygamy before the sealing authority was given

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Joseph and Fanny's marriage was a plural marriage, not an eternal marriage.

Logical Fallacy: False Cause—The author assumes that a real or perceived relationship between two events means that one caused the other.

The author assumes that the sealing power was required prior to the initiation of plural marriage.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "A union with a newlywed and pregnant woman (Zina Huntingon)"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

[Joseph Smith married] a newlywed and pregnant woman (Zina Huntingon)....Zina Huntington had been married seven and a half months and was six months pregnant with her first husband’s baby at the time she married Joseph; clearly she didn’t need any more help to “bear the souls of men”.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

Joseph was sealed to Zina for eternity, and she continued to live with her earthly husband Henry even after she was sealed to Joseph. The purpose of this sealing for eternity was not to "bear the souls of men."


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: Zina "married Joseph after being told Joseph’s life was in danger from an angel with a flaming sword"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Zina "married Joseph after being told Joseph’s life was in danger from an angel with a flaming sword" (April 2013)
Zina "married Joseph after being told Joseph’s life was in danger from an angel with a drawn sword" (October 2014)

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The "angel with a sword" reference refers to Joseph's postponement of the practice of polygamy, not his marriage to a specific individual. Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs said that Joseph mentioned an angel with a drawn sword. The account of a "flaming" sword came from Eliza Snow and Orson F. Whitney.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "there is no such thing as an insane polygamist god who demanded such sadistic, immoral, adulterous, despicable, and pedophilic behavior"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

there is no such thing as an insane polygamist god who demanded such sadistic, immoral, adulterous, despicable, and pedophilic behavior

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The Merriam-Webster definition of "sadism" is "enjoyment that someone gets from being violent or cruel or from causing pain." The definition of "insane" is "mentally disordered." The author suggests that Latter-day Saints believe in a "mentally disordered" god who derives enjoyment from causing people pain and demanding the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. This is pure propaganda on the part of the author. Latter-day Saints do not believe in such a god.

Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Emotion—The author attempts to manipulate the reader's emotional response instead of presenting a valid argument.

Response to claim: "The secrecy of the marriages and the private and public denials by Joseph Smith are not congruent with honest behavior"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

The secrecy of the marriages and the private and public denials by Joseph Smith are not congruent with honest behavior. Emma was unaware of most of these marriages. The Saints did not know what was going on behind the scenes as polygamy did not become common knowledge until 1852 when Brigham Young revealed it in Utah. Joseph Smith did everything he could to keep the practice in the dark.

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The secrecy of the practice wasn't because Joseph didn't try to teach the doctrine. It was because of the danger from others.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Joseph’s desire to keep this part of his life a secret is what ultimately contributed to his death when he ordered the destruction of the printing press"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Joseph’s desire to keep this part of his life a secret is what ultimately contributed to his death when he ordered the destruction of the printing press (Nauvoo Expositor) that dared expose his behavior in June 1844

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

Joseph was not keeping that part of his life secret - there were a number of his associates who were not only aware of the practice of plural marriage, but practiced it themselves. In the case of the Expositor, it talked of plural marriage in the most inflammatory terms, and Joseph recognized that it would cause major problems for Nauvoo.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith: 11 Polyandrous Marriages"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

A "mormoninfographic" called "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" is used in the Letter to a CES Director to illustrate Joseph Smith's "11 Polyandrous Marriages"

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This section responds to a graphic illustrating Joseph Smith's "polyandrous" marriages.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
A portion of a critical graphic "The Many Wives of Joseph Smith" from "mormoninfographics.com" with an explanation by FairMormon.
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Response to claim: "Why is there no mention of God commanding Adam or Noah and/or their immediate male children to have many wives?"

The author(s) of Letter to a CES Director (April 2013 revision) make(s) the following claim:

If God commands polygamy in situations where a high birth rate is necessary, why is there no mention of God commanding Adam or Noah and/or their immediate male children to have many wives? (April 2013)

--Claim Deleted-- (October 2014)

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The spin: This claim is absurd, for obvious reasons. The author was correct to delete it in later revisions of his letter.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Response to claim: "Latter-day 'prophet, seer, and revelator' Lorenzo Snow strongly disagrees with FairMormon"

The author(s) of "Debunking FAIR’s Debunking" (also known as "Debunking FairMormon" - from the author of the Letter to a CES Director) (20 July 2014 revision) make(s) the following claim:

Latter-day “prophet, seer, and revelator” Lorenzo Snow strongly disagrees with FairMormon. Snow states:

A man that violated this law in the Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 edition, until the acceptance of that revelation by the church, violated the law of the church if he practiced plural marriage. Yes sir, he would have been cut off from the church, I think I should have been if I had. Before the giving of that revelation in 1843 if a man married more wives than one who were living at the same time, he would have been cut off from the church. It would have been adultery under the laws of the church and under the laws of the state, too. – Temple Lot Case, p.320-322

FAIR's Response

Fact checking results: This claim is false

Snow's testimony in the summary transcript that was created by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was designed to make it appear that polygamy was adultery. This was the position of the Reorganized Church. The original transcript, from which the summary was derived, makes no such claim.


Longer response(s) to criticism:

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Brian Hales: CES Letter 31 to 34 Polyandry


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LDS Truth Claims: Criticism from Polygamy/Polyandry


A FAIR Analysis of:
[[../|Letter to a CES Director]]
A work by author: Jeremy Runnells
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