Subject: Daniel Peterson, APOLOGIZE THIS - Child Brides!
Date: May 03 22:04 2003
Author: Troy

Polygamy and Mormonism are inseparably entwined. One of the most offensive aspects of Mormon-based polygamy is the rampant practice of taking underage girls as polygamous wives. This is precisely what Brian David Mitchell did when he abducted Elizabeth Smart. In the western United States, there are at least 30,000 people involved in the practice of Mormon-based polygamy. In these polygamous groups, the compulsion for underage girls to marry polygamists--usually men much older than themselves--is a part of everyday life. In these communities, girls as young as 12 or 13 are often married off to priesthood leaders. The most powerful and influential of these priesthood holders have first pick of the girls. Parents of the young girls submit their daughters willingly into these unions with the hope of being blessed by God in their afterlife.

One asks, where did this practice come from? Why do these offenders take such young girls as wives? What does Mormon doctrine have to do with this?

These are indeed puzzling questions, but the answers are simple. The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith Jr. set the precedent for this behavior.

Smith married several underage girls himself. The most notorious example of this is in the case of Helen Mar Kimball. Young Helen married Smith in May, 1843. She was 14 years old; the same age as Elizabeth Smart was at the time of her abduction. Helen’s father, Heber Chase Kimball gave his daughter to Smith as a token of his unquestioning devotion. In return, Smith promised that this union would seal up the salvation of the Kimball family. Smith didn’t use a knife to coerce this young girl, he used the weapon he was most adept at using, psychological manipulation.

I acknowledge that these accusations are extraordinary, but evidence that this event took place is well documented, as is evidence of Smith’s marriage to several other underage child brides. It can by found at this website, which is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Do a search on Joseph Smith. There are many entries under this name. Be sure to select the one who was born Dec. 23, 1805, and died Jun. 27, 1844. His parents’ names were Joseph Smith (Sr.) and Lucy Mack. Scroll down to MARRIAGES to see a list of many of Smith’s wives. To find out the ages of the wives, click on their respective names. Be sure to click on Helen Mar Kimball. One will see that in May, 1843, at the time of her marriage to Smith, she was 14 years old.

There is profound ignorance of these facts among the rank-and-file members of the LDS Church. The leaders of this church actively pretend that polygamy never existed. Today they provide educational pamphlets for their members that portray Smith, Brigham Young, and several other early presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as monogamous. Many members of the LDS Church don’t even believe that the founder of their church was a polygamist, let alone a man who filled his harem with underage girls as young as 14.

The LDS Church discontinued the practice of polygamy in 1890, but this was only a move to relieve pressure that was placed on them by the US Government. It was also a move toward the goal of establishing statehood for Utah. The practice was discontinued, but the doctrine is still in place and can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132. This is canonized LDS scripture. I recommend that anyone interested in this phenomenon read this piece of LDS scripture. Here is the link to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132:

The LDS Church finds itself in a serious dilemma by refusing to repudiate this doctrine, an act that would seriously undermine the alleged divine calling of their founder and expose him for the sexual predator he really was. But by allowing this doctrine to remain in canonized form within their holy scriptures, they are allowing a hideous practice to continue unchallenged. Extremely devout members find themselves very troubled when they study the practice of polygamy according to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, who was also the man who established the precedent for not only practicing polygamy, but taking underage girls as polygamous wives. These devout members find themselves in serious trouble with the LDS Church hierarchy when they start looking into this doctrine. Expressing a belief in this doctrine is a sure-fire way to get oneself excommunicated. After finding themselves excommunicated, inevitably these devout Mormons get involved in Mormon Fundamentalism, the current religious movement in which Mormon-based polygamy is held to be a sacred doctrine. The ranks of Mormon Fundamentalist groups are swelling rapidly as a result of their inherent fecundity, and also because of the steady stream of devout, but disaffected Mormons who are leaving the LDS Church to join with them.

One now must undoubtedly be asking, how could the LDS Church possibly change this trend? I propose two solutions:

First, the leaders of the LDS Church need to repudiate this doctrine and permanently strike it from their canonized scripture. This will cast Joseph Smith in an unfavorable light, but this will be the honest thing to do. Only by completely repudiating the practice of polygamy, and condemning this practice even by Joseph Smith, will they ever have a chance of holding back the tide of disaffected members leaving the church to get involved in Mormon Fundamentalism. Until they do this, devout members will continue to take this doctrine seriously and there will continue to be a potential for the formation of the mindset we see with Brian David Mitchell, Elizabeth Smart’s abductor.

The second solution should be understood with the realization that the LDS Church is the most powerful political force in Utah. Unofficially speaking, Utah is the quintessential American theocracy. Even the governor of the state, Mike Leavitt owes his personal loyalty to the LDS Church first and foremost. As a member of the LDS Church, this is his obligation. Considering their immense political power in this state, the leaders of the LDS Church need to actively speak out against the practice of polygamy, without fear of bad publicity, which has hindered their involvement thus far. The crimes taking place in polygamous communities are largely ignored by Utah law enforcement. It is frequently suggested that the LDS Church discourages prosecution within these groups because this inevitably brings them embarrassment when polygamy is in the headlines. This negative publicity frustrates their attempts to ignore polygamy, in the hopes that it will be forgotten by the world. But there is little they can do to avoid bad publicity when polygamy puts Utah in the world spotlight, as has happened with the abduction of Elizabeth Smart. The LDS Church needs to encourage the Utah State government to prosecute the abuses that take place daily in the Mormon Fundamentalist communities without fear of negative publicity.

Mormon-based polygamy contains within it the insidious practice of taking underage girls as polygamous wives. If this isn’t child sexual abuse, what is? These crimes need to be aggressively prosecuted today. Until this happens, young girls will continue to be victims of this form of child sexual abuse. The LDS Church needs to take responsibility for introducing this practice to America. They need to publicly denounce the actions of their founder. If this doesn’t happen soon, we will be left to speculate as to how much worse this problem will become in the future. Today, the abuses inherent to Mormon-based polygamy are worse than ever. Under the current level of action, this trend will continue.

For more information on child polygamist brides, see this website:

Subject: Even so, you have to gnaw the bone some to find any meat.
Date: May 03 22:50
Author: Nightingale

There is no concerted effort in the church to inform converts (or even members, from what I've seen) about these doctrinal issues. I even personally, in the flesh, on the spot, took a one-on-one guided tour of BY's house in SLC. NEVER once was there a hint that the man practiced polygamy. I knew he had several wives (like dozens?) but I thought they were successive, not concurrent!!!! They IDOLIZE that man and purposefully cover up unsavoury facts.

They do the same with other history, practices and issues in the church, riddling Mormonism with deceit.

As for the CK doctrine, yes it is true. Blech. This is a big reason why the Mormon church cannot absolve itself of its polygamous past or duck responsibility for polygamy abuses in this present day - because it is a deeply held conviction of the church that polygamy is part of members' eternal destiny. They teach (albeit quietly and obscurely) that JESUS was a polygamist and that God, the Father IS a polygamist now. And all "worthy" priesthood holders will BE polygamists when they reach the CK.

I'd like to see them duck out of acknowledging this as their past and current doctrine. That would confirm their deceit.

Oh, come to think - didn't the Mormon prophet LIE about this in an interview, on more than one occasion? Confirming what we're saying. The church lies. Despicable in the extreme. It's one thing to adhere to and practice religious beliefs that others disagree with, even find distasteful. It's another level of hypocrisy and deceit to DENY that you do so.

I can't help but be struck by the very title "apologist". It makes me laugh that false belief systems need someone to apologize for the lies told. That's really all it comes down to. Smith's original lies weren't convincing enough; that's why we have FARMS. One almost pictures them saying "we're sorry it's so unbelievable, we'll make it incoherent instead."

The purpose of FARMS is to make everything so incoherent that no one could possibly make sense of things. One can use logic to get to the heart of the truth, or one can use apologetics to go in exactly the opposite direction. The goal at FARMS is not to make Smith's lies more believable, but rather to dissuade honest intellectuals in their efforts to simplify matters in their quest for the real truth.

Recovery from Mormonism -   

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