If it was all a lie, why did Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith die for it?
Subject: If it was all a lie, why did Joseph Smith die for it?
Date: Feb 05 18:25 2004
Author: MySongAngel

This is what my dad asked me last night. He no longer believes, but he still wonders about stuff like this, obviously. I said, "Dad!! He didn't die for the church. It had nothing to do with it! That's the big lie!" I then told him that if he HAD gotten up and said, "Okay, Okay, I lied. I admit it." That not only would he still be in trouble, but he would then lose the support of the 'church' that so adored him.

So anyway, does anyone know exactly why he was in jail? I know I could probably look this up, but it would take some work. Does anyone have good references or knowledge about why he had to die. There are a lot of ideas: Masons, money-digging, angry husbands. But what exactly were the charges against him?

Subject: He painted himself in a corner and was too sure of himself. He was expecting a rescue from his militia at Carthage, and got the ...
Date: Feb 05 18:27
Author: BornUnderPunches

.... mob instead.

Throughout his life he got by blaming others, running away, and having opponents hunted down by hired guns.

He just happened to screw up in the wrong place and the wrong time.

Subject: By that time, maybe he had actually convinced himself to some degree.
Date: Feb 05 18:32
Author: Mujun

You see this with charismatic religious leaders. Jim Jones and David Koresh both became martyrs for their faiths too. Power is intoxicating.

Personally, I don't think that any of those 19 Islamic fanatic hijackers (15 of whom were Saudis and none of whom were Iraqis, by the way) are going to get the martyr's reward that they anticipated. They had religious conviction. They KNEW that their religion was true. Dying for it, however, doesn't prove them right.

Subject: He was in Carthage for destruction of the press...
Date: Feb 05 18:33
Author: Joe

The Nauvoo Expositor was going to publish a polygamy expose on Joseph Smith. He ordered the press destroyed, and the order was carried out. He was arrested for it. That was the specific charge that landed him in jail, but you're right about all the people who wanted him dead. I'm sure the mob was a diverse group of people who had a whole variety of reasons for wanting Joe dead.

I don't understand why Mormons use this as proof Joe was a prophet. We experienced this same behavior from a so-called prophet as recently as 1993. If David Koresh wasn't really a prophet, why was he willing to die for it. He held out for 51 days after the initial shootout. He and others in the compound were injured in the initial shootout, yet they held on for another 51 days before the final siege that burned down the compound. Why go through all that suffering for a lie?

Subject: The Expositor...
Date: Feb 05 18:48
Author: tannerman

the Expositor wasn't "going to publish an expose of polygamy", they already had published it. That's why Holy Joe was so pissed and had the place trashed. They published their piece AND had the audacity to name names. You can view a copy of the original article at www.utlm.org

Subject: Re: The Expositor...
Date: Feb 05 19:06
Author: rwg

It also had ripped his economic ideas and demanded "the unconditional repeal of the city charter - to correct the abuses of the unit power." That *would* piss him off.

Subject: And, of course, what's worse was that the Expositor had plans for more exposes'. Couldn't have that. 

Subject: The charges were treason. But I never found out what they
Date: Feb 05 18:38
Author: Frustrating Investigator

related to--ordering the destruction of the printing press probably, but there could have been so many reasons. What I wonder is who made up the "lynch mob", i.e. why did these ordinary men, not in a recognized group, ban together to come after JS? What threat did they feel from him? Was it a group of Masons ticked because he had lifted their secret ceremony?

Subject: Re: The charges were treason. But I never found out what they
Date: Feb 05 19:03
Author: rwg

When JS was in command of Nauvoo he issued an ordinance providing for the punishment of anyone using language disrespectful of the church, insisted that no Illinois law become valid in Nauvoo until it bore his signature, and asked Congress to erect his city as federal territory free of state control. When he ran for president in 1844 he alienated the Whig party by calling for freeing all slaves and prisoners, annexing Canada and Mexico, and reducing the number of Congressmen. When he alienated them he was surrounded by enemies, as Illinois was largely a Democrat state. Then came the matter of the "Expositor". The editors fled to Carthage, swore out a warrant, denouncing JS all the way there; mass meetings were held, calling for "extermination" of the Mormons, and the governor tried to restore calm. He found that the militia was as rabidly anti-Mormon as the people so he convinced JS and Hyrum to go to the Carthage jail for their safety. That was futile, as we know. We also know that there were many exMos in the group. Hope this helps.

Subject: The charge was "inciting a riot" . . .
Date: Feb 05 19:16
Author: buick

Because destroying the press caused quite a ruckus. The charge was for convenience.

Violating a person's civil rights did not become a real criminal offense until the 1960's.

Joe had been charged with treason, arson, larceny, etc. in the Missouri War, but he escaped from custody and fled to Illinois. The Missourians wanted to arrest him and try him on those charges, but Joe had so far outsmarted those attempting to extradite him.

Joe was also still wanted for the attempted murder of Lilburn W. Boggs, even though O.P. Rockwell had already been exonerated of that charge.

Subject: Had always managed to wiggle free before. Thought he could do so again. But his luck ran out.

Subject: JS was narcissistic and deluded
Date: Feb 05 18:51
Author: Kim

Joseph Smith was narcissistic and basically must have convinced himself that he was above the law.

This was America and people in America believe in freedom of the press...even back in 1844. JS thought he was above this law.

There were indeed plenty of other reasons why people wanted him to "go away," and they weren't unfounded. He was trying to screw a lot of women some of whom were already other men's wives. He was trying to avoid paying debts. If he were a rationally thinking man, would he really think he could get away with all of this?

He had it coming. It's as simple as that.

The whole martyr version of the story that Mormons like to believe is not the real truth.

Subject: Re: JS was narcissistic and deluded
Date: Feb 05 19:12
Author: rwg

In his book "1846" Bernard de Voto calls him "a poor crazed man" and later describes his last two years as paranoia run amok and his "being drunk on power." (pp79, 87).

Subject: If it was all a lie, why did David Koresh die for it? NT
Subject: Doomsday cult leaders often die.
Date: Feb 05 18:54
Author: Cheryl

Look at Wacco, Jonestown, and Heaven's Gate. Violent death is part of the typical pattern for strange cult leaders.

Subject: People who lie are often shot, like JS was. He was killed because he lied from the get-go ! n/t

Subject: Joseph Smith didn't die for his religious beliefs.....
Date: Feb 05 19:13
Author: Randy J.

....but rather because of his repeated crimes and lies. He abused the Nauvoo city charter by making the city council his own kangaroo court which repeatedly found him "innocent" for his various misdeeds.

At the time of his murder, Smith was still under indictment for the attempted murder of Lilburn Boggs in Missouri. Smith used legal chicanery to avoid prosecution, hiring lawyer Cyrus Walker to get him off on technicalities, in return for promising Walker, a candidate for state office, the Mormon vote. But Smith double-crossed Walker by allowing his followers to vote for Walker's competitor.

Smith had also formed a secret "Council of Fifty" trusted men, whom he planned to become the replacement government of the US when Smith took control of the nation as its theocratic dictator. His attempts to institute a state church enraged his opponents, which included some former Mormons.

Smith's other big offense was his secret polygamy practice. After having denied it for years, Smith's practice was exposed by some dissident Mormons in a newspaper called the "Nauvoo Expositor." Its publishers also had charges filed against Smith of adultery and polygamy. Wishing to keep polygamy and his "council of fifty" secret, Smith retaliated by ordering the "Expositor" press destroyed. Its publishers then fled to the county seat at Carthage and swore warrants against him for inciting a riot.

Smith's bogus Nauvoo city court again found him "innocent" on the charge, but the state militia prepared to march to Nauvoo to arrest him. So Smith activated the "Nauvoo Legion" to prevent the militia from entering the city. Fearing arrest anyway, Smith fled across the Mississippi River and prepared to escape to parts west. But his wife Emma and other friends sent him messages calling him a coward and demanding that he return to face charges.

So Smith returned and submitted to arrest at Carthage on a charge of treason, which resulted from his illegal activation of the Nauvoo Legion (which was a state-sponsored militia) to prevent his arrest.

Once Smith was finally in custody, his opponents saw that as their opportunity to bring him to the justice which he had evaded for years. They didn't want to give Smith the chance to use legal wrangling to escape yet again. So they formed a mob to storm the jail and killed him as an act of what they viewed as "vigilantism."

Bottom line being that Smith wasn't killed because of his religious beliefs, but because of his repeated lies and crimes. And Smith had no intention of dying in Carthage Jail; he and friends had two smuggled pistols which they used against the mob. And on the morning of his death, Smith smuggled out a message to Nauvoo Legion commander Jonathan Dunham to come break them out of jail. Dunham declined to obey the order, because he knew that was illegal, since the Legion had been ordered disbanded by Governor Thomas Ford.

When the mob stormed the jail, Smith had every reason to believe that the Legion was coming as per his order. That is why he ran to the window and attempted to voice the Masonic distress call "O Lord My God! Is there no help for the widow's son?" But before he could complete the statement, he was shot and fell from the window. The Legion never came, even though the mob quickly scattered in fear that they were on the way there.

You can forward this to your dad if you like.

Subject: Re: If it was all a lie, why did Joseph Smith die for it?
Date: Feb 05 20:54
Author: bob mccue

Have a look at the sections dealing with psychology in the essay at http://www3.telus.net/public/rcmccue/ Related information is at http://www3.telus.net/public/rcmccue/bob/spirituality.htm


Subject: While Jim Jones wasn't killed by anyone else he
Date: Feb 05 21:14
Author: YukonCornelius

seemed to be quite the scum bucket believing that he indeed was Christ...or something like it. I guess that JS only thought he was the Holy Ghost.


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