Subject: Smoke and mirrors: Changing Mormon Church history to bolster belief in the truth
Date: Jul 05 14:27 2004
Author: steve benson

Some years ago, in the then-recent wake of my leaving the Mormon Church, I was contacted by Van Hale, a Mormon apologist of some note in Morgville, and asked for a phone interview on his Sunday night radio talk show out of Salt Lake City.

He said he wanted to chat about my reasons for leaving the Mormon Church. I agreed.

During the course of our conversation, the subject of the Mormon Church's practice of regularly and deceptively altering its history came up.

I mentioned, as an example, the case of Willard Richards who, while imprisoned in Carthage jail with Joseph Smith, was experiencing some stomach upset and sought remedial relief.

The Tanners present the evidence for blatant after-the-fact textual alterations by Mormon Church "historians" of the episode:

[An] important change was made in the History of the Churchunder the date of June 27, 1844 - the day of Joseph Smith's death. In the version that was first published, Joseph Smith recommended that Apostle Willard Richards use a pipe and tobacco to settle his stomach: "Dr. Richards was taken sick, when Joseph said, 'Brother Markham,... go and get the Doctor a pipe and some tobacco to settle his stomach,' and Markham went out for them. When he had got the pipe and tobacco, and was returning to jail,..." (Millennial Star, vol. 24, p.471).

This has been changed to read as follows: "Dr. Richards was taken sick, when Joseph said, 'Brother Markham,... go and get the doctor something he needs to settle his stomach,' and Markham went out for medicine. When he had got the remedies desired, and was returning to jail,..." (History of the Church, vol. 6, p.614).

Notice that the Mormon historians tried to make it appear that Joseph Smith was recommending "medicine" rather than "a pipe and some tobacco." It would appear from the reference as it was first published that Apostle Richards was accustomed to the use of tobacco, for tobacco would certainly not settle the stomach unless a person was accustomed to its use.

At any rate, recent Mormon leaders have been very embarrassed about the early leaders' disregard for the Word of Wisdom and they have made several important changes in the History of the Church and other publications to cover up this change in policy.

Confronted by this undeniable and deliberate malformation of the historical record by the Mormon Church's Official Lies and Deception Department, Hale shrugged it off by responding that tobacco was, indeed, used as medicine. Therefore, he insisted, changing the original word from "tobacco" to "medicine" did not significantly alter the text or meaning of the account, as it stood amended.

Secondly, he told me that changing the word "tobacco" to "medicine" was an understandable effort to avoid undermining the faith of members who testimonies might not yet be strong enough to handle actual reality.

Which, of course, brings to mind the famous scene in the movie, "A Few Good Men," where Jack Nicholson screams from the witness box, "Truth? You can't handle the truth!!"

A fellow Morg apologist who had teamed up that night on the radio show with Hale dismissively commented that this objection was a typical anti-Mormon argument and that I was merely sounding like a typical anti-Mormon.

So there.

What strikes you as other egregious examples of falsification of Mormon Church history by the cutters and pasters in its downtown Salt Lake Orwellian Ministry of Truth?

Subject: Why would people need to have their "truth" sugar-coated?
Date: Jul 05 16:20
Author: brian-the-christ

Why would anyone want to "spin" their stories?

I experienced this over the weekend in a discussion with one of my TBM sisters about how my religious and political views have changed since I left mormonism.

This, she argues, is a clear indication that I am following the devil. Otherwise, why wouldn't my political views remain the same EVEN IF my religious views changed?

I suspect the reason I have shifted some of my political views is because now I am not as eager to just accept an assertion as "the truth." The underlying difference today in my religious views is that there are no thoughts that are off-limits to challenges. That if it looks like a duck and talks like a duck, it could be someone dressed up like a duck, so I may need to look deeper.

To argue that "tobacco" was changed to "medicine" to protect tender testimonies is inexcusable...unless THAT EXACT explanation was included in the foot note.

But what is absolutely clear by this example is that by the time people find out about the prevarication to protect the weak testimonies they are so deep into it they CAN'T easily break free.

Colonel Jessup's argument is clearly the same as those of mormon apologists: the end justifies the means. How typical of the type of justification going on in the world to excuse the loss of innocent life.

Subject: Re: Why would people need to have their "truth" sugar-coated?
Date: Jul 05 18:17
Author: Light Lady

When that guy told you that "tobacco IS medicine" you should have referred him back to the W.O.W. where it says that tobacco is only medicine for SICK CATTLE. So was the man with a stomach ache a cow?

Subject: Re: The "anti" defense
Date: Jul 05 17:31
Author: Mr. NBA

The moment you put a TBM in a corner this is what they consider their "get out of jail free" card. "Anti" means opposed to or not in favor of. When TBM's are presented with information that is opposed to or not in favor of their beliefs they immediately discount it. Thus the "anti defense". This discount allows them to cry foul when they are losing ground in an factual based discussion.

In the back of every TBM's mind they believe all items presented in a discussion that does not support their beliefs has been made up or misinterpreted. So they feel justified in "looking the other way" at these historical traffic accidents. In their minds at some point in the future all of these accusations will be proven false.

Peace Out!

Subject: any of the 'teachings of the prophet' manuals....
Date: Jul 05 18:38
Author: Gromit

A huge shock for me when I first picked up my Teachings manual on Brigham Young. I was curious about how many women he had married and thought for sure that the church would provide the answers.

One wife? Remarried after she died?


Admittedly they didn't outright lie...but isn't this what they would term a 'sin of omission'?

Let's just leave out any unsavory facts and discredit any history that paints a different picture.

Subject: Not just that....
Date: Jul 07 09:39
Author: austinapostate

In that manual, there is a statement in the Introduction section which states that all quotes are taken directly, without editing or changes from his talks. HOWEVER, throughout the book, there are quotes about how to treat your "wife", when the original source (J.O.D. among others) states "wives", and many of the statements are abridged to exclude any hint of plural wives. The whole thing was a sham and dishonest to say the least. But, the members lapped it up as though it were the truth...

As Van Hale so aptly stated, the early members, and apparently the current members couldn't handle "actual reality". I guess my question is if it's not "actual reality", what the hell is it?

Subject: Typical "milk before the meat" to keep those tender
Date: Jul 05 18:56
Author: Seeker

testimonies from being harmed by history (that is true but not very useful). What a CULT!

The only way to "win" with these people is to get them on YOUR show where you control the mic switch.

Subject: Re: To his credit Van Hale never appeared to be a LDS church spokesman
Date: Jul 05 19:08
Author: cienfuegos

He is one of the most ambiguous person I know. He will go a lot farther than his peers about exploring history of the church but through the years I've listened him never once I heard him express anything damaging to church.
I'll tell you this though: his program on KTKK from 5pm to 7pm on sundays (used to be when I was there), goes a lot deeper in discussing religion & history than any other programs.

Subject: Accusing someone of being Anti-mormon .....
Date: Jul 06 19:18
Author: Mimi

....has the same effect as calling someone a "racist." It's the end of the discussion.

Subject: To end the discussion is the intent, since the apologist cannot, or refuses to, deal with the facts. It is a signal of defeat and surrender on their part.

Subject: Van Hale essentially conceded your point....
Date: Jul 06 20:24
Author: Peter F. Priesthood

Isn't the phrase...

"changing the word "tobacco" to "medicine" was an understandable effort to avoid undermining the faith of members who testimonies might not yet be strong enough to handle actual reality."

The same as saying...

"Changing Church history to bolster belief in the truth"

He essentially conceded your point.

Its amazing to me how mormons can see evidence of this and just dismiss it out of hand, because they themselves don't want to give "meat" before "milk".

As a member, I know I was afraid to tell anyone the actual truth about mormon doctrine before they were ready for it. As a missionary we would always sugar coat the doctrine that we can become Gods, cause we knew most people felt that doctrine is blasphemous. The mormon church made liars out of all of us.

Thats one of the things that really made me mad when I realized the church wasn't true. I learned to lie really well for the lord.

Growing up in the church I never hear word one about Joseph Smith ever having more than one wife. The most shocking thing I ever heard an "anti" mormon say to me was that Joseph Smith had married other mens wives. But nothing compared to the shock I experienced when I found out that was something Mormon historians had known for years and years. You still don't hear about that in gospel doctrine class.

Same with the Book of Abraham. I didn't know the actual papyrus was rediscovered in 1967 until the year 2002. I told the "papyrus were destroyed in the chicago fire" lie all through out my mission, and didn't even know I was lying.

So its not just the institutional church... its lay Mormons in general that change history in order to protect the innocent.

Subject: This always got my goat ...
Date: Jul 06 20:27
Author: Timothy

Its a quote from Spencer W. Kimball concerning blacks and the priesthood:

"We have pleaded long and hard in behalf of these our faithful brethren ... he has heard our prayers and, by revelation, has confirmed that the long promised day has
come ... Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color!"

Surprisingly, Kimball actually seems to take credit for convincing God to change his mind on the issue. I dunno, it just feels weird.

Steve, you've got first hand experience with these guys. Are they really that powerful?


Subject: Re: Smoke and mirrors: Changing Church history to bolster belief in the truth
Date: Jul 07 10:43
Author: Nabob

Check out the current Ensign for more revisionist history. In an article about a Nauvoo era Bishop they reveal that the Nauvoo expositor was destroyed because they were trying to incite mob violence. William Law was trying to expose the dirty nasty little affairs of JS through polygamy.

Subject: Last year I read
Date: Jul 07 11:38
Author: Opie

an article in the Daily Unifarce (an appendage of the Salt Lake Orwellian Ministry of Truth) that was noting the 25th anniversary of the revelation on all worthy males holding the priesthood.

The article actually quoted individuals at BYU who flat out denied that the church ever taught that blacks had been cursed with the 'mark of Cain' due to being less valiant in the pre-existence.

I was dumbfounded. This false, misleading and down right dishonest article appeared in the BYU newspaper.



Subject: Starting with the very beginning, using the term "translation" for the BoM
Date: Jul 07 13:56
Author: Puli

The term "translation" notes a scholarly work of taking communication given in one language and wording it into another language to convey as close to the original meaning as possible. Calling the BoM a translation is about as misleading as it can be since JS didn't understand "Reformed Egyptian" (if there even is such a language), and since the gold plates he supposedly "translated" from weren't typically even in the same building as where he was "translating."

Smith may have been the first one to call the BoM a translation, but it has always intended as a deception of the real process to generate the book.

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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