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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: June 26, 2014 06:13PM

History is no friend to the liars and sanitizers who run the Mormon Cult in behalf of its ruling chauvinists and homophobes.

For proof of that, simply search the LDS historical record (that is, before it's expunged by the Morgue's designated manipulators) for what Joseph Smith (and other early LDS Cult leaders) taught and and practiced on:

1) Mormon women and the priesthood (see,628690.,1303931,1303931#msg-1303931); and

2) Mormon men and homosexuality (see below0.

As to the latter, the question has been asked on RfM:

"[Was] Joseph Smith sealed to other men? [I] heard this as a rumor. Is it true? Are their any sources that mention it?"

("Joseph Smith Sealed to Other Men?," by poster "1 and one," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 13 August 2010)\

Historian D. Michael Quinn provides answers to that question--and so much more--in his explosively-detailed book, "Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example" (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996, 477 pp.)

The devastating, documented detail that Quinn provides effectively knocks today's Latter-day Quaints off their high and hypocritical Mormon moralistic horse, as he lays out historically-devastating facts concerning LDS Church founder Joseph Smith's(as well as other early high-ranking Mormon leaders') attitudes and actions on what are for today's homophobic Mormons an exceedingly awful array of same-sex topics, including:

--Mormon Temple Sealings of Men to Other Men

--Claims of Authorization of Sealings of Mormon Men to Mormon Men

--Claims of Mormon Temple Same-Sex Eternal Sealings

--Joseph Smith's "Revelations" of Eternal Friendship Covenants Between Men

--Joseph Smith on Same Sex-Marriage

--Joseph Smith's Toleration of Homoeroticism in the Mormon Church's Highest Leadership Circles

--Accusations Against Joseph Smith of "Immoral Acts" with Other Men

--Joseph Smith and "Homosocial" Relations Between Mormon Men

--Joseph Smith and Loving Same-Sex Bed Partners

--Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Kissing

--Joseph Smith's Intense Love of Young Men

Below are Quinn's findings in his own words--and better yet--in the words of Joseph Smith and Company:

--Mormon Temple Sealings of Men to Other Men--

"In 1954, the sociologist Kimball Young first suggested that Mormon marriage 'sealing' ceremonies (which began in 1843 and bind husband and wife for 'time and eternity') included same-sex marriage. For example, Brigham Young preached in 1862: 'I will here refer to a principle that has not bee named by me for years. With the introduction of the Priesthood upon the earth was also introduced the sealing ordinance.' Although modern readers would expect to hear next about eternal marriage, Young did not mention marriage or women. Instead, he said: 'By this power men will be sealed to men back to Adam.' In another sermon he preached that 'we can seal women to men [without a temple], but not men to men, without a Temple.'

"Such statements caused his sociologist grandson to observe, 'Here is evidence of deep, psychological Bruederschaft [brotherhood]. There are obviously latent homosexual features in this idea and its cultural aspect has many familiar parallels in other religions.' Kimball Young added that Mormonism 'had strong homosexual components' but acknowledged: 'Most Saints, including Brigham himself, would have been shocked by such an interpretation.' The grandson regarded homosexuality as unappealing as the Mormon practice of polygamy that was the topic of his book." (pp. 136-37)

--What Brigham Young Meant by the Phrase "Men Will Be Sealed to Men"--

". . . [S]ociologist [Kimball Young] misunderstood Brigham Young's statements about 'sealing men to men,' which referred to the nineteenth-century LDS practice of spiritual adoption. By this ordinance, a man (usually an apostle) became the spiritual father of the adopted man and of the adopted man's wife and children (if any). In social terms, this was an institutionalized form of mentor-prot�g�' relationships between Mormon men. In its early stages under Brigham Young's direction, this adoptive sealing of men to men also involved obligations of financial support. One of Brigham Young's adopted sons was John D. Lee. As was customary in the first adoption ceremonies of 1846, Lee temporarily added the surname of his adopted father to his own. In these respects, this early Mormon ordinance is very similar to the celibate same-sex marriages of sub-Saharan Africa today." (p. 137)

--Mormon Men-to-Men Sealings vs. "Spiritual Adoption" Sealings--

". . . Brigham Young also indicated that some pioneer Mormon men had special covenants with each other, independent of the adoption ordinance. 'No man had a right to make a covenant to bind men together,' Young said in 1848. He added that 'God only had that right and by his commandment to the persona holding the keys of revelation could any man legally covenant & all covenants otherwise were null & of no effect.'" (p. 140)

--Claims That Joseph Smith Authorized Sealings of Mormon Men to Mormon Men--

"A generation after [Brigham Young's grandson and sociologist] Kimball Young, Antonio A. Feliz wrote: 'I found that Joseph [Smith] began a practice of sealing men to men during the last two years of his life in Nauvoo.' Feliz concluded that Joseph Smith secretly provided for a same-sex ordinance of companionship or sealing, which Brigham Young later changed to the father-son adoption ordinance. His evidence involves the funeral service for missionary Lorenzo D. Barnes in which all note takers said Joseph Smith referred to an unidentified 'Lover' of Barnes, rather than to a wife. Feliz elaborated on this in a 1985 article in the newsletter of 'Affirmation,' the society of Mormon lesbians, gays, and bisexuals; in his 1988 autobiography 'Out of the Bishop's Closet;' in a 1992 story by the 'Salt Lake Tribune;' and in his 1999 paper at Salt Lake City's Stonewall Center, a community resource for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

"Barely two years after Barnes's death, Apostle Wilford Woodruff visited his English grave site and commented that Lorenzo's 'fidelity was stronger than death towards his Lover.' Woodruff added: 'I thought of his Lover, his Mother, his Father, his kindred & the Saints for they all loved him.' From this, Feliz concluded that 'we can only speculate on the identity of the person with whom he shared an intimate relationship in Nauvoo prior to his mission to England.'

"However, there are aspects of the Lorenzo Barnes case that undermine Feliz's assertions. Woodruff's diary also quoted from love poetry and love letters that Barnes wrote n January 1842 to Susan Conrad, 'his intended.' Sixteen years old when Barnes left her in Nauvoo for his English mission in 1841, Susan Conrad was 'the friend' and 'Lover' of whom Joseph Smith spoke in the 1843 funeral services for Barnes. She later married a man name Wilkinson and moved from Nauvoo to Utah, where Apostle Woodruff sometimes reminisced with her about Barnes. Even less known is that Barnes had returned to his hometown n Ohio while en route to his mission assignment. There in October 1841 another Mormon performed the civil marriage for Barnes and Amanda Wilson, who may have been one of his former students. Thus, Barnes was already married when he wrote the 1842 love poetry and letters to his sixteen-year-old 'Lover' Susan Conrad. Lorenzo D. Barnes may have been a polygamist at heart, but his experience had nothing to do with homoromantic attachments or a homomarital ceremony.

"Still, it is true that Joseph Smith's 1843 funeral sermon for Barnes never once mentioned husband-wife relationships. That was remarkable in a sermon on loving relationships in this life and in the Resurrection during which the prophet repeatedly spoke of 'brothers and friends,' fathers and sons, mothers, daughters, and sisters. Smith's silence concerning husbands and wives was deafening in this sermon about attachments of love. Feliz appropriately asked why. I do not agree that the answer involved same-sex ceremonies, but I do see this as the first Mormon expression of male bonding. George Q. Cannon forty years later called it 'greater than the love of a woman.'

"I know of no historical evidence that Mormonism's founding father ever said an officiator could perform a marriage-like ordinance for a same-sex couple. Nevertheless, I realize that some believing Mormons regard it as emotionally appealing or spiritually inspiring for there to be a priesthood ordinance to seal same-sex couples similar to Mormon's opposite-sex ordinance of marriage 'for time and all eternity.'" (pp. 138-39)

--Claims of Mormon Temple Same-Sex Eternal Sealings--

"Aside from the 1833 covenant of friendship in the School of the Prophets and Brigham Young's possible reference in 1848, I [Quinn] have no evidence that there were any same-sex covenants of eternal companionship among nineteenth-century Mormons. However, as previously indicated, nineteenth-century Mormon missionaries may have unknowingly baptized Aikane boys in Hawaii (or their equivalent in Tahiti) who had previously entered same-sex marriages. Also, tens of thousands of twentieth-century converts to the LDS Church in sub-Saharan Africa have come from areas in which celibate same-sex marriage ceremonies are common." (p. 140)

--Joseph Smith's "Revelations" of Eternal Friendship Covenants Between Men--

"[On 27 December 1832], Joseph Smith announced a revelation that included a covenant between men 'to be your friend . . . forever and ever. . . .

"[On 24 January 1833] [t]he male-only School of the Prophets commenced in accordance with [the] revelation on 27 December 1832." (p. 407)

--Joseph Smith on Same Sex-Marriage--

"Joseph Smith's published revelations contained no reference to same-sex marriage. . . .

"[However,] Joseph Smith . . . once referred figuratively to himself as married to a male friend. Beginning in 1840, twenty-nine-year-old Robert B. Thompson became the prophet's scribe and personal secretary. Their relationship was so close that Smith told his friend's wife: 'Sister Thompson, you must not feel bad towards me for keeping your husband away from you so much, for I am married to him.' She added that 'they truly love each other with fervent brotherly affection.' Concerning Thompson's death in 1841 Smith made this unusual explanation to his next secretary during a discussion of 'loose conduct' and sexual transgressions: 'He said [Robert B.] Thompson professed great friendship for him but he gave away to temptation and he had to die.'" (p. 136)

--Joseph Smith's Toleration of Homoeroticism in the Mormon Church's Highest Leadership Circles and Charges Against Smith of Committing "Immoral Acts" with Men--

"The first known instance of homoerotic behavior in the [Mormon Church] First Presidency involved John C. Bennett [who was] an assistant counselor . . . . They 27 July 1842 edition of the 'Wasp,' a church newspaper at Nauvoo, Illinois, claimed that Bennett had . . . engaged in sodomy.

"Second, it claimed that the Prophet Joseph Smith had tolerated Bennett's homoeroticism.

"Third, the church newspaper even printed one apostle's implication that Joseph Smith himself had also engaged in an 'immoral act' with a man.

"These are the actual words (written by Smith's brother William, an apostle): 'Gen. [Joseph] Smith was a great philanthropist [in the eyes of Bennett] as long as Bennett could practice adultery, fornication, and--we were going to say (Buggery,) without being exposed.' At that time the word 'buggery' was a slang word and legal term for 'sodomy,' or posterior [sexual relations] between men. Later statements by Brigham Young and Bennett himself indicate that this 1842 publication was not libeling Bennett.

"Previous actions and statements by Joseph Smith could also be construed as his toleration for Bennett's various sexual activities. On motion of John C. Bennett on 5 October 1840, the general conference (presided over by Smith) voted that no one could be judged guilty of a crime unless prove 'by two or three witnesses.' Such a burden of proof helped shield Bennett's sexual exploits. . . . This was Bennett's way of shielding his own sexual activities with both women and men."

"In January 1841, Smith also dictated a revelation about Bennett: 'his reward shall not fail, if he receive counsel; and for his love he shall be great, for he shall b e mine if he do this, saith the Lord' ('Doctrine and Covenants' 124:17)

"Later in 1841, the prophet further eroded the ability of anyone to investigate or punish Bennett's sexual conduct: 'If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you.' Then in words that must have warmed Bennett's heart, Smith continued his sermon by saying: 'If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours--for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sins is not sin.'

"It must have seemed to Bennett and others that the LDS president put those charitable words into action when he appointed John C. Bennett as assistant counselor to the First Presidency in April 1841. That was a month after one of the bishops of the church privately reported to Smith his investigation at Bennett's former residence: 'his wife left him under satisfactory evidence of his adulterous connections.' If Joseph Smith had not heard that his new counselor was practicing 'buggery,' he at least knew of Bennett's reputation for adultery.

"On the next page of the July 1842 'Wasp,' the church newspaper described Smith's reaction to Apostle Orson Pratt's vote against a resolution defending the prophet's chastity: 'Pres. Joseph Smith spoke in reply [on July 22]--Question to Elder Pratt, "Have you personally a knowledge of any immoral act in me toward the female sex, or in any other way?" Answer, by Elder Pratt, "Personally, toward the female sex, I have not."' Since this same issue of the 'Wasp' had already raised the topic of Bennett's 'buggery' and the prophet's alleged toleration of it, Smith's 'in any other way?' was an implicit challenge for Pratt to charge him with 'buggery' as well. Pratt declined to answer whether Joseph Smith had committed 'any immoral act' with someone other than a woman, but also declined to exonerate the prophet form such a charge. That indicates the depth of Pratt's disaffection, which resulted in his excommunication from the LDS Church within a month."

"Assistant [First Presidency] Counselor] John C. Bennett was 'disfellowshipped (denied church privileges) and later 'excommunicated' (removed from church membership). His homosexual activities were publicly revealed two months later."

"Two years later, Nauvoo's two LDS newspapers printed Apostle Brigham Young's reference to John C. Bennett's bisexual conduct: 'if he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him.' One of Bennett's 'young men' was twenty-one-year-old Francis M. Higbee to whom Brigham's sermon specifically referred. . . .

"Joseph Smith forgave Higbee in 1842, and homoerotic activities were not among the specific charges for which the thirty-seven-year-old Bennett was dropped from office and excommunicated that year. . . . Mormonism's founding prophet also revised the common interpretation that God destroyed Sodom because its inhabitants preferred sex between men. According to Smith, God destroyed Sodom 'for rejecting the prophets.'" (pp. 266-68, 408-10, 412)

--Joseph Smith and "Homosocial" Relations Between Mormon Men--

"Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Mormon congregations were . . . segregated by gender. After he spoke to Nauvoo's citywide Sunday meeting in 1843, Mormon founder Joseph Smith criticized the fact that there were 'men among the women, and women among men' in the congregation. In 1859, Brigham Young proclaimed the Salt Lake Tabernacle's eating arrangement as the standard for all Mormon congregations: women sitting to the north (or right) of the center aisle, and men sitting to the south (or left), with children in the front benches. That seating pattern continued for decades in LDS congregations." (p. 67)

--Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Bed Partners--

"In fact, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith enjoyed bedtime snuggling with male friends throughout his life. Early in 1826, the twenty-year-old bachelor board with the Knight family, whose eighteen-year-old son later wrote: 'Joseph and I worked together and slept together.' IN an 1843 sermon, Smith (then the husband of many wives) preached that 'two who were vary friends indeed should lie down upon the same bed at night locked in each other['s] embrace talking of their love & should awake in the morning together. They could immediately renew their conversation of love even while rising from their bed.'

"That was how Apostle Wilford Woodruff recorded his prophet's words. The official 'History of the Church' still renders Smith's words this way: 'it is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other's embrace an renew their conversation.' The night before he was murdered by a mob in 1844, Smith shared a bed with thirty-two-year-old Dan Jones, 'and lay himself by my side in a close embrace.'"

"Smith's successor, Brigham Young, even dreamed of sleeping with non-Mormon men as a way of resolving conflict. IN 1858 the church historian wrote: 'Prest. Young said he dreamed last night, of seeing Gov. [Alfred] Cumming. He appeared exceedingly friendly, and said to Prest. Young we must be united, we must act in concert; and commenced undressing himself to go to bed with him.'" (p.87)

"[While] . . . for the vast majority of Americans, such same-sex sleeping arrangements were no erotic, . . . [n]evertheless . . . . true that the phrase 'sleeping with' had a sexual meaning for Mormons as early as the 1840s. . . . [D]ue to necessity [such as close quarters or lack of space] or personal preference, Mormon culture and LDS leaders both continued to encourage same-sex sleeping arrangements. . . .

" . . . Mormonism's founder . . . encouraged same-sex friends to sleep in 'the same bed at night locked in each other['s] embrace talking of their love' . . . ." (p. 89)

--Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Kissing--

"Some Mormon leaders . . . had ardent dreams of same-sex kissing. For example, in 1847 Brigham Young dreamed that he met the deceased Joseph Smith and 'kissed him many times.' In 1896 stake president Charles O. Card recorded: 'I dreamed that president Woodruff & I met & embraced each other & Kissed each other in a very affectionate manner & I remarked he was the sweetest man I ever kissed. It thought in our embrace it was from the pure love of the Gospel.' Despite the homotactile dimension of this dream, Card was a polygamist who had no known homoerotic experiences." (p. 92)

--Joseph Smith's Intense Love of Young Men--

" . . . [D]espite his well-earned reputation of emotional intimacy with women, Joseph Smith also shared love of similar intensity with young men. In the autumn of 1838, Smith stayed two weeks with the family of John W. Hess, who later wrote: 'I was a boy then about fourteen years old. He [Joseph Smith] used to take me up on his knee and caress me as he would a little child.' As a result, Hess wrote: 'I became very much attached to him, and learned to love him more dearly than any other person I ever met, my father and mother no excepted.'

"Even more profound was the lifelong effect of a three-week visit Smith made to the Taylor home in 1842, beginning on the nineteenth birthday of William Taylor (a younger brother of LDS president John Taylor). 'It is impossible for me to express my feelings in regard to this period of my life,' William Taylor began. 'I have never know the same joy and satisfaction in the companionship of any other person, man or woman, that I felt with him [Joseph Smith], the man who had conversed with the Almighty.' That was an extraordinary statement in view of Taylor's marriage at age twenty-two and his four subsequent plural marriages. Decades later, Taylor explained: 'Sometimes in our return home in the evening after we had been tramping around in the woods, he [Joseph Smith] would call out: "Here, mother, come David and Jonathan."'

"In that way Mormonism's founding prophet referred to the most famous male relationship in the Bible. David said of his boyhood mentor Jonathan: 'thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women' (2 Sam. 1:26). Jonathan and David already had wives when the two you men 'kissed one another and wept one with another' (20:41). Consistent with Smith's David-and-Jonathan reference to young Taylor, a Mormon woman described the Mormon prophet's last words to forty-two-year-old George W. Rosecrans as Smith was traveling to his certain death in Carthage Jail in June 1844: 'If I never see you again, or if I never come back, remember that I love you.'

"For more than a thousand years, David and Jonathan have been revered as sexual lovers by Jews and Christians who valued homoeroticism. However, because David was a teenage polygamist and Jonathan fathered at least one child, most Bible readers and scholars regard David and Jonathan as platonic (or nonerotic) lovers. Likewise, m any regard the Bible's Song of Solomon as spiritual allegory rather than sexual imagery.

"First Presidency counselor George Q. Cannon paraphrased David's expression of male-male love during a sermon on Utah Pioneer Day in 1881: 'Men may never have beheld each other's faces and yet they will love one another, and it is a love that is greater than the love of woman.' Cannon, like other nineteenth-century Americans, then emphasized the platonic dimension of this male-male love: 'It exceeds any sexual love that can be conceived of, and it is this love that has bound the [Mormon] people together.'" (pp. 112-13)


Now, what was the Mormon Church saying about the "evil" of homosexuality?

Perhaps they ought not to ask Joseph Smith (and the same avoidance behavior might also applies when inquiring of him what he about the "evil" of women getting the priesthood).

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2014 06:24PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: June 26, 2014 06:44PM

In the 1800s, there was often a totally different acceptance, and tolerance, of what would later become, under the law, egregiously criminal...and would, at the end of the century, become socially intolerable among much of "polite" society (proper middle-class society, plus much of the non-creative/non-artistic sectors of upper class society--especially for those who had established wealth). (From lower middle-class society downward, there was commonly a matter-of-fact acceptance of homosexuality and homosexual activity that was fairly widespread, even among many rightwing Christian groups, most especially in the American South and in Appalachia.)

If you Google "Abraham Lincoln, homosexuality," you will find academic debate on this point...but also, evidently, exactly what I just said above. From all presently surviving evidence, Lincoln was--at the very least--bisexual...and was probably a lot more homosexual than not.

This doesn't surprise at all me re: either Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. Even though the Victorian Era had begun across the Atlantic, over here at least, what men did together (as well as what at least SOME women did together, especially if they were artistic or were from wealthy families), was considered to be not all that much more scandalous than an item of passing interest or a bit of gossip. Because at least one person in each pairing was usually suitably, and legally, married to someone of the opposite sex, anything else they did was pretty much accepted without scandal most everywhere.

(I don't know about what happened between slaves and slave owners/masters, and I've never read any historical accounts that I can remember which specifically mentioned homosexual activities, but I would be amazed if there were not considerable same sex activities going on, despite the fact that--on the slave's side--it had nothing to do with the slave's volition, since legally and socially slaves were just property to be used.)

Fascinating post, Steve. Thank you!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2014 06:46PM by tevai.

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Posted by: bentleye ( )
Date: June 26, 2014 11:51PM

That was interesting. It is interesting the Joseph Smith may have taken such a live and let live attitude toward the sexual category of "sin". I like the idea. I do have to say though that 19th century ideas of sexuality were different. Sexuality was the same, but the ideas were different. I've read many things where people discuss beloved people of the same sex in terms that today would be taken as frankly homosexual. As Joseph said, charity covers many sins that are not even sins. This always seemed to be the case with the Good Grey Poet, Walt Whitman. Nobody denounced him in his day, though he was almost certainly what we would today call gay. People respected him and that was that. Its also true that in the 19th century, particularly before the civil war, things were poorer. People shared beds with friends and loved ones all the time. Even at public inns strangers shared beds. It was an environment where, whithout fear of being called "gay", one could enjoy cuddling with one's friends in bed. In a few cases homosexuality may have been involved, but in about the same percentages as today I bet.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: June 27, 2014 02:10AM

WOW....that ole sleezy Joe just liked everyone, women, men, children, relatives, loving to be near them, in the same bed and room with them and cuddle up next to them....he wasn't fussy at all, was he?

Course, another way to see it, is that he loved people's flesh and skin, but he did not care if he LIED, STOLE YOUR YOUNG DAUGHTER, CREATED A FALSE BANK THAT TOOK YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS, SENT THE DANITES AFTER YOU, and on and on and on.

Yep, he was such a kind, caring person the kind that only CARES ABOUT HIMSELF.

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Posted by: bishop Rick ( )
Date: June 27, 2014 02:52AM

Dreamed of the Governor cumming? LOL. What more proof do you need, folks? Ole Joe was as bent as a stovepipe.

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Posted by: dejavue ( )
Date: June 27, 2014 03:47AM

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