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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 02:09AM

Does anyone know of any sermons or other works written by Rigdon prior to 1830?

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Posted by: cricket ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 05:51AM

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 02:03PM

That doesn't mean that nothing exists, but if it does it may be gathering dust in some special collections room in a library somewhere.

Before joining Mormonism, Rigdon was a Campbellite preacher, so reading what the Campbellites published (pre-BoM) may be a good indication of what Rigdon would have been preaching.

This list of fun facts may give you some leads:

Van Wagoner's book may also be a good starting point:

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 02:23PM

Does anyone know how Craig Criddle dealt with this problem?

What sources did he use to identify Rigdon as responsible for about one-third of the BoM?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2019 02:24PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 03:01PM

The source was likely his own hypothesis. Many scholars and scientists come up with an idea then try to manipulate the data to substantiate the claims. Slight of hand and most people get bamboozled.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 03:02PM

In answer to Lot's Wife's question above :)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 04:45PM

But you didn't answer my question.

You guessed what Criddle used, and on the basis of that supposition you denigrated his work, his field, and the quadratic equation.

Your "answer" says nothing about Rigdon but much about you.

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 06:53PM

Most don't.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 07:16PM

Criddle is a serious man and a serious researcher. I think it almost certain that macaRomney has not read his work and highly probable he hasn't even watched the Youtube video.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 04:54AM

And he can't spell "sleight of hand"...

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Posted by: Pleasing Policeman ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 06:47AM

macaRomney Wrote:
> The source was likely his own hypothesis. Many
> scholars and scientists come up with an idea then
> try to manipulate the data to substantiate the
> claims. Slight of hand and most people get
> bamboozled.

Yes, unfortunately this is true. No one - or hardly anyone - wants to admit it. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are wrong and force a conclusion.

I have heard so many claims about the origins of the BoM but they don't all jive with each other. If Rigdon wrote it, then it would have a decreased influence from Smith's life. And if it was mostly taken from Spalding or some other work then, it would have decreased influence from either of them.

About the one thing all parties agree on, is that a lot of the BoM quotes the Bible.

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Posted by: nomonomo ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 06:31PM

Rigdon's pre-Mormon theological background was as part of the "Restoration Movement" (

It still exists in the form of three splinter groups:

1) Churches of Christ (a Capella)
2) Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ
3) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

I spent much of my youth in #2.

#1 and 1/2 of #2 typically name their local congregations "Umptyump Church of Christ," and are very legalistic that "Church of Christ" (or "Christian Church") must appear in the church name. These are the groups that protested when Smith and the others tried to hijack that moniker. It's also where they derived the notion that "Church of Christ" must be in the name.

It's also where they got the idea of "restoring" the church, but in this movement it was a somewhat idealistic attempt to shrug off dogmatic divisions between denominations and return to a "truer," or "purer" form of early church. (Of course, no one could fully agree on what that was). It was also the beginnings of the non-denominational movement, that there should not be "denominations" within the one church of Christ (this notion was larger than this movement).

The Resto Movement also held that creeds were divisive, and that there should be "no creed but the Bible." Again, this concept was carried into Mormonism (as if JS was told so by God). Of course, Smith (and Rigdon and the others) jettisoned creeds but added thier books to the Bible.

As far as churches go, this movement was fairly well-intended. In fact, one of their slogans was "we are Christians only, but not the only Christians," unlike Mormons who claim to have the whole truth and that other churches are apostate.

We can assume that Rigdon was not a leader or "successful" as a Cambelite, or he would likely have remained. Truth be told, these "independent" churches tend to become cults of personality built around the preacher, and if the preacher is not charismatic or "strong," then his church will fail to grow or split. We see the vestiges of this in today's mega churches.

Some of the Churches of Christ have been known to be very authoritarian, practice damaging cult-like behaviors, and have their own analogous ex-members support site (

-In the Christian church, God loves a cheerful giver. In TSCC, tithing is mandatory.
-In the Christian church, one shouldn't neglect fellowship. In TSCC attendance is mandatory (and in many Churches of Christ it's taught that missing church is a sin).

Some of the above should sound familiar. Joseph's Myth formalized and official-ized much of the worst aspects of the restoration movement, and many of it's authoritarian practices.

I spent a semester at Atlanta Christian College (loosely sponsored by the Resto Movememt) back in the early 80s. I remember in a history class that they pointed out that a corollary to "no creed but the Bible" was that members were encouraged to actually read the Bible and know what it said (after all, the creeds were historically summarizations of beliefs (for the illiterate), so if you discard them, people need to know what to believe). This caused conflict in the more authoritarian groups because the better-read members could contradict a "leader" and say "that's not what the Bible says." Well, the only thing that might supersede the Bible would be direct communication from God! Needless to say, some of the more authoritarian types started receiving "revelation." Even the authoritarian branches purged themselves of these "heretics," but some --obviously-- found fertile ground elsewhere.

I don't recall Rigdon being mentioned by name, but Smith and Mormonism were. It's clear that much Mormonism's early "theology" carried over from this group and was further corrupted by Rigdon (and perhaps others). Smith was the charismatic front man. Instead of being encouraged to read the Bible, they were encouraged to read the newer bull$hit.

Again, some of the above should start to sound familiar to those who know the beginnings of Mormonism. But there are other heretics out there still, in televangelist cults of personality, claiming to hear from God. And there probably are no significant pre-Mormonism writings from Rigdon, because Mormonism IS his "succesful" writing (to whatever extent he contributed, and I believe it was significant).

Read that link above about the Restoration Movemnt. It should sound a lot like embryonic Mormonism.

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Posted by: not logged in now ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 09:06PM

The Campbellite "Millennial Harbinger" (Vol. 2, No. 2, dated 7 Feb 1831, pp. 100-101) has a piece on Rigdon and his having left the sect.

"Fits of melancholy succeeded by fits of enthusiasm accompanied by some kind of nervous spasms and swoonings which he has, since his defection, interpreted into the agency of the Holy Spirit… Whenupon one of his fits of swooning and sighing came upon him, he saw an angel and was converted."

"I doubt not that but that the irreverence and levity in speaking of the things of God, which have been too apparent in Sidney's public exhibitions for some time past, and which he has lately confessed, may yet be found to have been the cause of this abandonment to delusion."

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Posted by: Hedning ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 02:43AM

Supposedly there are some Pre-1830 sermons or tracts that are being analyzed by AI methods of text comparison. This came from a discussion I had at a party so who knows, I was hoping someone here would know the details. I have a friend who worked in the Church Historian's office and he claimed the Church has some documents from Rigdon that they keep locked up.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 04:33AM

When I was still TBM, it seemed obvious to e that the writing style of the D&C and the BoM were vastly different. I assumed that meant that JS wrote the D&C and ancient prophets wrote the BoM. Yeah. I was so naive. :(

I read Van Wagoner's book about Rigdon, and his writing style appeared to me to exactly like the D&C. In my amateur opinion, Sidney was heavily involved in writing the D&C "revelations", but I doubt he had much to do with the actual writing of the BoM.

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Posted by: Sidknee Rigdawn ( )
Date: October 16, 2019 06:29AM

Rigdon wrote the "Third Epistle of Peter" as a parable about Christian ministers of his day (highly critical). But, of course, Rigdon wrote it as a sarcastic slap in the face to the ministers of the day he knew and observed (i.e. greedy, prideful, spiteful of others, living on the toil of others, etc.).

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