After I was asked to read about (and consider converting to) Mormonism, I came across some rather disturbing accusations against Joseph Smith, Jr. Were he alive today, I would submit the following true/false test to the founder of Mormonism:
1. True or False. Among your 33 well-documented plural wives, there were close to a dozen unions in which the wife was already married to another man.
2. True or False. In your lifetime, you married four different pairs of sisters.
3. True or False. You once married a young woman and also married her mother.
4. True or False. At least one of your plural wives was as young as fourteen.
5. True or False. Some of your marriages were the result of religious coercion secured only after you told the prospective bride that marrying you would ensure the bride’s place in heaven.
6. True or False. You also coerced teenagers into marrying you by promising their families a place in heaven.
7. True or False. You kept fourteen-year-old Helen Mar Kimball from marrying her sweetheart Horace Whitney because you wanted to marry the teenager instead.
8. True or False. You also asked Helen’s father Heber C. Kimball to give you his wife.
9. True or False. Before you eventually married Helen, you gave her a 24-hour deadline to give in to your offer of a place in heaven.
10. True or False. Two years after your death, Helen married her old sweetheart Horace Whitney.
11. True or False. The marriage between Helen and Horace was only temporary because Helen was already sealed by marriage to you for eternity.
12. True or False. Horace Whitney was sealed to an already dead Mormon woman before his “temporary” marriage to Helen.
13. True or False. After her mother died, you approached teenager Lucy Walker with a command that she marry you with the threat of eternal damnation as the punishment if she refused.
14. True or False. The year before you died, you said the following to Lucy: “I will give you until tomorrow to decide (whether to marry me). If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you.”
15. True or False. The Book of Mormon, which you transcribed from the Golden plates given to you by the Angel Moroni says the following: “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, Saith the Lord.” (Jacob 2:24).
16. True or False. The Book of Mormon, which you transcribed from the Golden plates given to you by the Angel Moroni also says the following: “Hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.” (Jacob 2:27).
It doesn’t seem to make sense to ask questions of a dead man unless you’ve read the following words by Joseph Smith, Jr., taken from his famous Follett Discourse:
“…(W)hen I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my father, so that he may obtain kingdom among kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself.”
At first, I wondered why Mormons were asking me not to broach the subject of Smith’s polygamy. After all, he was a polygamist who transcribed – from sacred Golden plates, no less – pointed criticism of others for the sin of polygamy. So, why shouldn’t a non-polygamist like me criticize a man for polygamy?
Of course, the answer is that some Mormons have decided that Joseph Smith is a God. In other words, they have ceased to be Christian.
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