Criticism of Mormonism/Articles/LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904

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Response to "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904"

A FairMormon Analysis of: LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904, a work by author: D. Michael Quinn

Response to "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904", a work by author D. Michael Quinn


...writers are certainly "dishonest or bad historians" if they fail to acknowledge the existence of even one piece of evidence they know challenges or contradicts the rest of their evidence. If this omission of relevant evidence is inadvertent, the author is careless. If the omission is an intentional effort to conceal or avoid presenting the reader with evidence that contradicts the preferred view of the writer, that is fraud, whether by a scholar or non-scholar, historian or other specialist. If authors write in scholarly style, they are equally dishonest if they fail to acknowledge any significant work whose interpretations differ from their own.
— D. Michael Quinn, "Editor's Introduction," in The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past, ed. D. Michael Quinn (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), xiii, n. 5
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Response to claims made in D. Michael Quinn, "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 (Spring 1985):9-105

The author(s) make(s) the following claim:

The author quotes Wilford Woodruff as follows,

Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my church, deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men.... Place not your selves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise.... Let my servants, who officiate as your counselors before the Courts, make their pleadings as they are moved by the Holy Spirit, without any further pledges from the Priesthood, and they shall be justified.
D. Michael Quinn, "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 1 (Spring 1985), 36.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

The full quote,

Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my church, deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men. Let them pray for the Holy Spirit, which shall be given them to guide them in their acts. Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise.... Let my servants, who officiate as your counselors before the courts, make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy spirit, without any further pledges from the Priesthood {and they shall be justified.} Let my servants call upon the Lord in mighty prayer, retain the Holy Ghost as your constant companion, and act as you are moved upon by that spirit, and all will be well with you. The wicked are fast ripening in iniquity, and they will be cut off by the judgments of God. Great events await you and this generation, and are nigh at your doors. Awake, O, Israel, and have faith in God, and His promises, and he will not forsake you. I the Lord will deliver my Saints from the dominion of the wicked, in mine own due time and way. (emphasis added)

  • Note that the excised portions of the quote clearly anticipate that further revelation will be granted on this topic, and affirm that this is not the final word. The quote as it is presented by the author tends to minimize the revelation granted Church leaders.

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