Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Nauvoo Polygamy/Mind reading

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Nauvoo Polygamy: Mind reading

A FairMormon Analysis of: Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage", a work by author: George D. Smith

Nauvoo Polygamy: Mind reading


The author often attempts to interpret what Joseph was thinking as a way to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion regarding Joseph Smith:

Reading Joseph's thoughts about women and marriage

The author claims that Joseph had a "predilection" to "take an interest in more than one woman" (p. x) and that he was on a "quest for female companionship," (p. xiv) Joseph's mind is read once again when the author claims that Sidney Rigdon "was not someone Joseph felt comfortable approaching to ask for his daughter's hand in polygamy. So Joseph appealed to the young woman directly."(p. 149). How does the author know that Joseph felt uncomfortable approaching Sidney? One can only guess.

A Book of Mormon "marriage formula" that justifies polygamy?

The author claims to know that the topic of polygamy was already on Joseph's mind as early as the 1820s! (p. xiv). How does he know this? Oddly enough, in the spirit of Dan Vogel, the author attempts to use the Book of Mormon as a means to deduce Joseph's thoughts. Thus, the author claims that the subject of polygamy "was evidently on Smith's mind even before founding the Mormon Church, if that can be deduced from the marriage formula inscribed in the Book of Mormon." A "marriage formula" in the Book of Mormon that supports polygamy? Most critics are quick to point out the Book of Mormon's condemnation of polygamy! Of course, critics always ignore the qualifier in Jacob 2:30 that polygamy is forbidden unless the Lord commands it. There is no "marriage formula" in the Book of Mormon which would serve as a justification for polygamy.

Joseph's inspiration?

Napoleon's Egyptian findings are speculated to have "lit a fire in Smith that inspired even the language of his religious prose." (p. x) and to have "coalesced astronomy, biblical mystery, ancient Egyptian writing, and Masonic ritual into portentous ceremony for his followers." (p. 114)

The "love letter"

The author assigns motives to Joseph's actions when he states that "[t]hree weeks after the wedding, Joseph took steps to spend some time with his newest bride." Joseph is claimed to have "judiciously addressed the letter to 'Brother, and Sister, Whitney, and &c." when in reality he "urged his seventeen-year-old bride to 'come to night' and 'comfort' him." (p. 114-115)