Criticism of Mormonism/Books/No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith/Chapter 17

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Response to claims made in "Chapter 17: Ordeal in Liberty Jail"

A FairMormon Analysis of: No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, a work by author: Fawn Brodie
Claim Evaluation
No Man Knows My History
Chart.brodie.ch17.jpg

Response to claims made in No Man Knows My History, "Chapter 17: Ordeal in Liberty Jail"

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Response to claim: 251-252 - While in Liberty Jail, Joseph was worried that Sidney Rigdon would revive the United Order and the Danites

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

While in Liberty Jail, Joseph was worried that Sidney Rigdon would revive the United Order and the Danites.

Author's sources:
History of the Church 3:295, 301, 303

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The cited passages say nothing about Sidney Rigdon or the United Order. Joseph does, however, warn about the Danites with his reference to "the wickedness of Doctor Avard."

If anything should have been suggested by us, or any names mentioned, except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding; therefore our hearts shall not be grieved if different arrangements should be entered into. Nevertheless we would suggest the propriety of being aware of an aspiring spirit, which spirit has often times urged men forward to make foul speeches, and influence the Church to reject milder counsels, and has eventually been the means of bringing much death and sorrow upon the Church.[1]

And again, we further suggest for the considerations of the Council, that there be no organization of large bodies upon common stock principles, in property, or of large companies of firms, until the Lord shall signify it in a proper manner, as it opens such a dreadful field for the avaricious, the indolent, and the corrupt hearted to prey upon the innocent and virtuous, and honest.

We have reason to believe that many things were introduced among the Saints before God had signified the times; and notwithstanding the principles and plans may have been good, yet aspiring men, or in other words, men who had not the substance of godliness about them, perhaps undertook to handle edged tools. Children, you know, are fond of tools, while they are not yet able to use them.[2]

And again, I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenant or oaths, by penalties or secrecies; but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Doctor Avard suffice and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant, as is contained in the Holy Writ and the things that God hath revealed unto us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secrecy.[3]


Response to claim: 252 - Lucinda Morgan Harris claimed to have been "the prophet's mistress" at one time

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

Lucinda Morgan Harris claimed to have been "the prophet's mistress" at one time.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The author provides no sources to support this assertion.

Brian Hales,

If Joseph had married Lucinda as a plural wife or if he had an illicit relationship with her as postulated by several authors, it would have needed to occur during these two relatively brief periods. During the latter span, the Harris and Smith families were all living together in the same cabin. It probably would not have been easy to persuade Lucinda to accept polygamy as a correct principle and to also accept the non-Biblical notion of sexual polyandry (one wife with more than one husband). True polyandry would have also required the participation of George Harris. It would have also required a priesthood marriage sealing by unknown means or persuading her to accept a sexual relationship that was not formalized by a sealing.

See Brian Hales, Joseph Smith’s Pre-Nauvoo Reputation.


Notes

  1. History of the Church 3:295
  2. History of the Church 3:301
  3. History of the Church 3:303