Mormonism and Wikipedia/Joseph Smith, Jr./1839 - 1844

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An analysis of Wikipedia article "Joseph Smith"


A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: "Joseph Smith"
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Reviews of previous revisions of this section

19 May 2009

Summary: A review of this section as it appeared in Wikipedia on 19 May 2009.

Section review

Life in Nauvoo, Illinois (1839–44)  Updated 9/3/2011

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Newspapers throughout the country criticized Missouri for expelling the Mormons,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and Illinois accepted the refugees

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

who gathered along the banks of the Mississippi.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith purchased high-priced swampy woodland in the hamlet of Commerce

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and urged his followers to move there.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Promoting the image of the Saints as an oppressed minority,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • From the cited source: "The press all over the country was sympathizing with the Saints, for Joseph, resolving to make Missouri a byword for oppression and Boggs a synonym for tyranny, saw to it that the sufferings of his people received national publicity." (Brodie 259)
  • For an analysis of Fawn Brodie's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

he unsuccessfully petitioned the federal government for help in obtaining reparations.

Author's sources:
  1. Smith traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Martin Van Buren and Congress (Bushman (2005) , pp. 392–94; Brodie (1971) , p. 260).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

During a malaria epidemic, Smith anointed the suffering with oil and blessed them;

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 385; Brodie (1971) , p. 257. In 1841, malaria claimed the lives of one of Smith's brothers and his son, who died within eight days of each other Bushman (2005) , p. 425.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

but he also sent off the ailing Brigham Young and other members of the Quorum of the Twelve to missions in Europe.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • It should be noted that the idea that Joseph was "eager to recover the prestige and authority that was his in Far West's palm days" is Brodie's opinion. (Brodie, p.. 258).
  • For an analysis of Fawn Brodie's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

These missionaries found many willing converts in Great Britain, often factory workers, poor even by the standards of American Saints.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Bushman notes that the missionaries were "appalled by the miserable living conditions they encountered."

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The religion also attracted a few wealthy and influential converts, including John C. Bennett, M.D., the Illinois quartermaster general.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Bennett used his connections in the Illinois legislature to obtain an unusually liberal charter for the new city,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

which Smith named "Nauvoo" (Hebrew נָאווּ, meaning "to be beautiful").

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • The word "Nauvoo" is a Hebrew word. It means "to be comely." Joseph gave the word in the Sephardic transliteration system he learned from Joshua Seixas; in fact, the word Nauvoo is given in the Seixas grammar. See Is Nauvoo a Hebrew word?.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The charter granted the city virtual autonomy, authorized a university, and granted Nauvoo habeas corpus power—which saved Smith's life by allowing him to fend off extradition to Missouri

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 110.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

from which he was still a fugitive.

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 273; Bushman (2005) , p. 426. Prior to the charter, Smith had narrowly avoided two extradition attempts (Brodie (1971) , pp. 272–73; Bushman (2005) , pp. 425–26).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The charter also authorized the Nauvoo Legion an autonomous militia

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 267; Bushman (2005) , p. 412.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

with actions limited only by state and federal constitutions.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1995) , p. 106.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

"Lieutenant General" Smith and "Major General" Bennett became its commanders,

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 271 (Smith "frequently jested about his outranking every military officer in the United States".); Bushman (2005) , p. 259 (noting that Bennett had effective command of the Legion).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

thereby controlling by far the largest body of armed men in Illinois.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1995) , p. 106 (The Legion had 2,000 troops in 1842, 3,000 by 1844, compared to less than 8,500 soldiers in the entire United States Army.)

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith, who was often a poor judge of character,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

made Bennett Assistant President of the church,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and Bennett was elected Nauvoo's first mayor.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Though Mormon general authorities controlled Nauvoo's civil government, the city promised an unusually liberal guarantee of religious freedom.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1995) , pp. 106–08.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The early Nauvoo years were a period of doctrinal innovation. Smith introduced baptism for the dead in 1840,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and in 1841, construction began on the Nauvoo Temple as a place for recovering lost ancient knowledge.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 448–49.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

An 1841 revelation promised the restoration of the "fulness of the priesthood,"

Author's sources:
  1. D&C 124:28.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and in May 1842, Smith inaugurated a revised endowment or "first anointing."

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 113.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The endowment resembled rites of freemasonry that Smith had observed two months earlier when he had been initiated into the Nauvoo Masonic lodge.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

At first the endowment was open only to men, who once initiated became part of the Anointed Quorum. For women, Smith introduced the Relief Society, a service club and sorority within which Smith predicted women would receive "the keys of the kingdom."

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 634.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith also elaborated on his plan for a millennial kingdom, no longer envisioning the building of Zion in Nauvoo.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

He now viewed Zion as encompassing all of North and South America,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

all Mormon settlements being "stakes"

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

of Zion's metaphorical tent.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources

}}


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Zion also became less a refuge from an impending Tribulation than a great building project.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 415 (noting that the time when the Millennium was to occur lengthened to "more than 40 years".)

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In the summer of 1842, Smith revealed a plan to establish the millennial Kingdom of God, which would eventually establish theocratic rule over the whole earth.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , pp. 111–12.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In April 1841, Smith secretly wed Louisa Beaman as a plural wife, and during the next two and a half years he may have married thirty additional women,

Author's sources:
  1. Compton (1997) , p. 11 (counting at least 33 total wives); Smith (1994) , p. 14 (counting 42 wives); Brodie (1971) , pp. 334–36 (counting 49 wives); Bushman (2005) , pp. 437, 644 (accepting Compton's count, excepting one wife); Quinn (1994) , pp. 587–88 (counting 46 wives); Remini (2002) , p. 153 (noting that the exact figure is still debated).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

ten of whom were already married to other men,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and about a third of them teenagers, including two fourteen-year-old girls.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Meanwhile he publicly and repeatedly denied that he advocated polygamy.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 491.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith told at least some of his potential wives that marriage to him would ensure their spiritual exaltation.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • It should be noted that Bushman goes on the say that there is "no certain evidence that Joseph had sexual relations with any of the wives who were married to other men. They married because Joseph's kingdom grew with the size of him family, and those bonded to that family would be exalted with him." The Whitney autobiography is one of Bushman's cited sources.
  • For a detailed response, see: Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Helen Mar Kimball and Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Zina and Henry Jacobs

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Although Smith's first wife Emma knew of some of these marriages, she almost certainly did not know the extent of her husband's polygamous activities.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Bushman cites Lucy Walker Kimball, Affidavit, Dec. 17, 1902, Affidavits; Woman's Exponent, Jan. 1911, 43; Lucy Walker Kimball, Testimony, 2:461, in U.S. Court of Appeals. (Bushman, p. 654, note 38).

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith kept the doctrine of plural marriage secret except for potential wives and a few of his closest male associates,

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 438 (Smith approached Joseph Bates Noble about marrying his wife's sister, Smith asked Bates to "keep quiet": "In revealing this to you I have placed my life in your hands, therefore do not in an evil hour betray me to my enemies." Noble performed the ceremony "in a grove near Main Street with Louisa in man's clothing.")

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

including Bennett. Smith's plural relationships were preceded by a "priesthood marriage," which Smith believed legitimized the relationships and made them non-adulterous. Bennett, on the other hand, ignored even perfunctory ceremonies.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • The statement about Bennett promising abortions comes from Brodie rather than Bushman.
  • Brodie, 311-312: "Bennett had seduced innumerable women in Joseph's name quite without benefit of ceremony. Even worse, he had promised abortion to those who became pregnant. Zeruiah N. Goddard, repeating the gossip of Sarah Pratt, reported that 'Dr. Bennett told her he could cause abortion with perfect safety to the mother at any stage of preganancy, and that he had frequently destroyed and removed infants before their time to prevent exposure of the parties and that he had instruments for that purpose.'" Brodie cites the testimony of Hyrum Smith, Wasp extra, July 27, 1842, republished in History of the Church, Vol. V, pp. 71-2; and the statement of Zeruiah N. Goddard, Affidavits and Certificates Disproving the Statements and Affidavits Contained in John C. Bennett's Letters (Nauvoo, August 31, 1842); Wyl, Mormon Portraits, p. 61.
  • For an analysis of Fawn Brodie's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

When embarrassing rumors of "spiritual wifery" got abroad, Smith forced Bennett's resignation as Nauvoo mayor. In retaliation, Bennett wrote "lurid exposés of life in Nauvoo."

Author's sources:
  1. Ostling (Ostling) , p. 12; Bushman (2005) , pp. 461–62; Brodie (1971) , p. 314.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

By mid-1842, popular opinion had turned against the Saints.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 436.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal became a sharp critic after Smith attacked the paper.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • Indeed, Sharp became a "sharp" critic after Joseph sent a hotly worded letter terminating his subscription to the paper.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

When Lilburn Boggs, the Governor of Missouri, was shot by an unknown assailant on May 6, 1842, many suspected Smith's involvement

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 468. Boggs survived the attack.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

because of rumors that Smith had predicted his assassination.

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 323 (noting rumors that Smith had predicted in 1840 that Boggs would meet a violent death within a year, and that Smith offered a $500 reward for his death); Quinn (1994) , p. 113 (noting that Smith held Boggs responsible for the Haun's Mill massacre).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Evidence suggests that the shooter was Porter Rockwell, a former Danite and one of Smith's bodyguards.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Neutral Point-of-View off-site— All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.

    A subsequent sentence notes that "Rockwell was tried and acquitted," yet the Wikipedia article states that "[e]vidence suggests that the shooter was Porter Rockwell." Therefore, although Rockwell was acquitted at the time, the Wikipedia article condemns him for the crime.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith went into hiding, but he ultimately avoided extradition to Missouri because any involvement in the crime would have occurred in Illinois.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 468–75.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Rockwell was tried and acquitted.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 468. Rockwell later acquired "a reputation as a gunslinging lawman in Utah."

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In June 1843, Illinois Governor Thomas Ford issued an extradition writ against Smith, but Smith countered with a Nauvoo writ of habeas corpus.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 504–08.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Ford later wrote that this incident caused a majority of Illinois residents to favor expelling Mormons from Illinois.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 508.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In 1843, Emma reluctantly allowed Smith to marry four women who had been living in the Smith household—two of whom Smith had already married without her knowledge.

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 339; Bushman (2005) , p. 494; Remini (2002) , pp. 152–53.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Emma also participated with Smith in the first "sealing" ceremony, intended to bind their marriage for eternity.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 638 (first Mormon sealing); Bushman (2005) , p. 494.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

However, Emma soon regretted her decision to accept plural marriage and forced the other wives from the household,

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 339.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

nagging Smith to abandon the practice.

Author's sources:
  1. Brodie (1971) , p. 340.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith dictated a revelation pressuring Emma to accept,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • Bushman wrote, "His followers would see the revelation as an unforgivable breach of the moral law and reject it altogether, or, even worse, use it as a license for free love....Sexual excess was considered the all too common fruit of pretended revelation. Joseph's enemies would delight in one more evidence of a revelator's antinomian transgressions." (Bushman, p. 438)

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

but the revelation only made her furious.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 496 (Emma abused Hyrum Smith when Joseph sent him to Emma with the revelation); Hill (1989) , p. 119 (noting that according to William Clayton, Emma "did not believe a word of [the revelation] and appeared very rebellious.").

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Nevertheless, in the fall of 1843, after Smith allowed women to be initiated into the Anointed Quorum,

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 36 (arguing that Smith extended the priesthood to women through the Endowment, rather than through ordination).

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Emma participated with Smith in the first second anointing.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 640.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

According to Smith, this ritual was the prophesied "fulness of the priesthood"(sic) in which participants were ordained "kings and priests of the Most High God" and thus fulfilled what Smith called "[a] perfect law of Theocracy."

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 115.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The Anointed Quorum became Smith's advisory body for political matters.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , pp. 115–18.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In December 1843, under the authority of the Anointed Quorum,

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , pp. 115–16 ("Such decisions were made by the formality of 'a vote' after the 'true order of prayer' and the announcement of God's revelation on the subject.").

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith petitioned Congress to make Nauvoo an independent territory with the right to call out federal troops in its defense.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 511; Brodie (1971) , p. 356; Quinn (1994) , pp. 115–116 (noting that the Anointed Quorum also authorized "a proclamation to the kings of the earth," but Smith never sent it). Smith also threatened Congress. The Millennial Star later quoted Smith as having said that "if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government and God shall damn them, and there shall be nothing left of them—not even a grease spot." Quoted in Brodie, 356.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith then wrote the leading presidential candidates and asked them what they would do to protect the Mormons. After receiving noncommittal or negative responses, Smith announced his own third-party candidacy for President of the United States, suspending regular proselytizing

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 119

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

and sending out the Quorum of the Twelve and hundreds of other political missionaries.

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , pp. 118–19 (the Anointed Quorum chose Sidney Rigdon as Smith's running mate);Bushman (2005) , pp. 514–15; Brodie (1971) , pp. 362–64.

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In March 1844, following a dispute with a federal bureaucrat,

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , p. 121 (The day before the Council was organized, word reached Smith that a U.S. Indian agent was interfering with acquisition of lumber needed for the Nauvoo Temple).

FairMormon Response


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

Smith organized the secret Council of Fifty

Author's sources:
  1. Quinn (1994) , pp. 120–22 (noting that the Council was authorized by a revelation, and members committed to keep what Smith said during the organizational meeting secret); Bushman (2005) , p. 519.

FairMormon Response

Question: What was the Council of Fifty?

Joseph Smith received a revelation which called for the organization of a special council

On 7 April 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation titled "The Kingdom of God and His Laws, With the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ," which called the for the organization of a special council separate from, but parallel to, the Church. Since its inception, this organization has been generally been referred to as "the Council of Fifty" because of its approximate number of members.

The Council of Fifty was designed to serve as something of a preparatory legislature in the Kingdom of God

Latter-day Saints believe that one reason the gospel was restored was to prepare the earth for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Church was to bring about religious changes in the world, the Council of Fifty was intended to bring a political transformation. It was therefore designed to serve as something of a preparatory legislature in the Kingdom of God. Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as chairman, Prophet, Priest, and King over the Council and the world (subject to Jesus Christ, who is "King of kings"[1]).

The Council was organized on 11 March 1844, at which time it adopted rules of procedure, including those governing legislation. One rule included instructions for passing motions:

To pass, a motion must be unanimous in the affirmative. Voting is done after the ancient order: each person voting in turn from the oldest to the youngest member of the Council, commencing with the standing chairman. If any member has any objections he is under covenant to fully and freely make them known to the Council. But if he cannot be convinced of the rightness of the course pursued by the Council he must either yield or withdraw membership in the Council. Thus a man will lose his place in the Council if he refuses to act in accordance with righteous principles in the deliberations of the Council. After action is taken and a motion accepted, no fault will be found or change sought for in regard to the motion.[2]

What is interesting about this rule is that it required each council member, by covenant, to voice his objections to proposed legislation. Those council members who dissented and could not be convinced to change their minds were to withdraw from the council, however, they would suffer no repercussions by doing so. Thus, full freedom of conscience was maintained by the council — not exactly the sort of actions a despot or tyrant would allow.

The Council never rose to the stature Joseph intended

Members (which included individuals that were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) were sent on expeditions west to explore emigration routes for the Saints, lobbied the American government, and were involved in Joseph Smith's presidential campaign. But only three months after it was established, Joseph was killed, and his death was the beginning of the Council's end. Brigham Young used it as the Saints moved west and settled in the Great Basin, and it met annually during John Taylor's administration, but since that time the Council has not played an active role among the Latter-day Saints.


Question: Was Joseph Smith anointed to be "King over the earth" by the Council of Fifty?

Joseph was never anointed King over the earth in any political sense

Some people claim that Joseph Smith had himself anointed king over the whole world, and that this shows he was some sort of megalomaniac.

The Council of Fifty, while established in preparation for a future Millennial government under Jesus Christ (who is the King of Kings) was to be governed on earth during this preparatory period by the highest presiding ecclesiastical authority, which at the time was the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph had previously been anointed a King and Priest in the Kingdom of God by religious rites associated with the fullness of the temple endowment, and was placed as a presiding authority over this body in his most exalted position within the kingdom of God (as a King and a Priest).

Joseph was anointed as the presiding authority over an organization that was to prepare for the future reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium

The fact that Joseph's prior anointing was referenced in his position as presiding authority over this body creates the confusion that he had been anointed King of the Earth. He was in fact only anointed as the presiding authority over an organization that was to prepare for the future reign of Jesus Christ during the Millennium. The fact that Joseph had submitted his name for consideration as President of the United States during this same period adds fodder for critics seeking to malign the character of the Prophet.


The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

with authority to decide which national or state laws Mormons should obey.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

The Council was also to select a site for a large Mormon settlement in Texas, California, or Oregon,

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 517.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

where Mormons could live under theocratic law beyond other governmental control.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 517.

FairMormon Response

The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

In effect, the Council was a shadow world government,

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

  • The Ostlings cite Robert Bruce Flanders, Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965), 292-94). Flanders is the author that calls the Council a "shadow government."
  • For an analysis of Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of Mormon America: The Power and the Promise.

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

a first step toward creating a global "theodemocracy".

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

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The author(s) of Check link or content make(s) the following claim:

One of the Council's first acts was to elect Smith as "prophet, priest and king" of the millennial monarchy.

Author's sources:
  1. "In an act shocking to democratic sensibilities, at the Council of Fifty meeting of April 11, 1844, 'Prest J[oseph] was voted our P[rophet] p[riest] and K[ing]...Monarchy did not repel Joseph as it did other Americans. A righteous king was the best kind of ruler, the Book of Mormon had taught. The office of king came out of temple rituals where other Saints were anointed 'kings and priests,' according to prescriptions in the Revelation of St. John, but here the title had overt political implications. Joseph was to be king in the Kingdom of God, or 'King and Ruler over Israel.' His election as king did not alter his behavior or give him additional power. . . but it did indicate Joseph’s frame of mind." Bushman (2005) , p. 523

FairMormon Response

References

Wikipedia references for "Joseph Smith, Jr."
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Further reading

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Summary: Current review is based upon Wikipedia revision dated 9/28/2011. This article has been constructed in such a way as to discredit the witnesses by emphasizing any perceived contradictions in their various statements regarding their encounter with the gold plates.


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  1. See 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16
  2. Andrew F. Ehat, "'It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth': Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God," Brigham Young University Studies 20 no. 3 (1980), 260-61.