Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Joseph F. Smith finally admits

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Joseph F. Smith finally admits?

A FairMormon Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims


One Nation under Gods, page 339 (hardback and paperback)

  • "[Joseph F.] Smith finally admitted that he had broken not only the laws of the land, but also the laws of God as given via the Manifesto and other revelations commanding obedience to the government."

Author's Sources


Endnote 32, page 595 (hardback); page 593 (paperback)

  • Multiple preceding citations regarding Joseph F. Smith either sanctioning or denying plural marriage.  [needs work]
  • Proceedings, vol. 1, 334-335

Answer


  • President Smith did not "finally admit" this—he had been frank about it throughout the hearing. He was asked, "Is there not a revelation that you shall abide by the laws of the State and of the land?" He replied, "Yes sir." "If that is a revelation, are you not violating the laws of God?" Replied President Smith, "I have admitted that, Mr. Senator, a great many times here." (p. 334-335)
  • President Smith had already explained, however, that "...we had the alternative before us as to whether we should observe even the constitutional law of the land that was so pronounced by the Supreme Court of the United States or to continue to practice the law of the church...." (p. 333).
  • He went on to say, "I understand your point, that the church forbids me to violate the law, certainly it does—but the church gave me those wives, and the church can not be consistent with itself and compel me to forsake them and surrender them." Despite efforts by the questioning senator, Pres. Smith refused to characterize his actions as violating the "law of the church" but only the "rule of the church." (p. 335-336).
  • Two legal and moral demands were in conflict, and Pres. Smith chose to obey that which he saw as the higher, and was willing to suffer the penalty.