Question: Were curses pronounced upon the enemies of Mormonism in the Kirtland Temple?

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Question: Were curses pronounced upon the enemies of Mormonism in the Kirtland Temple?

George A. Smith says nothing about cursing in the temple, but does indicate that some prophesied the death of persecutors and apostates

Critics charge that the Saints cursed their enemies in the Kirtland Temple, citing George A. Smith:

Some of the brethren thought it was best to apostatize, because the spirit of cursing was with men who had been driven from Missouri by mob violence. Yet every word that they prophesied has been fulfilled. They prophesied that the bones of many of those murderers should bleach on the prairie, and that birds should pick out their eyes, and beasts devour their flesh. Men who have traversed the plains of Mexico, California, Nebraska, and Kansas, have often seen the fulfilment of that prophecy in the most marvellous manner. We have seen their names upon trees, on the heads of old trunks, and bits of boards; the names of men that I knew, and I knew just as well, in the Kirtland Temple, what would be their fate, as I know now. But that tried us, some of us were awfully tried about it. The Lord dared not then reveal anything more; He had given us all we could swallow; and persecution raged around us to such an extent that we were obliged to forsake our beautiful Temple, and flee into the State of Missouri.[1]

George A. says nothing about cursing in the temple. He indicates that some prophesied the death of persecutors and apostates (often the same people) and that God fulfilled this prophecy in a miraculous way. The critics misrepresent this source.

Prayers were offered in the Kirtland Temple for their persecutors

The critics also neglect to mention the prayer offered in the Kirtland Temple for their persecutors, praying that his judgment come upon them (DC 109:27-34) but asking that repentance come to them if possible:

47 We ask thee, Holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them. Thou knowest, O Lord, that they have been greatly oppressed and afflicted by wicked men; and our hearts flow out with sorrow because of their grievous burdens. O Lord, how long wilt thou suffer this people to bear this affliction, and the cries of their innocent ones to ascend up in thine ears, and their blood come up in testimony before thee, and not make a display of thy testimony in their behalf? Have mercy, O Lord, upon the wicked mob, who have driven thy people, that they may cease to spoil, that they may repent of their sins if repentance is to be found; But if they will not, make bare thine arm, O Lord, and redeem that which thou didst appoint a Zion unto thy people. And if it cannot be otherwise, that the cause of thy people may not fail before thee may thine anger be kindled, and thine indignation fall upon them, that they may be wasted away, both root and branch, from under heaven; But inasmuch as they will repent, thou art gracious and merciful, and wilt turn away thy wrath when thou lookest upon the face of thine Anointed. (DC 109:47-53, (italics added))

Notes

  1. George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses 2:216.