Quote mining/Journal of Discourses/JoD 5:210:Analysis

Table of Contents

Quote mining analysis

The quote and its use by the critic(s):

List Actual quote Critical use

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In conversing with brother Marsh, I find that he is about the same Thomas that he always was—full of anecdotes and chit-chat. He could hardly converse for ten minutes without telling an anecdote. His voice and style of conversation are familiar to me.

He has told you that he is an old man. Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congre[ga]tion that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can any of the young men.

Brother Thomas considers himself very aged and infirm, and you can see that he is, brethren and sisters. What is the cause of it? He left the Gospel of salvation. What do you think the difference is between his age and mine? One year and seven months to a day; and he is one year, seven months, and fourteen days older than brother Heber C. Kimball.

"Mormonism" keeps men and women young and handsome; and when they are full of the Spirit of God, there are none of them but what will have a glow upon their countenances; and that is what makes you and me young; for the Spirit of God is with us and within us.

When brother Thomas thought of returning to the Church, the plurality of wives troubled him a good deal. Look at him. Do you think it need to? I do not; for I doubt whether he could get one wife. Why it should have troubled an infirm old man like him is not for me to say. He read brother Orson Pratt's work upon that subject, and discovered that the doctrine was beautiful, consistent, and exalting, and that the kingdom could not be perfect without it. Neither can it be perfect without a great many things that the people do not yet understand, though they will come in the own due time of the Lord.

  • The Tanners cite this page for the claim that Brigham Young had "fifty or sixty" wives, and boasted of his ability to obtain more.

Analysis

  • The critics fail to tell their readers that Brigham is speaking about the return of Thomas B. Marsh to the church—he is comparing the consequences of remaining in the Church (as Brigham and Heber have done) versus a long apostasy (as in the case of Marsh). It is a misrepresentation to describe this as Brigham "boasting."
  • As is often the case, the Tanners apply the worst possible interpretation to what are likely innocent remarks intended to teach a spiritual principle in a humorous or arresting manner.