Latter-day Saint leaders, doctrine, history, and practices are topics of rather intense interest among anti-Mormons, and they commonly surface in their presentations. I deem these issues irrelevant to the deeper questions already addressed regarding the restored gospel, but they should be countered for the sake of putting them to rest.
Polygamy, or plural marriage, was the practice of the Church of Jesus Christ in the 1800s wherein a man married more than one wife. When this practice was made public in 1852, it became a tool for anti-Mormons to use in drumming up hostility against the church–and they used the tool effectively. Nineteenth-century America was not an audience sympathetic to the subject of polygamy, and the practice was immediately questioned or denounced by nearly everyone–including many members of the church. In the 1850s the practice of polygamy was considered radically antisocial. Today cultures or societies that practice polygamy are considered unique or perhaps unacceptable in the modern, civilized world. Members of the church, and particularly missionaries, are often asked about polygamy–and why not? It is a topic that arouses curiosity.
Why was plural marriage practiced in the church? What were conditions like in a polygamist family? Why did the church stop polygamy? The most important questions relate to the appropriateness of plural marriage in Christianity. Was polygamy a biblical practice? Did polygamy have a role in the apostolic church? What did Jesus and the apostles say about the practice?
We know that anti-Mormons of the 1800s, as well as many today, characterized the Mormon practice of plural marriage as the height of lasciviousness–a sordid, satanic idea spawned in the mind of a perverted and corrupt leader. As usual, their characterizations are intended to inflame prejudice and deceive the reader. They are also completely false. It was with reluctance that Joseph Smith revealed the will of God on this doctrine because he fully knew it would invite the severest of criticism and persecution. He also knew the problems it would create in his own family.49 Joseph would not have introduced plural marriage to the church unless he had a firm conviction that it was the will of the Lord to do it, and to do it then. Joseph wrote, “The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what he tells us to do. … It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular. I will always maintain a true principle even if I stand alone in it.”50 Brigham Young reported that Joseph was determined to press ahead though it would cost him his life, for “it is the work of God, and he has revealed this principle, and it is not my business to control or to dictate it.”51 Latter-day Saints participated in plural marriage simply because they believed that God had commanded them to do so.
Plural marriage among the Mormons was a carefully regulated and ordered procedure. Covenants and mutual agreement were essential to its practice. Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote,
These holy and sacred ordinances have nothing to do with whoredoms, unlawful connections, confusion or crime; but the very reverse. They have laws, limits, and bounds of the strictest kind, and none but the pure in heart, the strictly virtuous, or those who repent and become such, are worthy to partake of them. And … [a] dreadful weight of condemnation await[s] those who pervert, or abuse them.52
But even with approval and structure, plural marriage was not easy, and as many difficulties as benefits accompanied the practice. However, the fact that many plural marriages thrived and produced healthy, well-adjusted children was evidence of the happiness and productivity they could bring.53
Did the Savior, his apostles, or the reformers of the 1500s denounce polygamy? Stephen E. Robinson of Brigham Young University writes about the reaction to polygamy in modern Western society: “the roots of this abhorrence can hardly be described as biblical, for the Old Testament explicitly sanctions polygamy, and the New Testament does not forbid it. The practice could not have been abhorrent to Jesus and the first-century Jewish Christians, for their culture was not Western, and plural marriage was sanctioned in the Law of Moses, the holiness of which was endorsed by both Jesus and Paul.”54 History affirms that Martin Luther counseled Philip of Hesse to take a second wife, justifying the idea with the Old Testament. Luther clearly preferred monogamy, but he did write, “A Christian is not free to marry several wives unless God commands him to go beyond the liberty which is conditioned by love.”55 Philip of Hesse indeed eventually took a second wife and made a public event of it, to the displeasure of Luther, who wanted the marriage to be done in private. However, Luther later wrote of the marriage, “I am not ashamed of the counsel I gave even if it should become known throughout the world.”56 In the eighteenth century, “Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia took plural wives on at least two occasions, citing Luther’s counsel to Philip of Hesse as a precedent and with the approval of his own Lutheran court chaplain.”57 Plural marriage was apparently not the anti-Christian practice it has been made out to be.
In 1890 Wilford Woodruff, then president and prophet of the church, received a revelation from the Lord that the practice of plural marriage was to be discontinued. His vision demonstrated that continuing plural marriage endangered the church, risked the destruction of its leadership and the families of its members by imprisonment, and would result in the crippling loss of property–particularly temples–through government confiscation. President Woodruff issued the Manifesto in October of 1890, declaring an official end to new plural marriages.58 Since that time, all who engage in plural marriage are guilty of grave sin and are subject to excommunication and the laws of the land.
To answer this, we must first define cult. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, a cult is a “religious group devoted to a living leader, a new teaching, or an unusual practice.”59 In that sense Jesus Christ was the leader of a cult (the Christians), as far as the Jews were concerned. By the same token Martin Luther was the leader of a cult and the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist movements were cultic when they began. All these groups have developed into organized churches.
Those who use the word cult to describe the organization or the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do so for the sensational effect it may have on those who read their material. It is an effort to degrade Mormon doctrine or to imply that, as members of a cult, Mormons are not to be taken seriously but are to be avoided or openly disdained.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a vital, living church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught in its fulness. There are no secret oaths required for membership, and members perform no unseemly practices or rituals. They are free to remove themselves from church activity at any time. Service and activity in the church are free from compulsion and coercion in any form.
Worship is paying respect or homage to a divine being or supernatural power.60 Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a late member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stated, “Deity is worshipped in prayer, song, sermon, and testimony; by the making of covenants, offering sacrifices, performance of ordinances, and the participation in religious rituals and ceremonies.”61 Latter-day Saints worship God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in this way (see Doctrine and Covenants 135; 59:5). Members of the Church of Jesus Christ do not consider Joseph Smith to be a deity, nor do they worship him in any way. President Gordon B. Hinckley stated,
We do not worship the Prophet [Joseph Smith]. We worship God our Eternal Father, and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge [Joseph Smith], we proclaim him, we respect him, we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truth of the divine gospel.62
Faithful members of the church hold Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God in the sense that religious leaders of the Old Testament were prophets of God. Anyone who will read any of the revelations received by Joseph Smith or passages from the Book of Mormon will see their emphasis on the worship of the one true God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Anyone attending a Mormon worship service will be impressed by the focus on the Savior in all worship, conversation, and study.
As a faithful Latter-day Saint, I have tremendous admiration and respect for the great Latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith. The persecution he endured in his short life and the sacrifices he made for the benefit of others are astonishing to me. I know of Joseph’s great love for Jesus Christ and his teachings. I have come to appreciate the nobility of his actions, even toward those who fought against him and sought to destroy him with their fallacious reports. He was a man of great spiritual strength who withstood hardships with a cheerful heart. Those who denounce Joseph Smith as a liar or a fraud, or who suggest that he was simply a charlatan bent on his own aggrandizement, demonstrate their own ignorance, for many great men who knew the “boy prophet” testified of his honorable and impressive character.
I know that he was not a perfect man. Joseph was chastised by the Lord in revelations more than any other person. He knew he was not a perfect man–he said and wrote so on many occasions. I do not expect him to be perfect. Yet I revere Joseph Smith as the Lord’s mouthpiece and a prophet of the last dispensation.
While he was a prominent Presbyterian minister, Roger R. Keller (now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ) carefully studied the life and teachings of Joseph Smith. He wrote,
Joseph Smith’s desire and ability to provide (based upon a literalistic interpretation of the King James scriptures) theological responses to the innumerable doctrinal questions with which we all struggle was truly amazing. We may ultimately disagree with the results of his exegesis, but we must respect him as a Christian of immense stature whose legacy to the world is a Church whose membership now numbers in excess of 5 million persons [now 11 million].63
Like Paul of old, Joseph Smith was keenly aware of his shortcomings and weaknesses, but he was also aware of his divine calling and the eternal implications of his assigned ministry. A balanced review of the life and teachings of Joseph Smith reveals a man of great stature, richly deserving of the honor bestowed upon him by those who knew him well.
Joseph Smith’s First Vision in 1820, during which he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, is one of the most significant religious events in the history of the world. This glorious vision initiated the restoration of the fulness of the gospel to the earth and established a new prophet to lead God’s children out of darkness. Since this event is so central to the message of the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ, it is no wonder that anti-Mormons would target Joseph’s different descriptions of this experience and look for reasons to discredit it.
Of the four accounts of the First Vision, the first was recorded in 1832, twelve years after the experience. The other three versions followed in 1835, 1838, and 1842. It is important to note that these successive accounts were not written to “update” or “correct” the original, but were simply reports of the event given under different circumstances. Each was recorded by a different scribe, from a different perspective, and for a different purpose. As a result, the accounts emphasize various aspects of Joseph’s experience.
Anti-Mormon writers commonly claim that Joseph’s “numerous” accounts of the First Vision cast doubt on the prophet’s integrity and on the validity of the event itself.64 However, the basic truths disclosed in each account are in complete harmony. The differences that do exist are simple grammatical changes or observations that show different facets of the same event. In fact, the subtle differences in Joseph’s accounts help to support the integrity of his experience. They clearly indicate that Joseph did not simply memorize a story and pass it along in exact detail.
Moreover, contradictions in scripture are not as uncommon as some religious leaders would have us believe. To demonstrate this, one could compare the accounts of the Savior’s life and teachings by the authors of the four Gospels. Each was an eyewitness to Jesus’ expressions and miracles, but each recorded them differently. Accounts of the resurrection disagree on such details as the number of angels present, whether they were standing or sitting, and how many women were present at the tomb.
Consider also the description of the conversion of the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul’s accounts in Acts 22 and 26 differ in detail from Luke’s account in Acts 9. In Acts 9:7 we read that those traveling with Paul heard a voice but saw no man. But Acts 22:9 tells us that Paul’s fellow travelers saw a light but heard no voice. These biblical accounts seem to conflict. In another example of apparent contradiction from the Bible, the description of Judas Iscariot’s death in Matthew 27:5 is different from that in Acts 1:18. Disbelievers scoff at the Bible for its conflicting reports, but believers are willing to look beyond the inevitable human errors because they recognize the value of the larger message: Christ’s tomb was empty. Paul received a miraculous vision from the resurrected Lord. And Judas died an ignominious death for his betrayal.
The central message of Joseph Smith’s accounts of his vision did not vary. The differences in details were very likely a result of receiving enormously significant information from a complex and astounding experience. There was more than he could take in and certainly more than he could relate. What is today the official version of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s First Vision (that is, the account found in Joseph Smith–History) is in complete harmony with earlier versions. In no instance has its basic message changed. What changes have been made were done in an effort to convey, in the clearest language possible, the truths unfolded by God.
Solomon Spaulding, who was for a time a clergyman in the late 1700s, wrote a book in 1812 entitled Manuscript Found. The book, which Spaulding said came from a Latin manuscript in a cave in Ohio, told a story about a group of Romans whose ship was blown off course, landing in North America. During their time on this continent, these Romans recorded their experiences with American Indians.
Philastus Hurlbut, a former Mormon who was excommunicated from the church for repeated acts of immorality, advanced the idea that Joseph Smith used Spaulding’s story as the basis for the Book of Mormon. The manuscript for Spaulding’s book was missing, but Hurlbut interviewed members of the Spaulding family and proclaimed that their statements confirmed that the content of the missing manuscript matched that of the Book of Mormon. In the mid-1800s this “Spaulding theory” was the primary anti-Mormon answer to the question of Book of Mormon authorship.
However, the missing manuscript was located in Hawaii in 1884 and immediately published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to counter anti-Mormon claims. As it turned out, Spaulding’s writings had no connection with the Book of Mormon–obviously the Book of Mormon did not have its roots in Spaulding’s writings. It was then speculated by anti-Mormons that Spaulding might have written another book that could have been the source from which the Book of Mormon sprang. However, there is no indication that Spaulding ever wrote another book.
In 1980 a trio of anti-Mormon writers published a book documenting professional graphologist statements that indicated similarities between Spaulding’s handwriting and that of one of the scribes of the Book of Mormon, thus reopening the Solomon Spaulding controversy.65 Further research into the matter showed that these anti-Mormons had been too hasty in their conclusions. The participating graphologists repudiated statements published in this book, claiming them to be false and misleading. Moreover, upon examination of original documents, experts determined that no handwriting connection exists between Spaulding and the Book of Mormon scribe.
Enemies of the restored gospel often point to passages in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians as evidence that Mormonism is really “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They quote Galatians 1:8, which says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” But their assertion is given undue credit; the “other gospel” to which Paul was referring was the one being polluted by the Jews (see Galatians 1:14).
As an appointed servant of Jesus Christ, Paul was simply taking appropriate ecclesiastical action to prevent the deterioration of gospel ideals. It was his responsibility to correct the members of the church when they erred–and they often did. Since the practices introduced by Christ were foreign to their traditions, the saints needed constant direction from Christ and his chosen leaders. After Paul and the other apostles were killed, no one was left to make such corrections, and people fell away from the teachings of Christ. Consequently, churches established their own doctrines–apart from the revelations of God. Because of this, the gospel of Christ needed to be restored in our times, and the Lord has appointed new leaders to correct the Saints when they err.
It is interesting that those who use Galatians 1:8 to establish their anti-Mormon position are, in reality, among those who are following a theology that has been altered from the original by the traditions and the “cunning craftiness” of men (Ephesians 4:14). Indeed, it is they who are following “another gospel” apart from the one established by Christ himself and restored in these last days through a prophet of God.
The claim that the Church of Jesus Christ and its members are prejudiced against black people or exclude blacks from membership or worship has been around for some time. However, a careful review of church history presents quite a different picture. People of African descent have been members of the church almost since its organization in 1830. Several blacks joined the church when they were slaves and traveled west with the great pioneer exodus from Missouri to Utah.66
While black members of the church were relatively few in number in the church’s early days, their number has grown vigorously in recent years. Since membership records of the Church of Jesus Christ do not identify race, it is impossible to accurately measure the growth of black membership; however, statistics on membership in areas where populations are largely or exclusively of African descent demonstrate significant growth. The first black African stake (a geographical unit of approximately 2500 church members) was organized in Nigeria in 1988.67
Until June 1978 black members of the church could not hold the priesthood, function in callings requiring priesthood authority, or participate in temple or priesthood ordinances. Despite speculations by those both in and out of the church, there has been no official explanation for this restriction from the priesthood.68 It was anticipated that it would be rescinded by revelation at some future date. As early as 1857 Brigham Young said that the “time will come when they will have the privilege of all we have the privilege of and more.”69 In June 1978 President Spencer W. Kimball, then the prophet of the church, announced the revelation that all worthy males could hold the priesthood.
Since the church’s early days, blacks have taken part in the church. Aside from the restrictions on priesthood and participation in temple ordinances, blacks have participated in the Mormon community and gospel with few racial restrictions. During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Protestant churches in the United States, South Africa, and other parts of the world routinely separated blacks from whites for worship and fellowship. No such separation ever existed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Black Latter-day Saints currently enjoy opportunities in all aspects of church activity, including missionary work, quorum leadership, and so on. People of African descent are openly sought by missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ and encouraged to come unto Christ, through the waters of baptism, and to remain faithful, serving and being served in a spirit of harmony and love.
According to its authors, The God Makers is both a film and a book produced for the purpose of “exposing and bringing to full knowledge the real doctrines of false prophets and teachers of the Mormon Church” and doing a “service to the Christian community by keeping them informed, equipping them … that they may be effective witnesses.”70 The film is clearly not the work of amateurs. Its high quality is evidence of both a highly skilled filmmaker and a substantial budget.
The contents of the film and book, however, leave much to be desired with regards to their supposedly forthright service of “keeping [people] informed.” Rather than give my own views on this subject, I have chosen several statements by prominent non-Mormons who have seen the film or read the book.
Rhonda Abrams, Regional Director of the anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, recorded her reaction to the film:
The use of a documentary format with a factual tone is a clever ploy to convey a high degree of believability to what is in fact merely an anti-Mormon work. I am fearful that many of those viewing “The Godmakers,” especially those who are unfamiliar with the tenets of the Church of [Jesus Christ of] Latter Day Saints, will come away believing much of what they see. Those who view it carefully, however, can see just how invidious and defamatory “The Godmakers” is.71
W. John Koystra, of the Institute for Communal Christianity in Toronto, Canada, made the following statement:
Over Easter I have reviewed the videos The God Makers and Temple of the God Makers and have decided that we will not catalog these two films as part of our collection of Mormon reference materials. … I find these two films personally insulting and consider them a prime example of the unethical practices employed by so many of the evangelical churches and TV ministries. The decision not to include these was not an easy one, for I have a natural dislike for censorship; however in this case I must concur with Plato and conclude that their content is sufficiently dangerous so as to be potentially destructive of that which is good, while at the same time not making a significant contribution to the knowledge of Mormonism.72
In an advisory report to religious executives in 1984, the Arizona Regional Board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) made the following statement regarding The God Makers:
Because showing of “The Godmakers” is an integral part of the program of the Concerned Christians group, we offer these opinions based on our viewing of the film, research and reflection. The film does not–in our opinion–fairly portray the Mormon church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief. It makes extensive use of “half-truth,” faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith. … It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.73
The Arizona Regional Board of the NCCJ also wrote,
We believe that most fair-minded people who would happen to view this film would be appalled by it, because their attitudes have been previously formed through many day-by-day experiences with Mormons which demonstrate that they are good friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. There are, unfortunately, some who lack adequate knowledge about the Mormon faith, who may unwarily be misled by this film. We recommend to all persons that they utilize every opportunity for face-to-face dialogue with their neighbors in an atmosphere of mutual respect.74
In his book The Truth about “The God Makers,” Gilbert Scharffs provides a 400-page expose of The God Makers’s lies, distortions, and deceptions. In the introduction Scharffs lists a subjective tabulation (shown below), dividing the errors within The God Makers into various categories. In all, there are well over six hundred errors in The God Makers.
|Repetition of charges from once to several times||169|
|Statements that were not true||141|
|Unwarranted conclusions based on known facts||131|
|Significant quotes or charges without documentation||47|
|Historical material quoted out of context which altered the meaning||39|
|Scriptures quoted out of context or paraphrased incorrectly which altered the meaning||18|
|Footnote references that were not where they were indicated||7|
|Wrong footnote because the source copied by the authors had the wrong footnote also||5|
The God Makers is religious pornography. In my opinion its creators are not seeking to enlighten anyone but wish only to enrich themselves by appealing to the prejudices and base instincts of those who promote and buy their wares.
Why, in the New Testament, do the accounts of Mark and Luke differ regarding the visit of the women to the open and empty sepulchre? Mark says there was one angel in the tomb; Luke reports that there were two. Why do the reported circumstances and conversations between the women and the angels differ in each gospel account? Which account is correct? Just prior to entering Gethsemane, Jesus instructed his apostles that it was time for them to sell their possessions and purchase swords. Why were swords necessary? And why were the two produced “enough” (Luke 22:36-38)?
The Book of Mormon includes a brief account of a shipbuilder named Hagoth. Hagoth, who was said to be an exceedingly curious man, built several ships that carried many people northward (Alma 63:5-8). Where did the ships go? Why? We clearly do not know the answers to these questions. We don’t have enough information to understand. Why are there inconsistencies and mysteries in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, historical events, and even statements by leaders of the ancient and modern church?
Do these unanswerable questions matter? Of course they matter. They are interesting and provocative, and they allow us to use our intellect in considering new possibilities. Do they affect our eternal salvation? No, of course they do not. The fulness of the gospel in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon gives us the basic requirements for salvation: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Scriptural passages that lead us to better understand these requirements are vital. But other scriptural or historical material that builds and strengthens our faith and understanding of God’s plan of happiness for his children is also of extreme importance. It opens our eyes to the divine potential in every child of God. Moreover, examples of true discipleship point the way for us. Even learning of the weaknesses of the prophets and other men and women of God can give us hope in the Lord’s promises, notwithstanding our own failings.
Truth and pure knowledge, born of the Spirit, are never given to scoffers and doubters but to those who are honest in heart. Those who seek to find fault with Joseph Smith or other church leaders will find ample opportunity. Each was aware of their individual shortcomings and weaknesses to which they often confessed. Finding miniscule and ultimately unimportant “errors” in the Book of Mormon and attaching distorted significance to them only serves to settle the doubters and faultfinders into their own quagmire–thus personally condemning themselves and impeding their eternal progress.
Statements and teachings in all scriptural and historical documents can become stumbling blocks to those seeking purely intellectual information. Some people shun Christianity, the Bible, and all religious material because it is not perfect, provable or reasonable to them. They consider much of scripture to be out of touch with the modern world. The wise will glean from the scriptures the jewels of knowledge and comfort necessary for their salvation; they will act on them and leave the trivial, unanswerable questions to recreational pondering.
Critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints incite concern over relatively frivolous and unanswerable questions regarding church history, temple worship, or strange writings from obscure sources. In the past I have tried to address some of these paltry concerns but have never completely satisfied anyone. Since the inflated concerns are without eternal merit, I simply choose to ignore them in the face of more relevant and crucial issues.
49 See Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1093, s.v. “Plural Marriage.”
50 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 332.
51 Brigham Young Discourse, 8 Oct. 1866, Church Archives.
52 The Prophet, May 24, 1845; as quoted in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1094, s.v. “Plural Marriage.”
53 See Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1094, s.v. “Plural Marriage.”
54 Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991), 92.
55 Theodore G. Tappert, ed. and trans., Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1955), 276.
56 Ibid., 288-91.
57 Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks, Offenders for a Word (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), 155, fn. 537.
58 See Official Declaration 1, Doctrine and Covenants.
59 World Book, 1995 ed., 4:489 s.v. “cult.”
60 Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed., s.v. “worship.”
61 McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 849.
62 Gordon B. Hinckley, “Joseph the Seer,” Ensign, May 1977, 65; cited in Daniel H. Ludlow, “A Tribute to Joseph Smith, Jr.,” in The Prophet Joseph: Essays on the Life and Mission of Joseph Smith, ed. Larry C. Porter and Susan E. Black (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988), 334.
63 Roger R. Keller, The Mormons: Facts Versus Fiction (Nashville, Tenn.: Scarritt Graduate School, 1986), 3.
64 For example, at times Joseph talks about Jesus speaking to him but doesn’t explicitly say that God was present as well. Anti-Mormons contend that this means Joseph contradicted himself about who appeared to him in the First Vision, which is nonsense.
65 The book was Cowdrey et al., Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?
66 For examples of black pioneers and early church members, see Newell G. Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People within Mormonism (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1981); Kate B. Carter, The Negro Pioneer (Salt Lake City: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1965), also published in Carter, comp., Our Pioneer Heritage (Salt Lake City: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1965), 8:497-580.
67 See “Stakes, Missions, Temples,” in Deseret News Church Almanac, 1991-92 (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1990), 221, 224.
68 It was generally maintained that blacks should be denied the priesthood because of their lineage. According to the book of Abraham, the descendants of Cain were to be denied the priesthood of God (see Abraham 1:21-27).
69 Brigham Young, “Brigham Young Papers,” 5 February 1852, LDS Church Archives.
70 Gilbert W. Scharffs, The Truth about “The God Makers” (Salt Lake City: Publisher’s Press, 1989), Appendix B, 382.
71 Ibid., Appendix A, 379.
72 Letter dated 18 April 1990 from W. John Koystra to Richard R. Robertson of Public Communications in Markham, Ontario.
73 Scharffs, The Truth, 383-84.
74 Scharffs, The Truth, 384.