George P. Lee dies

I just read that the first Native American General Authority died today. George P. Lee was popular in the “white and delightsome” days of the Book of Mormon, before it was changed from “white” to “pure.”

I am getting ready to publish a book that explores the LDS Church’s Indian Placement Program, and all the discrimination and problems that went with it, including Spencer W. Kimball’s emphasis, “See those kids there. They are in our church, so they are getting whiter. WHOOPEE.” (I paraphrased that. Big time. BIIIIIG time. Just so you know.) What SWK really said was:

“… the Indians are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.” He said, “The [Indian] children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation” (Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-3).

Of course, these days, the “most correct” book on earth, The Book of Mormon, which has been altered and edited thousands of times, says it is PURE and delightsome. How does one answer that one?

I can’t wait to see the discussions on this one.

Frankly, the Indian (Lamanite Placement Program) was nothing short of a dismal failure. It is no longer in practice, although I have fond memories of two “Navajo” brothers that lived in our already crowded house. They went on to lead regular, Native American lives, having nothing to do with Mormonism. Can’t say I blame them.

A church that wants you to be “whiter” to fit in just doesn’t really cut it.

George P. Lee was a rather tragic figure, as he was later excommunicated from the LDS Church and accused of sexual abuse. Actually, I believe he “admitted to attempted” child sex abuse.

Boy was that a black eye for the IPP and the Church. They didn’t play that game again. No Native American has been a general authority since, and probably hasn’t really wanted to do so.

But it brings forth lots of issues and questions about the propriety of baptizing Native American children and bringing them into homes and trying to make them white. And that is EXACTLY what the church was trying to do. And why did the Native American parents agree to it? Let’s see, a chance to live in a “rich, white” community and go to a “rich, white” school and get a “rich, white” education. I can’t say I blame them. I understand them wanting more for their children.

I am just unsure they got it. I would love to hear some positive stories, or just stories about this in children.

So discuss, folks.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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47 Responses to George P. Lee dies

  1. Birdman says:

    I have my own childhood memories of the placement program…a dismal failure in my experience…what about the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City? Waiting for discussion…names like Pinto, Star, Washburn come to my mind… Who wants to share???

    Like

  2. birdman says:

    Once again, my new wife has shown me things I was unaware of from the time I was away with the military…outside of the Utah Culture…and surely not news my TBM family would pass on in one of their infrequent letters. 1989 when Lee was excommunicated for “heresy” and “conduct unbecoming a member of the church”, I was serving in the US Army in Germany…of course local news like attempted child abuse didn’t make the international head lines…even when it was a world renowned church leader.
    So in researching George P Lee, I find that the apostle prior to his excommunication that fell from grace and was excommunicated, was Richard Lyman in 1943…a little more research on him and the big spiral starts…wow, how was this covered up in my home and culture for years? Excommunicated for a plural marriage that had been going on for 18 years…wow!
    And his “First Wife” Amy Brown Lyman was the 8th general president of the Relief Society from 1940-1945…while her polygamist apostle husband was being excommunicated from the church for his plural marriage, she continued on as the Relief Society general president for two years…bet that was a deterent to her duties…you think??

    In my research, I encountered another blog site of which I was unaware, that has great references for research reading…although, I’m sure Todd will inform us that they are just anti-Mormon cliches…the LA times and the NY times subscribe to them you know…

    Thanks again, Honey for motivating me to learn something new about my forgotten culture.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: Blasphemy Edition! | Main Street Plaza

  4. Anon says:

    My husband’s family was a host family for a year. They fostered a teenage girl… apparently thinking the perks of the free babysitting would be a nice bonus, right? The result was that, as a child, my husband and 2 other young siblings were abused repeatedly by their foster sister…. physically, emotionally and sexually. She was not stable, was violent and had probably suffered sexual abuse of her own as a child. I don’t know if they actually even tried to screen for this type of thing. Obviously, my husband does not have fond memories of this program.

    Like

  5. Carl says:

    My in-laws participated in this LDS sponsored program for six years, and had two different Native American boys living with them at different times over this time span. The boys were junior high age. It quickly became obvious that they were robbing my in-laws blind; electronic equipment, clothes, music tapes – the list went on to include almost everything in the house. The boys even staged two break-ins, where their friends would be given keys to the house so that while the family was away for a length of time, the house would be broken into and robbed.

    Both boys ended up back on the reservation. One committed suicide while in high school. The other has four children – all from different young native girls.

    But the program was a success; their skin appears several shades lighter in color than their siblings; same hogans, same parents, same Lamanite curse.

    Carl

    Like

  6. Jeff says:

    Problem for LDS: Over the past 180 years, Mormon apostles and prophets have spoken so often, and so openly about dark skin curses that it has become a very accepted theology within LDS ranks.

    To argue definitions of “doctrine”, or to concentrate on superfluous theology questions over which prophet was “colorful”, or “eccentric”, or who misquoted whom concerning racist doctrines – is just playing into apologist’s realm. It needs to be recognized that anyone can argue almost any single point, and appear logical. Hell – OJ Simpson was acquitted!!

    But, the underlying point is this: LDS theology has been, and continues to be a racist organization that has done nothing to refute the bigoted sins of it’s past. I encourage all to read the 1978 statement that finally allowed “Blacks” to hold the priesthood. It makes no apology, denies nothing about the ignorant, arrogant belief systems of the past concerning dark skin (Laminates and Negroes). It merely states that they are now able to do stuff, such as “hold the priesthood”.

    Anyone who denies this racist past, or tries to downplay the significance and bigotry associated with the LDS belief system, or twist it into something that it is not, is to be mistrusted. Anyone who tries to go back and attempt to claim that Joseph Smith wasn’t racist is missing the point entirely. Subsequent prophets trump dead prophets. And, Brigham Young spoke

    The only statement that I have ever read from a trusted LDS source, goes something like this: “I don’t understand anything involving racism and the apparent bigotry that has permeated my LDS faith for greater than 150 years. I’ll never understand why LDS apostles and prophets have made so many hateful comments, and participated in so many hateful practices over the years. I consider every man to be equal in God’s eyes. There are so many other wonderful things associated with Mormonism, that I hold out a hope that it is leading me and my family down the paths of righteousness and happiness.”

    Any other attempt at explaining or twisting the truth does nothing but piss good people off.

    Jeff

    Like

  7. Jenn says:

    I included your quote, Natalie, in an essay I wrote in my English Class last semester. My professor was outraged and had no idea that any of this had taken place. Good ole mormons.

    We had a 12 year old live with us for a very short time. The moment she arrives she insisted on getting her hair cut, her ears pierced and my mother bought her an entire new wardrobe. Her sister lived in a town not far from ours and after three months they vanished – our mothers met their mother half way and exchanged the girls.

    I don’t know what went down because there was no such thing as age appropriate explanations in our household. Nearly everything was ‘adult’ and kept from the children. I can’t remember her skin getting lighter though, she must not have stayed long enough.

    Having said that, a family in our town, a decade or so prior to our whirlwing experience, had a girl and if I remember right, she returned year after year. They loved her and the town loved her. She taught everyone how to make fry-bread – note: I was under the age of 5, so that would be what I remember. When she got older, as much as she loved her host family, I know they were using her as a baby sitter. This family had a hell of a lot of kids.

    Either way, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

    Jenn-

    Like

  8. carl says:

    Actual quotes from LDS apostles and prophets concerning “Negroes” place in the Mormon church.

    http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_racism.html

    Most of this sickens me, as it should every Mormon. Too much data here to wiggle out of.

    Carl.

    Just “anti-Mormon” jiberish Todd?? continue living in your own little world.

    Like

  9. birdman says:

    Carl,
    He called them “anti-mormon cliches” lol just clarifying…you know how he gets about misquotes…

    Like

  10. carl says:

    Sadly, there is enough information and direct quotes from LDS leadership concerning Negro and Lamanite cursings involving skin color that all LDS need to hide in the “shades of gray” in order to somehow live with their faith.

    And – not just quotes from “colorful” leaders. These are direct, “In the name of Jesus” quotes from Prophets and Apostles.

    Carl

    Like

  11. birdman says:

    Carl, I am not much good with html, but JA did a great blog using just the brethern quotes back on 01 January 2009…
    It pays every now and then to go back to the archieves and see what is in there.

    Like

  12. Carl says:

    Birdman,

    Thanks. I’ve gone back and reviewed the posts that you mentioned. Unbelievable stuff!!

    Carl

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  13. Paulinea says:

    Famously/Prudent statement by G. A. George P. Lee in his first General Conf
    Address ” I KNOW NOW KNOW HOW GENERAL CUSTER FELT”

    Carl,

    Anyone who has been physical/mental/sexual abused email me at le_marti@yahoo.com

    Like

  14. Paulinea says:

    I am filing a law suit aganist the Mormon Church for Physical/Mental/Emotional Damages.

    All information in the LDS foster care system,,, The state or church was paying your housing month 3 month???

    Geroge P. Lee was puppet for the LDS church,

    Like

  15. Paulinea says:

    Hey everyone,

    I never said Geroge P. Lee was a puppet for the LDS church or any 3 months housing… Who ever wrote this last statement, your wrong.

    If your honest, lets tell the truth about the LDS church.

    Like

  16. Paulinea says:

    Who’s site is this???

    Anyone who choose to repond to my email address le_marti@yahoo.com Young or Old native indian american plz share ur stories whether it was NEGATIVE nor positive while u were on LDS Mormon placement program.

    Let your story be known and told!!!

    Like

  17. birdman says:

    Paulinea,
    You kind of lost me there.
    What kind of lawsuit are you filing and why?
    Talking about the truth of the LDS church is the reason for this blog…or one of them…

    Like

  18. Paulinea,

    This is my blog. Other than that, I’m not sure what you want.

    Like

  19. overdubbed says:

    Y’all sound like bitter apostates

    Like

  20. dangerously says:

    I interviewed a long time at that school…but didn’t take the job, moved to Montery CA instead…whatever happened to the school.

    Like

  21. Yeah, overdubbed? You sound like a trite, cliche-spewing Mormon. But welcome in, anyway.

    Like

  22. Dangerously, the school has been closed for years now. I think some of the buildings are rented out, but I’m not sure.

    Like

  23. Mike says:

    I find it fascinating that you would spend so much time focusing on a religious institution that has done so much good for so many people. Certainly, you can argue the Mormons have destroyed damages many people’s lives (because they chose not to live by its precepts), but I find it interesting that the large majority of interactions with the church haves been positive and constructive. While you focus on the alleged dark side of Mormonism, I see a group of people who give of themselves and try so lift others, both by humanitarian service throughout the world and service locally.

    Imperfect as people tend to be, nitpicking on so-called failed programs of the church is a waste of energy. Why don’t you use your writing talents to focus more important issues such as worldwide poverty or finding common ground to work together.

    Like

  24. Birdman says:

    Oh Mike…
    You are living in the age of spin…the time since GBH has tried to go mainstream with the Mormon religion. Yes, there are significant positive effects of Mormonism…but the religion is based upon fabrication and that lie does great damage to many that cannot see it as such. The damage that was done to all the Lamanite children that were brought into good Mormon homes to “become white and delightsome”, cannot and should not be covered up or re-written in history to show only the good intent of sharing education with the savages. The Mormon church decreed that there native and natural religious connection with the earth was wrong…that the color of their skin made them less than the whites in the church. A culture was destroyed, resentments were developed and lives were damaged…how do you rectify that by saying it was a “so-called failed program”?
    Giving of themselves was not the foremost thought for the Lamanite Placement program…it was about converting new members of bringing “the only true church” to the heathens.
    So get on your soapbox about “The Church” somewhere else, acting as though the intent was for the good of those damaged doesn’t make it or “The Church” right and you can’t cover it up by saying “people are imperfect.”

    Like

  25. Todd says:

    Talk about spin and fabrication…

    Birdman is fabricating spin at dizzying speeds.

    Sorry, dude, but can you be more specific so we can examine your little assertions in more depth? Otherwise, you’re spin is nothing more than the baseless, hollow anti-mormon bigotry you frequently spew.

    * the religion is based upon fabrication
    Where’s your proof? (Rhetorical question. Don’t waste your time trying to prove something you cannot. Let’s presume it is a fabrication just to get past this point and on to the more interesting topics.)

    * that lie does great damage to many that cannot see it as such
    Huh? What “great damage” is being done, and to whom?

    * the damage that was done to all the Lamanite children…should not be covered up
    Huh? Who is covering up what? Please be specific.

    * the Mormon church decreed that their native and natural religious connection with the earth was wrong…
    Huh? References please?

    * the Mormon church decreed…that the color of their skin made them less than the whites in the church.
    Huh? References please?

    * a culture was destroyed…
    Huh? What culture? The ISPP destroyed it? Where’s your proof?

    * Giving of themselves was not the foremost thought for the Lamanite Placement program…it was about converting new members of bringing “the only true church” to the heathens.
    Huh? Where’s your proof?

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert on the ISPP, but 10 minutes worth of research yielded more than enough stuff to tear down all of the crap you’re spewing.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  26. Birdman says:

    Welcome back Todd,
    Once again, you want to argue without showing what it is you are arguing about…and then you accuse me of “hollow anti-Mormon bigotry”??? When did you become the sole source for determining right and wrong?

    Synonyms for bigotry: dogmatism, illiberalism, illiberality, illiberalness, intolerance, intolerantness, narrow-mindedness, opinionatedness, partisanship, sectarianism, small-mindedness…this from Merriam Webster…wow Todd, you are accusing me of intolerance, because I don’t agree with your ideal…your dogmatic religious beliefs outweigh my right to believe the way I wish or to find truth in any partisanship but the one you espouse????
    You continually blow me away with your apologistic concepts…the only right is your right…is that it???

    Grow up and understand…your narcissistic view of “The Truth” is only one view, not necassarily the right view…and that I, we and anyone else has the right, the desire and the ability to speak out about the injustice of such an attitude without you getting your secret underwear in a bunch.

    *Religion based on fabrication…show me where it isn’t…again, just your belief

    *Damage from the lie…we can count a lot of damage done, but let’s make an attempt to stay with the topic…Indian Placement Program…making Native American children believe that they are not as good as their “white” families…that they will become whiter and more delightsome by giving up the tribal religious ceremonies and beliefs to worship the GOD their “white” families choose for them.

    *Covering up…changing the words to read pure and delightsome is a cover-up…explain it any other way.

    *the Mormon church decreed…that the color of their skin made them less than the whites in the church…Todd I know of at least 4 Indian Placement students that were sent home for refusing to give up a belief in tribal tradition and religion…I was there and saw it first hand.

    *the Mormon church decreed…that the color of their skin made them less than the whites in the church.
    Huh? References please…Todd, go back to the blog and review what my cousin Spencer W Kimball said…
    “… the Indians “are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.” He said, “The [Indian] children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation” (Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-3).

    *Culture destroyed…fortunately, this never was completely brought about, but at least two generations of Navajo were forbidden from worshipping as their forefathers had for many centuries more than The Mormon church gives them credit for being in this hemisphere…at least during the time they were living with their “white” families.

    *Giving of themselves was not the foremost thought for the Lamanite Placement program…Todd, again go back and read the whole article of the Improvement Era…

    Where did you do your research Todd? The church archeives?…because it doesn’t fall in line with your belief, doesn’t mean it is crap I am spewing…except to you and your flock.

    Like

  27. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    Since you can’t seem to decipher the alphabet, let me help you; I’m arguing about spin and fabrication. As to your “hollow anti-Mormon bigotry,” your naked assertions speak for themselves.

    I’m well aware that my “narcissistic view of the truth” is only one view. I’m also well aware that your vainglorious views are also one view. The difference between us is that my views are (usually) based on a reasonable assessment of the facts, whereas your views are based on an extreme and irrational prejudice. You can’t back up your baseless and hollow assertions with a reasonable assessment of the facts, so you resort to malicious and disparaging attacks, sprinkled with offensive references to what some consider sacred.

    In short, you’re not about truth; you’re about smear, truth be damned.

    * the religion is based upon fabrication
    No comment from me. As I indicated, it’s off topic and debating it here is a waste of time.

    * that lie does great damage to many that cannot see it as such
    You avoided your stated assertion completely (“to stay with the topic”), and restated your subsequent assertion that indian children were made to believe they weren’t as good as their “white” families. Where are your facts that back up this assertion? The Book of Mormon notoriously documents periods in ancient America where the dark-skinned Lamanites were THE righteous group. Referencing an observation by SWK about changing skin color doesn’t prove that the ISPS made Indian children feel inferior. The contrary is more accurate, as SWK frequently said “the difference between them and us is opportunity.”

    * the damage that was done to all the Lamanite children…should not be covered up
    You side-stepped this assertion completely and added a new assertion that changing the word “white” to “pure” was a cover-up. A cover-up is to hide or conceal. Noone is hiding or concealing the fact that the word was changed, and clarification of meaning is certainly a plausible explanation for the word change. I’ll repeat the question, what damage to Lamanite children was covered up?

    * the Mormon church decreed that their native and natural religious connection with the earth was wrong…
    You didn’t address this assertion at all. I can understand why.

    * the Mormon church decreed…that the color of their skin made them less than the whites in the church.
    Where in the SWK’s talk does he say that skin color makes indians inferior? I suspect that your stated reasons why the four students you witnessed were sent home isn’t the complete story, not to mention that it’s contrary to our professed belief as stated in AoF11.

    * a culture was destroyed…
    You concede that the culture was not destroyed, but make a new baseless assertion that “at least two generations of Navajo were forbidden from worshipping as their forefathers had…” The ISPS did that? Really? Where’s your proof?

    * Giving of themselves was not the foremost thought for the Lamanite Placement program…it was about converting new members of bringing “the only true church” to the heathens.
    Okay, I’ve gone back and read the whole article. Please show me anything that backs up your assertion. The fact is that the proselyting that was done on the reservations was deemed counter-productive to the purposes of the ISPS by internal assessments and was purposefully discontinued.

    You would do well by reading the church archives a little more. If you spend all of your time researching one side of an issue only, it’ll wreak havoc on your reasonableness calibration.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  28. Birdman says:

    Todd, thanks again for the apologist view.
    I still will never understand why you come to this blog…you believe you are making progress with all of us “apostates”, when the reality is that we find you like so many others to be warped around some mystical reality that only you can see.
    Thanks for a bit of late night laughter.
    Birdman

    Like

  29. Carl says:

    It’s a very short, easy journey exposing the varied and disgusting racist, ignorant attitudes and comments from LDS leaders; general authorities, prophets, apostles and local leaders. LDS apologists have little to no intellectual purchase with any attempt to move beyond the irrefutable damage done through these ignorant, arrogant, racist practices and beliefs, without first understanding how incredibly damaging and wrong LDS leaders have been – from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young forward. Facts and history are too close at hand to be hidden.

    Todd’s attempt to reconcile LDS racism and bigoted ignorance remind me of an apologetic response to Hitler’s life that I once read. It portrayed Hitler as a “humanitarian”, interested in the best and kindest solution to social problems thrust upon him and his beloved country. It went on to challenge anyone to come up with a documented, direct statement by Hitler against the Jews. It ascertained that the policies and gross atrocities committed against the Jews were a misunderstanding of Hitler’s intent, and that he had little power to stop the machinery of evil once it had started. It listed volumes of diaries and stories of Hitler’s love for humanity, and his inability to stop the German war machine once it had started.

    Anyone can argue any side of almost any issue. Most of us learned this in High School debate. I plead with everyone to just look at the facts here. Read the history and attitudes taught through ignorance regarding racist views of LDS leaders. Judge for yourselves and don’t get caught up in lies that facilitate false beliefs, used to justify continued arrogance and ignorance.

    Carl

    Like

  30. carl says:

    Must add briefly to my previous post.

    The inferences and attitudes by LDS faithful over more than a century towards people of dark skin, has been very well documented and preserved for future generations. LDS apologist’s feeble attempts at reconciling this with any logic – or their attempts to cover it up, redirect the blame or simply dismiss the racism with off-handed statements like “well, these early leaders were certainly colorful guys,” serve no purpose other than provide a larger target for anger and resentment.

    Much like Hitler’s apologists, LDS apologists simply cannot hide from the truth any longer. The world simply has too much access to information.

    LDS folks can no longer hide from their core belief in polygamy either. It was practiced energetically by their founding prophet, Joseph Smith. The practice was continued, perhaps even more enthusiastically by Brigham Young, and after his death continued up through and beyond the 1890 manifesto. The “divine” nature of polygamy was touted by LDS scripture (still is today in the Doctrine and Covenants), and has never been refuted by any LDS official statement. Only the temporal practice was suspended. And, if that isn’t enough, the practice of polygamy is literally practiced in LDS temples as men can be “temple married to more than one woman; a “sealing” that is believed by LDS to last forever in Heaven. LDS scriptures still make references to “virgins” being accepted into polygamous marriages. But, ask a TBM about polygamy, and you’ll generally get the same hollow, meaningless answer; “Mormons have nothing at all to do with polygamy.”

    Bullshit!! Lies and little plays on words and twisted logic. Mormons are not the demons here. Most that I know are actually as good and kind as any people that I’ve met. But, the goodness and kindness of religion and its people do not create truth and understanding. LDS leadership is to blame. The last dying argument of the religious, after all layers of the onion are pealed back, ignorance is exposed, religious metaphor and myth are finally separated from fact – boils down to one pathetic, question. “But isn’t the world better because of religion.” I’ll attempt to answer this in another post.

    Carl

    Like

  31. Todd says:

    Carl’s determination to cling to these ever-more irrelevant issues speaks volumes about his own relevance.

    The inferences and attitudes towards people of dark skin by the world as a whole for several centuries has also been very well documented and preserved for future generations. To infer that the LDS faithful who lived during this period of history (including Carl’s own ancestry) should have been immune from these pervasive societal attitudes serves no purpose other than to inflame prejudice and bigotry.

    LDS theology regarding plural marriage is well documented and very much open to scrutiny. To infer that it’s being hidden or denied is bullshit. To continue to insist that plural marriage, officially discontinued 120 years ago, is “core” LDS doctrine reveals the extent of Carl’s depravity. Biblical references to legitimate plural marriage is also well documented and doesn’t draw any ire from people like Carl.

    Truth and understanding are not created by regurgitating the tired, old anti-Mormon cliches from the past.

    Is the world a better place because of religion? From Michelangelo’s Pietà and David, to his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; to Handel’s oratorio “Messiah”, etc. You can certainly argue that art and culture has been positively influenced by religion.

    But Carl is right, it’s a pathetic question. Religion, love it or hate it, exists; and it’s an exercise in futility to presume that “sets of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs” will disappear any time soon. Until we have a perfect understanding of the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe; and a perfect moral code governing the conduct of human affairs; religion is here to stay.

    Kindest regards,
    Todd

    Like

  32. Birdman says:

    Todd,
    Thanks again for the laugh…the apologist view is always interesting to me…

    “Religion, love it or hate it, exists; and it’s an exercise in futility to presume that “sets of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs” will disappear any time soon. Until we have a perfect understanding of the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe; and a perfect moral code governing the conduct of human affairs; religion is here to stay”

    Man created religion, I would hypothise that man created God, Gods in order to explain that which he did not understand…”Magic”…we have always had magic…and always will, but now, some of us believe that science has a better explaination than the mystic beliefs of the past.

    Like

  33. carl says:

    Todd – seriously here! Do you really want to get into biblical Old Testament arguments to justify anything? Show me any references by Christ in the New Testament concerning the divinity of plural marriage.

    The argument that the rest of the world had weird beliefs about dark skin and polygamy has absolutely no bearing on “God’s only true and living prophets and apostles” in modern times. Certainly God would know better.

    I’ll respond later when I get more time. All I can say now is that the response from Todd doesn’t seem like Todd.

    Todd – you gave us a slow-pitch softball to hit out of the park.

    Like

  34. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    I’m okay with science, and you can “hypothise” all you want. The difference between you and I is that I’m much less inclined to draw hasty conclusions based on transparently inadequate evidence.

    I’m also not inclined to dismiss God just because I can now explain something in scientific terms. Isn’t it plausible that God, the creator of the universe, understands basic scientific principles and how to manipulate matter and energy? Is it inaccurate to characterize God as the ultimate scientist?

    The more we learn, the more we come to realize how incredibly limited human knowledge is. Science is pretty good at telling us how and what. It’s not as good at telling us who and why.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  35. Birdman says:

    Thanks again Todd, you remind me of my father here…he taught science for 30 years and still wanted to refute some of his own findings with acts of God…the endurance of faith. In the end, we will all be as dust. Now, if you are right and there is a wonderful afterlife waiting for us, you come back and tell us…so far, no one has…except a carpenter about 2 Thousand years ago…or so the story goes…
    Best of luck with that,
    Birdman

    Like

  36. Todd says:

    Carl,

    Seriously… I gave you a slow-pitch softball, and you whiffed.

    I have no need to justify polygamy (it’s an irrelevant non-issue) and your New-Testament-only challenge demonstrates the weakness of your position. Show me a New Testament reference where Christ categorically condemns polygamy? (Hint: You won’t find any.)

    Besides, that’s not even the point. I’m playing softball, and you’re playing… with yourself.

    Your assertion was that Mormons are hiding a “core” belief in polygamy. My assertion is that nobody is hiding anything; and that plural marriage, officially abandoned 120 years ago, isn’t a “core” anything.

    Your “certainly God would know better” assertion presumes a knowledge of God’s intents and purposes that goes beyond my comfort level. Besides, didn’t “God’s only true and living prophets and apostles in modern times” change course with respect to both of these issues?

    You’re determination to cling to these two ever-more irrelevant issues is amusing. You’re a model of futile determination.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  37. Birdman says:

    Todd, how do you figure that a “core” belief (and it was that openly until 120 years ago)…is suddenly not a core anything? Plural marriage is and always will be one of the key issues that Jo Smith claimed as being directed by God…since Jo founded “The Church”, it is and always will be relivant…if Jo was wrong about that, then he is wrong about everything else…you can’t pick and choose which items are prophesy and which aren’t…either Jo knew what he was speaking of or he didn’t.
    It’s not futile determination, except on the part of those that would continue to try and say it happened, but it doesn’t count anymore…
    Did Jo see God, the father, the son and the holy ghost in the grove? Would he still see them today?
    Did Jo say God had declared Plural Marriage a key to enter into heaven? Would he still claim it today?
    The story does change, at the will and desire of the apologist to create the illusion that there was no wrong, or harm done by “The Church”.
    That’s again for the afternoon laugh before the Homecoming game,

    GO DARTS!!!

    Like

  38. Todd says:

    Really Birdman? Is that what Jo claimed? Please do show me where he claimed all that.

    And since you were wrong about… hmm… lets see…. the Navajo culture being destroyed by the IPSP, you’re wrong about everything else you’ve ever said in your entire life. Because everyone knows that if you’re ever wrong, you’re always wrong.

    And, we all know that if the first guy said it’s a key, the 2nd or 3rd or 4th guy can’t come along and say: things have changed, and it’s no longer a key. Because we all know that God is so impotent that he can’t give new commandments (or revoke existing commandments) to his children. Shoot, I’m just a poor, lame parent and even I know that circumstances and thus parental requirements change with my own children. But God, no, he’s incapable of something like that. Besides, He shoulda knowd better in the first place.

    And no, Jo didn’t see God, the father, the son and the holy ghost in the grove. Cuz, the holy ghost is invisible, and even if he was there, Jo couldn’t see him. And, I suppose, he would see them today, cuz he’s in heaven where they are.

    You jus keep a tryin’ tho Birdman, cuz someday even you ignoramuses might find something else to cling to in yur search for truth and understanding.

    At least you’ve abandoned your desire to create an illusion of integrity.

    Cynically,
    Todd

    Like

  39. Birdman says:

    Todd, the pure apologist…I love it…your circles have to make you dizzy…

    Like

  40. Birdman says:

    I realized the other day, Todd that the only reason you come to this blog and try to project your side into each discussion is because you want to have attention. The people that come here to enjoy the subjects discussed, have mostly already gotten past that state of denial that you seem to be stuck in. You, Todd, are our comic relief…Thanks!
    Birdman

    Like

  41. Carl says:

    First – Opinions regarding Mosaic Law as applied to modern Christianity are varied and extremely diverse. Broad categorizations between these “laws” conveniently define them as sacrificial, ceremonial, or moral laws. Clearly the majority of Old Testament laws “supposedly direct from God” dealt with provisional, common sense rules that dictated practical life for Israelites preparing to dwell and survive in the Promised land. Modern Christians do not face the same physical trials, nor do they approach God through the sacrifice of animals. Certainly, we need to delineate the theological and situational differences between Old Testament audience and people today.

    Are there men in the Bible who had more than one wife? Certainly. However, that is an entirely different question than ‘does the Bible say that polygamy is OK?’ Simply because the Bible mentions men who were involved in the practice, or that it acknowledges that the practice exists does not mean it condones it. With that type of reasoning, we should also conclude that it is OK to conspire and carry out a murder. And, it is even a further stretch to conclude that because Christ didn’t mention it, it must be OK. Christ didn’t specifically mention the majority of Mosaic laws, other than to mention the new laws that replaced them.

    In fact, of the passages where polygamy is reported, often in the same context we find the results of such relationships, namely, jealousy, strife and turmoil. Not once is an instance of polygamous relations in the Bible accompanied by happiness and blessings. Not once does it mention the divinity or “eternal” nature of polygamous relationships. This only occurs in LDS scripture and was introduced in a very strange, after-the-fact manner – threatening poor Emma Smith with all manner of bad shit if she doesn’t go along with it.

    Todd’s statement that polygamy was “discontinued 120 years ago” in the Mormon Church is a very deceptive comment. Todd knows it is. LDS scripture, practice (yes – even an admission by Todd) maintains that Polygamy is, to this day, considered as an eternal principal.

    Mormon Prophet Brigham Young said. “Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

    Similar logic and reason needs to be applied to any belief in dark skin involved with any curse from God. Although Todd is correct when he states that the culture and understanding of the time period were consistent with others, not just the Mormons, the glaring inconsistency enters when LDS doctrine states clearly that these ideas came directly from God, through living prophets. They didn’t.

    Embrace your beliefs Todd. Or not. Just don’t think that any of us are impressed by your little word games, twists of logic or lies.

    Carl

    Like

  42. Todd says:

    Carl,

    Wait a minute. Where in the NT does Christ categorically condemn plural marriage? Your silence is deafening!

    You can talk about “opinions” regarding the OT and Mosaic Law and “modern Christianity”, and delineate until you’re blue in the face, but what does that have to do with anything? Plural marriage was practiced BEFORE the Mosaic law anyway. Besides, we claim that “modern Christianity” doesn’t even resemble 1st century Christianity. Maybe you should spend some time reading up on how the Nicene councils, starting in 325 AD, changed basic, easy-to-understand doctrines into convoluted mystical crap; such as the nature of God.

    And what does the method by which God’s children approach Him have to do with plural marriage… at all?

    I don’t recall inferring that the practice of plural marriage in the OT justified it. If you read my statement carefully, I noted how those men who practiced plural marriage in OT times don’t draw any ire from the likes of people like you. The practice of plural marriage by the faithful in OT times is an indication that plural marriage has, at times, been tolerated (at worst) and divinely sanctioned (at best). Are you condemning the faithful in the Old Testament who had plural wives?

    Marriage is an eternal principle, period. “Plural” marriage, of course, meets the same standard, when divinely mandated. Obedience to God’s commandments is the overriding eternal principle.

    And, oh my gosh, you found quotes from the discourses of BY from the 1850s regarding polygamy! Scandalous! Sorry to burst your bubble, but the faithful at that time claimed a divine mandate. Are you suggesting that BY was unfamiliar with, for example, the passages concerning marriage in Jacob 2.

    Reject your hatred and bigotry Carl. Admit your position is intolerably weak and move on. The relevancy of these issues, that you insist on rehashing over and over and over again, is gone. Enter the 21st century.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  43. Todd says:

    Birdman,

    I’m here to help Natalie sell books by providing different perspectives that generate what is hopefully an interesting and entertaining dialog. Previous exchanges I’ve had with Natalie led me to believe that she wants me here.

    There are way better places to get attention, if that was my goal, trust me.

    Did the Darts win?

    Todd

    Like

  44. Birdman says:

    Yes, Todd, the Darts did win…we will be putting together a homecoming float next year for classes 78 to 82 if you have any interest…

    Good enough reason to be here…I enjoy your perspective, keeps reminding me of why I will not step foot in an LDS church again…thanks
    Birdman

    Like

  45. Steve Harker says:

    I was just adopted when George arrived at our home, growing up with him as a brother and watching the way the church and extended family placed him on a pedistal made us siblings and cousins feel second class. His farewell to his mission was 3 times larger than any others, I could go on and on with the church and their never ending changing doctorine throughout the decades brought about by the revolving door Prophets. My brother George Lee was truley created and destroyed by the Mormon church, and also the family that accused him of this had very little credibility but no one commented on that. George was a great person and brother to all of us.

    Like

  46. Steve says:

    It saddens me that the church would take their Book Of Mormon out to the reservation in the 50s holding it up as the complete foundation and cornerstone of Mormonism pouring it all over every hogon, trading post etc they could find ( thats where George Lee was found by the Bloomfields who owned a trading post and were wonderful people ) exclaiming they are here to lift the lamanites out of the ashes like a Phoenix bird, some of the deception is that the book of mormon really contains very little church doctorine pertaining to Mormon practices and beliefs that all came down through more nightly visions to prophets. I remember the faces on the older indians while they were listening and looking at the Book Of Mormon.

    Like

  47. Glenn Fuller says:

    I regret the author’s personal problems and distance from the church, but would like to affirm “white” or “pure” the physics spectrum of all colors (white) and no color (black) is science, not theology. ” Pure” is an improvement in communication because that is what the term meant when written and does now. A very silly pick at a corpse of long ago. If exercising editing license and changing past versions then read through the case law libraries and see just how many decisions have been truly “doctored” not made “pure”.

    The church doesn’t publish private information about members nor haul them before the people to disgrace them. I will not here. The church courts/discipline counsels are conducted with the deepest respect for a troubled member to help be better and get through their problems. They are councils of love. Some require excommunication for the member to repent, some dis-fellowship and some nothing but a commitment never to do it again.

    I am confident that Elder Lee repented, that he is in a better place and we should all look for something better to do than use his corpse to pick at, further anger and animosity about a group of people either they so badly want to join or rejoin or truly lost all sense of decency to “kick against the pricks and fight against God”.

    Like

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