Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lambs to the Slaughter

OK, let's get the livestock folks involved here. I don't have a great deal of experience slaughtering lambs, but my experience watching it on TV is that if a lamb had digits and an opposable thumb, they would pull out a gun and fight, as they do struggle when they are confined preparatory to being killed.

The idea of going off "like a lamb to the slaughter" comes from their complete lack of fighting as they are taken to their final doom. Just another walk. They don't scream for a ram to come head butt someone.

Now this may seem silly, but it actually goes to the heart of the concept of trying to defend loved ones yet surrendering your own life. Joseph Smith was free, but surrendered himself to a highly biased, antagonistic representative of the Law who took him to a place known to be hostile to Joseph. He carried no weapon, put up no fight. In fact, he restrained the saints from trying to protect him.

That he was handed a gun, which he did fire and apparently wounded several of the attackers, who killed his brother. His brother had a gun in his pocket, which he did not use, nor did Joseph grab it and attempt to fire it. Apparently in the midst of the assault, he realized sacrificing his life, by going to the window, would draw the fire away from his two surviving friends.

Hmm, sacrificing oneself, without a weapon when one is loaded and available...

This was a martyrdom. He did fight to defend his friends, and then gave up when he realized his continued efforts would simply lead to the same fate as his brother. They would be killed too, and the story would not be accurately told about the death of the two leaders of the Church.

John Taylor did get the details about the death of some of the attackers at the hands of Joseph Smith, but he reports that it was something he was told, not had first hand knowledge.

I always find it amazing that the Mormons are accused of things like blood atonement and taking revenge, having Danites, etc. But what happens when their leader is killed? Nothing. Less than nothing. They don't even fight for their own homes. Within a year they would be driven out of the town they paid for with cash and blood, the sweat of many, the death of not a few in creating Nauvoo. Hundreds then die out on the plains in Winter Quarters (estimated at 500 people), and still the Mormons don't attack.

Joseph Smith, as a leader, was never known to attack those who attacked him. When Mormon leaders marched from Ohio to Missouri in 1834 because of abuses of members in Missouri, Joseph dissolved the troop before engaging in any contact or trouble. The lesson was not lost on the future leaders in the company of the Camp.

So remember, a lamb goes to the slaughter without a fight. But try to grab it and hold it to put a bullet in its head, and its going to put up a ruckus as best it can. It is the going part which is described in the phrase. We know that some of the early Christians allowed themselves to be arrested and fed to the lines because of their faith. But to say they didn't slap the lions on the nose as they ate them is just a fantasy. Those Christians are martyrs, even if they fought the moment of death with their hands. I suppose the occasional lucky gouge to the eye of a lion or working in groups to fight for as much life extension as possible or to protect loved ones does, by the standards of anti-Mormons, also disqualify those martyrs.

Seriously, was there any possibility at the time of the assault on Carthage Jail that Joseph and his comrades had any possibility they would survive? No, none. How did that come about?

The surrender by Joseph Smith to authorities whom he knew were going to kill him. We don't have any other statement of Joseph Smith saying he was going like a lamb to the slaughter. Just this time. And when he surrendered, he was unarmed, able to run, but resigned to his fate. So he surrendered to certain death without so much as raising his hand in defense.

Tell me again why this is not a martyrdom?

36 comments:

Jake said...

“Joseph Smith was free, but surrendered himself to a highly biased, antagonistic representative of the Law who took him to a place known to be hostile to Joseph.”

Lets get the facts straight, Bob. He didn’t immediately surrender himself. He left on horseback with one of his wives, intending to flee until Emma sent him a note basically calling him a coward and telling him to come back. This is why he came back and it is also why Brigham Young blamed Joseph Smith’s death on Emma years later. And the fact that he thought his militia was coming to save him while he was in jail shows that he didn’t intend to go “like a lamb to the slaughter.” It was not a martyrdom because he had no intention of sacrificing himself. So he went peacefully expecting that he would be saved. It wasn’t until reality set in at the last moment and he knew that he was going to die, that he fought back.


“Within a year they would be driven out of the town they paid for with cash and blood, the sweat of many, the death of not a few in creating Nauvoo.”

Again, you are not telling the whole story. They weren’t driven out. Brigham Young made them leave because the authorities were coming to arrest him because he was breaking the law – making a Nauvoo currency (called the Nauvoo Bogus) among other things (i.e. polygamy).


“Joseph Smith, as a leader, was never known to attack those who attacked him.”

This isn’t true either. If you listen to Truman Madsen’s lectures called Joseph Smith the Prophet, he tells a story where Joseph and his men meet up with an army of enemies and he says to the messenger, “You go tell your leader that if he attacks us, we will send him and you to hell.”


“So remember, a lamb goes to the slaughter without a fight. But try to grab it and hold it to put a bullet in its head, and its going to put up a ruckus as best it can.”

This is a weak argument because the lamb, when Joseph used the word, was in reference to Christ, who is the Lamb of God who willingly died for us. That is to whom Joseph was comparing himself. In his last testimony to the dissenters at Nauvoo he even said that he did a better job than Jesus. (see below) Did Jesus run away on horseback with one of his wives until he got a message from his first wife that he was a coward? No. Did he expect his militia to come save him? No. Did he hold a weapon to anyone and harm or kill them? No. Did he put up a fight when they nailed his hands and feet to the cross? No.

Joseph’s death was not a martyrdom.

Jake said...

Excerpt from Joseph Smith’s last testimony to the dissenters at Nauvoo:

“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.”

Anonymous said...

Jake,

"Joseph’s death was not a martyrdom."

From: www.thefreedictionary.com

martyrdom
n.
1. The state of being a martyr.

martyr
n.
1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles.

2. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

Sorry Bro, but I think your going to have to retool your definition of the words martyrdom and martyr.

Maddog

M said...

All debating aside, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Bob!

Chad said...

Joseph Smith certainly fits the definition of a martyr. To say differently is to either invent a new definition or to be ignorant of the facts regarding the last few days of the prophet's life.

On June 23, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were on the Iowa side of the river on their way to the Great Basin. Orrin P. Rockwell and Reynolds Cahoon carried a message from Emma requesting that Joseph return to Nauvoo (History of the Church, Vol.6, p.549). Joseph Smith replied to their requests with, "If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself' (p.549).

Before returning to Nauvoo later that sarne evening, he made a statement that he would repeat several times in the next few days. He declared that if he and Hyrum returned "we shall be butchered" (p. 550). Yet regardless of his foreknowledge of his pending death, that afternoon he, Hyrum and others started back. While some of the party were in a hurry to return to Nauvoo, Joseph said, "It is of no use to hurry, for we are going back to be slaughtered" p.551). Obviously the prophet knew the fate that was awaiting him, yet he chose to "he killed because of his beliefs" rather than to escape death, which he could have easily done.

The next morning a reported 200 people were at Joseph's home in Nauvoo, wanting to see the prophet one more time and to give him their support before he left for Carthage. His mother is reported to have asked him to promise her that he would return, as he had promised during other times of trial. There was no such assurance from the prophet on this occasion.

On the way to Carthage later in the day, the party stopped at the farm of Albert G. Fellow, four miles west of Carthage, where Joseph Smith uttered these fateful words:

I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me 'He was murdered in cold blood!' (p.555).
June 27th found the prophet, his brother Hyrum, John Taylor, and Willard Richards in jail without the protection Governor Ford had promised.

At a little after 5 p.m., a mob stormed up the stairs, forced the cell door open and began firing into the room as others fired in the window. Mter Hyrum fell a "dead man" and as John Taylor was hit several times with flying bullets, Joseph Smith discharged his six shooter into the stairway. His bullets struck three men. Here the historical account is cloudy; some accounts say two men later died, but this conclusion is not certain.

We do know that Joseph Smith and his elder brother Hyrum were killed and John Taylor was seriously wounded, having been shot four times. Willard Richards, eyewitness to the event, remained unharmed. He told of the dreadful incident.

If a martyr is a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his faith or his principles, Joseph Smith fits this definition as well as any other person who has ever been slain.

He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people, and like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood-and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated (p.630).

Jake said...

"1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles.

2. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle."


Sorry Maddog, but you're wrong. Joseph Smith didn't go to jail and die because of his beliefs. He went to jail and died because he destroyed a printing press that was publishing his extra marital relations with women. He went to jail and died because he was threatening the Democracy that America was trying to maintain at the time by introducing two elements of barbarism - polygamy and tyranny. Since these were two things that Americans detested at the time, and still do, they wouldn't have that and decided he needed to be put out.

David said...

"On June 23, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were on the Iowa side of the river on their way to the Great Basin."

Yeah, he was trying to escape.


"He declared that if he and Hyrum returned "we shall be butchered""

Yeah but he also said:

"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last."

I would say that he thought he was going to "come out on top."


"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me 'He was murdered in cold blood!'"

Notice he said "IF they take my life." So he wasn't sure and all his "being butchered" talk was Joseph being dramatic and attention seeking. Also, he didn't die an innocent man. He lied to everyone about his extra wives and he broke the law by destroying the printing press. His words here also prepared the mentality of Latter Saints to commit horrible acts like the Mountain Meadows and Morrisite Massacres. Hence the oath of vengeance that Mormons had to make in the temple ceremony.


"If a martyr is a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his faith or his principles, Joseph Smith fits this definition as well as any other person who has ever been slain."

Not quite. He didn't die for his beliefs. He died because he was breaking the law and doing things that America wouldn't tolerate.


"He lived great, and he died great"

Right! He was only a liar, a fraud, a thief, and a cheat who slept with 14 year old girls and died like a coward trying to escape.

even_more_anonymous said...

"If a martyr is a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his faith or his principles, Joseph Smith fits this definition as well as any other person who has ever been slain."

Not quite. He didn't die for his beliefs. He died because he was breaking the law and doing things that America wouldn't tolerate."

So, if I get this right, a group of men storming a cell of someone who is imprisoned, in a country that believes we're innocent until proven guilty, without yet receiving trial, is considered justice? If that happened today to someone who hadn't received yet received a trial or sentence, you'd be okay with that? Wow, that's cold, almost exactly what the founding fathers built this beautiful country on. Regardless of why he was "allegedy" in prision, he was not sentenced "to death"; therefore, becoming a martyr.

Anonymous said...

Jake,

Lets take definition number two. “ One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle”

Did Smith make great sacrifices and suffers much in order to further a belief? Anyway you look at it the answer is yes, nothing more needs to be said.

Say what you want but Joseph Smith will always be a martyr in millions of people’s eyes and that will never change.

Maddog

Walker said...

"doing things that America wouldn't tolerate."

While I'll let those who are engaged in this conversation answer the other claims, I see this popping up among a couple of you. It seems that you applaud the actions of the mob because Smith was doing things "America wouldn't tolerate." Glad to see America tolerates murder in cold blood.

JediMormon said...

Abraham Lincoln once asked a group, "If you count a dog's tail as a leg, then how many legs does a dog have?" Naturally, they all answered, "Five." To which Lincoln replied, "Wrong. Four. Counting the tail as a leg does not make it a leg."

The reverse is also true. Coming up with all kinds of suppositions and "reasons" as to why Joseph Smith was could not have been a martyr, does not make him any less of one. The FACT is, he was murdered in cold blood, never denying his beliefs. That fits every definition of martyr that I've ever read.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Let's get a couple of issues resolved on the circumstances of Joseph Smith's arrest and murder. The Nauvoo Expositor newspaper was declared a public nuisance by the Nauvoo City Council, which included non-LDS councilmen. They ordered Joseph Smith to shut down the press, and action which was legal in 1844 under the Nauvoo charter of incorporation and USA law. Where he erred was in the destruction of the press. He was held on a charge of treason, a charge completely unrelated to the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, and for which he was denied his rights to have a hearing on the charge. It was based on a declaration of martial law earlier in June. The members of the city council were all arrested and released on bond, since at its core the destruction of the press is a property crime, and they had previously been found not guilt on a similar charge, therefore double jeopardy probably attached.

The prima facia evidence of the bullet wounds suffered by the attackers shot by Joseph Smith caused four men to be indicted for the Smiths' murders. They fled the country rather than go to trial. None of those men died from their injuries, so while John Taylor claimed two died, he was mistaken. No one was ever convicted of their murder or participation in the mob.

Joseph was innocent of the charge of treason. Under the Nauvoo charter he had the right to call up the legion. Indeed, as mayor he had an obligation to defend the city from mob actions. He certainly did not deserve to die for the destruction of private property, for which he was not being held in Carthage anyway.

The claim that Joseph ordered the Nauvoo legion to come rescue him is also completely without evidence. It is a story made up in the 1800's, repeated and unproven by Fawn Brodie and Michael Quinn. So Joseph had the chance to get help, had a force of 5,000 at his disposal, and stayed in jail. Hmm.
FAIRLDS.org has a great summary of the evidence, with excellent citations. Check it out.

Joseph told Emma to tell the people to stay home. There is not one shred of evidence he tried to get broken out. In fact, his very last letter was to his lawyer, telling him he was innocent and they would need his services at the upcoming trial. Hardly the stuff of a desperate attempt to be broken free. He died innocent of all charges because people hated his LDS faith. If blaming polygamy makes you feel good, fine, but that was not the reports for the mob action. They hated the LDS success. Two of those wounded, accorded to Governor Ford's history, were there because they enjoyed a brawl or lacked common sense. It was not about polygamy. It was hatred.

So I think it is obvious from the folks who were there that Joseph conducted himself in line with his beliefs to the very end, and died for living those beliefs.

Murdered? For sure. Martyr? Only if you believe the man was not a fraud. But I think it is sick to seem to try to justify the murder of an innocent man. What does that say about civility?

Tony said...

Thank you, Bob, for addressing and refuting that anti-mormon pile of lies and dung.

Nothing will change the fact that he died as a martyr. Funny how the critics never seem to go after the murderous mob, but heaven forbid someone defends their friends after his brother was shot by the assailants.

Merry Christmas Bob. I am truly grateful for the prophet, whose birth was just yesterday, and most of all my Savior, who makes it all possible.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you are getting your facts Bob but they are not accurate.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Anonymous,
One of the reasons I cited the FAIRLDS.org website is you can look up on the FAIRWIKI.ORG Joseph Smith's martyrdom or Carthage jail experience. There they cite from the letters to Emma, to his lawyer, to the commander of the Nauvoo Legion, Michael Quinn, Fawn Brodie and the 19th century sources. I only cited a few. I have read many of those documents independently in Dan Vogel's "Early Mormon Documents". I admit I have not read Quinn's work, but I know the folks at FAIR as friends and on a first name basis, and their research goes through multiple layers of review before it ever makes it to their website. Again, I have first hand knowledge of the process, and have participated in the process both from originating material for the website and also on the reviewer side. So I am getting my facts from a combination of 1st, 2nd and 3rd hand material from sources I trust based on nearly two decades of sustained research into the charges leveled against the truth claims of the LDS faith.

I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. I believe Joseph Smith was a man, complete with massive human flaws. I find the single greatest inconsistency between Mormons and non-LDS critics is the unbalanced scales whereby they measure those shortcomings. For example, if we have a statement by a New Testament writer which is unquestionably, documentably false, they ignore it. Case in point, Paul speaking of people from Crete calls them "all liars", saying it is a true statement. It obviously is not a true statement. It is also time indefinite, in other words, it still applies. So what do we make of someone who cites another prophet as speaking a truth, when it is not true? What, according to the measure of a prophet offered by critics of the LDS faith, should we do with the teachings of Paul, given his documented false affirmation of a prophecy?

Well, what happens is they ignore it, create a "special pleading" to create an exemption, and go back to nit-picking statements or actions by Joseph Smith or other LDS leaders. But I have looked at every supposedly false prophecy offered by Joseph Smith, from the temple in Missouri to Dave Patten not serving a mission, and when you actually read the details, Joseph Smith comes out clean. He definitely comes out more "prophetic" than Paul in Titus 1:12-13 if you really want to compare statements and examine them for "loopholes". Paul has no loophole. He says their prophet is correct, that it is true that all Cretans are liars.

That is not true. So is he a false prophet, or was he a man who wrongly spoke?

In any event, my sources are rock solid, historically accurate and scholastically defensible. I am happy to put them up against those critics whose method of defining Joseph Smith as a false prophet usually involves applying a double standard to their Biblical sources.

Thanks,
Bob

Anonymous said...

"Case in point, Paul speaking of people from Crete calls them "all liars", saying it is a true statement. It obviously is not a true statement."

I have to say that even though this is incredibly nit picky and is also not defined as a prophetic statement because it does not say anything about what will happen (there is a difference between saying something as a prophet and saying something as a person), it is a true statement. Every single person that has ever lived has told a lie at one time in their life. We do it naturally starting when we are kids, so his statement is true. Sorry, Bob.

"But I have looked at every supposedly false prophecy offered by Joseph Smith, from the temple in Missouri to Dave Patten not serving a mission, and when you actually read the details, Joseph Smith comes out clean."

I have read documentation on these as well and I disagree with you. Joseph doesn't come out clean.

Also, FAIRLDS.org I regard in the same light as I regard FARMS. They are not valid sources. They are out to find evidence to fit an agenda. They start with the conclusions first and then find evidence. True science does the reverse.

JediMormon said...

Anonymous said: Not sure where you are getting your facts Bob but they are not accurate."

Hummm...did you forget something, Anon? Like, actual proof to back up your claim? If you have any "facts" that disprove Bob's excellent defense of Joseph Smith, I'm sure we'd all like to see them. Otherwise, all you have is personal opinion--which is your right, of course. BUT...personal opinion doesn't prove anything.

JediMormon said...

Jake said: "Also, FAIRLDS.org I regard in the same light as I regard FARMS. They are not valid sources. They are out to find evidence to fit an agenda. They start with the conclusions first and then find evidence."

I would submit that most of those who engage in a discussion about LDS beliefs, doctrine, or history, start with conclusions first, then seek evidence to buttress those conclusions, yourself included. I know you believe and would state that fair and honest research went into shaping your conclusions, and every person I've ever dialoged with who claims that Mormons are going to hell for their beliefs, makes the same claim. The can of worms comes in when assumptions are made as to the reliability of the sources that led to those conclusions. I've been on many anti-Mormon sites, and not one of them has been truthful about LDS beliefs and doctrine. How can they be, when they don't know themselves what constitutes LDS doctrine and what doesn't? They assume, for example, that anything written or spoken by an LDS prophet or other general authority, is, or should be, considered doctrine by all LDS. Blue-in-the-face explanations don't convince them otherwise, either. I know—I’ve tried. Early LDS church history, and especially Joseph Smith’s history, is another area that is fraught with potholes for anyone who chooses to journey down that road of discussion. My experience has been that for anti-Mormons, if they have two sources of information from which to choose concerning a certain historical matter, and one source happens to be of LDS origin and the other not, they will invariably choose the non-LDS source—based solely on the fact that it IS a non-LDS source. See where I'm going with this? The point is, most anti-Mormons have reached their conclusions long ago, and are now determined to stand by those conclusions come hell or high water. They have closed their minds to any further enlightenment, especially if they think that enlightenment will poke even one hole in the conclusions they so comfortably base their arguments on now.

Okay, you say, what about LDS? Couldn’t they have based their conclusions (i.e. the church is true, the Book of Mormon is God’s word, we have a living prophet of God on the earth today, etc.) on unreliable sources, therefore rendering the conclusions also unreliable? That’s a fair question, which I’ll endeavor to answer. I’m certain that you are already familiar with the path that potential LDS are encouraged to take in order to find out if what the missionaries have told them is true or not. But just in case you are not, I’ll tell you: it’s called study, prayer, and a witness from the Holy Ghost. Three very simple things that, for some reason, anti-Mormons claim would be against God’s for anyone who did it. (There’s a whole separate discussion behind that which I won’t get into at this time.) The point is this: all my “conclusions” about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the LDS church are based on the three things I just mentioned. That’s why, when new so-called evidence pops up that supposedly proves the Book of Mormon false, or that Joseph Smith was not a prophet because of thus-and-such, I am not swayed. For me, it becomes a matter of who to believe: the supposed evidence of some mortal human, or the witness I received long ago from God through the Holy Ghost? For me, it’s a no brainer.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Nit-Picky is the name of the game for critics of the LDS. Sorry, but they broad brush stuff, miss all the detail, then when it is pointed out, they will tell you it doesn't prove their point wrong.

So, first, name a single fact by FAIR or FARMS, since you through that in, which is demonstrably false. One. Go ahead. Since FAIR has over 120 LDS scholars and apologists doing research and checking sources, and FARMS follows strict academic procedures in vetting sources and invites subject matter experts, LDS and non-LDS, to publish, I want to see you point out a demonstrably false statement.

I am going to be responding elsewhere to a person who gets details about the BoM witnesses wrong that are just flat out factually in error. And, they could have gotten them right if they just took their undocumented anti-Mormon stuff and read on the FAIR wiki they could learn they are being lied to by their anti-Mormon puppet masters.

Have a good holiday.
Bob

Jordan said...

I love that shawn mccraney show HOTM. Does anybody watch it? SO entertaining. I love it when the Mormons call in and say how much they enjoy the show, and are going to keep watching. THere are so many hilarious interactions.

How many people are Mormons here? Why does everybody hate Joseph Smith?

Anonymous said...

"I love that shawn mccraney show HOTM. Does anybody watch it? SO entertaining. I love it when the Mormons call in and say how much they enjoy the show, and are going to keep watching. THere are so many hilarious interactions."

Hahaha, yeah, me too.

"How many people are Mormons here? Why does everybody hate Joseph Smith?"

From comments on this blog, there are about 5 Mormons that I have counted (non-anonymous). They would be Bob, Walker, Chad, JediMormon, and Tony. I may be missing a couple. As for non-mormons, it's hard to tell.

Joseph Smith is interesting. People either hate him or love him. There doesn't seem to be an in between. Either you think he was a real prophet of God who ushered in the last dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ or you think he was a liar and the biggest fraud of the 19th century. It all depends on how you view truth, that is, how you come to decide what truth is - which method you choose, logic and science or feelings you get from a prayer (i.e. Moroni's promise).

Cody D said...

Bob,

Let's take a look at the two cases you have spoken of. A prophecy from Joseph Smith, and Paul talking to the people from Crete.

First, Paul says that they were liars, is this not true? Can you be certain to say that all of those people had never once told a lie?

Joseph Smith Prophecy:

"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left" (T. of P.J.S., p. 302).

Did this happen? I've taken many history classes in my life, none have mentioned it.

I think an important thing to note here is that Joseph stated this in the name of Jesus Christ, a prophecy in the name of Christ himself. Paul was merely talking about the Cretians.

So I think what you are talking about are two very different things. A prophecy and a statement. So are you telling me that God said something wrong through Joseph Smith? Do you think God make mistakes like that?

Cody D

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Cody,
Your defense of Paul is tortured by any reasonable view. Please, everyone who as ever lived, except for maybe Jesus (and some would say his messiah claims were not true), but for everyone except Jesus, all are guilty of lying. So your explanation is like Paul stating "Those Cretes all breathe air", "Those Cretes are known to have feelings". Whatever. It is absurd. Paul is saying they are liars in contrast to other people who are not. Do you really want to go down this road as a line of defence? Remember, if we do so, then Paul's statement that all liars are going to hell means everyone is going to hell. So is that really the logic you want to try to apply.

Like I said, critics will provide the most twisted spin imaginable to not have to provide a fair comparison.

As for the prophecy, not one I listed, but no big deal, yes, the entire government was utterly overthrown and wasted.

"What?", you say. Yes. The government being petitioned was the Whig party. By 1856 the Whig party was completely out of national power. The extent is discussed below.

You also leave out that Joseph Smith, in the same paragraph of the same prophecy, noted Justice Douglas would aspire to run for office, and would fail if he turned his back on the Saints. He did, and Douglas, a Whig, famously lost to a little known Republican and former Whig by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Joseph Smith was right on. Why did you fail to mention that? Hmmm.

But let's finish this up. FAIRWIKI.org has a great article on this prophecy. Missouri was a slave state, and literally due to the Civil war had its government completely overthrown, not a single officer remaining in that state. Clay county, MO had the highest rate of civilian casualties and displacement of any county in the USA. The government of Clay County and all attendant cities ceased to exist during and after the Civil War.

At the national level, in 1841 the Whig Party had their first successful presidential candidate. They had three more thereafter. Through the "spoils system", every Whig in government service was thrown out by Lincoln, who used his Patronage appointments to great effect. He was so effective, it led to cries for creation of the Federal Civil Service system. By 1883 Civil Service reform was passed into Federal Law.

It is hard to imagine a more complete and thorough destruction of a government than what had happened to Stephen Douglas and the Whigs. By 1856 the party ceased to exist, after getting four presidents into office in 16 years. The Civil War occurred just 18 years after the 1843 prophecy, and devastated the entire USA, wasting the South completely, killing more people than all other USA wars combined. The USA was not the same country after the War.

I don't think a rational person could interpret this prophecy as not being plausibly fulfilled. I don't say a rational person has to believe it is fulfilled, only that in a reasonable exchange of ideas, one would have to say this is plausible interpretation of its fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

Bob, your defense of Joseph Smith's failed prophecy is really stretching it. The entire US government was not utterly overthrown and still exists today. You're building a case that isn't there.

Cody D said...

The government was overthrown? Or the Whig party?

Cody D

Walker said...

"which method you choose, logic and science or feelings you get from a prayer"

Feelings from a prayer? Really? I would have thought all that logical thinking and scientific objectivity would have told you to stay away from straw man arguments and faulty caricatures.

Walker said...

"Bob, your defense of Joseph Smith's failed prophecy is really stretching it."

And your wave-of-the-hand dismissal of Bob's explanation is rather pathetic.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Cody,
The Whig party, because of the system of political patronage called the "Spoils System", put the government in the hands of the president of the US. Literally every position down to the local post master was a political appointment. We hear the phrase "formed a new government" constantly in the press when the in-coming leader of a country takes control of the government machinery. The destruction of the government in power at the time, the Whigs, was so complete that within 13 years it ceased to exist.

To me, this very literally fulfills the prophecy of Joseph Smith. There is no question, which is why I assume it was not brought up, that Joseph Smith was spot on in his prediction of Douglas' national aspirations and their outcome.

Some LDS believe that due to various circumstances, the US government did attempt to address the abuses heaped upon the LDS people. The passage of the 14th amendment granting power for the Federal Government to intervene to protect people when the state government fails to do so, is such an example. And that could also be why the complete destruction of the nation of the USA was avoided. But it is of little moment. The fact is an excellent case can be made that this prophecy was literally fulfilled. Reasonable people may disagree about believing Joseph Smith was a prophet. But reasonable people cannot blindly say that such a view as mine is indefensible in light of the evidence.

Anonymous said...

"We hear the phrase "formed a new government" constantly in the press when the in-coming leader of a country takes control of the government machinery."

With this argument you could just as well say that everytime we change presidents, his cabinet, and vote new members into Congress, that our government ceases to exist. It's a bad argument Bob. Give it up. JS's prophecy was false.

Anonymous said...

Cody,

Do some research, go to Wikipedia and read for yourself about the Whig party.

I think Bob’s right on this one.

Cody D said...

Bob,

To me, this explanation is going to have to go in the category "overboard." It seems to me some hierarchy in the LDS ranks just wanted to try to clear up some mud on Joseph Smith.

Cody D

Cody D said...

Anonymous,

"Do some research, go to Wikipedia and read for yourself about the Whig party."

If I'm going to do some research, it is for sure not going to be on Wikipedia. Their sources are highly questionable. I have had numerous people tell me to stray away from using it as a reliable search engine.

If you are LDS, it would seem very rational that you would agree with Bob. I however find it very over-the-top.

Cody D

Cody D

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

A couple of housekeeping items. I received an anonymous comment which was insinuating that a certain LDS scholar is a liar, so I did not publish it. Unfortunately, since I have not rejected a comment for about four years (and those were ads), I also rejected a positive comment from Tony which I was thinking I was publishing. So Tony, my apologies and please resubmit if you like, and to the person who anonymously submitted a comment with the video clip link, resubmit it with your name.

Also, I just want to say that to a certain degree I agree with Cody that one must exercise caution when using Wikipedia. There have been cases of false entries or erroneous "facts" being posted. However, this is usually on items of controversy.

So, for example, there is a virtual turf war of changes being made on the subject of Joseph Smith, with alternating proponents and opponents editing each other to better conform to their respective views of history. On the other hand, items of a less controversial nature, such as chronologies of events (as opposed to interpretation of the meaning of the events)are usually based on items not in dispute. We can usually be sure the date of the surrender of Germany in WWII or the list of US presidents is accurate, and it is easily verified. Also, most entries which address controversial subjects which are attempting to be objective will provide links to the sources they are citing and to those sources which may interpret the data differently.

In the case of a description of the Whig party's history, I think Wikipedia is a perfectly valid source, since the elements in contention here are not about the reasoning of the party, but the events around the demise of the party and those dates, and the Wiki article provides links to further reading to allow one to get a broader survey of the history of the party.

I think caution in the use of Wikipedia is perfectly valid, but not when it is used like those accusing FARMS or FAIR of poor scholarship, and then refusing to interact with an argument without providing alternate sources. And that is what I see has happened here.

We have abundant evidence that in several very specific ways the statements by Joseph Smith can be legitimately interpreted as being fulfilled. I realize it is not going to convince a skeptic, but then again skeptics don't believe any of the Biblical prophecies were fulfilled. Believers have lived with that since the beginning of time.

Thanks for the interaction.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Anonymous wrote:
"With this argument you could just as well say that everytime we change presidents, his cabinet, and vote new members into Congress, that our government ceases to exist."

The statement by Joseph Smith in question does not state the government will "cease to exist". It says it will be overthrown if it does not redress the abuses by its leaders on the LDS people. The government led by the Whig party certainly did "cease to exist", but more importantly it was completely "utterly overthrown and wasted." The civil war destroyed the Missouri government, as in COMPLETELY DESTROYED, CEASED TO EXIST.

The 14th amendment changed the Constitution in 1868, effectively overturning the reason the Federal Government refused to intervene in protecting the Saints. This represented both a redress of the crimes committed against the LDS and an overthrow of the previous constitutional government of the USA. Prior to that time, the Federal Government could not send forces into a state which failed to protect the rights of individuals and groups.

The FAIRLDS Wiki offers this could be interpreted as either or both an overthrowing of the former government and/or a redress of crimes.

In any case, the US Government was utterly wasted from the impact of the Civil War, and the Constitution changed, and the party controlling the US Government was utterly destroyed.

Again, I don't expect everyone to see the light and believe this prophecy proves Joseph Smith was a prophet, but it must be conceded it is at least a reasonable recognition of fulfillment.

I also point out this was Cody's example of an obviously false prophecy by Joseph Smith. No way is it "obvious". In fact, like many of the Tanner's attacks, when put in context, it promotes the faith of the Saints to see such a visible sign of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. The Jews don't see Jesus as fulfillment of any of the OT prophecies where Christians see dozens being fulfilled. Faith provides the interpretive eye to seek the picture hidden in the canvas.

Matt 13:15
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Jordan West said...

I like how Bob complains that SHAwn does not respect him, and seems grumpy when Bob calls into the HOTM show.

Yet the Bob's Blog has almost exclusively been dedicated to criticizing Shawn's show Heart of the Matter. (At least until Bob's recent repentance following a dispute about some "Broken TOys" comment and some suggestion from his wife.)

So it is just funny that BOb is puzzled by shawn's irritability towards him. This is a good time to quote Yeats:

"Was there ever dog that praised his fleas?"

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Jordan,
In the middle eastern cultures, calling someone a dog is a high insult. So I am not really sure anyone comes out well with your Yeats quote. Let's try this one:

"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."

So being a flea to Shawn's dogness...not so bad :-)

Thanks for writing.