The Post That Will Not Die

If you’re a regular reader you know that there is a certain post about Jesus, polygamy and a poorly rendered painting that will not die.  It is by far the most viewed post on this blog and actually has a very high google ranking based on it’s title.

I’m not willing to close the comments for a number of reasons.  Chief among them is that they make me laugh.

But that being said, I recognize that most of those commentors are not reading the other comments which put the painting in perspective.  For that reason I’m willing to add a disclaimer on the post before the comments.

Your suggestions of that disclaimer are welcome in the comment section below.  I get final say and this is not a democracy.  But you can gripe about the disclaimer in the original post comment section.

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About Tim

Evangelical Christian living in Southern California. I live with my wife and whatever foster children happen to be in our home at this moment. I love photography, baseball, movies and I'm fascinated by Mormonism.

29 thoughts on “The Post That Will Not Die

  1. Well if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then it’s generally assumed you’ve already been given the context through other sources.

    I recognize the average teenager in Utah doing a Google search probably doesn’t know that Joseph Smith had more than one wife, etc.

    So if you’d like to add some context here is your chance.

  2. Nope! I think that’s the one thing we agree on.

    Oh, and i wish we could lure back that crazy person who got mad if you used the “crazy-word.” I wonder where he’s shinin’ on these days.

    Ooh, and you know who else I want back? That one starry-eyed everything-is-good Mormon girl. I don’t remember her name. I don’t want her back as much as I want Rick Hurd though.

  3. Hey!!! I resemble that remark! lol!! And BrianJ, I used to like you… :P

    The comments there make me laugh too. Please don’t close it.

  4. Tim said:

    I recognize the average teenager in Utah doing a Google search probably doesn’t know that Joseph Smith had more than one wife, etc.

    If that’s true (and I have no knowledge one way or antoher), then they aren’t listening and are intellectually lazy. It certainly isn’t a hidden historical fact. My teenagers certainly know it, and so did the ones in my Sunday school class when I taught that age.

  5. If that’s true (and I have no knowledge one way or antoher), then they aren’t listening and are intellectually lazy. It certainly isn’t a hidden historical fact. My teenagers certainly know it, and so did the ones in my Sunday school class when I taught that age.

    Agreed. It isn’t talked about a lot in the Church, but it really isn’t hidden or covered up either–yet. We talked about it in seminary, sunday school, it got brought up in priesthood meetings. Not all the time, but it came up. Certainly if kids go to Seminary they’ll hear about it when they study D&C.

  6. “Certainly if kids go to Seminary they’ll hear about it when they study D&C.”

    Nope. I didn’t. Can’t say that it was ever “covered up” during my upbringing, but it was definitely never brought up. FWIW, I grew up in Provo, UT and always attended church/seminary. Brigham Young (and subsequent leaders) was brought up in terms of polygamy, but never Joseph. That said, I can’t remember the last time polygamy was even brought up at church. I’ll pay close attention next year in Sunday school (for you non-starry-eyed types, it’s the D&C year).

  7. Eric, “intellectually lazy”? C’mon, there are plenty of facts out there that you and I are completely ignorant of. I, for one, never really cared about polygamy, so I didn’t learn of Joseph’s because I was “intellectually uninterested“. But to say I was “lazy” is just silly; I was studying plenty of other topics in depth.

  8. Sorry, BrianJ, but you’re either lying or you were 1) an idiot, 2) mind-bogglingly oblivious, or 3) willfully uninterested in the world around you.

    Sure, a Mormon could conceivably not know that polygamy was practiced, but Americans can also conceivably not know that the United States won its independence from England, or that a Civil War was fought between the North and South largely over slavery.

  9. “1) an idiot, 2) mind-bogglingly oblivious, or 3) willfully uninterested in the world around you.”

    You’ve just described most of my high graduating class – myself included.

  10. 3) willfully uninterested in the world around you.
    What’s wrong with that? :P

    Also, he didn’t say that he didn’t know about polygamy, but that he didn’t know about Joseph Smith’s polygamy. Big difference, especially as there are still people who insist that JS never practiced it (I think some frequent this blog, no?).

  11. I think that starry-eyed girl was named Lisa?

    I knew about JS polygamy as a teenager, but not because of my own interest in the subject, or any efforts on the part of my church teachers to cover the topic. Rather, because my dad was uber-studious and made it a point to not have ignorant kids. But I was definitely in the small minority in this regard.

  12. Thank you very much, katyjane!

    Kullervo, if you were referring to Mormon polygamy in general, then I read you wrong. I was, as katyjane noted, talking only about Joseph Smith’s alleged* polygamy. And I found out that several of my friends also grew up unaware; it came up when they started reading Rough Stone Rolling.

    “…you’re either lying or you were 1) an idiot…”

    Who says I can’t be both?

    _____
    * Just pulling some chains there. {grin}

  13. Oh, and way to go Tim. Now everyone is over here discussing the Post that Will Not Die, instead of over there keeping the post alive. I can’t believe I fell for it!!!

  14. Hi BrianJ,
    I was BIC, married in the temple, always active in church, faithfully read church materials, & never aware that Joseph practiced polygamy until I was an adult. It was after an LDS friend shared the Fanny Alger story with me that I first learned he had wives other than Emma. It was NEVER discussed in church. Even section 132 of the D & C was glossed over and cherry picked when we studied it. Sure I could have figured it out if I had really studied that section deeply. The church has covered up polygamy from it’s materials/curriculum and even Richard Bushman (apologist, LDS historian) has stated that.

    Although I knew other Mormon Prophets practiced polygamy, it was certainly never a topic in church and if ever brought up the members would say it was practiced for the widows, and surplus of faithful women.

    Kullervo, I have been posting on LDS boards for several years and your comments to BrianJ are identical to what LDS apologists tell critics of the church or shocked members who come across Joseph’s polygamy for the first time.

  15. Hi Tim,
    Here are some statements by LDS apostles/Prophets to back up the picture: (there are many more)

    http://www.i4m.com/think/bible/mormon-jesus-married.htm

    “We have now clearly shown that God, the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born… We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings’ daughters and many honorable Wives to be married.” The Seer, p. 172, Orson Pratt

    When Joseph Fielding Smith was asked if this meant that Christ had children, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “Yes! But do not preach it! The Lord advised us not to cast pearls before swine!” (Letter to J. Ricks Smith, dated March 17, 1963)

    “It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it.” Journal of Discourses 4:259, Orson Hyde

    “There are those in this audience who are descendants of the Lord’s Twelve Apostles-and, shall I say it, yes, descendants of the Savior himself. His seed is represented in the body of these men.”
    - First Presidency Memeber and Apostle George Q. Cannon, Solemn Assembly in the Salt Lake Temple, July 2, 1899, Meeting Notes Utah State Historical Society, p. 376.

    “Celsus was a heathen philosopher; and what does he say upon the subject of Christ and his Apostles, and their belief? He says, the ‘grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was because He had so many wives; there were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a host of others that followed Him.’ After Jesus went from the stage of action, the Apostles followed the example of their master. . . The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, casing his crucifixion, was evidently based on polygamy,. . .a belief in the doctrine of plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus, and his followers. We might almost think they were ‘Mormons.’”
    - The Apostle Jedediah M. Grant, Second Counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency, Journal of Discourses, Vol 1. ppl 345-346

  16. A few more by LDS Prophets:

    “The Scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were, unless His wives and children.”
    - The Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 13, p.309

    “Sunday I Attended the Sabbath School Conference …. Joseph F. Smith spoke one hour & 25 minutes. He spoke upon the Marriage in Cana at Galilee. He taught Jesus was the Bridgegroom and Mary & Martha the brides. He also refered to Luke 10 ch. 38 to 42 verse, Also John 11 ch. 2 & 5 vers John 12 Ch 3d vers, John 20 8 to 18. Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary & Martha manifested much Closer relationship than merely a believer which looks consister. He did not think that Jesus who decended through Poligamous families from Abraham down & who fulfilled all the Law even baptism by immersion would have lived and died without being married.”
    - The Prophet Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal on July 22, 1883

  17. And more…..

    “I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children. All that I have to say in reply to that charge is this–they worship a Savior that is too pure and holy to fulfil the commands of his Father. I worship one that is just pure and holy enough ‘to fulfil all righteousness;’ not only the righteous law of baptism, but the still more righteous and important law ‘to multiply and replenish the earth.’ Startle not at this! for even the Father himself honored that law by coming down to Mary, without a natural body, and begetting a son; and if Jesus begat children, he only ‘did that which he had seen his Father do.’”
    - The Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 210

    “Heber taught, as did a few other Mormons of his day, that Christ was married—indeed that Christ was married to both Mary and Martha and that the famous wedding of Cana was in reality Christ’s own wedding. In his own mind Heber was not only a follower of Christ, but a literal descendant. In his last public sermon, two months before his death, he said, “You do not know who Heber C. Kimball is, or you would do better.”If one can accept the possibility of Christ’s marriage, then such a descent is possible.”
    - Biography of Apostle Heber C. Kimball, p. 275

    “We are not informed at what time Jesus was to be married to this kin’s daughter or to any of the rest of His wives. But from what John the Baptist says, He may have been married to some of them previous to that prophets martyrdom: The passage is as follows; ‘He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom: but the friend of the Bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’ (John 3: 29, 30.) And again, ‘Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.’ (Mathew 9: 15.) John represents Jesus as already in the possession of the Bride; while the Saviour confirms what John says, by calling Himself ‘the Bridegroom,’ and the disciples ‘the children of the Bridechamber,’ but who the Bride was neither of them informs us. Whether Jesus had married any of His wives at that time or not, it is very evident that there will be a marriage of the Son of God at the time of His second coming: for Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.’”
    -The Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, Vol.1, No.11, p. 169-p.

  18. Seven,

    Just because the church taught polygamy and taught that Jesus had (or may have had) many wives it doesn t follow that Del Parson believes and was trying to convey that doctrine in the picture.

    For all we know he is as clueless as you were.

  19. So, leaving polygamy out of it, I’d be interested in hearing from the evangelical side why/if it would matter if Jesus had a wife and kids.

  20. One view I’ve heard from talking with Evangelicals is that they believe it would have been selfish (and therefore sinful) for Jesus to have married and had children knowing that He was going to have to be crucified and leave behind a wife and one or more children. His wife would be a widow and His children Fatherless. I’m not saying that I agree with this view, just that it is one I’ve heard from talking with Evangelicals.

  21. So, leaving polygamy out of it, I’d be interested in hearing from the evangelical side why/if it would matter if Jesus had a wife and kids.

    If it happened to have been the case I don’t think it would matter. I don’t think most people would think it would matter. There are some teachings that would be a little skewed because of it (Church=Bride / Christ=Groom) but on the whole, no matter.

    I think the problem is that some have tried to skew history to get it to fit their own peculiar doctrines. The same can be said of Black Liberation theologians as Mormon Polygamist. (or for that matter any artist who makes Jesus out to be white, blue-eyed and blonde, ahem delparsons *cough)

  22. Seven wrote: “I was BIC, married in the temple, always active in church, faithfully read church materials, & never aware that Joseph practiced polygamy until I was an adult. It was after an LDS friend shared the Fanny Alger story with me that I first learned he had wives other than Emma.”

    This is a good example of anti-Mormon rhetoric–the same anti-Mormon rhetoric that was circulated before the death of Joseph Smith Jr.

    Can someone please explain how an alleged affair between Joseph Smith Jr. and Fanny Alger was polygamy?

    It may be interesting to some to know that ongoing DNA testing is being done to find decedents of Joseph Smith Jr. Many connections have been found through his wife, Emma. No DNA evidence has been found through his alleged polygamous wives, or Fanny Alger, that would connect Joseph Smith Jr. (see article published November 10, 2007 by Deseret News http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695226318,00.html)

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