Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moriant Post: Documenting D&C Changes, Were The Revelations Changed?

NOTE TO READERS!!!

Sadly as a result of some internet hacks I have lost most of the necessary documentation for this blog. I have some of the items but they are so small as to likely be worthless to the naked eye.

Should the original author (who has now pretty much gone underground as a result of publishing further and important LDS family ties) decide to provide them once again, I will repost the higher quality images. For now, you will have to trust me that I have actually seen with my own eyes the documents to which he discusses in the blog. NT




One of the things that was very important to me during my research, was to do the best I could at locating and finding the source documents and references many LDS church historians and other authors often cite inside their books.

I did so because I wanted to be sure I could see for myself with as little Bias as possible and then come to my own conclusions without trusting anyone for or against the church. In so doing one of the things I remembered reading about was some of the claims David Whitmer said about some of the reasons why he left. So I put on my researcher hat and tracked down a copy of the book David Whitmer wrote, called "An Address to all Believers in Christ." (See Image Below)


As you can see one of the reasons why David Whitmer was so upset and left the church was not only because, "They changed the revelations", BUT that the changes gave Joseph far greater power than what the revelations had originally stated. Granting Joseph greater power through "keys" which were non existent in the original revelations. So I decided to "test" Whitmer's claims to see if they were indeed true.

By this time I had tracked down several editions of the early Doctrine and Covenants including the 1833 Book of Commandments, but even with all these early scripture editions, I still couldn't thoroughly test Whitmer claims until I had bought, a book that I think any serious LDS researcher should own, Joseph Smith Papers (facsimile edition). This is an unbelievable resource and an excellent tool. In essence it provides full sized in color facsimile scans of the handwritten original revelations of the church. While the book is costly it is well worth purchasing. Now I had all the information at hand and I could finally test Whitmer's claims. The following are just a fraction of some of the things I discovered over weeks of doing side by side comparisons.

Book of Commandments Section 4


What I did to make it easier to create a side by side comparison of the two revelations was to splice them into one document as they were published. Each of these images are the actual photocopies of the early revelations as published. Thanks to scans and some photo shop work, I could place them side by side making it easier to see and compare.

There is more to this section of the D&C but this page alone does illustrates the main changes and problems. First I want to point out that yes it is true many of the changes or tweaks inside the D&C versions will be grammatical in nature and I have highlighted those here so you can see, BUT I am not interested in talking about grammatical issues.

In the original 1833 version, the Lord clearly says that the ONLY gift he has given, or will ever give, Joseph is the gift of translation. Specifically, the Lord says: "I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift." What is interesting is that somewhere between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed from what the Lord supposedly told him in March of 1829. These changes are significant. Now Joseph will be allowed to receive other gifts after the work of translating the Book of Mormon, and specifically says that Joseph "shall be ordained".

Now the standard Apologetic response will revolve around the idea that we have progressive revelation, and so changes are not that big of a deal. But who decided that? Did God come back a few years after 1829 and say, wait a minute we need to change this, I didn't mean what I said? Or did Joseph decide to make the change? You see one of the main things we forget was that God basically dictated the early revelations. So who decides to edit what God had already previously said? Simply stated by 1835 Joseph had much bigger grandeur views for the church, the church was now in Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon was on the scene and there were also internal leadership issues brewing. So Joseph simply needed more gifts to bolster his authority, and very soon the idea of Priesthood authority would be introduced to the church, which previously did not exist.

Book of Commandments Section 6

The Book of Commandments Section 6 or D&C 7 apparently clarifies what Jesus said to Peter about John the Apostle. Joseph translated this revelation through a "visionary" parchment not an actual manuscript and so the actual parchment is unavailable for investigation.(See Below)


Again, what I have done here to make it easy to understand is to do a direct side by side comparison of these 2 revelations and compare the differences, between them. What I found absolutely became very interesting indeed. There are over 100+ words that have been added to this revelation alone! Note, in the original 1833 version, Jesus never says anything to Peter about any "keys" for Peter, James, and John, and never says that John will be a "ministering angel." Rather, in the original 1833 version of the revelation, Jesus simply tells Peter that his apostle John will be allowed to "tarry". BUT, sometime between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed and now John will be a "ministering angel" that will not taste of death and Peter, James, and John will be given "keys" by Jesus. Keys that Joseph would later say were restored to him.

The other interesting side idea is the clarification or change to what "tarry" means. Many General Authorities within the church have explained that John was "translated" and so he can come and go to perform his mission on the earth as he or the Lord sees fit. This is because John by 1835 is linked to the "Restoration" as being one of the Angels or translated beings along with Peter and James in restoring the "keys" or Priesthood which in the original revelation did not exist. However the NT does clarify what Jesus did say to Peter.

John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

John 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Note the clarification in Verse 23..Jesus didn't say that John wouldn't die, instead it's an IF statement directed towards Peter, and also note there is nothing here to indicate any "keys".

Besides all this we come to the Original handwritten version of this revelation




As you can see there are absolutely NOTHING that indicates that this revelation should read in the way we currently have it in our D&C. Rather instead it matches WORD for WORD the 1833 version. There are no editorial remarks or revisions, no margins nothing to indicate why there is a need to add over 100+ words into the revelation. There is nothing to indicate any keys for Peter and James or that John should be a "ministering angel".

D&C Section 13


The revelation concerning the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration. Completely missing, not only inside the 1833 Book of Commandments but also missing in the 1835 D&C. In other words in the early days of the church there is nothing to indicate John the Baptist ordained Joseph and Oliver with Aaronic priesthood keys.

Now Apologists will argue this was never recorded because of persecution or Joseph was often on the run. On the surface that sounds like a legitimate explanation. But further examination reveals this to be problematic. First off they started recording revelations as early as 1828, so why not record something as critical and important as Priesthood authority? Instead the whole thing is just plain missing period. Yes there are a few pages missing inside Revelation Book 1, but nothing suggests the reasoning to delay the idea of Priesthood authority. Secondly, why hide it from the faithful, even if you were on the run? Instead there is NO diary record, NO church minutes, NOTHING to suggest any kind of "Priesthood authority even existed" until after.

D&C Section 2


Another simple example of a revelation gone AWOL. Yes it is true and in fairness I will grant that they didn't start recording revelations until 1828, but I have to ask why include this SO late? Why create such a late revision to the Moroni story? Again let's ask ourselves what is missing, and what is not. Immediately we can see what is added to the Moroni story is the idea that Elijah will shortly come and reveal the "Priesthood" and restore even more "keys". What is missing is that for the early church the concept of authority and keys just plain didn't exist and wasn't even in the minds of the members prior to a brief mention inside the Times and Seasons in 1834. Instead what we can see is Joseph backdated the story of Priesthood restoration.

Book of Commandments Section 24


A small interesting change but I think showcases the power of changing 1 simply word. I am not so much interested in all the GREEN additions as I am to the changes inside verse 9. Emma was concerned at this point in how were they going to take care of their family. After all Joseph was a farmer, not a schooled preacher and now he has taken up a profession unfamiliar to himself, so how are they going to pay their bills?

Note the subtle yet powerful change 1 word makes. Thy husband shall support thee from the church OR Thy Husband shall support thee in the church. Two completely different implications.

Instead Emma need not worry Joseph will take on the full mantle of leadership, and Joseph will care for Emma and their family through the financial benefit of being "Prophet, Seer and Revelator."

So in conclusion to all this research I had to ask myself the following questions. Was David Whitmer wrong? Did the church change the revelations? Were the revelations changed in such a way as to grant Joseph more authority and keys which previously in the original revelations did not exist? I think the answer to both of those questions in simply yes.

34 comments:

  1. Some of the original handwritten "revelations" that did not get printed in the Joseph Smith Papers have been made available online. For example what is now D&C 5 can be found at
    http://beta.josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/revelation-march-1829-dc-5

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  2. Wow... you have done some very interesting investigation. Thank you!

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  3. Mrs. Pillinger....we have mutual friends....(Dan Exmormon video) Are you on Facebook? If not, please email me. I wish to get to know a fellow ex-canuck better. nthompson@vitamix.com Sincerely

    Norm

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  4. Norm, excellent work. Thank you for the trouble you went to in order to get this out. Very nicely done.

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  5. @ Norm: read Catharine's blog. she has a fascinating story to tell.

    @ - and anyone else, too, of course. :)
    -karin

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  6. "As surely as this is the work of the Lord, there will be opposition. There will be those perhaps not a few, who with the sophistry of beguiling words and clever design will spread doubt and seek to undermine the foundation on which this cause is established. They will have their day in the sun. They may have for a brief season the plaudits of the doubters and the skeptics and the critics. But they will fade and be forgotten as have their kind in the past. Meanwhile, we shall go forward, regardless of their criticism, aware of but undeterred by their statements and actions".

    - Gordon B. Hinkley

    Posted by Jeff (I trust that you will post this as it is not attacking and as requested I put my name on it) Thank you.

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  7. Comments Part 1:

    From your opening remarks you made reference to a “crisis of faith” and that you wanted to re-find the testimony that burned so brightly. I am confused why you would then begin your journey of “rediscovery” by studying the written works of a known apostate and dissident.

    David Whitmer was the only one of the three witnesses that never returned to the church after leaving. Other key leaders were disaffected, left and returned to the church. Why would Whitmer not return? Did he know something the other leaders didn’t? It’s impossible to know for sure, but there may be something to the fact that he wanted to replace Joseph as the president and made attempts to have him removed (this is documented in church history, references can be provided if needed).

    I would like to comment on the remarks that the guest blogger is a “researcher” of sorts and knows how to locate actual documents better than the rest of us. I spent a total of about 15 minutes on google and was able to locate all of the documentation provided by the guest blogger.

    David Whitmer’s book is here:

    http://www.archive.org/details/addresstoallbeli00whit

    Notice that the sponsor is BYU and the contributor is the Harold B. Lee Library.

    The references to the Book of Commandments with a comprehensive list of changes can be found at the following links:

    1.http://www.saintswithouthalos.com/s/_d&c.phtml
    2.http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/boc/boc_main.shtml
    3.http://www.irr.org/mit/boc/

    The first two links are extremely useful in identifying the changes and chronology. Both use a side-by-side approach to their analysis. The last link is clearly the source of Morianton’s document scans and provides a side-by-side listing of the 1833, 1835 BoC and 1971 edition of the D&C.

    Perhaps a better use of Morianton’s weeks of research would have been to assemble this information from existing materials instead of “recreating the wheel”.

    Morianton said “Now the standard Apologetic response will revolve around the idea that we have progressive revelation, and so changes are not that big of a deal. But who decided that?…You see one of the main things we forget was that God basically dictated the early revelations.”

    This whole blog post is a regurgitation of anti-mormon sentiment that has been employed by critics and ex-mormons for more than 150 years. The repetition of these arguments does not increase their cogency.

    It is evident from the above comment by Morianton that he does not understand the LDS view of prophetic revelation. Excellent research is provided on this exact topic here:
    http://en.fairmormon.org/Doctrine_and_Covenants/Textual_changes

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  8. Comments Part 2:

    To briefly summarize the information found there:

    The LDS church does not believe in the doctrine of “prophetic inerrancy” (go here for a definition: http://en.fairmormon.org/Fallibility_of_prophets).

    Prophets do not download or receive word-for-word dictations as morianton claims. The Doctrine and Covenants declares:

    “Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness,after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding” (D&C 1:24 or 1833 BoC 1:5)

    Examples of Prophets making editorial changes to revelations is also evident in the Old Testament, see Jeremiah 36. In verse 32, Jeremiah then commanded his scribe, Baruch, to write on another roll the words of Jeremiah, “and there were added besides unto them many like words."

    Many like words added? This doesn't sound like original dictation straight from the mouth of God, perfectly preserved and unchangeable. Prophets speak or dictate by inspiration, but there can be later changes and additions. (see mormanity blog for full quote)

    The fact that there have been significant edits to the bible has not deterred millions of Christians from accepting it as gospel. The same latitude must be equally applied to the Book of Commandments.

    Morianton said “why hide it from the faithful” when referring to the changes and “missing” revelations in the Book of Commandments.

    The Deseret news recently published an article on how the church is going to great lengths to hide this information, see here:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705370509/New-JSP-volume-includes-Book-of-Commandments.html

    Additional information detailing the process of hiding this information from the church can be found at the fairmormon link above under the heading “Changes Were not Hidden from the Church”.

    A portion of this information is a quote from Elder Packer:

    “Some have alleged that these books of revelation are false, and they place in evidence changes that have occurred in the texts of these scriptures since their original publication. They cite these changes, of which there are many examples, as though they themselves were announcing revelation. As though they were the only ones that knew of them.

    Of course there have been changes and corrections. Anyone who has done even limited research knows that. When properly reviewed, such corrections become a testimony for, not against, the truth of the books.”

    I don’t think it is necessary to detail all the problems with Morianton’s logic and pattern for speculation based on somehow knowing the mind of Joseph and those around him. The fact that the chronology of the revelations in the BoC and the D&C are incomplete is not conclusive proof that they are anachronistic. We don’t know why some things were recorded and others were not at a given point in time. Conjecture and speculation do no adequately fill the gap. I think the following message from the Jesus does fill the gap:

    “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

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  9. @ lds
    i looked up your reference of deseret news. On page 3 it states that: So which sections of today's Doctrine and Covenants make up this proposed completion of the Book of Commandments? It is all or portions of Sections 64-73, 75, 107 and 133.

    So none of these revelations include the ones Morianton marked in his research above. Next time read your own sources.

    Noone is telling you you can't believe in the D&C as written. It is your right to believe whatever you want. You can even believe in Santa Claus, all evidence against him notwithstanding.

    And there are many people who believe the bible is the word of god dictated straight from his mouth. Mormons are a sect of christians who DONT take that view. Unfortunately that doesn't mean mormons read the bible with any kind of skepticism. it is just easier to believe what we like and ignore parts that don't match up to what we believe. Ditto for the D&C and BOM. changes were made to update doctrine to match new beliefs and practices and the majority of members just go 'uh huh', bow their head and say Yes. Mormons aren't taught to critically think about these changes, but just to accept them as 'right' because a 'prophet' said it was good. Easy and they can go back to their busy lives.

    Why are these changes not printed in the prefered mormon publication- the Ensign? Why must members go to unofficial websites like farms or fair to find out these things?

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  10. oops, forgot to sign above comments. MY bad.
    - karin

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  11. David K,

    Thank you so much for adding those links and additional information, it has really added value into the blog post for which I am most grateful.

    Sorry it took me until now to respond, Easter was a great weekend, for both family associations and in recognition for what my personal Savior did for me.

    In reading your initial response about my research and the impression I may have left about seeming like I started with a known Dissenter such as David Whitmer I must apologize. I realize that I may not have been so clear to point out that this blog post only represents ONE small..very small part of the total research I have done. But I do not wish my posts to be a complete indication of my story, but rather these are simply "topical" snapshots. I do however appreciate the links you provided and the work you did as it added value.

    Thanks so much for providing the additional insights into the malleability and fluid nature of revelation as impressed upon the mind of Joseph.

    I am not so much concerned about "changes" as I am concerned over the "context" of the changes. The documents above in their context suggests that Joseph "backdated" Priesthood authority. So the question is not about revelation changes in a general nature but rather...did Joseph receive Priesthood authority in 1829 as he claims and as today's modern church teaches as historical fact or not? Did Peter, James and John restore "keys" in 1829 or not? Did John the Baptist come or not? Or did Joseph simply backdate a new theological concept of priesthood in order to bolster his authority?

    Especially in the light of the backdrop of what was going on within the church community at the time. Problems in Kirtland, many questioning the leadership, the first "anti-mormon" book being published in the neighboring county including affidavits surrounding Joseph's money digging etc, all this suggests that Joseph's leadership was in serious question..and then when we see changes to revelations listed above. I am left with the question..did Joseph just backdate the priesthood restoration narrative?

    Do you have any additional information that can enlighten us? I have been looking and I am still looking to find some reference, church minutes, diary record anything to suggest "priesthood keys" contemporary to the time line. But, I have been unsuccessful. On the contrary everything does suggest the whole thing was simply "backdated".

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  12. Just to give everyone an idea of why I moderate these comments, this comment was recieved on Sunday and I accidentally deleted it, meant to publish it but as it also came via email a copy was saved.

    Nice LDS people...dont you think?


    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Moriant Post: Documenting D&C Changes, Were The Re...":

    "Norm, you are a coward and are incapable of defending yourself. Instead of addressing the issues raised by those who disagree you create misdirection by focusing on the identity of the commenter. As if the person's identity has any bearing on the truthfulness of what they say.

    Keep manufacturing your reality. People can see through your dishonesty. Those who are actually honest dont need to tell people how honest and full of integrity they are...its evident in their actions.

    Dont bother posting these comments, they are intended for you. "


    I say simply, 'Three fingers pointing right back at you my friend.'

    Norm

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  13. Two comments.

    First, I must acknowledge the profound logic behind the "three fingers" argument. This is such a solid argument that embraces the full spectrum of the issues in question. Its logic like this that makes you wonder "why didnt I think of that?" Excellent debate!

    How dare those "LDS people" (if the anonymous comments were made by LDS people) point out the obvious truth? Its people like that that give wallowing in the mire a bad name. The nerve of some people!

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  14. Hugh Nibley, the author of voluminous works in response to books deemed anti-Mormon, including a chapter on how to write an anti-Mormon book, explained why he thinks ex-Mormons criticize the church:


    "Apostates usually become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything—it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church—they just don't believe the gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone? It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it—that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it anymore, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion."

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  15. I like the comment by their fruits you shall know them. Keith Goforth

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  16. Yes Hugh Nibley very bright mind. The one who molested his own daughter and said if Jo Smith were ever shown to be convicted of a crime it might be the end of him as a believable prophet (paraphrasing).

    Nice guy and fairly prophetic.

    Blame the messanger approach is a wonderful perspective. I loved what a friend of mine recently stated in a private forum.

    "Typical exmormons...They can leave the church,
    break the news to their wife,
    get disowned by their family,
    contact local leaders,
    ask the Home Teachers to stop coming by,
    move out of the ward,
    ask the new ward members to stop coming by,
    send a letter to church headquarters,
    get directed back to local leaders,
    confirm with local leaders that they actually signed their resignation letter,
    write an additional letter to headquarters reminding them that their resignation was effective upon receipt of the first letter and that no additional action is required,
    be shunned by their neighbors,
    have their children banned from associating with active members' children,
    undergo ward gossip and speculation about the "real" reason they left,
    deal with unintentionally arrogant and condescending remarks from members and former friends for the rest of their lives...

    ...but they can't leave the church alone"


    Oh yes.....those apostates....they just cant leave us alone.

    Thats such a hillarious deflection IMO

    Norm

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  17. BTW Documents found after Nibley passed on proved JS was indeed convicted of fraud due to his ocult like money digging skills or deceptions.

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  18. A passage from an early Mormon epistle addresses a claimed tendency of ex-Mormons to criticize the church of which they are no longer a part:

    Apostates after turning from the faith of Christ ... have sooner or later fallen into the snares of the wicked one, and have been left destitute of the Spirit of God, to manifest their wickedness in the eyes of multitudes. From apostates the faithful have received the severest persecutions ... "When once that light which was in them is taken from them, they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened, and then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth," and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactor.

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  19. Regarding the subject of Christian anti-Mormonism, Richard Mouw (President of the Fuller Theological Seminary) stated recently at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City,

    "I am now convinced that we... have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community. Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening: we have sinned against you. The God of the Scriptures makes it clear that it is a terrible thing to bear false witness against our neighbors, and we have been guilty of that sort of transgression in things we have said about you. We have told you what you believe without making a sincere effort first of all to ask you what you believe...Indeed, we have even on occasion demonized you, weaving conspiracy theories about what the LDS community is 'really' trying to accomplish in the world."

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  20. Norm, once again you have proven yourself to be an impeccable source of accurate information; studiously and vehemently adhering to the principles of truth and integrity.

    Please visit the following site to get the actual facts on the controversy to which you refer:

    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/files/pages/nibleyfamilystatement.php

    As you are honest and true, your comments about Hugh Nibley molesting his daughter should be adequately supported.

    Sarcasm aside, people who flippantly throw around molestation accusations in attempts to strengthen feeble arguments are, in my opinion, devoid of honesty and integrity.

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  21. Regarding my statement on Martha Beck's accusations of child abuse towards her father Hugh Nibley. Its fair to state that the Nibley family and the LDS church have done the circling of the wagons thing. Its pretty aweful making the victim into the scapegoat as the Nibley family and the LDS church have done to Martha in this scenerio.

    Here is a wikepedia stament on the Nibley page at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Nibley

    "Nibley's daughter Martha Beck, is an American sociologist, therapist, and life coach in Arizona. Beck is also a best-selling author and holds an A.B. in East Asian Studies, and an A.M. and a PhD in Sociology from Harvard University in Massachusetts. She also had at one time in the 1990s taught in the Sociology Department at LDS Church owned Brigham Young University during the time five faculty members were excommunicated from the LDS Church for their scholarly public writings that were deemed critical of the LDS Church. In 2005, Beck received national attention after publication of her best-selling book, "Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith" in which Beck alleges sexual abuse by her father,[22] and details the circumstances of how she left the LDS Church. Hugh Nibley's family, including Beck's siblings, have responded by claiming that the book's accusations against their father are false[23] and have expressed "outrage" at the book and accusations.[24] Beck currently lives with her life partner, Karen Gerdes and her three teenage children.[25]"

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  22. @Dale I would challenge you to take the time to read her book, Leaving the Saints. Then make your personal judgement of Martha.......and me.

    It is available here

    http://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Saints-Mormons-Found-Faith/dp/0307335992/ref=pd_sim_b_5


    here are two unbiased reviews


    Amazon.com Review

    When graduate student Martha Beck’s son Adam was born with Down syndrome, she and her husband left the chilly halls of Harvard for Utah and the warm, accepting embrace of the Mormon community. Determined to assimilate back into her childhood faith after years of atheism, Beck’s disenchantment resurfaced when censorship from the church heavily influenced the curriculum at Brigham Young University where she taught part-time. More disturbing was Beck’s eventual belief that her father, a virtual celebrity in the Mormon Church, had sexually molested her as a child.
    Beck frames her narrative around a conversation with her aged father, dipping in and out of stories of her childhood, marriage, third pregnancy, and teaching. She contrasts her perceptions of the leadership of the institutional church as controlling and patriarchal with stories of the warmth and generosity of her Mormon community. Beck unfolds her search for identity, forgiveness, and a personal faith in competent prose, punctuated with surprising dark humor and glimpses into her anorexia, suicidal obsessions, and alleged abuse. Although she leaves readers with many unanswered questions after the last page is turned, one thing is clear: Beck believes that "no matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth." --Cindy Crosby --

    From Publishers Weekly

    Beck follows her bestselling spiritual memoir Expecting Adam with this shocking accusation of sexual abuse and betrayal. The book is full of Beck's laugh-out-loud hyperbolic wit and exquisitely written insights, but it also has a hard, angry edge. She asserts that after returning to Utah in the early 1990s, she began to recall horrific memories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her father, well-known Mormon intellectual Hugh Nibley. Although all her immediate family members vehemently deny her claims (and one has already published the positive full-length biography Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life), some readers will find that Beck builds a compelling case. She questions the legitimacy of Nibley's prolific apologetic writing and attributes his abuse in part to the pressures he was under to defend the faith even at the expense of truthful scholarship. Although marred by shallow, formulaic anti-Mormon criticisms and an exaggerated description of the LDS Church that will sound foreign to Mormons outside the insular culture of Utah, the book also describes how institutionalized religion can do terrible wrong to some adherents while still being a force of good for others. It will devastate faithful Mormons, satisfy disenchanted ex-Mormons and offer hope to those who believe they have suffered from ecclesiastical abuse.

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  23. You want to know why ex-mormons feel 'haunted' by their former testimony etc. It's not because we have become depraved, sinners. Rather it's because we wonder how come we didn't see the light earlier so we could leave earlier. In fact, i believe most who leave have had doubts of things before but instead of acting on these and researching the truth of things, have put the insights or info on a shelf. Only when the shelf finally crashes down, do members make the ultimate sacrifice for truth: they leave a false organization, some physically, others because of family and community ties, only in their minds. But leave, we do, and then we wonder why now? why not earlier? what was it that made the difference? can this arguement be used to persuade loved family members or friends to see the holes in the mormon doctrine?

    If you love the church and it works for you, why do you care whether we are leaving? And posting our journeys on the internet? Post your own blogs about how much fun you are having at church.. let prospective members read all the info, pro and con and make an INFORMED decision.

    I didn't get that opportunity. How could i check out other churches, or no church, since it was a sin to miss church on Sunday even to attend another church unless you are sick or away from family or home ward. It is also hard as a child-member to decide that what your parents, (in my case) or grand-parents etc. honestly believed as true, isn't. What a shock.

    -karin

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  24. There are 2 sides to every story, let's look at the other side.


    "None of the family agrees with her story," said Boyd Peterson, who is married to Beck's sister Zina (and who authored a Hugh Nibley biography). "And the Nibley family is itself pretty diverse. Probably 50 percent of the brothers and sisters are no longer members of the LDS Church, or they are members in name only. All of them have issues with their father. The boys are angry about his being a big Mormon celebrity who was too often absent from the family."

    All of Beck's siblings nonetheless maintain a united front, each expressing disbelief that their father ever sexually abused their sister. Christina, the oldest daughter, called Beck's book "a work of fiction" and said she is "outraged" that her sister would write it. "I'm extremely disappointed."

    Paul, the oldest son, considers the book "vicious" but he was in the Coast Guard during Martha's adolescence, so he saw her very little during those years. He is upset that Martha made a false reference to him, claiming he was restricted to "only three outfits a year from Deseret Industries." Paul said, "My mother never bought clothes at the DI — my dad did. But my clothes came from Penney's, and I never felt deprived."

    Tom, a brother, said he spent most of Martha's teen years in California, but he considers the book to be "totally false. She needed a scapegoat for her own problems." Michael, who is nine years older than Martha, said the book has "many factual inaccuracies" besides the allegations of abuse. "She sees us as a group of half-grown Vikings."

    Alex called the book "utterly false. She claims the family always made decisions in lockstep with the church, but Hugh Nibley was one of the major liberal voices in the church. To portray him as a part of 'groupthink' is ridiculous."

    Zina, a sister two years younger than Martha, said the two girls spent their adolescence together, sleeping in the same room in "incredibly rickety bunk beds, her on top. They could barely support the weight of two wispy little girls." The tiny house with thin walls, she said, had bedrooms in which the doors were never closed, with essentially no privacy.

    "I was very close to her," said Zina. "I was her sidekick. I saw nothing at all to indicate any abuse taking place. None of us idealized our father. None of us think he was a great father. He was funny and sweet, but he was not emotionally approachable, not a good father for teenagers, but he was not guilty of abuse."

    The only hint of division within the united family front is Rebecca, who is four years older than Martha. She said the sexual abuse allegations "are not true" and attributes them to Martha's "emotional sensitivities — but (Martha) is brilliant and funny. Martha and I are very close. I'm the only one in the family she sees regularly, so I have a more current view than the other siblings. I am emotionally closer to her than to my other siblings. I want to be close to her, so I call her a lot. There is no one in the world as enjoyable to be with and as loving as Martha.

    "No one in our family has any desire to choose sides between our father and our sister; however, intellectual honesty is a fundamental value of the Nibley family"


    "Among two or three witnesses shall every word be established"

    Here we have 5 family members stating that these accusations are false and 1 family member claiming them to be true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh, no. You may not credit the lack of abuse to the lack of witnesses. My own dear loved one, the seventh of eight children and shared a room with most of the siblings was repeatedly molested by another sibling and NO ONE ever knew. They were in shock, but trusted it as the truth because they were not aligned with the perpetrator. Regardless, belief because of some sort of bias does not constitute a witness of the events. Family members who do not know of sexual abuse cannot testify believably that it never happened. It is a fallacy. These types of circumstances are actually a common occurrence in many child abuse cases. My dear spouse is a former case worker for the Department of Child and family Services and personally confirm the frequency, as many in the field can.

      Delete
  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbGpgX16LJw

    ReplyDelete
  26. I find it interesting that my comments are not being added regarding the false accusation of Hugh Nibley's daughter. Is there a reason my information is being left off? Is it because it discredits the false information you are sharing here? I would appreciate you sharing my findings as you are quick to share any statements or facts from others that are negative towards the LDS faith and community.

    Thanks,

    Juan G.

    "None of the family agrees with her story," said Boyd Peterson, who is married to Beck's sister Zina (and who authored a Hugh Nibley biography). "And the Nibley family is itself pretty diverse. Probably 50 percent of the brothers and sisters are no longer members of the LDS Church, or they are members in name only. All of them have issues with their father. The boys are angry about his being a big Mormon celebrity who was too often absent from the family."
    All of Beck's siblings nonetheless maintain a united front, each expressing disbelief that their father ever sexually abused their sister. Christina, the oldest daughter, called Beck's book "a work of fiction" and said she is "outraged" that her sister would write it. "I'm extremely disappointed."
    Paul, the oldest son, considers the book "vicious" but he was in the Coast Guard during Martha's adolescence, so he saw her very little during those years. He is upset that Martha made a false reference to him, claiming he was restricted to "only three outfits a year from Deseret Industries." Paul said, "My mother never bought clothes at the DI — my dad did. But my clothes came from Penney's, and I never felt deprived."
    Tom, a brother, said he spent most of Martha's teen years in California, but he considers the book to be "totally false. She needed a scapegoat for her own problems." Michael, who is nine years older than Martha, said the book has "many factual inaccuracies" besides the allegations of abuse.
    Alex called the book "utterly false. She claims the family always made decisions in lockstep with the church, but Hugh Nibley was one of the major liberal voices in the church.
    Zina, a sister two years younger than Martha, said the two girls spent their adolescence together, sleeping in the same room in "incredibly rickety bunk beds, her on top. They could barely support the weight of two wispy little girls." The tiny house with thin walls, she said, had bedrooms in which the doors were never closed, with essentially no privacy.
    "I was very close to her," said Zina. "I was her sidekick. I saw nothing at all to indicate any abuse taking place. None of us idealized our father. None of us think he was a great father. He was funny and sweet, but he was not emotionally approachable, not a good father for teenagers, but he was not guilty of abuse."
    The only hint of division within the united family front is Rebecca, who is four years older than Martha. She said the sexual abuse allegations "are not true" and attributes them to Martha's "emotional sensitivities — but (Martha) is brilliant and funny. Martha and I are very close. I'm the only one in the family she sees regularly, so I have a more current view than the other siblings. I am emotionally closer to her than to my other siblings. I want to be close to her, so I call her a lot. There is no one in the world as enjoyable to be with and as loving as Martha.
    "No one in our family has any desire to choose sides between our father and our sister; however, intellectual honesty is a fundamental value of the Nibley family"

    "Among two or three witnesses shall every word be established"
    Here we have 5 family members stating that these accusations are false and 1 family member claiming them to be true. What is even more interesting is that 50% of them are no longer LDS yet still state that it is fabricated.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is a cool M. Beck video, feel free to share!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbGpgX16LJw

    ReplyDelete
  28. Darren S and Juan G. my sincere apologies, your comments were in my spam box which I almost never check. I have now posted them.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Just wondering...why is it that so far...most LDS people on here will not provide their last name....am I that scary? Certainly not intended to be.


    Sincerely

    Norm

    ReplyDelete
  29. Norm,

    it's not that your so scary it's just that no-one can be trusted any more. Even those presenting themselves as honest and sincere. On the one hand we have the Mormon Illuminati who now control the church seeking to ensnare open minded and truth seeking members who want to understand their churches history. There is a kind of informal inquisition going on to weed out all those who don't believe in the infallibility of the brethren. On the other hand we have real anti-mormons who have spent their time and resources to deceive with information that the average person can not authenticate. The secret powers that control everything in this world work both sides of this equation constantly to make it very difficult to find any kind of truth. Average Mormons and Americans in general have no idea how much they are controlled and gradually mislead by the dark side.

    You do not strike me as anti-mormon even though you have left the church. But what I do see that disconcerns me is a pattern within the church when members become disaffected and are not able to discern real wickedness in the present leadership of the church and instead seek to rationalize the genesis of the church away. They seem to think that apostasy cannot exist in our day even though it is prophesied in our scriptures and is shown to be common human nature. We have become like the Christian faiths that we used to accuse for taking only one scripture out of context and denying many others.

    The real problem is that Satan has a greater influence and infiltrated presence in all of the worlds church's and religions than any normal person would want to believe. This means that Lucifer actively sought to secretly infiltrate the LDS church at the earliest of times because he knew it was going to be a restoration of truths that he wanted suppressed. You have to understand the Lucifarian agenda before you can understand this and you need to factor in the following issues in your analysis of changing scripture.

    1. Was it something that was caused by human error or what looked like human error but was intended to be a change so small it would just look like human error.

    2. Though I don't espouse the idea that God changes, yet this has to be balanced with learning line upon line or having some things revealed gradually.

    3. God does not reveal everything to people at once. And may not tell you the whole truth of what he would like to until you have shown that you are trustworthy enough and have the cognitive framework to understand the big picture.

    4. From the earliest times Joseph had others around him who were part of these secret lucifarian combinations who would have tried to influence him gradually to go in other directions. This is also human nature of the ego. It is also how our last several presidents who have not been part of the NWO conspriacy itself have been controlled.

    5. The church took so long to produce the Joseph Smith manuscripts that it is possible that some of those are very well produced forgeries. One has to ask why the need to keep things covered up for so long. They don't seem to care that much now. It is because the end is near and it doesn't much matter now. They know that most of the flock are sheep that will be lead by the nose. And don't really care enough about truth to seek in earnest and understand the world and how it operates and the origins of the church. But I don't think that you are one of these kinds.

    Keep seeking and maybe the truth of these perceived discrepancies in the D & C will be revealed to you. But don't doubt that Joseph was not a true prophet. There is just too much that was brought about that it had to have been inspired of God. And in spite of what the Mormon scholars (some of them Illuminati) and most of the rest totally influenced by evolutionary science say about the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has been validated by other Maya records not generally known and which have been suppressed by the church.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thats the most 'unique' comment I have ever received on this blog and I did not understand any of it! :)NT

    ReplyDelete