MAGIC IN MORMONISM
From Denials It Was Practiced to Exaggerations
[Web-editor's Note: References to Early Mormonism and the Magic World View are for the First Edition. Second Edition references have been added [2nd Ed., ...]. Also note that the Second Edition references may not exactly correspond to the First Edition due to revision.]
Lucifer-God Doctrine - A Magic Cover-Up - Falsifying History - Think About It! - Our Ancestry Questioned
In the Salt Lake City Messenger for August 1971, we announced the discovery of documents relating to Joseph Smith's 1826 trial. This remarkable find was made by Wesley P. Walters in the basement of a jail in Norwich, New York. These documents prove that Joseph Smith was a "glass looker" and that he was arrested, tried and found guilty by a justice of the peace in Bainbridge, New York. The importance of these documents cannot be overstated, for they establish the historicity of the account of the trial which was first published in Fraser's Magazine in 1873. This trial shows that the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith not only engaged in money-digging but that he was also involved in the magical practice of divining with a seer stone. The entire text of the transcript is published in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? page 32. We will only quote the first two paragraphs of the transcript here:
Warrant issued upon written complaint upon oath of Peter G. Bridgeman, who informed that one Joseph Smith of Bainbridge was a disorderly person and an imposter.
Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says that he came from the town of Palmyra, and had been at the house of Josiah Stowell in Bainbridge most of the time since; had small part of time been employed by said Stowel on his farm, and going to school. That he had a certain stone which he had occasionally looked at to determine where hidden treasures in the bowels of the earth were; that be professed to tell in this manner where gold mines were a distance under ground, and had looked for Mr. Stowel several times, and had informed him where he could find these treasures, and Mr. Stowel had been engaged in digging for them. That at Palmyra he pretended to tell by looking at this stone where coined money was buried in Pennsylvania, and while at Palmyra had frequently ascertained in that way where lost property was of various kinds; that he had occasionally been in the habit of looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but of late had pretty much given it up on account of its injuring his health, especially his eyes, making them sore; that he did not solicit business of this kind, and had always rather declined having anything to do with this business.
Mormon writers could see the devastating implications of Wesley Walters' discovery. To accept the validity of the trial documents would mean that they would be forced to admit that Joseph Smith was engaging in magical practices at the very time he was being tutored by the Angel Moroni to receive the gold plates of the Book of Mormon. In his book, The Myth Makers, the noted Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley had written almost 20 pages in an attempt to discredit the "Bainbridge court record." On page 142 of Dr. Nibley's book we find this statement: "...if this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith."
After we published the news of Wesley Walters' discovery, Mormon scholars were stunned by the serious implications of the matter. Although Hugh Nibley remained completely silent about the new find, a promising young scholar by the name of D. Michael Quinn publicly responded to our accusations concerning the importance of the discovery. He thought our conclusions about the discovery were "not supported by the evidence." He said that he accepted the authenticity of the documents found by Walters but denied that they proved the validity of the printed transcript (see Jerald and Sandra Tanner's Distorted View of Mormonism: A Response to Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? By a Latter-day Saint Historian, 1977, page 18). In our book, Answering Dr. Clandestine: A Response to the Anonymous LDS Historian, pages 11-14, we demonstrated that all the evidence led to the conclusion that the printed transcript of the trial was genuine. A decade has passed since Quinn wrote his rebuttal to us, and we are now happy to report that he seems to have modified his position on the 1826 trial. In a new book published by Signature Books, Dr. Quinn wrote the following:
For many years Mormon writers denied that such a court case occurred... despite contrary evidence.... the court record simply adds details to the statement of Smith's mother that in 1825 Stowell "came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys, by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye"... Other evidence affirms the basic content of the alleged testimony, and, aside from anti-Mormon editorial comments in these published accounts, there is little reason why Mormons should find it necessary to deny the substance of Smith's and his witnesses' testimony just because the 1826 court record itself cannot be verified in manuscript form. (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, 1987, pages 44-46) [2nd Ed., pages 56-57]
Although the title of Dr. Quinn's rebuttal to us and the title of his new book share the words "Mormonism" and "View," there is a world of difference in the contents. His new book, in fact, validates much of our research with regard to magic. While we have known for a long time that D. Michael Quinn was one of the best scholars in the Mormon Church, we have gained a far greater respect for both his scholarship and his courage during the 1980s. While many of the Mormon scholars have become extremely quiet since Ezra Taft Benson, who is currently the Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the church, denounced objective Mormon history, Dr. Quinn made a very bold public response:
Central to the apparent demands of Elders Benson and Packer is the view that the official acts and pronouncements of the prophets are always the express will of God. This is the Mormon equivalent of the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility.... the Mormon history of benignly angelic Church leaders apparently advocated by Elders Benson and Packer would border on idolatry....
Ezra Taft Benson and Boyd K. Packer want Church history to be as elementary as possible and as defensive as possible. This is Accommodation History for consumption by the weakest of the conceivably weak Saints,... A so-called "Faith-promoting" Church history which conceals controversies and difficulties of the Mormon past actually undermines the faith of Latter-day Saints who eventually learn about the problems from other sources.... In warning Mormon historians against objective history and against telling too much truth about the Mormon past, Boyd K. Packer says, "Do not spread disease germs!"... The criticism we have received in our efforts would be similar to leaders of eighteenth century towns trying to combat smallpox contagion by locking up Dr. Edward Jenner who tried to inoculate the people, and killing the cows he wanted to use for his vaccine. (On Being a Mormon Historian, 1982, pages 14, 15, 18-21 and 23)
D. Michael Quinn, who seems to have become lion-hearted in the defense of honest history, now serves as Professor of American History at the church's Brigham Young University. Many have wondered why the church leaders have not moved against him. A number of Mormon scholars have been removed from their positions for things that would be considered trivial in comparison with Quinn's direct and forceful response to the General Authorities. The answer may be that church officials fear the confrontation that would ensue if they tried to remove such a highly respected scholar from his position. Then, too, it has been suggested that if Quinn were fired, Brigham Young University might stand a chance of losing its accreditation. What ever the case may be, Dr. Quinn has stood firmly by his convictions, and his new book, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, certainly presents an honest attempt to get to the bottom of this controversy. In the Introduction to this book, page xx [2nd Ed. page xxxviii], Quinn says that he believes in "Gods, angels, spirits, and devils, and that they have communicated with humankind." He also affirms that he believes in "Jesus as my Savior" and "Joseph Smith, Jr., as a prophet." While Professor Quinn's continued belief in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon in the light of his disclosures concerning magic may be difficult for many of us to understand, it presents an even greater dilemma for the Mormon leaders. How do they deal with someone who brings out devastating information concerning magic in the early church and yet professes a belief in the Prophet Joseph Smith? As far as we know, they have made no attempt to discipline him, although Gordon B. Hinckley, of the First Presidency, seemed to be warning against his book in a conference address:
From the Hofmann episode, Hinckley said another phenomenon has arisen, that of a supposedly "new history" of the LDS Church as distinguished from the "old history."
He said this rewriting of history represents nothing more than efforts to ferret out elements of folk magic and the occult during the time of church founder Joseph Smith to explain what he did and why.
Hinckley said he has no doubt that folk magic was practiced in the days of Joseph Smith, but that it presents no evidence that the church originated from such superstitions.
"The present effort of trying to find some other explanation for the organization of the church, for the origin of the Book of Mormon, and for the priesthood with its keys and powers will be similar to other anti-Mormon fads which have come and blossomed and faded," he said. (Ogden Standard-Examiner, Oct. 5,1987)
Although Dr. Quinn says he does not believe that his "analysis disparages Joseph Smith's integrity or prophetic claims," he does admit the following: "In what follows most Mormons will not find a story with which they are familiar. Instead, they will discover that Joseph Smith evidently participated extensively in magical pursuits and that he shared with others of his contemporaries a magic world view of the world. For myself, I have found that the 'official version' of early Mormon history is sometimes incomplete in its presentation and evaluation of evidence, and therefore inaccurate in certain respects." (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, Introduction, pages xx-xxi) [2nd Ed. Introduction, pages xxxviii-xxxix]
In 1982 we published our book Mormonism, Magic and Masonry, which contains photographs of some parchments and a dagger which once belonged to Joseph Smith's brother, Hyrum. On pages 12-15 of that book we definitely linked these items to witchcraft. On pages 2-5 we also reproduced a photograph of a magic talisman which was owned by Joseph Smith himself and printed Dr. Reed Durham's explanation of its meaning and purpose. It was our opinion that these items provided additional evidence that the Smith family were involved in magic. D. Michael Quinn has reached the same conclusion and has added much additional information regarding the Smith magical paraphernalia:
Beyond the documents indicating that during the 1820s Joseph Smith and his family used divining rods and seer stones as part of the folk magic of treasure seeking, Smith family members themselves provided evidence of their involvement in more esoteric manifestations of Christian occultism. These direct evidences are of two kinds: statements suggesting the family's participation in these activities, and magic artifacts in the early possession of family members according to Smith descendants, relatives, or their Mormon associates.... several of these relics have been preserved through completely separate chains of ownership (i.e., provenance). The magic artifacts attributed to the Smith family and certain statements by family members and early associates either imply or affirm that Joseph Smith and his family believed in and used ritual magic, astrology, talismans, and magic parchments....
Historical understanding cannot grow by ignoring or dismissing evidence that seems unusual or inconsistent with traditional perceptions,...
In response to the affidavits of some Palmyra residents that the Smiths in the 1820s neglected their farm and other necessary work in order to dig for treasure, Lucy Mack Smith seemed to confirm that her family practiced ritual magic. In the first draft of her dictated 1845 history she stated, "let not my reader suppose that because I shall pursue another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went at trying to win the faculty of Abrac[,] drawing Magic circles or sooth saying [sic] to the neglect of all kinds of buisness [W]e never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remember the service of & the welfare of our souls"... Joseph Smith's mother did not deny her family's participation in occult activities but simply affirmed that these did not prevent family members from accomplishing other, equally important work....
By the early 1820s, "Faculty of Abrac" had become a well-known phrase linking magic and divinity.... Medieval and early modern magic manuscripts in England used "Abrac" and "Abraca" as one of the names of God in conjurations... As early as 1831, their neighbors stated that both Smith and his father drew circles for treasure hunting...
Confirming these stories, the Hyrum Smith family has preserved as an heirloom the kind of dagger necessary for ritual magic. The first public announcement of its existence was an inventory of Hyrum Smith's "relics" in an authorized biography which described the artifact as "Dagger.... Masonic symbols on blade" (Corbett 1963, 453). Photographs of the dagger have been in print since 1982, and slides of the Smith dagger were screened at a public convention in Salt Lake City in 1985 (Tanner and Tanner 1982a, 3; Tanner and Tanner 1983, 11, 15; Fillerup; figs. 43-44).... the inscriptions on the Smith family dagger have nothing to do with Freemasonry and everything to do with ceremonial magic.... One side of the Smith family dagger is inscribed with the Hebrew word "Adonay," next to which are the astrological symbol of Mars and the magic sigil, or seal, for the Intelligence of Mars. The other side of the dagger is inscribed with the magic seal of Mars...
Possession alone may not be proof of use, but in this case Hyrum Smith, by 1844, possessed an instrument designed for drawing the kind of magic circles that Palmyra neighbors claimed the Smiths were drawing on the ground in the 1820s as part of their treasure-digging activities. In addition, Lucy Smith's manuscript history virtually confirmed the allegation that her husband and son drew magic circles in the 1820s,... Hyrum was the obvious heir of his father's sacred relics at the death of Joseph Sr.... Mars (inscribed on the magic dagger) was the "planet governing" 1771, the year of Joseph Smith Sr.'s birth....
That astrology was important to members of the Smith family is also indicated by both friendly and unfriendly sources. Without giving further details, Brigham Young stated in 1861 that "an effort was made in the days of Joseph to establish astrology" (Young Office Journal, 30 Dec. 1861).... the Hyrum Smith family also possessed magic parchments inscribed with the astrological symbols of the planets and the Zodiac... and the Emma Smith Bidamon family preserved a magic artifact consecrated to Jupiter, the ruling planet of Joseph Smith Jr.'s birth.... Two of the Smith family's magic parchments... depend directly on Ebenezer Sibly's Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences,... the inscriptions on Joseph Smith's Jupiter talisman indicated its use as an implement in ceremonies of spirit conjuration, and the influential manuscript "Key of Solomon" defined a Jupiter talisman's use strictly in terms of ceremonial magic: "This defendeth and protecteth those who invoke and cause the Spirits to come"... That ceremonial purpose of the Jupiter talisman in Joseph Smith's possession in 1844 was consistent with the ceremonial purposes of the magic parchments in the possession of his brother Hyrum in 1844... (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pages 53-58, 69) [2nd Ed. pages 66-73, 85]
On pages 78-79 [2nd Ed., pages 98, 103, 104], Professor Quinn gives this information:
While the Smith family's belief in astrology can be demonstrated only circumstantially and inferentially, the Smiths left direct evidence of their practice of ritual magic. In addition to the magic dagger, among Hyrum Smith's possessions at his death were three parchments lamens, in occult terms inscribed with signs and names of ceremonial magic... Like the dagger, photographs of these magic parchments have been in print since 1982 (de Hoyos 1982, 4-22; Tanner and Tanner 1982a, 1-3; Tanner and Tanner 1983, 6-9; Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Aug. 1985, B-1).... The dagger may have belonged originally to Joseph Smith, Sr., and the parchments may be artifacts from the time of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon."
Dr. Quinn feels that the parchments had a definite relationship to money-digging:
That this "Holiness to the Lord" magic parchment was designed to invoke "good spirits" in connection with treasure seeking is suggested by yet another symbol. Directly to the right of the Raphael figure and above the Tetragrammaton figure are three crosses... Although this could be a reference to the crucifixion at Golgotha, Scot defined two separate uses of three crosses, both of which pertained to treasure seeking. First, he specified that "there must be made upon a hazell wand three crosses" as part of "the art and order to be used in digging for monie, revealed by dreames," and later in his discussion he provided an illustration of a shield-symbol with three crosses at the top to summon a spirit "to tell thee of hidden treasures that be in anie place, he will tell it thee: or if thou wilt command him to bring to thee gold or silver, he will bring it thee"... the use of the previously discussed angel symbols from Reginald Scot's 1665 edition of his Discourse indicates that all three Smith family parchments were created to aid treasure seeking. Immediately before Scot's chapter that discussed Jubanladace, Nal-gah, and Pah-li-Pah, the last paragraph of the preceding chapter stated, "When Treasure hath been hid, or any secret thing hath been committed by the party; there is a magical cause of something attracting the starry spirit back again, to the manifestation of that thing. Upon all which, the following Chapters do insist more largely and particularly"... Therefore, the three Smith parchments adopted the names and symbols of Jubanladace directly (and Nal-gah and Pah-li-Pah through Sibly's later version) from a chapter of Scot's 1665 Discourse that provided information about good angels necessary for successful treasure-seeking conjurations.... these two lamens of the Joseph Smith family were designed to be used by an unmarried, pure young man or woman in summoning and communicating with a divine spirit as part of a treasure quest.... the central purpose of the "Holiness to the Lord" parchment was to enable such a pure youth to summon and communicate with a divine spirit as part of a treasure quest, which both Mormon and non-Mormon sources indicated was a preoccupation of the Joseph Smith family only up to 1827. (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pages 107-108, 110-111) [2nd Ed. pages 112-113, 115]
D. Michael Quinn has done a great deal of important research with regard to the provenance of the Smith magic paraphernalia and has shown how these items relate to the magical practices of the time. In addition he has important information on and even pictures of "seer stones" which were supposed to have belonged to Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon witnesses. The reader will remember that the testimony of Joseph Smith in the 1826 trial shows that he used a seer stone in his magical practices of seeking for gold and lost items. At the same trial, Jonathan Thompson testified that Joseph Smith could "divine things by means of said stone." He claimed that Smith used "his hat" in the process. This, of course, directly links the translation of the Book of Mormon to the magical process Joseph Smith used to find treasures. David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, wrote the following:
I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine.... One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. (An Address To All Believers In Christ, Richmond, Missouri, 1887, page 12)
The noted Mormon historian B. H. Roberts confirmed that Joseph Smith did indeed use a "seer stone" to translate the Book of Mormon:
The seer stone referred to here was a chocolate-colored, somewhat egg-shaped stone which the Prophet found while digging a well... It possessed the qualities of Urim and Thummim, since by means of it as described above as well as by means of the interpreters found with the Nephite record, Joseph was able to translate the characters engraven on the plates. (Comprehensive History of the Church, vol. 1, page 129)
On page 39 [page 43 in 2nd Ed.] of his book, Dr. Quinn gives this interesting information: "At a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 11 September 1859, 'Preside[n]t Young also said that the seer stone which Joseph Smith first obtained He got in an Iron kettle 25 feet under ground. He saw it while looking in another seers stone which a person had. He went right to the spot & dug & found it' (Woodruff, 5:382-83)" On page 199 [page 246 in 2nd Ed.], Quinn discloses the following: "The brown and white stones are the only ones Smith was known to have used in his religious ministry, but Brigham Young told the apostles on 30 September 1855 that Smith had five seer stones. Without describing any of them, Young indicated that Smith obtained three stones before beginning his residence at Nauvoo in 1839, and found two more before his death in 1844 (Bullock 1855)." On page 146 [page 174 in 2nd Ed.], Quinn observes: "Each of these early scribes and witnesses apparently saw no inconsistency in God's employing the same instrument and technique to translated the Book of Mormon that Smith had used in hunting for buried treasure because they all shared a world view which regarded success with such instruments of folk magic as a divine gift. Non-believers who rejected such a world view and who witnessed the translation at the Whitmer home, scoffed at this religious use of the seer stone..."
Animal sacrifices were a part of the magic ritual which accompanied money-digging. On page 144 [page 172 in 2nd Ed.] of his book, Quinn gives this information: "A cousin of Smith's wife Emma reported that Smith 'translated the book of Mormon by means of the same peep stone, and under the same inspiration that directed his enchantments and dog sacrifices; it was all by the same spirit! (H. Lewis 1879)." In The Greater Key of Solomon, page 122, we read that "In many operations it is necessary to make some sort of sacrifice unto the Demons, and in various ways.... Such sacrifices consist of the blood and sometimes of the flesh." The evidence seems to show that Joseph Smith did make sacrifices to the demons. In an affidavit published in 1834, William Stafford, one of the neighbors of the Smith family, reported the following:
Joseph Smith, Sen., came to me one night, and told me that Joseph Smith Jr. had been looking in his glass, and had seen, not many rods from his house, two or three kegs of gold and silver,... Joseph, Sen. first made a circle, twelve or fourteen feet in diameter. This circle, said he, contains the treasure. He then stuck in the ground a row of witch hazel sticks, around the said circle, for the purpose of keeping off the evil spirits. Within this circle he made another, of about eight or ten feet in diameter. He walked around three times on the periphery of this last circle, muttering to himself something which I could not understand. He next stuck a steel rod in the centre of the circles, and then enjoined profound silence upon us, lest we should arouse the evil spirit who had the charge of these treasures. After we had dug a trench about five feet in depth around the rod, the old man... went to the house to inquire of young Joseph the cause of our disappointment. He soon returned and said, that Joseph had remained all this time in the house, looking in his stone and watching the motions of the evil spirit that he saw the spirit come up to the ring and as soon as it beheld the cone which we had formed around the rod, it caused the money to sink.... another time, they devised a scheme, by which they might satiate their hunger, with the mutton of one of my sheep. They had seen in my flock of sheep, a large, fat, black weather. Old Joseph and one of the boys came to me one day, and said that Joseph Jr. had discovered some very remarkable and valuable treasures, which could be procured only in one way. That way, was as follows: That a black sheep should be taken on to the ground where the treasures were concealed that after cutting its throat, it should be led around in a circle while bleeding. This being done, the wrath of the evil spirit would be appeased: the treasures could then be obtained, and my share of them was to be four fold. To gratify my curiosity, I let them have a large fat sheep. They afterwards informed me, that the sheep was killed pursuant to commandment; but as there was some mistake in the process, it did not have the desired effect. This, I believe, is the only time they ever made money-digging a profitable business. (Mormonism Unvailed, 1834, pages 238-239)
The reader will notice that it was a "black" sheep that was supposed to have been sacrificed. This is interesting because The Greater Key of Solomon, page 122, says that "Sometimes white animals are sacrificed to the good Spirits and black to the evil." In any case, the Mormon apologist Richard L. Anderson says that, "If there was such an event of a borrowed sheep, it had nothing to do with dishonesty." (Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1970, p. 295) On page 294 of the same article, Professor Anderson quotes the following from M. Wilford Poulson's notes of a conversation with Wallace Miner: "I once asked Stafford if Smith did steal a sheep from him. He said no, not exactly. He said, he did miss a black sheep, but soon Joseph came and admitted he took it for sacrifice but he was willing to work for it. He made wooden sap buckets to fully pay for it." C. R. Stafford testified concerning the same incident: "Jo Smith, the prophet, told my uncle, William Stafford, he wanted a fat, black sheep. He said he wanted to cut its throat and make it walk in a circle three times around and it would prevent a pot of money from leaving." (Naked Truths About Mormonism, January 1888, page 3)
In the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith condemned animal sacrifices after the death of Christ (3 Nephi 9:19), but according to Wandle Mace, a devout Mormon, he later called for the sacrifice of a lamb in the Kirtland temple: "Joseph told them to go to Kirtland, and cleanse and purify a certain room in the Temple, that they must kill a lamb and offer a sacrifice unto the Lord which should prepare them to ordain Willard Richards a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles." ("Journal of Wandle Mace," page 32, microfilmed copy at Brigham Young University) While in this instance Joseph Smith wanted the sacrifice made to the Lord, there are a number of accounts which indicate Joseph Smith was offering sacrifices to the demons in his earlier years (see Mormonism, Magic and Masonry, pages 32-34)
D. Michael Quinn has a very good photograph of the "magic dagger" which has come down through the Smith family in his book (see Fig. 43). He speculates that Joseph Smith and his father may have used this dagger when they "drew magic circles in the 1820s." We feel that this is very likely and would like to suggest that it may have also been used to cut the throats of the animals which were sacrificed to the demons.
Professor Quinn feels that Joseph Smith may have been involved in "spirit conjurations" when he received the visitation concerning the gold plates which he used to translate the Book of Mormon:
Smith began praying late Sunday night on 21 September 1823. According to astrological guides, Sunday night was the only night of the week ruled by Jupiter... Jupiter, Smith's ruling planet, was the most prominent astrological symbol on the Smith family's golden lamen for summoning a good spirit....
Oliver Cowdery wrote that Smith began praying earnestly that Sunday night about "eleven or twelve" in order "to commune with some kind of messenger" (1835, 1:79). Scot's frequently cited 1665 instructions for conjuration (the edition upon which the Smith family's "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" parchment was based) specified that spirit conjurations should begin "at 11 a clock at night," and in describing a particular conjuration "at 11 a clock at night; not joyning to himself any companion, because this particular action will admit of none... providing beforehand the two Seals of the Earth, drawn exactly upon parchment... but if he desires it, they will engage to bring him the most pretious [sic] of their Jewels and Riches in twenty four hours; discovering unto him the way of finding hidden treasures and the richest mines"... The Smith's "Holiness to the Lord" parchment has those two seals...
Smith's prayer "to commune with some kind of messenger" on 21 September 1823 occurred once the moon had reached its maximum fullness the previous day and just before the autumnal equinox. The 1665 edition of Scot's works... specified, "And in the composition of any Circle for Magical feats, the fittest time is the brightest Moon-light"... the hour and day in which Smith prayed "to commune with some kind of messenger" was pinpointed in magic books as being ideal for the invocation of spirits. Also, the angel of that hour, Raphael, figured prominently at the center of the Smith family's most significant lamen... which was constructed to aid in a treasure quest... Young Joseph walked alone to that hill on 22 September 1823, when the moon was in its second day in Aries, which astrology specified was a day "good to find treasures hid"...
Significantly, Oliver Cowdery's account, the first published history of early Mormonism, sketched a folk magic context for the events of 22 September 1823 on the hill: "he had heard of the power of enchantment, and a thousand like stories, which held the hidden treasures of the earth"... Cowdery's report that Smith was prevented from obtaining the gold treasure by a thrice-repeated "shock [that] was produced upon his system" echoed treasure folklore of the 1820s that treasure-seekers could be "instant[an]eously struck, without attaining their object, as with an electric shock"...
All official and unofficial,... sources agree that Smith was not able to obtain the gold plates on 22 September 1823. Instead, he returned to the hill on exactly the same day each year until 1827. None of these accounts explains why the visits had to occur each year on exactly the same day. Magic provides a possible explanation: "Should nothing result [from the attempt at necromancy], the same experiment must be renewed in the following year, and if necessary a third time, when it is certain that the desired apparition will be obtained, and the longer it has been delayed the more realistic and striking it will be"... (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pages 120-122, 125, 133-134) [2nd Ed. pages 143-145, 147-148, 158]
Dr. Quinn points out that a number of teachings in the early Mormon Church bear remarkable similarities to the occult, and even shows that "proxy baptisms on behalf of the dead" had been "in practice among the Christian occult communities of Pennsylvania since 1738." (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, page 181) [2nd Ed. pages 223-224]
In the Messenger for January 1986, we took exception to some of D. Michael Quinn's statements about magic which he made in a lecture. On page 35 we noted that his claim that Jesus was using a magic formula at the time of the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:41) is not supported by any facts. In addition we felt that his claim that Joseph Smith, Sr., gave his sons magic names was not very convincing. We demonstrated, in fact, that he gave his sons names that were "typical of those found in the vicinity of Palmyra." In his new book, Dr. Quinn seems to have retained his idea concerning Jesus, but he does not say anything concerning the Smith children having magic names. He does, however, engage in some speculation concerning Book of Mormon names. On page 155 [197-198 in 2nd Ed.] of his book, he notes that the name Alma "also had reference to spirits and to ceremonial magic.... A seventeenth-century English magic manuscript used 'Alma' as one of the names to conjure a treasure guardian spirit... and in other English manuscripts of magic... 'Almazim' and 'Almazin' were names of a 'giver of treasure'..." While this is an interesting suggestion, in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? p. 95, we have also noted that this was a woman's name and that one of Joseph Smith's neighbors was named "Miss Alma Parker." (In the Book of Mormon, of course, it is the name of a man.) Quinn's attempt to relate the name Nephi to magic is not very impressive. He suggests that "the most publicized magic parallel to Nephi was that 'Nephes' or 'Nephesh' meant the disembodied spirit of men, according to the Cabala..." (page 156) [page 198 in 2nd Ed.]. Those who are familiar with Hebrew know that "Nephesh" is the word which is translated as "soul" in Genesis 2:7: "...and man became a living soul." It has a number of different meanings (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hebrew word #5315). Quinn feels that his "necromantic parallel to the name Nephi may help to explain what has otherwise appeared as a historical puzzle." This matter is discussed in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? page 136, where we show that when Joseph Smith began his History, he wrote that the Angel who revealed the Book of Mormon to him said "his name was Nephi." After Joseph Smith's death this was changed to read, "his name was Moroni." Quinn tries to explain this change by saying: "Thus the evidence indicates that after 1830, Mary M. Whitmer, Lucy Mack Smith, and Joseph Smith himself intentionally referred to Moroni as Nephi. Since 'Nephes' was a designation for departed spirits 'called out by Magicians and Necromancers,' these early Mormons may have used the cognate 'Nephi' as a generic reference to the messenger Moroni. Documents of 1838 indicate that Joseph Smith was using Nephi and Moroni interchangeably.... The appearance of Nephi in the manuscript history about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon seems instead to be Joseph Smith's conscious substitution of another name for Moroni." It is very difficult for us to accept this speculation. It is much easier to simply believe that Joseph Smith told contradictory stories. Moreover, as we pointed out in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? page 72, we found the name "Nephi" in the Apocrypha, which is important because the Apocrypha was included in Joseph Smith's own Bible. Professor Quinn is correct in saying that Nephi was "a geographic name" in the "Apocrypha." In the Book of Mormon it is the name of several men, a city, a land and a people. It seems much easier to believe that Joseph Smith simply borrowed the word from the Apocrypha than to try to accept Quinn's idea and the complicated theory about "a generic" name of the "messenger Moroni." With regard to the Book of Mormon name "Laman," Quinn comments: "Although several of Joseph Smith's scribes during the translation of the Book of Mormon spelled Laman's name as it has been published from 1830 to the present, one unidentified scribe rendered it 'lamen' in writing that portion of the manuscript... This was the spelling of the magically inscribed parchment, or lamen, as given in magic works... The Smith family had not only one such magical lamen, but three..." (page 158) [page 200 in 2nd Ed.] Although there are a few interesting parallels between magical names and those found in the Book of Mormon, the case does not appear conclusive, and Quinn himself says: "But just as there is more than one possible interpretation of Moroni's name (chap. 5), there are non-magic parallels for the other Book of Mormon names."
While we feel that Dr. Quinn has tended to minimize the importance of the influence of anti-Masonry on the Book of Mormon, and that he has also engaged in some needless speculation with regard to occultic names and numerology, taken as a whole, his book is a very important contribution to the study of Mormonism and magic. We tend to agree with Richard L. Bushman's assessment: "This is an ingenious and erudite book which carries us further into the world of magic than any previous work on Mormonism. From now on, anyone dealing with magic in relationship to Mormonism will have to start with Quinn's study." (See Early Mormonism and the Magic World View)
Since the founding of the Mormon Church there has been a sharp separation between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity. In 1842 the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith made this serious division between Mormonism and other churches very plain when he claimed that Jesus Christ Himself told him that he "must join none of them [i. e., the other churches], for they were all wrong; and... that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;..." (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 1:19) A decade after Joseph Smith's death, Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt answered some questions about other churches:
Q. Who founded the Roman Catholic Church?
A. The Devil, through the medium of Apostates, who subverted the whole order of God...
Q. But did not the first Protestant Reformers receive their ordination and authority from the Catholics?
A. Yes: and in this manner they received all the authority that their mother church was in possession of; and the mother having derived her authority from the Devil, could only impart that which his Satanic majesty was pleased to bestow upon her. (The Seer, page 205)
In 1958 Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote the following under the heading "Church of the Devil":
1. All churches or organizations... which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God; and 2. The Roman Catholic Church specifically singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being "most abominable above all other churches." ( 1 Ne. 13:5)... There is no salvation outside this one true Church,... Any church or organization of any kind whatever which satisfies the innate religious longings of man and keeps him from coming to the saving truths of Christ and his gospel is therefore not of God. Such agencies have been and are founded or fostered by the devil who is the enemy to all righteousness. (Mormon Doctrine, page 129)
Apostle McConkie went on to call the Catholic Church a "satanic organization" and demonstrated that the Book of Mormon said that "the devil" was "the foundation of it." He cited 1 Nephi 13:1-10 to prove his point. McConkie's writings greatly offended the Catholics and in later editions the comments which specifically mentioned the Catholic Church were removed. He spoke only of "the various branches of the great and abominable church." (1979 printing, page 138) Although the Mormon Church is now more subtle about its attacks on other churches, the secret temple ceremony still gives the impression that their ministers are working for the devil and that at least some orthodox Christian teachings come from him. Many Christians, on the other hand, who recognize that Mormonism teaches "another gospel" than that which orthodox Christianity preaches, feel that it is one of the organizations that is (to use Apostle McConkie's words) "founded or fostered by the devil." This belief has been widely held ever since Mormonism began making its unique claims. During the last several years, however, there has been a movement to make the Mormons appear more dangerous and sinister than any other organization in the world. It is claimed, in fact, that the Mormon Church leaders secretly worship Lucifer and that they are bringing their people under his power and priesthood in the temple ceremony. It is this latest teaching about Mormonism which we will refer to as the Lucifer-God doctrine.
One of the chief advocates of the Lucifer-God doctrine is a man by the name of William Schnoebelen who maintains that he has been deeply involved in the occult for a long time. Among other things, he claims to have become a Witch in 1968, a Spiritualist Minister in 1972, a High Priest and Magus in 1973, a Wizard in 1974, a Master Mason in 1976, a Warlock in the Church of Satan in 1977 and a Gnostic Catholic Bishop in 1978. He also claims to have been in Voodoo and to have received a number of very high degrees in Masonry. In 1980 he received a Master's Degree in Theology and joined the Mormon Church. Finally, on June 22, 1984, he became a Christian.
Mr. Schnoebelen claims that after he went into witchcraft, he changed his name to "Christopher Pendragon Syn." According to a Temple Sealing Certificate, his wife was known as "Alexandria Y Apprope Pendragon." He has furnished us with photocopies of certificates from the School of Wicca, the Mental Science Institute and the Church of Satan. All of these certificates contain the name "Syn." He says that in 1978 his name was changed back to Schnoebelen. Mr. Schnoebelen has also provided photocopies of documents dealing with his name changes. He claims to have received a Master's Degree from the Saint Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, and the seminary itself has verified that a man by the name of William Schnoebelen did receive a Master of Theology Degree. We have also confirmed that Mr. Schnoebelen was a member of the Mental Science Institute and have no reason to question his claims concerning the Church of Satan and the School of Wicca.
In any case, William Schnoebelen makes some very startling claims concerning Mormonism and witchcraft. For instance, he insists that the "highest ranking Witch in the USA" told him that Lucifer founded the Mormon Church and that it was prepared so that "witches and occultists" could hide out in it if trouble developed. As if this were not sensational enough, he has also stated that he met with the Mormon Apostle James E. Faust in 1981 and that Faust admitted that the Mormon temple ceremony was a witchcraft ritual and that Lucifer was the god of the temple. This last claim is very difficult for us to believe. Even if Apostle Faust were a Satan worshipper, as Schnoebelen maintains, would he reveal it to someone who had only been in the church for a year? There is really no way to prove or disprove Mr. Schnoebelen's statements. According to Schnoebelen, the "highest ranking Witch in the USA," who told him that the Mormon Church was founded by the Devil to protect witches is now dead, and it is unreasonable to believe that Apostle Faust would verify Schnoebelen's statement even if it were true. We feel that it is just too risky for Mormon critics to accept these two highly significant claims without some additional evidence. An examination of William Schnoebelen's writings shows that he is given to finding all kinds of trivial parallels between witchcraft and Mormonism. He, in fact, goes to great lengths to link the temple ceremony to Lucifer. Because of this bias, we have a difficult time putting our faith in his report of the conversation with Apostle Faust. It is very possible that Mr. Schnoebelen's preconceived ideas about the relationship between witchcraft and the temple ceremony could have caused him to misunderstood Faust's comments.
While Mr. Schnoebelen does not have any document or hard evidence for the two conversations, he has put forth two photocopies which could provide some important evidence linking the Mormon temple ceremony to satanic ritual if it can be established that they are authentic. The first is supposed to be from the "Grimorum Verum." It has a prayer to the "Lord Lucifer," and a few paragraphs later contains this blessing:
May you have health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the [word blacked out by Schnoebelen "in the interest of decency"] and in the sinews; and power in the priesthood be upon you and upon your posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.
This is very close to a portion of the. temple ceremony which we have produced in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? page 472:
Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.
A comparison of the wording in William Schnoebelen's document with the temple ceremony seems to be just too close to be a coincidence.
The other important photocopy Mr. Schnoebelen has produced is supposed to be out of the "2nd Book of Wisdom" and pertains to "a handfasting or Wiccan wedding." It has some remarkable parallels to the eternal marriage ceremony in the LDS temple:
By virtue of the authority of the HPoM whicch [sic] I hold, I pronounce you, _____ & _____ legally and lawfully Lord and Lady for time and all eternity; Twin Flames whose lights shall ever burn as One; and I seal upon you all the blessings of immortality and godhood; and seal upon your heads the blessings of thrones, kingdoms, principalities, powers, and dominions and say unto you: Bring forth children,...
In the Mormon temple ritual, as given in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? page 473, we find the following:
By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you _____ and _____ legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and for all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed with glory, immortality and eternal lives, and seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones[,] principalities, powers, dominions and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and say unto you, be fruitful and multiply...
The reader will note the striking similarities between the text taken from William Schnoebelen's photocopy and the Mormon temple ceremony. Again, the parallels seem to show that there is a definite relationship between the two texts.
A careful examination of the sensational documents Mr. Schnoebelen has brought forth to make his case against Mormonism reveals that they are not very old. They are, in fact, photocopies of material typed on modern typewriters. When we asked Mr. Schnoebelen if his documents came only "from memory or from actual written sources," he sent a letter detailing the provenance of the material. He claimed that upon his conversion to Christianity in 1984 he "burnt all my occult and witchcraft materials." About "a year later" be talked to Ed Decker and Jim Witham and "determined that some of this material could be important in research into the LDS endowment." He went back to seek out some of his "old pupils" to obtain copies of the rites. He "found one isolated and rather strange fellow in Chicago" who gave his "a copy of a copy in his possession which he copied from me in 1977" of the material from the Grimorum Verum. The other photocopy from the 2nd Book of Wisdom he obtained from "a former colleague high priest in Arkansas." (Letter from William Schnoebelen to Jerald Tanner, dated April 13,1987)
From this it is obvious that the actual copies in Mr. Schnoebelen's possession cannot be dated prior to 1985. (He was converted to Christianity on "June 22, 1984," burned his papers at that time and then "about a year" later sought to obtain "copies of the rites.") Since Mr. Schnoebelen has not provided the names or addresses for either the "rather strange fellow in Chicago" or the "high priest in Arkansas," there is no way independent of Schnoebelen's statement that we can actually date the material back beyond 1985.
One thing that is disturbing about Schnoebelen's statement is that be says he "burnt all my occult and witchcraft materials." If this is the case, why did he retain the three certificates from the Mental Science Institute, the School of Wicca and the Church of Satan? Photographs of these documents are found on pages 71, 74 and 75 of Mormonism's Temple of Doom, published in 1987 by Triple J Publishers, PO Box 3367, Idaho Falls, ID 83403. We would think that the certificate from the Church of Satan would be deemed especially evil since it tells of Schnoebelen becoming a "Warlock" and having "knowledge of Satanic Theology, and undefiled wisdom of the Black Arts." It also has the statement that it is done "By all the powers of Hell," and has the signature of Anton Szandor La Vey, the "High Priest & Magus of the Black Order." In addition, it has an upsidedown pentagram containing the goat's head. Speaking concerning the "inverted pentagram," William Schnoebelen says: "It is just too evil a sign - it draws demons!" (Ibid., page 49) One would think that Mr. Schnoebelen would want to get rid of anything that draws demons. However this may be, we are left with this situation: the originals of the documents which are most important to show parallels to the temple ceremony were burned, whereas the certificates supporting William Schnoebelen's involvment in the occult were preserved.
One serious problem with Schnoebelen's material is that there is some evidence of evolution in his text since 1985. Mr. Schnoebelen published the purported extract from the Grimorum Verum in 1985 in a publication entitled, Joseph Smith And The Temple Of Doom. A significant number of changes were made when it was republished in 1986 under the title, Documentation "Joseph Smith And The Temple of Doom." Finally, it appeared in 1987 in Mormonism's Temple of Doom. It is interesting to note that two slightly different versions are found in this same book on pages 35-36 and 41. The one on pages 35-36 is very close to the 1986 printing. The version which appears on page 41 is printed in parallel columns with the temple ceremony. Except for the "obscenity" which Mr. Schnoebelen deleted, it has become absolutely identical to the Mormon ritual.
Below the reader will find a comparison of the way Mr. Schnoebelen's extract was first published in 1985 with the way it appears today. We have placed the words which have been changed in italics and bold print:
May you have health in the navel and marrow in your bones, lust in your - - - - and in your sinew! May the power of the priesthood be upon you and upon all your posterity throughout all generations of time and all eternity. (Joseph Smith And The Temple Of Doom, 1985, p. 11)
Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the [ ... ] and in the sinews., power in the Priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity. (Mormonism's Temple of Doom, 1987, p. 41)
While the rules regarding quotations would probably allow the first three words ("May you have") to be dropped and the word "health" to start with a capital letter, we have counted the deletion of these words as a change because the inclusion of the word "you" would clearly reveal that something was wrong with the text. It is obvious that the wording has been changed from the second person singular throughout the quotation to the first person singular. The word "you" certainly would not fit with "me" and "my." It appears that in the original version the participants in the ceremony do not say these words. They are given to them as a blessing from someone else who is designated as "M." However this may be, the fact that the text seems to grow closer to the Mormon temple ceremony with time is of some concern. This evolution of the text raises an important question: if this many changes have been made during the brief period in which we have been able to observe it, how many changes may have occurred in the previous decade? Unless Mr. Schnoebelen can provide an earlier text that can be verified, scholars will probably be skeptical of its value.
One test that William Schnoebelen's documents can be submitted to is whether they are more closely related to the ancient or modern temple ceremony. The Mormon temple ceremony originated in the 1840s at Nauvoo, Illinois. Many important changes have been made in it since that time. For example, it had some bloody oaths which were modified so they would be more palatable to educated people (see Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? pages 474-475) If Joseph Smith and Brigham Young borrowed from witchcraft ceremonies in the 1840s, then the text would have evolved further away from that of witchcraft as time passed. This can be clearly demonstrated with Masonic parallels to the temple ceremony. While the Mormon text is still like the Masonic ritual in many places, it has been modified in others so that it is scarcely recognizable. We must assume also, that changes have occurred in witchcraft rituals as time has passed. The two rituals, therefore, would have become more dissimilar as the years passed. Consequently. we should be very suspicious of any text purported to be from witchcraft which resembles the modern version of the temple ceremony more than the older version. If it is more like the modem ritual, then it is very likely that it has been plagiarized from Mormonism rather than the other way around.
We have carefully compared the two most startling portions of William Schnoebelen's documents with different accounts of the temple ceremony published between 1853 and the present time and found that they closely resemble the modern version of the ceremony. Although we should probably state that the printed versions of the ceremony could have some inaccuracies in them, it still seems highly significant that no evidence whatsoever has been found to show that the Schnoebelen texts agree with the older renditions of the temple ritual. We have printed our study of the comparisons of these texts in a new book entitled, The Lucifer-God Doctrine. Those who are interested in the evidence can consult that publication. That no support appears in the earlier versions of the endowment ceremony should be of grave concern to those who want to use these texts to prove the Mormon ceremony came from witchcraft. The evidence seems to demonstrate that the texts are recent productions that are dependant on either a recent printed copy (such as the one in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?) or someone going into the temple to get the text. When we add the fact that these texts resemble the modern ceremony to the questions concerning their provenance and the changes that have been made since 1985, we feel that it would be unsafe to put one's faith in them.
Some very important information, which could help us understand the William Schnoebelen material, has recently come to light. We tried to locate the Mental Science Institute in March, 1987, by writing to the box number on Mr. Schnoebelen's certificate. The letter was returned from Minneapolis with the statement: "Attempted - Not Known." This, of course, caused us some concern. In doing further research with regard to this organization we were referred to Jack Roper, an authority on occultic organizations. Although Mr. Roper did not know where the organization is located today, he assured us that it had existed. He had, in fact, met B.C. "Eli" Taylor, whose name appears on Schnoebelen's certificate of ordination to be a "High Priest After The Order of Melchizedek" in the Mental Science Institute. Mr. Schnoebelen claims that he was the witch who told him the Mormon temple ceremonies had important "occult power... that could be achieved nowhere else." In any case, Jack Roper indicated that he thought this group had doctrines that were similar to Mormonism. Fortunately, Mr. Roper was familiar with a printed article on the Mental Science Institute. In this article, Gordon Melton mentioned a parallel to "Mormon theology" and gave this revealing information:
Mental Science Institute. Eli Taylor, who is the grand master of what is termed druidic witchcraft, is a descendant of Thomas Hartley who was burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft in England in the early 1550's.... The Mental Science Institute was organized in the late 1960's as a focus for Taylor's brand of herbal magick.
He traces his particular kind of witchcraft to the druids, and it is thus termed druidic.... The Mental Science Institute is the most male oriented of all the Wicca groups and has a theology closely related to Western ritual magick and Christianity. The universe is seen in a series of levels celestial, terrestrial and telestial. The celestial is divided into sublevels at the top of which is God the Father, followed by the Lord of Lights, arc-angels and angels. Man, animals and plants are on the terrestrial level. At the lowest level, the telestial level, are the mineral, chemical and electrical elements and creative thought. Just as there is a Father, there is a Mother of all men.
In a concept very close to Mormon theology, the Mental Science Institute teaches that the Father must at one time have been a child. The children of God will, in like measure, become gods. Reincarnation is part of that process....
The Mental Science Institute is headquartered in Minneapolis and has covens throughout the Midwest. A Word to the Wise is a monthly newsletter. (The Encyclopedia of American Religions, 1978, vol. 2, page 285)
This article provides information which seems to show that the Mental Science Institute has borrowed some of its ideas from Mormonism. Besides the parallel concerning the Father having "been a child," we have the words "celestial, terrestrial and telestial." Those who are familiar with Mormonism know that Joseph Smith taught that there were three kingdoms in heaven, the celestial, terrestrial and telestial (see Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76). The idea of three heavens is not unique to Mormonism. For many years we were aware that the mystic Emanuel Swedenborg taught this doctrine before Joseph Smith was born, but we did not know whether Smith could have seen his writings. D. Michael Quinn, however, has furnished information which shows that it is possible that Joseph Smith did have access to Swedenborg's teachings:
...the only pre-1830 advocate of three heavens was apparently Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.... Swedenborg's publications in England since 1784, and in the United States since 1812, affirmed, "There are three heavens," described them as "intirely [sic] distinct from each other," called the first heaven "the celestial kingdom," and stated that the inhabitants of the three heavens corresponded to the sun, moon, and stars... These views were summarized in a front-page article of 1808 at Canandaigua, New York, and in a publication that had been in Joseph Smith's hometown library since 1817..." (Early Mormonism And The Magic World View, 1987, page 174) [2nd Ed., page 217]
While Joseph Smith's view on three heavens could have been derived from Swedenborg's writings, the idea that one of the kingdoms was named the "terrestrial" kingdom seems to be unique to Mormonism. (The word terrestrial, of course, actually means earthly.) The fact that the Mental Science Institute used the word terrestrial as a name of one of the levels of the universe leads to the view that this organization was borrowing from Mormonism. The thing that really cinches the matter, however, is the use of the word "telestial" for the lowest level. It is a well-known fact that this is not a real word. It was, in fact, invented by Joseph Smith in the early 1830s. It is also interesting to note that in Mormon theology the celestial kingdom itself is divided into three levels and that God the Father dwells in the highest level. The Mental Science Institute appears to have also borrowed this concept. Gordon Melton says that this group believes that the "celestial is divided into sublevels at the top of which is God the Father,...."
Now that we know that the Mental Science Institute was borrowing from Mormonism, it makes it even more difficult to believe that William Schnoebelen's typewritten sheets can add any important knowledge concerning the relationship of witchcraft to Mormonism. Even if he could establish that what he has came from witchcraft ceremonies, how would we know that portions of the Mormon temple ceremony were not interpolated into these documents before they came into his hands? It seems obvious that "Eli" was well acquainted with the temple ceremony. Mr. Schnoebelen says that his "witchcraft mentor.... told me that the highest form of witchcraft was practiced in the Mormon temples." (Mormonism's Temple of Doom, page 11) Schnoebelen also says that their "witch 'Master' told us that the Mormon temple was an especially powerful place to go.... there was an occult power to be had in the temple that could be achieved nowhere else..." This would almost lead one to believe that Eli had been in the temple himself, but even if this is not the case, he could have read the expose printed in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? or derived the information from others who had been through the ritual. It is very possible that this "witch," who thought so highly of the ritual, might borrow portions of it to include in his own ceremonies.
However this may be, it appears that there are so many uncertainties about the typewritten pages which have been put forth to demonstrate the link between Mormonism and witchcraft that they are of little value. They cannot, in fact, be dated with any certainty. On the other hand, the strong parallels between the Mormon temple ceremony and Masonry which we have presented in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? pages 486-489, are documented from books published between 1827 and 1860. A reverse borrowing i. e., the Masons taking from the Mormons is impossible since most of the material is from a book written almost two decades before the Mormons even created their ceremonies.
We fear that those who are so diligently seeking for demonic explanations for things that can be explained in other ways may be doing a real disservice to the cause of evangelizing the Mormons. Their strong and often unfounded accusations are making Mormons very bitter against those who are trying to labor among them. In addition, it is causing fear and distrust among some of those who want to witness to the Mormons. They are obviously becoming fearful that they might be dealing with hard-core Satanists. Some people are now afraid to come to Utah because of the wide publicity given to this matter. This is a real shame because what we really need is more dedicated Christians living in Utah. Some of those who have been exposed to this type of teaching are fearful of witnessing to Mormons lest they encounter exceptionally evil and powerful spirits. Although we do believe in demons, we do not feel that the majority of Mormons are actually possessed by them. We are sorry we have to say this, but it seems there are some people who will accept any wild story or theory if it puts the Mormons in a bad light. They reason that since they already know that Mormonism is false, it is all right to use anything that has an adverse effect on the system. The question of whether an accusation is true or false appears to be only a secondary consideration. It almost seems, in fact, that there is a deliberate attempt to make Mormons angry. While we must admit that at the present time this method seems to be producing some results, we feel that the long term effects will be disastrous. Even if several thousand people do leave the Mormon Church through this method, hundreds of thousands will be hardened and it will be very difficult to win them to Christ in the years to come. It is our feeling that if all this time and money had been devoted to a more reasonable approach, we would have very good results and would not have the backlash and bitterness that we have to contend with. We know that the gospel message itself is offensive to those who do not wish to receive it, but why should we add unnecessary stumbling blocks?
In almost thirty years of researching Mormonism we have not found any evidence that the Mormon Church leaders have ever held to a Lucifer-God doctrine. While it may be argued that their belief in a plurality of gods and that men may become gods is satanic because it leads people away from the true God, there is not any evidence to support the accusation that church officials have ever publicly or privately advocated the worship of Lucifer. All the evidence, in fact, points to the contrary. In all of our research regarding Mormonism, which goes back to handwritten documents created in the 1830s, we have failed to uncover any evidence for the Lucifer-God doctrine. On the other hand, we have found numerous references to the Adam-God doctrine (see Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? pages 173-178D). Some of the material we have had access to is highly sensitive and reveals things that the Mormon Church did not want the world to know. While we have found material showing that Joseph Smith and other early Mormon leaders were influenced by magical practices and that there was a great deal of corruption in the early Mormon Church, we have not found a scintilla of evidence supporting the Lucifer-God doctrine. If we had found any such evidence, we certainly would have been the very first to publish it! We plead with all those who are currently making these charges to prayerfully consider this matter and at least take the time to read our new booklet, The Lucifer-God Doctrine.
A MAGIC COVER-UP
The Bible strongly condemns the practice of magic throughout its pages. In Deuteronomy 18:10-13 we read:
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
In the New Testament "witchcraft" is listed among the evil "works of the flesh," and the Apostle Paul says that those who "do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21) Acts 19:19 informs us concerning some people who "used curious arts" before they were converted. At the time they confessed the Lord, however, they "brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver."
Throughout the 20th century Mormon leaders have made similar statements about magic in their writings. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, for instance, made these emphatic declarations:
Necromancy is that form of divination which attempts to fortell the future by consultation with the dead. Sometimes the term is enlarged to include magic in general.... the Lord calls it an abomination and expressly commands Israel to avoid it. (Mormon Doctrine, 1979, page 526)
Use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits is called sorcery. Frequently this power is used in divination, necromancy, and witchcraft.... Sorcery has been a sinful evil in all ages.... at the Second Coming of the Lord sorcerers will be destroyed... they shall be cast into that hell which is prepared for them... and finally.... they shall be debased with a telestial inheritance in eternity. (Ibid., p. 747)
Most Mormons have not been aware of Joseph Smith's involvement in the occult because there has been a cover-up. As Wesley P. Walters points out, Joseph Smith himself started that cover-up in the 1830s:
...once he had determined to give up money digging after his close brush with the law in 1826, this occult religious interest made it easy for him to think in terms of producing a religious book from the gold plates he claimed to have discovered through the same stone he had used for his treasure hunting.... When Joseph later recounts this early period of his life, he minimizes his money digging as a minor affair of manual labor for an old gentleman named Josiah Stowell, whom he finally "prevailed" with to abandon such useless activity, and the many testimonies to his money digging came to be regarded as slander manufactured to persecute the young prophet of the Lord. That period when he was a sorcerer and glass looker using occult religious practices in a superstitious confidence enterprise is transformed by Joseph into the period of preparation for him to become the instrument of the Lord for bringing forth the fullness of the gospel by the publication of the Book of Mormon.... Sadly, his new role of prophet and seer ultimately led him further and further from the Bible's Good News about a Savior who was rich but empoverished Himself to the extreme in dying forsaken on a cross for our sins, so that we might become truly rich beyond all dreams of earthly avarice through His free gift of eternal life. (Joseph Smith's Bainbridge, N. Y., Court Trials, Part 2, pages 128,130 and 131)
With the mounting evidence of Joseph Smith's involvement in magic, members of the Mormon Church are faced with a very weighty decision i. e., can they accept as a prophet a man who was involved in occult practices at the very time he was supposed to have been receiving revelations from God? From the standpoint of the Bible, the question can only be answered no.
For those who cannot afford D. Michael Quinn's book on the relationship of Mormonism and magic, we recommend our work, Mormonism, Magic and Masonry.
We are very happy to report to our readers that all of Joseph Smith's diaries are now available. A number of years ago we set out to publish Smith's diaries. With the help of H. Michael Marquardt, who made the transcriptions from microfilms and photocopies, we were successful in printing the diaries written between 1832 and 1839. Unfortunately, the fact that the Mormon Church would not allow us access to the original diaries and the poor quality of the microfilms which were then available prevented us from publishing the important Nauvoo diaries written between 1842 and 1844. Some people felt that the Mormon Church would never allow these diaries to be published, and although we felt we had a right to publish them, we feared that we might have a costly legal battle with the church. Fortunately, the confrontation never took place, and now Signature Books has printed all of the diaries in one volume. As far as we know, the Mormon Church has not filed a suit against this company. Church leaders apparently realized that even though they have possession of the original diaries, they do not own the manuscript rights. Scott H. Faulring, whom we consider to be one of the best Mormon scholars, made the transcriptions from microfilm copies of the originals which were better than the ones available to H. Michael Marquardt. The Church Historical Department could have made Mr. Faulring's work much easier by allowing him access to the original documents; instead, however, Faulring sadly admitted that "I was not allowed access to the originals of any of the documents, all of which are currently housed in the archives of the Historical Department,..." (Introduction, page xv)
Scott Faulring's monumental work is published under the title, An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith. Unfortunately, the edition was "strictly limited to five hundred copies." [Web-editor: Paperback edition is now available here.]
The Joseph Smith diaries are extremely important because of the light they throw on the printed History of the Church. The reader will remember that many years ago, before we had ever seen a microfilm of the diaries, we charged that although the title page for the History of the Church claimed that it was the "History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet BY HIMSELF," evidence derived from many sources showed that a large portion of it was written after his death (see Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? pages 126-142D). Dean C. Jessee, who was a member of the staff at the LDS Church Historian's Office, later admitted that only about 40% of the History was actually written during Joseph Smith's lifetime, and that 60% was actually authored by church officials after his death! We noted that although Joseph Smith's diaries were probably used, there was no way to know whether they were accurately cited and that many things had come from diaries, newspapers and other publications written by other people. We produced evidence showing that these entries were altered to the first person to make it appear that they were actually written by Joseph Smith. Later we learned that portions of it were not even based on other people's written records, but instead on whatever the Mormon leaders felt Joseph Smith should have said. The precarious nature of trying to write Joseph Smith's history after his death and palm it off as though he were the author is demonstrated by an amusing incident. Under the date of December 26, 1842, the following is recorded in Joseph Smith's diary: "[At] Home. Sister Emma sick, had another chill." (An American Prophet's Record, page 258) In a speech delivered at BYU on August 6, 1987, the Mormon scholar Dean Jessee, who is an expert on Joseph Smith's history, said that the "compiler of the [Joseph Smith] history misread the word chill for the word child, and thereby created an event that did not occur." In the History of the Church, vol. 5, page 209, the statement concerning Emma's illness was expanded from seven words to twenty-two, and the chill was transformed into "a son":
On my return home, I found my wife Emma sick. She was delivered of a son, which did not survive its birth.
The Mormon officials who worked on Joseph Smith History after his death were obviously aware that there was no child living at that time who could have been born on December 26, 1842. They, therefore, made Joseph Smith say that the child "did not survive its birth." How they were able to determine that this nonexistent child was "a son" rather than a daughter is somewhat of a mystery. While this humorous incident is not really too important as far as history goes, it certainly shows the folly of forging a first-person type of history after someone's death. In his new book, Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon, the Mormon scholar James B. Allen acknowledges that Joseph Smith was credited for things he did not do:
Comparing the entries in Clayton's journal with the History of the Church provides an interesting insight into the way the History was compiled. It is obvious that Clayton was the source for this part. But in the History of the Church Clayton is not mentioned at all on either date and Joseph Smith is portrayed as the one selling the property and receiving the money. Clayton, of course, was always acting as Joseph's agent, and it appears as if whoever compiled this portion of the History of the Church was simply trying to give the prophet credit for doing as much as possible. This is also an example of the way Clayton was frequently subordinated his activities overshadowed or ignored. But the fact that he was one of those who worked on compiling the History of the Church may be evidence that he willingly took the subordination without complaint. (Trials of Discipleship, page 106)
James B. Allen also made these revealing comments about Joseph Smith's History:
The history was only partially complete when Joseph died, and it was finally finished in 1858....
One problem with Joseph Smith's published History of the Church, however, is that it does not reflect Joseph himself as much as it reflects the image of Joseph as he was seen by scribes and journalists. The History is written in the first person, as if Joseph were doing the writing, though usually the first person account of an event is really a paraphrase or adaptation of someone else's account. At times the only essential difference is that "Joseph," "he,"or "President Smith"is changed to "I."... William Clayton's journal provided many such entries, which suggests that much of the "first person" Joseph Smith portrayed in the History is, in reality, only the Joseph Smith that William Clayton or someone else saw and heard. Even with that qualification, however, the work is invaluable, but there is a continuing concern with whether the history as reported is always the way Joseph saw it or would have written it himself...
The Kinderhook episode was only a sidelight, and nothing came of it, but William Clayton made other, much more important, contributions to what became Joseph Smith's official history. Several entries in Clayton's Nauvoo Journal were the direct sources for entries in the history.... In addition, Clayton was one of several scribes who kept the "Book of the Law of the Lord." ... it also contains some manuscript sources used in compiling the History, and about sixty-one pages of this material were written by Clayton, mostly in the third person, and then later transposed to the first person for the sake of the published history. (Ibid., pages 115, 116 and 118)
Mormon apologists have often referred to Joseph Smith's prophecies concerning the Latter-day Saints coming to the Rocky Mountains and the fact that Steven A. Douglas would aspire to the presidency of the United States but fail if he opposed Mormonism as evidence of Smith's divine calling. The evidence, however, shows that both these famous prophecies found in the History of the Church are forgeries added after Joseph Smith's death. The evidence against the Rocky Mountain prophecy is clearly detailed in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? pages 133-135, and 142B-142C and that concerning the fraudulent nature of the Steven A. Douglas prophecy is found in The Tanners on Trial, pages 18, 19, 134 and 135. For a long time James B. Allen has hoped to find some contemporary evidence for the Douglas prophecy. So far, however, he has found no support for it, and even though he has not completely given up, he admits the possibility that "Clayton, who was still working with the church historians and clerks when the History was being completed, was asked about the prophecy and, drawing on a vivid memory of the occasion, provided the expanded account." (Trials of Discipleship, page 120) A "memory of the occasion," more than a decade after the purported prophecy is far inferior to a contemporary document. In all likelihood, the prophecy is about as accurate as the information concerning Joseph Smith's "son, which did not survive its birth."
The Mormon leaders are now condemning Mark Hofmann as a wicked deceiver for forging documents about Mormonism. They refuse, however, to face the facts concerning their own foundational documents. It appears to us that although Hofmann was lining his own pockets with the money from his forgeries, he was merely following in the footsteps of the early Mormon officials. He was taking actual historical sources and modifying them to the first person and supplying additional material from his own imagination. He felt, in fact, that he was helping restore what he believed to be the true history of the Mormon Church. Is this not exactly what church leaders did to Joseph Smith's writings after his death? If Mark Hofmann had been alive in Brigham Young's time, he would have had all the creative qualifications necessary to write Joseph Smith's History. In fact, instead of being a prisoner, he might have been Church Historian!
THINK ABOUT IT!
World Vision magazine for October-November 1987, reported this stunning information about our apathy concerning the suffering which is going on in the world:
Early in August of this year, the nation's news teams rushed to cover the crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255. As the death toll rose to more than 150, every major newspaper and broadcast station pushed the story to the front and kept it there for days. It dominated the talk at bus stops and barber shops, at dinner tables and business meetings. Collectively, the nation noted it and shuddered.
Meanwhile, in a 24-hour period around the globe, enough children to fill 100 747 planes, died of malnutrition and related illnesses. But this tragedy, so much greater than the first, went almost unnoticed.
So you see why it troubles me that such a crucial movement as child survival is such a well kept secret. The United Nations and the World Health Organization and others have battled for years to hold down the appalling numbers of unnecessary deaths. Yet their work and the continuing crisis make few headlines. Apparently we lack a life-size picture of the problem. We fail to grasp the sheer number of children we are losing.
In the January 1985 issue of the Messenger we told of our interest in the area of world relief. At that time Utah Lighthouse Ministry decided to provide monthly support for five children under the World Vision Childcare Partner plan. This support includes food, medical relief, shelter and a demonstration of true Christian love. In the April 1986 issue of the Messenger we reported: "Because God has been so gracious in supplying all our needs, we have decided to take another step in faith. In the future we will be supporting 25 children." God continued to bless our ministry and in March 1987 we "decided to take an even larger step of faith and expand the ministry TO SUPPORT 100 CHILDREN!" While we had some money designated for this work, it was basically a move made in faith that the Lord will continue to provide as the months passed by.
Although we cannot report at this time that this ministry has been expanded again, we are very grateful that the Lord has continued to supply the money for the 100 children. At one point our funds were just about exhausted, and this had us very concerned because we have certain obligations we must meet to continue our work among the Mormons. Fortunately, however, the Lord supplied the need in a marvelous way. We do hope that our friends will continue to pray earnestly about this matter and about the effectiveness of our work. We are continually getting good reports from Mormons who have come to know the Lord in a personal way, and we just thank God for this.
Those who are interested in helping out with this important ministry can send their tax deductible contributions to UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY, Box 1884, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110.
OUR ANCESTRY QUESTIONED
Beginning in 1980, Robert and Rosemary Brown, a Mormon couple who live in Arizona, began questioning the claims of Mormon critics concerning their credentials and ancestry. They started out by showing that D. J. Nelson had a phony Doctor's degree. They then attacked Walter Martin and Wayne Cowdery. They alleged that Wayne Cowdery was not a descendant of Oliver Cowdery, as he maintained, and that Walter Martin did not descend from Brigham Young. Moreover, they pounced upon Martin's educational credentials and even questioned that he is an ordained minister. While the Browns certainly have a right to delve into these questions, they have made other serious charges that seem to go beyond the bounds of propriety.
Since we have made no special claims concerning educational credentials, Robert and Rosemary Brown have never questioned us regarding these matters. They have, however, through their attorney, tried to put us on the spot by asking for "genealogical verification" of our claims to be related to Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church, and N. Eldon Tanner, who served in the First Presidency of the church. On August 27, 1982, we were mailed a letter from a lawyer representing the Religious Research Association - Robert Brown is listed as president of this organization. The letter read as follows: "I represent the Religious Research Association. They have asked me to write to you concerning numerous representations of your relationship to the Tanner Family and the Brigham Young Family. I was referred by my clients to a recent article in 'Christianity Today' which evidently indicated that Mr. Jerold Tanner was related to LDS Church official N. Eldon Tanner and that Mrs. Sandra Tanner was a great-grand[d]aughter of Brigham Young. My clients have requested me to obtain genealogical verification of these relationships if possible. I would appreciate your response in providing the necessary information."
Although we have never been attacked in print about this matter, we recently received a letter from an individual who said a Mormon missionary maintained that our claims concerning our ancestry were not true. We feel, therefore, that the matter should be answered publicly. The question regarding the relationship of Jerald Tanner to N. Eldon Tanner, who was until recently a member of the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, is answered in two different books. The first is entitled, Descendants of John Tanner, compiled by Maurice Tanner. It was published by the John Tanner Family Association in 1942. The second is John Tanner and His Family, by George S. Tanner. This book was also published by the John Tanner Family Association in 1974. Since N. Eldon Tanner himself gave a significant amount of money toward the publication of this last book (see Preface, p. viii), it is inconceivable that it would contain information about Jerald Tanner if he was not part of the John Tanner family. The following, however, is found in the Introduction to John Tanner and His Family.
Other family members who are presently General Authorities are Hugh B. Brown, apostle and one-time counselor to President David 0. McKay, and Nathan Eldon Tanner, apostle and counselor to four presidents. Presiding bishop of the church, Victor L. Brown is a descendant of John Tanner through Nathan....
There are, of course, many family members who have done some writing,... But there is one couple who are unique because their writing is of an anti-Mormon nature. Jerald and Sandra Tanner are the only active anti-Mormons in the Tanner family the author is aware of. Their writings are quite extensive the index files of the History Department of the church shows seventeen different publications. John Tanner would probably disapprove of this, as he would disapprove of any activity directed against the church he loved so well.... One of the chief traits of most Tanners is the desire to be where things are happening where the action is.... Iona Jackson, daughter of Joseph Smith Tanner, says Brigham Young once commented that when he had a tough job to be done, he tried to find a Tanner. There is plenty of evidence that the Tanners got the job done. (John Tanner and His Family, pages 4, 12-13)
John Tanner, who is Jerald Tanner's greatgreat-grandfather, joined the Mormon Church two years after it was organized. The following entry appears in Joseph Smith's History of the Church, under the date of Sept. 26, 1833: "Brother Tanner sent his two sons to Kirtland to learn the will of the Lord, whether he should remove to Zion or Kirtland" (vol. 1, page 410). He was "counseled" to come to Kirtland. After he arrived, he gave Joseph Smith a great deal of assistance in temporal matters. Under the date of Dec. 5, 1835, Joseph Smith recorded that "Elder Tanner brought me half of a fatted hog for the benefit of my family." (History of the Church, vol. 2, page 327) John Tanner was very wealthy at the time he met Joseph Smith and it has been suggested that Joseph Smith took advantage of his generosity. M. R. Werner, for instance, related the following:
Manna from heaven arrived in the form of John Tanner, a convert from New York. He had been healed of a lame leg by a Mormon elder, and he therefore felt called upon to sell his extensive property in New York State and live in Kirtland. He arrived there just as the mortgage on the Temple ground was about to be foreclosed. It is said that a few days before his arrival the Prophet Joseph and his brethren had assembled in prayer-meeting and asked God to send them a brother with means to lift the mortgage. Perhaps this was so, but perhaps some one had whispered to Joseph Smith that John Tanner had just sold two large farms and 2,200 acres of valuable timber land. Nevertheless, the day after his arrival in Kirtland, Tanner was invited by the Prophet to meet with the High Council. The result of the meeting was that he lent Joseph Smith $2,000, and took his note, lent the Temple Committee $13,000 and took their note, and besides these loans made liberal donations to the Temple Fund. A short time later he signed a note for $30,000 worth of merchandise. And they made him an elder; they should have made him a saint. He has achieved, however, a species of canonization, for he is held up as an example of manly righteousness and noble obedience in Scraps of Biography, a book published by the Mormon Church for its young.
With the help of God and John Tanner the Temple was finally completed,... (Brigham Young, New York, 1925, pages 91-92)
On pages 74, 75 and 78 of his book, John Tanner and His Family, George S. Tanner comments:
The Werner account may be more dramatic than accurate, but that his [John Tanner's] gifts were considerable is not in doubt, and that it completely broke him financially is beyond question....
It is extremely difficult at this late date to know how much Mormonism cost John Tanner in Kirtland, Ohio, but it was a sizable amount. Nathan tells us that he came to Kirtland with $10,000 in hard money which probably meant silver or gold. In addition he was carrying $13,000 in merchandise which he signed over to the Temple Committee. It is doubtful that any of the loans were ever repaid....
The author is frequently asked what motivated John Tanner to remain loyal to Joseph Smith and the church after having "staked his all on his faith, the Prophet and the Church, and lost." Those who have not been fired with religious fervor are puzzled to the point of disbelief.
In 1844, John Tanner was called on a political mission to "electioneer for Joseph [Smith] to be the next President" of the United States (see History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 325 and 336). According to the Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 801, before John Tanner started on this "political mission," he went to "see the Prophet Joseph Smith, whom he met in the street. He held the Prophet's note for $2,000, loaned in 1835, to redeem the Kirtland Temple farm, and in the course of the conversation he handed the Prophet his note. The Prophet not understanding what he meant by it, asked what he would have him do with it, and Father Tanner replied: 'Brother Joseph, you are welcome to it.' The Prophet then laid his right hand heavily upon Father Tanner's shoulder and said: 'God bless you, Father Tanner, your children shall never beg bread.'... He went upon his mission, and was in the East when the Prophet and Patriarch were assassinated;..."
In the book, Descendants of John Tanner, the ancestry of Jerald Tanner can be traced. Myron Tanner is listed as a son of John Tanner on page 25. On page 47 Caleb Thomas Tanner is listed as Myron's son. Caleb is listed on page 129 as the father of George Tanner (not to be confused with George S. Tanner, who wrote the book we have previously cited), and on page 329, a list of George Tanner's children are given. The second child listed is "Jerald Dee Tanner, born June 1st, 1938 at Provo, Utah." N. Eldon Tanner's descent is listed as follows: John Tanner had a son named Nathan (p. 36). Nathan was the father of John William Tanner (p. 38), who was the father of Nathan William Tanner (p. 93), and on page 255 we find that N. Eldon Tanner was the son of Nathan William Tanner. In addition to the data found in the two books published by the John Tanner Family Association, Michael Marquardt has obtained an "ARCHIVE RECORD" from the L. D. S. Genealogical Library which lists the genealogy from Myron (John Tanner's son) to George (Jerald Tanner's father). The information we have given in the two books and the Archive Record verifies the statement in Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? concerning the relationship between Jerald Tanner and N. Eldon Tanner.
In the letter from the lawyer of the organization of which Robert Brown is president, it is stated that an article in Christianity Today said "that Mrs. Sandra Tanner was a great-grand[d]aughter of Brigham Young." Actually, the article in Christianity Today, June 16,1982, p. 31, claims that "Sandra is the great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young. In any case, the fact that Sandra is a descendant of Brigham Young is very easy to prove. In fact, Robert and Rosemary Brown's attack on Walter Martin's ancestry provides the important keys. On page 282 of their book, They Lie in Wait to Deceive, vol. 3, "Brigham Young Jr." is listed as Brigham Young's son by his legal wife, Mary Ann Angell. On page 291 of the same book we read that one of the sources for "Brigham Young and his Descendants" is the "Family records of Viola Young Laxton." These records "are found on microfilm at the LDS Genealogical Archives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are available at any of the branch genealogical libraries." It just so happens that Viola Young Laxton is Sandra Tanner's aunt and we have a photocopy of a genealogical record showing the ancestry from Brigham Young, Jr., down to Sandra's mother. As we have already noted, the Browns mention Brigham Young, Jr., (Sandra's great-grandfather) as being President Brigham Young's son. Viola Young Laxton's document shows that Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., married Abigail Stevens and had a son (Sandra's grandfather) named Walter Stevens Young. Walter Stevens Young married Sylvia Amelia Pearce who gave birth to Georgia Young (Sandra's mother) in 1915. Georgia Young married Ivan Raymond McGee in 1936. Their daughter, Sandra McGee, married Jerald Tanner in 1959. Sandra remembers visiting her great-grandmother, Abigail Stevens Young when she was a child and has preserved a clipping from a Salt Lake City newspaper, dated Dec. 7, 1954, which contains this interesting historical information:
Mrs. Abbie Stevens Young.... widow of Brigham Young Jr. and one of Utah's first trained nurses, died at her home Monday...
The last surviving daughter-in-law of President Brigham Young... Mrs. Young married Brigham Young Jr. in the old Salt Lake Endowment House on Oct. 1, 1887. President of the Council of the Twelve, he died in 1903, widowing Mrs. Young, then 33, with seven children.
Since many articles and books have already been written on Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church, we will not take the space to say anything more about him here.
While we disagree with with the Browns concerning Joseph Smith and the truthfulness of Mormonism, we do agree that those who write against the Mormon Church should be willing to submit to an examination of their own claims, ancestry and credentials. While we do not believe that it makes people any more qualified to write on Mormonism if they are descended from prominent Mormons, it would certainly be a blow to our integrity if it could be demonstrated that we lied about our ancestry. In this short article we have clearly demonstrated that our claims can be verified. As the Browns are prone to say after presenting their evidence: CASE CLOSED, November 2, 1987.
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