Joseph Smith’s Indictment for Adultery and Fornication

Joseph Smith’s Indictment for Adultery and Fornication: Some Answers but Many Questions On May 20, 1844, Nauvoo Stake President William Marks was subpoenaed and selected to serve on the grand jury of Hancock County. This Circuit Court was held twice a year, for two weeks in May and October. Described as being “better than a...

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Does Joseph Smith Pass the Biblical Prophet Test?

I have always enjoyed scripture study. I was attempting to “feast on the words” of the Bible but it had always been difficult for me. There seemed to often be some bit of historical context I was missing, or certain passages that seemed to contradict Mormon doctrine. To make matters worse, each time I would look through all of the...

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Joseph Smith has Risen from the Grave

It isn’t every day a dead man speaks to you.  Much less reads your mind. So when it does happen, I guess it is worth writing about. The day is July 26, 2015. The dead man in question is Joseph Smith. The person he talked to is my wife, Dee. Here is how it all came about.   Of Salads and Spirit Babies It is a Sunday...

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Souls in Waiting: The Embryo and Abortion in Nineenth-Century Mormonism

May 14, 15 Souls in Waiting: The Embryo and Abortion in Nineenth-Century Mormonism

Posted by in Family, Featured, Uncategorized

Originally published on Of all the non-dinner-table political topics, abortion certainly ranks near the top.  So charged is it that its mere mention breaks down social gatherings into battling tribes where, they believe, reasonable people don’t disagree. Yet the viciousness with which the better part of...

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Polygamy and the Modern Mormon

Apr 07, 15 Polygamy and the Modern Mormon

Posted by in Featured, Polygamy

It should come as no great surprise that many Mormons are troubled by polygamy. HBO’s Big Love, Warren Jeffs, and Mitt Romney’s presidential run have kept the practice on the cultural radar. More recently, the Church released a series of Gospel Topics essays on the subject (here, here, here, and here). and one member is facing...

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My First Name is Not “Apologist”

Currently the issue of Joseph Smith and plural marriage is receiving a great deal of attention both in the media and on the blogosphere. As the author of a relevant trilogy, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology, coauthor of the newly released Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding, co-webmaster of...

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Reductio ad Absurdum: Joseph Smith and His Critics

Mar 09, 15 Reductio ad Absurdum: Joseph Smith and His Critics

Posted by in Featured, LDS Church History

“Liar,” “Fraud,” “Adulterer,” “Charlatan,” “Pedophile,” “Con-man,” “Blasphemer,” “Anti-Christian.” These are just some of the negative epithets that Joseph Smith’s critics use in describing him. The Latin phrase reductio ad absurdum means literally “reduction to the absurd.” But it also means “disproof of a proposition by showing...

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Goodness is Rarer Than Greatness.

What makes someone ‘great’? Most of the figures to whom we gift the epithet ‘great’ have earned their distinction primarily by being masters of the art of butchery. The vast majority of people known as ‘the great’ are rulers, founders and expanders of empire: Alexander the Great conquered the known world, expanding upon the empire...

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“Even Fifty Six Years, Should Wind Up the Scene”

In 1876, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a revised edition of the Doctrine and Covenants which included, for the first time, section 130. This section includes the founding leader Joseph Smith’s prophecy that if Smith lived “until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.”...

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Disgracing God to Save a Prophet

Dec 19, 14 Disgracing God to Save a Prophet

Posted by in Featured, Lying, Polygamy, Sexual Abuse, Truth

After the explosion of polygamy news and dialogue that followed the most recent essays put out by the church, the most common thing I have seen said by members of the church defending the practice is 1: they have known this since they were very young (which usually is said to dismiss the need for a conversation about it) and 2: God...

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