Mormonism and history/Censorship and revision

Censorship and revision in Church history

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

Censorship and revision of Church history

Some claim that the church has "whitewashed" some of the information about its origins to appear more palatable to members and investigators. Some feel that this is done intentionally to hide negative aspects of church history. Others feel that it is done to focus on the good, but that it causes problems for believing members when they encounter these issues outside of church curriculum.

Has the Church "whitewashed" its history?

Summary: Has the church "whitewashed" some of the information about its origins to appear more palatable to members and investigators?

Jump to Subtopic:

Church art and historical accuracy

Summary: It is claimed by some that the Church knowingly "lies" or distorts the historical record in its artwork in order to whitewash the past, or for propaganda purposes. A commonly used example is the inaccuracy of any Church art representing the translation process of the Book of Mormon.

Jump to Subtopic:

Does the Church excommunicate scholars who publish historical information?

Summary: Some claim that the Church excommunicates or disfellowships scholars who publish historical information that is embarrassing to Church leaders. It is often claimed, despite the fact that these disciplinary actions are carried out by local leaders, that they are in reality instigated by general authorities. It is also claimed that the Church is silencing honest people for telling the truth.

Jump to Subtopic:

Brigham Young and plural marriage

Summary: It is claimed that the Church's manual, The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, attempts to "hide history" by portraying Brigham Young (a well-known polygamist) as having only one wife.

Jump to Subtopic:

Hiding the facts in plain sight using Church publications

Summary: Quite a few items that some claim were hidden by the Church were actually published in Church magazines such as the New Era, the Ensign and the Friend.

Jump to Subtopic:

Brigham Young destroys Lucy Mack Smith's history of Joseph?

Summary: Did Brigham Young attempt to suppress and destroy all copies of Lucy Mack Smith's Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith because it contained information which would embarrass the Church? It is claimed that Brigham Young inserted the reference to Joseph Smith's First Vision into Lucy's book. Critics also try to prove that the silence of Joseph's mother and siblings in her history prove that the First Vision did not take place, and is a later fabrication by Joseph, and not well known to the early members of the church.

Jump to Subtopic: