Mormonism and church finances/Kirtland Safety Society/Good as gold/Further Reading

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    Further reading

Further reading

FairMormon Answers articles



  • Does D&C 98 teach the Saints to disobey the secular law?
    Brief Summary: According to historian D. Michael Quinn, Joseph received a revelation which "established the primacy of religious law over secular law...and not only authorized but commanded Mormons to disobey secular law and civil leaders not conforming to the commandments of God." This interpretation, however, is Quinn's own. The revelation is not telling the Saints to "disobey secular law and civil leaders"—it is telling them to "befriend" the law of the land, and seek to support "honest men and wise men" as leaders. (Click here for full article)
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  • Claimed mismanagement of the Lawrence estate
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith was appointed the guardian of two daughters, Maria and Sarah Lawrence, and their inheritance. He later married them in plural marriage. The evidence shows that Joseph Smith faithfully discharged his legal duties, despite the claims made by some nineteeth-century and modern critics. (Click here for full article)
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It is claimed that Joseph Smith was a disreputable person. (Click here for full article)

  • Claimed mismanagement of the Lawrence estate
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith was appointed the guardian of two daughters, Maria and Sarah Lawrence, and their inheritance. He later married them in plural marriage. The evidence shows that Joseph Smith faithfully discharged his legal duties, despite the claims made by some nineteeth-century and modern critics. (Click here for full article)
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  • Con man
    Brief Summary: Some claim that Joseph was a con man. Yet, his behavior does not match the typical behavior of those consciously deceiving others for gain. Some of this claim relies on a misrepresentation of a 1826 court hearing. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Hurlbut affidavits
    Brief Summary: Some cite a collection of affidavits from Joseph Smith’s neighbors which claim that the Smith family possessed a number of character flaws. Many of Joseph Smith’s friends and neighbors signed affidavits that accused him and his family of being lazy, indolent, undependable treasure-seekers. (Click here for full article)
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  • "Amusing recitals" and "Tall Tales?"
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith's mother reported that he told "amusing recitals" about the ancient inhabitants of the American continent well before he translated the Book of Mormon. Does this indicate that Joseph was simply a teller of "tall tales?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Land speculation in Nauvoo
    Brief Summary: Did Joseph Smith engage in "land speculation" in Nauvoo? (Click here for full article)
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  • Personality and temperament
    Brief Summary: Some point to what they perceive as personal failings of Joseph Smith, such as his allegedly short temper, as evidence that he was not a true prophet of God. (Click here for full article)
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  • Boastful about the Church?
    Brief Summary: Why did Joseph Smith say that he had "more to boast of than ever any man had" and that he was the only man who had been "able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Joseph taught Porter Rockwell 'it was right to steal'?
    Brief Summary: Did Joseph really teach Orrin Porter Rockwell that "it was right to steal?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Psychobiographical analysis
    Brief Summary: Is it possible to deduce Joseph Smith's thoughts and dreams years after his death? Some critics think so. (Click here for full article)
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  • Joseph Smith's alleged narcissism
    Brief Summary: Some quote Joseph Smith as saying such things as: "I am learned, and know more than all the world put together," "I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the Gordian knot of powers, and I solve mathematical problems of universities, with truth . . . diamond truth; and God is my ‘right hand man.’” They use these quotes to portray Joseph as egomaniacal, proud, and narcissistic. (Click here for full article)
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Was Joseph Smith's engagement in "money digging" or looking for buried treasure a blot on his character? (Click here for full article)

  • Practitioner of occultism and magic?
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith's spiritual experiences began as products of "magic," the "occult," or "treasure seeking," and that only later did Joseph describe his experiences in Christian, religious terms: speaking of God, angels, and prophethood. (Click here for full article)
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  • Joseph's early work as a farmhand
    Brief Summary: Some people wish to prioritize the role that treasure-seeking played in Joseph's like by claiming that it took precedence over any other work that he may have done, such as working as a hired farmhand. (Click here for full article)
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  • "Treasure hunting" trip to Salem
    Brief Summary: Was Joseph Smith commanded by the Lord to go to Salem, Massachusetts to hunt for treasure in the cellar of a house? Upon arriving there, the treasure was nowhere to be found. (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith's claim that he saw the Father and the Son in 1820 has produced a wide variety of criticism. This set of articles addresses the various critical claims related to the First Vision. The linked articles below are designed to help readers to see some of the weaknesses that are found in arguments that are made against Joseph Smith's First Vision accounts. Some of these arguments are currently being advocated in anti-Mormon literature that is handed out near the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. (Click here for full article)



Citing Joseph Smith's experiences with folk magic, treasure seeking and seer stones, it is claimed that Joseph Smith's spiritual experiences were originally products of magic and the occult. Some charge that only much later did Joseph retrofit his experiences in Christian, religious terms: speaking of God, angels, and prophethood rather than in terms of magic, treasure guardians and scrying. It is also claimed that a "vagabond fortune-teller" named Walters became popular in the Palmyra area, and that when Walters left the area, "his mantle fell upon" Joseph Smith. (Click here for full article)



It is claimed that Joseph Smith claimed to translate other texts or items, which can be checked against modern academic translations. They claim that this "cross-checking" proves that Joseph could not have translated the Book of Mormon or other ancient texts. (Click here for full article)

  • Joseph as seer and his use of seer stones
    Brief Summary: What do we know about Joseph's seer stone? What is its relation to the "Urim and Thummim"? Did Joseph place his seer stone in his hat while he was translating the Book of Mormon? (Click here for full article)
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  • Book of Abraham (Click here for full article)
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  • Joseph Smith and the Greek psalter
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that an ancient text of Greek psalms (a "psalter") was misidentified by Joseph Smith as a containing "reformed Egyptian" hieroglyphics. (Click here for full article)
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  • Kinderhook Plates
    Brief Summary: Given the evidence that the Kinderhook plates were fraudulent, how can one explain the following things: Why did William Clayton claim that Joseph Smith had translated a portion of the plates? Where did the translation described by Clayton come from if the plates were actually fake? By what means did Joseph attempt to translate the plates? (Click here for full article)
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  • The Joseph Smith "translation" of the Bible and its relationship to the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: Some passages from the Bible (parts of Isaiah, for example) were included in the Book of Mormon text. However, the same passages were later revised for the Joseph Smith Translation of the Holy Bible. In some cases these passages are not rendered identically. It is claimed that if the JST was an accurate translation, it would match the supposedly more 'pure' Isaiah text possessed by the Nephites. (Click here for full article)
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  • Does D&C 98 teach the Saints to disobey the secular law?
    Brief Summary: According to historian D. Michael Quinn, Joseph received a revelation which "established the primacy of religious law over secular law...and not only authorized but commanded Mormons to disobey secular law and civil leaders not conforming to the commandments of God." This interpretation, however, is Quinn's own. The revelation is not telling the Saints to "disobey secular law and civil leaders"—it is telling them to "befriend" the law of the land, and seek to support "honest men and wise men" as leaders. (Click here for full article)
    ∗       ∗       ∗
  • Claimed mismanagement of the Lawrence estate
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith was appointed the guardian of two daughters, Maria and Sarah Lawrence, and their inheritance. He later married them in plural marriage. The evidence shows that Joseph Smith faithfully discharged his legal duties, despite the claims made by some nineteeth-century and modern critics. (Click here for full article)
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Critics attack Joseph Smith over the Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) on multiple grounds: 1) they claim the KSS was a "wildcat bank," 2) they claim that the bank was illegal, and that the Church broke the law by founding it, 3) they claim it was a money-making scheme for Joseph, and 4) they claim its failure proves Joseph was not a prophet (Click here for full article)




  • Joseph Smith's presidential run
    Brief Summary: Critics charge that Joseph Smith's decision to run for President of the United States in 1844 shows him to be either a megalomaniac bent on amassing ever more power, or a fanatic with delusions of grandeur. (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith is frequently criticized for his introduction and practice of polygamy. From a Christian perspective, these attacks usually focus on arguing that polygamy is unchristian or unbiblical, and that Joseph hid the truth from the world. From a secular perspective, it is asserted that the practice of polygamy sprung from Joseph's carnal desires to marry young women. Of particular interest is the fact that Joseph was sealed to women who were already married to other men (polyandry). (Click here for full article)








  • Does D&C 98 teach the Saints to disobey the secular law?
    Brief Summary: According to historian D. Michael Quinn, Joseph received a revelation which "established the primacy of religious law over secular law...and not only authorized but commanded Mormons to disobey secular law and civil leaders not conforming to the commandments of God." This interpretation, however, is Quinn's own. The revelation is not telling the Saints to "disobey secular law and civil leaders"—it is telling them to "befriend" the law of the land, and seek to support "honest men and wise men" as leaders. (Click here for full article)
    ∗       ∗       ∗
  • Claimed mismanagement of the Lawrence estate
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith was appointed the guardian of two daughters, Maria and Sarah Lawrence, and their inheritance. He later married them in plural marriage. The evidence shows that Joseph Smith faithfully discharged his legal duties, despite the claims made by some nineteeth-century and modern critics. (Click here for full article)
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Accusations of false prophecy

Specific accusations of Joseph Smith having uttered "false prophecy" are treated in the following wiki articles:

Fulfilled prophecies

Miscellaneous


General






If every President of the Church is a prophet, seer, and revelator, why have so few revelations after Joseph Smith been added to the Doctrine and Covenants? Revelations used to be printed in Church periodicals such as the Times and Seasons and the Evening and Morning Star. Why are revelations no longer published on an ongoing basis? (Click here for full article)

Joseph Fielding Smith


Others

Other related issues and claims

  • LDS prophets don't prophesy?
    Brief Summary: Some critics say that Latter-day Saint prophets aren't really "prophets" because they don't prophesy by foretelling unknown events. They commonly issue challenges such as, "If Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet, tell me one event that he's prophesied." Do LDS prophets "prophesy"? (Click here for full article)
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  • Prophetic inerrancy?
    Brief Summary: Critics sometimes impose absolutist assumptions on the Church by holding inerrantist beliefs about scriptures or prophets, and assuming that the LDS have similar views. Critics therefore insist, based upon these assumptions, that any statement by any LDS Church leader represents LDS doctrine and is thus something that is secretly believed, or that should be believed, by Latter-day Saints. (Click here for full article)
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  • Mormonism and prophets
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that General Authorities are very silent about some issues, and that the Maxwell Institute takes their place (Click here for full article)
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  • False revelation or private matters
    Brief Summary: Statements by leaders of the Church on the propriety of Church members teaching new doctrines, or publicizing personal revelations, dreams, visions, etc. (Click here for full article)
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What constitutes official or "core" doctrine of the Church? Joseph Smith defined our fundamental core doctrine: "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121.) (Click here for full article)



How is new doctrine established in the Church? (Click here for full article)

  • Changing doctrine
    Brief Summary: Is LDS doctrine constantly changing? It is claimed that Mormon doctrine is very elusive - very little is claimed to be official, which makes it easy to repudiate certain doctrines when they become unpleasant or unfashionable. (Click here for full article)
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  • Church publications as doctrine
    Brief Summary: Are Church publications considered doctrine? It is claimed that anything that is, or ever was, officially published by the Church at any time ought to represent doctrine, thus define what Latter-day Saints really believe. However, just as Brigham Young taught principles that applied to the 19th-century saints, modern prophets teach us what we need for our particular time. (Click here for full article)
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  • Official Church publications
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that some publications are official Church publications when in reality they are not. Conversely, some claim that some publications are not official Church publications when in reality they are. (Click here for full article)
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  • Statements by past prophets
    Brief Summary: Are statements of past prophets considered doctrine? It is claimed that anything that is, or ever was, officially published by the Church ought to represent doctrine. (Click here for full article)
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  • Prophets are not infallible
    Brief Summary: Are prophets considered infallible? Critics sometimes impose absolutist assumptions on the Church and hold inerrantist beliefs about scriptures or prophets. Critics therefore insist that any statement by any LDS Church leader represents LDS doctrine and is thus something that is secretly believed, or that should be believed, by Latter-day Saints. (Click here for full article)
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Some teachings previously considered doctrinal have since been repudiated by the Church. (Click here for full article)

  • Repudiated concepts: Blood atonement
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that during the administration of Brigham Young apostates were secretly put to death. They claim this is in line with the teachings of LDS leaders at the time that apostasy was the unforgivable sin, and that the only thing an apostate could do to redeem himself was to give his own life, willingly or unwillingly. (Click here for full article)
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  • Repudiated concepts: Priesthood ban on people of African descent
    Brief Summary: There exist previously taught ideas which have been repudiated by Church leaders since the ban. Among these are the notion that Blacks were somehow not as "valiant" in the pre-existence, and that interracial marriage is forbidden. (Click here for full article)
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  • Repudiated concepts: Adam-God theory
    Brief Summary: Brigham Young taught that Adam, the first man, was God the Father. Since this teaching runs counter to the story told in Genesis and commonly accepted by Christians, critics accuse Brigham of being a false prophet. Also, because modern Latter-day Saints do not believe Brigham's "Adam-God" teachings, critics accuse Mormons of either changing their teachings or rejecting teachings of prophets they find uncomfortable or unsupportable. (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith's claim that he saw the Father and the Son in 1820 has produced a wide variety of criticism. This set of articles addresses the various critical claims related to the First Vision. The linked articles below are designed to help readers to see some of the weaknesses that are found in arguments that are made against Joseph Smith's First Vision accounts. Some of these arguments are currently being advocated in anti-Mormon literature that is handed out near the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. (Click here for full article)

FairMormon web site

Joseph Smith FairMormon articles on-line
  • Ron Barney, "Joseph Smith’s Visions: His Style and his Record" FairMormon link
Joseph Smith other visionary issues FairMormon links
  • Craig Ray, "Joseph Smith's History Confirmed," (Mesa, Arizona: FAIR, August 2002) FairMormon link

External links

  • Dale W. Adams, "Chartering the Kirtland Bank," Brigham Young University Studies 23 no. 4 (Fall 1983), 467–482. PDF link
  • Marvin S. Hill, Keith C. Rooker and Larry T. Wimmer, "The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics," Brigham Young University Studies 17 no. 4 (Summer 1977), 389–471. PDF link
  • Paul Sampson and Larry T. Wimmer, "The Kirtland Safety Society: The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure," Brigham Young University Studies 12 no. 4 (Summer 1972), 427–436. off-site
  • Scott H. Partridge, "The Failure of the Kirtland Safety Society," Brigham Young University Studies 12 no. 4 (Summer 1972), 437–454. PDF link
  • Images of KSS scrip and other "Mormon Money" off-site

Printed material

  • James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, Story of the Latter-day Saints, 2nd edition revised and enlarged, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1992[1976]), 117–125. ISBN 087579565X. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
  • Milton V. Backman, Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 313–317. ISBN 0877479739 GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
  • R. Kent Fielding, "The Mormon Economy in Kirtland, Ohio,," Utah Historical Quarterly 27 no. 4 (October 1959), 331–356.
  • R. Kent Fielding, " The Growth of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio," PhD Dissertation, Indiana University, 1957.

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