Trial of Faith

Every faithful or once faithful member of their respective religion should be familiar with the idea of a “trial of faith”. When hardship and tragedy strike, we are told that God is testing us. We are expected to endure and remain faithful through our trials, and after… AFTER… we will be blessed. There are many explanations for why the troubling experiences we have supposedly bring us closer to God.

  • We are humbled.
  • We are given opportunities to be forgiving.
  • We learn compassion.
  • We learn how to ask for help.
  • Others are given opportunities to serve.

Mostly though, God just wants to see how much he can fuck with you before you give up on him.

Oh, struck a nerve there, didn’t I?

Well, isn’t that exactly what a “trial of faith” entails?

Take Abraham, for example. God kept him and his wife sterile until well into their elderly years. This, after promising that his prosperity would be as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach and the stars in the sky. Then, God allows his wife to become pregnant, but later asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Nevermind that He later reneges. The whole scenario was a “test” in which God wanted to see how far he could go, how much could he ask of his “servant”, would Abraham obey without question?

Probably the best Biblical example of this is Job. In this story, God made a bet with Satan, that Job would remain faithful and obedient despite having more and more taken from him. His wealth, his health, his friends, his home, his family… Bit by bit, piece by piece, Job lost one thing after another, experienced more and more hardship, but still Job was faithful, and God won his bet.

Sometimes, God even asks His followers to die for their faith. The ultimate test. The ultimate sacrifice. Someone demands you deny your faith or be killed. What do you do? Do you remain faithful and die, or do you deny your God and preserve your life? Religions glorify those who die for their faith, calling them heroes. Martyrs. And to deny God is the ultimate shame. In many denominations, it is believed that those who deny their God in these scenarios damn their eternal souls. And so, their lives seem a small loss in that grand scheme of eternity. A small sacrifice to prove one’s devotion.

Being raised with such stories, being told that God loves us with a love more profound than we can possibly understand, and reading that He does all these things for our good (Romans 8:28), leaves one thinking that these “tests” must serve a divine purpose that truly is good for us, even if we can’t understand how. And just like that, every bad thing that happens becomes part of God’s plan to spiritually strengthen us and prepare us for all that will be expected of us in eternity.

I used to believe that all the hard things I experienced were trials designed specifically for me. Meant to build my character and prepare me for future trials that would all eventually shape me into the person God intended me to be. So, I saw having an autistic younger brother as a trial meant to build my patience. I saw stumbling upon my mother’s suicide note she’d written for my father when I was twelve years old as a trial meant to help curb my temper and make me more compassionate. I saw my best friend’s mother dying of a heart-attack when we were fourteen as a trial meant to help me learn empathy. And all these things prepared me for one of the biggest trials of my life – marriage.

I was a late bloomer sexually. My interests didn’t start cropping up until my second year of college, and I was all messed up emotionally. Depressed, low self-esteem, desperate, sexually repressed… a perfect target. I met an abuser who quickly took advantage of my innocence and naivety. Within six months of dating, he practically had me wrapped around his finger, and when I became pregnant out of wedlock the church pushed us to begin our repentance process and to marry. Nobody suspected that he’d been emotionally and physically beating me into submission. I was pregnant. So their only thought was to hurry up and rush into a marriage. We could work out any problems in our visits with our bishop while we worked out our repentance for breaking the law of chastity.

Of course, in saying our “I do’s”, I’d effectively tightened the noose around my own neck. Things only got worse, and I kept questioning and blaming myself. I felt like an utter failure. I thought I was being punished for straying from the straight and narrow, and I thought I could fix it, if only I could pull myself out of my spiritual slump and rekindle my struggling faith.

Then, one night, my then husband woke with severe tooth pain. We had no means to get to a hospital in the middle of the night – no vehicle of our own, bus routes weren’t running, and no insurance to cover the cost of an ambulance ride. So, he took aspirin, hoping it would get him through the night and we could go in the morning, but the pain just wasn’t subsiding. He asked me to pray for him, so of course I did, but… nothing happened. I specifically prayed for the pain to be taken away, but it only seemed to be getting worse. After writhing for a couple hours, he was starting to get pissed. He suggested that God didn’t answer, because He didn’t care.

I “knew” that wasn’t true though. How could it be? I’d been raised to believe He loved and cherished ALL His children and that He ALWAYS answered prayers, but those answers would come in the way they were needed. Not necessarily what we wanted. I tentatively suggested that maybe God hadn’t taken the pain away, because we needed to go to the emergency room, and I immediately regretted it. My disagreement sent my then husband into a rage. He shouted at me, with spittle coming from his mouth, that God didn’t love him and insisted I “say it”. I thought right then that this was my trial of faith. This was my moment to prove myself to my God.

Knowing what would follow, I refused my husband’s demand, and he immediately started choking me. But I didn’t fight it. I was overcome with a sense of calm. If he killed me over this, I’d be a martyr, for I’d refused to deny my God. When things started to go black, he let go of my neck and as I gasped for air, he beat me upside the head, knocking me to the floor. He stood over me for a moment with a crazed look in his eyes, but then it dissipated and he collapsed in a puddle of remorse, apologizing and blaming his outburst on demonic possession. I’d heard it all before. It didn’t matter. I was convinced that I’d passed my trial and things would start getting better now.

It didn’t. Only when I took matters into my own hands, when my motherly protective instincts kicked in and I sought to defend my infant from the abusive hand of his father, did things finally start getting better. Still, I was a believer and I attributed my escape and recovery to divine intervention. It wasn’t until several years later that I finally started thinking: “What kind of God does that to His children?”

How is it “loving” to put your children in situations where they’ll be beaten, raped, and even murdered ON PURPOSE to “test” their devotion to you? Sure, we all allow our children to experience pain from their mistakes. It helps them learn. But letting a child fall and scrape their knees isn’t the same thing as letting a child get hit by a car. And letting a child experience the pain of their mistakes as a learning experience isn’t the same as pitting them against bullies and rewarding them afterwards if they obediently take it without complaint.

A God who does that isn’t loving. He’s abusive. The whole concept of a “trial of faith” is a form of control. It’s a God who fucks with you and rewards you for continuing to love him anyway. Like a dog owner who starves his dog in order to “master” it… a God who tests his children with such horrors is not worthy of worship any more than a man who chokes his wife is worthy of loyalty and love.

 

But Polygamy was a Commandment!

Last post we discussed the normality of young brides and polygamous unions in the 19th century. Once the difficulty of lying about it is pointed out to the Mormon faithful most will retreat to the final bastion of all religious when pressed with assessing their faiths morality. They will say something like, ‘it was a commandment’ justifying it because God said so.

In fact apologists are fond of pointing out this quote from Joe the prophet himself implying this defense:

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. – Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136

When you think of Abraham and Issac or and how God flooded the whole planet killing babies, this sort of makes sense. The believer tells himself, ‘sometimes God does stuff I’m just too stupid to understand.’ And that makes it ok to shelve the thoughts that are causing cognitive dissonance.

In fact when your own spiritual feelings are screaming wrong, wrong, wrong to you, what is the counsel of LDS leaders? Just shelve it. 1

Wait a minute! Wut? Aren’t those very feelings the ones we are supposed to use to find truth? Apparently not if they are telling you the LDS church isn’t the #onetruechurchonthefaceoftheearth

Convenient isn’t it?

But moving on. I think there is some merit to revealing exactly the situation in which Joseph Smith said these words.


You see Joe was trying to get Nancy Rigdon to be yet another of his wives and she was not at all interested in the idea. In fact it lead to a blow up over the whole situation where Nancy said:

“if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all.” Grabbing her bonnet, she ordered the door opened or she would “raise the neighbors.” She then stormed out of the Hyde-Richards residence. (Sidney Rigdon Biography by Richard S. Van Wagoner, p.295)

So did you know that it was specifically to get under the skirts of a reluctant woman in Nauvoo that the idea of God commanded, it so it must be ok was such a core teaching?

Eh, maybe now that I think about it that is the underlying assumption right? So what is different between Joe and Warren then?

  • They both pushed young girls into doing things that are abhorrent to most people then and now.
  • They both assured their victims or faithful (depending on your perspective of the whole deal) that God said to do it and that was why these young teen girls should submit to their leaders and do as they were told.

Imagine for a minute that you were a bride of Warren Jeffs. Imagine if your family and church leaders all pressured you to do this thing that felt so wrong. Imagine then if you were told not to doubt the leadership of Warren the prophet. To stay in the boat. That if you bail on this religion that you are risking eternity with your family and that you’d never see them again. That if you stood up and said no, this isn’t right you were a taffy puller and not capable of commitment.

Can you see how hard it would be to leave the FLDS faith? Can you see how even today there are followers that are so sure they are doing what God wants (even if in their heart they find it abhorrent) that they still comply?

If so you can see exactly how religion can mislead you. It promises amazing things for compliance and terrible consequences for not doing EXACTLY what you are told no matter how bad it feels.

The hardest question to ask though is this:  What if is has already happened to me?

  1. Did you catch that even GA Turley tried to claim it was ‘normal’ for a 14 year old to get married implying a poly marriage to a 37 year old man was ‘you know what they did back then’ and one of the swedes called him out on that poor comparison?

Marriage = Apostasy


The newest LDS church handbook has an update that stood out to those in the know enough that it is making the rounds in Mormon and ExMormon circles.

Here is what it says: (screen shot procured from LDs.org by someone that has access to these books typically only given to church leaders.)

Note point 4. If you are married (same gender that is) you are now officially an apostate.

I get why they did this, they have to keep gay people from having a valid reason to be married in the temple. It is the homophobia of current leadership manifesting itself. Not unlike the same issue they had with interracial marriage did not that long ago.

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.
                        – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110


Posts on the Fridge door have mentioned this before. You see one thing that seems to commonly run through church history is initial rejection of an idea until popular support reaches a point that it endangers the lively hood of the church. In this case they can still afford kicking out a few apostates. Even the tithing dollar loss is covered with things like massive 30 billion dollar plus real estate developments that are in the works.

So this move to cast out anyone willing to marry someone of the same sex is of course not that big a surprise from the religion that brought you proposition 8. It is however really ironic. Because you see you can be plural married today, right now in an LDS temple. I have a good friend that became a plurally sealed wife to her divorced husband because he got sealed to a new wife in the temple before they were ever unsealed. Yep thats right a divorce doesn’t automatically breakup an eternal marriage, not in LDS theology that is. Man can’t destroy what God has bound together ‘n all that. So if you are a guy (sorry this doesn’t apply to you ladies) you can totally have a second eternal sealing without nary a blip about undoing the first one. (ladies are required to get their temple sealing removed via proper authority before they can marry in the temple again).

I find it really ironic that the church that today bends its own rule 3 feels the need to create rule 4. Just to make sure those darn gays can’t get into the temples! That is the problem with polygamy, it never has really gone away… So all this its about the family 1 man, 1 woman stuff is really just a smokescreen. An excuse to justify intolerance and misunderstanding. As of today in the LDS church the penalty for gay marriage is now worse than the penalty for infidelity. So have all the gay lovers you want, just don’t make a family commitment with any of them! Families are that important!! <sarcasm font>.

It is getting so ridiculous that it is kind of entertaining, like watching a train wreck because sooner or later the tides will shift, just like they did with interracial marriage. Mark my words as profet. There are those of the rising generation that will see gay marriage in LDS temples one day. (I’m sure that will be at least as accurate as similar predictions of the second coming :))

left-comic

Naked Shoulders And Sex In Heaven

“Today is the first day I’ve worn a tank top and not had my mother’s words in my head telling me I look like a “whore” or a “bitch in heat.” Actually, I feel kind of cute! Which is good, because I’m meeting up with my folks in Park City tonight and I’m wearing a tank top.”

This post was from a friend a couple weeks ago. Like many women I know she is moving on past the body shaming and modesty baloney her religion poured into her psyche as she grew up. Unfortunately that is easier said that done. The next post said this:

“Well shit. I’m about 45 miles from seeing my parents and now I’m feeling anxiety. Hot face, cold hands and short of breath. Ugh!”

In my past life I would have said that feeling of angst is the holy ghost telling her she was making some evil mistake revealing her shoulders for the world to see. Now days it is easy to see this is simply conditioning caused by hearing her mom call other women slutty and a whore for the way they were dressed. You see when we are children we naturally look up to our parents. We take in the example they set like a sponge. If our parents are prejudicial we end up filled with prejudice. This is not anything new, child abusers were often abused as children. Racists people raise racists kids. Just like good parenting begets good parents the opposite is also true.

So you see my friend angst over her dress is not uncommon at all after you leave a religion that controls even the way you dress. However it is also the first sign of finding true freedom. Just take a look at these women fleeing ISIS that have even a stricter drive for modesty in their faith than the Mormon one.

I find it no small coincidence that there are similar female only rules inherent to these two faiths. You see Joseph Smith knew well the religion of Muhammed when he said:

““I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So shall it eventually be with us — ‘Joseph Smith or the Sword!’ ”1

One major similarity between these religions involving women that I found in my studies is the type of afterlife sex one gets. Now I am the first to admit that I have a bias in this case. You see from ages 12 to 16 I had a bishop that went into all sorts of sexual territory in interviews to gauge my worthiness. At the end of those sessions he consistently told me that the number one reason I needed to remain pure and chaste till marriage was so I could have sex eternally in heaven after you die. He made sure I knew that only the top tier of the celestial kingdom got that privilege.2 If you didn’t make that goal, then no more sex for you…. forever.

So you see as a hormone drenched teen that was pretty important to me. So I set my sights on a chaste temple marriage and eventually attained it. Sex forever is worth a little postponement in this life right?

Personally I think the reason for sexual control in religion is simple. Sex is a driving behavior, right up there next to things like breathing and eating and sleeping. When you commit a person to give up that need you immediately trip a cognitive trap in their brain. Once a person gives up something they want badly they have to deal with the dissonance it creates. They must justify the reason. It serves the effect of driving the belief deeper because it must be true, otherwise you wouldn’t have made such a sacrifice….

So when it comes to deeply held beliefs is it any wonder you find so much zealotry in Islam a place that also promises eternal sex for one man with multiple wives in paradise for the faithful? Is it any wonder that the ‘porn shoulders’ my friend was sporting that day she expressed her freedom from oppression is actually a term you will hear in Utah? Bare shoulders are that suggestive? Guess what! They are to the guy that swore them off! Just like these ankles are worth a second look.

checking out the hotty

Eternal sex with lots of wives is not a dead LDS doctrine either. I’m sorry ladies if you think it is. Mormons still believe in polygamy, they just wait till you are dead to practice it.3 Don’t take my word for it. Listen to a general authority answer the question:

There really are lots of problems with polygamy when it comes to the LDS faith. Most women I know are sure it isn’t gonna happen ever again. And quite a few men I know have confessed they hope for it after they die. But what does the doctrine actually say? Here is a tidbit for you. Let me know if you find this has been rescinded anywhere.

“In the spirit world there is an increase of males and females, there are millions of them, and if I am faithful all the time, and continue right along with brother Brigham, we will go to brother Joseph [Smith] and say, ‘Here we are brother Joseph’…. He will say to us,…. ‘Where are you wives?’ ‘They are back yonder; they would not follow us.’ ‘Never mind,’ says Joseph, ‘here are thousands, have all you want.’”  – Apostle Heber C. Kimball4

Ask yourself now if Romney’s binders full of women comment is like looking up his freudian slip!

Consider this. Maybe the real reason that her ‘porn shoulders’ made my friend both cute and nervous has everything to do with the way sex is portrayed in the religion, and not even a smidgen to do with reality or modesty or any other reason that is tossed out by the believer. It is possible isn’t it that this standard of modesty that so pivotally affected my friends life only applies to women? Because otherwise how would you have heard all about the modesty uproar over the mormon on the left verses the mormon on the right. Think about that for a bit.


To wrap up this topic, I have a question for the females to whom this standard seems to unilaterally apply. As a woman do you really like the idea that other ladies are constantly judging you on your dress and your look for not conforming to the norm? Is that really the way the world works? Should it be the way it is? I don’t think so. From what I have discovered after leaving the culture of my religion it isn’t that way out there in the scary world at all. In fact after my friend disclosed both her joy and angst in the her new found freedom of expression another close friend piped up and told her to not fear because she would love her no matter how she dressed and that true friends didn’t treat each other that way. My porn shouldered friends reply…

“I completely agree. I love you too! And all of the women I’ve met since leaving the church. The friendships are so much more authentic. [The Profet] should write about it!”

And I did, because authentic is exactly the way it should be.

 

  1. read about that here and here.
  2. I don’t think this was his own idea mind you. There are several indicators in scripture and teachings of apostles and prophets to found this doctrine on. For example. “Eternal are the purposes of God; never-ending progression is provided for His children, worlds without end” (James E. Talmage, “The Eternity of Sex,” Young Woman’s Journal, Oct. 1914, 604)

    “Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory” (Joseph SmithTeachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 300–301).

  3. They can even be sealed to two women in the temple that are alive at the same time so long as they get a legal divorce. I personally know one post mormon that was still sealed to her husband in the temple after he divorced her and married again in the temple for a second sealing. You see for a woman to get a temple divorce takes special permission that goes all the way to the top tier of the faith. Women can’t be sealed to another man after a legal divorce without this. But the dude? No such limitation. Seal away!
  4. Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 209

Remember To Have Tolerance And Love For Our Mormon Neighbors

I just read this announcement from the LDS church in regards to the gay marriage stuff. I’d been thinking about an appropriate response when I stumbled onto this nearly perfectly made point on social media.1 The Fridge works in mysterious ways and we are often inspired unexpectedly so enjoy the light of the open door and feast on the sustenance therein:2

I just need to clear something up. I don’t hate Mormons nor am I bigoted. I love all living creatures and believe that Mormons should be treated with kindness and compassion. I do not support violence against Mormons or discrimination of any kind. However, I also believe in science and as such I cannot support Mormons’ “rights” to marry and raise children. Science has shown us that this is detrimental to both the children involved and society at large and I cannot pick and choose which scientific evidence to believe.

Science has shown us that Mormon children are much more likely than average to be depressed in their lifetime. Utah boasts the highest suicide rate in the nation among 18-24 year old men and has one of the highest rates of overall depression. LGBT youth raised in Mormon homes tend to fare especially poorly and often bear lifelong psychological scars. Also, girls raised in Mormon homes are far less likely to complete college or achieve financial independence than their non-Mormon counterparts.

Conversely, there is empirical evidence that other demographic groups tend to raise children who fare better than average- same sex couples, secularists, Asians, etc. Because I support science, I believe that such groups are the only people who should be permitted to parent in America.

Plus there’s the fact that the Mormon temple ceremony is degrading to women and that the sealing was created with the specific purpose of propagating polygamy, polyandry, and even child marriage for Mormon church leaders. Pioneer journals show us that these marriages were often coerced and that the girls and women who entered them suffered horribly. While Mormons are not currently advocating for the reinstatement of these practices, by allowing Mormon marriages, we are embarking on a slippery slope that opens the door to this possibility. How can we in good conscience allow this?

Again, I have absolutely nothing against Mormons and am not judging them for their lifestyle. I understand that many of them were born into their faith and did not totally choose it. And I am very accepting of Mormons provided they commit to lifelong celibacy as that is the only way to guarantee they will not reproduce. There’s nothing hateful or bigoted about supporting what science has declared is best for society.

SmithNauvoo marriage

  1. Sarcasmness is next to godliness, thus saith the Fridge
  2. Shared with permission and desired anonymity. I added the links and did a little formatting is all.

Sealed as a Slave, the Disrespect of Jane Manning

Mormon news feeds everywhere have been posting their pride of the newest LDS temple located in Payson, Utah. A great and spacious building according to Deseret News in their announcement. Ok they didn’t use exactly the words great and spacious. ‘Massive’ and ‘sweeping’ were the synonyms specifically used in the article. But trust me the irony of the church being so proud of this beautiful building and calling for everyone to come see it is not lost on a student of the Book of Mormon. 1 But I digress. This article isn’t about the elaborate spare no expense efforts of building huge ornate structures that require you pay2 the church just to get in them. It is about one person in particular and the price she paid.

Her name was Jane Elizabeth Manning. Her picture now hangs in the Payson temple. Since the First Presidency approves all art work in the temples, you can be sure they meant for it to be there. The question is why? Is it because she was such a faithful person? Or is there a need the leaders feel to scrub their racist history and say, ‘here see how much we love black people!’

Turns out there is an article on LDS org about this woman and her life. While reading through it, this bit jumped out at me and I suspected there was a ‘rest of the story.’3

“Jane remained part of the Smith household for several months. While there, she enjoyed the association of Joseph and Emma’s family and visited often with the Prophet’s mother, Lucy. Eventually Jane became friends with other members of the household such as Sarah and Maria Lawrence and Eliza and Emily Partridge.”

How did I know? Well having studied a lot about the women around Joe Smith, I knew Jane’s friends had a back story that was being glossed over here. In Emily’s own words:

“He taught me this principle of plural marriage…but we called it celestial marriage…”

Yep, the Partridge sisters were polygamous wives of Joe! You know that stuff good members are supposed to avoid speculation about. If you are a believing member reading this, here is another tidbit you should do your best to not think about. The Lawrence sisters were also wives of the prophet. In fact when William Law made all that plural marriage stuff public, there was a lawsuit he initiated at the time using Maria Lawrence as proof that Joe was living in adultery. Polygamy was against the law at the time in the US. And it still is. You see why my bullshit detector was going full tilt when I read these names? I was sure this was more of the careful wording4 that the church admittedly practices when it comes to disclosing church history. Because you know, they can’t be bothered to actually admit they were wrong and simply apologize.5

After some googling I turned up a few articles about Jane. In the first one, I found out that Jane was the Kate Kelly of her time, she just didn’t get a group of people to follow her. (Which is probably the reason she wasn’t excommunicated.) Back then it was far easier to get a personal sit-down with top church leaders than it is today. And don’t forget this woman had been part of Joe and Emma’s household. Emma even proposed adoption to her. You have to wonder at the rate Joe collected wives in his household during this time if other proposals might have occurred and been shut down. But on to her story.

Repeatedly Jane asked for the same blessings of the temple that were granted to the white people of her day and age. And repeatedly she was denied.

From Wilford Woodruff’s Journal6

(218) October 16, 1894: We had meeting [s] with several individuals among the 
rest, Black Jane [who] wanted to know if I would not let her have her 
Endowments in the Temple. This I could not do as it was against the Law of 
God, as Cain killed Abel. All the seed of Cain would have to wait for 
redemption until all the seed that Abel would have had, that may come through other men, can be redeemed.

Sure these days the church disavows anything to do with skin color being a curse. But that is now. This was then. According to the leaders of her time, Jane was cursed. They continued to deny her request for temple endowments because they were confident that God himself had instituted the conditions that had enslaved these people and made them servants of the white man. The original prophet himself in a letter to Oliver Cowdrey used the scriptures of the bible to explain this concept.

So Jane was denied the same blessings given those of a paler complexion. However after these many requests she was eventually allowed to be sealed to Joseph as a servant in the next life. Think about that and look at how Joe viewed servants in the biblical sense in his own letter. Servants to these men were equivalent to slaves to their masters. Sure they admonished the masters to treat them decently (thank Fridge!) but still they were not considered to have any hope of redemption until after all of the white people got their chance. Deny this all you want but the evidence is clear that at the time Jane was denied priesthood temple blessings, the brethren believed it was God’s doctrine and thus church doctrine7 to deny her petition. Jane wasn’t the only person that got slapped down for questioning this stuff. If you haven’t read the letters of Dr Lowry Nelson make sure you do so. Here is a link to them.

Over and over again in church history this race based denial to black people comes up as doctrine condoned by God himself. It’s what the leaders of that day and age declared to be the word of the Lord as given by the mouth of his servants.

These days the church would like to shove that all down the memory hole to be forgotten. They disavow any of this being real, as if it was some sort of grand 100 year running mistake by old prejudiced dudes preaching the philosophies of men instead of what God wanted. This is a disservice to Jane because she believed the racist doctrine they preached to her and her faith still withstood the test of time! It was her faith that the doctrine would eventually change that kept her in the church. The leaders who preached blind obedience to follow the brethren were the ones that were wrong. At least that is what the church is telling us today… Makes you wonder what will be disavowed tomorrow doesn’t it?

Now Jane gets to be the poster child for the all inclusiveness of the church in its latest grand PR effort of building ostentatious temples. Soon to be found even in Haiti, the poorest country in the world. Why dump millions into these great and spacious buildings? Why hang pictures of servants that were sealed to Joe Smith in them?

One reason and one only. Marketing. And that my friends is nothing but disrespect for a woman that showed so much courage to challenge the status quo.   Jane Elizabeth Manning agitated for change. Just like Kate Kelly. But… Since she was quiet about it; since she didn’t start a movement and gain a following, she was turned into … a commercial!

Jane-Elizabeth-Manning

 

 

  1. Lehi’s dream included a great and spacious building that he people partying in are so proud of.   For Irony of irony, I suggest you go check out the fact that Joe Smith Sr recorded pretty much the same dream in 1811… Yep, turns out he told that story over and over to his kids too. Hmm maybe the reason it was in the BoM wasn’t all that miraculous and it was just some filler that Joe Jr needed after losing those first 116 pages.
  2. Technically you pay only after they are dedicated, you have good incentive too. Because if you don’t pay to get in, then your family is kept hostage from you in the afterlife according to LDS doctrine.
  3. nod to Paul Harvey 🙂
  4. Also known as lying… unless you think Bill Clinton was telling the whole truth when he said ‘I did not have sex’…
  5. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the church could actually take the first step of repentance that they demand of all their members?
  6. search the page for ‘Black Jane’ to find the context, Also here is a link to the text of the transcript scans.
  7. The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time.
    First Presidency statement, August 17, 1949