Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: But they that deal truly are his delight.”
Oh, be still my heart! That’s what I had to keep telling myself after reading the latest LDS Friend Magazine (January 2017). To be clear, few other topics in Mormonism will stop me in my tracks as this does. No one is a fan of lies people tell, especially when it comes to God’s word, but even more so when those lies are aimed at little kids – just as their article has done.
This edition of the Friend Magazine gave instructions for children to cut out paper figures representing different objects, and people, instrumental in early LDS Church history. The Church’s objective to teach kids the history of their church would be awesome if it was built on truth, but alas, this isn’t the case here.
One of the paper cutouts includes an image of the family Joe Smith was born into, with all eight siblings and their parents; Joseph Smith, Sr., and Lucy Mack Smith. Behind the seemingly benign pictorial lies the ugly truth. We’ve pulled their comment about his family to weigh it against historical reality. Here we go!
‘Joseph Smith’s family helped him learn and grow and choose the right. They were hard-working farmers. Joseph’s parents taught their children to pray, read the Bible, and honor God. They believed that Joseph was called to be a prophet and defended his work.’
‘Joseph Smith’s family helped him learn and grow and choose the right.’
Smith’s family did help him learn, and grow. However, helping him ‘choose the right’ wasn’t exactly on their parental planning agenda.
Smith’s mother, Lucy, frequently called on spirits for guidance by using the tools of Abrac (abracadabra), and actively participated in other rituals of witchcraft with her kids in tow. For further info, see Joseph Smith’s Witchcraft, Scrying and Arrest 1820 – 1827.
‘They were hard-working farmers.’
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s true. Truth, however, isn’t as subjective. It is what it is.
According to multiple reports and testimonies of those who were ‘in the know’, the Smith family was a shiftless, ne-er-do-well’ group, and had no inclination of working hard to eeek out a living from honest, backbreaking farm work. In our report about Joe Smith’s witchcraft, we noted the following –
According to Dan Vogel’s report, ‘The Locations of Joseph Smith’s Early Treasure Quests’, there were no less than fifty-one local citizens who ‘affirmed that large excavations may be seen in the earth not far from their [the Smiths’] residence’.
In short, we know the property they rented wasn’t used for farming purposes at all, rather, they dug a great majority of it up searching for buried treasures.
Joe Smith, Sr., was given to ‘visions’ and the like, while and had a well known presence in the ‘Divining Rodsman Club’ of Vermont. He took Joseph Jr. with him as much as possible to teach him the trade.
Evidence that Smith relied on this form of witchcraft is seen in D&C 8:6-8, a prophecy from Smith to Cowdery, that the ‘Rod of Aaron’ will bring many blessings when he holds it in his hands. See LDS Church History page defending the use of dowsing rods to search for treasures.
‘Joseph’s parents taught their children to pray, read the Bible, and honor God.’
The LDS claim above is untrue. Both Joseph Smith, Sr., and his son Joseph Smith, Jr., told Lucy Mack Smith they didn’t need to go to church to learn about God. You can read about this in Lucy’s own work. See Lucy’s Book, A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith’s Family Memoir, Edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson, Chapter 21.
The spiritual atmosphere during the 2nd Great Awakening was grim for those who didn’t follow a biblical blueprint. While many rededicated themselves to the God of the Bible, there were many who didn’t and Smith’s family is a good example of the latter.
It’s impossible to honor God when you denounce Him, His work, and His word.
It saddens me to the core knowing my heritage would arbitrarily lie to little children. Kids are so trusting, and look to those in charge for proper guidance and love. Although old now (ha-ha!), I was no different than any other little kid, and still remember believing everything my teachers said.
The Church seems to have forgotten the meaning of truth. Pray with us that our Lord would protect young minds from those who propagate lies.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor. 1:18