In March 1842 Joseph Smith wrote to the Relief Society, asking the women to “be trusted with some important matters that ought actually to belong to them to see to, which men have been under the necessity of seeing to…”
Joseph and the others who signed the letter wished the women’s help to “prevent iniquitous characters from carrying their iniquity into effect…”
There were men claiming to “have authority from Joseph, or the First Presidency, or any other Presidency of the Church; and thus, with a lie in their mouth, deceive and debauch the innocent,…”
Joseph maintained that “no such authority ever has, ever can, or ever will be given to any man, and if any man has been guilty of any such thing, let him be treated with utter contempt, and let the curse of God fall on his head, and let him be turned out of Society as unworthy of a place among men, & denounced as the blackest & the most unprincipled wretch; and finally let him be damned!”
“you are authoriz’d on the very first intimation of the kind, to denounce them as such, & shun them as the flying fiery serpent, whether they are prophets, Seers, or revelators; Patriarchs, twelve Apostles, Elders, Priests, Mayers, Generals, City Councillors, Aldermen, Marshalls, Police, Lord Mayors or the Devil, are alike culpable & shall be damned for such evil practices; and if you yourselves adhere to anything of the kind, you also shall be damned.”
The Case of the MTC President
In recent days a recording has emerged in which a woman who had been ill-treated posed as a reporter to interview Joseph L. Bishop, President of the Provo Missionary Training Center from 1983-1986. Since I live in a dark pit of not paying attention to the news, I would not normally have known this occurred. However Saturday someone else who was in the MTC in 1984 sent me a link to a UK Daily Mail article about the MTC President. And Sunday/Monday I was video-chatting with a daughter who was complaining about the story.
In case you have also been living in a dark pit of not knowing, the MTC President reportedly asked the woman in 1984 to expose her chest for his viewing, then attempted to further remove clothing. The woman did bare her chest, but resisted further liberties.
Here’s what I wish. I wish it had been me that Joseph L. Bishop had invited to do inappropriate things. Because he would not have remained President of the MTC if he had tried that on me. A sister missionary in those days had to be within spitting distance of 21 to be in the MTC to begin with, and by 21 I certainly knew how to tell a creepy man how to keep his hands and eyes away from me. Continue reading