April Fools Poll

Two parter here.  Respond in the comments.

1. What is the biggest April Fools prank you have played on someone, or had played on you?

2. Who do you feel qualifies as the April Fool king/queen of the year?

Wives of Sorrow

[This post is part of a series on Joseph Smith's Polygamy. To read from the beginning or link to previously published posts, go to A Faithful Joseph.]

Lucy Ann Decker around 1850

Lucy Ann Decker around 1850

The most comprehensive treatment of plural marriages during Joseph Smith’s lifetime, to my knowledge, is Gary Bergera’s article “Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841-44″ in Dialogue during 2005. 1 Unfortunately, Bergera’s article was written before publication of the DNA results that have consistently debunked the rumors that Joseph fathered children 2 by his plural wives – a belief that prevented Bergera and prior scholars from considering the possibility that early plural marriages could have been primarily ceremonial with little or no sexual element. Specifically, no one has seriously examined the possibility that some of these marriages could have been inspired by a need to care for the victims of Bennett’s sex ring.

Let’s start by looking at the first plural marriage that didn’t include Joseph Smith: the marriage of Theodore Turley and Mary Clift in early 1842. Continue reading


  1. Bergera, Gary, Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841-44, available online at http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V38N03_13.pdf, retrieved 22 March 2014.
  2. All children believed to be Joseph’s children who survived to have children themselves have been evaluated.

Incomprehensible vs Contradiction

I wrote this post way back at the time of Mormon Matters and never published it. I’m throwing it up for fun with only a little bit of tweaking. I probably would handle this different today. For example, I no longer consider the creedal Trinity to be a contradiction per se, but rather to be a set of undefined statements that are used in contradictory ways so as to claim all attempts to understand the Biblical Trinity doctrine are really just forms of polytheism or modalism. But the point I make here is still worthy of some discussion.

I’ve written a lot of posts directly or indirectly dealing with the traditional Creedal Trinity Doctrine. I’ve made the assertion several times that the Trinity Doctrine is a contradiction, not just an incomprehensible paradox.

I wish to give a primer on the difference between something being incomprehensible vs. a contradiction.

Now obviously a contradiction is also incomprehensible. Consider this list of statements:

  • Joe is      a man and
  • Joe is      a woman
  • A man      can never be a woman

These statements, collectively, are incomprehensible because they are a contradiction. Unless I am tricking you by equivocating (i.e. using different definitions for the same word) in some way, the above statements are a contradiction. Continue reading

Church again slams OW movement

Church spokesman Michael Otterson reminded Church members Friday that the Ordain Women movement is nothing more than a publicity stunt that distracts from the positive spirit of General Conference.

“Avoiding distraction from a sacred church gathering is also the operating principle in relation to Temple Square,” Otterson wrote. “Last year, the staged protest was extremely disruptive to that atmosphere. While we made an exception to policy and accommodated media cameras last October, protesters exploited that decision to hold a media event.”

Further, Otterson wrote, “posturing for news cameras in the shadow of the Salt Lake Temple is not what General Conference is about, and leaders and members were rightly offended by it.”

Otterson is referring to the protest at October General Conference against the Church by OW movement members intent on asking for the priesthood. Ninety percent of Mormon women — and 95 percent of active members — say women should not be eligible for the priesthood. The OW movement vows to repeat this protest for April Conference, despite being asked repeatedly to stand down by the Church.

Careful readers will note some deliberate language used by Otterson in a very polite but pointed letter. Notice the use of the words “staged protest” and “disruptive” and “exploited” and “posturing” and “rightly offended.”

The Church is making it clear to all members that the OW has nothing to do with a faithful petition by active members. Instead, the OW movement is being exposed for what it truly is: a publicity stunt led mostly by opponents of the Church.