Those Virtuous and Pure

[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. As originally posted, this article was written without benefit of my normal stack of books and liberal access to the internet. References will be added at a later time.]

Desdemona Fullmer (1867, age 59)

Desdemona Fullmer (1867, age 59)

In D&C 132, The Lord tells Emma:

And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.[ref]D&C 132:52[/ref]

The Lord then goes on to say:

Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God…

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

…for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.[ref]From D&C 132:60-62[/ref]

Who were these virgins, virtuous and pure? There are many women who appear to fit this description, women Emma is in some cases known to have given to Joseph.

Why specify the number ten? And why call out “those who are not pure, and have said they were pure?”

I suggest the number ten came from the parable of the ten virgins of the marriage parable in Matthew 25. As for the concern with those who might be lying about being pure, recall the illicit sex and known presence of venereal disease among the practitioners of the illicit sex of Bennett’s era. Thus the purity of the women Emma was commanded to accept as Joseph’s wives was not merely a matter of morality, but potentially a matter of life and death.

If Joseph was ever intimate with any of his plural wives, I suggest we look to this group of ladies, those virtuous and pure.

The list of potential names for those “virtuous and pure” is overwhelming:

Louisa Beaman, Eliza Partridge, Emily Partridge, daughter of Vinson Knight, Sarah Lawrence, Maria Lawrence, Elvira Annie Cowles, Desdemona Caitlin Wadsworth Fullmer, Malissa Lott, Louisa Beaman, Flora Woodworth, Sarah Whitney, Almera Woodward Johnson, Eliza Snow, Lucy Walker, Helen Mar Kimball, Sarah Elizabeth Whitney, Hannah Ells, Rhoda Richards (b. 1784), Olive Grey Frost, Nancy Maria Winchester, Fanny Young [Carr Murray], as well as the many other covenant wives that have already been mentioned in this series.

This post could be a detailed history of each of these women, however the challenge we have is that so many of these women are either under-documented or had died before the major efforts attempting to document the nature of Nauvoo plural marriage (Joseph F. Smith’s collection of affidavits circa 1869, Andrew Jensen’s parallel effort stretching out to the 1880s, and the Temple Lot trial and associated testimonies of the 1890s).

Beyond the lack of document is the lack of details that would help us understand which of these women might have not be pure, presumably by virtue of being seduced by Bennett’s Strikers. I have dedicated past posts to this matter, and don’t have much new to say on that matter.

Parable of the Ten Virgins

The parable of the ten virgins is part of a set of stories describing how God will determine between those He welcomes into his kingdom and those He will reject.

In the story of the virgins, these women all wished to participate in the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom arrived. Based on our current marriage practices, we typically don’t think of all these women being the brides, however there is nothing in the statement of this parable that justifies demoting the women to the position of mere guest. These women were representatives of  the kingdom of God, those covenanting with the Bridegroom.

Five of the women had been wise, and had provided stores in anticipation that the wait might be long, enduring into the darkness. Five others had presumed the bridegroom would appear while everything was bright and sunny. They were not prepared for darkness to fall. And when the darkness did arrive, they demanded that the ones who were prepared share.

In this parable, The Lord appears to justify the women who don’t share. We often interpret this to mean that the oil represents something that cannot be shared, such as testimony. Or perhaps it is that a lamp must be extinguished and cooled in order to safely share oil with another. This would risk the first having a darkened lamp with the Bridegroom arrived, and as stated would also surely risk that her lamp’s oil would have failed before the end of the darkness during which the Bridegroom might arrive.

In the second parable we hear of talents, and God’s wrath at those who cower in fear and do not improve upon the resources they are provided. This parable is sufficiently famous I don’t think it needs to be summarized here.

In the last parable of the set, God separates the sheep from the goats. While goats are good and useful animals, you never think of a goatherd (or pigherd for that matter) having the kind of care for his flock as the shepherd. I’ve been around sheep, so it isn’t that they don’t bite or butt. However the lore of sheep for millennia before Christ characterizes them as the faithful, productive animal. The goat is the animal upon which the sins of the community were cast, and this “scapegoat” became the symbol of sin. Christ characterizes the sheep as the ones who cared for others, while the goats did not care for their fellow man.

So the “ten virgins” cited in the revelation might have been a reference to the virgins that are the kingdom of God, rather than a command that Emma literally count out ten women.

Separating the Sheep from the Goats

We know of four women who Emma had embraced, only to evict them from her hearth.

The first of these was Fanny Alger sometime around 1836. What we do know of Fanny is that many of her friends and family considered her relationship with Joseph a marriage. Joseph himself in trying to thread the discord caused by Oliver Cowdery’s belief that the matter was a mere dalliance by saying that whatever Joseph did in the context of a marriage should be permitted.

Fanny ended up leaving the Smith household after Emma found Fanny alone with Joseph in the barn. The only source for what they were doing in the bard is rumor and Emma’s anger. But as we will see, Emma’s anger could be aroused for any number of reasons other than sexuality.

There is no reason to believe Fanny actually had a child by Joseph. As we’ve discussed regarding the revelation on plural marriage as it was eventually recorded, the children of a woman who has been sealed in the New and Everlasting Covenant are born into that covenant. So Fanny and Joseph and Emma may have determined that Fanny need not remain in the Smith household for the marriage to serve God.

Obviously any assertions about Fanny and Emma and Joseph are tentative at best. But the pattern set with Fanny becomes important because of how it manifests for the three women Emma casts out in 1843.

Eliza and Emily Partridge had seemed like they would be good wives. In fact, these were the two Emma specifically selected to be Joseph’s plural wives as a symbol of Emma’s acceptance of the New and Everlasting Covenant. However Eliza and Emily entered the complex marriage relationship between Joseph and Emma believing Joseph was lying to Emma, perhaps thinking this meant Emma could be safely disregarded. We have evidence of the Partridge girls forwarding the plural marriage agenda, serving at witness for plural sealings and trying to get the daughter of Vinson Knight to accept an interview with Joseph.

Emily certainly documents that shortly after the ceremony where Emma gave the Partridge women to Joseph, Emma became jealous and wouldn’t permit Joseph to be alone with the Partridge women. This is ironic, since Emily, by her record, spent the better part of the prior year avoiding being alone with Joseph.

In August 1843, Emma demanded that Joseph send the Partridges away from Nauvoo. Joseph didn’t send them away from Nauvoo, but he did send them away from the Smith household. There is no indication from Emily or Eliza that Joseph continued any sort of physical relationship with them after this departure from the Smith household.

Flora Woodworth had also become one of Joseph’s wives. As a token of the marriage, Joseph had given Flora a gold watch. When Emma learned of the valuable gift, she demanded Flora return the watch. This conflict obviously had to do with the distribution of wealth associated with Joseph having plural wives, rather than the possible sexual activity between Joseph and Flora. Flora almost immediately leaves and marries Carlos Gove, a man who was not affiliated with the Mormon Church, a story strikingly similar to the departure of Fanny Alger from the Smith household.

One potential key to the departure of the Partridges, Flora, and Eliza Snow from the Smith household might be the recollections of Orange Wight. It appears the teenaged Wight was “fully initiated” into the illicit sexual activities taught by Bennett and the Higbees at some point during the winter of 1841/42, first learning of the matter when he realized John Higbee had two “wives.”

By 1843 Orange was back in town, rather concerned with securing a wife for himself before they were all snapped up. In this vein he courted Flora Woodworth. When Flora’s mother revealed Flora was not available, Orange replied that he had known or suspected that the Partridges and Eliza Snow were Joseph’s wives, but he hadn’t known about Flora.

It is curious that we see Eliza Snow, Flora Woodworth, Emily Partridge, and Eliza Partridge, the four women Orange Wight knew of as Joseph’s wives, leave in the summer of 1843.

Were Flora, Emily, and Eliza “goats,” to use the parable metaphor? Or was their presence proximate to Joseph too great a risk, given the late discovery of Orange Wight as a member of the Striker community and his privileged knowledge that these women were Joseph’s wives?

Multiplying Talents: Joseph’s Plural Wives and Female Power

Most who learn of Joseph’s many plural wives see only an opportunity for Joseph to enjoy lots of sex. They don’t know the history of Mormon women in the 1800s, so they do not realize the power these women would come to wield.

Most obvious is the ascension of plural wives Eliza Snow [Smith Young] and Zina Diantha Huntington [Jacobs Smith Young] to preside over Relief Society through 1901. In those days Relief Society was a separate entity that reported to the Prophet but was not overseen by the priesthood as it is today. The youth ministry (Primary) and young women’s ministry (then the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association) were administered by the Relief Society, and the leaders of Relief Society collaborated with leaders of the national fight for female rights, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

In 1842 Joseph confirmed that it was right for women to perform blessings of healing, a practice Brigham Young also upheld, though most in the Church today are unaware of this history. The wives of Joseph Smith performed blessings and spoke in tongues, meeting together regularly amongst themselves, particularly on the anniversaries of Joseph’s birth and death.

With the deaths of Joseph’s wives, the pure and virtuous, there was no longer a living testimony of the power Joseph himself had granted to women in the early Church. What remained was a vast congregation of women who remembered such gifts. But this coincided with a time when the Church no longer solemnized new plural marriages, and huge cultural changes were taking place as a result. Adherence to the Word of Wisdom and focus on priesthood authority rose to fill the need of a performance that was unique in service of God and a rationale for why the Church was the one sole authorized organization to effect the salvation of all mankind.[ref]In the early days of the Church, faith healing was seen as a “proof” that the Church was true. But around the end of the 1800s various charismatic movements arose that also performed faith healings.[/ref]

One particular form of blessing performed by the women was to wash and anoint expectant mothers, a form of ceremonial blessing in some ways similar to ordinances now only performed in Mormon temples. Of all the blessings Joseph’s wives had performed, this one form of blessing could not simply be turned over to men who held the Melchizedek priesthood.

The practice of washing and anointing expectant mothers continued amongst those women aware of the practice until 1946, when Joseph F. Smith wrote Belle Spafford, newly called as the General Relief Society. While Smith agreed that the practice of washing and anointing expectant mothers was permitted, he reaffirmed the preference that the sick request blessings from priesthood brethren. Belle Spafford was one who as a mature teenager during World War I had never wanted to be a part of Relief Society, seeing it as old and outdated, a collection of fuddy duddy quilting circles. Ending the practice of females performing the washing and anointing blessing was part of many modernizations Belle implemented in her decades as General Relief Society president.

So the last vestige of female blessings, promulgated to the Church by the powerful examples of Joseph’s dozens of plural wives, was terminated in a new era where women in the Church were integrated into the larger body of the Saints, contributing to the overall mission of the Church rather than focusing preferentially on initiatives of the Relief Society. It was also an era where confidence in modern medicine had largely undercut the belief that a blessing of this nature could materially change the fate of mother and child.

Sexuality in Joseph’s Marriages?

For those who have studied the history, the clear fruit of Joseph’s plural marriages was the establishment of a cadre of women of power. These women nurtured the rest of the Church, particularly the women, and established the patterns of service and female community that resonates even today.

There don’t appear to have been any actual children produced by Joseph in these dozens of marriages to plural wives based on modern DNA research. In fact, Emma tried very hard to convince people that plural wives weren’t supposed to have children. Emma told an obviously-pregnant Lucy Messerve (secretly a plural wife of George A. Smith) that plural wives “were only sealed for eternity, they were not to live with [their husbands] and have children…” When Lucy said she didn’t know what Emma was talking about, Emma replied, “You do know. It’s sticking out too plain.” It appears this conversation must have occurred just before Lucy left Nauvoo, as she conceived her first child in November or December 1845.

Profoundly upset by the discussion with Emma, Lucy confided in her husband, George A. Smith. George comforted Lucy, telling of a time he happened upon Joseph washing his hands. Apparently to explain why he had blood on his hands, Joseph told his cousin “one of his wives had just been confined, and Emma was midwife and he was assisting her.”

Emma may have known the child she was delivering had not been engendered by Joseph, as could have occurred had Eliza Snow been seduced by Bennett before realizing the true nature of plural marriage or if Emma had served as midwife for one of Joseph’s ceremonial wives who was married to another man.

During the Temple Lot trial and in conversation with missionaries from the RLDS Church, the women who had been Joseph’s plural wives tried to explain that the conditions had not been right, that they had been nervous. Given that modern science has proven that even the anxiety associated with being raped does not inhibit conception, it seems unlikely that the “nervous” explanation is credible.

We have a lack of the fruit we would expect had sex been the activity, a lack noted even in the 1800s when Joseph’s sons were trying to convert the Saints away from polygamy. Though largely forgotten, we have a rich history of amazing spiritual works that were the fruit particularly of those women who had been Joseph’s plural wives, and who appear to have taught the rest of the female community of Saints. Given the lack of children, confirmed by DNA analysis, the most reasonable explanation is that Joseph was teaching these women rather than having sex with them during the times we know of him spending time alone with the women.

The Last Straw

The almost frenetic collection of marriages Joseph contracted as a result of the investigation into Bennett’s illicit sex was followed by a collection of marriages contracted with women suspected of having been hurt by Bennett or the investigation, and culminated in a last flurry of marriages associated with the introduction of plural marriage to an inner circle of faithful.

By then end of 1843, the need for entering into additional plural marriages appeared to be over. The requirement for Emma to grant Joseph ten virgins had been more than filled, even with the ladies Emma evicted from her home.

Then came a day when Joseph and Brigham were having a conversation with Brigham’s sister, Fanny. Fanny was a widow who was much older than Joseph or Brigham. In response to the discussion about the need for marriage, Fanny said:

“Now, don’t talk to me; when I get into the celestial kingdom, if I ever get there, I shall request the privilege of being a ministering angel; that is the labor I wish to perform. I don’t want any companion in that world; and if the Lord will make me a ministering angel, it is all I want.”

Joseph replied, “Sister, you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want.” Fanny agreed to be sealed to Joseph, with Brigham Young officiating.

Shortly thereafter, possibly that very evening, Joseph became violently ill after eating dinner. Unaware of another explanation for such a violent onset to illness, and possibly influenced by a dream Desdemona Fullmer had of Emma poisoning her, Joseph accused Emma of poisoning his food.

It is not hard to imagine how that would have gone over with Emma, who absolutely denied she’d done any such thing.

Why would Joseph even think Emma could have cause for poisoning him, if not the recent marriage to Fanny, which was clearly conducted without so much as secretly consulting Emma?

This ended Joseph’s career of marrying plural wives.

And yet though Joseph was married at least ceremonially to dozens of women, there was one more woman I wish he had married. There was one more person who, had she been added to the elite and powerful quorum of Joseph’s wives, could have fundamentally changed the history of Mormonism.

What’s more heartbreaking is how close she came to becoming part of Joseph’s incredibly complex family, and the pattern of misunderstandings that prevented her from being sealed to Joseph decades later.

Future Planned Posts:

Daughter of Hope
The Prodigal Returns
Conferring the Mantle
Collecting the Sorrowful
For Eternity and Time
Fifty Years in the Wilderness
Days of Defiance
God’s Strange Act: A Legacy

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but that Emma was right to assert she had been Joseph's only true wife.

24 thoughts on “Those Virtuous and Pure

  1. Really want to see the next post. I’ve really no idea what the circumstances were for her not getting sealed as a wife aside from the multiple times asking and being denied and the eventual really bad conciliation.

  2. I’ve mentioned the woman I’m talking about before in this series.

    She arrived in Nauvoo in late 1843. Once in coversation with the Lawrence sisters and the Partridges, they told her they were Joseph’s wives. And she didn’t have a problem with that.

    Her first name starts with the letter J.

    More than that will have to wait next week – no fair telling you everything now…

  3. I think Frank is confused with “J”. She never petitioned to be a wife, just sealed to the family as an adoptee.

  4. Are you saying that with a number of Joseph’s wives, they were sealed to him so that whatever children were born could be born in the covenant regardless of biology? This could cover non-member husbands and those victims of Bennett and company. I know you’ve talked about this earlier, but it kind of fell together more clearly after this post. I enjoy seeing new ideas I’ve never thought about. Keeps me thinking, keep it coming!

  5. Hi Ivan,

    Why would I use fictional characters when the real people are so fascinating? And why would I use other people’s fictional characters if I was going to use fictional characters?

    I have read Card’s Saints, but I could never make it past the first page of the books centered around the fictional Steed family. So aside from what little I remember about the movies made from those books, I don’t actually know anything about the Steed people, as they aren’t in any of the actual histories.

    With Dinah Kirkham, Card created a composite person that allowed him to explore a variety of interesting dynamics. So she was part Eliza Snow and part Sarah Peake Noon and part other bits and pieces to make the story interesting. But Card’s basic paradigm for Nauvoo wasn’t different from the standard version of history. Though his Saints is paced better than Nightfall at Nauvoo, in my opinion.

  6. I was making a joke. Sorry if it didn’t go over quite right. (I was hoping more for a lol response, rather than lengthy essay. Oh, well.)

  7. Hi Ivan,

    Sorry, though I guess this did give me a chance to expose my lack of knowledge of a certain series of books that is widely read in some circles. Work and the Glory, I think it is? Someone who had read those books and who knows my history told me a Steed woman mentions Elvira Cowles as someone of distant acquaintance, though portraying Steed to have been a very close friend of Emma Smith.

    Which is ludicrous. Elvira isn’t well known to us, but she was a fixture in the Smith household. To know the Smiths in Nauvoo was to know Elvira.

    Hi Amy,

    I don’t think it’s cool that Emma would cast women out and merely offer that their future children would be born in the covenant, so it would be OK if their children were born to some random non-member guy. But I do think that was a rationale she used in at least the case of Fanny and Flora. This rationale was also operative in the matter of Ruth Vose Sayers, whose husband didn’t believe in marriage in eternity, but was willing for his wife to get sealed to Joseph because it was clear she did believe and care, and as there was no sex involved, it didn’t interfere with Mr. Sayers’ world.

    In the case of Flora, she had Orange Wight wanting to court her. So it could have been an option for her to simply get married to Orange, rather than pop off and marry Carlos. Depending on what Orange meant by “fully initiated,” I’m not sure Flora would have been well served by marrying Orange. Either way, she opportunity to marry someone in the Mormon community and didn’t choose that option. I think she married Carlos Gove a day after the argument with Emma, so it seems to me Emma’s words almost certainly influenced Flora’s choice of mortal husband. If I could go back in time, that’s a scene I would love to have witnessed.

  8. It’s all good. Part of the joke was that occasionally I run into people who think the Steeds actually existed and will insist on referencing them in church history discussions. They’ll admit the books are historical fiction, but that means the Steeds were still historical, right?

    Luckily, most people seem aware they didn’t really exist.

  9. A good friend of mine served as a missionary in Nauvoo. She told me that if she had a quarter for every time some tourist asked her to point out the Steed home, she could take the two of us out for a very expensive gourmet dinner.

  10. Would love to know more about this:

    Though largely forgotten, we have a rich history of amazing spiritual works that were the fruit particularly of those women who had been Joseph’s plural wives, and who appear to have taught the rest of the female community of Saints.

    I’m a newbie at church history, but enjoying the food for thought in this series. Do you have a reference you can point out for the above thought? Thanks

  11. Did any of the women that fell victim to Bennet’s strikers become pregnant? If yes, did these women marry the prophet?

    If answers are to be found, that are more than speculation, it could shed light on to his making, (eternally speaking) “honest women” out of them and bringing these unexpected blessings into the covenant. Which could result in the mothers naming them after the prophet, ie Joseph or Jospehine etc., without the biological evidences to match them to him.

  12. Hi Bradford,

    The two children who I suspect were engendered by Strikers died in infancy, the child of Sarah Peak Noon and the child of Mary Clift.

    I have asserted that Eliza Snow’s much-rumored pregnancy in Nauvoo was likely engendered by John C. Bennett. The smoking gun in this case would be a poem in Eliza’s journal, which I have proposed might have been modified to change it from an acceptance of Jonathan Holme’s proposal to a poem celebrating Holmes’ marriage to Eliza’s good friend, Elvira Annie Cowles.

    The logic behind reading so much into the poem is:

    1) We know there was a significant base of rumor supporting the idea that Eliza was pregnant and lost a child in Nauvoo. This rumor has been dismissed by scholars based on the supposition that it occurrred in February 1843, however none of the arguments against Eliza’s possible pregnancy hold if the pregnancy ended between September and December.

    2) If Eliza had become pregnant in the summer of 1842, it appears she would have also needed a cover husband, in the way Theodore Turley stepped forward for Mary Clift (whose child we know was engendered by a Striker based on testimony to the Nauvoo High Council) and the way I assert Heber C. Kimball stepped forward for Sarah Peak Noon. In the case of Sarah Peak Noon, the date of the marriage is inferred from the birth of Sarah’s child. So the Turley-Clift union, the Kimball-Noon union, and the possible Holmes-Snow union might have been planned to occur in the same time period.

    3) In mid-November, around the time the Mansion House started being used, Eliza writes four undated poems in her journal. The first is about death. The second is a poem Eliza felt sufficiently important to later publish and even include in her brief autobiography, where Eliza castigates the “vile wretch” who fed upon the blood of innocence “side by side, face to face.” I find the two other poems evocative as well. I propose the September poem to Jonathan Holmes could have been modified at this point to add the name of Elvira Cowles and change the three instances where the poem expresses subjunctive second person (“May your…” where I contend it used to say “May our…”).

    I’ve requested the Church History Library digitize the poem, which allegedly would have been completed by May 23, and the digitization was assigned to someone in early May (at which point they indicated the single roll of microfilm would take 2-4 weeks to digitize). However I’ve yet to receive an update indicating the journals.

    I would be intrigued if the journal were to be removed from public access and never digitized. For such an important original work of historical interest to be suppressed at a time when I’ve made this speculation (not only here, but in correspondence with important researchers) would suggest that those with access to the journal would prefer to hide the record, denying an ability to confirm this interpretation, even though the very hiding suggests there is something in the journal that confirms the interpretation.

    As for Josephine Lyons being engendered by a Striker, I don’t think that holds up. The dates are wrong. Sylvia’s deathbed tale to Josephine, that Joseph Smith was her father, can be explained by the covenant relationship that existed between Sylvia and Joseph combined with the fact that Josephine initially married outside of the temple. Based on the marriage record of Marietta Holmes, information regarding covenant parentage was conveyed in the temple in association with temple marriage.

    With the exception of Mary Elizabeth Rollins, Agnes Coolbrith, and Sarah Ann Whitney, I contend that all the women who became plural wives in 1842 were primarily associated with the investigation of the Strikers, either as victims of the Strikers or the cadre of trusted women charged with ferreting out the truth.

    I’ve covered this in my prior post Wives of Sorrow among others.

  13. Hi Ginger,

    If you look at the comment thread for my recent critique of Discussion Two, you’ll find someone link to a very nice paper regarding the history of female blessings (which I then re-linked and summarized).

    Eliza Snow, Mary Elizabeth Rollins, Patty Sessions, and others who were married to Joseph Smith are prominent in exercising gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, washing, and anointing. During Eliza Snow’s long tenure as General President of the Relief Society, she set the pattern for exercise of these gifts, a pattern continued by Zina Diantha Huntington [Jacobs Smith Young], another covenant wife of Joseph Smith.

    It is only during the Presidency of Emmeline Wells, a member of the Nauvoo Relief Society and early plural wife but *not* a plural wife to Joseph Smith, that we see the shift away from encouraging the women to bless. Wells fought for this right, as we see in the record, but the end of polygamy necessitated a renovation of the narrative regarding the truth of the Gospel, which was also influence by the emergence of charismatic healing in other religions.

    Obviously LDS folks still perform blessings of healing, speak in tongues, and continue manifesting the spiritual gifts. But we keep such things relatively quiet and don’t look to miraculous charismatic manifestations to “prove” the gospel.

    The miracle we focus on now (in the quiet presence of all the other gifts) is the still small voice that has spoken to our hearts, testifying that Jesus is the Christ, and that He has restored His saving power to the earth in the form of the Church of which Joseph Smith was the founding prophet.

  14. Hi Jorge,

    I’m not sure which statements you find disrespectful and divisive. I’m particularly confused which aspect of this post and its comments gave rise to you comment.

    However as you don’t appear to be a spambot, I will let your comment stand.

Comments are closed.