Would I be right in thinking you've read this post by Rock (or similar messages during email exchanges with him):jhp33 wrote:I'm intrigued by the back-and-forth regarding polygamy.
The thing that intrigues me the most is that it seems virtually impossible to arrive at a definite conclusion either way regarding to origins of polygamy.
My problem with ascribing polygamy to Joseph Smith is that it is 100% reliant on secondary sources.
Any primary sources we have about polygamy and Joseph Smith don't pass the *sniff* test to me. There is very strong evidence that the history of the church was doctored after the saints arrived in Utah. There is strong evidence that there was a faction of the church that wanted to put pressure on Joseph to implement the practice. Therefore, it's hard for me to trust those primary sources.
So, we have to rely on secondary sources, which is always problematic for coming to conclusions about historical issues.
I don't find the evidence overwhelming as it pertains to Joseph Smith implementing and practicing polygamy. I find, instead, overwhelming evidence that he condemned the practice with the utmost vehemence even until his dying day. It seems very odd to me that Joseph would choose to introduce and implement so many new and unusual doctrines openly, and yet keep polygamy secret until his dying day. In fact, it would seem that his passion for defending himself against the charges was his ultimate undoing (ie, Nauvoo Expositor).
The storyline that Brigham Young and other apostles implemented secret polygamy before Joseph's death, then openly practiced it after, and doctored the history of the church in order to pin it on Joseph, seems plausible to me. Not an argument without holes, but plausible.
Either way, it's all very mind-boggling, but with very real implications for how you view church history and even the modern church.
http://puremormonism.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... ygamy.html
A lot of what you mention in this (and later) posts seems based on the arguments put forward by Richard and Pamela Price in Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy: How Men Nearest the Prophet Attached Polygamy to His Name in Order to Justify Their Own Polygamous Crimes.
They've put the whole book online for free: http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm
He is later challenged on points in his article and responds (in the comments) with:
The point he makes himself is that he hasn't studied the whole picture. The article simple re-presents and summarises the Prices' arguments.I don't put myself out as an expert on the subject of plural marriage in the church. All I'm doing here is sharing my discovery of a book that calls into question many of my previously held beliefs on the subject.
To respond to your many points regarding questions that I failed to address, well, my answer is: How the hell should I know?
My review of "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy" is merely a feeble attempt at an introduction to the topic introduced by the authors. My efforts here only scratch the surface, and are weak and inadequate compared to the book itself. My presentation doesn't come close to the efforts of the authors, who spent thirty years attempting to get to the bottom of the controversy. My opinion is that they did a bang-up job.
I've not tried to examine the Price's conclusions. Bear in mind that they are RLDS. Despite the CoC now accepting that Joseph was polygamous there was a splinter when they did and a smaller group continued denying he practiced polygamy. The Prices are (I think) part of this splinter group.
Here's a comment:
Some interesting arguements in the blog. But I think it's a bit of confirmation bias. Rock and the Prices don't want him to be a polygamist and have accepted the evidence that supports he isn't. I'd like it to be the case too, but I'm not sure the evidence really supports it.I'm RLDS. The Prices have on occasion done some things that go against good journalistic ethics in some other areas but their research in "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy" is pretty solid. It's basically the same thing the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been saying since it was organized in 1860.