I’ve just now read an interesting item, by an aggressively hostile pseudonymous critic of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — for purposes of this blog entry, let’s call him/her ‘Abd al-Kadhib — in which s/he alleges that “regarding intellectual honesty, the LDS church is being intentionally deceptive.” Believing Mormons who defend their faith, s/he suggests, are characterized by “failure to answer simple questions, deception/distortion used to hide the truth, and . . . failure to acknowledge the truth.” “The only people set out to deceive,” s/he says, using a remarkably clever term of mockery formed (I point it out just so you don’t miss the subtle artistry of the invention) from combining the words Mormon and apologist, “are the Mopologists.” ‘Abd al-Kadhib’s post directly follows one by another pseudonymous critic of Mormonism who describes himself or herself as “someone who is concerned with how the Church misrepresents its history.”
“All one needs to do in deciding Joseph Smith’s motives regarding polygamy,” writes ‘Abd al-Kadhib, “is to reference the letter he wrote to Sarah Ann Whitney’s parents. The only condition it was not safe for them to come, was if his wife Emma was there (stated twice). There were no other conditions, and he stated that he was lonely and wished to be with his child bride.”
Now, in that light, please read the very first few pages of this article, written by Dr. Gregory Smith, one of the participants in The Interpreter Foundation’s recent roundtable on early Mormon polygamy. (Curiously, this first section of his essay is called “The First Page.)
It won’t take long, but I think you’ll find it amusing.