From a forum post:
Researching General Conference for RFM podcast.
Came upon Elder Dale G. Renlund's talk at the end of Saturday Afternoon session. He opens by mentioning a public confrontation between Orson Pratt and Parley Pratt in 1846, which they eventually healed after years of acrimony.
Here are Elder Renlund's words:
My first thought was to wonder what on earth he was talking about.
I had never heard this story before.
My second thought was what on earth could have been the cause of this rift between the Pratt brothers.
A little research shed some light.
While I appreciate learning this new story from church history, I am left to wonder why on earth Elder Renlund felt the need to "go there."
It would seem he knows the backdrop of this story, or why would he have mentioned it in the first place?
And if he knew the backdrop, why is he taking the chance that members will research it and find out for themselves what the rift was about?
My feelings on the matter mirror what happened later on the thread.
You can't take two steps in the minefield of church history without losing a limb.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Great information on William Law
I'm sure many think they know William Law, but do you, really? Do you know the circumstances that led to his belief that Joseph was a fallen prophet? Here is the story of their fracture, and what drove both men to abandon a great friendship...
William Law had once claimed that "Brother Joseph is truly a wonderful man, he is all we could wish a prophet to be..." He was a rich man who gave freely of his means and who Hyrum Smith would defend even after his brother Joseph and William had become bitter enemies:
Law had defended Joseph against the accusations of John C. Bennett, (that Smith was the originator of the spiritual wife doctrine and was practicing it), and had accepted for a time Smith’s teachings on a plurality of gods, calling and election, etc. which he had been preaching since 1843. It is also quite possible that Law had Joseph seal his wife (Jane) to him (William) for time and eternity. John Scott, one of Joseph Smith’s bodyguards claimed that this was so at the High Council/Apostles Trial of William and Jane Law on April 18th, 1844. The testimony about William and Jane Law reads,
This scenario presented by John Scott (A Danite and one of Smith's bodyguards) begins by speaking of many gods and polygamy. He says that Law “spoke against Joseph”. Smith wanted Jane Law to “come into the order” (another term for spiritual wifeism), and said that Law was not privileged to be sealed unless he obeyed and married more wives.
According to Law’s diary, he “harkened to the teachings of man and for a short moment”, and this may have been enough for Joseph to perform the sealing of the Laws to mollify them, as it had with Emma for a time.
Smith may have then attempted to seduce Jane Law, which then turned William against Joseph for good. What is strange is that in his diary, William Law writes this (that Joseph attempted to seduce his wife, but it is scratched out).
For this, Scott calls Law a “gallant scoundrel”. The appellation “scoundrel” was also used in connection with John C. Bennett two years earlier but unlike Bennett, William Law was no scoundrel. Thomas Ford would later write of him:
The other side of the story, was told by Joseph to Alexander Neibaur:
What is interesting is that Joseph's bodyguard (John Scott) appears to tell an entirely different story about what happened and that Joseph did seal Law to his wife. No mention of adultery at Law's illegal trial. The only thing Law appears to have done is disagree with Joseph's teachings. But according to Joseph, Law's wife invites him into her home while her husband is not there, and Joseph of course goes inside with her and then she throws herself at Joseph. Then Joseph claims that he didn't seal the Laws to each other because William Law was an adulterer and of course Joseph cries, "Stand away" and pushes her away. But Joseph's bodyguard testified that "Joseph wanted her to come into the [Spiritual Wife] order". Why wouldn't he ask them BOTH? Why would he approach Jane to "come into the order without speaking to William about it?"
And so what did Joseph do, he gave this speech (at the end of December, 1843) to a crowd of worked up Nauvoo Policeman:
According to D. Michael Quinn,
On January 2, 1844 Law heard that policeman were speculating that he was the "Brutus" Joseph purposefully told them about, and he went to Hyrum Smith about it, who brought him to Joseph. Joseph said he never intended any such idea (that it could be William Law) and that he would have the Council and the Police together tomorrow. William Law wrote in his diary,
The City Council Minutes from the Law meeting are of extreme interest. They show that there were those who bore animosity towards Law and Marks because of their rejection of what they called (with no objections from Joseph) the spiritual wife system. Eli Norton was called to testify because William Law claimed that it was Norton who told him that his and Marks’ life was in danger:
Thus we see the epic struggle that took place between Law and Smith and we all know how it turned out. Was William Law some kind of murderous villain? Mormon Apologists like Brian Hales would have us think so. But he was not. He acted honorably, and stuck to his convictions. Joseph continually lied and manipulated people and took advantage of his position of power. I hope that all who read this will do their own investigation of he facts and scour the evidence and come to their own conclusions.
I, for one, see William Law as a voice of reason and unlike Smith was not guilty of anything he was accused of, except for opposing Josephs radical theological doctrines. Joseph was drunk with power, but still could not control nor hinder Law in his mission to expose Smith before the world. Smith would over reach, and take the steps that led him to Carthage where he met his fate.
I stand in a high place
Humanity an empty face
Futile gestures and illusory grace:
Trying to understand this world;
But I cast at swine all my pearls,
I cast at swine all my pearls.
Posted by Darth_Bill at 6:01 AM