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Featured LDS Joseph Smith and Abortion?

Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Daniel Marsh, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Hyrum Smith signed an affidavit claiming that Bennett “would give [women] medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant.” Sarah Pratt, the wife of apostle Orson Pratt and the most prominent of the alleged mistresses, was accused of alternatively being both Joseph’s and Bennett’s mistress. Though Pratt’s animosity towards the Prophet endured for generations, she acknowledged that Bennett was an abortion doctor: “There was a house in Nauvoo,” Pratt further told an anti-Mormon author, ‘right across the flat,’ about a mile and a-half from the town, a kind of hospital. They sent the women there, when they showed signs of celestial consequences. Abortion was practiced regularly in this house” (Wyl, Joseph Smith, The Prophet, 59).

    The Rise and Fall of John C. Bennett – LostMormonism.com

    "Wives, Children, and Abortions of Joseph Smith

    Nearly a year ago I created my own version of the CES Letter for my wife, who refuses to read it. In an attempt to be as unbiased as possible, nearly all sources I used came from various pro-LDS authors. They generally include BYU, LDS.org, FairMormon, etc. This particular article uses a BYU source along with an article that could be considered anti-Mormon literature. I've included the former because I believe the BYU article gives it credence. I've decided to start editing this letter to be publicly readable and will release the full version at a later date.

    Without further ado...

    Although Joseph had 34 wives, he only had children with Emma Smith. There are plenty of accounts regarding Joseph visiting with his wives ( implying a sexual relationship), and Doctrine and Covenants 132 makes the reasoning for polygamy quite clear: to procreate. For comparison, Brigham Young had 56 children, and yet Joseph had none aside from Emma’s.

    There’s a potential explanation for this strange situation, involving Doctor John C Bennett, Joseph’s counselor. Hyrum Smith, Joseph’s brother, learned that Bennett had been telling women that he could give them “medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant.”.

    Orson Pratt’s wife, Sarah Marinda Bates, said this of Bennett:

    “I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end. I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered.”

    Considering Joseph had no kids outside of his relationship with Emma, he hid the majority of his marriages from Emma, and his counselor was a doctor known to induce abortions -- I can only come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith had his potential children aborted. There’s a slight chance that he just didn’t have any kids with the other 33, but that would be far fetched considering the importance of procreation in the Doctrine and Covenants.

    Hyrum Smith Source:
    Joseph Smith, John C. Bennett, and the Extradition Attempt, 1842 | Religious Studies Center
    Sarah Marinda Bates Source:
    Smith History Vault: 1886 Wyl book (excerpts)

    edit: Just so we're clear, I've inferred this is the truth through tons of research. There was never, at any time, a firsthand account explicitly stating that Joseph Smith had his wives' fetuses aborted."
    Wives, Children, and Abortions of Joseph Smith : exmormon

    Pratt's Claims in Mormon Portraits, 1886
    By 1886 Sarah Pratt was willing to go on the record regarding the seduction allegations. In 1886 Wilhelm Ritter Von Wymetal (as Wilhelm Wyl) published the anti-Mormon volume Mormon Portraits. In her 1886 interview with W. Wyl, Sarah Pratt alleged that Joseph Smith engaged Bennett, a medical doctor, to perform abortions on Smith's plural wives who were otherwise unmarried.[22][23][24] Bennett biographer, Andrew Smith, agrees that it "was likely true" that Bennett performed abortions.[25] At the time of the 1842 controversy, Zeruiah Goddard had claimed Bennett told Sarah Pratt "that he could cause abortion with perfect safety to the mother at any stage of pregnancy, and that he had frequently destroyed and removed infants before their time to prevent exposure of the parties, and that he had instruments for that purpose."[16]

    Despite allegations of abortions originating with Dr. Bennett and Sarah Pratt, contemporary testimony of seduced women in 1842 assert they were offered medicine to prevent pregnancy, not abortion to destroy evidence of pregnancy.[26][27]

    Nevertheless, Sarah Pratt recounted an incident in which

    [Bennett was en route to do] "a little job for Joseph [because] one of his women was in trouble." Saying this, he took [out] a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end. I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered.[28]

    Pratt also told Wymetal how she had refuted Smith's son Joseph Smith III belief that a lack of progeny proved his father had not been a polygamist, writing:[29]

    I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened.'[30]

    However, Smith III's published account of the conversation contradicts Pratt's recollection:

    Did he ever at such times or at any other time or place make improper overtures to you, or proposals of an improper nature—begging your pardon for the apparent indelicacy of this question? To this Mrs. Pratt replied, quietly but firmly, "No, Joseph; your father never said an improper word to me in his life. He knew better." Sister Pratt, it has been frequently told that he behaved improperly in your presence, and I have been told that I dare not come to you and ask you about your relations with him, for fear you would tell me things which would be unwelcome to me. "You need have no such fear," she repeated. "Your father was never guilty of an action or proposal of an improper nature in my house, towards me, or in my presence, at any time or place. There is no truth in the reports that have been circulated about him in this regard. He was always the Christian gentleman, and a noble man.[31]

    By 1886 Mrs. Goddard was dead and could not refute anything Pratt might say about her former landlords. Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were also dead and unable to refute Pratt. Pratt told Wymetal that when the testimonials were published, she went straight to the Goddard's home. She claimed Stephen ran out the back door, but that she confronted Zeruiah, who sobbed

    It is not my fault; Hyrum Smith [Joseph's brother] came to our house, with the affidavits all written out, and forced us to sign them. Joseph and the Church must be saved, said he. We saw that resistance was useless, they would have ruined us; so we signed the papers.[32]

    Pratt's 1886 accounts portray her as being a virtuous innocent, if knowledgeable about Bennett's alleged abortions on Smith's behalf. The elderly Pratt would claim: " know that the principle statements in John C. Bennett's book on Mormonism are true,"[33]

    Sarah Marinda Bates Pratt - Wikipedia

    More related documents:

    John C. Bennett's and Alleged Abortions in Nauvoo
    Mormon quotes about abortion.
    Abortion and LDS Inconsistency – Mormonism Research Ministry
     
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  2. Ironhold

    Ironhold Member

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    If memory serves, Bennett was shown the door for all of the drama he was causing.

    Why kick someone like that to the curb if they had that much possible blackmail on Joseph unless he didn't actually have it?
     
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  3. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    John Cook Bennett was a very interesting character, but not someone I would but any confidence in. He was charged with lying and other misconduct by Pickaway Masonic Lodge in 1834. He joined The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints in September of 1840 and was excommunicated in 11, May 1842 less than two years later. After his excommunication for adultery he turned against Joseph Smith and The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints and later became a member of several break away churches. He was excommunicated from the Strangites in 1847.
     
  4. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the history.

    Is there any truth to the claims, since he is not the only one who wrote about it?
     
  5. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    John C. Bennett was indeed a doctor and is known for some accomplishments such as advocating the use of chloroform as an anesthetic. Here is some information from Mormon Polygamy Documents:

    "There are in fact three historical documents that associate Bennett with abortion. Hyrum Smith testified in 1842 that Bennett assuaged the fears of the women he seduced by promising: “He would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant.”[3] Also, Mrs. Zeruiah Goddard affirmed on August 28, 1842: “Mrs. Pratt stated to me that Dr. Bennett told her, that he could cause abortion with perfect safety to the mother, at any stage of pregnancy, and that he had frequently destroyed and removed infants before their time to prevent exposure of the parties, and that he had instruments for that purpose, &c.”[4] Sarah Pratt described the instrument Bennett may have used: “a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end.”[5]

    These statements document that Bennett claimed he was capable of inducing (via medications) or performing (with surgical instrumentation) an abortion. As a licensed physician and experienced obstetrician, he may have done so in Nauvoo. In 1825 John C. Bennett passed the exam then required to practice medicine.[6] In 1837 he published The Accoucheur’s Vad Mecum, an account of his obstetrical experiences.[7]

    Sarah Pratt also claimed in the late 1880s that Bennett not only performed abortions in Nauvoo, but some of them were on Joseph Smith’s plural wives. Anti-Mormon writer Wihelm Wyl quoted Sarah:

    You hear often that Joseph had no polygamous offspring. The reason of this is very simple. Abortion was practiced on a large scale in Nauvoo. Dr. John C. Bennett, the evil genius of Joseph, brought this abomination into a scientific system. He showed to my husband and me the instruments with which he used to “operate for Joseph.” There was a house in Nauvoo, “right across the flat,” about a mile and a-half from the town, a kind of hospital. They sent the women there, when they showed signs of celestial consequences. Abortion was practiced regularly in this house.[8]

    Sarah claimed many things about Joseph Smith throughout her lifetime, but this is probably one of her most over-the-top statements. She made other allegations that contradict more reliable historical data. For example, when asked about the statement, “Joseph had eighty wives at the time of his death,” Sarah Pratt replied: “He had many more, my dear sir; at least he had seduced many more, and those with whom he had lived without their being sealed to him, were sealed to him after his death.”[9] Currently there is no evidence for “eighty wives” or “many more” than eighty as Pratt alleged.

    The likelihood that Bennett performed abortions on any of Joseph Smith’s plural wives seems highly unlikely. Virtually no evidence has been found supporting that the Prophet confided in him regarding any of Joseph’s plural marriage teachings or activities. Bennett admitted in October 1843 that Joseph never taught him about eternal marriage and Joseph never taught plural marriage except within the context they could be eternal.[10] As a polygamy outsider, Joseph would not have readily consulted him for any purpose associated with the practice.

    More importantly, Sarah Pratt’s timeline is problematic. When Joseph Smith and Bennett split in early 1842, Joseph was arguably the only man practicing authorized polygamy. Also, there is no evidence that Louisa Beaman (sealed for “time and eternity” on April 5, 1841) or Agnes Coolbrith (married “for time” but with no evidence of sexuality) had become pregnant. These were the only two plural wives with whom I believe he would have been experiencing sexual relations. It seems if Bennett performed abortions during his 22-month stay in Nauvoo, they would have been on women made pregnant by him or his followers, but no supportive evidence has been found.

    Of less importance to critics, but of great significance to Nauvoo polygamists is that Joseph taught that plural marriage was to “multiply and replenish the earth” (D&C 132:63). Abortion produces the opposite result. The duplicity, if it had ever occurred, not only would have created confusion amongst his morally-conservative followers but also would have branded him a hypocrite. No such allegations are found in the historical record.

    While Bennett may well have performed abortions on women that he and his “spiritual wifery” followers may have impregnated, extrapolating that he also performed abortions of Joseph Smith’s plural wives is not supported by the historical record. It also does not answer the question: “Where are the children from all of Joseph’s plural wives if intimate relations occurred commonly in those relationships?”

    From: John C. Bennett's and Alleged Abortions in Nauvoo
     
  6. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Bennett sounds like a guy I would not want to hang out with.
     
  7. Ironhold

    Ironhold Member

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    This goes back to what I noted: if Bennett had indeed been performing abortions on behalf of Joseph Smith, that kind of blackmail would logically have been swiftly used against Joseph once Bennett was no longer in his good graces.
     
  8. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    I doubt if any "true believers" would believe Bennett.
     
  9. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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  10. Ironhold

    Ironhold Member

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    Opponents of the church would have offered him large sums of cash for such blackmail.
     
  11. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that because there was enough people saying it was happening already.

    When you consider that Zeruiah Goddard, Hyrum Smith, The elderly Pratt would claim: " know that the principle statements in John C. Bennett's book on Mormonism are true,",
    Nevertheless, Sarah Pratt recounted an incident in which

    [Bennett was en route to do] "a little job for Joseph [because] one of his women was in trouble." Saying this, he took [out] a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end.

    Pratt's Claims in Mormon Portraits, 1886
    By 1886 Sarah Pratt was willing to go on the record regarding the seduction allegations. In 1886 Wilhelm Ritter Von Wymetal (as Wilhelm Wyl) published the anti-Mormon volume Mormon Portraits. In her 1886 interview with W. Wyl, Sarah Pratt alleged that Joseph Smith engaged Bennett, a medical doctor, to perform abortions on Smith's plural wives who were otherwise unmarried.

    Orson Pratt’s wife, Sarah Marinda Bates, said this of Bennett:

    “I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end. I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered.”

    Hyrum Smith signed an affidavit claiming that Bennett “would give [women] medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant.”
     
  12. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The Greatest Scamp in the West. 127



    DOCTOR JOHN C. BENNETT.
    ______

    The Napoleon of Nauvoo -- A Modern Sejanus -- A Fine Blessing by Hyrum Smith -- "My Servant Bennett" -- Joab, General in Israel -- Visits in the Historian's Office -- Apostle Richards and other Interesting People -- The Author Gets a Holy Bouncing -- They Cannot Lie -- Joab Leaves Nauvoo -- Dies in Obscurity.

    Dr. John C. Bennett, physician, quartermaster general, master in chancery, major general, mayor, chancellor of the Nauvoo University -- this is another star, or rather, meteor in the history of Nauvoo. We know him already; Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt has given us a portrait of him, which shows conclusively that one can be a great man in the world while he would be a very little one in the penitentiary. But I like that fellow Bennett first-rate all the same, in an artistic way, of course, because he is such an excellent type of the "Catilinarian existences" above quoted.

    Who was Dr. Bennett? In the opinion of Governor Ford * he was the greatest scamp in the West. In his own conceit he was, if second to anybody, so only to Napoleon the Great. He was a physician, had some military knowledge, picked up God knows where, a towering ambition and a very keen sense of female beauty, or, to speak like a Mormon elder, for the blessings of Abraham, Jacob, Solomon and David. He thought he could use Joseph as a ladder to greatness, but Joseph used him as a tool, and when he had learned all the tricks of Bennett, he threw him away, as he did his first master and mentor,"my servant Sidney," as he did "that old granny, Martin Harris." Bennett lived eighteen months in Nauvoo,

    __________
    * See "History of Illinois." The part of this book which treats of the Mormons is admirable in substance and spirit.

    Smith History Vault: 1886 Wyl book (excerpts)
     
  13. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    128 Mormon Portraits. -- I. Joseph Smith.


    organized the new Mormon empire, wrote the charters of the city and procured their passage in the State legislature; drilled the Nauvoo legion, practiced abortion for the prophet, treated professionally the maladies galantes of the high priesthood, helped Joseph to organize the criminal masonry of the endowment, in which he assumed the role of "Holy Ghost," was his accomplice in the attempted murder of Governor Boggs, and who knows in how many other schemes of this kind, and enjoyed the blessings of Isaac and Jacob, etc. But all of a sudden he fell like Sejanus. Yes, he fell, after having been mayor of the city, chancellor of the Nauvoo "University," major-general of the Nauvoo Legion, and, as my homespun friend Webb says, "chief cook and bottle-washer" in general. And why did he fall? Look out for the woman as the Frenchman has it. He and Joseph wanted, it seems, to shower the blessings of Abraham and Jacob on the same beauties. Dismissed from his high position, he lectured in the States against Joseph and wrote a book which in its theatrical pathos reminds me often of Fallstaff's excellent friend "Pistol;" but this book * is, besides being a clever compilation of Howe's and other anti-Mormon publications, true in all essential points; what Bennett tells is true. I had his tale confirmed by all my old witnesses. The only thing to be said against the book is the fact, that he does not tell the whole truth. He avoids this partly because it would damn himself, and then because the whole truth about Mormonism cannot be printed -- it is too filthy for type.

    How big a light the doctor was in Nauvoo, in the beginning of his eighteen months career, is best seen by a blessing pronounced on Bennett's head by Patriarch Hyrum Smith. I wonder whether the two augurs did not laugh to each other while this "blessing" -- comedy was going on? Here are some tid-bits of the document:

    "John C. Bennett -- I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus Christ, and inasmuch as thou art a son of Abraham, I bless you with the holy priesthood, with all its graces and gifts and with wisdom

    __________
    * The History of the Saints, or, an expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism. Boston, 1842.
    Smith History Vault: 1886 Wyl book (excerpts)
     
  14. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The Prophet's Friend a Devil. 133


    who held the rank of lieutenant-general." * Poor, dear old Jehovah! He had not had such a holiday since the great times of General Joshua; and this splendid morning of the Nauvoo kingdom was a proud one for Emma and the "ladies" in general. There was such a crowd of Bonapartes and Washingtons, thunder of artillery, soul-stintng martial music, polite bows, grand speeches, sweet smiles -- it was the glorious summer of Zion, and they didn't dream that winter was so near. Bennett was the proudest of them all. Was it not all his work, his brains, science and experience? He felt himself Bonaparte and Washington in one. The clever little fellow! When at the height of his glory in Nauvoo, he was five teet five inches -- just like Napoleon I., you know -- and 142 pounds in weight. Joseph weighed 212 pounds, and was six feet -- Lee says six feet two inches.

    "All decent people in Nauvoo," says Mr. K., "regarded Bennett as a perfect scoundrel." And he was the prophet's Pylades: was with him day and night! Mr. Webb says: "He was a very small, villainous-looking man. I hated him from sight. Ambition and women filled his soul." "He was full of low cunning and licentiousness," says Mrs. Pratt. Several well-informed witnesses tell me that he used to promise abortion to those females that objected to the "blessings of Abraham" on the ground of fear for the consequences. "I heard him preach against the Gentiles," said a lady of eighty-eight years to me. "He seemed raving mad. I said, 'The fellow is a devil,' but my friends warned me not to talk like that of the best friend of the prophet."

    I saw the Nauvoo Wasp in the "historian's ofiice." Fine, snug place for study, that ofiice. But they wouldn't let me study there, you see. Let me tell you how this "came to pass." First, I was very well received there. Apostle Richards, the present manager, † is as nice a

    __________
    * "And that Brigham Young was [to be] the next." -- Tullidge, Brigham Young, p. 30.

    † Apostle Woodruff, the real "historian," is "in obscurity," as Apostle Richards told me. The poor old gentlemen cannot bear the sight of a deputy marshal.
    Smith History Vault: 1886 Wyl book (excerpts)
     
  15. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Mrs. P.: "You hear often that Joseph had no polygamous offspring. The reason of this is very simple. Abortion was practiced on a large scale in Nauvoo. Dr. John C. Bennett, the evil genius of Joseph, brought this abomination into a scientific system. He showed to my husband and me the instruments with which he used to 'operate for Joseph.' There was a house in Nauvoo, 'right across the flat,' about a mile and a-half from the town, a kind of hospital. They sent the women there, when they showed signs of celestial consequences. Abortion was practiced regularly in this house."

    Mrs. H.: "Many little bodies of new-born children floated down the Mississippi."

    Smith History Vault: 1886 Wyl book (excerpts)


    60 Mormon Portraits. -- I. Joseph Smith.


    May 21, 1886, I had a fresh interview with Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt, who had the kindness to give me the following testimony additional to the information given by her in our interviews in the spring of 1885. "I want you to have all my statements correct in your book," said the noble lady, "and put my name to them; I want the truth, the full truth, to be known, and bear the responsibility of it.

    "I have told you that the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times. My husband (Orson Pratt) could not be induced to believe such things of his prophet. Seeing his obstinate incredulity, Mrs. White proposed to Mr. Pratt and myself to put us in a position where we could observe what was going on between herself and Joseph the prophet. We, however, declined this proposition. You have made a mistake in the table of contents of your book in calling this woman "Mrs. Harris." Mrs. [G. W.] Harris was a married lady, a very great friend of mine. When Joseph had made his dastardly attempt on me, I went to Mrs. Harris to unbosom my grief to her. To my utter astonishment, she said, laughing heartily: "How foolish you are! I don't see anything so horrible in it. Why, I AM HIS MISTRESS SINCE FOUR YEARS!"

    "Next door to my house was a house of bad reputation. One single woman lived there, not very attractive. She used to be visited by people from Carthage whenever they came to Nauvoo. Joseph used to come on horseback, ride up to the house and tie his horse to a tree, many of which stood before the house. Then he would enter the house of the woman from the back. I have seen him do this repeatedly.

    "Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet, and president of the re-organized Mormon church, paid me a visit, and I had a long talk with him. I saw that he was not inclined




    A Little Job for Joseph. 61


    to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened.'

    It was in this way that I became acquainted with Dr. John C. Bennett. When my husband went to England as a missionary, he got the promise from Joseph that I should receive provisions from the tithing-house. Shortly afterward Joseph made his propositions to me and they enraged me so that I refused to accept any help from the tithing-house or from the bishop. Having been always very clever and very busy with my needle, I began to take in sewing for the support of myself and children, and succeeded soon in making myself independent. When Bennett came to Nauvoo, Joseph brought him to my house, stating that Bennett wanted some sewing done, and that I should do it for the doctor. I assented and Bennett gave me a great deal of work to do. He knew that Joseph had his plans set on me; Joseph made no secret of them before Bennett, and went so far in his impudence as to make propositions to me in the presence of Bennett, his bosom friend. Bennett, who was of a sarcastic turn of mind, used to come and tell me about Joseph to tease and irritate me. One day they came both, Joseph and Bennett, on horseback to my house. Bennett dismounted, Joseph remained outside. Bennett wanted me to return to him a book I had borrowed from him. It was a so-called doctor-book. I had a rapidly growing little family and wanted to inform myself about certain matters in regard to babies, etc., -- this explains my borrowing that book. While giving Bennett his book, I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end. I




    62 Mormon Portraits. -- I. Joseph Smith.

    heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered.

    "Bennett was the most intimate friend of Joseph for a time. He boarded with the prophet. He told me once that Joseph had been talking with him about his troubles with Emma, his wife. 'He asked me,' said Bennett, smilingly, 'what he should do to get out of the trouble?' I said, 'This is very simple. GET A REVELATION that polygamy is right, and all your troubles will be at an end.'

    "The only 'wives' of Joseph that lived in the Mansion House were the Partridge girls. This is explained by the fact that they were the servants in the hotel kept by the prophet. But when Emma found out that Joseph went to their room, they had to leave the house.

    "I remember Emma's trip to St. Louis. I begged her to buy for me a piece of black silk there.

    "You should bear in mind that Joseph did not think of a marriage or sealing ceremony for many years. He used to state to his intended victims, as he did to me: 'God does not care if we have a good time, if only other people do not know it.' He only introduced as marriage ceremony when he had found out that he could not get certain women without it. I think Louisa Beeman was the first case of this kind. If any woman, like me, opposed his wishes, he used to say: 'Be silent, or I shall ruin your character. My character must be sustained in the interests of the church.' When he had assailed me and saw that he could not seal my lips, he sent word to me that he would work my salvation, if I kept silent. I sent back that I would talk as much as I pleased and as much as I knew to be the truth, and as to my salvation, I would try and take care of that myself.

    "In his endeavors to ruin my character Joseph went so far as to publish an extra-sheet containing affidavits against my reputation. When this sheet was brought to me I discovered to my astonishment the names of two people on it, man and wife, with whom I had boarded for a certain time. I never thought much of the man,




    Hyrum Saves the Church. 63


    but the woman was an honest person, and I knew that she must have been forced to do such a thing against me. So I went to their house; the man left the house hurridly when he saw me coming. I found the wife and said to her rather excitedly: 'What does it all mean?' She began to sob. 'It is not my fault,' said she. 'Hyrum Smith came to our house, with the affidavits all written out, and forced us to sign them. 'Joseph and the church must be saved,' said he. We saw that resistance was useless, they would have ruined us; so we signed the papers.'"

    Let us now introduce a statement as to the reliability of Mrs. Pratt. She is well known in Salt Lake City and all over Utah as possessing all the virtues of an excellent wife and mother; but outsiders may wish to know of Mrs. Pratt's standing in this community, and I take pleasure in giving a testimonial

    Salt Lake City, May 1886.
    We, the undersigned, cordially bear witness to the excellent reputation of Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt. We feel well assured that Mrs. Pratt is a lady whose statements are absolutely to be depended upon. Entire frankness and a high sense of honor and truth are regarded in this community, where she has dwelt since 1847, as her ruling characteristics.
    Charles S. Zane,
    Chief Justice Utah Territory.

    Arthur L, Thomas,
    Secretary Utah Territory.

    Rev. J. W. Jackson,
    U. S. A. Chaplain, Fort Douglas.
    I could very readily augment this testimonial with many others were it deemed worth while.
     
  16. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    The last posts of testimonies are from

    Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal
    1838-1896)
    Mormon Portraits I
    (SLC: Tribune Printing & Pub., 1886)

    Basically, those who did not like LDS, Mormons back them likely believed the claims. Whereas, true LDS believers could not accept the claims.
     
  17. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    While recognizing that abortion is an “ugly thing” that causes “remorse, sorrow and regret,” Hinckley went on to say, “While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.”

    President Hinckley said those who face such a question should “pray in great earnestness, receiving a confirmation through prayer before proceeding.” Unless the purpose of praying is meant to lead the individual to the prophet’s position, I ask, “why would prayer be necessary?” In the context of Mormonism, how trustworthy could this “personal revelation” be if it contradicts the guidelines set forth by the prophet?

    ...

    For example, Spencer Kimball taught: “Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day…” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.189). He continued by saying,

    “Members of the Church guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion must be subjected to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church, as circumstances warrant. We remember the reiteration of the Ten Commandments given by the Lord in our own time, when he said, ‘Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.'”

    Kimball’s quote comes from Doctrine and Covenants 59:6.

    ...

    Why the Inconsistency?

    Abortion and LDS Inconsistency – Mormonism Research Ministry
     
  18. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Prophet Spencer W. Kimball (1895 – 1985):


    “Among the most common sexual sins our young people commit are necking and petting. Not only do these improper relations often lead to fornication, pregnancy, and abortions – all ugly sins – but in and of themselves they are pernicious evils...”

    - Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 65

    “There is such a close relationship between the taking of a life and the taking of an embryonic child, between murder and abortion, that we would hope that mortal men would not presume to take the frightening responsibility....”

    - Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, p. 188

    “Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day...”

    - First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney), Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1973, p. 1-2

    “[Church members] guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion must be subjected to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church as circumstances warrant.”

    - First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney), Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1973, p. 1-2

    “The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.”

    - First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney), Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1973, p. 1-2

    Prophet Ezra Taft Benson (1899 – 1994):

    “We oppose and abhor the damnable practice of wholesale abortion and every other unholy and impure act which strikes at the very foundation of the home and family, our most basic institutions.”

    - Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 539

    “... in all seriousness… you who submit yourselves to an abortion or to an operation that precludes you from safely having additional healthy children are jeopardizing your exaltation and your future membership in the kingdom of God.”

    - Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988, p. 541


    Apostle Boyd K. Packer (1924 - ):

    “Except where the wicked crime of incest or rape was involved, or where competent medical authorities certify that the life of the mother is in jeopardy, or that a severely defective fetus cannot survive birth, abortion is clearly a ‘thou shalt not.' Even in these very exceptional cases, much sober prayer is required to make the right choice.”

    - Apostle Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1990, p. 108

    “In or out of marriage, abortion is not an individual choice. At a minimum, three lives are involved.”

    - Apostle Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October 1990, p. 108


    Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley (1910 - ):

    “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were more than 1,200,000 abortions performed in 1995 in the United States alone. What has happened to our regard for human life? How can women, and men, deny the great and precious gift of life, which is divine in its origin and nature? Abortion is an ugly thing, a debasing thing, a thing which inevitably brings remorse and sorrow and regret.”

    - Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 1998
    Mormon quotes about abortion.
     
  19. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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