Joseph Smith – “I am not an adulterer”

joseph smith photoMy friend, Bret Powelson, posted a blog recently that I want to share.  It is found here, and it is well worth reading:

Update: Brett’s post is no longer available.

I also feel compelled to share my testimony on the topic.  It is short and sweet.  Joseph Smith is not, and never was, an adulterer.  How do I know this?  I am not a scriptorian, nor a church history expert.  I don’t think I’ve ever even sniffed a primary source document.  However, that is not the only way one can know things.

I have never had a waking vision of anything, but I have “seen” things, and I have had visitors.  I rarely share these things outside my family.  One of those visitors was Joseph.  He told me during that visit that, “I am not an adulterer”.  I take him at his word.

Now, you can choose to believe whatever version of history you choose to.  As for me, I now realize that Joseph shared that with me for a reason – that I could share it with you. I regret that it took me 2 months to do it.  In the spirit, then, of defending one who is not here to defend himself, I repeat: Joseph visited me in the spirit and told me directly, “I am not an adulterer”.

I testify that the words I have written are true, and I do so in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ.

17 comments on “Joseph Smith – “I am not an adulterer”

  1. He was not an adulterer according to HIS definition. But according to the definition of Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother and Adam and Eve, he most certainly was. Any action taken without the support and/or knowledge of your spouse, especially if it is an action with someone of the opposite sex, against the will of your partner is adultery. Even spiritual connections or emotional relationships. Even if a person loves, say basketball more than their spouse, that is adultery.

  2. Scott,
    I highly recommend that you sniff a page or two of The Joseph Smith Papers … such a good smell!

    Thank you for your testimony.

    • LOL, Jaxon. That made me smile – big! Of course, what I have shared is not dependent upon ANY primary documents – it being based upon a spiritual encounter – but out of curiosity, would the pages that I sniff support this testimony or not?

  3. Dear Scott,

    I don’t understand why the Lord allows people to receive messengers and visitors and messages that are contrary to other people’s experiences. It is so very confusing because all of us are in search of truth and light. With that said, I had the exact opposite experience that you had … Joseph came to me and expressed his regret that he was involved in such a thing and told me many more things that I am not comfortable sharing. I echo Sarah’s comment and add this. When Joseph came he was so humble and filled with so much love and regret. I felt great peace and because of the peace, I can’t imagine my experience came from the adversary. Joseph shared with me that part of his repentance process is ask forgiveness of all women who have been affected and greatly abused by his allowance of such a doctrine to go forth into the earth. Instead of bearing testimony that he was not an adulterer, he bore testimony of his need to ask for forgiveness.

    • Hannah, I certainly don’t know the answer to your question. I just felt compelled to share in defense of him. I’m certain that the process by which we receive revelation is imprecise, and I do not know to what extent it is filtered through our personality – meaning experiences, prejudices, desires, etc. – but if we don’t act on what we receive because we fear that it’s not perfect, then we’ll never perfect it. So – to make absolutely clear – I’m not saying either yours or mine are filtered – I think they’re both filtered. I don’t know which one is correct – or maybe they’re both correct in the Lord’s way. I don’t know. Thank you, though, for sharing YOUR experience. It still shows Joseph as a man I could get close to…you know what I mean?

  4. I also received revelation that Joseph committed adultery. He didn’t appear to me and I wasn’t talking to him. I was talking to the Lord. The revelation left me utterly shattered. It cost me dearly to receive it.

    I expect there is an explanation that would explain the differing answers on the subject. Hopefully we can find it.

    • Meili, as I said below – I know this is an inexact science, but we have to act in faith, knowing that the Lord will sustain us. Who knows why I had to post that, or why you or Hannah received conflicting revelations. Sometimes, honestly, I wonder at the responsibility of the things I write, but that, too, is part of the learning process. I still have to stick with what I received, and I would expect you to do the same.

  5. Thank you for sharing this experience. I too have felt the witness that he was a virtuous man, and even more, that his name needs to be defended. Not because of himself, but because of what his virtue stands for. Because if he was NOT a moral man, he would not have been worthy to be a prophet. So many upon hearing about not only his polygamy, but also polyandry, are so shattered and broken that they abandon faith in the restoration all together. For myself, I was so shattered that I couldn’t sleep and even lost weight (not always a good thing, promise!). In the end, after reaffirming my faith in the Book of Mormon, I explored this issue again, and boy does it go deep.
    I have not only had a spiritual witness, but also an academic witness that not only was Joseph Smith innocent of any form of polyandry and polygamy, but he also fought it. Hard. To his dying day. Just like his good wife Emma and children said. And there is plenty of evidence to the same in the Price’s book “Joseph Fought Polygamy”. I hope you don’t mind sharing my own experience and research on this subject: https://thefullnessofzion.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/my-journey-through-and-out-of-polygamy-part-1/

  6. How many wives did God create for Adam?

  7. The water certainly is muddied by the different testimonies. I 100% support what Adrian Larsen said in his blog, you can’t have it both ways. If Joseph lied in any way, if he played word games, prevaricated, obfuscated or in any way did what the Lord condemns from lawyers, that is, using cunning words to trip people up and gain an advantage (the opposite of charity), then Joseph is doing what the Lord hates. His greatest sin would be doing things behind Emma’s back, covering up and lying to her. She defended him to the end, not because she was in deep denial but because she knew the truth about him. What ye sow, so shall ye reap. If Joseph sowed lies and subterfuge as his legacy, then no amount of repenting or asking forgiveness will change what has been sowed. The current status of the corporation of the president, with its vast wealth and worldly power, is what has been sowed from a legacy of lies. However, I don’t believe that Joseph is the author of those lies nor is he the author of multiple sexual relationships while being married to a concurrent wife. That came after Joseph and the church is now reaping the whirlwind. If we are going to cut Joseph and his brethren a lot of slack in being imperfect, deceived by the adversary and still being righteous enough in bringing about the restoration and keys, then we need to cut slack for Judas, Charles Manson, Hitler, Stalin and countless others who operate in the big leagues of lying.

    • Loren, I agree with what you say. Concerning the Judas, Manson, etc. comment – much closer to home are the Old testament fathers – especially Isaac and Ishmael, and Jacob and Esau,. The deceipt, murder, etc that they perpetrated on each other and others is, by our modern understanding despicable. I strongly suspect there is more to their stories, too, that is not included in the narrative or has been twisted by conspiring men.

      • Scoot, I intentionally used extreme examples because what Joseph is accused of is also extreme. Hitler had a strong spiritual foundation, he was going to be a priest. He drifted into his extreme evil because of pride or whatever, but he also did some good by restoring German pride and inginuity, economic prosperity and unparalleled engineering and technology. So, my remarks are aimed at the Brian Hales of the world and other mainstream Mormons who still believe that Joseph was guily of polygamy and probably guilty of deceit and cover up, because he was “human”. When in fact, such human error would cause his favor with the Lord to crumble. After all, losing 116 pages of the manuscript is far less serious yet incurred great disfavor from the Lord, than lying and having multiple sexual relationships. Regarding the patriarchs from the old test, Jacob 2 is very clear about them of old as to their abominations. Abraham was somewhat less guilty because his wife encouraged him to take Hagoth and produce seed, because she lacked faith that in her old age she could conceive. The sin was more on Sarah than it was on Abraham.

      • Adams words after his wife gave him a bite of the apple , She did make me.
        Is that what you are saying in your comment with Abraham and Sarah?
        God did not find favor with that attitude.
        We cannot change facts in our lives.
        Joseph Smith did commit adultery.
        Jesus would not have given special passes for him for him to carry out his earthly urges.
        He could have helped those women in many other ways. He had a good wife that took care of his needs.

  8. No, I am not excusing Abraham. But he did nothing behind Sarah’s back. It was not only done with Sarah’s consent, it was done with her initiative. Regarding Joseph Smith, we have a clearly defined choice. Either he did commit adultery or he did not. If he did, as Adrian’s article points out, then he is a liar and that legacy is passed down to the current president of the church. If he did not, then the current church is built on a foundation of liars starting with Brigham Young. Either way, the Utah church loses. I stand solidly with Joseph and Emma, that he did not participate in any multiple sexual relationships, Emma was the only one.

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