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Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:52 pm
by Rollo Tomasi
harmony wrote:... he was not a martyr, he was a prisoner and therefore any movement outside the jail could rationally be understood as an escape attempt no matter who was climbing the steps at the time, he was indeed murdered as he fell/jumped from the window, . while trying to escape his fate.

I still gotta disagree with you on this one. An "escape attempt," in my mind, is planned and initiated by the prisoner -- this one was not, but was simply human survival instinct kicking in, precipitated not by Joseph's desire to be free, but by his desire to live when faced with a horrible situation (I can't imagine what it must be like to be a sitting duck while hundreds of armed men congregate around you for the sole purpose of ending your life). Joseph had been in the jail for at least two days, but he didn't attempt to "escape" until his final moments of life (although he certainly had a much better chance to "escape" before the mob converged on the jail during the afternoon of the 27th); instead, the only time he made any effort to leave his "cell" without proper authorization of the jailer (i.e., "escape attempt") was when armed and hostile men stormed his small room (after blowing his brother away and severely wounding John Taylor, whom Joseph also thought was dead) and hundreds of equally armed and hostile men surrounding the jail outside. If Joseph's flight to the window sill can be characterized as an "escape attempt," then Joseph sure had a horrible sense of timing, don't ya think?

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:30 pm
by Jason Bourne
harmony wrote:I would be the first to agree with you, Jason (about my hostility clouding my judgment sometimes), but that doesn't change the facts: he was not a martyr, he was a prisoner and therefore any movement outside the jail could rationally be understood as an escape attempt no matter who was climbing the steps at the time, he was indeed murdered as he fell/jumped from the window, . while trying to escape his fate.


Wrong. He was a martyr. Plain and simple.

Jason

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:58 pm
by harmony
Jason Bourne wrote:
harmony wrote:I would be the first to agree with you, Jason (about my hostility clouding my judgment sometimes), but that doesn't change the facts: he was not a martyr, he was a prisoner and therefore any movement outside the jail could rationally be understood as an escape attempt no matter who was climbing the steps at the time, he was indeed murdered as he fell/jumped from the window, . while trying to escape his fate.


Wrong. He was a martyr. Plain and simple.

Jason


Wrong. He was not a martyr. Plain and simple. He was murdered, but he wasn't a martyr.

See? I can do it too. Now... would you care to say why you think he was a martyr and I'll tell you why I think he wasn't?

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:31 am
by OUT OF MY MISERY
Okay I am like really really confused.

Was Joseph Smith a martyr or not????

Has anyone actually looked up the meaning or should I do it?

again are we getting get up in the semantics of the word????

Which is it you smart people???

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:34 am
by OUT OF MY MISERY
In the Christian context, a martyr is an innocent person who, without seeking death (suicide being seen as sinful), is murdered or put to death for his or her religious faith or convictions. An example is the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire. Christian martyrs sometimes decline to defend themselves at all, in what they see as an imitation of Jesus' willing sacrifice.

This is from WIKIPEDIA the above thing here LOOK UP

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:01 pm
by harmony
coffeecat wrote:In the Christian context, a martyr is an innocent person who, without seeking death (suicide being seen as sinful), is murdered or put to death for his or her religious faith or convictions. An example is the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire. Christian martyrs sometimes decline to defend themselves at all, in what they see as an imitation of Jesus' willing sacrifice.

This is from WIKIPEDIA the above thing here LOOK UP


Well, in that case, Joseph wasn't a martyr. He certainly wasn't innocent, it can be argued that he was put to death because of his political aspirations rather than his religion, and he tried to defend himself. He was murdered; he wasn't martyred.

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:26 pm
by Jason Bourne
harmony wrote:
coffeecat wrote:In the Christian context, a martyr is an innocent person who, without seeking death (suicide being seen as sinful), is murdered or put to death for his or her religious faith or convictions. An example is the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire. Christian martyrs sometimes decline to defend themselves at all, in what they see as an imitation of Jesus' willing sacrifice.

This is from WIKIPEDIA the above thing here LOOK UP


Well, in that case, Joseph wasn't a martyr. He certainly wasn't innocent, it can be argued that he was put to death because of his political aspirations rather than his religion, and he tried to defend himself. He was murdered; he wasn't martyred.



He may not have been innocent of some things but was he guilty of something that required death? So what that he tried to defend himself. Must a martyr be passive? He went off to Carthage, he knew he would likely be killed, and he was killed, by a mob in innocense of any crime requiring such a punishment. You simply are incorrect Harmony.

Jason

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:21 pm
by Nortinski
Jason Bourne wrote:
harmony wrote:
coffeecat wrote:In the Christian context, a martyr is an innocent person who, without seeking death (suicide being seen as sinful), is murdered or put to death for his or her religious faith or convictions. An example is the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire. Christian martyrs sometimes decline to defend themselves at all, in what they see as an imitation of Jesus' willing sacrifice.

This is from WIKIPEDIA the above thing here LOOK UP


Well, in that case, Joseph wasn't a martyr. He certainly wasn't innocent, it can be argued that he was put to death because of his political aspirations rather than his religion, and he tried to defend himself. He was murdered; he wasn't martyred.



He may not have been innocent of some things but was he guilty of something that required death? So what that he tried to defend himself. Must a martyr be passive? He went off to Carthage, he knew he would likely be killed, and he was killed, by a mob in innocense of any crime requiring such a punishment. You simply are incorrect Harmony.

Jason


"Like a lamb to the slaughter"? I think not. If lambs were armed like Joey Smith there would be a lot fewer wool sweaters in the world.

Nort

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:23 pm
by Ray A
Dr. Shades wrote:A number of days ago, someone at RFM reposted a quote from Tal Bachman made sometime earlier.

The actual post was quite long, but I can abbreviate it effectively enough, I think.

Tal addressed one of the apologists' favorite arguments: The anti-presentist argument. You know, the which goes "It's wrong to judge Joseph Smith by our modern 21st Century moral standards. We must judge Joseph Smith by his own 19th Century standards."

The problem with this apologetic stance, according to Tal, is twofold:

FIRST, this implies that society is becoming increasingly moral as time goes on. Or, in other words, we are all becoming more moral than we were before. HOWEVER, the prophets and apostles repeatedly and obsessively tell us that our society's morals are getting worse all the time, that this generation is more wicked than the one in the days of Noah, etc. So, which is it? Are the apologists right and modern society more moral than ever before, or are the prophets right and modern society is less moral than ever before? [Or is this another instance of Internet Mormonism vs. Chapel Mormonism?]



I haven't read the other posts but I'll chip in. Many of my points have nothing to do with what prophets say. Morality is a complex issue for historians. Maybe it's black and white for some, for those who believe there's an "objective morality". Take euthanasia. Is it right or wrong to allow someone in terrible pain to die at their wish? You'll find division on this question, with both parties claiming morality for their position. Why do we put down animals to spare them suffering, but allow humans to suffer? Is that moral? I don't buy the argument that morality is getting better, but in many ways we have become more ethical. Slavery was abolished, polygamy has been outlawed in all western countries which follow the Judaeo-Christian ethic. We have more awareness of environmentalism. We have progressed in medicine and science to the point where we now have bionic arms amuptees can operate just by thinking, and their brain waves operate the arm, but we don't know if the person/people who invented this have five sexual partners "on the side". We don't know if they beat their spouses. We don't know if they filter funds from banks through electronic means. Society has generally become "more caring" in most areas, but that's no guarantee that personal morality has improved.

Let me give another angle and example from an Australian sport, rugby league. In the last few years many players have been "outed" for drink-driving, being thugs bashing people at nightclubs, getting drunk and harassing people, and in several cases accused of rape. How come this never happened in the 1940s-80s? Well, it did, but what changed was huge player salaries, up to $400,000 a year, more media scrutiny, and more accountability, drink-drive laws, and women who would speak out now but not in the early days. This gives the perception that morality has grown worse. It hasn't. It's still the same. Yet, crime has changed in some ways; we can no longer sleep with our front doors unlocked, like many of us did in the 1950s and 60s. But what caused that shift? A larger population, unemployment, the proliferation of new drugs and more pushers. 80% percent of house break and enter has been linked to drugs. Has human nature changed? No, circumstances have. Access to violence and porn in film, video and computer is now at one's fingertips. If someone living in the 19th century had access to all this would they act any differently than someone today? No. Queen Victoria kept nudes in her collections, and Henry VIII had numerous wives. Some Protestant and Catholic priests in the 15th-18th centuries had concubines (for details see Owen Chadwick, The Reformation). Muhammad married a nine year old girl. Some popes were reported to be incestuous. So did pedophile priests suddenly appear? No. This went on all through the 1950s- 1990s, but reporting, exposure, and more accountability informed us. Have Catholic priests become more moral, yes, and seminary numbers have fallen to record lows. It's hard to find men wanting to go into the celibate priesthood now.

Strictly speaking, it is not incorrect to say that we have become worse, less moral, but that's because we have a greater population, access to more sophisticated ways of crime and immorality. Japan was one of the most prudish societies until about ten years ago, now it has a proliferation and indulgence in porn almost like no other country. What brought this about? Sociological studies and government action. It was discovered that with more porn availability sex crimes decreased, significantly, so the government acted. One might now say Japan is "disgusting" because of the amount and nature of the porn coming out of there, but as far as sex crime is concerned it's now more moral than it was under porn prohibition and the shame attached to its use before. One might say, from the perspective of a prophet, Japan is heading for Sodom. It's disputable that the proliferation of porn does family life any good. But what does that say about the polygamous nature of males? Does anyone doubt that? How many US presidents had women on the side? Jefferson was mentioned, as he had slave concubines. According to Tal he was "ashamed" when all of this was discovered. But did that alter the facts? Does that alter the fact of what human nature, and particularly the nature of males is? Shame is only the reaction of being exposed for doing something we all like to think "only bad or immoral people do". How many men who criticise Joseph Smith have had adulterous affairs? How many have lied to their wives? Or girlfriends? The question is hypothetical, but maybe you get the drift.

As far as Mormonism can curb immorality, by diverting the sexual drive of males into religious devotion (which sometimes goes overboard, perhaps because of that repression), then it is getting morally better. So when a prophet says that immorality is getting "worse", he is correct in the sense I mentioned above, but it is getting better for Mormons who abide by the laws of the gospel. So it's not so much "society is getting worse", it's that Mormons are getting better, or it could be JWs, or SDAs, or Christians, with exceptions like Baker, Swaggart, and Haggard. The irony for me, which is what I question, is whether we will have a "better" society with no abortions, no gay marriage, no porn availability, no birth control, etc. Mother Theresa was outspoken about abortion and all of the popes have condemned contraception, which has led to epidemics of unwanted children, AIDS and other sexual diseases killing a continents in the Third World. Men go out and have adulterous affairs without using condoms, get AIDS, and bring it home to their wives. This again is the "Japan equation". Which is worse?

Just some thoughts.

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:54 pm
by Mister Scratch
Rollo Tomasi wrote:This all reminds me. Years ago, I visited Nauvoo (before the temple was rebuilt and when it was still a sleepy little town). I'm a bit of a history buff, and knew where in the little neighboring village of Warsaw, Illinois (a few miles from Carthage and Nauvoo) that Thomas Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, the most rabid of all anti-Mormon publications of the time, had maintained his office in 1844. Sharp was the man credited with fomenting the greatest hatred toward the Mormons, and he was believed to have participated in the murders at Carthage (he was later tried, and acquitted with the other defendants -- by the way, when later asked if he did participate in the murders, all he had to say was: "Well, the jury said not."), and a few years later he helped burn down the Nauvoo Temple. I found what used to be his newspaper office (now an abandoned shell among many other vacant storefronts along main street in Warsaw), and took great pleasure in delivering the largest loogie I could muster onto the front glass of the old newspaper office.


Well, as the old saying goes: To err is human, to spit is divine.

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:38 pm
by harmony
Queen Victoria kept nudes in her collections, and Henry VIII had numerous wives.


Henry only had one wife at a time. He got rid of/killed each one before he married the next one. That small detail means he and Joseph were not in the same club. Henry was a killer; Joseph was an adulterer.

Muhammad married a nine year old girl.


Can we stick to historical facts and leave the religious myths aside?

How many US presidents had women on the side? Jefferson was mentioned, as he had slave concubines.


1. Jefferson is one of many, and is not representative of the entire sample.
2. If I recall correctly, it's not completely established that Jefferson fathered children with his female slave.
3. US presidents and LDS prophets are two very different catagories, driven by different motives. The people supposedly "call" one; God supposedly calls the other. Two very different standards apply.

How many men who criticise Joseph Smith have had adulterous affairs? How many have lied to their wives? Or girlfriends? The question is hypothetical, but maybe you get the drift.


Even if every single one of the critics was guilty, that doesn't mean Joseph should be given a free pass. He did what he did. There is no getting around that, no matter what sins the critics themselves have on their own personal slate.

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:12 pm
by Ray A
harmony wrote:Henry only had one wife at a time. He got rid of/killed each one before he married the next one. That small detail means he and Joseph were not in the same club. Henry was a killer; Joseph was an adulterer.


This is not the subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.

Muhammad married a nine year old girl.


Can we stick to historical facts and leave the religious myths aside?


The Hadith states she was six or seven when betrothed and nine when she married Muhammad. But there is some disputation. There is no "religious myth" here.

This is still not the main subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.


1. Jefferson is one of many, and is not representative of the entire sample.
2. If I recall correctly, it's not completely established that Jefferson fathered children with his female slave.
3. US presidents and LDS prophets are two very different catagories, driven by different motives. The people supposedly "call" one; God supposedly calls the other. Two very different standards apply.


This is not the subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.

Even if every single one of the critics was guilty, that doesn't mean Joseph should be given a free pass. He did what he did. There is no getting around that, no matter what sins the critics themselves have on their own personal slate.


Still not on subject, but I know of your deep love and affection for Joseph Smith. You must have to take sedatives when you go to church and hear his name, which I gather is not often.

I may have missed it, but what is your view? Is society getting more moral, or less moral? Here is what I was addressing in general:

Tal addressed one of the apologists' favorite arguments: The anti-presentist argument. You know, the which goes "It's wrong to judge Joseph Smith by our modern 21st Century moral standards. We must judge Joseph Smith by his own 19th Century standards."

The problem with this apologetic stance, according to Tal, is twofold:

FIRST, this implies that society is becoming increasingly moral as time goes on. Or, in other words, we are all becoming more moral than we were before. HOWEVER, the prophets and apostles repeatedly and obsessively tell us that our society's morals are getting worse all the time, that this generation is more wicked than the one in the days of Noah, etc. So, which is it? Are the apologists right and modern society more moral than ever before, or are the prophets right and modern society is less moral than ever before? [Or is this another instance of Internet Mormonism vs. Chapel Mormonism?]


In case you missed it, my view is that society is getting more moral in some ways, and less moral in others, and I described in detail why. I also don't believe basic human nature has changed. So whether we're talking about Judah and prostitution, King David's adultery, Joseph Smith's polygamy, or Brunei where men are allowed four wives, or Clinton's free oral lessons to Monica Lewinski, human nature remains the same.

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:15 pm
by Runtu
Ray, I thought the subject was whether those who find Joseph's behavior reprehensible are guilty of presentism, not whether society is better or worse. Am I missing something?

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:24 pm
by Ray A
Runtu wrote:Ray, I thought the subject was whether those who find Joseph's behavior reprehensible are guilty of presentism, not whether society is better or worse. Am I missing something?


You might be confusing threads, and they are both conflated, but this is what I was addressing, in the bolded portions:

Tal addressed one of the apologists' favorite arguments: The anti-presentist argument. You know, the which goes "It's wrong to judge Joseph Smith by our modern 21st Century moral standards. We must judge Joseph Smith by his own 19th Century standards."

The problem with this apologetic stance, according to Tal, is twofold:

FIRST, this implies that society is becoming increasingly moral as time goes on. Or, in other words, we are all becoming more moral than we were before. HOWEVER, the prophets and apostles repeatedly and obsessively tell us that our society's morals are getting worse all the time, that this generation is more wicked than the one in the days of Noah, etc. So, which is it? Are the apologists right and modern society more moral than ever before, or are the prophets right and modern society is less moral than ever before? [Or is this another instance of Internet Mormonism vs. Chapel Mormonism?]

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:27 pm
by Runtu
I agree that the world is more moral in some ways and less so in others. Tal's argument was not whether such was the case, but rather that the apologists' approach seems to assume that the world is better, whereas the Brethren have taught that it has become progressively worse.

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:42 pm
by Ray A
Runtu wrote:Tal's argument was not whether such was the case, but rather that the apologists' approach seems to assume that the world is better, whereas the Brethren have taught that it has become progressively worse.


I'd love to see some of Tal's sources. I don't know where he gets all this from. As if you can define apologists in strict categories. Internet/Chapel Mormonism has similar definitional problems. I know internet Mormons who are raging TBMs and fall for none of the relativism. Take Paul Osborne, for example. Or Jean Borde in Trinidad. I do think the Liahona/Iron Rodder definition is better because it allows more flexibility. You can be either and a chapel or internet Mormon. But you have internet Mormons who are also chapel Mormons, and chapel Mormons who are internet Mormons. I think Shades developed this definition strictly from the internet, and especially perhaps from FAIR, but when Richard Poll developed the Liahona/Iron Rodder definition this was long before the internet, so strictly speaking "internet Mormons" have been around since the 19th century.

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:45 pm
by Runtu
Ray A wrote:
Runtu wrote:Tal's argument was not whether such was the case, but rather that the apologists' approach seems to assume that the world is better, whereas the Brethren have taught that it has become progressively worse.


I'd love to see some of Tal's sources. I don't know where he gets all this from. As if you can define apologists in strict categories. Internet/Chapel Mormonism has similar definitional problems. I know internet Mormons who are raging TBMs and fall for none of the relativism. Take Paul Osborne, for example. Or Jean Borde in Trinidad. I do think the Liahona/Iron Rodder definition is better because it allows more flexibility. You can be either and a chapel or internet Mormon. But you have internet Mormons who are also chapel Mormons, and chapel Mormons who are internet Mormons. I think Shades developed this definition strictly from the internet, and especially perhaps from FAIR, but when Richard Poll developed the Liahona/Iron Rodder definition this was long before the internet, so strictly speaking "internet Mormons" have been around since the 19th century.


I don't think Tal was thinking about Internet/Chapel distinctions. I've been on the boards for 12 years, and I've seen this presentism argument used time and again. The argument seems to be that sexual mores were not quite as stringent back in Joseph's day as they are now, which I think you and I would both reject.

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:31 pm
by Ray A
Runtu wrote:
I don't think Tal was thinking about Internet/Chapel distinctions. I've been on the boards for 12 years, and I've seen this presentism argument used time and again. The argument seems to be that sexual mores were not quite as stringent back in Joseph's day as they are now, which I think you and I would both reject.


It was Shades who suggested, at the end of his post, about internet/chapel Mormonism. So no, it wasn't Tal. I'd really like to see some of these arguments and who exactly uses them. I'm not really seeing the "meat". Sexual mores don't come under neat definitions, as I pointed out in my posts on the presentism thread. In some ways they (19th century) were more strict, but in other ways they were, by modern definitions, less strict. Polygamy has always been with us, throughout the globe, and some societies have been polyandrous, though monogamy has always been dominant in history.

Joseph Smith knew he was acting differently to what his peers would accept, hence the initial secrecy, so that alone says that sexual mores motivated him to act secretly, until he could convince enough that God ordered him to do this. The Saints broke away and practised polygamy in Utah, but even then they could not enter the Union until they gave it up. But presentism, judging another era by the mores of this one, for a historian, is problematic. It would be like assuming, to give a crass example, that someone in the 19th century who said "I am so gay", was homosexual. That's a very crass example, but this is how the fallacy of presentism is. It does not apply only to morals. Slavery may be a "relic of barbarism", but the fact is that long before abolition it was not considered barbaric. So to say that those who practised slavery when it was acceptable were "evil" is the fallacy of presentism. I have been arguing from the historian's point of view. Historians are not supposed to make judgements about the morality of people. They relate history. A classic case of presentism actually comes from a very good historian, Dr. Eric Williams, who wrote quite good history, but in one of his books he decided to let down his historian persona and judge. He did this in a book titled British Historians and the West Indies, and totally condemned the attitudes of famous writers such as Thomas Carlyle for his racist attitudes. But in Carlyle's day this was considered normal. This is a good example of presentism.

Today we can't even write the "N" word in polite company, but in the 1960s it was very common. Similarly Mark E. Petersen's comments about blacks in the 1950s were not totally out of place. A good portion of American society would have agreed with him at that time, and segregation was in place until the 1960s, but today Petersen is considered totally racist by some. That is the fallacy of presentism, from the historian's point of view.

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:02 pm
by harmony
Ray A wrote:
harmony wrote:Henry only had one wife at a time. He got rid of/killed each one before he married the next one. That small detail means he and Joseph were not in the same club. Henry was a killer; Joseph was an adulterer.


This is not the subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.


Yes, and you brought up Henry and his many wives, as if he was relevant. Now you know his situation isn't relevant to this discussion at all.

Muhammad married a nine year old girl.


Can we stick to historical facts and leave the religious myths aside?


The Hadith states she was six or seven when betrothed and nine when she married Muhammad. But there is some disputation. There is no "religious myth" here.

This is still not the main subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.


And now you're telling me the Muslim religion isn't built on myth? All religions are built on myth, Ray. It's the nature of the beast. So let's stick to what is verifiable historical facts, instead of religious myths, okay?

1. Jefferson is one of many, and is not representative of the entire sample.
2. If I recall correctly, it's not completely established that Jefferson fathered children with his female slave.
3. US presidents and LDS prophets are two very different catagories, driven by different motives. The people supposedly "call" one; God supposedly calls the other. Two very different standards apply.


This is not the subject. The subject is whether society is morally better now or not.


You're the one who brought up the presidents to illustrate your point.

Even if every single one of the critics was guilty, that doesn't mean Joseph should be given a free pass. He did what he did. There is no getting around that, no matter what sins the critics themselves have on their own personal slate.


Still not on subject, but I know of your deep love and affection for Joseph Smith. You must have to take sedatives when you go to church and hear his name, which I gather is not often.


You're the one who keeps dragging in all these other people and/or myths to illustrate your point (or maybe create your red herring?), Ray. What was your point?

I may have missed it, but what is your view? Is society getting more moral, or less moral?


You didn't miss it, because I didn't give it. I was merely replying to your post/series of red herrings.

In case you missed it, my view is that society is getting more moral in some ways, and less moral in others, and I described in detail why. I also don't believe basic human nature has changed. So whether we're talking about Judah and prostitution, King David's adultery, Joseph Smith's polygamy, or Brunei where men are allowed four wives, or Clinton's free oral lessons to Monica Lewinski, human nature remains the same.


Morality is set by the society in which it exists. And clearly the morality of Joseph's day did not commonly include plural marriage or marrying women who were already married.

Re: Tal Bachman DECIMATES a popular apologetic

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:33 pm
by Ray A
harmony wrote:You didn't miss it, because I didn't give it. I was merely replying to your post/series of red herrings.


All of those "red herrings" were part of a wider picture I was painting. I know you didn't give your opinion, I was being cheeky, but I see you do address the wider picture below:


Morality is set by the society in which it exists. And clearly the morality of Joseph's day did not commonly include plural marriage or marrying women who were already married.


I never argued that it did, just to clarify. And I'm uncertain which apologists are arguing that polygamy was acceptable. Nor was lying, nor was marrying other men's wives aceptable to society. But who is arguing this? Which Mormon apologist is saying that these things were acceptable to society? Joseph Smith himself said that if he told his followers all that he knew some would rise up and seek to take his life. So I think if anyone realised he was going contrary mores of society, it was Joseph Smith. Those who believe that he was a prophet and polygamy was divinely instituted will uphold him, believing that God's law is higher than man's law. That is what they accept, even if it was contrary to contemporary mores. But I doubt that any apologist will argue that what Joseph did in this regard was acceptable to the morals of his society. I may be wrong, but I'd like to see some examples. To them it was right only because they believe God commanded it.