Monday, November 7, 2011

The Whore of all the Earth


Brothers and Sisters before getting into the topic of the day I just wanted to take a minute to state that I appreciate the hundreds of weekly letters, emails, cards, faxes and voice messages in support of my blog.  I enjoy them all immensely and the postman is delighted with the extra load.  To the few who asked about donations I should clarify that blogger hosts this site for free and, like most humble followers of Christ, I am unconcerned with laying up for myself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal.  Any donations sent to me will be returned.  If you feel compelled to make a donation please consider giving directly to my charity of choice even Brigham Young University.  This can be done directly at http://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/byu/ I also encourage donations that help fund the building of the City Creek Mall in downtown Salt Lake City.  Thank you in advance for your understanding in this matter.

While I cannot possibly respond to all letters and inquiries this particular one from a gentleman in the United States of America caught my attention and I feel it deserves a response.

Dear President Paternoster,

I was recently reading a book entitled “Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans - A Mormon Example” by D. Michael Quinn and was quite shocked when I read this on page 319:

“A little-known irony is that the LDS Church had a long-term relationship with several of Salt Lake City's houses of prostitution on Commercial Street since 1891. This created conflict within the Mormon hierarchy. Because the Brigham Young Trust Company's officers had "elected to let [i.e. lease] buildings to whores," Apostle Brigham Young Jr. angrily resigned in January 1897 as vice president of this LDS company that bore his father's name. At a meeting in the Salt Lake temple four months later, the First Presidency and apostles discussed Young's resignation and "the matter of the Brigham Young Trust Co. having fitted up a first class whore-house and President [George Q.] Cannon being President of the company was brought up.

The LDS Church's connection with houses of prostitution remained an uncomfortable secret until 1908 when the Salt Lake Tribune proclaimed that the Brigham Young Trust Company "filled these houses on Commercial Street." This article noted that the church-owned Clayton Investment Company continued to lease these houses of prostitution and that the LDS Church's annual rent was $2,400 from just one of these brothel leases. At that time $2,300 was the purchase prices for a "12-room modern house, 3 blocks from the Temple".... The LDS holding company did not divest its houses of prostitution until 1941”

President can you confirm to me that this is true?  Did the Church knowingly rent out prostitution houses until 1941 and if so why did they charge such high rents (the annual rent per whore house was enough to buy a modern house outright)?  Was the Church really making such excellent profits from prostitution?

Sincerely,

Brother Smith

Below is my response:

Dear Brother Smith,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vehemently opposes sexual sin in all of its malicious varieties.  In the book of Alma we learn that sexual sin is next only to murder in the Lord for in talking to his son about Isabel the harlot Alma stated “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?”

Brother Smith, many evil things that have and are being done by other churches in the latter days in order to get gain were foretold in the Book of Mormon.  All other Churches according to 1 Nephi 14:10 are part of what the Lord calls 'the whore of all the earth' and anyone not belonging to our church is a member of this great church, which is the mother of abominations.  Allow me to quote some verses from Mormon chapter 8 keeping in mind that these verses pertain to these other churches, but not ours:
“O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? …and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?”

As you can see Brother Smith none of these accusations apply to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We do not love money or spend it adorning our Church buildings more than we love the poor and needy.  In fact we have just announced the building of a much needed multi million dollar temple in war torn Congo which will allow the saints to seal their many dead and dying to them for time and all eternity.

Now let’s talk more specifically about your question; it is very important to understand certain things about the author of the book you are reading, D. Michael Quinn.  As a stake president I oversee stake and ward historians and thus am qualified to state that Quinn was and is a very amateur historian who lacks in both the spirit of the Lord and in tact.  You see Quinn was given access to the Church archives some years ago which was a great mistake that I am sure the Church will never make again.  Quinn went on to publish his findings without regard to the damaging effect this would have on faithful members of the Church.  A professional historian, one who is properly trained, would know to publish an unbiased view of the Church showing only the faith promoting parts.  In this way the reader would be free to decide for himself that the Church is, and indeed always has been, a beacon of truth in these the latter days.

Most importantly Brother Smith you must remember that the Church excommunicated Quinn for publishing truths that were not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To add to this he has tendencies of a homosexual nature.  He claims to believe in the Church all the while working to expose its darkest secrets.  I for one will not tolerate such people.      

I would exhort you and all readers of this blog (as per Alma 39:11) to ‘Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing’.  Please refrain from reading vain and foolish material written by Church historians whom the Lord has removed from his kingdom through excommunication.

Lovingly,

President Bill Paternoster

30 comments:

Chris S said...

Remember in the Book of Mormon, when the Nephites give wine to the Lamanites so that they will become drunk, allowing the Nephites to escape? The same principle applies here. Let the wicked waste their lives in brothels, so that they will not interfere with the righteous operations of the One True Church of the Lamb. Of course, the most likely explanation is that Quinn just made this up because he was angry that he was too weak and prideful to live the gospel.

Spencer said...

The cusp of the problem is found in the words of this couplet, "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of Mankind is Man."

These so-called historians, scientists, and others who abandon what they know or should know in search of unbiased truth and empirical evidence will be ever learning, but never come to a knowledge of the truth.

In that Spirit, this Quinn fellow can't be taken seriously, for not only does his homosexuality cloud his judgment in all unrelated topics, he is obviously picking and choosing the truth he shares. Why pick truth from both sides when you could pick twice as much truth from the RIGHT side? Simple math, people.

Brigham Taft Pratt said...

As with Zion's camp and other seemingly poor decisions on the part of the Lord's anointed, I am sure the Church's connection to these brothels will eventually all make sense. For example, I would not be surprised to find out that some of the church's most stalwart leaders were conceived in one of these establishments. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes what we, with our narrow minds, perceive as evil is actually part of the Lord's plan to fulfill his righteous purposes. Consider the time Nephi was instructed by the Lord to cut off the head of Laban. I am guessing it was a pretty grizzly scene, but look what we have because of it! The most correct book on the whole earth, yea, even the Book of Mormon. I don't know about you, but I definitely think this sacred history of the American Indians was well worth Nephi's "sin." The story of Ammon also comes to mind. Had he not been willing to follow the spirit's prompting to slaughter/dismember the greasy Lamanites, he would never have been able to share the beautiful message of the gospel with the king. We have to remember that the things of God are sometimes beyond our understanding and that everything will make sense in the afterlife. What matters most now is that we are willing to blindly obey the Salt Lake leadership. In my mind, it helps to imagine 15 men dressed as Jesus, because that is essentially who they represent.

As far as this so called "historian" goes, I think it's obvious that the spirit of Satan is at work in his heart. Just because something is true history does not mean that it is important. Brothers and sisters, it is my prayer that we will disregard everything that takes away from the image of the Church. We must not stand in the way of the Church's progression. For if we do, we may just end up like Laban: headless, naked and burning in hell while some righteous person walks around using our voice.

Holy the Ghost said...

Dear Prez,
Wise words, even as usual.
I am interested in your pre-amble. You suggest that in loo of sending you charitable donations, we might send them toward the building of the kingdom, even the City Creek Mall.
If I were interested in doing this, how would I go about it?
Tithes perhaps?

Mahonri Kimball said...

Thank you president for another opportunity to increase my faith. Each time I am confronted with some of the "not very useful truths" that the Lords' servant even Boyd K Packer refers to, I use it as an opportunity to increase my faith. Faith would not be necessary if "so called facts" matched up with the history of the Church as I have learned it. The more I learn of "so called facts" that might lead some people to question the divine calling of our prophets and revelators, my faith is necessarily increased. Otherwise, I might begin to question the things I know to be true.

Bishop Bishop said...

It is obvious that the Lord has provided a means of increasing the stock of women available for marriage here. It is a very little known fact that there was a great shortage of available sister to marry between 1870 and 1941 as the leadership had married them all. To help out the Lord provided these whorehouses when the working women were successfully converted to the gospel and then married into the church. What a wonderful solution the Lord provided. Of course post 1941 the demand for sisters fell as there was less male members due to two world wars.

In fact unless we have some major conflict/plague that affects the population then we may well need to reinstate polygamy to help out the priesthood again.

Kolobian™ said...

Brothers and sisters, I bear my testimony that there is a perfectly sound, reasonable explanation for why the church owned and received profits from whorehouses and this explanation is in perfect harmony with the Spirit of the Lord and the mission of the true church of Jesus Christ.

You may think to yourself, what is it? What possible reason could there be for the church of Jesus Christ to deal in such things? How could the church's dealings in this matter be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of the Lord and the mission of the true church of Jesus Christ?

Well, I'll tell you why brothers and sisters. I'll open the eyes of your understanding. I will clean your dirty minds. I will bear testimony that I know this work is true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Anonymous said...

As a journalist, I believe that we are "watchdogs"for society. Whether that is in religion, politics, or business. It's a check and balance. Journalist keep public figures in check so that they are not corrupting things. For example, the Watergate scandal was broke by Drudge. Was it right for Nixon to cover up a break-in at the Watergate? Of course not! But it was a journalist who brought justice to his actions. In the same likeness, Michael Quinn was acting like a journalist (even though he was not one) and reporting the truth to keep corruption from happening.

Alger's Fannie said...

I for one am satisfied with your response to Brother Smith's inquiry. An excommunicated member is never a reliable source for uplifting and/or truthy information.

May we all learn from this example.

jen said...

This is my favorite line EVER, "A professional historian, one who is properly trained, would know to publish an unbiased view of the Church showing only the faith promoting parts."

Cindy said...

I think the direction we are given at church to only use authorized material can be applied in our personal lives as well. This would be a good example of one of those times. It is important when learning about something that you get it from the right sources. If I were to rewire my house would I want to have an electrician who had been kicked out of school for misconduct, of course not. The same thing can be applied in this situation.
Thank-you President for helping to steer us away from those who would wish to harm the church.

Joseph K. Packer said...

It is mind boggling how former Mormons attack the one true church using news that are 70 years old. Besides there is no way that the leaders of the church could know what type of business the tenants were running. how are they going to know this, revelation? give me a break!

Chris S said...

You know what they say about historians who get excommunicated when their findings are inconsistent with official church doctrine: they can leave the church, but they can't leave it alone.

Sad that he (and other critics of the one true church) has to slander the Lord's anointed to get attention.

Kolobian™ said...

Amen, Chris. It's especially sad considering there's such a good reason for Jesus-sponsored church-owned whorehouses. They just don't see it, I guess.

Isn't it obvious?!?!

Anonymous said...

Could it be that the Brethren were using the women to gather intelligence from those they serviced as many men engage in 'pillow talk' and try to impress the girls with their knowledge and power? It would make sense for the Brethren to set this up so they could mine information from the infidels... in a sense, using the base things of the world to build up the Kingdom of God in Salt Lake City, Utah?

Emma Snyde said...

As an historian, I know that no history is without bias.

We as spiritual consumers of history have the free agency to choose between the warm fuzzy historical bias of church correlated histories that confirm the warm fuzzy truth through the Holy Ghost, or the historical bias that homosexual pervert apostate abominations like Michael Quinn tend to publish.

As for me and my house, we will read warm fuzzy correlated histories.

Thank you once again Prez, for your insightly insight.

Anonymous said...

If that so called historian D. Michael Quinn had done proper research he would know that in the early days of the church apostles spoke out vehemently against prostitution. Please read the words of the great early apostle, even Orson Pratt as recorded in the inspired Journal of Discources, volume 1, pages 62 and 63...

"Whoredom, adultery, and fornication, have cursed the nations of the earth for many generations, and are increasing fearfully upon the community; but they must be entirely done away from those who call themselves the people of God; if they are not, woe! woe! be unto them, also; for "thus saith the Lord God Almighty," in the Book of Mormon, "Woe unto them that commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell!"

How is this to be prevented? for we have got a fallen nature to grapple with. It is to be prevented in the way the Lord devised in ancient times; that is, by giving to His faithful servants a plurality of wives, by which a numerous and faithful posterity can be raised up, and taught in the principles of righteousness and truth "

Thus we see that the Lord understanding the weakness of men, gave them many wives so that they had no need to visit those houses of prostitution.

Laban the Younger said...

Anon;

As I ponder your comments with a sincere heart and real intent, the Lord put into my mind an insight that I am confident explains this apparent problem.

The Church began renting out space for prostitution in 1891. It is obvious to me that it is no coincidence that it began the year after God in his wisdom withdrew the eternal principle of polygamy.

If polygamy was commanded by God to keep his chosen people from committing adultery, it makes sense that he might also command them to commit adultery to keep them from practicing polygamy.

We know from the teachings of Joseph Smith that whatever God commands is right, no matter if it goes against the prevailing laws or the "so called morals" of men. It was obviously more important at the time that polygamy should be phased out, than that prostitution should be outlawed.

If David and Solomon were righteous in taking concubines given to them by God, why would it be any different for Church members between 1891 and 1941?

The fact these houses of prostitution existed on Church owned property for 50 years is certainly evidence that it happened under God's direction. If God takes note of every sparrow that falls, he most certainly was aware of this situation. I for one, never presume to question God about what he does.

~Clint~ said...

Laban the Younger,

I have gained a testimony that the phrase "circular logic" is synonymous with "eternal principles", showing that the word of God is one eternal round. The spirit testifies to me that your hypothesis and its circular logic are an important eternal truth. Thank you for your insight.

Anonymous said...

Laban the Younger,

As I read your words I felt a burning in my bosom, even a sore burning, testifying of the truthfulness of your words. (By the way the cafeteria here at work served an awful version of pad thai today, but that's neither here nor there).

Another thought to ponder... The Lord in his wisdom inspired Wilford Woodruff to issue the Manifesto ending polygamy, knowing full well the safeguard against man's weakness had been removed. The gospel is given to us line upon line, precept upon precept and as such, men moved beyond the need for prostitutes, even without multiple wives to satisfy their needs. The Lord understanding that we are still far from perfect provided something else to keep us from whoredoms: internet porn.

We know that our current apostles righteously speak out against the evil of pornography. They do this knowing that men will progress and move beyond the need for this too and in their loving wisdom are preparing us to do so.

UnapologeticApologist said...

You all are missing the point. Polygamy did not end with the Manifesto; many, including church leaders, continued this celestial practice in secret. If it weren't for pressure from Babylon (the US Government), we would still be living the covenant today.

These so-called houses of prostitution were never actually used, but were merely a diversion, to convince Babylon that we had given up the practice of polygamy.

NEXT TOPIC PLEASE!

Brother Heber said...

It is important to remember where the source of such scandalous accusations originates and not to worry about the actual content of the accusation. If you need a lesson on how to achieve this, just read any FARMS review.

In this case the accusation was put forward by an excommunicated, apostate, homosexual. There is then no need to give his comments any merit. Once the Lord's church has seen fit to excommunicate an individual, that individual seizes to be relevant to the conversation and should be ignored wholesale.
I cannot express how much being a homosexual clouds a man's thoughts. Nothing he writes can be trusted.

Brother Heber said...

UnapolgeticApologist: It is always important to remember that the practice of polygamy was never secret, it was sacred.

Anonymous said...

...it makes sense that [God] might also command them to commit adultery to keep them from practicing polygamy.

Genesis 38:11-26 has much to teach us about this principle. What a rich vein of doctrine this chapter is! It is also the source of the story of Onan, which stands as a warning against pornography and masturbation in these latter days.

Laban the Younger said...

Anon:

Re: Genesis 38:11-26

An excellent example! One of many examples of God's periodic approval of prostitution.

So many times, we lean on our own understanding and seek to judge the ways of God.

Many people with inadequate faith may have difficulty understanding why God would condone prostitution. But, who among you would dare to judge God by your own unformed moral standards?

As Joseph revealed in his letter to Nancy Rigdon as he tried in vain to convince her of the divine nature behind his advances; "Whatever God commands is right" Many times, that which is wrong in one instance, is right in another.

I may never be able to understand what gospel principle was behind Joseph being commanded to marry and have sexual relations with other mens' wives. But, I will never doubt that it was based on a true principle.

I rejoice in having God reveal to me the reason for allowing prostitution among his chosen people from 1891 to the early 1940's. Polygamy needed to be phased out and God knew that his priesthood leaders would be compelled to practice polygamy if prostitution was not allowed.

I will continue to study and pray in the hope that one day God will find me worthy to understand the gospel principle behind polyandry. Until that day comes, I will continue to hold fast to the iron rod and lean not on my own understanding.

Molly Smith said...

I can't believe that commentators are leaving out the most important point!

Even if this "claim" of something that may or may not have happened long before I was born is true, that could only mean that whoever made the decision in leadership either didn't know what the houses were being used for (do you expect them to control every detail of their renter's lives?), or, they acted as men, and made a mistake.

Such mistakes should NEVER affect the impact of the truth of the church...however many their might be! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! I know because I feel it's confirmation whenever historic "facts" or personal struggles lead me to fast, pray, and study until I am reminded of the truth of God!

Brianna said...

I find it interesting that you state that Quinn was "working to expose its darkest secrets". Well Brother Smith, he's pretty much telling you that yes, the lds church did have brothels in the early 1990's. It amazes me that Stake Pres completely ignores the question, and instead, diverts the reader's attention to all the "abominations" of Quinn. Why can't you be real with the people you're leading? Ignoring the question isn't going to further people's faith, instead it diminishes it.

Anonymous said...

Well you know. don't forget, in 1974 God changed his mind about black people, so anything is possible within this "theology."

Dexter Uchtdorf said...

Surely the money obtained from the houses of prostitution was washed clean in the basement of the Lord's temple. Once this has occurred, the Lord remembers no more the way the money was obtained.

If the money walks upright with regard to all of the covenants it made in the temple on that day, then it will remain clean forevermore. Although accountants refer to it as 'interest', I like to think that the purified money will have an eternal increase, with smaller bills being added upon it until they are as numerous as the sands of the sea.

HD Radio® Farce said...

Hey, dick wipe - do you masturbate after interviewing for temple recommends, asking about intimate details of members' sex lives?