There are too many false, foolish and untrue things said about me for me to be able to denounce them all. I could accomplish nothing else if I were to spend my time denying all these falsehoods. So I leave them unaddressed and continue to move forward accomplishing such little good as I am able.
One recent false attack suggests that, contrary to the many talks, posts, books and teachings I have provided defending sexual purity before marriage and fidelity after marriage, that I am somehow involved in promoting something called “bonded marriage.” I may not have the name right. I do not fully understand the false idea.
Let me be clear, again, that I denounce polygamy, adultery, fornication and sexual impurity. Those who read what I write know there is really no reason for me to even make this denunciation. But almost all opinions about me are formed second-hand, and the tale-bearers speak their falsehoods with the enthusiasm that persuades many people of their lies.
A recent incident involving a man’s improper conduct was discussed in a private meeting a few weeks ago. I attended a portion of that meeting. The man involved was charged, in part, with spreading a false teaching. The facts turned out that he was not spreading the falsehood, but was the victim of the teaching. He, and a married woman together were taught the falsehood by a woman who believed in the idea. The woman who introduced it to them contacted me directly and confessed she was the source of the false teaching and regretted very much her involvement with the fiasco. To my surprise, two other women contacted me and admitted they had a role in teaching this false idea and were also aware of the harm that followed such erroneous beliefs.
To me the man stated that he realized his error, confessed his mistake, denounced the teaching, and sought to apologize many times to those involved with him before the private meeting I attended. He had also been rebaptized to repent of his error. I don’t defend his actions. I never said he was “innocent.” I did say he was penitent. His penitence before the meeting and while I was present at the meeting was apparent. He admitted his wrongdoing, despite the personal humiliation involved, and he wept over his failure.
As for the man’s involvement in the scriptures project, he had no effect on the final product by his preliminary work. He worked on the Book of Mormon, and everything he did was discarded a couple of months ago and the whole redone. It was redone because of a recently released publication that provided side-by-side comparisons for every single word of every version of the Book of Mormon in existence. These include, among others, the original, the printer’s manuscript, the 1830, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1840 London, 1920, 1981, and all the others. Every word from the beginning word to the last was detailed. The set was purchased and provided to those who were doing the work. The books were used by two teams; each having two members. All of them are in Utah. Both teams worked as pairs with one another to recheck every word and solve the word discrepancies, deferring to the original manuscript whenever it was available. Joseph’s 1840 version was deferred to secondly. Joseph made changes in 1837 and 1840 to conform back to the original translation.
What the man contributed most meaningfully was peace-making between members of the committee when discussions resulted in disputes. He helped make peace. The rule for the committee was that any question required unanimous agreement. He was part of the unanimity, and no one ever made a solo decision. His greatest contribution was to be the voice speaking for peace and harmony as difficult challenges were faced during the work.
Not only do I teach marital fidelity and sexual propriety, but the new scriptures will include Hyrum Smith’s general epistle to the church, published when he was the presiding authority in the church. His general epistle teaches marital fidelity, and counsels against breaking up marriages because of religious differences.
A man should have only one wife. And he should be faithful to her. Likewise wives should be faithful to their husbands. Everyone should act honorably and keep their marital vows, even when there are differences between spouses over religious ideas.
I alone am responsible for receiving from the Lord the content of the Prayer for Covenant, Answer to Prayer, and Covenant language. The Prayer for Covenant was provided by revelation from the Lord to me alone. It took me nearly 200,000 words in a book to say what the Lord, by inspiration, provided in the Prayer in less than 3,000 words. He is a great deal better at revealing the truth than am I.
Women who participated in the private meeting have now released a statement that is linked below: