Comments about ‘DNA solves a Joseph Smith mystery’

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Published: Saturday, July 9 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Eagle mountain, UT

@Michael De Groote

I was not aware of that criticism of Dr. Brodie, but I can concede that, there was a fair amount of speculation on the thoughts of Smith. What I am really interested in is the factual evidence/history presented by Brodie. I do not believe I am mistaken that Richard Bushman came up with similar facts in his "Rough Stone Rolling" the difference is his was written from a position of faith.

All that aside, my original point was Brodie was speculating on that Joseph was the father of the child, and it was not presented as factual. So it does seem a little disingenuous in the manner in which you critiqued her book.

Rugeley, Staffs

As a convert to the LDS Church of over forty years I found this interesting, but not definitive. For me, what is definitive is that I read the Book of Mormon, and prayed about its authenticity. The Holy Ghost testified of its authenticity. All else is of interest, but does not sway me one way or the other. If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph was a Prophet. If Joseph was a Prophet, the LDS Church is led by a Prophet today.

Joseph was a man, and therefore imperfect. So were Moses, Abraham and Isaiah. Their imperfections did not prevent the Lord from using them, and it did not prevent Him from using Joseph. It's the message that needs to be perfect, not the messenger. It was, even though he was not.

Major Bidamon
Birmingham, AL

I honestly don't know why people are upset with Brodie. Bushman validated much of what she laid out. In any case, for all sides of this issue, this is far from a closed area of inquiry.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I just want to add that in my previous comment... the 'critics sit on the couch and take spoon-fed opinions' bit wasn't meant to be rude... but simply to say that most people I've met who criticize the church take their information from whatever sources are most convenient to them. They don't do their own research, and if they did actual investigating... they would not only find a different conclusion... but would find that there is much more to things that T.V. or well publicized critics of the church usually offer.

In retrospect... I would also LOVE to point out one other thing. I'm would actually say this same thing about a lot of criticism. I personally believe that we should avoid passing judgements on others or other groups without either having a proper place to judge (authority, etc) or without having the most informed background possible on the topic before making such decisions.

So in the end, if people feel the church is hiding things... they should try to find out for themselves how open the church is. Most critics I have met who feel the church hides things have never tried to actually research anything.


RE Joseph Smith's activities: Whether or not Joseph fathered children outside the confines of the type of marriage the Church currently calls "traditional" doesn't change or invalidate his teachings or accomplishments. He was human like the rest of us.

RE Church openness: Where can I find published numbers regarding how much was earned in Church-owned farming (and other) businesses over the past few years?

layton, UT

RE: A voice of reason. So in the end, if people feel the church is hiding things... they should try to find out for themselves how OPEN the church is.

I have a copy of (D&C 17:22,23) The communion service,which describes the blessing of the bread and the blessing of the wine,the sacrament of the Lords supper. Do you?

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: Major Bidamon | 3:10 p.m

Repeating someone else's words is NOT validation.

Believing something is true does not make something true.

It appears Joseph Smith was a much better man than his critics give him credit for.

Funny how they rush to believe the words of his critics, but not him or his friends.

Lindon, UT

To EnglishAlan 3:03 pm

You are exactly right. I love your perspective. It is one that can only come about by reading and praying, as you indicated. If one is sincere in so doing, the Holy Ghost will testify the truthfulness of it, and he will receive a witness from God through the Spirit. Thank you for your enlightening post.

Fort Knox, KY

Sharrona: I think the verses you are looking for is Doctrine and Covenants 20:77,79.

Not sure which version of the Doctrine and Covenants you are using, but it is definately different than the one the rest of us use where section 17 only has 9 verses.

Michael De Groote

zero_limits_33 | 3:02 p.m. July 10, 2011
"So it does seem a little disingenuous in the manner in which you critiqued her book."

I didn't really critique Brodie's book, I only gave it as a source for why Ugo Perego investigated the DNA of Moroni Pratt, etc. She raised the issue with Hancock as well.

You are correct, Brodie did not present the information as strictly "factual." Sometimes, however, she sounded quite sure in her unsureness.

Major Bidamon
Birmingham, AL

RE: the Truth 5:42 p.m.

He validated fanny alger and polyandry which was a shock to my life-long Bishop Father-in-law, but you are correct that he did not validate Brodie's conclusions. I'll meet you half way.

I think his statement on page 439 of RSR supports my contention that this is not a closed case:

"...nothing indicates that sexual relations were left out of plural marriages".

Mint Julip

I am glad to see the Deseret News publish an article that shows the validity of DNA testing for proving and/or disproving bloodlines.

Ivins, UT

Skeptic...that is a good question. While you are on your knees sometime, ask the Lord for a look into His historical files and those of this descip;les also. I suppose it depenbds on how you might approch looking at sacred things. Not many such requests are granted by those who hold them in respect and safekeeping. Live by Faith like most of us believers are reqauired to do.

Alex 1
Tucson, AZ

Whether or not Joseph Smith is the father to any children other than Emma's does not really change anything for me. I'm OK either way. Why? It is my deeply held conviction that plural marriage was a commandment of God, as well as the commandment to cease, and I am pretty comfortable in that. Now if you believe the same, it shouldn't be too difficult to accept the reality that married people frequently have children. There will always be those who will present speculation as fact, and in the most unflattering way they can.

The real shock is that with all of the speculation passed off as fact, they have yet to produce 1 verifiable offspring that didn't come through Emma. That is the real embarrassment!

Dixie Mike
Salt Lake City, UT

LDS shouldn't take DNA technology too seriously. Researchers have and have processed DNA samples of all the native tribes of the Americas, and they haven't found a single Lamanite or decendant of Lehi.

The Balloonatic
Kearns, UT

Ugo Perego was one of my friends at BYU. It's great to hear what he's up to and that he's doing such interesting and important work.

Very interesting article, Mr. DeGroote. It grabbed the reader in and we followed along with the clues until we found out the answer at the end. It was fun and was instructive as to what DNA testing can do for historical research.

Salt Lake City, UT

Brodie's book has never been out of print and continues to be the most popular "biography" about Joseph Smith, even though it mainly qualifies as biographical fiction. She wrote it to justify to herself her own lack of faith. Instead of trying to study the evidence objectively, she picked and chose sources that were obviously hostile because they supported her own prejudices. Still, she did raise some important questions, which truly qualified researchers like Bushman have worked to address. Her book was intended to harm the LDS Church, but I think ultimately it will do more good than she intended.

M Edwards
Heber City, Ut

Re: Dixie Mike, You may want to do some further research. DNA has been found to link some Native Americans to those of the Lamanites. Rod Meldrum has brought forth such information.

Brigham City, UT

@ Cats, the article was not about DNA evidence for the Book of Mormon. There is zero DNA evidence to corroborate the Book of Mormon stories.

Joseph Smith had secret polyandrous and polygamous relationships and the relationships were kept hidden from church members until being exposed by the Nauvoo Expositor. The Ancestry website has proof of the marriages.

layton, UT

Alex,The real shock is that with all of the speculation passed off as fact, they have yet to produce 1 verifiable offspring that didn't come through Emma. That is the real embarrassment!
Zebulon Jacobs was not Joseph Smith's son. Zina Huntington Jacobs married Joseph on October 27,1841. Henry Jacobs Zinas other husband was Zebulons father.
Oliver Buell was not Joseph Smith's son. Presendia Huntington Buell married Joseph Smith on December 11, 1841. Joseph had married her sister, Zina two months prior. Norman Buell Presendias other husband was Olivers father.

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