Has the church been dishonest with its own history?

1000 times, yes.
In studying the history of the church, I found so many stories, so many alternate tellings, so many differences from FAITHFUL members, that I realized I had been deliberately misled.
It's knowing that there were other First Vision accounts that varied SIGNIFICANTLY from the one traditionally taught. (You can't tell me you'd see God the Father AND Jesus Christ and forget to mention it on more than one occasion.) The fact that alternate accounts were literally hidden away in a safe by the prophet says they knew they were hiding something faith-shaking.
It was in learning about Joseph's MANY adulterous encounters. It was realizing that Joseph being tarred and feathered was only because the doctor had a change of heart last minute and didn't castrate him, for his alleged crimes against another man's sister. It was reading the first-hand accounts from WOMEN who told of their encounters with the prophet, and their introduction to polygamy. It became apparent, to this ex-social worker, that Joseph Smith was a sexual predator, in MANY disturbing cases.
It was in looking at the succession crisis following the martyrdom - the suspicious death of Joseph's younger brother Samuel - Brigham Young's political plays to get the apostles greater power by ordaining people to certain callings.
For me it was also reading family history records - seeing how my ancestors were AVID treasure diggers, and how they adored Joseph Smith for his work with them - sacrificing the black dog for its blood, etc, in treasure rituals.
It's in Wilford Woodruff's 267 wives - most of which he "received" for his LITERAL BIRTHDAY - dead women sealed to him against their will. It was looking at the murders that took place in Missouri, and recognizing that the Mormons were NOT the victims. It was in looking at the murders that happened in Utah, and empathizing with the women who were brought there under the illusion that polygamy didn't actually take place - only to catch them in the practice through their manipulations.
I could go ON. I was misled from my earliest childhood to see the Mormons as completely innocent victims. None of those things were true.

murphy profile image for wasmormon.orgmurphy

Oh yeah, they always change the church principles to adjust to the current world situation. Also it's pretty much up to the current president of the Mormon church to dictate what's the new standard. There's plenty of examples of this going on throughout church history.

Also the fact that when missionaries teach other people about Mormonism they always leave crucial details outside. "Preach my gospel" does not tell missionaries to share about 30+ wives Smith had and as young as 14 years old, nor the 50+ wives Brigham had. They don't teach you about the actual reason why Smith was killed. Nor that he burned down a press. They don't teach that Joseph Smith was a known treasure digger. All this details are just the tip of the iceberg and will show red flags to anyone trying to join this cult.
So yeah the church is dishonest by not being upfront with everyone, members and not members about their past.

Sear profile image for wasmormon.orgsearjasub

Yes. Based on everything I've seen about the church, it would not pass its own temple recommend interview.

Landon profile image for wasmormon.orgelementalepistles

Yes. The history is dirty and messy. The lies and obfuscation runs deep. I wouldn't even know where to start to tell how dirty the story is. I believe the highest men in the church KNOW it's a farce.

susanc profile image for wasmormon.orgsusan_groom_1956

I am extremely well read in LDS doctrine, orthodoxy, and official Church history.   And I am now, from thousands of hours of study, well versed in the alternative versions of LDS history and the evolution of LDS doctrine.   The current LDS narratives are highly currated and filtered to promote faith and adherence.   For me, it is impossible to reconcile what is propped up with what actually transpired.  But I understand most of it in terms of the deep needs of the tribe.   Every human group requires “hero stories” to create a binding adhesion and identity; the Brighamite branch of Mormonism has done this very well.   But there are deep problems with the narratives, and I see the Church being somewhat forced to open itself to a more revealing narrative, over time. 

shanecor23 profile image for wasmormon.orgshanecor23

Not only has it been dishonest, it had actively tried to hide and rewrite its history.

Ian Harward profile image for wasmormon.orggreensockninja

Absolutely. I was never taught most of the truth and lies instead.

gracefoster25 profile image for wasmormon.orggracefoster25

Yes I believe so. I feel as though I have been lied to for 25 years.

flyinlate profile image for wasmormon.orgflyinlate