Saturday, October 31, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
The Utah War (1857–1858), also known as the Utah Expedition, Utah Campaign, Buchanan's Blunder, the Mormon War, or the Mormon Rebellion was an armed confrontation between Mormon settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 to July 1858. There were some casualties, mostly non-Mormon civilians. The war had no notable military battles. Overview: In 1857-1858, President James Buchanan sent U.S. forces to the Utah Territory in what became known as the Utah Expedition. The Mormons, fearful that the large U.S. military force had been sent to annihilate them and having faced persecution in other areas, made preparations for defense. Though bloodshed was to be avoided, and the U.S. government also hoped that its purpose might be attained without the loss of life, both sides prepared for war. Firearms were manufactured or repaired by the Mormons, scythes were turned into bayonets, and long-unused sabres were burnished and sharpened. Rather than engaging the enemy directly, Mormon strategy was one of hindering and weakening them. Daniel H. Wells, lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo Legion, instructed Major Joseph Taylor: On ascertaining the locality or route of the troops, proceed at once to annoy them in every possible way. Use every exertion to stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before them and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping, by night surprises; blockade the road by felling trees or destroying the river fords where you can. Watch for opportunities to set fire to the grass on their windward, so as, if possible, to envelop their trains. Leave no grass before them that can be burned. Keep your men concealed as much as possible, and guard against surprise. The Mormons blocked the army's entrance into the Salt Lake Valley, and weakened the U.S. Army by hindering them from receiving provisions. The confrontation between the Mormon militia, called the Nauvoo Legion, and the U.S. Army involved some destruction of property and a few brief skirmishes in what is today southwestern Wyoming, but no battles occurred between the contending military forces. At the height of the tensions, on 11 September 1857, more than 120 California-bound settlers from Arkansas, Missouri and other states, including unarmed men, women and children, were killed in remote southwestern Utah by a group of local Mormon militiamen. They first claimed that the migrants were killed by Native Americans, but it was proven otherwise. This event was later called the Mountain Meadows massacre, and the motives behind the incident remain unclear. The Aiken massacre took place the following month. In October 1857, Mormons arrested six Californians traveling through Utah and charged them with being spies for the U.S. Army. They were released, but were later murdered and robbed of their stock and $25,000. Other incidents of violence have also been linked to the Utah War, including a Native American attack on the Mormon mission of Fort Limhi in eastern Oregon Territory. They killed two Mormons and wounded several others. The historian Brigham Madsen notes, "[T]he responsibility for the [Fort Limhi raid] lay mainly with the Bannock." David Bigler concludes that the raid was probably caused by members of the Utah Expedition who were trying to replenish their stores of livestock which had been stolen by Mormon raiders. Taking all incidents into account, MacKinnon estimates that approximately 150 people died as a direct result of the year-long Utah War, including the 120 migrants killed at Mountain Meadows. He points out that this was close to the number of people killed during the seven-year contemporaneous struggle in "Bleeding Kansas." In the end, negotiations between the United States and the Latter-day Saints resulted in a full pardon for the Mormons (except those involved in the Mountain Meadows murders), the transfer of Utah's governorship from church President Brigham Young to non-Mormon Alfred Cumming, and the peaceful entrance of the U.S. Army into Utah. Background- Exodus to the Utah Territory: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), often called Mormon pioneers, began settling in what is now Utah in the summer of 1847. Mormon pioneers began leaving the United States for Utah after a series of severe conflicts with neighboring communities in Missouri and Illinois resulted in the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.:1–7 Brigham Young and other LDS Church leaders believed that the isolation of Utah would secure the rights of Mormons, and ensure the free practice of their religion. Although the United States had gained control of the settled parts of Alta California and Nuevo México in 1846 in the early stages of the Mexican-American War, legal transfer of the Mexican Cession to the U.S. came only with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the war in 1848. LDS Church leaders understood that they were not "leaving the political orbit of the United States", nor did they want to. When gold was discovered in California in 1848 at Sutter's Mill, which sparked the famous California Gold Rush, thousands of migrants began moving west on trails that passed directly through territory settled by Mormon pioneers. Although the migrants brought opportunities for trade, it also ended the Mormons' short-lived isolation. In 1849, the Mormons proposed that a large part of the territory which they inhabited be incorporated into the United States as the State of Deseret. Their primary concern was to be governed by men of their own choosing rather than "unsympathetic carpetbag appointees," whom they believed would be sent from Washington, D.C. if their region were given territorial status, as was customary. They believed that only through a state run by church leadership could they maintain their religious freedom. The U.S. Congress created the Utah Territory as part of the Compromise of 1850. President Millard Fillmore selected Brigham Young, President of the LDS Church, as the first governor of the Territory. The Mormons were pleased by the appointment, but gradually the amicable relationship between Mormons and the federal government broke down. Polygamy, popular sovereignty, and slavery: At this time, the leadership of the LDS Church supported polygamy or "plural marriage" as it was called by the Mormons. It is estimated that 20-25% of Latter-day Saints were members of polygamous households with the practice involving approximately one third of Mormon women who reached marriageable age.:1095 The LDS Church in territorial Utah viewed plural marriage as religious doctrine until 1890, when it was removed from the essential dogma of the Church by Wilford Woodruff.:81–82 However, the rest of American society rejected polygamy; some commentators accused the Mormons of gross immorality. During the Presidential Election of 1856 a key plank of the newly formed Republican Party's platform was a pledge "to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism: polygamy and slavery." The Republicans associated the Democratic principle of popular sovereignty to the party's acceptance of polygamy in Utah, and turned this accusation into a formidable political weapon. Popular sovereignty was the theoretical basis of the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. This concept was meant to remove the divisive issue of slavery in the Territories from national debate, allowing local decision making, and forestalling armed conflict between the North and South. But during the campaign, the Republican Party denounced the theory as protecting polygamy. Leading Democrats such as Stephen A. Douglas, formerly an ally of the Latter-day Saints, began to denounce Mormonism in order to save the concept of popular sovereignty for issues related to slavery. The Democrats believed that American attitudes toward polygamy had the potential of derailing the compromise on slavery. For the Democrats, attacks on Mormonism had the dual purpose of disentangling polygamy from popular sovereignty, and distracting the nation from the ongoing battles over slavery.:74–75 Theodemocracy: Many east-coast politicians, such as President James Buchanan, were alarmed by the semi-theocratic dominance of the Utah Territory under Brigham Young. Young had been appointed territorial Governor under Millard Fillmore. While Mormons believe in the principles of classical liberalism as found in the U.S. Constitution, Mormon political thought continues to be influenced by a concept dubbed "Theodemocracy." Early Mormon pioneers, especially, associated it with the imminence of Christ's Second Coming. This belief often led Mormon pioneers to elect ecclesiastical leaders to political office. In addition to popular election, many early LDS Church leaders received quasi-political administrative appointments at both the territorial and federal level, that coincided with their ecclesiastical roles; in particular were the powerful probate judges. In analogy to the federal procedure, these executive and judicial appointments were confirmed by the Territorial Legislature, which largely consisted of popularly elected Latter-day Saints. Additionally, LDS Church leaders counseled Latter-day Saints to use ecclesiastical arbitration to resolve disputes amongst church members before resorting to the more explicit legal system. Both Pres. Buchanan and the U.S. Congress saw these acts as obstructing, if not subverting, the operation of legitimate institutions of the United States. Numerous newspaper articles continued to sensationalize Mormon beliefs and exaggerated earlier accounts of conflicts with frontier settlers. These stories led many Americans to believe that Mormon leaders were petty tyrants and that Mormons were determined to create a Zionist, polygamous kingdom in the newly acquired territories. Many felt that these sensationalized beliefs, along with early communitarian practices of the United Order, also violated the principles of republicanism as well as the philosophy of laissez-faire economics. James Strang, a rival to Brigham Young who also claimed succession to the leadership of the church after the death of Joseph Smith, elevated these fears by proclaiming himself a king and resettled his followers on Beaver Island (Lake Michigan), after the main body of the LDS Church had fled to Utah. People also believed that Brigham Young maintained power through a paramilitary organization called the Danites. The Danites were formed by a group of Mormons in Missouri in 1838. Most scholars believe that following the end of the Mormon War in the winter of 1838, the unit was partially disbanded. These factors contributed to the popular belief that Mormons "were oppressed by a religious tyranny and kept in submission only by some terroristic arm of the Church...[However] no Danite band could have restrained the flight of freedom-loving men from a Territory possessed of many exits; yet a flood of emigrants poured into Utah each year, with only a trickle...ebbing back.":70–71 Federal appointees: These circumstances were not helped by the relationship between "Gentile" (non-Mormon) federal appointees and the Mormon territorial leadership. The territory's Organic Act held that the governor, federal judges, and other important territorial positions were to be filled by appointees chosen by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, but without any reference to the will of Utah's population—as was standard for all territorial administration. Some federal officials sent by the President maintained essentially harmonious relationships with the Mormons. For instance, from 1853–1855, the territorial supreme court was composed of two non-Mormons and one Mormon. However, both of these non-Mormons were well respected in the Latter-day Saint community, and were genuinely mourned upon their deaths. Others had severe difficulties adjusting to the Mormon-dominated territorial government and the unique Mormon culture. Historian Norman Furniss relates that although some of these appointees were basically honest and well-meaning, many were highly prejudiced against the Mormons even before they arrived in the territory, were woefully unqualified for their positions, and some were down-right reprobate. On the other hand, the Mormons had no patience for the federal domination entailed in territorial status, and often showed defiance toward the representatives of the federal government. In addition, while the Saints sincerely declared their loyalty to the United States and celebrated the Fourth of July every year with unabashed patriotism, they were undisguisedly critical of the federal government, which they felt had driven them out from their homes in the east. Like the contemporary abolitionists, Latter-day Saint leaders declared that the judgments of God would be meted out upon the nation for its unrighteousness. Brigham Young echoed the opinion of many Latter-day Saints when he declared "I love the government and the Constitution of the United States, but I do not love the damned rascals that administer the government. The Mormons also maintained a governmental and legal regime in "Zion," which they believed was perfectly permissible under the Constitution, but which was fundamentally different from that espoused in the rest of the country. The Latter-day Saints and federal appointees in the Territory faced continual dispute. These conflicts regarded relations with the Native Americans (who often differentiated between "Americans" and "Mormons"), acceptance of the common law, the criminal jurisdiction of probate courts, the Mormon use of ecclesiastical courts rather than the federal court system for civil matters, the legitimacy of land titles, water rights, and various other issues. Many of the federal officers were also appalled by the practice of polygamy and the Mormon belief system in general, and would harangue the Mormons for their "lack of morality" in public addresses. This already tense situation was further exacerbated by a period of intense religious revival starting in late 1856 dubbed the "Mormon Reformation". Beginning in 1851, a number of federal officers, some claiming that they feared for their physical safety, left their Utah appointments for the east. The stories of these "Runaway Officials" convinced the new President that the Mormons were nearing a state of rebellion against the authority of the United States. According to LDS historians James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, the most influential information came from William W. Drummond, an associate justice of the Utah territorial supreme court who began serving in 1854. Drummond's letter of resignation of March 30, 1857 contained charges that Young's power set aside the rule of law in the territory, that the Mormons had ignored the laws of Congress and the Constitution, and that male Mormons acknowledged no law but the priesthood. He further charged the Church with murder, destruction of federal court records, harassment of federal officers, and slandering the federal government. He concluded by urging the president to appoint a governor who was not a member of the Church and to send with him sufficient military aid to enforce his rule.
The salamander letter is a counterfeit document about the history of the Latter Day Saint movement that was created by the forger Mark Hofmann in the early 1980s. The letter was one of hundreds of documents concerning the history of LDS movement that surfaced in the early 1980s. The salamander letter presented a view of Latter Day Saint founder Joseph Smith's life that stood sharply at odds with the commonly accepted version of the early progression of the church Smith established. Initially accepted by some document experts and collectors, and rejected by others, the salamander letter generated much discussion and debate inside and outside the Latter Day Saint movement. Kenneth W. Rendell lent credence to it by stating that the ink, paper and postmark were all consistent with the period; he concluded that "there is no indication that the document is a forgery." The document was later demonstrated to be a forgery created by Hofmann, who had been responsible for the "discovery" of many other notable documents. Rendell then recast his conclusion, stating that while there was "the absence of any indication of forgery in the letter itself, there was also no evidence that it was genuine." Contents: The contents of the letter implied a magical aspect to Smith's life, a controversial subject debated amongst scholars of Latter Day Saint history. The salamander letter was supposedly written by Martin Harris to William Wines Phelps, an early convert in the Latter Day Saint movement. Harris served for a short period of time as scribe for the translation of the golden plates, and assisted in the financing of the first printing of the Book of Mormon. A statement by Harris appears in the front of the Book of Mormon concerning his involvement in its translation. The letter presented a version of the recovery of the golden plates which contrasted with the "orthodox" version of events as related by Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saint movement, which would have, if true, confirmed some controversial aspects of Smith's life. Smith had been accused of "treasure digging" and use of a "seer stone". According to this letter, when Smith dug up the plates a "salamander" appeared, which transformed itself into a spirit that refused to give Smith the plates unless his brother Alvin Smith was also present. This would have been very difficult, as Alvin was dead at the time of the alleged appearance. This reference may have been an attempt by Hofmann to associate the recovery of the gold plates to a rumor that Alvin's grave was dug up by Smith's family to use Alvin's remains in a magical ceremony. Hofmann's use of a salamander drew upon legends about certain animals having supernatural powers. Hofmann may have been inspired by an early anti-Mormon work Mormonism Unvailed (1834), which claimed that a toad-like animal was rumored to have appeared to Smith in conjunction with the recovery of the plates. Text of the Salamander Letter: Palmyra October 23d 1830 Dear Sir: Your letter of yesterday is received & I hasten to answer as fully as I can--Joseph Smith Jr first come to my notice in the year 1824 in the summer of that year I contracted with his father to build a fence on my property in the corse of that work I approach Joseph & ask how it is in a half day you put up what requires your father & 2 brothers a full day working together he says I have not been with out assistance but can not say more only you better find out the next day I take the older Smith by the arm & he says Joseph can see any thing he wishes by looking at a stone Joseph often sees Spirits here with great kettles of coin money it was Spirits who brought up rock because Joseph made no attempt on their money I latter dream I converse with spirits which let me count their money when I awake I have in my hand a dollar coin which I take for a sign Joseph describes what I seen in every particular says he the spirits are grieved so I through back the dollar in the fall of the year 1827 I hear Joseph found a gold bible I take Joseph aside & he says it is true I found it 4 years ago with my stone but only just got it because of the enchantment the old spirit come to me 3 times in the same dream & says dig up the gold but when I take it up the next morning the spirit transfigured himself from a white salamander in the bottom of the hole & struck me 3 times & held the treasure & would not let me have it because I lay it down to cover over the hole when the spirit says do not lay it down Joseph says when can I have it the spirit says one year from to day if you obay me look to the stone after a few days he looks the spirit says bring your brother Alvin Joseph says he is dead shall I bring what remains but the spirit is gone Joseph goes to get the gold bible but the spirit says you did not bring your brother you can not have it look to the stone Joseph looks but can not see who to bring the spirit says I tricked you again look to the stone Joseph looks & sees his wife on the 22d day of Sept 1827 they get the gold bible--I give Joseph $50 to move him down to Pa Joseph says when you visit me I will give you a sign he gives me some hiroglyphics I take then to Utica Albany & New York in the last place Dr Mitchel gives me an introduction to Professor Anthon says he they are short hand Egyption the same what was used in ancient times bring me the old book & I will translate says I it is made of precious gold & is sealed from view says he I can not read a sealed book--Joseph found some giant silver specticles with the plates he puts them in an old hat & in the darkness reads the words & in this way it is all translated & written down--about the middle of June 1829 Joseph takes me together with Oliver Cowdery & David Whitmer to have a view of the plates our names are appended to the book of Mormon which I had printed with my own money--space and time both prevent me from writing more at present if there is any thing further you wish to inquire I shall attend to it. Yours Respectfully, Martin Harris (sic) Authenticity: The letter was deemed authentic by experienced document examiners, a testimony to Hofmann's superior forgery techniques. The letter also seemed to support the opinions of Reed Durham, D. Michael Quinn and others regarding "magical" aspects of Smith's religious experiences. Hofmann's disenchantment with the LDS Church may have played a role in his selection of subject matter to forge. The more sensational and controversial the subject, the higher its potential market value, but in addition, the content would act to cast suspicion on the Latter Day Saint origins. Purchase and publicity: The letter was initially offered to Don Schmidt of the Church Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) on January 3, 1984, by Lyn Jacobs, who wanted to trade it for a $10 Mormon gold piece. Jacobs told Schmidt that he got the letter from a collector in the east, referred by Mark Hofmann. Jacobs later changed his offer to a trade for a copy of a Book of Commandments. This offer was also rejected. Jacobs also suggested that Brent Ashworth might have an interest in it, although Hofmann had already showed a transcript of it to him and he had declared it to be fake. The contents of the letter also seemed too similar to Howe's Mormonism Unvailed to others in the church Historical Department. The letter was also offered to other interested parties, including prominent critics of Mormonism Jerald and Sandra Tanner, who expressed doubts as to its authenticity. A deal with the LDS Church was never reached. Hofmann finally sold the letter to Steven F. Christensen on January 6, 1984 for $40,000. Christensen wanted to try to authenticate it and then donate it to the LDS Church. In Church News on April 28, 1985, the LDS Church revealed the contents of the salamander letter. At about this same time, the church also released a letter to its high school seminary program for youth, suggesting that seminary teachers not encourage debate about the salamander letter, but that they should tactfully answer genuine questions on the subject. FARMS (a research group composed of LDS scholars, but which at the time had no formal connection to the LDS Church) published several articles which examined the Salamander Letter, such as "Why Might a Person in 1830 Connect an Angel With a Salamander?" Suspicion and resolution: Hofmann drew suspicion for discovering so many astounding documents that others had missed, including the so-called "Oath of a Freeman", which he was attempting to sell to the Library of Congress. Jerald and Sandra Tanner, prominent critics of the LDS Church, were suspicious of Hofmann's salamander letter. Jerald had, by early 1984, concluded there was significant doubt as to the salamander letter's authenticity. He even went as far as to publish an attack on the document, which surprised many scholars and students since this and other "discoveries" of important Mormon documents by Hofmann often appeared to bolster the Tanners' own arguments. By late 1984, Jerald Tanner questioned the authenticity of most if not all of Hofmann's "discoveries", based in large part on their unproven provenance. The Tanners did concur with Hofmann in contending that the LDS Church's apparent inability to discern the forged documents was evidence against church leadership being divinely inspired. John Tvedtnes, an LDS scholar, responded with Joseph Smith's statement that "a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such," and that purchasing historical materials is a business activity rather than a prophetic undertaking. It is also asserted that the LDS leaders do not claim infallibility and that the church's efforts to obtain and archive historically significant material extend to works even by anti-Mormon authors. Hofmann was struggling under massive debt and falling behind on delivering on deals that he had made. In 1985, when he learned that the pedigree of the salamander letter was under widespread suspicion, he produced and placed number of bombs as a diversionary tactic. They were detonated with mercury switches, but without a safety switch. Two people were killed: Christensen at his office, the main target; and Kathleen Sheets at her home.That bomb was intended as a diversion, to draw off investigators. Hofmann himself was subsequently injured when a third bomb went off prematurely in his car. That bomb exploded in a way that most of the blast did not hit Hofmann. The police investigated these bombings, and during a search of Hofmann's home found a studio in the basement where he could create counterfeited documents as well as a semi-automatic carbine which had been converted to full automatic fire. Many of the documents Hofmann sold or donated were proven to be forgeries by a new forensic technique developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, chiefly to detect his forgeries. Salt Lake City Police Department used Utah State special agent and forensic examiner George Throckmorton and Arizona document examiner William Flynn to examine a poem supposedly written by Harris and placed in his old Book of Common Prayer and determined it had actually been created by Hofmann. Hofmann used the poem to authenticate the writing in the salamander letter. Although this was enough proof by itself that the letter was a forgery, Throckmorton and Flynn bolstered their case by getting in touch with Frances Magee, the widow of a descendant of Robert Harris. Magee's family had owned the book for many years, and Magee told investigators that she'd never seen the poem before. She suspected someone had planted it there after she sold the book. Hofmann ultimately pleaded guilty to his forgeries and murders, and was sentenced to life in prison. Church leaders, especially First Presidency member Gordon B. Hinckley, continued to field criticism for some time for "being duped" and being "unable to discern the evil intentions of a man like Hofmann". Hinckley later noted: "I accepted him to come into my office on a basis of trust .... I frankly admit that Hofmann tricked us. He also tricked experts from New York to Utah, however .... I am not ashamed to admit that we were victimized. It is not the first time the Church has found itself in such a position. Joseph Smith was victimized again and again. The Savior was victimized. I am sorry to say that sometimes it happens." Lasting effects: More than twenty years later, effects of the letter still lingered. The letter was referenced in research by both Mormons and critics of Mormonism alike. Resulting publications that include conclusions based on the presumption that the letter was authentic are still available and may influence the opinions of those seeking information on "deep Mormon doctrine" or evidence to support a naturalistic or magical historical view of Mormonism or Joseph Smith. In addition, Hofmann produced and sold several other documents relating to significant events in Latter Day Saint history which were fake. Grant Palmer, author of the book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins stated that his work was influenced in part by his original acceptance of the salamander letter as being valid and supportive of his view. Palmer stated that the "salamander letter" caused him to explore Joseph Smith's "mystical mindset". The salamander letter also influenced the content of the film The God Makers II, an alleged exposé of Mormonism. The film suggests that Joseph Smith was required to dig up his brother Alvin's body and bring a part of it with him to the hill Cumorah in order to obtain the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was said to be translated. Jerald and Sandra Tanner refuted this suggestion, and determined that the only known source of such a requirement would have been the salamander letter.
The Book of Mormon, published in 1830 by American religious leader Joseph Smith, has been the subject of criticism relating to its origin, text, and historical accuracy. Ancient origin: Scholars reject Smith's explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was originally an ancient native-American record written on golden plates, and that God gave him the power to translate it into English. Critics note that there is no physical proof of the existence of golden plates; Smith said that the angel Moroni reclaimed the plates once he had completed the translation. To provide support towards the existence of the plates, Smith included two statements in the Book of Mormon saying that the Book of Mormon witnesses had been shown the plates, and their testimony is typically published at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. While none of these men ever retracted their statement, critics nevertheless discount these testimonies for varying reasons, one of which is because most of these men were closely interrelated. In later years Martin Harris, one of the witnesses, is recorded to have confessed that none of the witnesses saw the plates with their natural eyes but only through a vision. Most linguists, archeologists, and historians do not regard the Book of Mormon to be of ancient origin. In 1834 a publication by Eber D. Howe claimed that Smith had plagiarized an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding, a theory that has been generally rejected in the 20th century. Scholars today have varying theories about the true authorship of the Book of Mormon, but most conclude that Smith composed the book himself, possibly with the help of Oliver Cowdery, drawing from information and publications available in his time, including the King James Bible, The Wonders of Nature, and View of the Hebrews. Existence of golden plates: Two separate sets of witnesses, a set of three and a set of eight, testified as having seen the golden plates, the record from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Critics, including Jerald and Sandra Tanner, and the Institute for Religious Research note several pieces of evidence that they argue call into question the authenticity of the experience, including letters and affidavits in which Martin Harris stated that the Eight Witnesses never saw the plates, and that his own witness was more spiritual than physical. Additionally, each of the Three Witnesses (Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer) left the church during Joseph Smith's lifetime and considered Smith to have been a fallen prophet. Harris and Cowdery later returned to the church. However, the Institute for Religious Research disputes the sincerity of their conversion and return. Apologists note that the witnesses in most cases affirmed their witness until their death, and claim that the aforementioned affidavits and letters are either fraudulent, or otherwise not reliable. In 1881 Whitmer, the one witness who never returned to the church, issued an affidavit reaffirming his testimony of the experience. Text and language: Historians view the language patterns, phrases, and names in the Book of Mormon as evidence that it is not authentic. Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from a language called Reformed Egyptian. Archaeologists and Egyptologists have found no evidence that this language ever existed. However, Hugh Nibley, a Mormon apologist, argues that Reformed Egyptian is actually Meroitic Egyptian. Furthermore, official LDS church commentary on the Book of Mormon says that at least some ancestors of Native Americans came from the Jerusalem area; however, Native American linguistic specialists have not found, so far to date, any Native American language that appears to be related to languages of the ancient Near East. Supporters point out the interesting elements of the creation drama that turn up in temple, tomb, or coffin texts from ancient Egypt that is described in detail in the Book of Mormon as the coronation of King Mosiah long before these ancient texts were understood by Egyptologists. Supporters of the Book of Mormon claim it uses chiasmus—a figure of speech utilizing inverted parallelism—and claim it is evidence to support the book's ancient origin. Critics such as Jerald and Sandra Tanner argue that chiasmus in the Book of Mormon are a characteristic of Joseph Smith's speech pattern and not evidence of antiquity. They cite chiasmus in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Moses which were not translated from an ancient text as evidence. Critics claim that language patterns in the Book of Mormon indicate that it is merely a repetition of rhetorical patterns found in the Old Testament. They point out that the Book of Mormon contains many words and phrases that are not consistent with the time frame or location of the stories included in the book. Some critics theorize that Smith derived the account of the golden plates from treasure-hunting stories of William Kidd. Critics base this theory on the similarity of the names from Smith's account—Moroni and Cumorah—to the location Moroni, Comoros, related to Kidd's hunt for treasure. Apologists argue that it was unlikely that Smith had access to this material since at the time of the writing and publishing of the Book of Mormon his family were living in backwoods America, were very poor and there was no public library available to read such a book. Translation: The only thing Joseph Smith ever said about the translation process was "through the medium of the urim and thummim I translated the record, by the gift and power of God." Martin Harris, Joseph's second scribe, and David Whitmer, a witness of Joseph translating the plates to Oliver Cowdery, both describe the process as an exact word-for-word translation. Modern LDS scholars tend to fall into two schools: tight control and loose control. Those who believe in tight control interpretation believe Joseph had very little leeway in the words used in dictating the Book of Mormon (but without being restricted to exact word-for-word). Those who believed in loose control interpretation believe that "'ideas were revealed to Joseph Smith' and he put them 'into his own language.'" The significance of the translation process is how errors in the text are defended. Biblical language: The Book of Mormon claims to be the original writings of Nephite leaders in ancient America, but it contains extensive quotation of the 17th century edition of the King James Bible (KJV) and the Apocrypha, which Joseph Smith's bible had as well. Furthermore, the language of the Book of Mormon mimics the Elizabethan English used in the KJV with 19th century English mixed into it. The Book of Mormon quotes 25,000 words from the KJV Old Testament and over 2,000 words from the KJV New Testament. Indeed, there are numerous cases where the Nephite writers mimic wording from the New Testament—a document to which they had no access. Below are five examples out of a list of 400 examples created by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Names: The names in the Book of Mormon can be interpreted as problematic. Critics believe Joseph Smith came up with all the names, noting that Joseph owned a King James Bible with a table listing all the names used in the Bible. Many Book of Mormon names are either biblical, formed from a rhyming pattern, changed by a prefix or suffix, or Greek in etymology. Furthermore, Jaredites and Nephites shared names despite the Jaradites being of a different time, place, and language than the Nephites. Lastly, some people would occasionally name their sons after their fathers, something not practiced in antiquity. Native Americans and genetics: The Book of Mormon suggests that the Native Americans are descended from people who came to the Americas by boat from the Middle East. However, scientists have used techniques involving genetic markers to conclude that Native American genes are East Asian and not Middle Eastern in origin. Apologists argue that 1) not all Native Americans are Lamanite and 2) the Middle Eastern genes in Native Americans who are Lamanite may have been diluted beyond what can now be detected or lost in time through genetic shifts such as founder effect, bottleneck effect, genetic drift, or admixture. Some evidence possibly supports DNA relics in genes among Native Americans from areas of central North America originating from European ancestry as early as 15,000 years ago, although this would be much too early for the timescale presented in the Book Of Mormon. Population size and the Book of Mormon: Critics challenge the viability of the population size and growth of the Book of Mormon people. M. T. Lamb may have been the very first critic to suggest that the Book of Mormon has an unrealistic population growth rate. Modern studies on population size and growth have been done by John Kunich and FARMS writer James Smith. Kunich's analysis agrees with Lamb's that the Book of Mormon presents an unrealistic growth rate for the population, but Smith disagrees, and says that the growth rate is realistic.
On December 12, 1997, 19-year-old punk musician Brian Theodore Deneke (March 9, 1978 – December 12, 1997) was killed in a deliberate hit and run attack in Amarillo, Texas, by 17-year-old jock Dustin Camp. Camp was later found guilty of voluntary vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to ten years probation. In 2001, he was sentenced to an eight-year imprisonment for a variety of parole violations. He was paroled under supervision on July 31, 2006. The homicide and the outcome of the trial against Camp galvanized the punk community and raised accusations about the social tolerance of the Texan city. Brian Deneke: Brian Deneke was born in Wichita, Kansas, the younger of two sons to Michael Max "Mike" Deneke and Elizabeth Louise "Betty" Bieker. His father was a native of Beloit, Kansas, and was born to Sylvester and Darlene Deneke. Betty Deneke was a native of Concordia, Kansas, and was born to Omer and Marie Bieker. Mike Deneke and Betty Bieker married in 1974 in Concordia, and had two sons: Jason Michael and Brian Theodore. The family settled in southwest Amarillo, Texas from Wichita in winter 1981. Deneke was a Kwahadi dancer and member of the Boy Scouts of America during elementary school. He attended Belmar Elementary, Paramount Terrace Elementary, Crockett Middle School, and Amarillo High School in Amarillo. He dropped out of high school during his junior year, and earned his GED at age 17. Deneke was an artist for Stanley Marsh 3's art project, Dynamite Museum, which consisted of handmade mock road signs scattered across Amarillo city streets. Deneke was also the vocalist of punk rock group The White Slave Traders, and aspired to become a famous punk rock musician. Deneke was remembered by his friends as being charismatic and seen as a leader in local punk circles, helping to organize many local musical events. Nicknamed "Sunshine", Deneke had a spiked mohawk hairstyle and often wore a black leather jacket with a studded leather collar and sported homemade tattoos. He was also an enthusiastic skateboarder, and it was this interest which drew him into the punk subculture. Like other punks in Amarillo, Deneke had suffered frequent harassment and bullying, and acquired nicknames such as "Punch" and "Fist Magnet" by tormenters. His parents were against their son's lifestyle, and warned him of possible prejudice from people in Amarillo. Death: The International House of Pancakes across the street from the Western Plaza Shopping Center was a popular hangout for youths in Amarillo, Texas. On Saturday, December 6, 1997, a confrontation occurred at the IHOP involving Dustin Camp, an honor student and star football player for Tascosa High School in Amarillo, and John King, a member of the punk rock community. One witness, Kendra Petitt, claims that Camp hopped the median in his Cadillac as he tried to run the punks down in the parking lot, and that Camp missed and instead had his car window smashed by John King's police baton. Camp and friends denied this event ever happened. Tension and resentment from this confrontation lingered among the respective groups for the following week. After a night of heavy drinking on Friday, December 12, 1997, Dustin Camp and his companions returned to the Western Plaza Shopping Center at 11:00 p.m., anticipating a fight with members of the punk community. Violence soon broke out between jocks and punks outside of the IHOP restaurant. During the fight Dustin Camp retreated into his Cadillac; at first Camp appeared to drive away but then he sharply turned back, targeting Deneke by running him over. Camp's attorney would later argue that Camp returned to defend a fellow jock; however, this claim was denied by Deneke's companions. Trial of Dustin Camp: During Camp's murder trial, a passenger eyewitness testified that Camp exclaimed "I'm a Ninja in my Caddy!" as he targeted Deneke and then "I bet he liked that one!" after he ran over Deneke as he sped away from the scene. Dustin Camp was charged with first-degree murder; during his trial his defense claimed that he had acted in defense of a friend whom Deneke was attacking. Camp's defense attorney, Warren L. Clark, defended by trying to shift the blame on Deneke and the punk community. Clark portrayed the punks as violent thugs and went as far as calling them "armed goons". Defense attorney Clark used incidents from Deneke's past that made him look violent, and claimed that he was the aggressor on the night of his death. The defense also claimed that witnesses for the prosecution were punks who lied under oath. In contrast to the punks, the defense characterized the alleged murderer as a wholesome and clean-cut youth. The defense emphasized Camp's normalcy, claiming Camp was a good Christian, a good Texan, and a football player. The punks who testified consistently saw Deneke as the victim. One of Camp's companions, who was a passenger in his car, also incriminated him. She did not see him acting in defense of a third person and testified on the "Ninja in the Caddy" exclamations. Although charged with murder, the jury only found Camp guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to ten years probation and a $10,000 fine. Both Camp's attorney and the district attorney found this sentence to be uncommonly mild. The jury refused to comment after the trial citing the welfare of the families. Alternate juror Wade Colvin said he was "completely surprised" that the jury did not convict Camp of murder and opted for a manslaughter conviction instead. "What stuck with me more than anything - I felt like Brian was running away and Dustin had a chance (to stop his car)," Colvin said. He believed the jury gave Camp a second chance because of his youth. "I had those thoughts, too, about him being so young," Colvin said. "But he did wrong." Camp's probation violations: In June 2001 Camp was apprehended for underage drinking and was arrested for being a minor in the possession of alcohol. Michael Camp, father of Dustin, attempted to cover for his son's probation violations. Michael Camp was formally charged with making false statements to the police. He was sentenced to 60 days deferred adjudication (a type of probation) and a $100 fine after a plea bargain. In September 2001, Dustin Camp received an eight-year prison sentence for violating his probation. Dustin's brother David was also arrested during the June events. He served one year of probation for providing alcohol to minors and hindering police efforts to arrest Dustin Camp. In 2006 Dustin Camp was paroled under supervision until his sentence expired in 2009. Media coverage and significance: Deneke's funeral service was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church on December 16, 1997, in Amarillo. His death shook Amarillo and horrified the punk subculture: Punks in Amarillo reported that they had often been targets of abuse and harassment by jocks because of their differences, even before the incident; after the trial there was a general feeling that Camp walked free because he was seen as a "good kid" - unlike the punks. The lenient sentence for Camp caused a public outcry in Amarillo and incited a debate on whether the city was a tolerant place. The mayor of Amarillo, Kel Seliger, attempted to distance the town from the verdict. "It was not a community verdict," he said, "it was 12 people." Nonetheless, the murder trial had prompted the mayor to emphasize tolerance for differences and mutual respect. Deneke's father was unsurprised by the lenient verdict: "Quite honestly," Deneke's father said, "we had been prepared for that. If you pay attention to what happens in the criminal justice system, it's not unusual". National television and radio paid attention to the case in 1999 and 2000 being featured on Leeza, Dateline NBC, 20/20, NPR and in a MTV documentary Criminal "Punks vs Preps". The widely syndicated City Confidential episode Amarillo, TX: High School Hit & Run in 2005 reinforced interest in the case. In 2000, Marilyn Manson discussed the Deneke case at the Disinfo conference while addressing the issue of the causes of youth violence. The conflict between jocks and punks in Amarillo has been compared to the widespread social divisions in Columbine High School which contributed to the Columbine High School massacre. The Deneke case has also been referred to briefly in an academic article arguing the case for expanding the definitions of bias crime beyond the usual boundaries of religious, sexual and racial groups, to other social groupings. Tributes to Brian Deneke- Concerts:Numerous tribute gigs and concerts have been made for Deneke since his death. In 2000, The Unity Through Diversity festival was held in Amarillo featuring The Undead and Mike Watt amongst other bands. The tenth anniversary of his death demonstrated the ongoing significance of his death to the punk community with 25 concerts being held on December 8, 2007 across the United States and Canada, including concerts in New York City, Chicago, Seattle and five concerts across Texas including a two-day event in Amarillo. Half of the money raised by these events went to National Organization for Parents of Murdered Children, the other half to various anti prejudice causes. The memorial concerts stated aims were: "Brian was only 19 years old when he succumbed to violent death due to prejudice and ignorance. The Memorial events will donate our profits to charities that fight hate-crime. Brian's existence will continue to inspire others." Songs- Deneke's death has been the subject of a number of songs, including: -"Brian Deneke" by Last Rate Service -"Brian's Song" by Fifteen -"Brian's Song" by The Code -"Tears On A Pillow (in Amarillo)" by The Undead -"Goodnight Amarillo" by Malcolm Bauld -"Fortunes of War" by Dropkick Murphys -"Sunshine Fist Magnet" by Against All Authority -"A Punk Killed" by Total Chaos -"Murdered" by Total Chaos -"American Justice Is All a Lie" by Career Soldiers -"Sunshine" by The Swellers -Deneke is also referred to in the Hamell on Trial song "Hail." -"Brian Deneke" by Ethan Daniel Davidson -"Brian Deneke" by Christopher Owens Drama: A play on the Deneke case, "Manslaughtered," by David Bucci, was performed at the Annex Theatre, Seattle in 2000.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
This is a chronology of Mormonism. In the late 1820s, founder Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, announced that an angel had given him a set of golden plates engraved with a chronicle of ancient American peoples, which he had a unique gift to translate. In 1830, he published the resulting narratives as the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Christ in western New York, claiming it to be a restoration of early Christianity. Moving the church to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831, Joseph Smith attracted hundreds of converts, who were called Latter Day Saints. He sent some to Jackson County, Missouri to establish a city of Zion. In 1833, Missouri settlers expelled the Saints from Zion, and Smith's paramilitary expedition to recover the land was unsuccessful. Fleeing an arrest warrant in the aftermath of a Kirtland financial crisis, Smith joined his remaining followers in Far West, Missouri, but tensions escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered their expulsion from Missouri, and Smith was imprisoned on capital charges. After escaping state custody in 1839, Smith directed the conversion of a swampland into Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became both mayor and commander of a nearly autonomous militia. In 1843, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. The following year, after the Nauvoo Expositor criticized his power and such new doctrines as plural marriage, Smith and the Nauvoo city council ordered the newspaper's destruction as a nuisance. In a futile attempt to check public outrage, Smith first declared martial law, then surrendered to the governor of Illinois. He was killed by a mob while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois. After the death of the Smiths, a succession crisis occurred in the Latter Day Saint movement. Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church, but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. Initially, the primary contenders to succeed Joseph Smith were Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, and James Strang. Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, claimed authority was handed by Smith to the Quorum of the Twelve. Rigdon was the senior surviving member of the First Presidency, a body that led the church since 1832. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, Rigdon was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. Strang claimed that Smith designated him as the successor in a letter that was received by Strang a week before Smith's death. Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of Lineal succession. Several schisms resulted, with each claimant attracting followers. The majority of Latter Day Saints followed Young; these adherents later emigrated to Utah Territory and continued as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Rigdon's followers were known as Rigdonites, some of which later established The Church of Jesus Christ. Strang's followers established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite). In the 1860s, those who felt that Smith should have been succeeded by Joseph Smith III established the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which later changed its name to Community of Christ. Under Brigham Young, the LDS Church orchestrated a massive overland migration of Latter-day Saint pioneers to Utah, by wagon train and, briefly, by handcart. The Apostles directed missionary preaching in Europe and the United States, gaining more converts who then gathered to frontier Utah. In its remote settlement, the church governed civil affairs and made public its practice of plural marriage (polygamy). As the federal government asserted greater control over Utah, relations with the Mormons enflamed, leading to the Utah War and the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mormon polygamy became a major political issue, with federal legislation and judicial rulings curtailing Mormon legal protections and delegitimizing the church. Eventually, the church issued a manifesto discontinuing polygamy, which paved the way to Utah statehood and realignment with mainstream American society.
The succession crisis in the Latter Day Saint movement occurred after the death of Joseph Smith, the movement's founder, on June 27, 1844. For roughly six months after Joseph Smith's death, several people competed to take over his role. The leading contenders were Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, and James Strang. The majority of Latter Day Saints elected to follow Young's leadership, but several smaller churches emerged from the succession crisis. This significant event in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement precipitated several permanent schisms. Background: The new Church of Christ was organized by Joseph Smith and a small group of men on April 6, 1830. Between that time and his death in 1844, the administrative and ecclesiastical organization of the new church evolved from an egalitarian group of believers to an institution based on hierarchy of priesthood offices. This change over time was driven by both the growth in church population and the evolution of Smith's role as leader of the church. Prior to the formal establishment of the church, Smith held the title of "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator," a title unanimously supported by the other founding members of the church. However, as the church was "organized" rather than legally "incorporated," its property needed to be held in trust by a trustee; Smith became the church's Trustee-in-Trust. Initially, the highest leadership position in the church was that of "elder," and church elders were sometimes called "apostles." Smith's initial title in the church was "First Elder," while his friend and associate, Oliver Cowdery, was given the title "Second Elder." In March 1832, Smith created a quorum of three presidents known as the First Presidency. Smith became President of the First Presidency, a title which became associated with the office of "President of the Church"; Sidney Rigdon and Jesse Gause became Smith's counselors in the First Presidency. On December 18, 1833, Smith created the office of "Patriarch over the Church" and ordained his father, Joseph, Sr., to fill the role. The "Presiding Patriarch," as the office came to be called, often presided over church meetings and was sometimes sustained at church conferences ahead of all other church officers. On February 17, 1834, Smith created a High Council in Kirtland, Ohio. This body consisted of twelve men, headed by the First Presidency. The Kirtland High Council took on the role of chief judicial and legislative body of the local church and handled such things as excommunication trials and approval of all church spending. Several months later on July 3, 1834, the High Council of Zion was organized in Far West, Jackson County, Missouri. This High Council in Zion is also known as the Presiding High Council, for it was designated to preside over the council established in Kirtland, as well as all future High Councils at the various Stakes of Zion. Cases tried in the standing High Councils of outlying stakes were regularly appealed to the High Council of Zion, it being the penultimate court standing only second to the First Presidency. The Presiding High Council also provided clearance for ordinations in the standing High Councils at the Stakes of Zion. On February 14, 1835, nearly one year after the Kirtland High Council was organized, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world" was formed as a "Traveling Presiding High Council." This council consisted of twelve men, called and ordained by the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon to the office of Apostle, and appointed to oversee the missionary work of the church—meaning that their presiding role was outside of the Stakes of Zion. Thomas B. Marsh was set apart as their president. In practice, while both this group and the High Council in Zion were Presiding High Councils, their jurisdictions were divided with one as “standing” ministers over the Stakes of Zion, and the other “traveling” outside of the Stakes. Initially, the Quorum of the Twelve was subordinate to the High Council of Zion; for example, in 1838, when vacancies arose in the quorum, it was the Standing Presiding High Council at Far West that filled the vacancies. When the High Council in Zion was dissolved after the church was expelled from Missouri, the headquarters of the church were moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. There, Joseph Smith formed a new Presiding High Council, led by William Marks, which supervised the High Councils of outlying stakes, under the direction of the First Presidency.
George Wendell Pace (born 1929) was an American professor of religion at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. He was a popular writer and speaker on religion in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and is known for being publicly criticized by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in 1982. Biography: Pace is one of eleven children born to Agnes Judd and Presley D. Pace in Burley, Idaho. He was raised in the town, where his father served as Sheriff for a time. As a young man and a member of the LDS Church, Pace served a proselyting mission in western Canada. In the late 1940s Pace studied at Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, where he also ran cross-country. While later attending BYU, Pace met and married Diane Carman of Portland, Oregon, with whom he would have 12 children. In the LDS Church, Pace would serve in various callings throughout his life, including as a Sunday School teacher in Provo, Utah, a high councilor, a branch president at the Missionary Training Center, a stake presidency councilor, and a stake president. Career: Pace had decided to teach LDS religion after several spiritual experiences. After graduating from BYU in Political Science, he returned to his hometown of Burley to teach LDS Seminary in 1956, living on the family farm. In 1961 Pace was appointed as the first director of the Institute of Religion adjacent to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he then completed his master's degree. In 1964 Pace became director of the Institute in Palo Alto, California, adjacent to Stanford University. Pace was accepted into the religion faculty at BYU in 1967 and completed his master's degree in 1968 and his doctorate in religious education in 1976. As one of the most popular BYU professors, next to Stephen Covey, Pace regularly drew attendees larger than his actual class size. In 1978, BYU students named him Professor of the Year and he was known for spending large amounts of time helping students. Pace was also a popular speaker in BYU's Education Week and Know Your Religion programs, and had several motivational talks recorded and sold on cassette tapes. McConkie criticism: In 1982, Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle in the LDS Church, presented a televised sermon at BYU that was interpreted as an attack on Pace's book, What It Means to Know Christ. In his sermon, McConkie did not mention Pace or his book by name, though he excerpted a quote which he called "plain sectarian nonsense", and warned against developing a special spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, apart from the Holy Ghost and God the Father. McConkie felt this was a "gospel hobby" that could lead to "an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude" or "despondence". McConkie said he didn't intend to "downgrade" Jesus, but to teach true doctrine and warn his audience. McConkie later claimed he wasn't singling out or specifically thinking of Pace, but was warning against a general trend of "extreme behavior" of born-again type experiences. According to his son, Pace was personally devastated and saw this as a public condemnation and rebuke. He removed his book from the market, lost his church position as stake president, and had a dramatic drop in class enrollment. Pace issued a formal apology in which he stated that his opinions may be misinterpreted, and he was glad that McConkie had clarified the issues. Pace wanted "to stay in the mainstream of the Church" and remain loyal to its leadership. In contrast, Pace's son cited the controversy as disillusioning him toward his religious leaders and motivating him to leave the LDS Church. Some have speculated that McConkie was reprimanded for downplaying Christ's importance and was asked to reemphasize Jesus in his future teachings. Afterward: After the fallout from the McConkie incident, Pace still retained his BYU religious professorship and served in leadership positions in the church. He served for a time as a professor at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Remembered as an effective teacher, in 2000 BYU Magazine printed his nomination for professor of the century. In the early 2000s Pace and his wife were overseeing BYU's China Teachers Program, which arranges for retired educators from BYU to teach at Chinese universities. Pace also continued publishing and public speaking in the LDS community. His work was published in an official LDS Church magazine and in the church-sanctioned Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Though originally published by Council Press, Pace's criticized book What It Means to Know Christ was even republished in 1988 by the church's own publisher, Deseret Book, as a new edition retitled Our Search to Know the Lord. The work remains in print under the name Knowing Christ, published by Cedar Fort, Inc. As a public speaker, Pace has addressed addiction recovery programs and religious topics into the late 1990s.
Tanya Nicole Kach (born October 14, 1981) is an American woman who was held captive for ten years by a security guard at the school she attended. Thomas Hose, her captor, eventually pled guilty to statutory rape and other related offenses and was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison. Tanya Kach's recollection of events Captivity: Thomas Hose was a security guard at Cornell Middle School, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where Kach was a student. Hose befriended Kach, often taking her out of classes to talk to her and one day when he caught her skipping class, he kissed her. Over time, Hose convinced Kach to run away from her family and move in with him, which she did in February 1996. For the first four years, she was not allowed out of the house. Hose lived with his parents and son and went to great lengths to keep Kach hidden from them. She was confined to his second story bedroom all day and had to go to the toilet in a bucket. In 2000, Hose created a new identity for Kach, "Nikki Allen", and introduced her to his parents as his girlfriend who would be moving in with them. After this, she was occasionally allowed to leave the house but had a strict curfew. Six years later she escaped. Escape and later life: After being allowed some time outside of the house, Kach with time realized that her relationship with Hose was not normal. She escaped from captivity with the help of Joe Sparico, a grocery store owner in her neighborhood, by revealing her true identity to him and asking him to send police to the house. Kach was happy to be reunited with her family, but has since then become estranged from her father. Since her escape, Kach is now engaged and is now a step-mother to her fiancé's daughter and son. Controversy: Tanya's recollection of events has been challenged by Hose, Hose's family, Hose's neighbours, and local shop keepers. Hose, who was in love with Kach, maintains that Kach's decision to move in with him was always her idea. She told Hose that she was being abused by her step-mother, which both her father and step-mother deny. Kach was known to local police as a 'troubled teen', and had run away from home and truanted from school numerous times before resulting in police reports being filed on 4 separate occasions. Hose alleged she had asked him to let her move in with him as she did not feel safe at home. Kach was due to appear in court to be made a ward of state just 10 days after running away to Hose's house. The petition to make her a ward of state by Kach's parents was because she was a "violent," "completely uncontrollable," and a "compulsive liar," and her parents could no longer deal with her. Hose stated that she was never made to remain in the house and, after dying her hair, would frequently leave the house, play in the yard, and go to the shops. Hose's parents reported knowing her for "years" as Tom's girlfriend Nikki. Hose's parents also agreed she frequently left the house, helped make the dinner with them, and appeared "very happy". Hose's neighbours and local shop keepers all agreed they knew her well saw her regularly outside of the house and introduced herself as "Nikki, Tom Hose's girlfriend". Kach's account of the abuse she stated she suffered at the hands of Hose grew increasingly elaborate in progressive interviews with police as "extra details" were remembered. Numerous police detectives and psychologists have stated this is typical with fraudulent allegations. In 2011, Hose plead guilty to charges of statutory rape and other charges relating to having sex with a minor. No charges relating to kidnap or false imprisonment were ever brought against him. Since her escape, Tanya has attempted to sue numerous government organisations for their failing of her, including the police and school board. All have been thrown out of court. She has also written a New York Times Bestselling book entitled Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid: The Tanya Nicole Kach Story. (Tate Publishing, 2011, ISBN 978-1613467596).
Theresa Ferrara (September 5, 1951 – February 10, 1979) was an Italian-American born in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York. She worked with Lucchese crime family associates, and eventually became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Ferrara was a distant relative of New Orleans crime family boss Carlos Marcello. As a young woman, Ferrara moved from Long Island to Ozone Park, Queens to pursue a career as a fashion model or actress. Mob connections: With her natural blonde hair and deep suntan, Ferrara soon attracted the attention of Lucchese mob associate Tommy DeSimone. In 1972, Ferrara and the married DeSimone started an affair. Ferrara started frequenting mob hangouts such as Robert's Lounge in South Ozone Park, Queens, New York and later Henry Hill's The Suite in Queens. Around this time, Ferrara became a drug dealer, dealing a few small quantities of cocaine and Quaaludes to DeSimone and other Lucchese mobsters. Ferrara also opened a mob-funded beauty salon in Bellmore, Long Island. Ferrara soon started dealing cocaine out of the salon itself. In summer 1977, Ferrara was arrested after selling drugs to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent. Faced with a lengthy jail sentence, Ferrara became a co-operating witness for the authorities. Terry also ran a crew of rip off artists including Stevie Weiss, Louie Galino and two others. They would rob people who were in Terry's line of work, "successful Haircutters", who owned large money making Hair Salons. The NYPD turned a blind eye to this, as they were told by the Feds to "leave it alone. Terry was feeding them information on underworld activities and was therefore untouchable. In 1978, Ferrara and mob associate Richard Eaton allegedly conspired to swindle the Lucchese family out of $250,000 worth of cocaine from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ferrara and Eaton were also suspected of stealing a fair portion of money taken during the famous Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens. None of this was ever proven by the FBI. However, in early 1979, Ferrara moved out of her downscale duplex in Queens into a thousand-dollar-a-month apartment that was in the prestigious "North Shore Towers", in Great Neck. Government informant: From 1977 to 1979, Ferrara was the US government's eyes and ears on Lucchese caporegime Paul Vario. Her information was responsible for exposing a major cocaine deal on November 11, 1978. The Coast Guard and DEA agents confiscated thirty tons of cocaine on the Flushing, Queens waterfront. However, they were unable to catch the smugglers, who were allegedly Vario, Jimmy Burke and Tom Monteleone. Vario was furious at the undercover drug sting operation that cost him and Burke $250,000. At some point, Vario or someone in the Lucchese family started to become suspicious of Ferrara. It also did not help Ferrara that she knew about the Lufthansa heist at a time when Burke was systematically eliminating many of the participants in that robbery. Death: On February 10, 1979 Ferrara received a phone call at her salon. She told her nineteen-year-old niece, Maria Sanacore, that she was meeting someone at a nearby Long Island diner and Sanacore should come looking for her if she did not return in fifteen minutes. Before leaving the salon, Ferrara left behind her purse, car keys, and mink coat. Ferrara also told Sanacore, "I have a chance to make $10,000." Ferrara did not return from the meeting. On May18, 1979 a dismembered female torso was found floating in Barnegat Inlet near Toms River, New Jersey. An autopsy performed at the Saint Barnabas Community Medical Center in Toms River confirmed, through recent breast augmentation surgery, that the body was Theresa Ferrara. No one was ever convicted of her murder. In popular culture: -In the 1991 television movie The 10 Million Dollar Getaway, Ferrara is portrayed as "Theresa" by actress Karen Young. -Ferrara is portrayed in the 1990 film Goodfellas as "Theresa" by Elizabeth Whitcraft.
The murder of the Lawson family refers to the Germanton, North Carolina event on December 25, 1929, in which sharecropper Charlie Lawson murdered his wife and six of his seven children. Background: In 1911, Charles Lawson married Fannie Manring, with whom he had eight children. The third, William, born in 1914, died of an illness in 1920. In 1918, following the move of his younger brothers, Marion and Elijah, to the Germanton area, Lawson followed suit with his family. The Lawsons worked as sharecroppers, saving enough money by 1927 to buy their own farm on Brook Cove Road. 1929 murders: In 1929, shortly before Christmas, Charlie Lawson took his wife and their seven children, Marie (age 17), Arthur (age 16), Carrie (age 12), Maybell (age 7) James (age 4) Raymond, (age 2) and Mary Lou (age 4 months) into town to buy new clothes and to have a family portrait taken. This would have been an uncommon occurrence for a working-class rural family of the era, so it has been speculated that Charlie's act was premeditated. On the afternoon of December 25, Lawson first shot his daughters, Carrie and Maybell, as they were setting out to their uncle and aunt's house. Lawson waited for them by the tobacco barn; when they were in range, shot them with a shotgun, then ensured that they were dead by bludgeoning them. He then placed the bodies in the tobacco barn. Afterwards, he returned to the house and shot Fannie, who was on the porch. As soon as the gun was fired, Marie, who was inside, screamed, while the two small boys, James and Raymond, attempted to find a hiding place. Lawson shot Marie and then found and shot the two boys. Lastly, he killed the baby, Mary Lou. It is thought that she was bludgeoned to death. After the murders, he went into the nearby woods and, several hours later, shot himself. The only survivor was his eldest son, 16-year-old Arthur, whom he had sent on an errand just before committing the crime. The bodies of the family members were found with their arms crossed and rocks under their heads. The gunshot signaling Charlie Lawson's own suicide was heard by the many people who already had learned of the murders on the property and gathered there. A police officer who was with Arthur Lawson ran down to discover Charlie's body along with letters to his parents. As footprints encircled the tree it was supposed that he had been pacing around the tree prior to taking his life. Theories on motive- Charlie's head injury: Months before the event, Charlie Lawson had sustained a head injury; some family and friends theorized that it had altered his mental state and was related to the massacre. However, an autopsy and analysis of his brain at Johns Hopkins Hospital found no abnormalities. Many rumors circulated as to why Charlie Lawson would kill himself and his family, including a theory that Charlie had witnessed an organized crime incident, had been found out, and that he and his family had been murdered to silence them. Marie's rumored pregnancy by Charlie: It was not until the book White Christmas, Bloody Christmas was published in 1990 that a claim of an incestuous relationship between Charlie and Marie surfaced, beginning with an anonymous source who heard the rumor during a tour of the Lawson family home shortly after the murders. The day before the book was to be published, the authors received a phone call from Stella Lawson, a relative who had already been interviewed for the book. Stella said that at the funeral for the Lawsons she had overheard Fannie's sisters-in-law and aunts, including Stella's mother Jettie Lawson, discussing how Fannie Lawson had confided in them that she had been concerned about an incestuous relationship between Charlie and Marie. Jettie died in early 1928, meaning Fannie had been suspicious of the incest at least that long before the murders in late 1929. More support for this theory revealed in The Meaning of our Tears. A close friend of Marie Lawson's, Ella May, disclosed that just weeks before Christmas, Marie told her that she was pregnant with her father's baby. Ella May also said that Charlie, and Fannie knew about this. Another close friend and neighbor to the Lawson family, Hill Hampton, stated that he knew of serious problems going on within the family, but declined to elaborate. Legacy: Shortly after the murders, Charlie's brother, Marion Lawson, opened the home on Brook Cove Road as a tourist attraction. A cake that Marie Lawson had baked on Christmas Day was displayed on the tour. Because visitors began to pick at the raisins on the cake to take as souvenirs, it was placed in a covered glass cake dish and thus preserved for many years. The event inspired a number songs and other tributes including the murder ballad "The Murder of the Lawson Family". This song was recorded by the Stanley Brothers in March 1956. The case was also featured in an episode of the PRX podcast Criminal.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
this is the real me. I'm a skateboarder. I wear pants and skirts. I am unique. when I go to church they only see part of me. they tell me to wear things but I'm allowed do wear what I want to. I wear colored hair spray and spray on hair dye. I can't wear make up due to my genetic make up. I prefer reading harry potter to the scriptures. I'm not baptized yet I feel the holy ghost. I listen to the forensic science things I like.
apparently there's pumpkin spice everything now a days. it's not that I don't want to try everything pumpkin spice but why should I? I've heard some of that stuff is nasty or doesn't taste like Pumpkin spice. my brother and I like them. if they aren't worth it than no thanks.
I get that question asked a lot (or variations of that question) over winter. as I'm a "human furnace" I can wear semi-skimpy clothing but I of course have to cover up. I'm not an idiot. if I'm going out in a fall/ winter day and it's "cold out" I'll wear a jacket or cover up some how.
I get to dress like an adult on my days off although I should dress like a conservative member adult since that's how I was brought up. although "conservative adult" to me is a bit of a contradiction. conservative means not showing too much and dressing like an adult is dressing however I want to. sure I can dress however I want to and still be conservative but still my definition of "adult" is showing skin, legs and other things.
I learned how to skateboard when I was 11 or 12. I got super into it but then I had an accident and was afraid. I'm 20 and I started skateboarding this past summer. I love it. although I fell off I'm super passionate about it. people are impressed I skateboard.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
According to the consensus of historians, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, privately taught and practiced polygamy. After Smith's death in 1844, the church he established splintered into several competing groups. Disagreements over Smith's doctrine of "plural marriage" was one of the primary reasons the church divided. The members of the largest group that resulted, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), continued to teach and practice polygamy throughout the 19th century. In the late-19th century and early-20th century, the practice was formally abandoned as the LDS Church came under intense criticism by the United States federal government. The LDS Church no longer sanctions polygamy and its members do not practice it, although there are still elements of the doctrine in its theology. The second-largest Latter Day Saint church, the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or RLDS Church), has a history of opposing the LDS Church's practice of polygamy. Other smaller Latter Day Saint churches were also formed as a means of opposing the LDS Church's polygamy. The formal shift in doctrine by the LDS Church later in the early-20th century gave rise to the Mormon fundamentalism movement, which has since fragmented into a number of separate churches, the most well-known being the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church). The FLDS Church and other Mormon fundamentalists believe the practice of polygamy should continue and that it was wrongfully abandoned by the LDS Church. Current state of polygamy in the LDS Church: The LDS Church considers polygamy to have been a divinely inspired commandment that is supported by scripture; today, the church permits it to be discussed in a Sunday School lesson for adults that is presented once every four years. However, the commandment to the church to practice plural marriage is considered to have rescinded by God. Church apostle Joseph F. Smith has explained, "The doctrine is not repealed, the truth is not annulled, the law is right and just now as ever, but the observance of it is stopped". The LDS Church has not officially tolerated plural marriages since the 1890 Manifesto was declared. However, all of the First Presidency and almost all of the apostles at that time continued to maintain multiple families into the 20th century: they did not feel that they could dissolve existing unions and families. Scholarship beginning in the 1980s has led to estimates that the average incidence of polygamy during the 40 years in which it was a practice of the church was between 15 and 30 percent, depending on the years and location, including virtually all church leadership at the time. Polygamy was gradually discontinued after the 1904 Second Manifesto as no new plural marriages were allowed and as the older polygamists died off. Since the Second Manifesto, the policy of the LDS Church has been to excommunicate members who enter into, solemnize, or openly teach the doctrine of plural marriages. Relationship of current practices to plural marriage- Sealed marriages ended through death: As of 1998, by proxy "A deceased woman may be sealed to all men to whom she was legally married during her life. However, if she was sealed to a husband during her life, all her husbands must be deceased before she can be sealed to a husband to whom she was not sealed during life." Implications: Theological issues are likely to exist when any church endorses the notion that marriage relationships continue into an afterlife, yet endorses people having more than one spouse during life. In this light, a doctrine of multiple marriage relationships in the afterlife does not necessarily imply an endorsement of plural marriage during life. Current state of polygamy in the Community of Christ: The Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS Church) has rejected the practice of polygamy since its inception and continues to affirm monogamy "as the basic principle of Christian marriage". Many in this church believe that Joseph Smith never taught or practiced polygamy and that the doctrine began with the teachings of Brigham Young in the LDS Church. The Community of Christ does not recognize Smith's 1831 revelation or the 1843 revelation on polygamy as canonical, and some members regard them as inauthentic. Although some past leaders of the RLDS Church—most notably Joseph Smith III and others who were descendants of Joseph Smith—have strenuously denied that Smith taught or practiced polygamy, the Community of Christ today states that it "does not legislate or mandate positions on issues of history". The church acknowledges that research into the early Latter Day Saint movement "seem[s] to increasingly point to Joseph Smith Jr. as a significant source for plural marriage teaching and practice", but the church argues that it must be recognized that Smith was not infallible in his teachings. Current state of polygamy in the Strangite church: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) have historically taught and, in limited numbers, have practiced plural marriage. James Strang was married to several women during his leadership of the church. However, the 1843 revelation on polygamy by Joseph Smith is rejected by the church as an inauthentic revelation. The Book of the Law of the Lord, a part of the Strangite canon, sanctions polygamy, but the church reports that "there are no known cases of polygamy currently in the church". Mormon fundamentalist sects that practice polygamy: Over time, many of those who rejected the LDS Church's relinquishment of plural marriage formed small, close-knit communities in areas of the Rocky Mountains. These groups continue to practice what they refer to as "the principle", despite its illegality, and consider the practice to be a requirement for entry into the highest heaven, which they call the "first degree of the celestial kingdom". These people are commonly called Mormon fundamentalists and may either practice as individuals, as families, or as part of organized denominations. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: The FLDS Church teaches that a man having multiple wives is ordained of God and is a requirement for a man to receive the highest form of salvation. It is generally believed in the church that a man should have a minimum of three wives to fulfill this requirement. Connected with this doctrine is the concept that wives are required to be subordinate to their husbands. The FLDS Church currently practices the law of placing, whereby a young woman of marriageable age is assigned a husband by revelation from God to the leader of the church, who is regarded as a prophet. The prophet elects to take and give wives to and from men according to their worthiness. Apostolic United Brethren: The members of the AUB also practice plural marriage; the AUB justifies doing so based on what they call the "1886 Meeting". While not all members take part in plural marriage, it is considered a crucial step in the quest for obtaining the highest glory of heaven. Unlike some other Mormon fundamentalist groups, the leaders of the AUB do not arrange plural marriages, nor do they authorize plural marriages for people under 18 or for those who are closely related.
Within Mormonism, the priesthood authority to act in God's name was said its founder, Joseph Smith, to have been removed from the primitive Christian church through a Great Apostasy, which Mormons believe occurred due to the deaths of the original apostles. Mormons maintain that this apostasy was prophesied of within the Bible to occur prior to the Second Coming of Jesus (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3) and was therefore in keeping with God's plan for mankind. Smith claimed that the priesthood authority was restored to him from angelic beings—John the Baptist and the apostles Peter, James, and John. Some Christians have argued that a complete apostasy of the Christian church is impossible, because Christ is perfect. The Mormon belief is that Jesus, as Jehovah, also guided the Old Testament prophets and their followers, but that there are biblical descriptions of many apostasies amongst them, evidencing that Jehovah, who was perfect, did not intercede to prevent mankind from using agency and corrupting the true teachings and practices established through the prophets. Most Christians believe that the canon of scripture is closed. Mormons believe in an open canon of scripture and accept the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. Mormons also recognize a living prophet who has the authority to propose additions to the scriptural canon. Political structure in early Mormonism: Early Mormonism established community legal structures as essentially theocracies (see theodemocracy). Joseph Smith and his successor, Brigham Young, presided over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as prophet, President of the Church, and spiritual king until Christ's assumption of world kingship at his Second Coming. U.S. President Millard Fillmore appointed Young governor of the Territory of Utah, and there was minimal effective separation between church and state until 1858. Young envisioned a Mormon state spanning from the Salt Lake Valley to the Pacific Ocean; he sent church leaders to establish colonies far and wide. These colonies were governed by Mormon officials under Young's mandate to enforce "God's law" by "lay[ing] the ax at the root of the tree of sin and iniquity," while preserving individual rights. Despite the distance to these outlying colonies, local Mormon leaders received frequent visits from church headquarters, and were under Young's direct doctrinal and political control. Mormons were taught to obey the orders of their priesthood leaders, as long as they coincided with the church's religious principles. Young's view of theocratic enforcement included a death penalty. However, there are no documented cases showing that capital punishment was ever used by the Mormons. Mormon leaders taught the doctrine of blood atonement, in which Mormon "covenant breakers" could in theory gain their exaltation in heaven by having "their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins." More clearly stated, this doctrine holds that capital punishment is required to atone for murder. Commentator Thomas G. Alexander argues that most violent speech by Mormon leaders was rhetorical in nature and that statistical studies were needed to determine whether frontier Utah was more violent in reality than surrounding regions. Referring to the frequent Mormon declarations that there were fewer deeds of violence in Utah than in other pioneer settlements of equal population, the Salt Lake Tribune of January 25, 1876, stated: "It is estimated that no less than 600 murders have been committed by the Mormons, in nearly every case at the instigation of their priestly leaders, during the occupation of the territory. Giving a mean average of 50,000 persons professing that faith in Utah, we have a murder committed every year to every 2500 of population. The same ratio of crime extended to the population of the United States would give 16,000 murders every year." Whatever the case, there is evidence that occasionally local church leaders took the rhetoric of such doctrines seriously as they contemplated sanctionable applications of violence. According to rumors and accusations, Brigham Young sometimes enforced "God's law" through a secret cadre of avenging Danites. The truth of these rumors is debated by historians. While there existed active vigilante organizations in Utah who referred to themselves as "Danites", they may have been acting independently.(For example, frontier Latter-day Saints Isaac C. Haight and William H. Dame were never Danites; however, Young's records indicate that in 1857 he authorized these two men to secretly execute two ex-convicts traveling through southern Utah along the California trail if they were caught stealing cattle. Dame replied to Young in a letter that "we try to live so when your finger crooks, we move." Haight and/or Dame might have been involved in the subsequent ambush of part of the convicts' party just south of Mountain Meadows.)
Evergreen International, Inc. was a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Salt Lake City, Utah, whose stated mission was to assist "people who want to diminish same-sex attractions and overcome homosexual behavior". It adhered to Christian and particularly LDS teaching, but was independent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The organization stated this task could be accomplished with the help of the Lord and, in some cases, psychological counseling. Evergreen was founded in 1989 as a grassroots organization by men who were seeking to deal with their homosexual feelings in ways congruent to the teachings of the LDS Church. Therapy: "Evergreen does not advocate any particular form of therapy" but did provide suggestions on how to choose a therapist and information on individual and group therapy. Evergreen stated that some people had lessened their same sex attractions by using the following therapies: gender wholeness, reparative, reorientation, and re-education. While some of these therapies offered to reduce same-sex attractions, Evergreen made clear that "therapy will likely not be a cure in the sense of erasing all homosexual feelings." The LDS Church has stated that it does not have a position on "scientific questions" such as the cause of homosexuality. Evergreen follows this stance. Effectiveness: Participants in Evergreen programs claimed success in diminishing same-sex attractions and overcoming homosexual behavior. As many as 40% of Evergreen members were in heterosexual marriages. Warren Throckmorton reviewed Understanding the meaning of change for married Latter-Day Saint men with histories of homosexual activity by J. W. Robinson. Robinson interviewed seven heterosexually married men who had been through Evergreen and previously identified as gay. They believed that they had a spiritual transformation which changed their orientation. They also stated that they were no longer troubled by feeling different or rejected by heterosexual men, emotional attraction to men, sexual attraction to men, feeling bad about same-sex desires, social isolation, or compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviors. Robinson found that their change came from a new understanding that prior same-sex attractions did not require them to be gay. Relations with the LDS Church: Although it functioned independently of any church, Evergreen was religiously based on the teachings of the LDS Church. Though not affiliated with the Church, the organization adhered to its teachings "without reservation or exception." Evergreen had emeritus general authorities on its board of trustees and taught LDS Church principles to Latter-day Saints and ecclesiastical leaders by coordinating with the Church as well as by hosting various events, such as firesides (informal evening gatherings of church members), workshops, and conferences. On September 19, 2009, Bruce C. Hafen, a general authority of the LDS Church, spoke at Evergreen's annual conference at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, a venue owned by the LDS Church. Other general authorities also spoke at Evergreen conferences. Closure and transition to North Star: In January 2014, Evergreen International announced it would close and refer its followers to North Star.
"To Young Men Only" was a sermon delivered by Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer on October 2, 1976, at the priesthood session of the 146th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The sermon is addressed to young men of the Aaronic priesthood (ages 12 to 18) and discusses issues of human sexuality, puberty, and morality. Since 1980, the sermon has been published as a pamphlet by the LDS Church. Content: Packer described his remarks as matters that "fathers should discuss with their sons." Packer stated that "because some young men do not have fathers and because some fathers (and some bishops) do not know how to proceed", he would be addressing sensitive subjects. The sermon compares the male reproductive system to a "little factory" and teaches that masturbation, use of pornography, and homosexual activities are immoral and forbidden by God. Packer teaches that nocturnal emission is natural and designed by God and that young men "should not feel guilty" when it happens. The sermon also offers suggestions on how to control one's thoughts and resist temptation. Publication: Unlike most general conference sermons, "To Young Men Only" was not published in the church's official magazine, The Ensign, and is consequently not available in its online general conference archive. Instead, the sermon was published in 1980 as a 14-page pamphlet that was available for church leaders to distribute to members. The pamphlet is also available on the LDS Church's website. Criticism: Packer's sermon encourages young male Latter-day Saints to "vigorously resist" homosexual advances, even with violence, if necessary. In 2001, gay Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn described the sermon as "the low point in the Mormon hierarchy's homophobia since the 1950s"; Quinn argued that Packer's words constituted an endorsement of gay bashing and that the church itself endorses such behavior by continuing to publish Packer's speech. In 2000 and 2001, David E. Hardy, a Salt Lake City lawyer who is the father of a gay son, criticized the sermon for "demonizing" gays and implying that "homosexuality is a matter of choice".
The Thurston High School shooting took place on May 21, 1998. Expelled student Kip Kinkel first murdered his parents before engaging in a school shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon that left two students dead and 25 others wounded. He is serving a 111-year sentence without the possibility of parole. Events leading to shooting- Expulsion: On May 20, 1998, Kinkel was suspended pending an expulsion hearing from Thurston High School for being in possession of a loaded, stolen handgun. A friend of Kinkel's had stolen a pistol from the father of one of his friends and arranged to sell the weapon to Kinkel the night before. Kinkel paid $110 for the Beretta Model 90 .32-caliber pistol loaded with a 9-round magazine, which he then placed in a paper bag and left in his locker. When the father discovered he was missing a handgun, he reported it to the police and supplied the names of students he believed might have stolen the firearm. Kinkel's name was not on the list. The school became aware of his possible involvement and questioned him. When he was checked for weapons, he reportedly stated: "Look, I'm gonna be square with you guys; the gun's in my locker." Kinkel was suspended pending an expulsion hearing from Thurston High School, and he and his friend were arrested. Kinkel was released from police custody and driven home by his father. Murder of parents: At home that afternoon, Kinkel was told by his father that he would be sent to military school if he did not change his behavior. According to Kinkel's taped confession, at about 3:00 p.m., his father was seated at the kitchen counter drinking coffee. Kinkel retrieved his .22 rifle from his bedroom and ammunition from his parents' bedroom. He then went to the kitchen and shot his father once in the back of the head, then dragged his body into the bathroom and covered it with a sheet. Kinkel further stated that his mother arrived home at about 6:30 p.m., and that he met her in the garage, told her he loved her, then shot her twice in the back of the head, three times in the face, and once in the heart. He then dragged her body across the floor and covered it with a sheet. Throughout that morning Kinkel repeatedly played a recording of "Liebestod", the final dramatic aria from Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde, on the family's sound system. The recording was featured in the 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, and included on the compact disc (CD) of the soundtrack from the film. When police arrived at the house they found "opera music" from the soundtrack playing loudly with the CD player set to continuous play. In a note Kinkel left on a coffee table in the living room, he described his motive for killing his parents thus: "I just got two felonies on my record. My parents can't take that! It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves." But as the note continues, he attempts to describe his mental state: "My head just doesn't work right. God damn these VOICES inside my head. ... I have to kill people. I don't know why. ... I have no other choice." Shooting: On May 21, Kinkel drove his mother's Ford Explorer to the high school. He wore a trench coat to hide the five weapons he carried: two hunting knives, a 9mm Glock 19 pistol, a Ruger .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle, and a .22-caliber Ruger MK II pistol. He was carrying 1,127 rounds of ammunition. He parked on North 61st Street, two blocks from the school, then jogged to the campus, entered the patio area and fired two shots, one fatally wounding Ben Walker and the other wounding Ryan Atteberry. Kinkel went to the cafeteria and, walking across it, fired the remaining 48 rounds from his rifle, wounding 24 students and killing 17-year-old Mikael Nickolauson. Kinkel fired a total of 50 rounds, striking 37 people, killing two. When Kinkel's rifle ran out of ammunition and he began to reload, wounded student Jacob Ryker tackled him, assisted by several other students. Kinkel drew the Glock and fired one shot before he was disarmed, injuring Ryker again as well as another student. The students restrained Kinkel until the police arrived and arrested him. A total of seven students were involved in subduing and disarming Kinkel. Nickolauson died at the scene; Walker died after being transported to the hospital and kept on life support until his parents arrived. The other students, including Ryker, were also taken to the hospital with a variety of wounds. Ryker had a perforated lung, but he made a full recovery. Ryker received the Boy Scouts of America Honor Medal with Crossed Palms for his heroism on the day of the attack. Perpetrator: Kip Kinkel (born August 30, 1982) was born in Springfield, Oregon, the second child of William Kinkel and Faith Zuranski. He has an older sister Kristin. His parents were both Spanish teachers. Faith Kinkel taught Spanish at Springfield High School, and William Kinkel taught at Thurston High School and Lane Community College. According to all accounts, Kinkel's parents were loving and supportive. His sister was a gifted student. The Kinkel family spent a sabbatical year in Spain when Kip was six, where he attended a Spanish-speaking kindergarten. He reportedly attended in an "unnormal" way. His family said that he struggled with the curriculum. When Kinkel returned to Oregon, he attended Walterville Elementary School in Springfield. His teachers considered him immature and lacking physical and emotional development. Based on the recommendation of his teachers, Kinkel's parents had him repeat the first grade. In the repeat, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, which became worse, and he was placed in extensive special education classes by the beginning of second grade. Kinkel had an interest in firearms and explosives from an early age. His father first denied this, but later enrolled him at gun safety courses, buying him a .22 caliber long rifle and eventually a 9mm Glock handgun when Kip was 15. His classmates described Kinkel as strange and morbid. Others characterized him as psychotic or schizoid, and as someone who enjoyed listening to both shock rock and funk metal, such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against The Machine. He constantly talked about committing acts of violence. He told friends that he wanted to join the Army after graduation to find out what it was like to kill someone. When asked about a family trip to Disneyland, he commented that he wanted to "punch Mickey Mouse in the nose". He once gave a "how to" speech in bomb-making to his speech class and set off "stink bombs" in the lockers of classmates. Kinkel's parents enrolled him in anger management and had him evaluated by psychologists. Shortly before being murdered, Kinkel's father confided to a friend that he was "terrified" and had run out of options to help his son. Kinkel exhibited signs of paranoid schizophrenia, the full extent of which became apparent only after his trial. The youth had gone to great lengths to hide any symptoms due to a fear of being labelled abnormal or mentally retarded. His doctors later said that Kinkel had told them of hearing voices in his head from the age of 12; he eventually suffered from hallucinations and paranoid delusions — including the belief that the government had implanted a computer chip in his brain. Trial and imprisonment: At the police station, Kinkel lunged at officer Al Warthen with his knife, screaming, "Shoot me, kill me!" The officer repelled Kinkel with pepper spray. Kinkel later said that he wanted to trick the officer into shooting him, and that he had wanted to commit suicide after killing his parents but could not bring himself to do so. At his sentencing, the defense presented experts on mental health to show that the assailant was mentally ill. Jeffrey Hicks, the only psychologist who had treated Kinkel before the shootings, said that he was in satisfactory mental health. He had seen Kinkel for nine sessions, after which the boy's parents terminated the therapy. On September 24, 1999, three days before jury selection was set to begin, Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, forgoing the possibility of being acquitted by reason of insanity. In November 1999, Kinkel was sentenced to 111 years in prison without the possibility of parole. At sentencing, Kinkel apologized to the court for the murder of his parents and the shooting spree. Appeals: In June 2007, Kinkel sought a new trial. He said that his previous attorneys should have taken the case to trial and used the insanity defense. Two psychiatrists testified that Kinkel exhibited signs of paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the shooting. In August 2007, a Marion County judge denied him a new trial. Kinkel appealed, arguing among other things that he had had ineffective assistance of counsel during the trial proceedings. On January 12, 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court judgment, denying his motion for a new trial. Kinkel is appealing his sentence in both federal and state courts. In federal court he claims his guilty plea should not have been accepted without a prior mental health evaluation. In state court Kinkel is challenging the validity of the virtual life sentence he was given, citing Miller v. Alabama. Kinkel is incarcerated at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, Oregon. He received his GED while serving a portion of his life sentence at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. On June 11, 2007, Kinkel, nearing his 25th birthday (maximum age to be held as a juvenile in Oregon), was transferred from the Oregon Youth Authority, MacLaren Correctional Facility, to the Oregon State Correctional Institution, Oregon Department of Corrections.