Follow The Money


“For the love of money is the root of all evil.” –1 Timothy 6:10

The best way to track the developments of Mormonism is by following the money.

1. The Pattern Of Finances – D&C 41 – February 4, 1831

A. Promise the Moon and the Stars

1 Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings.

B. Give a Sense of Urgency to Everything

4 And I will be your ruler when I come; and behold, I come quickly,

C. Instill Fear

5 He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you;

D. Build Joseph a House; Justify it With an Extremely Long Task – “translate” the Bible.

7 And again, it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., should have a house built, in which to live and translate.

E. Flatter Your Mentor Sidney by Giving Him no Restrictions Whatsoever, i.e., He Can do What He Wants

8 And again, it is meet that my servant Sidney Rigdon should live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments.

F. Find a Middleman to do the Collecting and Disbursing of Funds

9 And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge; and I give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, andordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church;

G. Follow up With Fear

12 These words are given unto you, and they are pure before me; wherefore, beware how you hold them, for they are to be answered upon your souls in the day of judgment. Even so. Amen.

2. The Pattern Repeated With The Nauvoo House

A. Middleman to Collect and Disburse Funds

21 I therefore say unto you, I seal upon his head the office of a bishopric, like unto my servant Edward Partridge, that he may receive the consecrations of mine house, that he may administer blessings upon the heads of the poor of my people, saith the Lord. Let no man despise my servant George, for he shall honor me.

B. Build Joseph a House

22 Let my servant George, and my servant Lyman, and my servant John Snider, and others, build a house unto my name, such a one as my servant Joseph shall show unto them, upon the place which he shall show unto them also.
23 And it shall be for a house for boarding, a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein; therefore let it be a good house, worthy of all acceptation, that the weary traveler may find health and safety while he shall contemplate the word of the Lord; and the corner-stone I have appointed for Zion.
24 This house shall be a healthful habitation if it be built unto my name, and if the governor which shall be appointed unto it shall not suffer any pollution to come upon it. It shall be holy, or the Lord your God will not dwell therein.

C. Urgency

25 And again, verily I say unto you, let all my saints come from afar.
26 And send ye swift messengers, yea, chosen messengers,

D. Riches

26 and say unto them: Come ye, with all your gold, and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities; and with all who have knowledge of antiquities, that will come, may come, and bring the box-tree, and the fir-tree, and the pine-tree, together with all the precious trees of the earth;
27 And with iron, with copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and with all your precious things of the earth; and build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein.

E. Fear – Test – Promise Moon & Stars

55 And again, verily I say unto you, I command you again to build a house to my name, even in this place, that you may prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life.

F. Bait & Switch – House is For Joseph

56 And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation.
57 For this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him.
58 And as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph: In thee and in thy seed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed.
59 Therefore, let my servant Joseph and his seed after him have place in that house, from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
60 And let the name of that house be called Nauvoo House; and let it be a delightful habitation for man, and a resting-place for the weary traveler, that he may contemplate the glory of Zion, and the glory of this, the corner-stone thereof;

3. Intertwine Support for the Poor With Support for Joseph and Sidney

70 The priests and teachers shall have their stewardships, even as the members.
71 And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned;
72 Or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the counselors and bishop.
73 And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church. (DC 42, Feb. 1831)

4. Keep the People Giving Through Different Projects

  • Kirtland Temple
  • Independence Temple
  • Nauvoo Temple

5. False Revelations

A. Tried to Sell the Copyright to the Book of Mormon Without Martin Harris Knowing

This is what the unpublished “revelation” said:

Blessing & Behold I also covenanted with those who have assisted him in my work that I will do unto them even the same Because they have done that which is pleasing in my sight (yea even all save Martin only) Wherefore be diligent inSecuring the Copyright of my Servant work upon all the face of the Earth of which is known by you unto unto my Servant Joseph & unto him whom he willeth according as I shall command him that the faithful & the righteous may retain the temporal Blessing as well as the Spiritual & also that my work be not destroyed by the workers of iniquity to their own destruction & damnation when they are fully ripe & now Behold I say unto you that I have covenanted & it Pleaseth me that Oliver Cowderey Joseph Knight Hyram Page & Josiah Stowel shall do my work in this thing yea even in securing the Copyright & they shall do it with an eye single to my Glory that it may be the means of bringing souls unto me Salvation through mine only Begotten Behold I am God I have spoken it & it is expedient in me Wherefore I say unto you that ye shall go to Kingston seeking me continually through mine only Begotten & if ye do this ye shall have my spirit to go with you & ye shall have an addition of all things which is expedient in me & I grant unto my servant a privilege that he may sell a copyright through you speaking after the manner of men for the four Provinces if the People harden not their hearts against the enticings of my spirit & my word for Behold it lieth in themselves to their condemnation & or their salvation Behold my way is before you & the means I will prepare & the Blessing I hold in mine own hand & if ye are faithful I will pour out upon you even as much as ye are able to Bear & thus it shall be Behold I am the father & it is through mine only begotten which is Jesus Christ your Redeemer amen. (Joseph Smith Papers Project, Revelation Book 1, Revelations and Translation, p. 31)

The true story behind this so-called revelation was given by eyewitness David Whitmer:

Brother Hyrum was vexed with Brother Martin, and thought they should get the money by some means outside of him, and NOT let him have anything to do with the publication of the Book, or receiving any of the PROFITS thereof if any profits should accrue. He was wrong in thus judging Brother Martin, because he was doing all he could toward selling his land.

Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada, and sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon.

Joseph manifested an alarming disposition to get revelations to cover every exigency that would arise, and in this he was eagerly urged on by some of his associates, who would frequently come to him with the request that he “ask the Lord” about this thing or the other. The first striking instance of it, and one that gave rise to grave apprehensions in the minds of David Whitmer and others of his kind, occurred in connection with the publishing of the first edition of the Book of Mormon. Martin Harris was a well-to-do farmer, and he was expected to mortgage his property for the purpose of raising the necessary funds for the printing of the book. His seeming reluctance to act in the matter, which Mr. Whitmer attributes to the cautious business-like manner in which he did everything, offended some of the brethren, and Hyrum Smith, the “Patriarch,” proposed that some of them take the manuscript to Canada, and there sell the copyright for sufficient money to enable them to get out the publication. A revelation was procured “to order” and “warranted to fit,” a thing which occurred with remarkable frequency afterwards and which caused it to be a matter of foregone conclusion that whatever the desires of the favored few expressed, or the pressing emergency of the hour demanded, it would be admirably embodied in the “message from heaven.” Thus “the word of the Lord came,” directing that two of the brethren go to Canada as suggested. They went. They also returned, but they brought no money with them, and no promise of any. (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 31)

B. Treasure in Salem

This is what the revelation said:

1 I, the Lord your God, am not displeased with your coming this journey, notwithstanding your follies.
2 I have much treasure in this city for you, for the benefit of Zion, and many people in this city, whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality.
3 Therefore, it is expedient that you should form acquaintance with men in this city, as you shall be led, and as it shall be given you.
4 And it shall come to pass in due time that I will give this city into your hands, that you shall have power over it, insomuch that they shall not discover your secret parts; and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours.
10 For there are more treasures than one for you in this city. (DC 111)

No treasure was found, and church funds were wasted, taking Joseph, Sidney, Hyrum, and Oliver all the way from Kirtland, OH, to Salem, Massachusetts, and back. They did not place a single copy of the Book of Mormon or preach a single sermon on it. (See HC, vol. 2, August 6, 1836, pp. 465–466)

The true story behind this fiasco was given by Joseph’s younger brother, Don Carlos:

“A brother in the church, by the name of Burgess, had come to Kirtland and stated that a large amount of money had been secreted in the cellar of a certain house in Salem, Massachusetts, which had belonged to a widow, and he thought he was the only person now living, who had knowledge of it, or to the location of the house.” (Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, p. 181)

C. Tried to Create a Bank That Would “Swallow all Other Banks”

A law on the books in Ohio prohibited the issue and circulation of unauthorized money. Just like the law that forbade evangelists from going among the Indians without authorization, Joseph set aside every law as if he were above them, including polygamy, which was illegal in the state of Illinois.

The truth, long obscured, is obvious: Joseph shrouded his lack of business acumen with purported statements by God and, in fact, was not allowed originally to pursue the god of mammon, i.e., the world:

And in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling. Attend to thy calling and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office, and to expound all scriptures, and continue in laying on of the hands and confirming the churches. (DC 24:9, July 1830)

Notice the date – July 1830.

Nevertheless, Joseph broke the law, printed money without any backing, and swindled thousands:

“The stock ledger of the Safety Society reveals that 200 persons subscribed to 79,420 shares of stock at a face value of approximately $3,854,000. Yet the paid-up cash reserve totaled a meager $20,725.” (Stanley B. Kimball, “Sources on the History of the Mormons in Ohio: 1830-38,” BYU Studies, vol. 11, Summer 1971, pp. 531-532)

The original revelation, as reported by Joseph’s personal secretary, was:

“The audible voice of God instructed him to establish a Banking-Anti-Banking Institution, which, like Aaron’s rod, should swallow up all other Banks…and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins.” (Warren Parrish, The Ohio Repository, March 22, 1838)

The outcome was many lawsuits and Sidney and Joseph being found guilty of illegal banking (October 1837). That’s the reason they fled Ohio and went to Missouri. First, Joseph broke the law; then he evaded arrest. All the while, the Book of Mormon was being neglected.

6. Files for Bankruptcy

Nothing could be more damning to the facade of Joseph Smith than the fact that while converts were donating money in Nauvoo, he was filing for bankruptcy. During this time, he was living in a luxurious Mansion, throwing dance parties, drinking at his fully equipped bar with Porter Rockwell as a bartender, and smoking cigars.

It was also during this time that he was living with four of his teenage so-called “spiritual wives” (Partridge and Lawrence sisters,

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