Radio Free Mormon: 015: Apostolic Coup-D- Etat pt 2

Today we delve into Part 2 regarding the process by which Apostles became the ruling body in the LDS Church.  The different leadership bodies, who had a higher authority and stewardship, what happened at Joseph Smith’s death, who he had appointed as his successor, and how the Quorum of the twelve removed every other possible contender to take leadership upon Joseph’s death.  And finally the suspicious death of Samuel Smith which some believe was just one more step taken by the 12 to usurp any possible claim outside of themselves that aspired to leading the Church.


8 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 015: Apostolic Coup-D- Etat pt 2

  1. Dear RFM,

    You are giving William Shakespeare a challenge as far as a story with great intrigue goes. This is right up there with some of the best fiction writers, yet this is taken from journals and documents of the period. WOW!

    Thank you for being willing to plow through so many historic documents in order to find this great tale of woe.
    Or is it a great tale of wo!

    You continue to not disappoint in delivering insight into the juicy parts of LDS history. Could there be any line of authority left in the LDS church, other than the natural authority which righteous individuals possess?

    Awesome work and greatly appreciated!


    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Gale!

      I did a lot of research for this podcast, so many things were new to me.

      I kept finding myself saying over and over again, “You have GOT to be kidding me!”

      It’s like the podcast is a long series of WTF? moments.

      As to lines of authority, I believe such lines are necessary in order to have an organization that can withstand the tests of time.

      But I believe that in the first few years of the LDS Church, authority was seen as coming by the voice of God.

      The feeling seems to have been that if God commanded you to do something, implicit in the command was the authority to accomplish what was commanded.

      In other words, if a king told you to do something, you had the authority to do it because . . . well . . . the king told you to.

      You didn’t need something extra in addition to the command to be authorized.

      In this way, the “voice of God” that came to Joseph and others in the chamber of Father Whitmer (as recorded in D&C 121:28) was believed to give the recipients the Melchizedek Priesthood without the necessity of a laying on of hands, but simply through the voice of God.

  2. RFM – You podcasts are some of the most engaging podcasts I listen to.

    You do give some references, but there are other times you don’t (and in a podcast I think it would drag out too much if you did).

    For those of us that would like to like study this some more, do you publish “footnotes” anywhere on your research?

    Your research seems so solid, I think you should be thinking of compiling them into a book and self-publishing. I know I would buy it (especially if it was footnoted).

    Thanks for sharing your great bit of research.

    • You are absolutely right about my trying to balance giving citations with not interfering with the flow of the podcast.

      There were actually some times where I ended up editing out the citation, because it just sort of gets in the way of what I am trying to say.

      On the other hand, I know that some of the more controversial claims may leave listeners wanting to know where the heck that came from!

      As a start, I would suggest D. Michael Quinn’s Mormon Hierarchy–Origins of Power, on which I leaned heavily for source material for these particular episodes.

      Hope that is of some help.

      Thanks so much for your support and listenership.

      If you have any cite you specifically want, just type it as a comment and I will do my best to look it up for you!


  3. My goodness, no wonder you say you are reporting from enemy lines. You weren’t kidding, try not to get yourself killed out there.

    Perhaps it’s wise to protect your identity. Nevertheless, I feel the spirit of somberness in your words. It just makes sense, where things didn’t before.

    I’m just glad that there are sources to find out truth where as in the past it was basically impossible to do so. I will own this piece of history as part of my spiritual heritage, I may not be proud of it, most will not even believe it.

    May God bless you for your sincere and honest efforts in setting the record straight, and that your work may benefit others. I’m still puzzled about how we can make the Mormon church, great again.

    What should be done? What can be done? Or is just dropping into inactivity the only answer? And yet, the other day, when I walked through the temple and did sealings for the dead, I felt a sweet honest and loving spirit. Mormonism has the best things I know and like, why would I want to tear any of that down… I just hope we can make things better.

    • Yes, it is a great response, David. I would just hope we never confuse doing our best to tell the truth about our faith with tearing it down.

      In my heart, I believe the only way to make things better is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

      Thanks for listening!


  4. When I was a boy, my family traveled to SLC and my parents got their Patriarchal Blessings from Eldred G. Smith.

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