The Alleged Oath of Vengeance
Beginning in 1847 the allegation was made that the Saints were required in the endowment ceremony in the Nauvoo Temple to take an oath to "use our influence to murder this nation" to avenge "for their killing the Prophet Joseph."A number of ex-Mormons wrote addition anti-Mormon exposes making similar claims regarding the ceremony performed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City from 1855-1889. In sworn testimony in hearings in 1889, 1904-1906 a number of Mormons testified that no such Oath existed.They were joined by several ex-Mormons who also denied its existence. Other ex-Mormons testified that it was included in the endowment ceremony.
Perhaps, for a number of reasons, the one most qualified to speak on the matter was Wilford Woodruff. As President of the Church in 1889 he gave an explanation that "avenging" and "prophets" were mentioned in the endowment ceremony in an instruction given to the Saints to pray for God to avenge the murder of prophets and saints. He stated that this was included in the endowment ceremony by Joseph Smith in 1842 based upon Revelation 6:9-10 and this had not been changed. He maintained that Joseph and Hyrum were not mentioned in the ceremony nor was the American Nation considered responsible for the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum and, therefore, was not specifically identified as the object of vengeance.
From his explanation it would follow that those claiming the existence of an Oath of Vengeance for the Mormons to resort to murder to avenge the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum upon the American Nation was an extreme twisting of the endowment ceremony.
Recently, several authors and historians have claimed that this alleged Oath of Vengeance played a major role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
I discuss this topic presenting some of my research for a paper 20 years ago. I plan to make available some of my sources and reasoning in an article to be available in my eStore this coming week.
Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS
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This is the 1 July 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.
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