Mormon Secrets: I Do Not Know The Meaning Of All Things

Are you aware of anyone having trouble with the essay on Joseph Smith and his 40 wives? There are some people who say this is driving people away from the church. As people searched out for descendants of Joseph Smith no one showed any DNA except those who were descendants of Emma. There was one exception but that "wife" had a common ancestor with Joseph. With no form of contraception available, having no descendants from these other wives possibly shows he had no sexual interest in them. Don't let anyone give you a reason for plural marriage other than Joseph was commanded to do so. Most explanations are false. The two things plural marriage did was force the supreme court to put some boundaries on the freedom of religion and it showed the strength of Mormon women who demanded from congress that property taken from them (plural wives) should be returned.

December 1, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

Elder Neil L. Andersen said, "The negative commentary about the Prophet Joseph Smith will increase as we move toward the Second Coming of the Savior. The half-truths and subtle deceptions will not diminish." I heard about this essay from our WWE fanatic. I didn't look into it. After all, I cannot, my resources are few and I accept that. Thus, I dismissed the thought of it. Now that you mentioned it, it brought to mind the talk that Elder Neil L. Andersen gave in this most recent General Conference, of which I previously quoted. Truly, it is now the time to adjust our own spiritual oxygen mask and fortify or gain a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Yes, whether it be falsehood or truth, it may be upsetting, but it should not diminish nor annihilate the testimony of what we know. I applaud the convert who found it upsetting, but kept to the truth that she had found. Why forsake the abundance of blessings, including that of peace and happiness, for somebody who is clamoring to destroy the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God will not be hindered and the blessings will still come. We may not understand all things, such as Nephi, who said, "I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." (1 Nephi 11:17). And Nephi was a prophet, yet he did not know the meaning of all things. Why should we have the privilege? We do not know the meaning of all things, because we do not see as God sees. We do not see the big picture.

In regards to polygamy, I note these scriptures: "And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things." (2 Samuel 12:7-8) "Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; ...For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." (Jacob 2:27, 30).

I do also recommend on under Teachings, Gospel Topics. This addresses topics people are concerned about, including that of plural marriage. (

And no, I have not seen any trouble. Even with our WWE fanatic.

Neither I nor my companion are being transferred. He was worried about being transferred, especially around Christmas. He really likes the members upstairs and wants to spend Christmas with them.

It sounds like everybody is getting sick. My companion is recovering from sickness, I got slightly sick (sore throat that diminished quickly), our WWE fanatic is sick, and some of the members related to our fellows upstairs are sick, recovering from illness, or recovered from illness. Even some of our investigators have been sick. It is that time and season. But, I am thankfully, doing well.

I love the new Church initiative. It is absolutely powerful. I am glad that we have a few pass along cards to help bring this to people. I would love to share this gift with people. But, I have an idea....

I am sure you are quite curious about why I emailed Tuesday. I was going to tell you in this email. Monday, we were pushed for time. I take a long time writing one email to you. We had to leave the library about 10:45 to arrive to a zone activity on time. It takes quite a while to drive from Tappahannock to our destination, plus we had to meet the senior couple and the sisters, in order to attain a ride to this zone activity. By the time 10:45 arrived, I had written very little. So, I sent you an All is Well email. Now, I hold on the narrative and explain this. The stake president challenged our zone of missionaries to attain for three weeks in a row, 100% invites. We accomplished that, somewhat. So, as reward and thus our zone activity, he cooked food for us. It was a fantastic time. I quite enjoyed it. Afterwards, the senior couple had an appointment, but it cancelled. That allowed the sisters and my companion to join in zone sports. Thus, it threw the idea of finishing our emails out of the window. We got home around four; we changed our laundry and we accomplished other tasks. We had dinner, had to pick our fanatic, and head off to an investigator to model Family Home Evening. We were slightly late, because we were pushing our time in trying to get things done. By the time we arrived, the children of the single mother investigator were asleep. We were not able to do family home evening.

Tuesday, we finished the things of which we did not do, such as emailing and shopping. After taking care of our personal business, we tried to see some people. It did not work, but for one person, they said come back on Thursday. We had an appointment made on Thanksgiving. Oh, and I will get to that. Well, with our appointments gone through the floor and unaccomplished, my companion, having heard from the senior couple about a blood drive, wanted to donate blood. So, we headed to the fire department, which was near where we were. He donated blood; I stayed away from it. They understood. After donating blood, we checked up on a less active, who had been sick. As per his usual request, we opened to wherever the scriptures opened to. I was the one that chose. I ended up at the end of First Corinthians. It turned out okay. We tried another person, the investigator who I am unsure about. He definitely has understanding of concepts and understands what we teach. In fact, he said that what we said is true. Yet, he still does not understand priesthood authority.

Wednesday, we tried to see some people. Not much happened. We tried to see the single mother investigator to hold family home evening, but one of her children was asleep, recovering from illness. Instead of family home evening, we tackled temples and family history. It was a good lesson. We encouraged her to pray, because she has yet to pray to know if she should be baptized. I will get to this issue soon. After that lesson, we received texts from the branch president to come to the church quickly. We arrived, we waited, and the branch president has somebody he wants us to meet. This man is now a new investigator of ours. He has met with missionaries all his life; not necessarily he talked with them, but he has seen them a lot. His family had been taught, but his family was doing it to be polite. He has been Catholic and non-denominational, because he feels like they, both the Catholics and the non-denominational, are missing something. He discovered on his own, thankfully, which allowed him to study and learn more about Joseph Smith. The branch president and another member have known him for a while and talked with him. He is definitely ready.

Thursday, the day of Dead Bird Day. For us, it was a normal, proselyting day with special permission to extend dinners. Unfortunately for us, only one member signed up and that member was the members upstairs. Their dinner started at 5. Pretty much, we had 10 to 5 to figure out how to stay busy. It sounds bad to put that way, but I necessarily cannot say be productive, though it could apply. I was not willing to tract, neither was my companion. That, and certain other holidays, I will withhold from tracting. So, we planned, trying to thoroughly do it, mainly to take up time. And we decided to try that appointment we had around three. Now, I understand the principle of calling ahead, but we were desperate to try to stay busy and they did say come back. My companion went before me when he knocked on the door and subsequently, opened it when they called to come in. Let's just say that it was not a good time; I mean, generally, when somebody is about to carve into their turkey, is bad timing to have an appointment. After time passed by, we headed out to dinner. Now, we left at five to purposely be late. It was not meant to be rude. As long as with the normal proselyting rule, we also had to avoid the sisters at any dinners we have (unlike last year). It is normally like that; we are not allowed to eat with the sisters, though occasionally with Sunday dinners, another family, who is related or friends with the members upstairs, invites them. (Thus, we excuse ourselves and justify this the incident; we were ignorant to the fact.) Well, our attempt to avoid the sisters, utterly failed. They were at the dinner still. Dinner was the best part of the day. It was a very good meal with all of the family, including siblings and their descendants, of the members upstairs. Thanksgiving was awkward in trying to stay productive and trying to avoid the sisters.

Personal note to you: I am trying to be obedient and work hard. Thanksgiving happened to be one of those off days of misfortune. But, we have things covered for Christmas. The members upstairs signed up for the sisters for Christmas and the branch mission leader signed up for us for Christmas. Granted, both people are related to each other and we are going to end up at the same dinner, but I will claim ignorance. I also am not trying to justify things (yet I am); it is me trying to figure things out while trying to be obedient to our rules. I hope that makes sense. I am not sure it does.

Friday, or should I say Black Friday. (A member mentioned this in her testimony yesterday. She was talking to some kids about Black Friday and the kids did not know what that was. Though one said, "Isn't that where the people kill each other in stores?") We had zone meeting and it took a big portion of our day. We saw the investigator who has yet to understand priesthood authority and taught the Plan of Salvation. Saturday, we worked on organizing our Area Book, updating records, etc. We worked on the progress record. We tracted and were able to pass a long a few of the Christmas initiative cards. We saw our single mother investigator and finally had family home evening. Afterwards, we talked a bit. Then, she mentioned, "I just tell the kids that we need to do what they say, because we promised we would." "Have you prayed yet?" "Uh...." We told her to fast and pray, because, for us, Sunday was Fast Sunday. (We have stake conference on the seventh of December.) We talked of the importance of knowing if she needs to be baptized. She understands. She is hesitant, because she knows the answer she is going to get. She knows the answer. Next time we see her, which will be tonight, and we bring up "Have you prayed," I am determined to mention Jonah.

Sunday, we had church and choir practice. We helped a priesthood holder home teach. We had dinner. We saw the investigator who is trying to learn and has yet to understand priesthood authority. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I explained the idea behind the Restoration of the Gospel. Not much happened.

So, yes, on the 7th, I am turning one year older. Our schedule of that day is pretty much planned. We have stake conference, we have lunch, we need to with some people (or study), we have choir practice, and then we have a choir recital where we are singing in another church (I am not entirely sure of things). I am sure I am going to miss the Christmas Devotional, albeit we have plans to watch it later via the Internet and time. But, I am honestly not seeing time to light a candle for my birthday. I honestly might celebrate it the next day. 
All is well!


Elder S. Todd