One of the ways church members are encouraged to know and avoid apostasy is by following the majority of the twelve apostles. This is stated over and over in church periodicals via a quote by Joseph Smith:
â€œI will give you a key that will never rust â€” if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.â€
All of them cite each other down to a root source in: â€œYoung Womanâ€™s Journal, XVII (December 1906), pp. 542-543.â€
This source is a statement by William G. Nelson. Now, please tell me who William G. Nelson was and why what he claims the prophet said or did not say should have any bearing on the broad membership of the church? Anyone? Anyone?
Never mind that this particular journalÂ doesnâ€™t seem to exist in the archives available to the public(September is the last one available for 1906, nothing published in December from what I can find, but maybe itâ€™s just locked up in an archive somewhere), the focus should be that this quote comes from 1906. Thatâ€™s 54 years after the death of Joseph Smith, with no contemporary sources WHATSOEVER.
There is one other quote, also in a journal for children: â€œâ€œI heard the Prophet Joseph say he would give the Saints a key whereby they would never be led away or deceived, and that was: the Lord would never suffer the majority of this people to be led away or deceived by imposters, nor would he allow the records of this Church to fall into the hands of the enemy.â€ (Improvement Era 5 (January 1902): 202.â€
Thatâ€™s 1902. It took 50+ years for both of these quotes to surface, and they surface about the same time when the reorganized church made itâ€™s bid to be the true church on earth. That hardly takes a scientist or a historian to see that these are more likely fabrications to support the LDSâ€™s position than actual historical recollections.
50+ years! Thatâ€™s after Brigham has been in charge and died. Thatâ€™s after John Taylor. Weâ€™re talking about people who have been following and deciding on apostles as the way to go for half a century suddenly making a quote, pretty much out of no-where, to support their previously-held positions.
Yet here it stands in the following Church approved sources:
Beware the bitter fruits of apostasy (beware the fruits of hypocracy probably would have been a better subject for members
James E. Faust Talk
Joseph Smith Manual lesson on Apostasy mentions it.
2009 reprinting of the 1994 article
Family counseling manual about deceptionâ€¦ ouch!
2009 relief society manual on apostasy
Itâ€™s time for apologists to turn their methods inwardly and cleans the inner vessel. To really look at their own churchâ€™s methods and how shoddy their research and efforts are and to demand as much accuracy, truthful reporting, and well sourced foot notes as they demand of the non-member, the exmormon and the anti-mormon.
The full quote:
â€œIn one meeting I heard him say: â€˜I will give you a key that will never rust,â€”if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles,Â and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.â€
Yes, if the apostles turn away from the records of the church, hide them in vaults, ignore them, have apologists cover over their history on their behalf, etcâ€¦ well Iâ€™ll let you figure out the rest.
Mithryn blogs at Exploring Mormonism