A key that will never rust – appears a bit rusty upon closer inspection

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:

“I will give you a key that will never rust — if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.”

All of them cite each other down to a root source in: “Young Woman’s Journal, XVII (December 1906), pp. 542-543.”

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 journal doesn’t seem to exist in the archives available to the public[1](September is the last one available for 1906, nothing published in December from what I can find, but maybe it’s just locked up in an archive somewhere), the focus should be that this quote comes from 1906. That’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: ““I 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.” (Improvement Era 5 (January 1902): 202.”

That’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 it’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 LDS’s position than actual historical recollections.

50+ years! That’s after Brigham has been in charge and died. That’s after John Taylor. We’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[2]

James E. Faust Talk[3]

Joseph Smith Manual lesson on Apostasy mentions it.

2009 reprinting of the 1994 article[4]

Family counseling manual about deception… ouch![5]

2009 relief society manual on apostasy[6]

It’s time for apologists to turn their methods inwardly and cleans the inner vessel. To really look at their own church’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:

“In one meeting I heard him say: ‘I will give you a key that will never rust,—if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.”

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, etc… well I’ll let you figure out the rest.

Mithryn blogs at Exploring Mormonism

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6 Responses

  1. Pretty compelling analysis. Thanks!

  2. Chris F. says:

    Just another thread in the tapestry of shadow and lies that the Church presents to the world.

  3. Taryn Fox says:

    Oh hey, Mithryn’s guest blogging here now. *grin*

    I’d suggest showing a source for the “reorganized church making its bid” thing, and presenting that info after you’ve already made your case that it’s kind of suspicious they should suddenly come up with the posthumous quote. Like “it seems really weird that they’d do that, doesn’t it? Oh wait … “

  4. EsoteRIC says:

    Snicker… Really? (Why even waste my time remarking to such? At any rate, realizing I’m casting “Pearls” before swine…) If you’d DO THE WORK (your own personal research) and not rely on the heresay of others — you’d find — historically, further back in time (1889) the more correct version of Joseph Smith’s comment.

    “Underscoring the importance given to keeping and preserving the history of the Lord’s people, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained, “I will give you a key by which you may never be deceived, if you will observe these facts: Where the true Church is, there will always be a majority of the Saints, and the records and history of the Church also.”[19] (Joseph Smith, in Andrew Jenson and Edward Stevenson, Infancy of the Church (Salt Lake City: n.p., 1889), 5.”

    You can this exact citation in 2 other notable historical resources as well (and I’m certain — if you do the research — you’ll discover more resources)

    –Elder’s Journal of the Southern States Mission, Vol. 3 p91 (1906)

    –The Historical Record, A Monthly Periodical, Volumes V, VI, VII, and VIII, Church Encyclopedia, Book I, pg 1046

    Do the work…

  5. chanson says:

    @5 EsoteRIC — That’s a very interesting bit of additional information.

    I hate to be picky about tone here, but your comment tells us twice to “do the work” (once in all caps), and you say that you are casting pearls before swine by speaking to us at all.


    For all you know, maybe we’d be interested in discussing this. Clearly Mithryn did do some work to track down the original source, and he would no doubt be happy to have a look at your additional source and discuss the implications. But when you approach with a chip on your shoulder, that shuts down the discussion instead of opening it up, which, I imagine, is why nobody has responded to your comment so far.

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