The Ancient Paths is the television ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.) The program airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm MST on KTMW-TV20 (a channel that covers all of Utah and parts of the surrounding states).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Ancient Paths - Episode 15: Interview with Sandra Tanner on the Life of Emma Smith

This is the fifteenth episode of The Ancient Paths television program, hosted by Pastor Jason Wallace. In lieu of the new LDS movie on the life of Emma Smith (the first wife of Joseph Smith) Pastor Wallace welcomes back Sandra Tanner to discuss the historical details of the life of Emma Smith. The program airs on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on KTMW-TV20, a station that is available in Utah and parts of surrounding states. The program is hosted by Christ Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. This episode aired on 03/26/08.


Robert said...

Great program! I have always admired Sandra Tanner. I was saddened to hear of the loss of her beloved husband, who also faught to teach the truth.

Theirs was the first exposure I had to ideas contrary to what I was being taught in seminary, sunday school and priesthood. Thanks for shedding light on Emma, a much maligned woman.

kelly said...

Though I enjoyed some points of the program, I don't understand why one of the main attacks on the church continues to be polygamy. Throughout history and even today, there have been many other groups involved in polygamy. According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of the 1231 noted societies of the world, only 186 are monogamous. 453 have occasional polygyny, 588 have more frequent polygyny, and 4 have polyandry. In fact, polygamy has existed all over the world as an aspect of culture and religion for centuries. Plural marriages have actually been more common than not in the history of Africa. Senegal, for example, claims nearly 47 percent of marriages to be multiple and polygamy is widely encouraged in states such as Sudan.
Thus, this is a phenomenon that continues on in this present day and so truly, this main attack against the church is not well structured. If a concept that has been banned by the church since nearly the beginning of it's establishment is truly a reason for dissent against the religion, then it should be directed at many others as well in the process. However, I have yet to see many arguments or dissents against the practices of these many societies.
In addition, there are many flaws within the histories of literally every single church on earth and I encourage anyone who might read this to research the backgrounds of their own churches. Some histories go back thousands of years and have documented horrendously ambiguous and blasphemic changes and occurances - yet people still put such incredible faith in their religions. The Mormon church, being established only mere years ago, has flaws as well and yet nobody can seem to truly disprove indefinitely that certain things are false. The things that could be true are left up to a matter of faith, as they are in every other religion. It seems to me that the bottom line here should not be belittled into a "he said/she said" argument but rather a question of faith and it's motivations. If a particular faith appeals to you and you can truly support your beliefs without relying on the attack of other beliefs to rule out any personal doubts then please, stick with your church. If, however, you are forced to resort to attacking the practices and beliefs of other religions to justify your own, then I would encourage you to continue searching for a faith that you can wholeheartedly trust without the weighing out and comparison of various features. Otherwise, this more or less belittles religion in it's entirety and the practice of faith to something quite similar to a buyer's market.

As followers of Christ, we strive to live as closely to perfection as we can but as humans, we realize that we are not perfect. The gap between our hopes and the realities that we face leave us with lingering questions such as "why should I bother trying" or "how can I successfully apply this to my life"? What we are willing to put on the line to live righteous lives and to practice what we believe to be true is a bigger testament than any to our faith and I hope that others can do the same with theirs if they truly feel that their beliefs are correct.

theancientpaths said...


I appreciate your comment; however, I feel that you are missing the point that Pastor Wallace and Mrs. Tanner were trying to make. Their point is not that nobody else in the world practices polygamy, or that the Mormon Church is the only group with a flawed past. What they were discussing is the misleading and often deceitful nature of many presentations by Latter-day Saints about their history. If the LDS church is true, and stands or falls on its claims about truth, why is there such a push to "sanitize" the history? Why do people have to lie about the character of Joseph Smith, or more pertinent to this particular episode, why does the LDS church not condemn a movie which blatantly misrepresents the relationship between Emma and Joseph Smith?

Gary Shafer said...

Just a preface, I'm not currently a LDS member. However, I would like to comment on the last post. Why would any business, church, or person condone something that keeps the bad parts out? If a church has a member or even a Pastor that has done something wrong why don't they directly post that on their website? Instead they make their website and their church look very happy and nice for people to attend regardless if there are contentions and strife going on.

tim said...

The LDS not only still practices polygamy, but it is still one of the most "revered" scriptures in the D&C (132). might be interested to read the original writings that were included in the Book of Commandments and realize that A) This doctrine was aimed directly at Emma in the name of Christ to "assist" her acceptance of JSJ's philandering and B) clearly stated that the temporal practice of this doctrine was fully requisite to achieve the highes glory in the celestial kingdom and become a god.

Furthermore, polygamous groups in Sudan are not Christian based. That is an absolutely invalid and illogical comparison. I currently live in India and travel the area much.

Finally....ALL reknowned USA based polygamous groups are directly tied and descended from Joseph Smith Jr and his teachings and practices carried down....In fact, the LDS church proper who "praises the man" (JSJ) is fallen away from his original teachings of a fulness and restored gospel received from an eternal and never-changing God.


tim said...

I forgot another point. The doctrine was NOT banned near the beginning of the origin of the church but rather more towards the middle for political reasons dictated by man and not God, and was a carried on practice by many, including Lorenzo Snow himself, for years after the so-called "banning" of this truly LDS and Joseph Smith Jr. DOCTRINE.

Scomf732 said...

I find your attempts to justify your and the Tanners attacks on the LDS Church almost comical. You complain when the LDS defend their positions and you complain when the LDS allow you to continue with your lies and half truths. Either way the Church is wrong.

It is particularly true now that FAIR has won the lawsuit that was filed by the Tanners. Free Speech still reigns in this great Nation despite the attempts by people of yours and the Tanners ilk to shut it down.

As long as FAIR and FARMS continues their good work, the Truth will be heard and millions will continue to flow unto this true church. You can read the full court ruling here:

For your information "Tim", the LDS haven't practiced polygamy for over 100 years to claim otherwise is to deceive others. It was by devine revelation that polygamy ended.

I have found this sight to be nothing but a propaganda piece for this "church". I have a hard time calling a group that is supposed to support Christ but attacks others a church.

I see no love here for your fellow man, only hate for a man a prophet of God named Joseph Smith Jr.

Richard said...

Well, I am a lawyer, and I read the Court Case you referred to (I am not sure what you are referring to when you talk about "Free Speech" - the only "Free Speech" issue was FAIR's effort to deceive people); what you fail to mention is the nature of the lawsuit! FAIR tried to deceive people by imitating Utah Lighthouse Ministries website! The Court, simply, said that, due to a legal technicality, there was no Trademark Infringement. The fact remains that FAIR tried to deceive people by trying to imitate Utah Lighthouse Ministries website! And they call themselves Christians!

theancientpaths said...


When you say that Pastor Wallace and Sandra Tanner are "attacking" the LDS church in this episode, what do you mean? Do you mean to say that they are saying things that are untrue? If so, what are those things? If they aren't saying anything untrue, how can stating true historical facts about the LDS church in the context of a discussion about polygamy be considered an attack? The LDS church in its own scriptures has taken the stand that Pastor Wallace is a false teacher who professes an abominable creed (see Joseph Smith History 1:19 and 1:20), does he not get a chance to respond? I find your accusation that this site is nothing more than a "propaganda piece for this "church"" to be unwarranted in light of the fact that two frequent guests of the program (Alma Allred and Martin Tanner) are both members of the LDS church who have been invited on for the purposes of civil dialogue. If you would drop the antagonistic front, perhaps you could participate in a civil dialogue as well.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you to Sandra Tanner for the work she's been doing. I'm sure it has taken great courage. From my own studies, I agree with everyone she says about the LDS church and its history. It's important to get the truth out into the world.

James Brian Marshall said...

Dear Friends,

My name is James Brian Marshall. As a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I'm responding In Defense of Joseph Smith. With several points. Please stick with me.

#1 Polygamy and weather Joseph Smith taught polygamy does matter. The Book of Mormon teaches strictly against it, Book of Mormon Book of Jacob Chapter 2 ( the whole chapter ) RLDS version! You ladies will very much agree with Gods take on womens hearts and why they must only have one husband and he one wife.

If Joseph Smith was a polygamist and taught polygamy, then Joseph Smith was a liar. LDS members don't realize when they say Joseph Smith was a Polygamist, they say he is a liar. Smith was either manogomous or liar. He either wrote the Book of Mormon form his Imagination, ( not possible I address later) or it was truly inspired of God. There is No middle ground.

What the LDS Church has done in saying Joseph Smith taught polygamy is kill Jospeh Smith's testimony about the Book of Mormon.
Making Smith to seem a liar.

The Bible says God does not live in unholy temples. By saying Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, while teaching Polygamy in secret, is not only to make Smith a liar in direct contradiction to Book of Mormon and Biblical teaching, it Makes God Look like a liar as well. That is Blasphemy. Christians who truly read their bible understand this!

Any Chistian worth their salt and understands a little about building a house knows this. You don't build a house on sand or put differently, build In defiance to God's laws. Nor do you build your house with a bad foundation. The house will eventually be swept away.

If the house is a church built upon the defiance of God's Eternal Law, then that church, even if the Church is called By Christ's Name too shall crumble. This two is written in the Book of Mormon.

The foundation upon which all things are built is paramount. If Joseph Smith taught Polygamy, then He should be judged a liar. If Smith is truly a liar, then the Book of Mormon can by the same reason be disbelieved because God does not live in unholy temples. So Smith could only have written the book from his imagination.

#2 That said Joseph Smith didn't write the Book of Mormon from his Imagination. The keys words are Ancient texts and colophens. The Book of Mormon is loades with knowledge about the ancient world, and desert knowledge only a beduin people would know.


If you want Proof Jospeh Smith was not a polygamist, go to my blog sight. U.S. and Canadian Courts as well as U.S. Congressional Investigation say Joseph Smith was not a polygamist.

The can of worms this open is huge. But the truth can set people free if people want to be.

James Brian Marshall said...

I'm sorry for not leaving the link to my blog! I reread my post.
I've since changed my Blog Title to
Polygamy split the LDS Church

I hope you find the government and court rulings interesting!

James Brian Marshall said...

Dear Scomf,

I've read your post! I understand the position you've been put in!
But I'm not going to help much. If anything I'm gong to tighten the thumb screws.

As a priest of the RLDS Church, I do believe the Book of Mormon is true!

But you've missed something!

God changes not! Don't you read scripture? Your Bible, Book of Mormon and D&C teach this little princeple right? God does not change! He does not err!

God does not give revelation to polygamize, then retract revelation to polygamize! Otherwise God has " Changed His Mind !" Right?

Now God is God! I suppose He can if He wanted to, change His mind!
But if God Changed His mind to much, would scriptural prophecy still be true? Would prophetic books such as the Bible, Book of Mormon, and D&C still be spot on prophetically?

Or, are we saying God had momentary lack of foresight! God who know's all things, foresee's all things, just forgot to look?! He " supposedly gave Joseph Smith polygamous revelation 8 years after Smith's official death! So in 1852, 8 years after Joseph Smith was murdered, Joseph Smith gave revelation God wanted Polygamy, then many decades later, God decided to take it back?

I suppose God forgot to take back the Book of Mormon too! Right? Since most of Christendom has widely rejected it because of the deeds of Salt Lake Utah LDS Church!

Not to mention, God warned King Solomon Against the sin of Polygamy! His 1000 wives destroyed King Solomon! Does the Bible count for anything of value in the Utah Mormon Church? Or the fact the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants explicitly teaches from 1830 forward, Polygamy is a sin in God's eyes?

Or did Two U.S. Courts, one Canadian Court, and a three year U.S. Congressional Investigation lie about findings proving Joseph Smith not only did not teach polygamy, they said He did not practice Polygamy even in secret as the Utah Mormon Church claims...

Further the rulings/findings mention The RLDS being the True Church Joseph Smith started! Following more exactly the explicit Teachings of Joseph Smith!

Further these authorities of the United States Government, said, the Utah Mormon Church has " born false whitiness"!

Now false whitiness means someone has lied! Someone lies, only because they fear they will be found out!
Fearing the truth will destroy them!

Don't tell these good people on this blog, God giveth revelation to polygamize, then takes it away!

#1 These people aren't stupid.

#2 God isn't stupid!

#3 God has enough problems with people teaching false doctrine in the protestant Churches alone, He doesn't need people making up doctrinal blaspemy by claiming God has ceased His law as He declared it in Genesis, being one man should have but one wife, and one wife but one husband! And they should cleave together and be one flesh!

#4 Book of Mormon Book of Jacob teaches the same as Genesis.

#5 The Origianal Doctrine and Covenants also teaches Polygamy is Bad!

"Out of the mouths of two or three witiness every word shall be established!" 1 Corinthians 13:1 I believe it is.

Salt Lake Mormons need to realize the Three Witiness condemned polygamy! The Bible. Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.

The Bible can be trusted because the Book of Mormon supports it! The Book of Mormon can be trusted because the Doctrine and Covenanats supports it! And the Bible support the other two books

But beware the men and women who bring false whitiness against all three books of God given revelation!

You do it, you're messing with Fire! And you will get burned!

As you have done! You are on dangerous gound my friend! The Law and The Testimony are against you, ye who make men and offender for a word! Isaiah 29 end of chapter.

Whoa into ye who trust in the arm of flesh!
Who maketh flesh his arm, for he will inhabit a salt land!

Unlike the man who makes God his arm, for He shall be as a tree beside a river, who's leaf shall not whither.

Jeremiah 17:5-8

I have taken the liberty to paraphase quote Isaiah 29 and Jeremiah 17:5-8 Please read you bible to check me?

There are two physical Churches in the USA today, each ironically, coincidentally answering to these two biblical descriptions. One Church "makes men and offender for a word" and trusts in the arm of flesh. This Church it would seem is in a Salt Land. ( Salt Lake City )?

There is another Church in Indepenance MO. This Church is beside a river! Even on River Street! RLDS? While This could all be coincidence, It is amazing how God's words, even if not directly connected, effect people and churches who more accurately represent His, ( Christ's ) Church principles!

There are only but two Churches! the Church of Jesus Christ, and the church of the devil!

By their fruits, ye shall know them! Any church who takes part in using the truth, to tear down others to their distruction, is of the devil.

Any Church who works, to build up mankind to their betterment " In God's eyes, not mans eyes " is of Jesus Christ!

To be a polygamist, is in my opinion, the most destructive thing you can do to a woman's heart! Women's nature is to need to feel like she's the only one that matters to her man.

Anyone who seeks to practice against the doctrine of three witinesses, Bible, Book of Mormon and D&C not only practices false doctrinal blasphemey, they are practicing satanic doctrine!

Not to mention, they have thrown common sense about women out the window!

Anyone who's studied the ocult, knows satan has 12 wives as brides!

Anyone who's studied Jesus Christ, knows when Christ's Bride is mentioned in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or the "original " D&C, Christ's Bride is mentioned in singular form as one woman.

These are types and shadows for how Christ intended us to treat our wives. Any who say otherwise, bring false witiness against the Godhead.

Beware these people. For they are not only decieved! But indeed have partnered with satan. Book of Jude 1:3-4

3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

God did not give revelation to be polygamist. Polygamy is a doctrine of the devil. It's doctrine was founded in Hell, it is a product of the Pit. It is a trap to ensnare men! Beware the men who say it was God given.

Or that say Joseph Smith gave revelation and practiced Polygamy. These men are servants of a dubvious master, who is the author of lies. Who apposed all that is good and Godly!

Where there is great truth, you will find even greater lies.

As in the movie, THE Matrix, we all have to decide which pill to take. The red pill or the blue pill! One pill shows you the truth. The other allows you to lulled into false security.

One pill, will make you everybodies friend, the other pill makes you everyones enemy!

The problem with satan, is satan is more complex than a war with 2 sides. Satan is the author of Confusion! He wars against men on so many sides, men without the Holy Spirit's help, don't know which side the enemies coming from.

Men are silly to think the world is only black and white. Yes there are two churches according to Jesus Christ! Two sides only! But one side, is Christ's side.
Satans side has many names ( confusion ). So many names of churches, one cannot even begin to comprehend which one is God's true church!

They are all churches preaching Christ, yet each church claims to be different, claims to be Christian. Yet they all by proclamation, or insinuation, by doctrine, or creed call the other Churches across the street from them not of God. Leaving the average man confused and befudled.
Of in false securety!

Jesus Christ came to earth to make it easy for men to know which church to join. Christ said you could tell His Church from satan's Church by their actions. Christ church affirms all men and women as individuals, bringing them clarity and peace of mind and before their God.

Satan's under the guise of truth tears people down, brings confusion, preaching opposition to Christ, workings to destroy men and women's self value as individuals before Jesus Christ.

Where Christ works to magnify and affirm truth before man, satan works to invalidate, twist, complecate and confuse.

Men sure of themselves have no need to lie. Men unsure of themselves lie and then create more lies to cover the lies they told prior. Until the web is so crisscrossed men cannot find the original thread of truth easily!