A friend from a Facebook group came up with this comparison, and I thought I’d expand it.

We are all familiar with Martin Harris begging to take the first 116 pages of the translated Book of Mormon to show his wife, and loosing them. What we sometimes forget is that the Lord said no twice before he relented and said yes. The first two times Harris asked, Joseph Smith said he inquired of the Lord, and the Lord said “No”. On the third time his asked, Joseph said he again inquired of the Lord, and the Lord finally caved in and said “Ok, you can let him take them, but only if he promises to only show them to four people!” Obviously that is my paraphrase, but here are Joseph’s own words on the matter

  and it came to pass that after we had translated 116 pages that he desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spake unto him (Martin) the word of the Lord and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Palmire Wayne County & State of N York 

The Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa Summer 1832, pgs 5-6

Now, if the Lord is omniscient as we believe, He knew the pages would be lost, but relented to teach Joseph Smith and Martin Harris a lesson.

You can probably figure out where I’m going with this. In 2015, The Q15, according to Pres Nelson, prayed to know the mind and will of the Lord about what to do with children of same sex parents. I wonder if the Lord said ” ….Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. ” (Matt 19:14). But for whatever reason, the Q15 did not hear this. So they asked again and again until the Lord said “OK, make up your rule, but it won’t end well, but I’m doing this to teach you a lesson” Sound familiar? Then three years later they lost the 116 pages after much bad publicity, people leaving the church, children hurt, and possibly lives lost to suicide, the Q15 changed all the rules they had implemented.

One could make the argument that these are not even close. In one case all that was lost was 116 pages of paper. In the second case people were lost. Did the Lord really let the Q15 make such a mistake just to teach them a lesson at the expense of the children of gay parents?

On the other hand, does God really speak to prophets like that? Did he really say “OK, you have pestered me enough, give him the pages” Or did Joseph hear what he wanted to hear, so that Martin would stop bothering him? If this is the case, did the Q15, running scared from the nation wide legalization of gay marriage, hear what they wanted to hear “from the Lord” and put out this terrible policy?

(BTW, when I say Q15, I don’t pretend that all 15 agreed with this, but in the end they all voted for it.)

What are your thoughts on this comparison? Where does it hold up, and where does it break down?