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New Historical Claim Re: Eliza Snow

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http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/3613791-155/shocking-historical-finding-mormon-icon-eliza

In a new claim put forward by BYU-Idaho professor Andrea Radke-Moss, Eliza Snow was gang-raped during the Missouri period by outsiders hostile to the church. She further claims that the assault rendered her unable to have children, and that her marriage to Joseph Smith was motivated by his sympathy for her plight. 

If the claim is true, then IMHO this puts a rather horrific new spin on what happened during that period of time. 

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It absolutely does.

I cannot help but think though, would she have wanted the story to come out? The argument seems to be that it would help those that suffer today. To break the silence on sexual abuse and then use it as an example for the benefit of those living today. Which all sounds like a worthy goal.

But is it really our story to tell? Our example to give? If she did not leave any personal account or speak on it herself, i would have thought that it would have been respectfully left private. While sharing your story is admirable considering the shame that surrounds it, it isn't a given that a person would want to do that. Especially in such a public light.

Even if a person had told me something similar, no matter if it was in private or public setting (for others to hear too).. i wouldn't take that story and tell myself that it was my responsibility to share it for the greater good. She might have passed from this world, but shouldn't she have the same respect for something so deeply private as any one of us?

But what do i know. I have only read the article and a bit of debating on it in the comment section. There might be some more behind it.

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13 minutes ago, Milluw said:

But is it really our story to tell? Our example to give? If she did not leave any personal account or speak on it herself, i would have thought that it would have been respectfully left private. While sharing your story is admirable considering the shame that surrounds it, it isn't a given that a person would want to do that. Especially in such a public light.

Even if a person had told me something similar, no matter if it was in private or public setting (for others to hear too).. i wouldn't take that story and tell myself that it was my responsibility to share it for the greater good. She might have passed from this world, but shouldn't she have the same respect for something so deeply private as any one of us?

No, she should not. The dead have no rights as such, nor should they. History belongs to us, the living.

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7 minutes ago, Vort said:

No, she should not. The dead have no rights as such, nor should they. History belongs to us, the living.

Except they live on, just not here. Their story on earth is still part of their own experience. I don't think that we can claim ownership of that even if they have passed on. At least not on such a traumatic and personal experience.

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7 minutes ago, Milluw said:

Except they live on, just not here. Their story on earth is still part of their own experience. I don't think that we can claim ownership of that even if they have passed on. At least not on such a traumatic and personal experience.

We don't own the experience, but the knowledge of such things is not secret. In the eternal world, all such things are proclaimed from the housetops. There are no "dirty little secrets"; the dirt is exposed, and wounds are recognized and healed. It is only in our fallen world peopled by imperfect, vengeful beings of wrath that we feel obligated to keep secrets when the stain is not ours.

In any case, the dead have no rights to privacy or anything else. The very idea that a person's "private" life must necessarily remain private after his death, or at least it must remain so upon his request, is a dangerous one. The scriptures themselves are records that defy this idea. If Sister Snow was gang-raped, that is a historical fact that is not bounded by nineteenth-century mores and customs, or even by the presumed mortal wishes of Sister Snow.

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I am sad for her but not surprised. As Mirkwood said, I'm sure she was far from the only one. 

A friend once told me that this was the case. I don't recall now where she got the information or hypothesis. However, remember when Joseph was in prison and the jailers were discussing something offensive enough that he stood up in his chains and rebuked them? My friend's information  (or hypothesis?) was that they were bragging about their rapes, and that was why Joseph was so furious.

Edited by LiterateParakeet

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40 minutes ago, Vort said:

We don't own the experience, but the knowledge of such things is not secret. In the eternal world, all such things are proclaimed from the housetops. There are no "dirty little secrets"; the dirt is exposed, and wounds are recognized and healed. It is only in our fallen world peopled by imperfect, vengeful beings of wrath that we feel obligated to keep secrets when the stain is not ours.

In any case, the dead have no rights to privacy or anything else. The very idea that a person's "private" life must necessarily remain private after his death, or at least it must remain so upon his request, is a dangerous one. The scriptures themselves are records that defy this idea. If Sister Snow was gang-raped, that is a historical fact that is not bounded by nineteenth-century mores and customs, or even by the presumed mortal wishes of Sister Snow.

But we are not in the eternal world. Shouting things off housetops here aren't nessicarily recognized in the way that they might like it. I personally do think that the best thing is to be able to speak of these things, even if it can be a difficult thing to do. It has been my choice to do so. I just find that it is the victims story to tell, i would never force a victim of something like that to speak up.

You do make a good point about it being a historical fact though, and i am not sure about how else it could have gone on record, especially in the time we live in now, where things are so easily shared. And her being passed on, the article at least wasn't written in a slanderous or disrespectful way after all.

What you said of the afterlife, does make me wonder if it even would matter that much to one that has passed.

The initial thoughts were probably a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the thought of even someone in my family taking what i had confided in them, and deciding when i had passed on, that they would shout it off the rooftops. Which probably is a wordly view, i just had not thought of this from the eternal perspective before. Hmm! You got me thinking now :)

Edited by Milluw
Editing my faulty english :D

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Here's more information about what I was talking about: 

Quote

 

There is a famous story about Joseph Smith (often called "Majesty in Chains") about how, during his imprisonment in Richmond Jail, he and several other men lay on the floor unable to sleep because the guards were boasting of the murders, robbery, and rapes they had committed against the Saints.

http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/2013/08/wives-made-to-bow-down-with-grief.html

 

You can read the rest at the blog (there's a lot more)  here's another excerpt:

Quote

 

I feel like it is important to share these early LDS women's stories.  It makes my heart ache to think about all they went through for the gospel.... and that we don't even know their names. Granted, they probably didn't want their names to be shared given the nature of their experience, but I think they need to be remembered. 
 

Warning: Some of these accounts are hard to read and so if you are sensitive to things like this you might want to skip the rest.

 

 

 

Edited by LiterateParakeet

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4 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Here's more information about what I was talking about: 

In conjunction with what LP said, here is another source on that by the Church: Our Heritage pg. 50

The Prophet and the others were first taken to Independence, and then sent to Richmond, Ray County, where they were jailed awaiting trial. Parley P. Pratt was one of those with the Prophet.  He said that one evening the guards were taunting the prisoners by telling of their deeds of rape, murder, and robbery among the Latter-day Saints.

Book of Mormon shares:
Moroni 9:And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites,... For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—
 10 And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; ...

 

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I would be interested to read the source material. We're getting a report of a third (or fourth) hand late report. The fact that it's sensational and emotional makes it newsworthy. But how reliable is it?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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53 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I would be interested to read the source material. We're getting a report of a third (or fourth) hand late report. The fact that it's sensational and emotional makes it newsworthy. But how reliable is it?

It's in the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. He was an eye witness and his account is memorable.

Lehi

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37 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

It's in the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. He was an eye witness and his account is memorable.

Lehi

Wait, Parley watched Eliza get gang raped? And that's in his autobiography and we are just now hearing about this incident with Eliza? I'm confused.

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7 minutes ago, beefche said:

Wait, Parley watched Eliza get gang raped? And that's in his autobiography and we are just now hearing about this incident with Eliza? I'm confused.

Elder Pratt was an eye witness to the "majesty in chains" event, where the guards quailed at Joseph's feet when he rebuked them after they had been bragging (and taunting the prisoners) about the rapes and other atrocities they'd committed against the Saints.

Lehi

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35 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

Elder Pratt was an eye witness to the "majesty in chains" event, where the guards quailed at Joseph's feet when he rebuked them after they had been bragging (and taunting the prisoners) about the rapes and other atrocities they'd committed against the Saints.

Lehi

That is well known. I'm talking about the gang rape.

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8 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

That is well known. I'm talking about the gang rape.

I'm with you, TFP. I thought the same thing that I'd like to see the source material for this. I don't doubt that it happened to her or others. We knew that the women (and likely children) were raped and murdered. 

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7 minutes ago, beefche said:

I don't doubt that it happened to her or others. 

To others, sure. To her...?

Frankly the world needs more skeptics when it comes to emotionally charged issues, reports, arguments, etc.

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Why do you doubt it could have happened to Eliza?  Perhaps, I should have said that I don't know for certain that it happened to her. But I honestly wouldn't be shocked or overly surprised if it did. We know that those times were extremely difficult for everyone and that heinous acts happened. 

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10 hours ago, Milluw said:

But we are not in the eternal world. Shouting things off housetops here aren't nessicarily recognized in the way that they might like it. I personally do think that the best thing is to be able to speak of these things, even if it can be a difficult thing to do. It has been my choice to do so. I just find that it is the victims story to tell, i would never force a victim of something like that to speak up.

You do make a good point about it being a historical fact though, and i am not sure about how else it could have gone on record, especially in the time we live in now, where things are so easily shared. And her being passed on, the article at least wasn't written in a slanderous or disrespectful way after all.

What you said of the afterlife, does make me wonder if it even would matter that much to one that has passed.

The initial thoughts were probably a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the thought of even someone in my family taking what i had confided in them, and deciding when i had passed on, that they would shout it off the rooftops. Which probably is a wordly view, i just had not thought of this from the eternal perspective before. Hmm! You got me thinking now :)

I hear what you're say Milluw.  

I'm approaching this from the perspective of a survivor of sexual abuse.  At first (20 years), I did not want anyone to know-- the thought terrified me, and I went to drastic lengths to hide it.  But then, as I started to heal, I realized that my story could help others: those many people who've also been sexually assaulted (~80 million in the USA alone),  but also those who've not, because my story, though it has a tragic beginning has a magnificent triumphant ending.  My story is that of Christ's miraculous healing, His comfort, a central core of my testimony: it is a powerful miracle which cannot be separated from the light that I Am.  So I do share that light liberally with others.

This story (if true) was a tragedy that happened to Eliza, and changed who she is.  But it also is a great light, a great insight into her, and into the power God can show through women.  I am happy to see the light.

(Also: if you read the full article, Eliza herself did not keep silent about it.  This is recorded by the granddaughter of a dear friend, whom heard Eliza talking about it).

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jane_Doe

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10 minutes ago, beefche said:

Why do you doubt it could have happened to Eliza?  Perhaps, I should have said that I don't know for certain that it happened to her. But I honestly wouldn't be shocked or overly surprised if it did. We know that those times were extremely difficult for everyone and that heinous acts happened. 

I do not doubt it could have. I just want something more than the say-so of someone. I'd simply like to read the account and judge for myself. I wouldn't be overly surprised if it is accurate either...except for the fact that we're just now discovering this...which does make me a wee bit suspicious. But do not get me wrong. I am not adamant that it did not happen. I am skeptical of the report.

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I do agree with you that reading an actual account of it would be better. As much as we would like to think that 1st hand, 2nd hand, or 33rd hand accounts would be truthful, human nature and errors happen. So, while this was the account of a woman who knew and was close to Eliza, the account is not from Eliza nor was it made during her time. It was the recollection of a granddaughter of Bathsheba--not exactly something to bank on.  

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13 minutes ago, beefche said:

I do agree with you that reading an actual account of it would be better. As much as we would like to think that 1st hand, 2nd hand, or 33rd hand accounts would be truthful, human nature and errors happen. So, while this was the account of a woman who knew and was close to Eliza, the account is not from Eliza nor was it made during her time. It was the recollection of a granddaughter of Bathsheba--not exactly something to bank on.  

I'm not saying reading the account myself would be the end-all. But what I'm reading is a report by SLTrib of a report by a BYU professor of a report by a granddaughter of Bathsheba of a report by Eliza...all late hand one from another.... Yeah...a bit skeptical.

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8 hours ago, beefche said:

Wait, Parley watched Eliza get gang raped? And that's in his autobiography and we are just now hearing about this incident with Eliza? I'm confused.

It is discussed in more detail in LP's link.

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Guest

Is this something to debate over?

I simply read the stories and first-hand accounts from LP's link and all I can say is that I feel rage, despair, sorrow, compassion, and a host of other emotions that I scarcely know how to contain.  Specifics may or may not matter today.  But we know it happened.  We know the overall story.  We know it to be true.

We know that the persecutors had sanction from neither God nor any true defender of earthly justice.  These were hellish acts by devils incarnate who perpetrated acts that make grown men want to cover their heads in disbelief and weep that such evil can exist.  And above all, we know that God will make it right.  That should be enough.

Edited by Guest

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10 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I would be interested to read the source material. We're getting a report of a third (or fourth) hand late report. The fact that it's sensational and emotional makes it newsworthy. But how reliable is it?

9 hours ago, LeSellers said:

It's in the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. He was an eye witness and his account is memorable.

10 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I would be interested to read the source material. We're getting a report of a third (or fourth) hand late report. The fact that it's sensational and emotional makes it newsworthy. But how reliable is it?

9 hours ago, LeSellers said:

Elder Pratt was an eye witness to the "majesty in chains" event, where the guards quailed at Joseph's feet when he rebuked them after they had been bragging (and taunting the prisoners) about the rapes and other atrocities they'd committed against the Saints.

8 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

That is well known. I'm talking about the gang rape.

"The source material" from Elder Pratt is first hand, not long after the incident. The only thing is which incident are we discussing.

Since the guards were bragging about their own exploits, it seems more than merely reasonable to assume the rapes happened. We don't know from any contemporary source who was raped, but it is not unreasonable to count Eliza in that number.

Lehi

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