101. Reed Smoot was elected to the United States Senate in 1902 and federal lawmakers protested immediately. He was sworn into office in March 1903. But government authorities feared that Smoot was a polygamous sympathizer, though not a polygamist himself. It was also a well-established fact that the church had engaged in deception for decades to evade the law. Because of the church's reputation for dishonesty, the Smoot investigation lasted more than 3 years (1904-1907) and resulted in over 3,000 pages of sworn testimony. The scope of the inquiry broadened to include the history, theology and culture of Mormonism itself. If the citizens of the U.S. doubted the honesty and veracity of the Mormon leaders and their people before the hearings, afterward they did not doubt due to mountains of testimony and documented evidence. The Mormons were guilty of unending prevarication. (Solemn Covenant, p. 251) Mormon histories and curriculum have never admitted to leaders' past duplicity though it would be the honorable thing to do. Failure to admit to past duplicity continues to serve as a source of embarrassment to many members of the LDS church, interested in studying church history.


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