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  BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1
Total Articles: 25
In 1820 Joseph Smith claimed that he saw God and Jesus Christ. The two were floating above him in the air and looked identical. Joseph alleges that Jesus Christ told him about buried golden plates wherein the history of Ancient Americans was contained. In due time Joseph retrieved the plates and translated them into the "Book Of Mormon". Mormons consider the Book Of Mormon to be the most correct book on earth.
The Book Of Mormon
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The "Book Of Mormon" is a set of scriptures used by the Mormon Church. In 1820 Joseph Smith claimed that he saw God and Jesus Christ. The two were floating above him in the air and looked identical. Joseph alleges that Jesus Christ told him about buried golden plates wherein the history of Ancient Americans was contained.

At first he was not allowed to obtain the plates being blocked by Angels, however, later he allegedly attained them from the Hill Cumorah in Upstate New York. With help from his close associates, he allegedly began translating the language written on the plates into English. He did this by placing a "Seer Stone" in a hat, and placing his head in the hat. He claimed that words would appear and he would read them aloud, his scribe then writing it down.

Contained in the Book of Mormon are many chapters titled by the alleged author that wrote them. Each chapter is the story of Ancient Americans known as Nephites and Lamanites - of whom God himself allegedly brought to America from Jerusalem.

Published in 1830 as pure scripture declaring that it testified of Jesus Christ, it was considered a sacred book.
"Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man."David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.
Today, there have been over 3,000 changes to the Book of Mormon, including changing of entire verses. Racial epitaphs such as "White and Delightsome" have been changed to "Pure and Delightsome."

In April of 2006 the Mormon Church declared "This book was not a record of myth or an ancient history test or anything other than the true word of God." (Ensign, Apr 2006, p68) showing the LDS Corporation no longer views the Book Of Mormon as ancient text or history.
Double Speak From Mormon Scripture
Thursday, Feb 17, 2005, at 10:30 AM
Original Author(s): Argar Largar
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I believe Primary children and Seminary students memorize 1 Nephi 3:7 but perhaps I should have my kids memorize DC 124:49 as well if they want to start learning Mormon Double Talk.

1 Nephi 3:7

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

DC 124:49



Is it just me or is the Book of Mormon full of prophecies that get fulfilled but the Doctrine and Covenants is full of prophecies that get excuses why they weren't fulfilled? I've said this before -- Joseph did a pretty good job of prophesying about things that supposedly happened in the past but not so good a job of prophesying about the future. c
LDS Church: Book Of Mormon Can't Be A Fable
Sunday, Feb 20, 2005, at 08:14 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
In October 1993, LDS Church Apostle Dallin H. Oaks spoke at a FARMS annual dinner. He clearly layed out the church's stand on the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and criticized those within the church that do not accept it as an historical record.

Here are some excerpts:

"Some who term themselves believing Latter-day Saints are advocating that Latter-day Saints should abandon claims that the Book of Mormon is a historical record of the ancient peoples of the Americas. They are promoting the feasibility of reading and using the Book of Mormon as nothing more than a pious fiction with some valuable contents. These practitioners of so-called "higher criticism" raise the question of whether the Book of Mormon, which our prophets have put forward as the preeminent scripture of this dispensation, is fact or fable--history or just a story."

"Some Latter-day Saint critics who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon seek to make their proposed approach persuasive to Latter-day Saints by praising or affirming the value of some of the contents of the book. Those who take this approach assume the significant burden of explaining how they can praise the contents of a book they have dismissed as a fable. I have never been able to understand the similar approach in reference to the divinity of the Savior. As we know, some scholars and some ministers proclaim him to be a great teacher and then have to explain how the one who gave such sublime teachings could proclaim himself (falsely they say) to be the Son of God who would be resurrected from the dead."

"The new style critics have the same problem with the Book of Mormon. For example, we might affirm the value of the teachings recorded in the name of a man named Moroni, but if these teachings have value, how do we explain these statements also attributed to this man?"

And if there be faults [in this record] they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire. (Mormon 8:17.)

And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? (Moro. 10:27.)
"There is something strange about accepting the moral or religious content of a book while rejecting the truthfulness of its authors' declarations, predictions, and statements. This approach not only rejects the concepts of faith and revelation that the Book of Mormon explains and advocates. This approach is not even good scholarship."

"The Book of Mormon's major significance is its witness of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God the Eternal Father who redeems and saves us from death and sin. If an account stands as a preeminent witness of Jesus Christ, how can it possibly make no difference whether the account is fact or fable--whether the persons really lived who prophesied of Christ and gave eye witnesses of his appearances to them?"

"As Jack Welch and I discussed the topic of my address this evening, he pointed out that this new wave of antihistoricism 'may be a new kid on the block in Salt Lake City, but he has been around in a lot of other Christian neighborhoods for several decades.'"

"Indeed! The argument that it makes no difference whether the Book of Mormon is fact or fable is surely a sibling to the argument that it makes no difference whether Jesus Christ ever lived. As we know, there are many so-called Christian teachers who espouse the teachings and deny the teacher. Beyond that, there are those who even deny the existence or the knowability of God. Their counterparts in Mormondom embrace some of the teachings of the Book of Mormon but deny its historicity."

"Brothers and Sister, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation--for what you are doing. God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The work that you do is important, it is well-known, and it is appreciated."

"I testify of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, whose Church this is. I invoke his blessings upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, The Historicity of the Book of Mormon, FARMS annual dinner on October 29th, 1993

Is LDS Radio Talk Show Host Van Hale's statements regarding the Book of Mormon in harmony with the church's position and authority?

How should True Believing Members reconcile the church's position and that of prominent LDS comentators like Van Hale?

See Van Hale's full Book of Mormon statement here:
http://www.think-link.org/think/van_hale.htm
The Amazing Chiasmus In The Book Of Mormon?
Tuesday, Mar 1, 2005, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Xtbm
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Has anyone else had to hear about the amazing “chiasmus” in the Book of Mormon?

When people first found out I no longer believed in Mormonism, I – like many people here – received several phone calls/letters from family concerned about my decision. Some of these communications would include statements like “Well, what about (fill in the supposed “evidence”)? How could this be the case if Mormonism is false?” One such “evidence” I was asked about is the existence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.

According to Mormon apologists, the existence of chiasmus is a strong indication that the book could not have been written by Joseph Smith. In fact, according to them, it is extremely compelling evidence of the book’s authenticity and Hebrew origin. (This is so compelling in their minds, that the subtitle to the link to the page on chiasmus on Jeff Lindsay’s web site says “Critics can’t explain this one away!”) The argument goes something like this (taken directly from Jeff Lindsay’s web site):

BACKGROUND:
Chiasmus was a common form of presenting ideas among those with literary skills in the ancient world and was used to create powerful poetry.” (Biblical examples are given to demonstrate how this form existed in the Bible.) “This form, however, was not widely appreciated as a hallmark of ancient writing in the middle east until this century.” (i.e. – if it was not well-known, no one would have intentionally written them into the Book of Mormon).

QUALIFICATION:
While chiasmus is now increasingly recognized as a hallmark of ancient Semitic writings, it does not prove anything per se, for chiasmus does occur in some modern texts by accident. In fact, one can force a weak, contrived chiasmic pattern to fit into many texts if one is willing to work hard enough.”

TRANSITION:
The Book of Mormon, which claims to have its literary roots in the ancient Middle East, shows many excellent examples of what appear to be deliberate, crafted chiasmus.”

CONCLUSIONS:
The examples are strong enough that they are difficult to explain if we assume that Joseph Smith (or any other person in the 1820s) wrote the book himself.”

“In my opinion, there is simply no way a poorly schooled farm boy in that era could have crafted sophisticated examples of an ancient writing form that was probably completely unknown to him.”

As a tbm, I found this to be extremely compelling and, based on conversations I’ve had with others tbms since then, I think others find it to be extremely compelling as well. Critics often take a couple of different approaches. First, chiasmus can be found in many different types of writings – often with no intent by the author to have written the text. Essentially, if you break down any book of sufficient length, you will find that they often occur naturally, regardless of whether or not the author intentionally wrote them. Second, other people have used the claim of chiasmus as a show of authenticity, including, for instance, the Mormon splinter group of the Strangites (http://www.strangite.org/Chiasmus.htm).

Now, of course, I find this claim to be completely bogus – thrown on the trash heap of other theories that crashed and burned under the scrutiny of closer evaluation. I think the best reason to discount this theory is one that I haven’t ever seen presented. First, let’s take a look at how the chiastic structure was written (taken from: http://www.inthebeginning.org/chiasmus/introduction/chiasmus_intro.htm) “Under no circumstances should it be assumed from this system of repeating alphabetical characters that the ancient manuscripts were written with indentations in order to exhibit chiastic structure. The graphic method of presentation [i.e. – the one that people use today to show how the chiasmus is set up] is merely a device adopted in order to eliminate unnecessary explanations and to render a complicated subject easy to grasp with a minimum of time and effort. Note that these were UNMARKED structures, so no one would inherently know of their existence by looking at the passages. Next, let’s look at the awareness of the writers (same web site): “I have reached the firm conclusion that many of these symmetries were altogether subconscious, and that it was felt rather than seen. This is merely another way of saying that the writers had learned their forms so thoroughly that they had forgotten them as forms. For the more extensive chiastic structures, however, I posit that some degree of conscious effort on the part of the writer.“ Note that these symmetries were often SUBCONSCIOUS! Complex ones may have been written intentionally, but the form itself was often probably constructed unintentionally.

SO – before we go any further, how many of you can answer the following question: can anyone name any writing styles that were used in the country of your primary ancestors 500 years ago? Come on now, we live in the age of information, this should be easy! How many of you are aware of ANY writing style used 500 years ago? I’m going to guess that very few people (maybe Ken Jenkins?) would be able to give any kind of reasonable answer and for good reason – 500 years is a long time and information like that is not naturally “passed on” from generation to generation.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what Mormon apologists are saying when they try to connect the chiasmus in the Book of Mormon with those found in the Bible. Invariably, Alma 36 is included as a shining example of chiasmus at work in the Book of Mormon, so let’s use that one for our example.

Alma 36 was supposedly written in 73 bc, or more than 500 years from the time Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. I am supposed to believe that these people that were 500 years separated from this culture still understood what in the hell a chiasmus was? I DON’T THINK SO! These passages were UNMARKED, so even if these structures supposedly existed on the brass plates, they still had to be AWARE of their existence. And we all are living proof of how impossible it is to maintain an awareness of literary styles such as this over a long period of time. Especially when one considers that “many of these symmetries were altogether subconscious.”

In this light, the effort to explain the “why” behind the existence of these structures becomes almost irrelevant. If apologists expect me to believe that it is ANY MORE LIKELY that people 500+ years removed from Jerusalem would use this style in their writing than someone who lived in the 1800s, well, I ain’t buying. These people would have been in the exact same situation as the people at the time of Joseph Smith – no one would have known what a chiasmus was and they would have been no more or less likely to include it in their writings than anyone living in Joseph Smith’s time…

Or, to use Jeff Lindsay's words: "In my opinion, there is simply no way a poorly schooled Nephite in that era could have crafted sophisticated examples of an ancient writing form that was probably completely unknown to him."
The Sealed Portion Of The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday, Mar 9, 2005, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Thesophist, Falstaff, Stray Mutt
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I remember hearing a little about this in seminary. The great "Deus Ex Machina" of Mormonism. People use this to speculate right out of all sorts of questions.

I remember when I first asked someone about the lack of Jewish ritual in the BoM (namely Passover), and the person's response was beautiful--"that's an interesting question, it's probably dealt with in the sealed portion *insert 5 more minutes of bullshitting here* ." I mean seriously folks, it like a scriptural wild-card, that can answer any unanswerable question. It's the fill-in-the-blank portion of LDS cannon.

So, when was the sealed portion supposed to be released on Amazon.com anyway? Before the second coming, after the second coming? And what is in it again? I don't really remember any of the details, I just know people use it as a convenient way to dodge questions.

- - Joseph Smith hadn't quite figured out yet. He probably planned on living a longer life, and at some point, if he could have kept things under control, he would have fired up the old seer stone and gone to work on it.

But, yeah, I agree. Anything we're not sure about is probably in the "sealed portion", which, as I recall, was said to be the greater part of the plates.

- -

A guy by the name of Chris Nemelka claims that he has received the sealed portion of the BOM and will, within the next few months, issue a world-wide press release of it. He also claims to have received the lost pages (was it 116 of them?). He claims he has the urim and thumum (sp?). You can go to http://www.thesealedportion.com/ to read further. His story reads just like the Joseph Smith story. I would say he is just as nutty. What will come of it (the press release)? Probably not much. People will probably blow him off as the quack that he is.

- -

The BoM developed out of the Smith family's pre-existing involvement with alchemy, kabala and other traditions of "hidden knowledge." That's one reason the BoM story involved a buried book (a recurring theme in mysticism) rather than straight revelation (like the Qur'an). Part of the big attraction to hidden knowledge is the fact it's hidden and that only the wise and chosen ones have access to it. Of course, the point of publishing the BoM was to spread previously hidden knowledge, which sort of kills the exclusivity of it. But keeping back a "sealed portion" restored that lost aura of mystery, power and hidden secrets. As any good performer knows, you don't give the audience everything, you save something for the encore. So it was with JS. claiming there was a sealed portion hinted there were even greter mysteries yet to be revealed. Stay tuned folks, there's more.
Inconsistency In Alma 30
Tuesday, Mar 29, 2005, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
It emphasizes that it is contrary to the laws of God for the government to interfere with anyone's belief or freedom of speech in proclaiming that belief. Then it has Korihor brought to Alma in chains for preaching his ideas. If we are to believe the Alma 30 we have to accept that Alma is breaking the laws of God by having Korihor arrested in the first place.

The whole discussion between Alma and Korihor (read Thomas Paine) is exactly the type of argument that was going around at the revivals in Joseph Smith's day. I'm sure Joseph heard just this type of argument during the big revival of 1824-25 (No, Virginia, there wasn't one in 1820).

Before Isaac Newton it was the angels that pushed the planets in their orbits. After Newton it was the mechanism that God had set up in the beginning and now runs like clockwork. In either case the "argument from design" that Alma gives to Korihor (along with "we have the scriptures and you can't prove a negative) were running around Joseph Smith's time and place in abundance.

So it's interesting, Alma uses just the arguments that were popular in Joseph Smith's day in a form that couldn't have been used before (the earth goes around the sun--post Galileo) but don't work nowdays except among the philosophically naieve.

Of course you could point out, as B. H. Roberts did that the whole Alma-Korihor episode is too pat, too neat and tidy to appear as real history as opposed to unsophisticated fiction. I mean, Alma bests Korihor in the argument then Korihor admits that an angel appeared to him and told him to say what he did(!!). Finally Korihor is struck dumb and dies under the feet of the masses. This is rather obviously a simple morality play and not real history.
The Original Manuscript Of The Book Of Mormon
Tuesday, Apr 5, 2005, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Luman Walters
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The ORIGINAL manuscript of the BOM was placed in the cornerstone of the Temple at Nauvoo and only reclaimed years later by the RLDS. Only a quarter of the manuscript remained in readable form due to the effect of moisture..

Another version - the Printers Manuscript - which was copied from the original to present to the printer is largely intact.

But BOTH are, in your words: " ... herky jerky scribbled and scratched version(s) that should be the makings of a complex novel such as the book of mormon complete with many name and location and concept errors, strikethroughs, and whatnot ... ".

Again Nelson could not have been referring to ANY extant manuscript. THERE WERE NO OTHERS. The ones that we have - or the portions thereof are all there is. Nelson was putting a gloss on the essential deficiencies of the manuscripts.

You can read them yourself. Transcripts of he manuscripts have been reprinted (with photographs of some of the pages) by Shousen. These three oversized books are pricey but well worth it for the serious student. Skousen shows the true nature of the manuscripts even though he is a TBM.

Basically there were three BOMs before it settled down into something resembling our Modern BOM.

1) The Original Manuscripts as 'dictated' by Smith. No punctuation. Bad spelling. Much correction.

2) The Printers Manuscript - copied from the Original Manuscript and presented to the Printer. Not substantially improved over the original.

3) The BOM - 1830 Edition (Joseph Smith - "Author")- this retained much of the ungrammatical sentence structure and anachronistic wording but had the extreme lack of punctuation and correct spelling (there were no periods for example) corrected by the Printer. This edition includes the rant against Mrs. Harris for making off with the 16 pages.

4) The next edition (JHoseph Smith - "Translator") which had the wording/sentence structure cleaned up and had various theological and logical errors (Mary the Mother of GOD - for example) corrected. It also has the paragraph and chapter structure improved. The rant is gone.

5) Subsequently it is revised more subtly over the years as the winds of doctrine and editorial perogative blow hither and you. For example "white and delightsome" beomes "Pure and delightsome" back and forth.

The original manuscript has all the earmarks of a document dictated from another manuscript. Why Smith would have had to do so is a mystery. One possibility is that he was putting the manuscript/notes/outline in his own words filtered through his storytelling ability in re the "previous inhabitants of the continent" (as testified by his Mother).

He WAS enough of an egomaniac to not be satisfied with what he was provided from Rigdon or whomever.

Now the channeling hypotheses can not be dismissed out of hand. He was trained by my namesake and others in the hermitic arts. His use of the seer stone is consistent with a long tradition stretching back to Europe.

See "The Course on Miracles" or the "Book of Urantia" if you doubt the possibility of complex writings from this source. Think Elizabeth Claire Prophet. Think Ramtha. Think, at a lower level, of a Ouija Board session.

This is not to give credence to any particular theory of cahnelling but just to state that those who "believe" (or who say that they do)are capable of complex amd lengthy documents.

A vivid imagination, a gift of gab, a near eidedic memory, stories told many times around the fireplace in the family cabin now recycled in light of notes provided by one far more literate and well versed in theology (ie - Rigdon), an association with those who dabbled in folk magic (Walters and the alumni of the Wood Scrape), a desire to escape grinding poverty and a life as a hired hand, may explain much.

But the manuscript, in my initial analysis of it, testifies to a near illiterate DICTATING to others of approximately the same level of education. Cowdery may well have been a school teacher but his pages in the original manuscript do not testify either to a great command of the English language or the ability to spell its words.

The Original Manuscript HAS NO PUNCTUATION OR CONSISTENT SPELLING. It is one long run on sentence. Occasionaly there is a break of some kind ('And it came to pass, 'and') which indicate a pause in Smiths dictation.

The Printers Manuscript - which is a copy of the Original Manuscript - shows no essential improvement in literacy.

Think about that! Smith and Cowdery thought that the Printers manuscript was suitable for printing! They let the printer punctuate and clean it up because they had no idea that such was even necessary for publication. They deferred to the printers expertise - which means they lacked their own. This for "... the most correct book ...".

As to the testimony of the witnesses ... if Cowdery was involved, as I believe he was, in what I call "The Enterprise" then his testimony many be discounted in its entirety. Then there remains the task of putting on a show for those not in the know - which would, I take it, include Harris and Emma. Not hard for a "hermetic" con-man and his companions in crime. If they could fool farmers that there was gold on their property from either Captain Kidd or the Spanish and have them pay to have it dug up with the assistance of a seer stone - then convincing a few stray witnesses that you are dictating an ancient manuscript via that same seer stone is easy work.
One Of The Many Doctrinal Inconsistencies: Why Is Moroni A Mere Angel?
Friday, Apr 22, 2005, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Poor, poor Moroni. He thought he did everything he was supposed to do, but he must have skipped church once or twice while he was on the run from blood-thirsty Lamanites.

Was anybody else here bothered by the fact that Moroni was an angel despite the fact that he was so righteuos (during the days when you still believed?) I was, after I read the following passages found in the Doctrine and Covenants. I asked "Why is Moroni an angel? He wasn't such a bad guy" but the Sunday School teacher either ignored me or didn't know what to say.

"Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever." (DandC 132:16-17)

Throughout the long, redundant chapter Joseph Smith--errgh, I mean, the Lord, makes it clear that angels are of a lower status than exalted individuals because they failed to "abide by my law" (i.e. polygamy, eternal marriage, etc.)
The Jaredite Barge Challenge!
Monday, Jun 13, 2005, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Myth Busters and the Jaredite barges.

Things that sound good on paper often seem much more difficult when put into practice. I hereby issue a challenge to all BYU students, FARMS personnel, FAIR frequenters, members, and exmos.

Here is the challenge. I will even make this easier than Mahonri’s problem. You must take a sealed container large enough to hold three men, three women, two cows, and two sheep. These six people and four animals will be required to live in this vessel for 2 months. They will need to take all of their supplies with them including food and water for all aboard. You can only use materials and tools that were available in 2200 BC. The one exception is light. You are allowed to use any light source you choose, but the light source can only be used for light and nothing else.

Your vessel must be mounted in a rig that allows it to pitch 10 degrees and roll 360 degrees. While your team spends the two months in this vessel, I will stop by at random intervals to pitch and roll the vessel. Occasionally, the vessel will even roll 180 degrees and stay in that new position for days or weeks.

You must also accept legal responsibility for anything that goes wrong, including but not limited to:
  1. Asphyxiation
  2. Malnutrition
  3. Broken bones from falling or being crushed by a falling cow, sheep, or supplies
Your design must be approved by a 75% majority vote of approval from a committee composed of two FARMS employees of your choosing and two exmos of my choosing. Realism to the 2200 BC period and the record in Ether are paramount.
Smithsonian Institution Statement Regarding The Book Of Mormon
Saturday, Jun 25, 2005, at 09:41 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Smithsonian Letter about Book of Mormon

Information from the
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. 20560

Your recent inquiry concerning the Smithsonian Institution's alleged use of the Book of Mormon as a scientific guide has been received in the Smithsonians Department of Anthropology.

The Book of Mormon is a religious document and not a scientific guide. The Smithsonian Institution has never used it in archaeological research and any information that you have received to the contrary is incorrect. Accurate information about the Smithsonians position is contained in the enclosed Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon, which was prepared to respond to the numerous inquiries that the Smithsonian receives on this topic.

Because the Smithsonian regards the unauthorized use of its name to disseminate inaccurate information as unlawful, we would appreciate your assistance in providing us with the names of any individuals who are misusing the Smithsonians name. Please address any correspondence to:

Public Information Officer
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution, MRC 112
Washington, DC 20560

Prepared by
THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.

2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archaeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World--probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age--in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen, who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around 1000 A.D. and then settled in Greenland. There is no evidence to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.

4. None of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre- Columbian times. This is one of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific premise that contacts with Old World civilizations, if they occurred, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations. American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, or camels before 1492. (Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, bat all these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time the early big game hunters traveled across the Americas.)

5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492 (except for occasional use of unsmelted meteroic iron). Native copper was worked in various locations in pre- Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.

6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by no means certain that even such contacts occurred with the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near East.

7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World archeology, and no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or confirmed any relationship between archeological remains in Mexico and archeological remains in Egypt.

8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have frequently appeared in newspapers, magazines and sensational books. None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable scholars. No inscriptions using Old World forms of writing have been shown to have occurred in any part of the Americas before 1492 except for a few Norse rune stones which have been found in Greenland.

9. There are copies of the Book of Mormon in the library of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Anyone Remember The Magic Submarines In The Book Of Mormon?
Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Darkslider
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I was recently chatting with a young, Catholic girl and she made mention of the fact that her "Mormon buddies" told her it was a lie that the first people in America came by submarine.

This was my reply to her and at the end I included several items that bother me to no end about the story.

I hate to be the one that busts your bubble, but the Mormons do believe that the first people in America came via submarine.

It is the story of the Brother of Jared, found in Ether in the Book of Mormon. As the story goes, Jared and his family were present at the Tower of Babel and Jared asked his brother to beg the Lord not to confound his family's language (and that of his friends) so that they could all stay together. (see Ether chapter 1 verses 33-37.)

Jared then asked his brother to ask God if they needed to leave. The Brother of Jared received revelation that they were to leave the area and take animals of all kinds "both male and female, of all kinds" and journey to a new land that God had prepared and set apart for them. (see Ether Chapter 1 verses 38-43.)

They gathered up all kinds of animals, birds, insects (Honey Bees are specifically mentioned, which is odd since the first bees in America were brought by Dutch immigrants in the late 1700s to the early 1800s.)

The story continues that they built barges and crossed some minor sea located in the wilderness (presumably the Red Sea) before they arrived at "The great waters that divided the lands." (see Ether Chapter 2 verses 1-7 and Ether chapter 2 verse 13.)

When they got to the coast, God revealed the ship design that the Jaredites were to use. It was in the shape of a football, had no windows, and it had a hole in both the top and the bottom that could be plugged with a wooden cork. According to the Lord (in the Book of Mormon) this was done because storms might arise and turn the ships upside down. And suffocating because your air-hole is underwater would kind of suck. (see Ether Chapter 2 verses 16-21.)

The lack of windows bothered the Brother of Jared (also known as Mahonri Moriancumer, according to Joseph Smith) so he went to pray to God about how to light the submersibles. God, being the fiendishly clever sort, asks the Brother of Jared what he wants God to do, because as God says, "You can't have any windows or fire, dammit!" God clarifies this by telling the Brother of Jared that they are going to spend a lot of time underwater. "You shall be as a whale, going to the depths of the sea." (see Ether Chapter 2 verses 22-25.)

According to the legend found in the Book of Mormon, he laid out sixteen rocks (2 for each football. . . err, submersible) and prayed to Jesus and asked him to merely touch the rocks that they might glow with divine light and thereby provide the necessary illumination for the journey. And, because of his faith, Christ appears to him and does so. ( see Ether Chapter 3 verses 1-6.)

So, the Jaredites now have a way to get air, a light source and their boats. They proceed to gather food for the journey and make all kinds of preparations. (see Ether Chapter 6 verse 4.)

Anyways, the boats had no means of propulsion. In the Book of Mormon, it says (paraphrased slighty) that, "they were driven before the winds for 344 days". According to the Book of Mormon, they spent a significant amount of time underwater, and they were attacked by whales and other "monsters of the sea" but no harm could befall them. (see Ether Chapter 6 verses 5-11.)

That, is the scriptural belief that the first inhabitants of North America came by way of submarine.

As you can see, it is only a slight exaggeration.

Now, here are some logistics problems that Joseph Smith didn't think of as he was writing the Book of Mormon.

A. A boat that is going to turn upside-down underwater, is going to piss a lot of people off. The injuries alone (both human and animal) from the radical change in orientation would have wiped out many of their numbers.

B. A small, lightweight boat. Emphasis on small. How much food do you think you would need for a journey of 344 days? Because the Jaredites had to bring enough food for them and their animals. Now, we are going to assume that they brought Goats with them (because a later "prophet" named Nephi said that there were goats in America when he arrived 600 years before Christ) and, having spent 14 years of my life raising goats, I can tell you, they eat a lot of food. For just three goats, you need 1 ton (or 2,000 lbs) of hay for a year. Don't forget that goats can't survive on hay alone, you need to bring them grains. 1,000 lbs total of several grains (for three goats) should last them about 4 months.

C. And what about water? How much water do you drink in a day? How much in a year? And, since they were surrounded by salt water (and often times under said salt water), they couldn't drink the sea water.

According to most medical sources, drinking 8 ounces of water 6-8 times per day is necessary to keep you healthy. 8 ounces of water weighs .5 lbs. So, on average, each person needs 4 pounds of water each day. 4 lbs x 344 days = 1373 pounds of water per person. And we know that there were a lot of people because they needed 8 boats. Not to mention water for the animals (and believe me, three goats can go through 60 gallons of water, which weighs 480 pounds, like it was nothing) and water for bathing.

D. The boats are sealed, except for a hole in the top and a hole in the bottom. Do you know how much shit your average goat produces in a month? A lot. Believe me, I have spent more time mucking out manure than I have spent asleep.

All in all, there are too many "logic" problems for me to buy the whole story. And the submarines just kind of take the cake, eh?
Here Are Some Recent "Do-Or-Die" Book Of Mormon Proclamations From The Church
Monday, Jan 30, 2006, at 07:19 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Can you not believe in the literal historical truthfullness of the Book of Mormon and still be a faithful Mormon?

Could the Mormon Church still be true if the Book of Mormon is not what it claims to be?

Here's what the church has recently declared:

"Let me quote a very powerful comment from President Ezra Taft Benson, who said, “The Book of Mormon is the keystone of [our] testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church..."

"To hear someone so remarkable say something so tremendously bold, so overwhelming in its implications, that everything in the Church – everything – rises or falls on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and, by implication, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of how it came forth, can be a little breathtaking. It sounds like a “sudden death” proposition to me. Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said it is or this Church and its founder are false, fraudulent, a deception from the first instance onward."

"Either Joseph Smith was the prophet he said he was, who:
[1] after seeing the Father and the Son,
[2] later beheld the angel Moroni,
[3] repeatedly heard counsel from his lips,
[4] eventually receiving at his hands a set of ancient gold plates which
[5] he then translated according to the gift and power of God

- or else he did not.
And if he did not, in the spirit of President Benson’s comment, he is not entitled to retain even the reputation of New England folk hero or well-meaning young man or writer of remarkable fiction. No, and he is not entitled to be considered a great teacher or a quintessential American prophet or the creator of great wisdom literature. If he lied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he is certainly none of those."

"I am suggesting that we make exactly that same kind of do-or-die, bold assertion about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the divine origins of the Book of Mormon. We have to. Reason and rightness require it. Accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and the book as the miraculously revealed and revered word of the Lord it is or else consign both man and book to Hades for the devastating deception of it all, but let’s not have any bizarre middle ground about the wonderful contours of a young boy’s imagination or his remarkable facility for turning a literary phrase. That is an unacceptable position to take–morally, literarily, historically, or theologically."
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, “True or False,” New Era, June 1995, Page 64 (Excerpted from a CES Symposium address given at Brigham Young University on August 9, 1994.)

Interesting how Apostle Holland doesn't list actual doctrinal teachings from the Book of Mormon that make it vital to Mormon theology. He's basically saying what many have said here, that I agree with - it's a matter of credibility. If the book is not what Smith and the church say it is, then Smith is a liar and the church is a hoax.

So it's not about what the book actually teaches, it's the credibility of the book that counts. If missionaries can get people to accept the book as what the church says it is, then they will accept the rest. They don't even have to read it, just accept it as what the church says it is to lock into Mormon Logic.

Couldn't the same thing be said for the DandC and the Book of Abraham? If those are not what they claim to be, doesn't Smith fall just as hard as a fraud?

Also, getting sucked into Holland's logic can be dangerous for the church too, because it really is "do-or-die" like he says. If dedicated, sincere members learn the Book of Mormon is a fraud, then they almost have to leave the church even if they still feel strong social ties. There's hardly any middle ground where you can accept the BoM as unecessary bullshit but still be a happy, active Mormon.

"Some who term themselves believing Latter-day Saints are advocating that Latter-day Saints should abandon claims that the Book of Mormon is a historical record of the ancient peoples of the Americas. They are promoting the feasibility of reading and using the Book of Mormon as nothing more than a pious fiction with some valuable contents. These practitioners of so-called "higher criticism" raise the question of whether the Book of Mormon, which our prophets have put forward as the preeminent scripture of this dispensation, is fact or fable--history or just a story."

"Some Latter-day Saint critics who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon seek to make their proposed approach persuasive to Latter-day Saints by praising or affirming the value of some of the contents of the book. Those who take this approach assume the significant burden of explaining how they can praise the contents of a book they have dismissed as a fable. I have never been able to understand the similar approach in reference to the divinity of the Savior. As we know, some scholars and some ministers proclaim him to be a great teacher and then have to explain how the one who gave such sublime teachings could proclaim himself (falsely they say) to be the Son of God who would be resurrected from the dead."

"The new style critics have the same problem with the Book of Mormon. For example, we might affirm the value of the teachings recorded in the name of a man named Moroni, but if these teachings have value, how do we explain these statements also attributed to this man?"

And if there be faults [in this record] they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire. (Mormon 8:17.)

And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? (Moro. 10:27.)

"There is something strange about accepting the moral or religious content of a book while rejecting the truthfulness of its authors' declarations, predictions, and statements. This approach not only rejects the concepts of faith and revelation that the Book of Mormon explains and advocates. This approach is not even good scholarship."

"The Book of Mormon's major significance is its witness of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God the Eternal Father who redeems and saves us from death and sin. If an account stands as a preeminent witness of Jesus Christ, how can it possibly make no difference whether the account is fact or fable--whether the persons really lived who prophesied of Christ and gave eye witnesses of his appearances to them?"

"As Jack Welch and I discussed the topic of my address this evening, he pointed out that this new wave of antihistoricism 'may be a new kid on the block in Salt Lake City, but he has been around in a lot of other Christian neighborhoods for several decades.'"

"Indeed! The argument that it makes no difference whether the Book of Mormon is fact or fable is surely a sibling to the argument that it makes no difference whether Jesus Christ ever lived. As we know, there are many so-called Christian teachers who espouse the teachings and deny the teacher. Beyond that, there are those who even deny the existence or the knowability of God. Their counterparts in Mormondom embrace some of the teachings of the Book of Mormon but deny its historicity."

"Brothers and Sister, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation--for what you are doing. God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The work that you do is important, it is well-known, and it is appreciated."

"I testify of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, whose Church this is. I invoke his blessings upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, The Historicity of the Book of Mormon, FARMS annual dinner on October 29th, 1993

Despite these clear declarations by living apostles, some "faithful" church apologists have publicly thumbed their noses at the church, denying the historicity of the Book of Mormon:

http://www.i4m.com/think/van_hale.htm

What's a TBM to do when some of the greatest church defenders declare the Book of Mormon to be only fiction?
Here Are Some Other Christ-Centered Principles Contained In The Book Of Mormon, That Apply Directly To The LA Times Article
Monday, Feb 20, 2006, at 07:13 AM
Original Author(s): Faraday
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Here are some other Christ-centered principles contained in the Book of Mormon, that apply directly to the LA Times Article:

Jacob 7: when Sherem accused the church, he gained an audience with the prophet himself. The prophet defeated Sherem in argument, Sherem fell to the ground as if dead for three days, and then publically recanted his false teachings. I challenge the prophet to live the Christ-centered principle contained in the Book of Mormon, and have an interview with the journalist in question.

If the Book of Mormon is any guide, a critic faced with the prophet will publically recant. This applies to Sherem, Nehor, Korihor - in every case, if you face him publically, the critic will recant. Come on, Mormons, why are you hiding behind a web site that won't link to the critics' words, and apologists who do not officially represent the church? Bring out the prophet! Do what the scriptures teach and face your critics! Don't you trust the Book of Mormon?

Alma 1: when Nehor publically preached against the church,
"they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death."
I challenge the church to live the Christ-centered principle contained in the Book of Mormon that apply to critics. The church should deal with modern-day Nehors in the way the Book of Mormon teaches. Let us see these "Christ centered teachings" in action. I should add that Joseph Smith (Danites) and Brigham Young (blood atonement) understood this Christ-centered principle perfectly.

Alma 30: when Korihor tried to preach against the church, there ws no law against his preaching (verse 12). Nevertheless, the people were described as "more wise" and,
"they took him, and bound him, and carried him before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people." (verse 20)
I challenge the church to live this Christ-centered principle contained in the Book of Mormon. Take this so-called LA Times journalist, bind him, and carry him to the prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is any guide, he will repent of his lies. Mormons, follow the Christ centered principles contained in the Book of Mormon!

The Book of Mormon contains many examples of what should be done with people who promote "mistakes" as the LDS web site calls them. No wonder that church growth is slowing. The Mormon church is afraid to live by "the Christ-centered principles contained in the Book of Mormon."
The Book Of Mormon Vs Mormonism
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006, at 01:46 AM
Original Author(s): Richard Packham
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Most people - Mormons and non-Mormons alike - assume that the Mormon religion is based on its holy book, the Book of Mormon and that by reading that book one can learn what Mormonism is all about. Mormon missionaries usually try to get prospective converts ("investigators") to read it as soon as possible, implying that by doing so the investigator will get an accurate idea of Mormonism.

andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; Although the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 was the impetus for the founding of the Mormon church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Mormonism is not rooted doctrinally in the Book of Mormon. It is used primarily for faith-inspiring stories, not for doctrine, even though God (through Joseph Smith) declared that it contains "the fulness of the Gospel." (DandC 20:9) Its doctrinal content is quite representative of wide-spread Christian beliefs in Joseph Smith's day. Many of its doctrines are now ignored or have been abandoned by the church, and many other doctrines have been adopted, as the following summary shows:

Abbreviations Used
DandC - Doctrine and Covenants
DoS - Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith (3 volumes)
JoD - Journal of Discourses (26 volumes)
MD - Mormon Doctrine, 2d edition, by Bruce R. McConkie
TJS - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Citations under "Book of Mormon" are to its various books
Mormon DoctrineBook of Mormon
Heaven consists of three levels or "glories"; evil people go to the lowest, "hell" (DandC 76:81-90), the glory of which "surpasses all understanding. Only Mormon apostates do not go to heaven, but to "outer darkness" (DandC 76:31-39) Only two possible fates after death: heaven or hell. Levels or degrees of heaven not mentioned.
Jesus and God the Father are separate beings. (DandC 130:22) Jesus and God the Father are the same. (Mosiah 3:8, 15:1-5, Ether 4:7, 12)
God has a body of flesh and bones. (DandC 130:22) God is a spirit. (Alma 18:26-28)
God was once a man like us, and progressed to godhood. (TJS 342-345) God does not change and has never changed. (Mormon 9:9, Moroni 8:18)
There are many gods. (TJS 370-373) There is only one God. (Alma 11:28-30)
We can become gods ourselves. (DandC 76:58, TJS 342-345) No mention of this idea.
We lived with God in a spirit world (a "premortal existence") before being born into this life. (DandC 49:17, 93:23-29, 138:55-56) No mention of this idea.
God is the literal father of our spirits, conceived by him and our "Mother in Heaven" (MD 516) No mention of this idea.
Mary conceived Jesus by natural means, namely, God the Father impregnated her. (MD 546-47, JoD 1:50-51, 8:115, 11:268) Mary conceived Jesus "by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Alma 7:10), by being "carried away in the spirit" (1 Nephi 11:15-19)
Those who do not accept the gospel in this life will have the opportunity to do so after death, and can receive baptism by proxy (DandC 127, 128) Salvation must be attained in this life; after one dies it is too late (Alma 34:34, 2 Nephi 9:38, Mosiah 2:36-39). No mention of baptism for the dead.
David and Solomon did nothing wrong by having many wives. (DandC 132:38-39) The polygamy of David and Solomon was "abominable" to the Lord (Jacob 2:24)
Priesthood divided into an upper (" after the order of Melchizedek") and lower ("Aaronic") priesthood No distinction between "priests" and "high priests"; priesthood is "after the order of [the Son of] God" (Alma 4:20, 13:1-12). No mention of "Aaronic" priesthood.
Salvation in the highest heaven ("exaltation") requires undergoing the "endowment" initiation ceremony in a temple, the details of which are kept strictly secret. The participants are required to take numerous oaths, which are also secret. Details "Secret combinations" requiring secret oaths are condemned. (Mormon 8:27, 40, 2 Nephi 26:22, Helaman 6:22, and many others.) No mention of any such ritual as part of the gospel. No mention of "exaltation" or "endowment."
Exaltation requires marriage in a Mormon temple. (DandC 131:1-4) No mention of this doctrine.
"Celestial marriage" lasts for time and all eternity. (DoS 2:58 ff) No mention of this doctrine.
The "first resurrection" is only for the righteous. (DandC 76:64. 63:18) The "first resurrection" is for all who died before Christ's resurrection, righteous and unrighteous alike (Mosiah 15:24, Alma 40:16-17)
The "idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart" is false. (DandC 130:31; verse 22 says that it is the Holy Ghost that "dwell[s] in us") "The Lord" dwells in the hearts of the righteous. (Alma 34:36)
The Lord's Supper consists of bread and water. The Lord's Supper should consist of bread and wine. (3 Nephi 18:1-9, Moroni 5)
Church is governed by the three men of the "First Presidency," higher in authority than the Quorum of Twelve. Jesus placed twelve disciples over the church he founded in America. (3 Nephi 12, passim) No "first presidency" mentioned.
Except for Joseph Smith, all prophets are promoted to that office by those above them in rank, and by seniority. They work their way up to the top. Prophets are called directly by God.
The church is trying to befriend people of other religions with the message "All churches have some truth"; "The church has always extended a hand of friendship and fellowship to those of other faiths, and will continue to do so." There are two churches only: the true church and the "church of the devil," "the whore of Babylon" (1 Nephi 14:10-12). A church which seeks to become "popular in the eyes of the world" is of the devil. (1 Nephi 22:23)
Since 1978 the church claims that it is not racist, that all races are equal and that the color of a person's skin has no religious significance. A dark skin is a curse from God, a punishment for one's unrighteousness (or the unrighteousness of one's ancestors). A dark skin can become light through righteousness. (1 Nephi 12:23, 2 Nephi 5:21, Alma 3:6, Mormon 5:15, Jacob 3:8-9, 3 Nephi 2:15)

Conclusion

andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; Many Mormons have never read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, and are perhaps unaware at how the doctrines of their church differ so drastically from the teachings of their own basic scripture, which - according to their eighth "Article of Faith" - they believe to be the word of God.

andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; andnbsp; When confronted with these fundamental differences (and even contradictions) their first line of defense is to claim that the Mormon church is a church of "continuing revelation" (ninth Article of Faith), that being the purpose of a living prophet. This overlooks the fact that the Book of Mormon was said by God to contain the "fulness" of the Gospel. Some Mormon apologists claim that "fulness" does not mean "complete," but rather "fundamentals," or "basics," and that the Book of Mormon does contain the "first principles" of faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. This argument fails when seeing the meaning of "fulness" as used in other Mormon scriptures, where it does, indeed, mean "complete," "nothing lacking," "nothing left out."

andcopy;andnbsp; 2005 Richard Packham andnbsp;andnbsp; Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included

The Book Of Mormon Is A Hoax, And By Extension, The Mormon Church Is A Fraud
Thursday, Mar 16, 2006, at 07:17 AM
Original Author(s): John Andersen
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Anyone who has been a member for more than 25 years, and is courageously honest must necessarily conclude the Book of Mormon is a hoax, and by extension, the Mormon Church is a fraud.

Numerous verbatim King James Version passages in the Book of Mormon; a book purportedly written by 421 AD whereas the King James Version is a 17th century document. Also, the biblical quotes in the Book of Mormon do not incorporate the changes made in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Add to this recent DNA evidence that destroys the claims of historicity of the entire Book of Mormon. Finally, where, besides church paid apologists or Mormon hobbyists, are the archaeologists who study Book of Mormon history? That’s right, they don’t exist. To objective scientists outside of Mormonism, the Book of Mormon has as much historic validity as The Hobbit, and is certainly a far less interesting read.

Also, where are the bones, swords and armor from the epic battles that took place at the Hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon? The Jaredite nation supposedly ended there with 2 million men slain, and then the Nephites and Lamanites had a battle there in 421 AD where 230,000 warriors who had steel weapons were killed. Where are the anthropologists of the world who are excavating what would promise to be one of the greatest ancient battle sites? Why has not a trace of evidence ever been found at Cumorah to establish these claims?

I contrast this lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon with the 1973 discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors near Xian, China. This amazing "army" of some 8,000 thousand terra cotta figures was buried some 600 years (210 BC) before the purported final battle in the Book of Mormon. Surely, if there was battle at Cumorah in 421 AD that involved 230,000 men, there would be something to be found, wouldn't there? In terms of archaeology, 421 AD is simply not that long ago.

When I was growing up in Southern California, I had direct contact with the Mormon Church's Lamanite Placement Program. The Lamanites in this program were Native American youth from Arizona, and New Mexico who, during the school year, moved off the reservation to live with white suburban Euro-American Mormon families. Since this program was run by the church under the direction of prophets, I understood Lamanites lived in Arizona and New Mexico.

Also, from reading the Doctrine and Covenants (one of the canonized Mormon scriptures), I understood from passages about teaching the Lamanites the Gospel, that Lamanites also lived in Missouri.

And I recall the photos in the introductory pages of the 1950s-1970s editions of the Book of Mormon of ancient ruins in Central America, and the Hill Cumorah in Upstate New York (where the Golden Plates were buried). From those, I inferred that, as the Book of Mormon claimed, the Native Americans' "principal ancestors" were the people of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, the people of the Book of Mormon must have been all over the North and Central American Continent like Joseph Smith wrote about the Jaredites (only one of the peoples described in the Book of Mormon):

"Jared and his brother came on to this continent from the confusion and the scattering at the Tower [Tower of Babel], and lived here more than a thousand years, and covered the whole continent from SEA TO SEA, WITH TOWNS AND CITIES..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 267.)

I grew up understanding that temple dedicatory prayers were prophetic. Indeed, the prayer at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple was canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants. It's interesting that almost without exception in the past 75 years or so, every Mormon temple that has been dedicated in Central and South America, and the Islands of the Pacific, has, in its dedicatory prayer, been mentioned as a place that will bring the blessings of the Gospel to the Lamanites who presumably make of the principal population of that country.

Finally, as a missionary in Germany from 1981-83, I regularly showed the official Mormon Church produced filmstrip Ancient America Speaks. It presented what the rest of the world identifies as Inca and Mayan ruins, as ruins of the Book of Mormon peoples. The photos of the ruins in the filmstrip covered a wide geographical area.

So from all of those evidences I personally knew about or experienced, I believed the Book of Mormon people were spread all over the Western Hemisphere.

Imagine my surprise when DNA studies in recent decades conclusively revealed virtually no Hebrew DNA among Native Americans. On the contrary, the DNA findings revealed that the ancestors of the Native Americans came from Asia. How could that be if the Book of Mormon was about Jewish ancestors, and was about a civilization that "covered the whole continent" and indeed, according to prophetic utterances, the entire Western Hemisphere?

We always clearly understood the Book of Mormon to be the "keystone of our religion." As missionaries, we emphatically taught the principle that if the Book of Mormon is true, then the Mormon Church is true. Now that the Book of Mormon has been completely discredited, any member with a shred of intellectual honesty, who cares to remember their own past and life experiences, must conclude the entire religion is a hoax.

There is no other option.

http://www.unconventionalideas.com/reasons.html
Remember "Ancient America Speaks"?
Thursday, Mar 16, 2006, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Bamboozled
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
All of the current backpedaling and revisionism going on in the church right now in regards to Lamanite DNA and archeology has made me, well, quite speechless.

Remember when the church and its members and its apologists would proudly exclaim that native Americans, were, indeed, the literal descendants of the Book of Mormon people? Remember in 1976 how many members of the church had bumper stickers on their cars that said "Discover America in 76: Read the Book of Mormon" ? Remember the church film/film strip titled 'Ancient America Speaks'?

For the younglings among us and those who will undoubtedly claim that such a film never existed, let me briefly try to bring this movie back into the light. The film was hosted by an LDS archaeologist (possibly BYU faculty?) that visited many of the then known Inca/Aztec/Mayan ruins, complete with ancient South American sounding soundtrack. I distinctly remember a scene where the film host standing in what he strongly suggested was an old baptismal font.

I admit that its been a long time since i've seen this and its probably hard to find now. But the indisputable fact is that the church WAS claiming that the ruins of South and Central America WERE tied to the Book of Mormon and that native Americans WERE tied to the Book of Mormon. As a missionary we would show this film strip to our investigators as part of the "proof" that the church was true.

My how times change. This is why I am so angry at so called church apologist-defenders-of-the-faith who blatantly lie and spin and revise and misrepresent and lose any semblance of honor. The church once stood for something; its claims of the historocity of the Book of Mormon. Now it doesn't. In the overwhelming evidence against the historicity of the Book of Mormon the church has turned into a weasel and now claims to have never claimed what it once claimed.

Anyone else remember 'Ancient America Speaks'? I'd be interested in your memories of this film as well.

Thank you.
If The Book Of Mormon Isn't A Historical Text, What Is The Meaning Of The So Called Church?
Friday, Mar 31, 2006, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Breeze
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
So, I'm reading more and more about members--highly-placed members, no less--who don't believe in the historicity of the Book of Mormon. This brings up two Big Red Flag questions for me:

Big Red Flag Question #1:
If the Book of Mormon (Subtitle: Another Testment of Jesus Christ) isn't historical, is it then also not a testament of Jesus Christ?

To say it's fiction says that Christ's visit to the Americas and the American people following his crucifiction didn't ever happen. Nephi 3 is outta there, is that what they're saying? The Sermon on the Mount was never taught to our Native peoples? All of that reiteration of Isaiah never occurred? The Lamanites weren't the "Other sheep have I"? It never really happened, but somehow, the BoM remains the Word of God.

How's that again?

To say the Book of Mormon isn't history is to say it's fiction. To say the BoM is fiction is to say that Jesus never visited the Lamanites, because they're fiction, too.

Big Red Flag Question #2:
If the BoM is fiction, does that mean there was never a Moroni. To say there was never a moroni, is to say there were never gold plates (like Joseph and his cronies witnessed about), nor a Sword of Laban (which is in there, too). If there were no gold plates, then what was all this business about them in the first place?

TSCC CANNOT back down on the truth and historicity of the Book of Mormon. It HAS to be true or the whole church is a hoax...oh, wait...my point is made.
My Favorite Passages From The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
These are a few of my favorite parts in the Book of Mormon...

I particularly like the part in the Book of Ether about the airtight barges filled with animals and bees that the people lived in for almost a year while traveling across the ocean:

Ether Chapter 2:

2 And they did also lay snares and catch fowls of the air; and they did also prepare a vessel, in which they did carry with them the fish of the waters.
3 And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seed of every kind.
6 And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.

Ether Chapter 6:

4 And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them–and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
6 And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
10 And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.
11 And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.

In summary, they were in sealed underwater barges with birds, fresh-water fish in tanks, bees, flocks and herds for almost a year!

Then there's the great story of how Shiz died:

Ether 15:29-31

29 Wherefore, he did pursue them, and on the morrow he did overtake them; and they fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold Shiz had fainted with the loss of blood. And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz. And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.

How Shiz was able to raise up and take a breath after being decapitated is one of the great wonders of Mormonism.

Then there's this gem from Jesus Christ himself, where he basically limits his doctrine, thus putting the modern Mormon Church with its required temple ordinances under God's condemnation:

3 Nephi 11:

31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.
32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

And again...

3 Nephi 18:
13 But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them.

Then there's a whole slew of passages that promote religious violence and terrorism:

http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/bom_violence.htm

http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/mormon_terrorism.htm

Pay particular attention to the resurrected Jesus in the Book of Mormon and how he shows a completely different character than portrayed in the New Testament.

Then there's the constant examples of divine racism:

1 Nephi 12:23
23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

1 Nephi 13:15
15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

2 Nephi 5:21
21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

Jacob 3:8
8 O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.

Alma 3:6
6 And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.

3 Nephi 2:15
15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

Mormon 5:15
15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.

Then there's the stinking king:

Alma 19
"Therefore, if this is the case, I would that ye should go in and see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of two days and two nights; and some say that he is not dead, but others say that he is dead and that he stinketh, and that he ought to be placed in the sepulchre; but as for myself, to me he doth not stink."

One of the most memorable parts comes right after. Ammon and the Queen faint away and all the king's servants faint away and some lady named Abish (who had been converted in a dream and secretly became a Christian) goes from house to house to call people in to see all these people fainted. And then someone tries to kill Ammon, but God strikes that someone dead. And then Abish raises 'em all back up and they all testify of Jesus.

Alma 13:1 (Alma speaking in 82 B.C. about what Jesus taught...in the future)

1. AND again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.

Let no one forget that God has declared the Book of Mormon to be the "most perfect" book ever written. True Believing Mormons can't take it for anything other than literall history:

http://www.i4m.com/think/intro/book_of_mormon.htm
Sinking The Ship - Witnesses To "Golden Plates" And Their Claims
Monday, May 1, 2006, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Nothing compares with being informed!

References from:
"Who's Who in the Book of Mormon"
compiled by Robert J. Matthews
1976 Deseret Book ISBN 0-87747-613-6

A Comparison of Various Description of the Gold Plates

NAME Width/ Length/ Thickness/ Weight/Sealed Part
Joseph Smith 6" 8" 6" n/c part
David Whitmer 6" 9" n/c n/c n/c
Martin Harris 7" 8" 4" n/c n/c
Orson Pratt 7" 8" 6" n/c 2/3 (not eye witness)

ref: Orson Pratt, "Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions" Edinburgh: Balantyne and Hughes, 1840 p. 13
Geo.Q Cannon 8" n/c 6" n/c 1/3

Three Witnesses: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, MartiHarris
Official testimony n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c

Eight Witnesses: Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun.
John Whitmer, Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen. Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith
(all related except Hyram Page)
Official testimony n/c n/c n/c "hefted" n/c
*n/c = no comment

"Inasmuch as we are not sufficiently informed as to the number of leaves, their exact size, or their composition, (whether gold or alloy), it is impossible to correctly ascertain the exact weight of the plates.

Estimates have been places from about 125 lbs to less than 50 pounds." J.M. Sjodahl, "An Introduction to the Book of Mormon" SLC Deseret News Press 1927, pg 38


Very odd, don't you think that nobody weighed and measured these illusive golden plates and nobody is "sufficiently informed" to make a calculation? And how does a non eye witness know anything about these claims?This is the most fantastic discovery since the Rosetta Stone and this is the best they can come up with?
I wonder if they are bogus? :-)Hmm. Let me think!


To be absolutely clear:
No one saw, or claimed to have seen any "golden plates" with their physical eyes

One of the things that really hit me was the record of what the so-called "witnesses" actually said.

In fact, this was key to my "getting it" that Joseph Smith Jr was indeed, perpetrating a huge hoax, and fraud and, frankly at first, (from his own writings) seemed to be a little surprised at how many people believed him!

My "testimony" of the truthfulness of the claims of Joseph Smith Jr. "fell in ruins" when I read these statements. And, quite interestingly, it tickled my funny bone and I have been laughing and snickering ever since!

Note the documented sources are all from the LDS Church!

"Golden Plates Shown by a "Supernatural Power".

The best evidence of their experience is their own words recorded in the official Mormon Church history records and letters in their own LDS Archives!

Another significant historical point regarding the eight witnesses comes from a letter dated April 15, 1838. It was written by a former Mormon leader named Stephen Burnett. In that letter, Burnett states,

"I have reflected long and deliberately upon the history of this church and weighed the evidence for and against it loth (sic) to give it up -
but when I came to hear Martin Harris state in public that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither Oliver [Cowdery] nor David [Whitmer] and that the eight witnesses never saw them and hesitated to sign that instrument for that reason, but were persuaded to do it, the last pedestal gave way, in my view our foundation was sapped and the entire superstructure fell in heap of ruins. "
(Stephen Burnett letter to Lyman E. Johnson dated April 15, 1838. Typed transcript from Joseph Smith Papers, Letter book, April 20, 1837 - February 9, 1843, microfilm reel 2, pp. 64-66, LDS archives.)

John Whitmer's statements were the most detailed – both the 1878 statement mentioned earlier and his 1839 statement to Theodore Turley where he said, "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. ... they were shown to me by a supernatural power" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 307). (Note: Hist of the church was written or dictated by JS and others) Those volumes can be found in the Reference Section of most LDS Libraries!

Thanks to BrianB for contributing this section in the earlier post:

Subject: Thanks! If most Mormons had any integrity... Date: Feb 25 11:41 Author:Brian B. Mail Address:Bunnyhurt@hotmail.com

They would see the problem in the Morg holding up Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer and others after the fact that they left the Morg and Joseph Smith denounced the character of all of them, which disproves everything they ever said. For they both can't be honorable and dishonorable at the same time if you believe Smith was a prophet, and vice versa.

This is why integrity of character is banned from Mormonism, by the way (replaced with obedience).http://www.lds-mormon.com/emd2.shtml

[Note that a poem published in an early Mormon newspaper contained a line about JS: "Or Book of Mormon not his word because denied, by Oliver!" Times and Seasons, Vol II, pg 482].

Excerpts:

>The three witnesses were finally excommunicated from the church. Martin Harris accused Joseph Smith of "lying and licentiousness." The Mormon leaders in turn published an attack on the character of Martin Harris. The Elders' Journal--Mormon publication edited by Joseph Smith--said that Harris and others were guilty of "swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drinking, with every species of debauchery . . ." (Elders' Journal, August, 1838, p.59).



Here is the most compelling TESTIMONY against Harris, by two witnesses that knew him best.http://www.xmission.com/~country/chngwrld/chap5a.htm

Mrs. Abigail Harris:
>". . . . Martin Harris and Lucy Harris, his wife, were at my house [early part of winter, 1828]. In conversation with the Mormonites, she [Lucy Harris] observed that she wished her husband would quit them, as she believed it all false and a delusion. To which I heard Mr. Harris reply: ‘What if it is a lie; if you will let me alone I will make money out of it!' I was both an eye- and ear-witness of what has been above stated, which is now fresh in my memory, and I speak the truth and lie not, God being my witness."[11]




Lucy Harris:
>"Whether the Mormon religion be true or false, I leave the world to judge; for its effects on Martin Harris have been to make him more cross, turbulent and abusive to me. His whole object was to make money out of it. I will give a proof of this. One day at Peter Harris' house (Abigail Harris' husband) I told him he had better leave the company of the Smiths, as their religion was false. To this he replied, "If you would let me alone, I could make money out of it.' It is in vain for the Mormons to deny these facts, as they are well known to most of his former neighbors."[12]



[11] Cake, Lu B., Peepstone Joe and the Peck Manuscript, p. 34. [12] Ibid. p. 35. (Affidavit Palmyra, N.Y., November 29, 1833)

So let the Mormon Apologist spin along with the GA's and keep the corporation running with the money flowing in!

What really frosts me is that the LDS Church PURPOSELY leaves out "shown by a supernatural power" regarding the viewing of "golden plates" but.....I have to admit, those TBM' can't be persuaded to change their testimony.

My own TBM hubby thinks that a vision or spiritual eye experience is real and literal! Go figure!

And thanks to Steven Benson for these comments and references:

Subject: More on Harris and other "witness" testimony . . . Date: Oct 24 03:26 Author:steve benson Mail Address:lobetrotter@yahoo.com
from: http://www.mormonismi.net/kirjoitukset/todistajat_hill_dialogue1972.shtml

"The Witnesses to The Book of Mormon

What of the prophet's story about gold plates, and what about his witnesses? ... The evidence is extremely contradictory in this area, but there is a possibility that the three witnesses saw the plates in vision only, for Stephen Burnett in a letter written in 1838, a few weeks after the event, described Martin Harris' testimony to this effect:

'When I came to hear Martin Harris state in public that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither Oliver nor David ... the last pedestal gave way, in my view our foundations.'

Burnett reported Harris saying that he had 'hefted the plates repeatedly in a box with only a tablecloth or handkerchief over them, but he never saw them only as he saw a city through a mountain.' Nonetheless, Harris said he believed the Book of Mormon to be true. In the revelation given the three witnesses before they viewed the plates they were told, 'it is by your faith that you shall view them' and 'ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith Jr. has seen them, for it is by my power that he has seen them.' There is testimony from several independent interviewers, all non-Mormon, that Martin Harris and David Whitmer said they saw the plates with their 'spiritual eyes' only. Among others, A. Metcalf and John Gilbert, as well as Reuben P. Harmon and Jesse Townsend, gave testimonies to this effect. This is contradicted, however, by statements like that of David Whitmer in the Saints Herald in 1882, 'these hands handled the plates, these eyes saw the angel.' But Z. H. Gurley elicited from Whitmer a not so positive response to the question, 'did you touch them?' His answer was, 'We did not touch nor handle the plates.' Asked about the table on which the plates rested, Whitmer replied, 'the table had the appearance of literal wood as shown in the visions of the glory of God.' It does not seem likely from all of this that Joseph Smith had to put undue pressure on the three witnesses. More likely their vision grew out of their own emotional and psychological needs. Men like Cowdery and David Whitmer were too tough minded to be easily pressured by Smith.

So far as the eight witnesses go, William Smith said his father never saw the plates except under a frock. And Stephen Burnett quotes Martin Harris that 'the eight witnesses never saw them and hesitated to sign that instrument [their testimony published in the Book of Mormon] for that reason, but were persuaded to do it.' Yet John Whitmer told Wilhelm Poulson of Ovid, Idaho, in 1878 that he saw the plates when they were not covered, and he turned the leaves. Hiram Page, another of the eight witnesses, left his peculiar testimony in a letter in the Ensign of Liberty in 1848:

'As to the Book of Mormon, it would be doing injustice to myself and to the work of God of the last days, to say that I could know a thing to be true in 1830, and know the same thing to be false in 1847. To say my mind was so treacherous that I have forgotten what I saw, to say that a man of Joseph's ability, who at that time did not know how to pronounce the word Nephi, could write a book of six hundred pages, as correct as the Book of Mormon without supernatural power. And to say that those holy Angels who came and showed themselves to me as I was walking through the field, to confirm me in the work of the Lord of the last days--three of whom came to me afterwards and sang an hymn in their own pure language; yes, it would be treating the God of heaven with contempt, to deny these testimonies.'

With only a veiled reference to 'what I saw,' Page does not say he saw the plates but that angels confirmed him in his faith. Neither does he say that any coercion was placed upon him to secure his testimony.

Despite Page's inconsistencies, it is difficult to know what to make of Harris' affirmation that the eight saw no plates in the face of John Whitmer's testimony. The original testimony of these eight men in the Book of Mormon reads somewhat ambiguously, not making clear whether they handled the plates or the 'leaves' of the translated manuscript.

Thus there are some puzzling aspects to the testimonies of the witnesses. If Burnett's statement is given credence it would appear that Joseph Smith extorted a deceptive testimony from the eight witnesses.

But why should John Whitmer and Hiram Page adhere to Mormonism and the Book of Mormon so long if they only gave their testimony reluctantly?

It may be that like the three witnesses they expressed a genuine religious conviction. The particulars may not have seemed as important as the ultimate truth of the work. ..."


And another excellent poster: Perry Noid:

You shall have a "view" (as promised in the Doctrine and Covenants).... Date: Oct 24 02:44 Author:Perry Noid Mail Address:
The Doctrine and Covenants has several references to "views" of thing that apparently weren't physically there, because the idea was that they could only be seen by supernatural powers, not by physical eyesight.

I think that the "views" that Joe Smith gave to his "witnesses" were of course very contrived.

They probably went down something like this, with Joe conjuring up an imaginary scene for his "witnesses": "Can't you see it in your mind right now? To your left is a beautiful woman in a pearl-white, loosely draped gown of equisite satin. She is seated on a toadstool and strumming a harp of gold. A beautiful stream flows gently along a grassy bank at her feet. Now. you have seen a portion of the gardens of the Telestial Kingdom. Go forth and bear witness of what you have now seen." Or "Can't you see the golden plates right now in your mind? Look at how thin the gold is and how fine the workmanship is..."

Actually, look at the way Prophet Joe uses the word "view" in his DandC revelations. If you read it carefully, it seems pretty clear that they are not referring to seeing physical objects with physical eyes. The revelations sound a bit fishy to me. (Underlining added by me)

DandC 5:

24 Behold, I say unto him, he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me; but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see.

25 And then he shall say unto the people of this generation: Behold, I have seen the things which the Lord hath shown unto Joseph Smith, Jun., and I know of a surety that they are true, for I have seen them, for they have been shown unto me by the power of God and not of man.

26 And I the Lord command him, my servant Martin Harris, that he shall say no more unto them concerning these things, except he shall say: I have seen them, and they have been shown unto me by the power of God; and these are the words which he shall say.

DandC 17:

1 BEHOLD, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.
Jaredite Ship-Building Technology
Friday, May 19, 2006, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Kent Ponder, Ph.d.
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
JAREDITE SHIP-BUILDING TECHNOLOGY
by Kent Ponder, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2006 Kent Ponder

Many say that religious faith and reason are essentially incompatible -- that theological faith and sensible reason function as largely separate modes of mental and emotional behavior. LDS people, though, very often say that the Mormon faith is unusually reasonable and sensible.

Is it? As a test, let's consider the Jaredites and their ocean-going barges, described in Ether of the Book of Mormon. If you've read it, did you do it with the "eye of faith," or with the "eye of reason" (and common sense)? The LDS eye of faith normally reads this account unfazed. But what if we read it with the eye of reason and common sense? What if we read it as if we were jury members evaluating a witness's testimony? Shall we give it a try?

First, calmly think about what your own planning would entail if you were told that you and some friends would have to hand-build small, submersible boats in which you and your family would be taking a year-long ocean voyage, accompanied by flocks and herds of animals. Would you want to be confined to the inside of a small submersible boat for a year without planning how to care for and live with flocks and herds of animals on board, and related supplies -- for over eleven months?

I don't know how acquainted you are with construction engineering, especially forms of shipbuilding. While I lived in Annapolis, Maryland (teaching at the US Naval Academy), I visited shipbuilding companies and studied the history of various historical shipbuilding techniques. I've also looked into Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki and Ra construction as well as whaling ships at Mystic Seaport, the ex-whaling town in Connecticut, and so on. Ocean-going craft must be carefully designed and strongly built.

As we pay close attention to Ether 2 and 6 in the Book of Mormon, we need to keep in mind that the Jaredite ships are described as built following the direct personal instructions of God himself. The LDS church has always taught that the Lord of the Jaredites' Old Testament times was Jehovah, the same deity described as having created the earth and all of the plants and animals, employing all the intelligent planning and management that that necessarily implies.

In Ether 2, note the order of procedure: FIRST, for a water voyage prior to the ocean crossing itself, the Lord had instructed Jared and his brother to build boats in which, according to the account, their families and friends "did cross many waters," (2:6) carrying with them "seeds of every kind," flocks ("male and female, of every kind"), "fowls of the air", "swarms of bees," and "fish of the waters." (2:1-3) According to the account, this boat trip was accomplished successfully.

NEXT, four years later, the Lord again ordered the men to build similar boats "after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built" (2:16), this time for an ocean crossing of nearly one year's duration. These boats, similar to the ones built four years earlier, are described as "small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water" (2:16), with structural integrity such that they were "exceeding tight," top and bottom, entirely leakproof and air-tight ("tight like unto a dish") (2:17) because they were going to be "many times buried in the depths of the sea" (6:6) by "mountain waves" (2:24) during many violent storms. To be both (a) light ("like a fowl upon the water"), and (b) able to carry flocks and herds with food supplies for a year, the construction would obviously have to be carefully planned and organized because of the known challenges of combining lightness with strength (which still applies: boats, airplanes, bicycles and helmets, race cars, even suitcases, etc.).

Following the Lord's specifications, the workmen built each boat with just one tight-fitting door, and no window or other opening. Construction of all eight boats was completed, per the Lord's personal instructions ("I have made the barges according as thou [the Lord] hast directed me." 2:18).

NEXT, the Brother of Jared looked at the finished boats and wondered for the first time, Whoa! How will we breathe in these things? Specifically, quoting him: ". . . I have made the barges as thou hast directed me. And behold, O Lord, we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish." (2:19) It was only then, that is, that he noticed that the boats were air-tight. (He also noticed they were totally dark inside: "O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer?" (2:19)

Now let's pause to consider: How do the eyes of faith and reason interpret this account? The LDS eye of faith typically accepts the story unfazed. But consider the following "Eye of Reason and Common Sense" questions:

1. Is it reasonable that men smart enough to build such watertight and airtight boats, following divine instructions, would do all the planning, material gathering and construction, and finish all eight before the question of breathing and seeing occurred to any of them? At that time (Tower of Babel period), working with hand tools, such a large project would have required at least months of labor. How could they not have noticed this problem for months? Remember that these shipbuilders were experienced. They had already built very similar people/animal/cargo-carrying boats just four years earlier.

2. Stated most succinctly, how could shipbuilders build eight air-tight boats without noticing that they were air-tight? Visualize men walking around inside boats "tight like unto a dish," with only one door that was to be kept closed at sea. Can you imagine them finishing all of the inside walls on all eight boats before noticing that it's suffocating in there?

3. And what about seeing? Is it sensible that the workmen could have finished all eight interiors without noticing that there was insufficient light to see -- no windows? How could they have worked inside without seeing? When asked about the light problem, note that the Lord answered with a question: "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces." (2:23)

4. "Dashed in pieces?" Dashable (shatterable) windows were not invented until thousands of years later, by a different civilization. How would Jared's brother have been able to understand the Lord's reply? Why would a deity have said something that would have had no meaning for Jared's brother?

5. How many boats would you have to finish before noticing no air and no light? Could you finish all eight boats before that dawned on you? Especially if you had built several similar boats and traveled in one of them four years earlier?

6. Is it sensible to finish even one before noticing? Do you know any carpenter who would do that?

7. Would the Lord himself not think of the need to breathe and to see, and then wait until the end to be asked about these life-or-death issues?

8. Would a person of common sense build even a mountain cabin, finishing all walls inside and out, before thinking to make a window hole, without thinking about breathing and seeing inside?

9. Is it sensible that all of these shipbuilders, described as previously experienced in carrying flocks and herds of animals inside of boats, waited until the end to realize, Oh, wait! We forgot that our animals will need to breathe in here. And we need to see in order to feed them and clean up.

Despite the common-sense requirements of structural integrity of ships that will be on the ocean carrying flocks and herds of animals and their feed for a year, all boats are finished, and then, as an afterthought, holes are hacked into that finished structure, one in the top and one in the bottom (because when it flops upside down in stormy seas, the bottom becomes the top).(2:20)

10. Wouldn't the Lord think that the sensible time to plan and build windows for air and light was during construction, not waiting to hack holes after finishing all boats, as a "whoops!" reaction? Would a sensible deity or human do that?

11. Is this not similar to teaching a work crew how to build automobiles for an extremely long trip without mentioning steering? Then, AFTER all the cars are built, the chief builder asks, "We have built all of the cars exactly as you have directed, but how shall we steer, for the wheels and axles are built so that they do not turn?" And the master planner replies, "Well, you can just make a hole in the dashboard and stick in a steering wheel. Then, when you need to steer, just turn the wheel."

12. Is it fair to ask how this differs from the following? Mormon elders, after following the Lord's exact instructions on building and painting the Celestial Room in the Salt Lake Temple, discovering that they've painted themselves into a remote corner, pray, "We have done as thou hast instructed us, oh Lord, but thy instructions have resulted in our painting ourselves into a corner." What would you think if the answer were, "Behold, ye shall make a hole in the granite temple wall, and after ye have escaped, ye shall stop the hole." Does the following improve the faith/reason problem, or worsen it? "When thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air." (2:20)

13.If you were taking your family on a car trip, would you tell them, "Wait until you notice you're suffering for lack of air, THEN open the window." Isn't it the case that people who need air often don't notice it until too late, because oxygen shortage has caused them to pass out? Don't we read that people who suffocate often don't know it's happening? Pilots at altitude undergoing oxygen deprivation experience the same hazard. Their awareness drops below the level needed to know they lack "air."

14. How is the Jaredite level of planning and knowledge different from that of men described in current news articles, who carelessly suffocate illegal aliens by transporting them in unventilated trucks? (And that problem occurs in just a few days, not a year.) If we ask ourselves whether the following is sensibly reasonable, what is the answer?. "They did lay snares and catch fowls of the air." (Also see 6:4: "fowl that they should carry with them") Birds are the first animals to die from inadequate oxygen, canaries in coal mines being a famous example.

15.How were the birds to notify Jared that they "suffered for air?" For the reasoning person, it gets worse. People and animals obviously keep breathing at night, while sleeping.

16. What if they "suffer for air" while everyone is asleep? Is that a good time to need to "unstop the hole?"

17. Did the Jaredites have "Hole Unstoppers" on guard while everyone else slept? Did the unstopper continually check to be sure that sleeping people and animals, especially birds, were still breathing? How well does the eye of reason and common sense fare with the following problem? " . . . unstop the hole . . . " Also, "thou shalt make a hole in the top and also in the bottom." (2:20) Note that it says the hole, that is, a hole, as in one hole. (The hole at the bottom clearly doesn't count except when the ship flops upside down in high seas.) Now picture in your mind traveling with flocks of flatulent sheep and herds of flatulent goats and cattle) in a boat with ONE functioning air hole.

18. What about air movement for ventilation?

19. How would air enter and exit the same single hole supplying the entire barge/boat? There's a related problem: Air doesn't readily enter a closed space. Why not? Because the space is already full of air -- In the Jaredites' case, warmer, body-heated air that exerts greater-than-outside pressure thus resisting incoming air. People taking car-trips with kids partially open at least two windows for air movement.

20.In these Jaredite boats, reported as designed by the highest divine intelligence, why is there no cross ventilation for three hundred and forty-four days? The eye of reason tries to visualize people and animals struggling to vent their body gases and heat through just one hole. Now let's apply the eye of reason to general animal care:

21. How much does even one goat, sheep or cow eat in a year? These are grazing animal, but they can't graze on the ocean; and they don't eat fish. Their grasses and grains have to be stored on board. A goat eats 2 - 3 pounds/day. Even a pony eats about 8 pounds/day. Let's sensibly use 3 pounds X 344 days. That's 1,032 pounds of feed per animal. That's a lot of bulky weight to lash down to prevent it crashing around when the ships roll, and even flip upside down.

22. How do you fit 1,000 pounds of feed per animal in the small boats, along with people, flocks and herds of animals, and birds?

23. And how about carrying a year's supply of drinking water for each person and animal? They couldn't drink ocean water, and in boats of the type described they couldn't gather significant rain water. How could they load and carry sufficient fresh water? Even the most illiterate people have learned how important ventilation is for food items, especially without refrigeration. People and animals exhale moisture with every breath. The numerous animals couldn't be taken outside to urinate and defecate. Such a year-long, high-moisture, low-ventilation environment breeds bacteria, yeast, fungus and molds, and rots food.

24. So, what about food spoilage? Could it get worse? The voyagers are reported to have sung praises to the Lord day and night. (6:9)

25. How likely does day-and-night singing and praising seem after months of close confinement in small boats with urinating, defecating, flatulent flocks, herds and fowls, with only one air hole per drum-tight boat? Could it get worse? Ether describes heavy seas (" . . . they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them" 6:6). So these boats were crashing around under water, occasionally flipping upside down (thus the need for a hole in the bottom which could be opened as an air hole when the boat flopped over).

26. Can you visualize adults, children, flocks and herds, rocking, tossing and flipping over, traveling that way for a year? Could you ride for 344 days and nights with your children on a boat, repeatedly buried in the depths of the sea with flocks and herds crashing over each other, with urine-soaked "litter box" material spilling into their food as the ship flopped upside down?

27. How would you pour all the urine and feces out of one hole -- for a year? Could reason and common sense be additionally battered? " . . . fierceness of the wind . . . the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind." (6:6 - 8) This testifies to three major factors: (a) wind force, (b) wind constancy, (c) wind direction. "And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water."

28. If the wind was (a) constant, (b) strong, (c) always toward the promised land, how could this force require 344 days? But wait! Could the shape of the boats, the front and back "ends thereof were peaked" (2:17), have presented insufficient flat surface at the back for the wind to blow against, causing the trip to last longer?

29.But then why would an intelligent divine designer choose such an inefficient shape? Could it get worse for the sensible eye of reason?. " . . . terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind." (6:6)

30. Beyond the fact that a tempest is not caused by a fierce wind, but rather IS a fierce wind, why would an intelligent deity think that so much wrenchingly violent motion, even overturning stored goods, animals, their bedding and feed, be an intelligent thing to do?

31. Wouldn't an exhorbitant amount of water in the flocks' and herds' drinking containers be lost as the boats pitched, rolled and flipped over?

32.How did the Jaredites mop and dry this constant sloshing spillage for a year?

33. How could they have carried enough fresh water to offset the constant sloshing spillage?

34. Could you keep your family food and belongings together with that kind of flailing around? Were the people and animals secured by ropes (analogous to seatbelts)? Today, even seatbelted people in slow-speed vehicle rollovers are often seriously injured. But at least their vehicles then stop. Ocean storms, though, last for hours or days. The Jaredites and their animals would have been thrown around (a) many times longer and (b) in a vastly larger interior than in a car rollover. The sliding and falling collisions of people, animals, food and water supplies would often have gone on for hours or days at a time. And if tied down, in a rollover they'd have been left hanging from the ceiling. The food supplies, and especially the water supplies, would have had to be lashed down to prevent lethally crushing slides into people and animals.

35. But then, when the boat turned upside down, how did the people access the food and water, which would now be secured to the ceiling?

36. How would the Jaredites have been able to prevent or deal with orthopedic injuries and concussions as animals and people crashed into each other?

37. When the boats were upside down, did the people and animals just walk around on what had been the ceiling, outside of pens? "And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water. And they did land upon the shore of the promised land." (6:11,12) That is, the account directly implies that all the boats landed at approximately the same time.

38. Is it sensible that after 344 days of such violent tossing and sloshing, the boats would have arrived on essentially the same day? How could eight ocean-going vessels tossed by violent storms maintain near-identical speeds, remaining near each other over such an extremely long time period?

39. Would the "eye of reason" perceive the ocean trip in Ether to be a fitting example of famed LDS general authority and historian Elder B.H. Roberts' notable assessment of the Book of Mormon "as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency " ? (Studies of the Book of Mormon, p. 251) The eye of faith apparently does not perceive the Jaredite ocean voyage to be a nutty fictitious story.

40. How does the eye of sensible reason see it?

It seems to me that all 40 of the above questions are honestly, fairly and sensibly stated.
Joseph Smith And The Book Of Mormon Chiasmus
Thursday, Jun 8, 2006, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Dr. Shades
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons place a lot of stock into the chiasmus in the Book of Mormon issue. Unfortunately, the notion that chiasmus was unknown in Smith's day and millieu before the publication of the Book of Mormon turned out to be misinformation perpetuated by John W. Welch, founder of FARMS. The lid finally came off in Quinn, D. Michael. Early Mormonism and the Magic World View: Revised and Expanded Edition (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998), pp. 499-504, n.108.

I'd rather not type the whole thing out, so here are some highlights in the order in which they appear:

-----[BEGIN]-----

"As Welch noted in his early writings about chiasmus (see below), Anglican bishop Robert Lowth discovered (and first published in Latin) that textual parallelism was an essential characteristic of the Hebrew Bible."

"Advertised for sale in Joseph Smith's neighborhood, Horne's 1825 Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures emphasized (2:449): 'The grand, and indeed, the sole characteristic of Hebrew Poetry, is what Bishop Lowth entitles Parallelism, that is, a certain equality, resemblance, or relationship, between the members of each period; so that in two lines, or members of the same period, things shall answer to things, and words to words, as if fitted to each other by a kind of rule or measure'."

"Aside from Palmyra's advertising of Horne's 1825 American edition, the 1818 London edition was on sale in 1820 by the Canandaigua Bookstore, only nine miles from Joseph Smith's home (see text discussion)."

"Horne's 1825 American edition said that such parallelism would be found in any ancient text written by Hebrews. . . In the 1825 American edition, Horne also gave (2:456-57) several diagrams of 'Parallel Lines Introverted'. . ."

"All of this information was available in the Palmyra area as of 1825 through its own bookstore and through nearby Canandaigua's bookstore, which operated its own lending library for those who could not afford to buy books they wanted to read (see my text discussion)."

"Despite all evidence to the contrary, in 1969 John W. Welch claimed that none of this information was available to Joseph Smith or even to other Americans during Smith's lifetime."

"In support of his claim that this information about biblical parallelism was not available to Joseph Smith's generation, Welch's 1969 citation to Lowth was deceptive in two ways: (1) by not acknowledging that English-language editions were available since 1787, and (2) by citing Lowth's 1829 Latin edition as if this were the first time the Anglican bishop published about the matter. Welch knew differently because his master's thesis (submitted early enough in 1970 to be read and approved by his graduate committee in April) cited Lowth's 1815 American edition in the English language."

"Welch's thesis is now missing from BYU's computer-catalog BYLINE, but a copy is available in the LDS Church Library, Salt Lake City."

"In 1969 Welch further claimed (73): 'in 1860 a section on chiasmus was finally added to T. H. Horne's famous encyclopedia Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. This marks the recognition of the form as genuine and significant.' Welch (73n5) cited this as Horne's '11th edition,' concluding (75) 'there exists no chance that Joseph Smith could have learned of this style through academic channels. No one in America, let alone in western New York, fully understood chiasmus in 1829.' To the contrary, after 1787 any American could read British editions of Lowth's study in English, as well as American editions after 1815. Moreover, Welch's 1969 claim of a watershed in 'recognition' for chiasmus in Horne's book actually occurred in the 1825 American edition, which the Palmyra area's newspapers show was available to Joseph Smith from its first publication onward."

"If he [Welch--ed.] had not examined these earlier editions, how could Welch comment on what was 'finally' added in the 1860 edition? If he did examine these earlier editions, how could Welch claim that prior to 1860 Horne's study contained no section on 'inverted parallelism'? His 1969 article acknowledged this was the earlier term for chiasmus. Nevertheless, after 1969 Welch intensified his original assertions that pre-1830 America was allegedly uninformed about biblical parallelism."

"Despite revising his article for its 1982 reprint by BYU's Religious Studies Center, Welch retained the deceptive footnote which listed Lowth's 1829 Latin edition as his only publication on parallelism. Welch's bibliographies in 1970 and 1981 both listed Lowth's 1815 American edition in the English language."

"The fact that the 1982 Provo reprint deleted all reference to Horne shows that Welch was aware of Horne's first American edition in 1825."

"Nonetheless, Welch continued to leave his Mormon readers misinformed about how early the studies of biblical parallelism were published in America. In his introduction to Chiasmus Bibliography: Study Aid (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987), Welch wrote: 'This bibliography lists most of the books and articles I am aware of dealing with or utilizing chiasmus,' yet it made no reference whatever to Robert Lowth's pioneering works about parallelism (which Welch's 1970 master's thesis acknowledged had been published in a U.S. edition of 1815)."

"There was also the problem that Lowth's study of parallelism was published in English in the United States in 1815 and 1829. Welch knew this while preparing his 1970 thesis, which listed Lowth's 1815 American edition. Acknowledging Lowth's publications also undermined Welch's claims for America's pre-1830 ignorance of biblical parallelism. Thus, Welch's 1987 FARMS bibliography made no reference to Lowth."

"To support the myth he created in 1969 that Joseph Smith and all other Americans were ignorant of biblical parallelism, Welch by the 1980s simply withheld from his Mormon listeners and readers his knowledge that there were American printings of such studies in 1815 and 1825. Instead, Welch's 1988 FARMS publication cited only an 1820 publication by John Jebb and an 1825 publication by Thomas Boys, both published in London and neither reprinted in the United States."

"In a 1993 video-cassette sold by FARMS, Welch repeated his 1988 statements and concluded: 'So I think that there was really very little chance--what should we say, a statistically insignificant chance--that Joseph Smith had any awareness of this through regular scholarly channels.'"

"As stated in my text discussion, Hugh Nibley's misstatements in 1975 occurred because of his lack of access to information that was not yet published or not easily available to him. That was not the case with John W. Welch, whose publications for the LDS audience since 1969, in my opinion, have manifested an escalating, intentional concealment of pre-1830 American publications about chiasmus."

-----[END]-----

Hopefully we can now disabuse ourselves of two mistaken notions: That (a) chiasmus was unknown in Joseph Smith's day, and that (b) Joseph Smith couldn't possibly have known anything about chiasmus.
Welcome To The "Black Hole" Theory
Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
JS and Martin Harris translate 116 pages from the "golden plates." Martin Harris has a wife who thinks the whole business is bunk. Martin Harris asks JS over and over if he could just take the 116 pages to his wife and let her read it she would be converted--she'd believe. JS asks God if it's OK and God says, "yeah go ahead if you really want to."

Martin Harris takes the pages to his wife to read. However they turn up missing. It is suspected that his wife might have burned them.

JS is panic-stricken. "all is lost, all is lost!" he wails. JS asks God what to do. God says don't retranslate that part of the plates or else evil men will show up with the original 116 pages with changes that the evil men would have made and show that the re-translation is different from the original translation.

But, lo and behold it just turns out that among the plates there are the "Plates of Nephi" which cover the same basic material. So JS, toward the end of the project, translates the "Plates of Nephi" into 1st and 2nd Nephi and some others.

The "Black Hole" theory says that since JS was retelling a story he had told once before he had to be careful not to contradict any of the specifics that were on the original 116 pages (which might come forward at any time as far as he knew) Therefore a lot of the details that might be mis-remembered is left out of the re-translation. For instance what were the names of Ishmael's daughters that Nephi and the boys married? There are very few proper names in the replacement stuff and a lot of space is filled by "Nephi" copying Isaiah into the plates.

The "theory" says much of the original detail of the 116 pages has been eliminated to avoid remembering it wrong and has vanished into a "black hole."

You can read about the Tanner's "Black Hole" theory in their Salt Lake City Messenger #72 at:

http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no72....
The Book Of Mormon - "Keystone Of Our Religion"
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2006, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Blottosunday
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
You've heard it said many times by the LDS church. "The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion." This phrase is the basis for a very dangerous form of pseudo-logic employed by true-believing Mormons.

Here's what every Mormon missionary tries to get every investigator to do and believe:

1. Read the Book of Mormon.

2. Pray to Heavenly Father for a witness that the Book of Mormon is true.

3. If you have any warm or pleasant feelings as you pray, that is the spirit testifying to you that the Book of Mormon is true.

4. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith MUST be a true prophet of God.

5. If Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, then the LDS church MUST be God's only true church on the face of the Earth and you need to be baptized so that you can receive Heavenly Father's blessings, especially Eternal Life, which is living forever in the glorious presence of our Heavenly Father.

Most true-believing Mormons really believe this. And missionaries know that if they can get an investigator to just READ the Book of Mormon, that the rest will follow and they will be baptized. They never stop for a moment to think about the flaws or gaps in the logic of those five steps, because to them, a testimony isn't about logic. It's about faith. And for the true-believing Mormon, faith will always trump logic and other pesky details, like evidence. It doesn't matter that DNA evidence shows that indigenous Americans originated from Asia and not Jerusalem. It doesn't matter that the evidence shows that Joseph Smith was a local con-man who crafted the Book of Mormon with his buddies using ideas and writings of others at the time. It doesn't matter that Egyptian language experts have shown that Joseph Smith's "translation" of the Book of Abraham wasn't even close. What matters is that warm or tingly feeling you get when you pray to know that the Book of Mormon is true. Because that means that Joseph Smithwas a prophet and the church is true. That's why Mormonism will always have followers, no matter how obvious the evidence that it is based on fraud becomes.

Whether these Mormon pseudo-logic steps were carefully crafted by someone, or the church arrived at them by accident, the fact remains that the approach is both brilliant and insidious.

If it seems odd to you that a lifetime of religious belief and worship, often extending for generations, would be based on a tingly or warm feeling--a psychosomatic response to the suggestion that The Book of Mormon is true--then congratulations. You are most likely immune to this twisted Mormon version of logic.

But don't underestimate the stubborn determination of those who have received their testimony this way. Not only will many of them never be swayed, but many of them will also reject anyone else who stops drinking the Kool-Aid, including those with whom they have formed relationships or even marriages. Broken friendships and families are just some of the sad byproducts of this Mormon pseudo-logic.
"Yea, Their Runty Legs Did Buckle."
Monday, Sep 11, 2006, at 06:43 AM
Original Author(s): Swedeboy
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
“Yea, their runty legs did buckle.” 1 Lehi 29:13-56

Over the years, the stories told of the Golden Plates and the Hill Cumorah were always intriguing. The hill was supposedly filled with Nephite records (enough to fill several wagon loads) and of course the sword of Laban was there as well. The following is from Brigham Young as he recounts the experience of Cowdery and Smith:
"Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light, but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in corners and along the walls.

"The first time they went there the SWORD OF LABAN hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: 'This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I tell you this is coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it... I take the liberty of referring to those things so they will not be forgotten and lost."
(19 Journal of Discourses 38)
Now, if Moroni was the last surviving person of his race, and he was given the charge to finish the Book of Mormon and deposit the plates in a spot which the Lard commanded him, which just happened to be in upstate New York. And if the limited geography theory is correct, then not only did Moroni have to carry the very heavy Golden Plates to upstate New York, but he also had to carry the Liahona, the Sword of Laban and those wagon loads of Nephite records, all without the benefit of wagons or horses or oxen to pull this wagon train of Nephite treasures.

The first book of Lehi tells us of his struggles. Please cross reference with Zelph 3:29-85.
"Yea, I did use my mighty tapir and herd of llama to carry the sacred works of my people. I Moroni, being a man of large stature, not unlike Nephi of old, I nevertheless am unable to fulfill these mighty commands alone. And it came to pass, that many tapir perished under the exceedingly great weight of the sacred works of my people. Yea, their runty legs did buckle under the weight of so mighty a task. Yea verily despite the buckling of runty tapir legs, I know that God shall prepare a way for his commands to be fulfilled. And it came to pass, that I did use the skins of the buckled tapir as sleds to tow the sacred works of my people by the power of the mighty llama of which I possessed great abundance. And it came to pass, that as I endeavored to coax my mighty llama herd to pull the sacred works of my people on the sled skins of the buckled tapir, I did beseech the Lord in prayer. "Oh Lord, maker of the mighty tapir which so valiantly carried my brethren into many battles, yea even unto theirdestruction! Oh great one who sawest fit to buckle the legs of my formerly mighty tapir whose skins are now used as sleds to be towed behind my herd of mighty llama, hear my prayer. Yea, my llama herd will not yield unto the enticing of my words and whip. Bless them from the chaffing of the cords, which bind them to the tapir skin sleds, which carry the sacred works of my people. Yea Lord, I know not what to do. How shall I fulfill the command of taking many heavy sacred works of my people, and deposit them in the enchanted hill which the gentiles will one day confuse as the place of the final battle of my people with the Lamanites?”
Unfortunately this is where the record ends. We may never know just how he did it. Regardless, Moroni was a man unlike any other. Yea verily and amen.
Bizzare But True: September Origins Of The Book Of Mormon
Monday, Sep 25, 2006, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
More bizarre but true Mormon History - starting 183 years ago yesterday...

September 22, 1823 - "The Angel" Moroni tells Smith to return to the Hill Cumorah in a Year with his oldest brother, Alvin
"Both early Mormon and non-Mormon sources agree that on 22 September 1823 Moroni required Smith to bring his oldest brother Alvin to the hill the following year in order to obtain the gold plates."
One of Smith's devout followers, Joseph Knight, recorded Smith's relating that the following dialog occurred on the hill in 1823:
"Joseph says, 'when can I have it?' The answer was the 22nt Day of September next if you Bring the right person with you. Joseph says, 'who is the right Person?' The answer was 'your oldest Brother.' But before September [1824] Came his oldest Brother Died. Then he was Disapointed and did not [k]now what to do." (Jessee 1976a, 31; also Hartley 1986, 20)
The Smiths' Palmyra neighbor Willard Chase reported:
"He then enquired when he could have them, and was answered thus: come one year from this day, and bring with you your oldest brother, and you shall have them. This spirit, he said was the spirit of the prophet who wrote this book, and who was sent to Joseph Smith, to make known these things to him. Before the expiration of the year, [Smith's] oldest brother died." (1833, 241-42, emphasis in original)
Smith family neigbor Fayette Lapham remembered that Joseph Smith's father told him in 1830 that "Joseph asked when he could have them; and the answer was, 'Come in one year from this time, and bring your oldest brother with you; then you may have them.' During that year, it so happened that his oldest brother died."

November 19, 1823 - Alvin dies suddenly
"The intensity of the Smith family's despair over Alvin's death less than two months after Joseph's visit the the Hill Cumorah is understandable. Alvin's last words to his brother Joseph were to "do everything that lies in your power to obtain the Record. Be faithful in receiving instruction, and in keeping every commandment that is given to you. Your brother Alvin must leave you." (L. M. Smith 1853, 88)
"Alvin's final charge underscored the dilemma Joseph now faced: he had been commanded to meet the angelic treasure-guardian at the hill the following 22 September 1824 and to bring Alvin with him."

"By some accounts, Smith had been violently jolted three times and severely chastised for disobeying instructions during his first visit, and Mormon convert Joseph Knight wrote that now Smith "did not [k]now what to do" (Jessee 1976a, 31). One can only imagine the turmoil Smith would have experienced during the ten months between the death of his eldest brother on 19 November 1823 and his next solitary visit to the hill."
- Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p.135-136
September 22, 1824 - "God's Messenger" Moroni asks Joseph where his brother Alvin is
"Joseph hoped to obtain the plates on 22 September 1824 even though he did not bring Alvin. The day was a stinging disappointment. According to Smith's 1832 autobiography, the messenger told him "to come again in one year from that time [1823]. I did so [in 1824], but did not obtain them."

"His friend Joseph Knight wrote, "But when the 22nt Day of September Came he went to the place and the personage appeard [sic] and told him he Could not have it now" (Jessee 1976a, 31). Lorenzo Saunders remembered that Smith told him, "At the end of the time he went to the place to get the plates the angel asked where his Brother was. I told him he was dead." Fayette Lapham recalled the story as "Joseph repaired to the place again, and was told by the man who still guarded the treasure, that, inasmuch as he could not bring his oldest brother, he could not have the treasure yet"
(L. Saunders 1884a, 10; Lapham 1870, 2:386).
"As Smith left the hill in disappointment on 22 September 1824, apparently the message he had received was: without your dead brother Alvin, you cannot have the gold lates."

"When Smith returned a year later, the spirit asked about his brother. Learning he was dead, the spirit "commanded him to come again, in just one year, and bring a man with him."
- Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p.136
September 29, 1824 - Joseph Smith Sr. denies in local newspaper to dissecting Alvin's body

Wayne Sentinel 2 (29 Sept. 1824): Page 3, prints an advertisement placed by Joseph Sr. dated "Sept. 25th, 1824," denying "reports [that] have been industriously put in circulation, that my son, Alvin, had been removed from the place of his internment and dissected."

Smith chastised town gossips for disturbing the peace of mind of a still-grieving parent, and then made two comments that allude to his son Joseph as target of such gossip:
"[these rumors] deeply wound the feelings of relations [and] have been stimulated more by desire to injure the reputation of certain persons than a philanthropy for the peace and welfare of myself and friends." - Wayne Sentinel, 29 Sept.-3 Nov. 1824; Kirkham 1951, 1:147; Rich 1970, 256
Not exactly faith-promoting. No wonder you don't hear this part of the story in Sunday School. This is not a testimony killer, but it sure is a bizarre story to explain away.

Why did the angel Moroni require Alvin to get the gold plates?

Why didn't the Angel Moroni know Alvin was dead?
 
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"Yea, Their Runty Legs Did Buckle."
Bizzare But True: September Origins Of The Book Of Mormon
5,709 Articles In 365 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (365 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (52)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 3 (16)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (23)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 1 (26)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 2 (18)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 2 (29)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (24)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PROPAGANDA - SECTION 1 (5)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (37)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (100)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (89)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (12)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 1 (25)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 2 (24)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 3 (21)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (5)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (21)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (22)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 1 (25)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 2 (23)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 3 (22)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 4 (31)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH - SECTION 1 (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (27)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (42)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 3 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 4 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 5 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 6 (17)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 3 (23)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 3 (24)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 4 (42)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL - SECTION 1 (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (22)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (23)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 3 (15)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (28)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES - SECTION 1 (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (13)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE - SECTION 1 (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (25)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 3 (37)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
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