There’s a new rally point for voices like mine and yours…
It says a lot of what I feel.
There’s a new rally point for voices like mine and yours…
It says a lot of what I feel.
I copy this paragraph from another blog as its question is quite thought provoking. If you are sensitive the Mormon Temple Ceremony specifics, do not read:
Often women are told that men have priesthood and women have motherhood. Elder’s Oak’s talk alluded to the power of creating life as something only women can do. However, the power to create life depends on a mother and a father (indeed, this is the basis for the Church’s arguments against gay marriage), so men are also endowed with the power to create life. To complicate things, in the temple, the creative triad of Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael create life without women being present at all. Elohim and Jehovah create Michael, not Elohim and a Mother in Heaven. If motherhood/creation is a woman’s endowment of power, where is that exercised in the primal account of creation? It is not mentioned. Not only that, but Elohim and Jehovah also create Eve. And they create Eve FROM Adam. No woman was used to create man, or woman, and in fact according to the account, woman was created FROM, BY and FOR man. Priesthood, it seems, can create life without a female input, so how am I supposed to take the argument that motherhood is a compliment to priesthood seriously?
The excommunication of Rock Waterman is complete. Another Mormon pushed away, punished, and exiled from Mormonism for expressing his thoughts and exercising intellectual analysis. Some people call this border control or boundary maintenance. I call this an infringement on intellectual freedom of expression. Of course, there is no bill of rights when it comes to freedom of expression in a private institution like the LDS Church. Private clubs can set their own rules, but when the foundational documents invite all to come and partake, it seems counter-productive to exclude some who express their views.
A disciplinary council is where a group of volunteer ecclesiastical leaders gather together to judge a person who is accused of a serious offense. It is often referred to as a court of love. Rock said the only love in the room was the love he brought with him. He compared his excommunication experience, just as Paul Toscano once did, to being raped by a group of Care Bears. Rock’s wife described the scenario like a corporate firing: a dead feeling in the room followed by a series of charges, a moment to say something, and then the execution of said firing. Having been the victim of a corporate firing, I can relate to the deepest level of the deathly feeling of that room. I would likely go ape-nuts if I were to be called to a disciplinary council, so I can only imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of those who face up to it.
Back to the topic at hand: was Rock an apostate? Some would say that his refusal to follow every word of the living prophets constituted his apostasy. Others might say Rock appealed to a higher authority in his arguments. Some might say the situation is unfortunate, but a church can do as it pleases as a private institution (as long as it doesn’t cross federally protected lines). Others might say that the definition of apostasy is too broad and loosely applied.
It hurts to be part of a church that acts this way to those in dissent. I was so angry when John Dehlin and Kate Kelly were ex’d. I was enraged after reading about the September Six. Now, Rock Waterman has been handed the same fate. I cannot summarize all of Rock’s positions, but several ring true to me:
The following are taken from Carson and Marissa Calderwood’s blog, Conservative Cake Liberal Icing. The documents compiles by the Calderwoods document their defense against the charges of apostasy. (A great summary can be found on John Dehlin’s MormonStories.) Their unsuccessful defense led to their excommunication. Of course, “unsuccessful” is a relative term depending on your POV on disciplinary councils that effect the excommunications. Regardless, the handouts below are summarized by the Calderwood with links and the full copy/paste of each is below the links.
Can’t Blindly Follow
Errors in Church
We Must Think For Ourselves
Changes in Church
Many of these examples are given in a talk by Elder Clayton Christensen telling members how the Lord usually inspires general members on how to make the church better and it is our responsibility to do that instead of waiting for the leaders to tell us how to do things. (2009 Boston LDS Education Conference, https://vimeo.com/7685569)
Updated version of this list (last updated 5/8/15) can be found at http://bit.ly/churchchanges
|Questions About Church History (last update 05/27/2015) – Link to this document http://bit.ly/7LDSquestions|
|Here is a collection of the seven main problems I encountered about the church as I tried to learn more in an effort to strengthen my testimony. Unfortunately, the more I learned, the more it fell apart and questions arose that I couldn’t answer in a faith promoting way. To show that these are not anti-Mormon lies, all citations are either from church publications or journals where possible and original sources or summaries of original sources that include the citations to original sources in their summary. There are other problems and questions, but these are the main seven.|
|A. Why did Joseph Smith marry so many1 other women, many without Emma’s knowledge,2 sometimes with the pressure of salvation at stake,3 4 some with sexual relations,5 6 one third of whom where were already married to living men,7 including some men without their knowledge while they were away on missions,8 9 lie about his polygamous marriages10 11 12 13 and get others to lie about them too?14 Why did Joseph Marry Fanny Alger (1833)15 before he received the revelation about polygamy or sealings (1843)?16 Also, if the Book of Mormon says polygamy can only be for having more children17, why do people argue he didn’t have sex with some wives18 and why did Mormon polygamous women on average have fewer children than non-polygamous women?19|
|B. Why were the foundational events for the church not written down20 or talked about for so many years after they happened21 (First Vision 12 years later,22 Aaronic and Melchizidek priesthood 9 years later23 24 25 26 27 28) when almost everything less important was written down? Why did the first vision story change so much over time (changed from just Christ only29 to a spirit or angel,30 31 two angels,32 many angels,33 Moroni,34 even Nephi,35 36 and finally the Father and the Son)? He also changed the ages it happened from16,37 to 1438 and 1739. Wouldn’t such an amazing experience (to see God!) be unforgettable? Why did he join another church40 after being told not to join any?41 Why were so many others of that time were having similar visions?42 43 44 45Why did he never mention any these events until years later, but coincidentally ONLY when he needed something to give him more religious credibility and power?46|
|C. Why does the Book of Mormon contain things that are impossible for the time it was written such as Neoplatonism’s Dualism,47 Deutero-Isaiah quotations,48 KJV translation errors?49 50 Why did he fear people making changes to his first translation of the lost 116 pages? If he translated them again at a time of only hand written documents51 the changes would be obvious! Why do we not hear that he often told stories52 about the ancient inhabitants of America (stories about the common assumption at that time that the Native Americans were descendants of Jews53) years before he ever got the plates or saw Moroni?54 Why are there so many topics in the Book of Mormon that were hot topics in the 19th century55 56 and the folk magic57 of the time. Why are the only two prophecies in the book that happened supposedly after it was written (Joseph as translator and Columbus) things that happened before Joseph’s time and not after? Why are there so many parallels to other books58 59 that were available to Joseph? Why is it missing so many of the important doctrines that our church60 61 has today if it contains the “fullness of the gospel?”62|
|D. For people like me (see My Story bit.ly/1FlJfkw) the Elevation Effect63 explains feelings of happiness better than what the church says are feelings of the spirit. If those feeling actually are the spirit, why do other people in other religions (or no religion) have the exact same experiences as Mormons and why have I felt the same feelings at the same strength when doing secular things like watching the movie Independence Day?64|
|E. If prophets speak the will of God, why do they get so many things wrong?65 66 If they can make mistakes then why are we expected to trust them so much? If this is the pure truth from God, when the Lord gave fairly detailed and long explanations like in the Word of Wisdom, why didn’t he say something more useful like wash your hands or boil your water instead of explaining in such detail things like which grains are good for which animals?67 Especially, why are the prophets and apostles fooled about such things as buying the Kinderhook Plates68 69 70 and Hoffman forgeries,71 and since they tried to hide the Hoffman documents,72 what else have they hidden?|
|F. Why did Joseph Smith say the Book of Abraham was written by the hand of Abraham73 and that the meaning of the symbols (see facsimiles74 75 76) have been shown to be completely wrong?77 78 79 Why does the church now admit these errors in translation (such as it never mentions Abraham’s name)80 without a public correction like conference?|
|G. Why was the original temple ceremony so similar to the 1830 Masonic ceremony81 instead of the older ones? If the masonic ceremony is just a corrupted version of the temple ceremony that was copied anciently and assuming things slowly change away from the original over time, wouldn’t Joseph Smith have restored a temple ceremony that was closer to the older versions of the masonic ceremony? Why can’t we find any proof of Freemasonry before 1300 when there is plenty of it after then?82 Why has the temple ceremony changed so much83 84 since Joseph revealed it if it was directly from God?|
|Explanation Of Fairly Using Historical Data|
|You may be thinking that although I have a lot of sources, these sources are probably just anti-Mormon lies at worst or just things from church history that we can’t really know what was happening at best. Brushing these historical sources off as such would be a gross misunderstanding of history or an unfair, biased use of sources that only help your desired point of view. It is more accurate and honest to give weight to probability of validity instead of fitting in with what you want them to say. For example, if you value certain sources in Mormon history such as ones given by Lucy Mack Smith that were written decades after the fact over something written by someone at an event and in good standing with the church then you are using a poor algorithm for coming to know accurate history. Faithful, active church historian’s do not do this and all have a different view of the history than the one that is usually accepted and taught in Sunday School. You can still have a faithful view of the history, but you need to approach it in an honest and fair way instead of discarding away anything negative.|
|There are certain logical protocols given for how to rank the credibility of any historical statement. Combining that with techniques that increase the likelihood that something happened and you’ll paint a picture that is more likely accurate. Examples include frequency of use from different sources, opposing sources or an uninvolved source stating the same thing as a pro source. For example, if the Gospel of Luke says Jesus did something and it is also found in a Pagan believing Roman historian’s book, then it is more likely to have happened than if it had only appearing in the Book of Luke.|
|Just because the Book of Luke says something happened doesn’t mean it did happen, and likewise, just because something else says it didn’t happen, doesn’t mean it didn’t. We can’t know exactly what happened, but we can give relative odds of one version of a story being more likely than another. This is important because many of the version of Mormon history that you get in the Mormon church growing up has additional source or explanation that will at least slightly alter your view of how it happened. Not that all Mormon history is false, but many parts of it are incomplete.|
|The closer in time something was written down to the original event the more likely it occurred. Similarly, first person has greater value than second, and second than third, etc. If person A experienced something and wrote about it in their journal that night after it happened, that would take precedent over person C saying they heard that person B saw what happened and told them 20 years after the event. Many of my citations that seem to disagree with what you’ve heard in church will in fact be backed up by sources that are closer in date and person than the story you have been told. Often, you don’t even know sources for the story you’ve been told, its just the most faith promoting view that has been passed down over time. That is not to say that everything is false that you’ve heard. Yet, it is likely that your understood version is slightly off when it has many other sources of higher accuracy probability telling a slightly different version. For example, a church leader has said that he knew that Helen Mar Kimball was happy to be in a polygamous relationship with Joseph Smith and he said it 40 years after it happened. Despite his position of authority, you have to give greater weight to what Helen Mar Kimball wrote in her diary about it being a terribly difficult decision and she only did it because her family’s exaltation was at stake. She was there, the other guy wasn’t. She was writing in her journal with no intent to persuade other people towards a certain version of the story, he was.|
|Please consider this and don’t offhandedly dismiss my citations with comments such as, “Oh, we can’t really know what happened back then,” or, “We don’t really know what they were feeling or thinking.” Especially when you are not holding the faithful sources to the same scrutiny that you are holding these oft times more likely sources just because they counter your faithful ones.|
|Citations on next page|
|2 “Five of the women [that Joseph married] boarded in Joseph’s household when he married them. Emma probably knew nothing of these marriages at first…” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.491)|
|3 “Without any preliminaries [my Father] asked me if I would believe him if he told me that it was right for married men to take other wives…The first impulse was anger…my sensibilities were painfully touched. I felt such a sense of personal injury and displeasure; for to mention such a thing to me I thought altogether unworthy of my father, and as quick as he spoke, I replied to him, short and emphatically, ‘No I wouldn’t!’…This was the first time that I ever openly manifested anger towards him…” The next morning Joseph visited the Kimball home. “[He explained] the principle of Celestial marrage…After which he said to me, ‘If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father’s household & all of your kindred.[’] This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. None but God & his angels could see my mother’s bleeding heart-when Joseph asked her if she was willing…She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older & who better understood the step they were taking, & to see her child, who had scarcely seen her fifteenth summer, following in the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come…; but it was all hidden from me.” (Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, pgs 497 – 499)|
|4 Emily Partridge later wrote that in the spring or summer of 1842 Joseph Smith approached her about polygamy. ‘I … shut him up so quick,’ she said, ‘that he said no more to me until the 28th of Feb. 1843, (my nineteenth birthday)’ (Young, ‘Life,’ 185). On this date Smith approached her privately, saying, ‘Emily, if you will not betray me, I will tell you something for your benefit.’ When he asked her if she would burn a private letter he wanted to send to her, Emily replied that she could not accept it from him. But she reconsidered. On 4 March 1843 Smith sent a ‘friend to plurality,’ Mrs. Elizabeth Durfee, with a message. When Partridge asked the envoy what Smith wanted, Durfee replied ‘she thought he wanted me for a wife.’ At a clandestine meeting later that evening at the Heber C. Kimball home, Emily later recounted, Smith advised her that ‘the Lord had commanded him to enter into plural marriage, and had given me to him, and although I had got badly frightened, he knew I would yet have him, so he waited till the Lord told him.’ Emily agreed to Smith’s proposal and ‘was married there and then.’ ” (Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.52)|
|5 “…in a significant number of marriages, there is evidence for sexual relations.” (Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, p. 15)|
|6 “Besides proving the existence of plural marriage, the affidavits attempted to refute the hypothesis that Joseph’s relations with his plural wives were purely spiritual.” (Rough Stone Rolling, p. 494)|
|7 http://www.mormoninfographics.com/2012/09/the-many-wives-of-joseph-smith.html and in Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Bushman discusses the very likely 32 total polygamous marriages before Joseph’s death. (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.437)|
|8 “Polyandry is one of the major problems found in Smith’s polygamy and many questions surround it. Why did he at first primarily prefer polyandrous marriages?…fully one-third of his plural wives, eleven of them, were married civilly to other men when he married them. If one superimposes a chronological perspective, one sees that of Smith’s first twelve wives, nine were polyandrous. So in this early period polyandry was the norm, not the anomaly… Polyandry might be easier to understand if one viewed these marriages to Smith as a sort of de facto divorce with the first husband. However, none of these women divorced their ‘first husbands’ while Smith was alive…In the eleven certain polyandrous marriages, only three of the husbands were non-Mormon (Lightner, Sayers, and Cleveland) and only one was disaffected (Buell). All other husbands were in good standing in the church at the time Joseph married their wives.” (Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, pp. 15-16)|
|10 “There is evidence that Joseph was a polygamist by 1835.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.323). “To safeguard his burdensome secret, Joseph publicly and repeatedly denied he was advocating polygamy.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.491) “Joseph and Hyrum taught against the doctrine from the pulpit.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.526)|
|11 “Fanny Alger, one of the first plural wives sealed to the Prophet.” (Historical Record, May 1887, vol. 6, page 233). was a 17-year-old orphan girl whom Emma had taken into the family, but after her secret marriage with Joseph was discovered, Emma drove her out of the house. Warren Parrish, the secretary of Joseph for a period of time, told Benjamin Johnson that he and Oliver Cowdery knew the report of an affair between Joseph and the girl to be true, for they “were spied upon and found together.” (Letter from Benjamin Johnson to George Gibbs, 1903; Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet, pp. 103-104)|
|12 “What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience.” (Joseph Smith, “Address of the Prophet—His Testimony|
|Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo”, delivered Sunday, May 26, 1844. Printed in History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408412)|
|13 “Cowdery and Joseph aired their differences at a meeting in November 1837 where Joseph did not deny his relationship with Alger, but contended that eh had never confessed to adultery…that was all Joseph wanted: an admission that he had not termed the Alger affair adulterous.” Rough Stone Rolling, pp.324-5. Even though Joseph may have seen his version of polygamy as not adulterous, he did state several times before this that he has not marrying other women.|
|14 “…my [Joseph] feelings are so strong for you since what has passed lately between us…it seems, as if I could not live long in this way; and if you three would come and see me…it would afford me great relief…I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of affliction…the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty…burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts…You will pardon me for my earnestness on this subject when you consider how lonesome I must be…I think Emma wont come tonight if she don’t, don’t fail to come tonight…” (The Strange Marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney, p. 4-5)|
|16 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/132 The heading in D&C 132 shows the correct date that the revelation was written down (1843) but states that “evidence indicates that some of the principles involved in this revelation were known by the Prophet as early as 1831” in an attempt to explain that he MUST have known because he was marrying girls in 1833. There is no evidence for him receiving this revelation then. The only “evidence” is that he secretly married this 16 year old girl in 1831. Nothing else exists. The earliest revelation about anything relating to sealings was when Elijah restored the sealing power in 1836, three years after Joseph married Fanny.|
|18 Yes, it is true that some were married for Eternity Only meaning that they would be together in the next life, but of those that were marriages for this life, why does anyone argue that he didn’t try to procreate with them when you had to or polygamy was wrong?|
|20 There are no known records that state the date of when the Melchizedek priesthood was given. There are only a couple conflicting, much later reports giving approximate periods when it could have happened. Rough Stone Rolling, p.588.|
|21 The word priesthood was not used in any sermon or revelation until June, 1831. All offices were given in the church without any mention of holding a priesthood. This is despite the fact that the Melchizedek priesthood was supposedly restored two years previously. At the June, 1831 meeting everyone including Joseph thought they were getting the first bestowal of the priesthood. (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, pp.157-8)|
|22 Final account used by church today says it happened in 1820 (Joseph Smith-History 1:7). Wasn’t written down for the first time until 1832, twelve years later (JS History, ca. Summer 1832, pp. 1–3).|
|23 “Joseph did not tell anyone about John the Baptist at first. Summarizing the key events in his religious life in an 1830 statement, he mentioned translation but said nothing about the restoration of priesthood or the visit of an angel. The first compilation of revelations in 1833 also omitted an account of John he Baptist.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p.75)|
|24 There is no mention of any priesthood found in the histories, diaries, or writings of church members until several years after it had already been established. David Whitmer, one of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, said, “I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood until the year 1834[,] 5. or 6—in Ohio.… I do not believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph and Oliver…” (Early Mormon Documents, 5:137).|
|25 William McLellin, stated, I joined the church in 1831. For years I never heard of John the Baptist ordaining Joseph and Oliver. I heard not of James, Peter, and John doing so.” Some time later he repeated that “I never heard of it in the church for years…” (An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, pp.224-25)|
|26 In “A Revelation on Church Government” that Smith received in April 1830, there was no mention of either priesthood (History of the Church 1:64-70). Some time later, Smith went back and added three verses to the revelation, one of which mentions a “high priesthood” (D&C 20:67). When the Book of Commandments was printed in 1833, it included no mention of these ordinations.|
|27 The account of the Melchizedek restoration is entirely missing. B.H. Roberts writes that “there is no definite account of the event in the history of the Prophet Joseph, or, for matter of that, in any of our annals…” (History of the Church, 1:40fn). Palmer confirms that “no contemporary narrative exists…. the date, location, ordination prayer, and any other circumstances surrounding this experience are unknown” (An Insider’s View, 229)|
|28 Even Joseph Smith’s own family did not know about the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood. Quinn writes, “Smith’s own mother made no reference to angelic restoration of authority in an 1831 letter she wrote to her brother about the new church” (Origins of Power, p.19). Joseph Smith III, the son of the founder of Mormonism, admitted that “there is no historical evidence of such an event. Nor is there any evidence that Peter, James, and John were present…. It|
|is not safe then to write historically that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ever ordained literally…” (Reorganized History of the Church 1:64-65).|
|29 The earliest known account of the First Vision was given in 1831 or 1832. As Joseph dictated to his secretary, Frederick|
|T. Williams, he saw Christ but there is no mention of God the Father in his vision. (Dean C. Jesse, “The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Brigham Young University Studies, 9:280, 1969, from the “Kirtland Letter Book, 18291835”)|
|30 In at least seven places in the Journal of Discourses, early LDS leaders shared that it was only an unidentified angel that visited Joseph, not God and Jesus (2:171, 196, 197; 10:127; 13:78, 324; 20:167)|
|31 “The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven…But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun…and informed him that he should not join any of the religions of the day, for they were all wrong;…” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:171)|
|32 In 1837, William Appleby recorded the vision story as given by Orson Pratt in his diary. In this version, the revival was not until 1822, Joseph was 17 again, and the visitors were not God and Jesus but beings who identified themselves only as angels who claimed to have forgiven Joseph’s sins (William I. Appleby, Biography and Journal, 30-31, LDS archives; as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents (5 Vols.; Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1996-2003), 1:145-147).|
|33 JS, Journal, 9–11 Nov. 1835, pp. 23–24|
|34 The name was also published in the Pearl of Great Price (1851 edition, p. 41) as “Nephi”. The original handwritten manuscript of the Pearl of Great Price dictated by Joseph Smith reveals that the name was originally written as “Nephi,” but that someone at a later date wrote the word “Moroni” above the line. All evidence indicates that this change was made after Joseph’s death. Walter L. Whipple, in his thesis written at BYU, stated that Orson Pratt “published The Pearl of Great Price in 1878, and removed the name of Nephi from the text entirely and inserted the name Moroni in its place” (Textual Changes in the Pearl of Great Price, typed copy, p. 125).|
|35 “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.” (The Times and Seasons Vol. III, pp. 749, 753; Pearl of Great Price, 1851 edition, page 41). Joseph Smith lived for two years after the name “Nephi” was printed in Times and Seasons and he never published a retraction.|
|36 In 1853, Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, also said the angel’s name was Nephi (Biographical Sketches, p. 79).|
|37 JS History, ca. Summer 1832, pp. 1–3|
|38 Dean C. Jesse, “The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” Brigham Young University Studies, 9:28|
|39 In the early LDS publication Times and Seasons for December 15, 1840 (Vol.2 pg. 241), Oliver Cowdery stated specifically that Joseph Smith, Jr. was 17 at the time of the first vision|
|40 “…When Emma Hale Smith’s cousin, Joseph Lewis, discovered Joseph’s name on the roll [of the Methodist Church], he ‘thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer’ as a member. He took the matter up with a friend, and the following Sunday, when Joseph and Emma arrived for church, the two men steered Joseph aside and into the family shop. ‘They told him plainly that such character as he . . . could not be a member of the church unless he broke off his sins by repentance…’” Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda K. Newell and Valeen T. Avery, University of Illinois Press, 1994, p.25.|
|41 “…must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History, Vol. 1, p. 19)|
|42 Richard Bushman explains that many others were having very similar experiences where they would see God or see Christ, “in a glare of brightness,” all denominations were corrupt, God in the shape of a man, etc. (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, p. 41)|
|43 http://www.mormonstudiespodcast.com/joseph-smith-elias-smith-and-wilford-poulson/ 44 http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/theophany-mine/ 45 “The Visionary World of Joseph Smith” BYU Studies.|
|46 “These events [arguments over polygamy] exhausted both Emma and Joseph. The the fall they stopped fighting…Three weeks later, Joseph told Clayton, Emma ‘was turned quite friendly & kind. She had been anointed.’ By ‘anointed’ Joseph meant Emma had received an ‘endowment,’ the first woman to take part in the ceremony offered to nine men a year a half before.” (Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, pp. 496-7)|
|47 2 Nephi chapter 2 has a discourse on dualism. This philosophical idea did not exist in any writings or teachings that we have record of until after the Brass Plates would have been written and Lehi left for the Americas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism#History, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplatonism_and_Christianity).|
|49 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Mormon_and_the_King_James_Bible#Perpetuation_of_KJB_translation_var iations|
|50 It takes more time and effort to translate the Golden Plates, notice that the translation matches KJV, keep translating everything to see where the translation switches back from Old Testament similarity to Nephi’s text, then go back and replace everything that you just translated (supposedly only in your head and not written down) with KJV verses instead of the Golden Plate’s version. Why not just write down what you are translating at the time you translate it? It had to be translated or he wouldn’t know where the quoting stopped.|
|51 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/10 verses 9-19, especially verse 17 where it says even if the translation were perfect the evil men would have altered the words.|
|52 “During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would to with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them.” (Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches, p. 85)|
|53 That Native Americans descended from the Hebrews was a popular theory at the time Joseph lived. America’s most distinguished preachers -William Penn, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards -had all espoused the theory. A Jewish rabbi, M. M. Noah, summarized the parallels between the cultures of Hebraic and Indian customs in Joseph’s hometown paper on October 11, 1825. Joseph unquestionably had access to the Wayne Sentinel, for on August 11, 1826 his father was listed among the delinquent subscribers as owing $5.60. (Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, 45-46)|
|54 Joseph told these stories well before his brother Alvin’s death in November, 1823. Yet he never got the plates until September, 1827.|
|55 Infant baptism, ordination, the phrase “cease to be God,” which church was right, anti-christs, the trinity, transubstantiation, fasting, church government, who may baptize, republican government and the rights of man. Revival camps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_meeting) that were common in the day show up several times in the Book of Mormon, especially ones similar to what happened in Joseph’s day.|
|Grant Palmer documents that a Methodist camp meeting took place one mile from Joseph Smith’s hometown of Palmyra, New York, on June 7, 1826. Preparation for the meeting included consecrating the ground, which was then called the “temple” or the “house of God”. This meeting in Palmyra attracted 10,000 people. This particular gathering was privileged to hear the farewell speech of the beloved Bishop McKendree. The speakers stood on a raised platform. The scene, as described by those in attendance, is remarkably similar to the scene described in Mosiah 2-4 when the people gathered to hear the farewell speech of King Benjamin. Notice especially, the revival style of response found in Mosiah 4:1-3|
|Denunciation of Deists, Unitarians, Universalists, and agnostics. Strong passages denouncing secret groups as was happening a lot against the Masons at that time. Many names in book match names around Upstate New York. Lehi’s dream matches on almost exactly that his dad had a couple of years before the Book of Mormon was written.|
|56 Summary of 19th century topics in Book of Mormon is given in Rough Stone Rolling, p.92.|
|57 Slippery treasures, peep stone for translation (also mentioned in D&C), diving rods (also mentioned in D&C), treasures in the ground guarded by angels (Moroni and Golden Plates) http://www.mrm.org/early-mormonism-and-magic-worldview|
|58 The book “View of the Hebrews”|
|59 The Late War has an inconceivable similarity http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/|
|60 Temple Marriage, proxy work for dead, polygamy in heaven, difference between the priesthoods, pre-existence of man,|
|endowment, garments, three degrees of glory, word of wisdom, laying on of hands for gift of the Holy Ghost, etc.|
|61 Also, changes were made in the Book of Mormon to match later changes in doctrine such as the Trinitarian view of the godhead: In the 1837 printing of the Book of Mormon several passages were changed from the 1830 version of just “God” to the phrase “son of God” (1 Ne 18: 11, 21, 32, 1 Ne 11:32, 1 Ne 13:40)|
|62 “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.” (D&C 42:12), “Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel…” (D&C 27:5)|
|66 Collection of mistakes by LDS prophets. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nepdmcijd9vdxmz/Mistakes%20of%20the %20Prophets%20-%20to%20share.doc?dl=0|
|67 “Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.” D&C 89:17|
|68 William Clayton quotes Joseph Smith in his journal. “I have seen 6 brass plates…covered with ancient characters of language containing from 30 to 40 on each side of the plates. Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found and he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.” (William Clayton’s Journal, May 1, 1843, as cited in Trials of Discipleship — The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon, page 117)|
|69 The following is attributed to Joseph Smith in the church’s own record: “I insert facsimiles of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook…I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.” (History of the Church, Vol. 5 page 372)|
|70 “A recent electronic and chemical analysis of a metal plate (one of six original plates) brought in 1843 to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, appears to solve a previously unanswered question in Church history, helping to further evidence that the plate is what its producers later said it was—a nineteenth-century attempt to lure Joseph Smith into making a translation of ancient-looking characters that had been etched into the plates.” (Ensign, August 1981, Stanley B. Kimball)|
|71 Long summary of Hoffman forgeries and the LDS church’s involvement|
|72 Joseph Fielding Smith tore out a page that showed the original version of the First Vision was not the same as the one the church was using. It was later replaced. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wpcontent/uploads/premium/Dialogue_V47N02_210.pdf|
|73 “Joseph the Seer has presented us some of the Book of Abraham which was written by his own hand but hid from the knowledge of man for the last four thousand years but has now come to light through the mercy of God.” (Diary of Wilford Woodruff, entry of February 19, 1842, LDS archives; also in Jay M. Todd, The Saga of the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1969), p. 221)|
|74 Facsimile 1 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr/fac-1?lang=eng|
|75 Facsimile 2 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr/fac-2?lang=eng|
|76 Facsimile 3 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr/fac-3?lang=eng|
|77 “The Book of Abraham, it is hardly necessary to say, is a pure fabrication. Cuts 1 and 3 are inaccurate copies of well known scenes on funeral papyri, and cut 2 is a copy of one of the magical discs which in the late Egyptian period were placed under the heads of mummies. There were about forty of these latter known in museums and they are all very similar in character. Joseph Smith’s interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end. Egyptian characters can now be read almost as easily as Greek, and five minutes’ study in an Egyptian gallery of any museum should be enough to convince any educated man of the clumsiness of the imposture.” (Dr. Arthur Mace, Assistant Curator for the Department of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum, F.S. Spalding, Joseph Smith Jr., As a Translator, 1912, p. 27)|
|78 “It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith’s impudent fraud. The fac simile from the Book of Abraham No. 2 is an ordinary hypocephalus, but the hieroglyphics upon it have been copied so ignorantly that hardly one of them is correct. I need scarcely say that Kolob, &c., are unknown to the Egyptian language. Smith has turned the goddess into a king and Osiris into Abraham.” (Dr. A. H. Sayce from Oxford, England, Ibid., p. 23)|
|79 Fac-simile Number 2 represents a little disc…commonly called among Egyptologists a hypocephalus…These did not come into use until the late centuries just before the Christian era. They did not appear in any Egyptian burials until over a thousand years after the time of Abraham. They were unknown in Egypt in Abraham’s day.|
|Fac-simile Number 3…This scene again is depicted innumerable times in the funeral papyri, coffins and tomb and temple walls of Egypt. No representation of it thus far found in Egypt, though we have thousands of them, dates earlier than 500 years after Abraham’s age; and it may be stated as certain that the scene was unknown until about 500 years after Abraham’s day.” (Dr. James H. Breasted of the Haskell Oriental Museum, University of Chicago, Ibid., pp. 24-27)|
|80 “None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham.” (Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham, https://www.lds.org/topics/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng&query=abraham)|
|83 The temple ceremony has changed significantly since Joseph Smith’s death. Brigham young added in parts about preachers that were later removed. An oath against the United States’ government was removed. Many horrific penalties of death were removed. Women having to “obey” their husbands was removed.|
|http://www.ldsendowment.org/timeline.html 84 http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/temple_ceremony.htm|
I am highly confused about the editing of the Book of Commandments into the D&C. Surely you’re aware that the D&C and its revelations is not in its original form. Some changes are typography or orthography, but others are meaningful, contextual, revelation-altering changes.
There is an issue about the current status of D&C 8:6 and Oliver Cowdery’s divining rod.
Compare the two official LDS links below. One that claims Oliver’s rod was a gift of God whereas the other claims his “Gift of Aaron” was of God.
Doctrine & Covenants:
Those sympathetic to Mormonism say the gift of Aaron is a companionship gift like Aaron, brother of Moses displayed in Exodus.
D&C 8 approves a rod only for sacred information. It also suggests the rod that displayed God’s power in the Egyptian plagues, in striking the rock for life-giving water or in calling down strength on Israel’s warriors. That rod was a straight shaft, the shepherd’s staff possessed by Moses at his call (Ex. 4:2-4). Used by both Moses and Aaron, it was foremost the “rod of God,” also Moses’ rod, but formally called the “rod of Aaron.” It functioned as a visible sign of authority, just as Judah’s “scepter” was a sign of divine kingship in Jacob’s blessing or Elijah’s staff held by the servant who went in his name. Thus the rod of Aaron was a staff of delegated agency, and the 1835 revision to “The gift of Aaron” suggests Oliver’s spiritual power to assist Joseph Smith as Aaron assisted Moses. [REF]
Those unsympathetic to Mormonism say Cowdery’s interest and practice in “folk magic” attracted him to Joseph Smith’s interest and practice of “folk magic”. (Fold Magic is a charged term, and should be generally described and physical manifestations through physical objects; however, that term is very long.)
I suppose if one believes all the craziness in the Bible, a modern-day divining rod isn’t that far-fetched.
Some people have balked at this claim of physical instruments used in the divine translation process, but such aids to facilitate the communication of God’s power and inspiration are consistent with accounts in scripture. In addition to the Urim and Thummim, the Bible mentions other physical instruments used to access God’s power: the rod of Aaron, a brass serpent, holy anointing oils, the Ark of the Covenant, and even dirt from the ground mixed with saliva to heal the eyes of a blind man. [REF]
However, if one is skeptical of the seemingly unnatural occurrences in the Bible, then it makes no sense to believe in Cowdery’s rod or Smith’s peepstone.
How does one reconcile a belief in an all-powerful God with the distrust of what appears to be folk tales in scriptures? That’s the question I need answered.
I hate my boss.
That is all.
I was listening to a Rational Faiths podcast about spiritual watering holes, and one guest said she relates the last two lines of a poem by Emily Dickinson (full quote at end):
narcotics cannot still the tooth
that nibbles at the soul –
Once something is learned, it cannot be unlearned. Like grooves on a record, information is permanent. More information can be added to correct, to clarify, or to add information, but the original information will always be there. In the Faith Crisis Era, it seems like certain bits of Mormon history that get grooved into our records have a lot of sway over all the previous grooves. Whatever the issue, those experiencing a faith crisis feel that nibbling in their soul by the tooth of new information.
When reaching out to their TBM friends, the only help given in to “read scriptures, pray, fast, attend the temple.” As it is often the case, those experiencing a faith crisis are already doing those to an extent. This information is not new. However, Emily Dickinson exposes the reason WHY those activities have lost their efficacy: narcotics can’t silence the itch of the soul.
“Religion is the opium of the masses [or people, depending on your German]” said Karl Marx. Could it be that the daily to-do list is our daily dose of opium? But if so, how could a faith crisis make us immune to the effects of our daily opium intake? Does the new information learned during a faith crisis make one immune to it or do we inhibit our ability to feel the effects because of one’s loss of faith?
Whatever the reason, I feel that nibbling, and/but the opium isn’t cutting it anymore.
This World Is Not Conclusion
this world is not conclusion
a species stands beyond –
invisible, as music –
but positive as sound –
it beckons, and it baffles
philosophy – don’t know –
and through a riddle, at the last –
sagacity must go –
to guess it, puzzles scholars –
to gain it, men have borne
contempt of generations
and crucifixion, shown –
faith slips – and laughs, and rallies –
blushes, if any see –
plucks at a twig of evidence –
and asks a vane, the way –
much gesture, from the pulpit –
strong hallelujahs roll –
narcotics cannot still the tooth
that nibbles at the soul –