The Mormon Delusion.


Last week, two American Mormons knocked on my door wanting to talk about “what makes you happy”. As I began to answer that my family make me happy, that the sound of running water makes me happy, that I like to read and that my friends make me happy, they interrupted me to let me know that “all the happiness you’ll ever need, is right here” whilst pointing to the Book of Mormon.

One of the two informed me that God visits him every night to reassure him that the Book of Mormon is the truth, and that Joseph Smith was a great Prophet. I asked him why a God who had made half the planet inhospitable to human life, decides to allow human life to grow in those places, amidst suffering and poverty, yet feels the need to come to him on a nightly basis? He nodded along, as a man does, when he hasn’t read or listened to any arguments against his dogmatic position before. After forty five minutes, one of them said, regarding their own religion “Yeah, I don’t really know much about this“. They agreed to come back next week to have a deeper discussion once i’d read their book; a book they assured me would provide me with philosophical truths, the likes of which I’d never come across ever again. Well, next week is today, they haven’t came back, and after reading half of their book, I have come to the conclusion that the only reason I’m unlikely to come across the ‘philosophy’ (and I use that term in its weakest possible form) again, is because it is incomparably senseless. I had a list of issues prepared to hit them with, when they came back. I’ll run you through a few now.

Leaving aside the fact that up until the 1950s, being black meant that you were Satan’s representatives on Earth according to the Mormon Church. Leaving aside the 2nd President of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young saying of mixed race marriages:


“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain” (Black people were considered the descendants of Cain), “the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so”

Leaving aside the fact that Young had asked the US Government to formally create a State of Deseret across California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. Deseret is the word in the Book of Mormon for “honeybee”. Now, given that there were no bees in the Americas until the 1600s, when European Colonialists brought over A. m. mellifera (the dark bee), it suggests the book of Mormon wasn’t written when originally claimed; 1100 years before the Colonialists reached America. The bee however DID exist when Joseph Smith was claiming to have found the golden plates with scripture written on it. An entire State named after a massively stupid lie? (I believe Israel is similar).

Leaving aside all of that, what did Joseph Smith actually find and transcribe two centuries ago?

The story from the Mormons, is that Joseph Smith began having visions from an angel called Moroni, who informed him that golden plates, with lost scripture, were located in a hill side in…… upstate New York. I suppose it makes a change from illiterate people from warring tribes in the Middle East claiming a monopoly on truth. He then transcribed the writing from reformed Egyptian, to English and published the book of Mormon in 1830. The golden plates were left in the hillside, by a lost tribe of Israel, who traveled to America, and are the ancestors of Native Americans.

On the surface of it, the story is pure lunacy. Underneath the surface, pure lunacy becomes a massive understatement. It is shear insanity. The trustworthiness of Joseph Smith is definitely worth investigating further. So here you go.

Joseph Smith did not allow anyone else to see the golden tablets, because apparently they’d instantly drop dead if they laid eyes upon them. Only he was allowed to see them. He allowed several “witnesses” to feel the heavy box they sat in, but never to see the plates themselves. Because Smith was illiterate, he had scribes to write down as he translated. He put a sheet between himself and the scribe, so the scribe could never see the plates. One of his scribes, Martin Harris, had mortgaged his home and moved in with Smith to help him transcribe the text. Martin Harris’ wife took exception to this, and stole the transcribed texts and told Joseph, that if he truly had the plates, he’d be able to reproduce them word for word. Cunningly, and conveniently, Smith told her that he had another revelation, in which he was told he would not have to reproduce the original plates because they might now be tainted by the devil. He was then apparently given new plates, with similar transcription; just not word for word.

The way Smith transcribed the text on the plates, seems to render them useless. According to David Whitmer (one of the three original ‘witnesses’, though his witness testimony differs every time he was asked about it) this is how Smith transcribed the texts:

I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. 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.

- You read it right. Joseph Smith would put a hat on his face, and look at a stone, in darkness. Is no one questioning this nonsense? Why on Earth would Smith need the plates? He isn’t reading from the plates. He’s reading from an illuminated stone in a hat. The plates are pointless. It isn’t like he needs them to prove their authenticity to other people, given that no one else is allowed to see them. And wouldn’t the hat need to be substantially deep, for Smith to be able to focus on it fully? If I put an egg sized stone in a hat from around that time period, and put my face in it so as to completely black out the light, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to focus on the stone for the hours needed to translate hundreds of thousands of words. I’m guessing the hat must have been huge.

Whitmer goes on to say:

The characters I speak of are the engravings on the golden plates from which the book was translated. They were engraved thereon by the hand of a holy prophet of God whose name was Mormon, who lived upon this land four hundred years after Christ. Mormon’s son, Moroni, after witnessing the destruction of his brethren, the Nephites, who were a white race — they being destroyed by the Lamanites (ancestors of Indians) — deposited the golden plates in the ground, according to a command of God. An angel of the Lord directed Brother Joseph to them. The language of the Nephites is called the reformed Egyptian language.

- So, according to Mormonism, Nephites were ancestors of Native American Indians. According to the book, Nephites themselves were descended from a man named Nephi, who happened to leave Jerusalem around 600AD and landed in America. The Nephites were God’s favourite race in America (having white skin) whilst the dark skinned Lamanites – cursed with dark skin, by God – were the hated foes, also descended from the Middle East. Lovely little racist story, with no ounce of truth whatsoever. We know for a fact through modern DNA analysis, that the Native American population had absolutely no genetic relationship to the Middle East at all. The genetic work of Cavalli-Sforza tells us beyond doubt, that Native American Indians have distinct DNA, that is most similar (if we are comparing) to people living in the Altai Mountain range in the middle of Asia (Mongolia, Russia). It confirms what science already knew; people migrated from the area around the Altai Mountains in Asia to America, around 16,000 years ago. It is clear; there is no Hebrew blood in pre-Colombian America.

One of the big mistakes in the Book of Mormon, is that it supposedly originates from the 6th century, yet its English (given from God in Joseph Smith’s hat) is eerily familiar to that of the King James Bible, which became available in 1611; 1000 years after the writing of the book. The problem here is that the King James Bible, that the Book of Mormon quotes, has a few errors, that then found their way into the Book of Mormon. God appears to have made the exact same mistake twice. Isiah 9:1 uses the word “honour”. The translation here from original hebrew is wrong, as has been proven since. The phrase should be “grievously afflict”. The mistake can also be found in the Book of Mormon. It would seem to even the least skeptic of minds, that Joseph Smith merely copied passages from a Bible that was freely available at the time, full of errors that were not to be corrected for decades.

The word ‘manifestation’ is only used in the King James version of I Corinthians 12:7. It also appears in the book of Moroni 10:8. The only time the word “intents” is used in the St James Bible is in Hebrews 4:12, in a quote: “thoughts and intents of the heart”, coincidentally, the exact same phrase in the Book of Mormon used several times.

The language is something that needs to be looked at. The writing on the ‘plates’ that no one else has ever seen, was apparently “reformed Egyptian”. The Nephites wrote it in ‘reformed Egyptian because according to the leader of the Nephites Mormon (who eventually lead the Nephites into complete destruction in an ill conceived battle with the Lemanites):

“And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also…”

- Why had they insisted on passing down the language of their slave holders for generations? Why not just make bigger plates? Not only that, but why is there no example anywhere, of this “reformed Egyptian” language? Given that the Nephites were so widespread:

“The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea” Mormon 1:7

- why is there no other example of their language anywhere? They apparently had quite an advanced civilisation; laws, elections of judges, Kings, currency; and yet absolutely no archaeological evidence exists at all. Remember, until the 1500s, no European had been to America to wipe out any historical evidence for the Nephites. And why would they? An entire civilisation does not just disappear without leaving evidence for its existence. We know that Jerusalem existed. We even know that Alexandria existed. Bountiful (a Nephite city) did not exist. Simple.

The pre-Columbian archaeological expert Michael Coe, sums up the evidence for a Nephite civilisation in Mesoamerica pretty well:

“Mormon archaeologists over the years have almost unanimously accepted the Book of Mormon as an accurate, historical account of the New World peoples…. Let me now state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing to be true, and I would like to state that there are quite a few Mormon archaeologists who join this group….
“The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has even shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.”

Joseph Smith was a fraud. A con artist. A brilliant story teller, but ultimately, a liar and an awful historian. His cult should not be taken seriously, should have no power over the world, and should not be knocking on my door unless they’re willing to answer the most fundamental questions about their cult without finishing with “yeah, I don’t know much about this”. The Book of Mormon though, is no more or less ridiculous or and more or less a work of fantasy, than the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and every other “Holy” dogmatic fairy tale the World has had to endure, books that for centuries demanded the suspension of reason on pain of death. The Book of Mormon simply amplifies and emphasises the stupidity and dangerous dogma of all organised religion.

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33 Responses to The Mormon Delusion.

  1. Charles says:

    quote “The Nephites were God’s favourite race in America (having white skin) whilst the dark skinned Lamanites – cursed with dark skin, by God – were the hated foes, also descended from the Middle East.” quote end

    In 6/1/1973, Michael Coe wrote an article for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. [1] In this article he addressed the issue:

    “And what does one do with Joseph Smith, great man
    though he was, with his outrageous claims to be able to translate “Reformed Egyptian” documents, with the ridiculous Kinderhook Plates incident, with the “Book of Abraham,” with Zelph the “white Lamanite,” and with all the other nonsense generated by a nineteenth century, American subculture intellectually
    grounded in white supremacy and proexpansionist tendencies?”

    [1] – Mormons and Archaeology page 47 https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V08N02_42.pdf

  2. I am Spartacus says:

    I’m currently reading ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins and he, much like yourself, demonstrates just how easy the facts behind religions crumble when scrutinised.

    It is quite stunning that, when analysed in surveys, you would have more chance of being elected to any official post in America if you were Female -or- Gay -or- Black -or- an alien (it seems), than if you are an Athiest. Obviously none of the above should be restricting factors (well, maybe the alien), but it does show an enormous contrast between America and the UK.

    Ernest Hemmingway: All thinking men are athiests
    (Yep, that just about sums it up….)

  3. I enjoy your critical attitude towards dogmatic groups.
    I hope for your critical comment on atheism.

  4. You will be hoping for a long time. I have no critical comment on Atheism. Simply because it is lack of belief in a God. I hope for your critical comment for a lack of belief in the little invisible monkey sat on top of my head.

  5. LOL-you get your own planet to be “god” of when you die-what’s not to love about Mormonism? Seriously tho-your interactions with the 2 Mormon missionaries reminds of what I said to the 2 lovely Jehovah’s witnesses who tried to “witness” to me one morning. I asked them, since they thought only 144,000 people were going to get into heaven when Judgement Day came, why were they recruiting me? I could take their spot, afterall

  6. Natalie says:

    A coin has two sides.

  7. What side of the coin was that? It was simply a discussion on the meaning of life from different perspectives. I’m an absurdist when it comes to that question.

  8. John says:

    Jim Jones People’s Temple = 60 year old cult
    Mormons = 200 year old cult
    Muslims = 1500 year old cult
    Christians = 2000 year old cult
    Jews = 3000 year old cult

    Why are the newer ones more ridiculous?

  9. I reiterate:
    “The Book of Mormon though, is no more or less ridiculous or and more or less a work of fantasy, than the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and every other “Holy” dogmatic fairy tale the World has had to endure”

  10. [...] to support Romney because he is a Mormon. (I must say, I can’t blame her. That shit is cray! But I think all religions [...]

  11. I actually agree with what Sam Harris pointed out: if the Bible is false, & it is, then the Book of Mormon is even more false because it adds on that extra level of delusion (Mormonism is the Bible, plus even more pernicious falsehoods).

  12. Michael says:

    Reblogged this on Another Atheist and commented:
    The Book of Mormon, as the article illustrates, is just as delusional as the Bible, the Koran or any other religious text. It’s only problem is that due to it’s relative youth, more of the lunacy shows through from not having had the centuries of editing the other texts have had.

  13. Jeff says:

    Even if you don’t believe in god, and from what I read here most of you are non believers. I feel sorry for you for such a short view, and you will be given the opportunity to change your mind upon your death. I hope you understand that our core values and beliefs are that of honesty, service, love of your fellow man, and forgiveness. these are beautiful values and we strive to live these values. Even if it ends up being false,,,,is it such a bad way of life? I would pose the question to you what have you done for your brother today?

  14. Core values are wonderful and all, but the darker values are where the problems lie.
    Until the 1950s, if you were black, Mormons considered you to be Satan’s representatives on Earth. Even today, if you’re homosexual, mormons condemn you as sinful. If you have sex outside of marriage, you are ‘fornicating’ and that’s something God doesn’t approve of. Those are ‘values’ that are wholly contradictory to a decent, civilised population.
    So you can dress it up as “love of your fellow man” if you wish, but as with most religious beliefs; Mormonism is vicious, bigoted, totalitarian, and dangerous.

  15. Notso Gullible says:

    Jeff, you claim a core value of ‘honesty’. That cannot be true in the face of the whole story being clearly ‘false’.

    A core value of ‘love of your fellow man’ – also cannot be true when there is so much hate toward those of different shades of skin.

    ‘Service’ – pedaling and propagating patently ridiculous hateful untruths is a disservice.

    Embracing delusion very rarely ends well – and it is those who value reality who are left to pick up the pieces.

  16. [...] professor then links to an article titled The Mormon Delusion, a play on his own work challenging Christianity and the belief of God, where in Jamie Smith, an [...]

  17. Scott says:

    “Leaving aside the fact that up until the 1950s, being black meant that you were Satan’s representatives on Earth according to the Mormon Church.”

    But you don’t leave it aside. You mention it first.

    Leaving aside the fact that Young had asked the US Government to formally create a State of Deseret across California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.

    Again, you don’t leave it aside, you mention it, second. Mormons founded many of the earliest cities in those states and plausibly at the time represented a majority in some portion of them. As far as I recall Young requested a state covering a territory that partially overlapped with several of the states you mention. A state representing a sliver here and a corner there centered around Utah is very different from the picture you paint. And arguably having these states be separate has been a boon to Mormon representation in the Senate given that each state gets two senators instead of one large state having a single senator.

    Bees: http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anachronisms/Animals/Bees

    “it suggests the book of Mormon wasn’t written when originally claimed; 1100 years before the Colonialists reached America.”

    The portion about bees is not 1100 years ago, but ~5000 years ago (replace here with your preferred date for Tower of Babel)

    “The story from the Mormons, is that Joseph Smith began having visions from an angel called Moroni”
    Well, actually his visions “began” before that, in what appropriately called by Mormons “The First Vision”, where Joseph sees God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.

    “Joseph Smith did not allow anyone else to see the golden tablets, because apparently they’d instantly drop dead if they laid eyes upon them. Only he was allowed to see them. He allowed several “witnesses” to feel the heavy box they sat in, but never to see the plates themselves.”

    Not true. If you can’t be truthful and accurate on such a basic topic covered extensively and explicitly in the first pages of the Book of Mormon, why should anyone trust what you have to say one ANYTHING else?

    Over a dozen people saw the actual plates.

    One of the first pages in the Book of Mormon, entitled “THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES”:

    “Be it known unto all…That we…have seen the plates which contain this record…And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates;…and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon;…”
    Oliver Cowdery
    David Whitmer
    Martin Harris

    http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/thrwtnss

    From the next page, entitled “THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES”

    “That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship…”

    Christian Whitmer
    Jacob Whitmer
    Peter Whitmer, Jun
    John Whitmer
    Hiram Page
    Joseph Smith, Sen
    Hyrum Smith
    Samuel H. Smith

    http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/eghtwtns

    “He was then apparently given new plates”

    He was not given new plates.

    “The way Smith transcribed the text on the plates, seems to render them useless.”

    They proved to Smith and the witnesses and other people who saw the plates mentioned above that this was a real actual physical record not an invention.

    “according to Mormonism, Nephites were ancestors of Native American Indians”

    The Introduction to the Book of Mormon reads “they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

    “The Nephites were God’s favourite race in America (having white skin) whilst the dark skinned Lamanites – cursed with dark skin, by God – were the hated foes, also descended from the Middle East. Lovely little racist story”

    The Nephites and Lamanites were the same race. Nephi and Laman were brothers. They were both from the Middle East.

    You claim it’s racist, biased toward the Nephites, and yet the Nephites were destroyed and the Lamanites survived. And the Book of Mormon at several points says the Lamanites were more delightsome and righteous than the Nephites. And many of the heroes in the Book of Mormon are Lamanites, including Lamoni, Anti-Nephi-Lehi, Samuel the Lamanite, and the 2000 Stripling Warriors.

    DNA: http://en.fairmormon.org/Topical_Guide/Book_of_Mormon/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon/DNA_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

    “The language is something that needs to be looked at. The writing on the ‘plates’ that no one else has ever seen, was apparently “reformed Egyptian”.”

    Indeed, you should research the language used in the Book of Mormon.

    Stephen Ricks details here the ancient Hebrew and Middle Eastern origin of non-Biblical names used in the Book of Mormon:

    There’s also a lot written about Hebrew writing patterns including chiasmas and paranomasiacs.

    Royal Skousen talks about the use of Hebrew grammar and non-19th century non-Biblical English language in the Book of Mormon here:

    “Why had they insisted on passing down the language of their slave holders for generations?”
    Yeah, because slaves in America refused to speak English. Give me a break. Egyptian was a big deal in the time and area of the world from which Lehi’s family came.

    http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anachronisms/Language/Reformed_Egyptian

    “Remember, until the 1500s, no European had been to America to wipe out any historical evidence for the Nephites. And why would they?”

    This presumes that other peoples and tribes, including the Lamanites who destroyed them, over the course of 1000 years, wouldn’t have destroyed all evidence of them before 1500 AD.

    Sorry I don’t have time to correct every inaccuracy in your post. I invite you and your readers to consult more accurate resources on the topic.

  18. What have I done for my brother today? I have not sworn to him a web of absurd lies as absolute truth in an effort to convince him to believe something that I can use to manipulate him to my will and elevate myself to a position of power, influence, and wealth. Do the means of deceit justify the ends of some good works? Does Hamas feed the poor in Gaza? Do their good works balance their doctrine and actions of Jew bashing indoctrination of Palestinian children into fanatic hatred, and violence?

  19. Scott, you have been a little disingenuous whilst trying to be righteous. Let’s examine some of your claims.

    ‘ “The story from the Mormons, is that Joseph Smith began having visions from an angel called Moroni”
    Well, actually his visions “began” before that, in what appropriately called by Mormons “The First Vision”, where Joseph sees God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.”
    - This is a rather pointless criticism. At some point, as I said, Joseph Smith began having visions from an angel called Moroni. Fact. The fact that he claims to have seen Jesus, is meaningless.

    On your point of the witnesses, you seem to have decided not to post the full signed disclaimer. I’m not sure why you did that. Here it is in its entirety:

    “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.”
    OLIVER COWDERY
    DAVID WHITMER
    MARTIN HARRIS
    - The key line here, especially when we link it to what both Whitmer and Harris had said later in life, is “shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man”.
    Later in life, some witnesses describe their ‘seeing’ the plates as visionary and subjective, rather than given by Smith. Which backs up the disclaimer above: “shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man”.
    After leaving the Church, Harris claims his vision was subjective, rather than concrete; saying he saw the plates with “the eyes of faith and not with the natural eyes”
    Whitmer never claimed that Smith had presented him the plates, he claimed he, Oliver Cowdery, and Smith saw them in a vision with an angel.
    Whitmer later stated that an angel had shown him “the breast plates, the Ball or Directors, the Sword of Laban and other plates”. Whitmer then tells a friend: “I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides…they were shown to me by a supernatural power” – not by Joseph Smith.
    Of the Eight witnesses (you got the testimony right for them, well done), Joseph’s brother, William Smith ALSO claims to have seen the plates, but he gives a slightly different account. He claims the plates were covered with a cloth. He was allowed to handle them, but not to look under the cloth. When he asked to look under the cloth, Joseph said: ‘No, I am instructed not to show them to any one.” It would seem from this testimony, that actually handling the plates simply involved holding heavy objects under a cloth.
    We could go into their unreliability as witnesses (if you’re still willing to claim they all ACTUALLY saw the plates)?

    “They proved to Smith and the witnesses and other people who saw the plates mentioned above that this was a real actual physical record not an invention.”
    - As noted above, it is dubious that they actually claim to have ‘seen’ the ‘physical record’. During the translation process, which involved Whitmer and Cowdery, the plates remained covered. Why keep them covered if those two had already seen the plates in reality?

    “according to Mormonism, Nephites were ancestors of Native American Indians”

    The Introduction to the Book of Mormon reads “they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”
    - I’m sorry, but how does this contradict what I said? You’ve just rephrased my original comment. The fact is, DNA evidence proves that the ancestors of the Native American Indians came from Asia, not from the Middle East. If you are trying to justify this inescapable falsity, you have your work cut out for you.

    “The Nephites and Lamanites were the same race. Nephi and Laman were brothers. They were both from the Middle East.
    You claim it’s racist, biased toward the Nephites, and yet the Nephites were destroyed and the Lamanites survived. And the Book of Mormon at several points says the Lamanites were more delightsome and righteous than the Nephites. And many of the heroes in the Book of Mormon are Lamanites, including Lamoni, Anti-Nephi-Lehi, Samuel the Lamanite, and the 2000 Stripling Warriors.”
    - Okay let’s examine what the ‘God’ of Mormonism thinks of the Lemanites:
    “2:18 But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord for them.
    2:19 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.
    2:20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
    2:21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
    2:22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
    2:23 For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.
    2:24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.
    - Here, Nephi’s brother is cursed. But how is he cursed?:
    2 Nephi 5:21-23:
    “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.”
    - But there’s hope for black people HURRAH!!! For, if they accept the Mormon God:
    “…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.”
    Mormons often quote this to prove that the book of Mormon is not racist:
    “[The Lord] denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female;… and all are alike unto God.” (2 Nephi 26:33)
    - The problem is, taken with the above passages….. you’re already ‘saved’ if you’re white. Black people have to repent for destroying the Nephites, and then join the Church. They have to be ‘forgiven’.
    It isn’t just me who claims it is racist against the Lamanites, it is about 150 years of their Church doctrine too. For the majority of the Church of Mormon’s history, they have a policy of racism

    “You claim it’s racist, biased toward the Nephites, and yet the Nephites were destroyed and the Lamanites survived.”
    - What does that prove? According to the book, the Nephites are God’s chosen people, and the Lamanites are cursed, with black skin.
    Of all the curses, why black skin? There has to be a reason Joseph Smith chose black skin as the sign of a curse. There has to be a reason he suggests people with black skin are the enemy of God. Well, it doesn’t take much digging to find his quite obvious motives:
    “Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, “Free People of Color,” in the last number of the Star has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this Extra, that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as member of the Church.
    Joseph Smith
    History of the Church, 1:378-379

    Your source on the language used, is Stephen Hitcks? Really? A man who works for a University owned and funded by the LDS? Where 98% of the people who go there are Mormon? HOW OBJECTIVE OF YOU!

    It still stands, the language of ‘reformed Egyptian’ does not, and has never existed.

    ““Remember, until the 1500s, no European had been to America to wipe out any historical evidence for the Nephites. And why would they?”

    This presumes that other peoples and tribes, including the Lamanites who destroyed them, over the course of 1000 years, wouldn’t have destroyed all evidence of them before 1500 AD.”
    - Absolutely. It also presupposes that the Native Americans might have one or two stories that suggest they are their ancestors, and that they might have one or two stories telling the story of a mass genocide. They don’t. Absolutely nothing. Are you genuinely suggesting that it is plausible that an entire civilisation (with buildings, laws, government; everything) was destroyed, along with all evidence for its existence? That’s quite the undertaking! And also, very convenient, because it means you don’t have to provide any evidence for such a massively ludicrous claim.

    “I invite you and your readers to consult more accurate resources on the topic.”
    - This has to be the most insincere of all your comments.
    I can’t help but notice that ALL the sources you attached to your argument…….. are Mormons. The two videos, from Professors at…..seriously….. Brigham Young University. Named after a man who was Mormon President for 30 years. The University, not only named after a Mormon, but is a Mormon operated university. And you want us to take you seriously? One of your sources, Skousen concludes a journal article with:
    “the Book of Mormon was a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.”
    - This is a man I am never going to take seriously as being anything other than a Mormon apologist. He is not unbiased, he is not objective, and neither is Ricks.

    None of your points have any credibility whatsoever.

  20. Steven Yaniz says:

    The foundation of every religion is savage and fraudulent, leading to war and hatred as opposed to the love and compassion it preaches. There are no questions about your existence or your being that religion of any kind can answer that you yourself already don’t know. Mormons, Jehova’s Witness, Christians and Muslims-All the same God and all trying to convert each other through the use of weapons and war. Yeah, there’s a God alright.

  21. Scott says:

    > you seem to have decided not to post the full signed disclaimer. I’m not sure why you did that.

    Because I was pointing out that they claimed to see the plates, not a box containing them, as you claimed: “He allowed several “witnesses” to feel the heavy box they sat in, but never to see the plates themselves.” I didn’t think the rest of the testimony was relevant to that point. I did provide a link to the full testimony.

    > The key line here, especially when we link it to what both Whitmer and Harris had said later in life, is “shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man”.

    Yeah, meaning an angel showed them the plates, not Joseph. You said Joseph never allowed to them to see them. What do you call taking them to a grove and praying with them so that they could see them?

    The three witnesses clearly describe seeing “an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon;”

    Here’s how wikipedia describes it:

    “In late June or early July 1829, Joseph Smith Jr., Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris retired to the woods a short distance from the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. and prayed to receive a vision of the Golden Plates.[2] After some time, Harris left the other three men, believing his presence had prevented the vision from occurring. The remaining three again knelt and soon saw a light in the air over their heads and an angel holding the plates in his hands. Smith retrieved Harris, and after praying at some length with him, Harris too said he saw the vision, shouting, “‘Tis enough; ’tis enough; mine eyes have beheld, Hosanna!””

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Witnesses

    “Recounting the vision to Orson Pratt in 1878, Whitmer claimed to have seen not only the Golden Plates but the “Brass Plates, the plates containing the record of the wickedness of the people of the world….the sword of Laban, the Directors (i.e. the ball which Lehi had) and the Interpreters. I saw them just as plain as I see this bed….”[41]”
    by god not of man could mean an angel brought and showed them the plates, not joseph smith like in the case of the eigth.

    > Joseph’s brother, William Smith ALSO claims to have seen the plates, but he gives a slightly different account. He claims the plates were covered with a cloth. He was allowed to handle them, but not to look under the cloth. When he asked to look under the cloth, Joseph said: ‘No, I am instructed not to show them to any one.” It would seem from this testimony, that actually handling the plates simply involved holding heavy objects under a cloth.

    So instead of dealing with the testimony of the 8 witnesses you reference the experience of someone who is not one of the 8 witnesses. Yes, during the time he had the plates, including during translation, unless he was instructed by God to show them to a witness he was not allowed to show them to people.

    You dismiss the witness of the 3 witnesses because their experience is supernatural. The 8 witnesses are very clear that their experience was not miraculous, it did not involve an angel or a vision. They were shown the plates and “as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it. ”

    > it is dubious that they actually claim to have ‘seen’ the ‘physical record’.

    It’s perfectly clear to all who will read the testimony of the 8 witnesses.

    > Why keep them covered if those two had already seen the plates in reality?

    Because they hadn’t. The witnesses experiences happened after the translation was completed.

    > Scott: The Introduction to the Book of Mormon reads “they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”
    > You: I’m sorry, but how does this contradict what I said? You’ve just rephrased my original comment. The fact is, DNA evidence proves that the ancestors of the Native American Indians came from Asia, not from the Middle East.

    The distinction is between being “the ancestors” and being “among the ancestors.” The point is that the DNA evidence does not prove that a small group of people (two families) from the Middle East didn’t come and mix with a much larger group of natives whose principals ancestors were originally from Siberia or wherever.

    http://www.fairblog.org/2012/08/17/misquoting-science/

    One excerpt:
    “Signature Books at some point produced a quick survey among population geneticists not involved with the Book of Mormon issue about the question “What happens genetically when a small population is introduced into a larger one?” The consensus was that you would not expect to find Semitic DNA in the Americas if the group that arrived to the New World was very small compared to the hosting population. This is a natural process referred to as genetic drift, which applies to both uniparental markers, as well as autosomal DNA.”

    http://signaturebooks.com/2010/06/dna-and-the-book-of-mormon/

    > you’re already ‘saved’ if you’re white. Black people have to repent for destroying the Nephites, and then join the Church. They have to be ‘forgiven’.

    Mormons don’t believe color has anything to do with being saved. Everyone, regardless of color, has to repent of their (not their ancestors) sins and and be baptized, the exact same, white, black, or brown.

    > It isn’t just me who claims it is racist against the Lamanites

    So you believe the Lamanites are make believe, but you have a problem with racism against them? :) J/k I know you probably meant natives or blacks or something.

    For people interested in another viewpoint, here’s a book written by a black Mormon on the topic. I haven’t read it entirely but the little I have read seems good:

    http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/mainpage.htm
    http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/q1.htm

    > Are you genuinely suggesting that it is plausible that an entire civilisation (with buildings, laws, government; everything) was destroyed, along with all evidence for its existence? That’s quite the undertaking

    The Nephites and Lamanites (and likely other tribes) lived very close to each other, they traded with each other, they merged and seperated repeatedly. It makes sense that the Lamanites would not have destroyed all the Nephite buildings after conquering them, but would rather have occupied their land as their own.

    We don’t know where exactly the Book of Mormon took place, so we can’t say “these ruins are Nephite/Lamanite”, but you also can’t say “Look, this specific location, there’s nothing here.” Obviously there are old ruins in Mesoamerica. Whether some of these are Nephite/Lamanite, neither you nor I can know for sure.

    > Your source on the language used, is Stephen Hitcks? Really? A man who works for a University owned and funded by the LDS? Where 98% of the people who go there are Mormon? HOW OBJECTIVE OF YOU!

    > And you want us to take you seriously? One of your sources, Skousen concludes a journal article with: “the Book of Mormon was a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.” – This is a man I am never going to take seriously as being anything other than a Mormon apologist. He is not unbiased, he is not objective, and neither is Ricks.

    What, so I’m only allowed to cite people who aren’t Mormon? Wouldn’t those people almost by definition not believe the claims in question? How is that objective?

    Or I’m only allowed to cite people who study the topic in their spare time as a hobby, not professional scholars? Or just scholars from non-LDS universities? Wouldn’t it make sense that mostscholars studying LDS topics are LDS? How many Muslims/Jews/Catholics/Protestants/Atheists/Buddhists do you think specialize in LDS topics?

    I likely won’t respond again, so you can have the last word.

  22. Jeff says:

    There is obviously nothing I can say to change you, Just as nothing you say will change me. I believe what I believe as do you. But just to give you some insight on how I choose to govern my life as a Mormon. I fully believe in live and let live, I don’t hate gay’s, I have a family member who is, and I love him dearly. I think everyone should be able to be with the one they love. I don’t hate blacks, or Jews, or Hispanic’s or any other race on the planet. I hate those who give their line a bad name, I hate thieves, I hate murderers, I hate punks that don’t respect.others, I believe in an eye for an eye. To sum it up I want you all to know that I if anyone in our religion treats any other person in the negative or condescending manor then the guilt lies with them not the religion and I hope never to do that. We all have our faults and i try to push past them. I promise not to be knocking on your door but if you should inquire I would be glad to answer any questions you may have. I’m just telling you that even if it is all a big pack of stories, aren’t they good stories with good intention and wasn’t Jesus a pretty good dude. Didn’t he live life the way we all should? With compassion, and firmness. Wake up folks live the message.
    There sure seems to be a lot of hatred here for all of you good non believing people. You seem to be spewing just as much hatred as you claim the Mormon religion does.

  23. edward pye says:

    Scott buddy, I thought you might have intelligently blown apart the author’s argument for a second there, but on cross-examination you come across as a moron.

  24. edward pye says:

    sorry believers, I don’t mean to be rude but if you want a good indication of the value of religion then just ask yourself if you (as a human being) have ever told a lie to get something you want…

  25. Yeah, his first diatribe was easy enough to discredit, but the second part….. I don’t even want to waste my time.

  26. the most agonizing aspect of interacting with theists is their inability to think for themselves. if only their minds could be erased so that we could watch as they try to arrive at the same beliefs they held since being inculcated as irrational children. they wouldn’t.

  27. DannyBoy says:

    I might normally sympathize with an athiest, there are lots of things that I don’t believe in, such as the afterlife. However, I can’t categorize Joseph Smith as ‘a fraud. A con artist. A brilliant story teller, but ultimately, a liar..’

    I tend to suppose that Moses, or, perhaps, Joan of Arc, were, in contemporary terms, deluded, unable to distinguish reality from fiction. And actually, religious visions seem to be common enough, in recorded history. Even though I have a fairly secular way of looking at things, myself, it is likely, as I see it, that Joseph Smith was not a ‘con artist’. This wouldn’t necessarily prevent you from being very unsympathetic to him anyways, but I think it does more to scratch the surface of the man’s psychology.

    I suppose it’s different if you find anything artful in his works. I can take on board, the stuff about putting a hat on his face, I’m not arguing that Mormonism is reasonable, or rational. I suppose, indeed, that it is demonstrably false. My point, here, is, though I don’t believe in anything, and that includes Mormonism, I don’t think it’s particularly edifying to categorize him as a con artists, this is just a false dichotomy, that he must either be a true prophet of God or a con artist. What was Paul, a con artist. And Jesus? People have weird beliefs, it’s easy, quite obviously, for others to believe things that seem silly to you or me. This is how things work in the larger world, I think.

    Joseph Smith was not very educated, and lots is explained for me, by examining his setting. Now, if he’s copying extensively out of the King James Bible into the whatever–’translation’ of the Book of Mormon, as you point out, then it may seem a trivial point, to worry about whether he was a con artist, or just a very clever storyteller, who thought he had golden plates that he wouldn’t let others see, and which he didn’t really have, and must have known, on some level, that there was good reason not to let anybody else see them, eh? Cuz there are no plates. Nevertheless, I quibble here, Smith wasn’t a Con Artist.

    I’d be curious where you think the Bible came from, seeing as how nobody ever actually had any authentic visions of God, or performed any miracles, or was actually a prophet? This is the context for something like the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, as I see it.

  28. DannyBoy says:

    If you are perhaps contemplating a reply to me, then I hasten to add that I’m amused at some of the arguments that you’ve encountered, writing patterns including chiasmas and paranomasiacs, the use of Hebrew grammar and non-19th century non-Biblical English language in the Book of Mormon, a veritable hoot.

    Sad, really.

    But perhaps, nevertheless, a comment on more than just Mormonism–I think that human nature is to be able to accomodate/rationalize a great deal, if one feels loyal. I don’t know that it’s so easy to transcend this pitfall, by for example being a left-wing atheist=safe from last of wisdom/safe from error. I am, perhaps, simply wrong.

  29. I will briefly point out why I think Smith was a fraud, and knew exactly what he was doing. You are correct that it would be wrong of me to suggest a dichotomy of con artist, or prophet. There are shades of grey. Perhaps he was just deluded, believing everything he said to be true. I happen to believe he was a con artist, and i’ll point out where
    1) He was a convicted fraudster. Therefore, it’s what he does. He knows how to con people. He isn’t simply ill-educated (he actually wasn’t ill-educated. He was illiterate, in that he couldn’t write – but he was well read). He defrauds people. Of course, this isn’t reason enough to suggest he’s a fraud when it comes to Mormonism. So we must place his fraud conviction alongside his unsubstantiated claims toward Mormonism. None of which has any evidence to support. Such as:
    2) He claims he was visited in 1820s by God and Jesus. Yet, this revelation isn’t actually mentioned until 18 years later, when Smith notes it. His diary from the 1830s – in which he speaks about this new faith of his – never mentions it either. It just seems to have appeared in the 1840s. This is one of many back dated stories from Smith.
    3) Inventing languages, stealing from Biblical accounts translated centuries after they were supposedly written, and not allowing any one to see the plates – Come on!
    4) The Kinderhook plates were forged by some people at the time, to test Smith. Smith was handed them, translated them, and claimed he was given a revelation claiming the line of descent to the person who “found” (forged) them from Ham, the son of the Pharoah of Egypt. Blatantly just invented this. The LDS for years claimed that the plates were genuine and that Smith had partly translated them. Then, when it became obvious that they were a hoax, the LDS decided Smith hadn’t translated them. Too embarrassed to admit he might have been a fraud.
    5) “View of the Hebrews” written before the Book of Mormon, in around the early 1820s by Ethan Smith (no relation to Joseph). Was widely available at the time and place of Joseph, and makes the claim that the Natives were a lost Tribe of Israel. Now, Smith’s scribe (Oliver Cowdery) lived in the same town as Ethan Smith and often attended his sermons. The Book of Mormon has no less than 26 direct parallels with View of the Hebrews. For example, Both mention an instrument, called the Urim and Thummim, fastened to a breastplate. Both foretell the gathering of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes. And both in suspiciously similar wording. We must however prove that Joseph Smith was familiar with Ethan Smith’s work, to credibly suggest that Joseph may have used Ethan Smith’s work as source material. Well, here, Joseph Smith directly references Ethan Smith in a Times and Seasons Article from 1842:

    If such may have been the fact, that a part of the Ten Tribes came over to America, in the way we have supposed, leaving the cold regions of Assareth behind them in quest of a milder climate, it would be natural to look for tokens of the presence of Jews of some sort, along countries adjacent to the Atlantic. In order to this, we shall here make an extract from an able work: written exclusively on the subject of the Ten Tribes having come from Asia by the way of Bherings Strait, by the Rev. Ethan Smith, Pultney, Vt., who relates as follows: “Joseph Merrick, Esq., a highly respectable character in the church at Pittsfield, gave the following account: That in 1815, he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood shed, standing on a place of his, situated on …….

    - Here, we are given proof that Joseph is familiar with Ethan’s work. It is also true that the idea that Native Americans were descended from a tribe of Israel, was popular in those days.
    6) The plant life described in the Book of Mormon. For example, wheat is prevalent, and yet there is absolutely no evidence that wheat existed that far back in the Americas. It was first introduced by the Colonists in the 1600s. Wheat has been found in tombs of the Ancient Egyptians. It is pretty durable.
    7) In fact, there is absolutely no archaeological evidence for any claims in the book of Mormon. None. That’s pretty damning, given that the Book claims that when the Nephites arrived, there were cities, and institutions, and markets.
    8) Animals mentions in the Book of Mormon that were actually introduced to the US centuries later: Cow, Goat, Horse, Sheep. No bones, no artistic representations, no ceramic art, no text mentions…. nothing.
    9) The Book of Abraham. A translation of a bit of Egyptian Papyrus that Smith had bought from someone, that was apparently written by Abraham himself 4000 years ago. Smith claimed that he translated it. it was then re-translated by actual Egyptologists, found to be from the first century AD, and said absolutely nothing that Smith claimed that it said.

    The evidence for fraud, you’ll note, is stacking up.

    I would suggest that Joseph Smith stole ideas from Ethan Smith, that he backdated ‘visits’ from God to give more credit to his story, that he was intelligent, well read, knew how to influence and con people, and stole from modern translations of Biblical passages because that’s all he was accustomed to. That he knew Egyptian as a language could not be translated (at that point) and so used ancient papyrus to further his claims. There is far too much evidence that, when added together, showing that he was, in all probability, a fraud when it comes to his claims on Mormonism, and wasn’t simply deluded.

  30. DannyBoy says:

    ‘He was a convicted fraudster.’

    I am wary, of seeming to be an easily offended Mormon Apologist, and I understand if you are wary, and skeptical. But I’m telling you, Joseph Smith was not a convicted fraudster. He spent time in jail, he was killed in jail. He was criminally charged some 30 times, in his relatively short life. He was never convicted of any criminal charger, and you’re pretty vague about what the charge might have been, you also maybe might pick up the ‘red thread’ more quickly, if you stop to ask, did he then, perhaps, have a lawyer in this trial? Who? Was he sentenced? What was the sentence? I mean, six months hard labor, or what? (off the cuff, that seems remotely plausible for a convicted fraudster, but whatever, what was the sentence?). If he had been convicted of anything, it would have come up in subsequent indictment, perhaps? There must be a court record of this, I’ll cut to the chase etc. He was charged with lots of things, treason, inciting a riot, you name it. This I stipulate. Whether he was actually convicted or not isn’t a quibble, you didn’t bring it up because it wasn’t important.

    The point here, is larger, than whether he was a convicted fraudster, the point is one which I have seen lampooned as ‘never trust the internet’. You may change your mind on this, if you investigate further. I’d like for one of us to change our minds on this, because I’m telling you etc. I’m willing to pursue it it if matters to you. This is only point one, of course.

    I appreciate your interest, this is not simply about winning a debate, I think I’m right, so I know how that feels. I feel for you, a discussion is unlikely to snowball unless you are moved to reflect on how your anxiety about being conned in this case, is perhaps what made you the mark. It’s not a small mistake, to call somebody a convicted criminal, when they’re not, and it wouldn’t be, if it were you? I”m not wrong on this, you don’t have to look it up if you’re just bored, but I hope that you do.

    I can add that some of your other points don’t seem to me to speak directly to the question of whether Smith was a con artist, such as: ‘In fact, there is absolutely no archaeological evidence for any claims in the book of Mormon. None. That’s pretty damning,..’

    I don’t believe in the Book of Mormon, I don’t take it at face value. Even its narrative integrity, or sweep, though one might admire these novelistic virtues, are evidence (not the only evidence, but enough), that the Book of Mormon is not what it purports to be.

    About animals, plant life, I’ve on your page. Smith was ignorant (you point out that he was not necessarily poorly educated, this is relative to contemporary standards, then–I think I need to consider this, that he had access to some book, yes, that adds up). The BOM was written by Smith, this is my position. Let’s not equivocate, here, ‘fraud’ maybe has multiple connotations. In some sense, I take the Book of Mormon to be a fraud, and I’ve been careful to draw this distinction?

    The Book of Abraham is rough going, for my argument. The Kinderhook plates are nearly fatal. If you want to focus on this, well, you may convince me (but I’ll reiterate that there’s no criminal conviction of being a ‘fraudster’, like there’s even a law against being a ‘fraudster’–Jesus also went to jail, for making claims that others didn’t believe, and that I don’t believe).

    ‘He claims he was visited in 1820s by God and Jesus. Yet, this revelation isn’t actually mentioned until 18 years later,.’

    Shall we say, that I could remonstrate w/you about this one too, but it won’t make or break us. Well, okay, something to consider here, It’s not as if Smith actually kept a diary, he didn’t even ‘write’ the BOM, he dictated it. You’re at some remove from these events, you’ve read some antiMormon literature, and welcome to the ranks, but some of this is not too scholarly–18 years later, would be like 1840, c’mon. What did Smith tell his first 20,000 converts or so? A logical point, but this one is pretty trivial anyways.

    I think the Kinderhook plates, are food for thought. He translated bogus plates. But as I see, he got conned, here! And there are other indications, that he was gullible, which doesn’t seem to line up, w/the idea that Smith was working people. His family? Were they in on it? Folks like Brigham Young? He’s following a con artist around? I accept your point that there are grey areas, let me say that Smith seems to have been devious, crafty. I categorize this as people easily deceive themselves, you know. Really, my point is just a point about Smith’s likely psychology. The truth of Mormonism, is certainly not a stake here for me, I just think it’s more interesting to speculate that Smith falls in a certain category, religious visionary, believing all his own blarny.

  31. DannyBoy says:

    ‘ For example, Both mention an instrument, called the Urim and Thummim, fastened to a breastplate.’

    I didn’t respond to this one. ‘An instrument’, you say..The Bible describes the Urim and Thummim. I am *positve* the Smith read and ganked wholesale from the Bible, Isaiah 48-49 entire, are very near the beginning of the BOM.

    ‘Well, here, Joseph Smith directly references Ethan Smith in a Times and Seasons Article from 1842:’

    That’s chutzpah. Why would he call attention to the source of his forgery? The theory that Joseph Smith plagiarized View of the Hebrews was never advanced during his lifetime.

    In summary, you haven’t raised any points that I hadn’t taken into consideration, this is boilerplate stuff to me, I was raised Mormon, I’ve know these arguments for 20 years, there are scholarly biographys available about Smith, and the reputed best is by an excommunicated Mormon (for what it’s worth), Fawn Brodie. You don’t have to read it, I think it’s interesting though. She kind of takes him to be a con artist, or perhaps sits on the fence, or sees him starting to imbibe his own koolaide. I think he was deluded, and this is the only thing that adds up for me. I don’t find it difficult to imagine that he was playing some ‘games’, these were definitely tall tales, it’s lunacy, I’d have loved to have had a ringside seat.

  32. one day… just one day i will get round to reading this………

  33. Serena says:

    Hey There. I found your blog the usage of msn. This is a really smartly written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

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