The Mormon God has changed his mind about the name of his Church – again.

“President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made the following statement regarding the name of the Church:

http://www.ldsliving.com/President-Nelson-Issues-Statement-Regarding-Name-of-the-Church-Dropping-Term-LDS-and-Mormon-in-Most-Uses/s/89106

The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will.”

“The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The full name was given by revelation from God to Joseph Smith in 1838.”

KUTV reports that “The release links to an updated style guide that encourages the use of “the Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ.” There is currently a church titled The Church of Jesus Christ, that like the LDS Church, traces its origins to Joseph Smith as a restoration church. You can visit its webiste at thechurchofjesuschrist.org/.

This is not the first time the Mormon god has decided he doesn’t like ‘Mormon’ or Mormonism’ being used to describe his church and members.

In ‘The Mormon Delusion’ Vol. 2: (May 2009) I wrote:

“This work is an exposé regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Today, the Church prefers the nickname ‘LDS’ (Latter Day Saints) rather than ‘Mormon’ which was previously the case, both inside and outside the religion.”

Later, in ‘The Mormon Delusion’ Vol. 4: (Jan 2001) after repeating the above sentence in volume 4, I was obliged to add the following:

“Now, it transpires the Church has changed its view and has once again decided to embrace terms which it once found offensive. Church related web sites are now replete with references to Mormons and Mormonism. It seems that my comment that ‘the only thing consistent about Mormonism is its inconsistency’ applies to even more aspects than I imagined. Perhaps the lacklustre growth in recent years has made Church public relations advisers clutch at straws in order to try and make Mormonism more familiar to the general public; who knows?

Mormon Missionary Training Manual p.37:

“The time in which we live is referred to by Bible prophets as the last days, the latter days, or the dispensation of the fulness of times. It is the period of time just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the final dispensation. This is why the Church is named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The truth is that Joseph Smith didn’t seem able to decide what he wanted to call his new Church and his God certainly didn’t tell him what to name it when it was first inaugurated in 1830. Perhaps God didn’t yet have an opinion on it. It was informally known as the ‘Church of Christ’ during 1829 and legally instituted with that same name on 6 April 1830. It became the ‘Church of the Latter Day Saints’ in 1834. Later it was to change to the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ and then the ‘Church of God’ before God eventually got round to giving a revelation in 1838, stating that it should be called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

You may reasonably wonder why the Mormon god didn’t ‘impress upon the mind’ of Joseph Smith the name he most liked back in 1829 rather than Russell M. Nelson in 2018.

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Hang on a Minute; what happened to the God of the Jews?

Another snippet from The Bible Delusion.

HOAM 58

God Goes Dark.

Where did the Israelite God go? The final books of the Old Testament all start with each prophet declaring that God spoke directly to him:

Zephaniah 1:1. “The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi…”

Haggai 1:1. “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet…”

       Zechariah 1:1. In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.” As ever, God is still very unhappy; there is nothing new here.

       Malachi 1:1. “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.”

Incidentally, Malachi’s message is to the priests. “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces…” (2-3).

Can you imagine a real God actually saying that if they won’t give glory to him, he will spread dung on their faces? Think about it – very carefully. The measure of this God has been well established throughout the OT. He has never said or done anything actually nice. I really had hoped there would at least be something of merit – but no, there is absolutely nothing.

After thirty-nine books, covering thousands of years, suddenly and without warning, God goes dark. We hear no more from him at all after 397 BCE.

A number of the High Priests at Jerusalem are known. For example, John (373 BCE); Onias (321 BCE); Simon (217 BCE); Jason (175 BCE); Hyrcanus (136 BCE); yet God didn’t say anything to any of them – or anyone else for that matter. The next we hear about God is from followers of Jesus, who wrote about him and God long after Jesus lived – not one of whom ever knew or even met Jesus.

After thousands of years of berating the Israelites with constant threats and recriminations, often killing thousands of them off and constantly sending them into captivity, in 397 BCE their God seemed to forget the Jews and leave them to their own devices. God went dark and he hasn’t spoken to the Jews since.

What happened to the God of the Jews?

 

Where Does Revelation Come From?

Joseph Smith Admits Revelation may be Wishful Thinking or of Devil

Smith tried to have the copyright to the Book of Mormon sold in Canada in order to raise money, but the trip utterly failed. He then declared the revelation he had received concerning the trip, to be a false revelation. He had been deceived after all. Both the revelation to send men to Canada to sell the copyright and the later revelation that the first revelation was false were obtained by Smith looking at his old money digging seer stone in his hat. Smith himself explained that some revelations are of God, some of man and some from the Devil. (Whitmer 1887:30-31. Available as a free online book from www.utlm.org). Naturally, when it came time to put his revelations into what is now the D&C, these are two of the many revelations Smith instructed should be left out, declaring that he had been deceived and they were not from God.

The upshot of this revelation is, Smith here confesses that when he had a revelation, he could not tell for sure whether it was from God, his own wishful thinking, or even Satan. How then could Smith, or his followers, ever rely on any of his other so-called revelations, when there was only at best, by Smith’s own admission, a one in three chance that they came from God? (The Mormon Delusion Vol. 3:30.)

Another ‘hang on a minute’ (HOAM) moment from The Bible Delusion

HOAM 27

Get it Wrong – and You Die.

In Leviticus 10, two of Aaron’s sons get things very wrong indeed; so much for all the chapters on ‘training’ God had given them. Nadab and Abihu take their ‘censers’ (pots, into which live coals from the sacred fire were placed, and on which incense was thrown to make a cloud of fragrant smoke once they had been taken inside the sanctuary), but unfortunately, they “offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.” (10:1). God didn’t like that, so he murdered them. “And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” (10:2). What kind of God would do that?

 

Joseph Smith’s 1820 First Vision

The first record of a ‘First Vision’ was not penned until 1832. In it, Smith says he had concluded all sects were wrong; claimed to have seen Jesus; and was fifteen years old (which would make the year 1821).

In 1835 Smith had another couple of attempts at recording his claimed vision in which only angels are mentioned. Finally, in 1838, the now promoted version of events, including God and Jesus, was recorded (but not published until 1842) and backdated to 1820. So, what did Smith finally claim in 1838 as now recorded in History of the Church Volume 1 and cited in The Pearl of Great Price – Joseph Smith History?

1. My father, Joseph Smith, Senior: left… Vermont, and moved to Palmyra… when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts [1814]. …about four years after …he moved with his family into Manchester [1818]. [The claimed ‘First Vision’ occurred] …in the second year after our removal to Manchester… [1820].

Problem: The family did not move to Manchester from Palmyra in 1818, two years before the supposed vision. They actually moved there no earlier than July of 1822.

2. There was a religious revival in the district [in 1820].

Problem: There was no religious revival in that area in 1820. There was minor one a couple of years earlier, around 1817-1818, and there was certainly one in 1824, possibly even spanning from late 1823-1825 overall.

3. Great multitudes joined various religious parties.

Problem: ‘Great multitudes’ did not join anything in 1820. Half a dozen fewer Methodists were recorded that year, with a small handful of extra Baptists and Presbyterians (the three main players of the period). During the 1824 revival, there were recorded increases in membership of 99 Presbyterians, 94 Baptists and 208 Methodists.

4. Four of Smith’s family had joined the Presbyterians.

Problem: Four of the Smith family members did not join the Presbyterians prior to an 1820 First Vision. Joseph Smith’s mother independently recorded that she and three of Smith’s siblings joined following the death of Smith’s brother Alvin which occurred in late 1823.

5. Smith had personally come across and pondered on the scripture, James 1:5.

Problem: In 1824 the entire Smith family attended a sermon by Methodist minister Elder George Lane who preached on the subject “What Church shall I Join” where his text was James 1:5.

6. Smith went to a grove of trees to ask God “which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join.”

Problem: Smith’s claim to have gone to a grove to ask God which Church was right is in direct conflict with his 1832 personally handwritten statement confirming that he had already concluded that they were all wrong.

7. Smith was told to join with none of them.

Problem: In his ‘official’ 1838 account, God told Smith twice that he should join none of the Churches as they were all wrong. Later in his narrative, Smith reminds us for a third time that he was told this. Yet in 1828, eight years after the vision supposedly occurred, Smith joined the Methodist Sunday School – only to be asked to leave again as he was considered to be an undesirable due to his reputation as a ‘glass-looker’ (a money-digging con artist).

8. “A few days later…” the persecution started. Smith makes several statements about it.

Problem: No persecution was encountered at all during the period in question; a fact that is now unequivocally accepted and admitted by historians from Mormon Church owned Brigham Young University (BYU).

So, every single detail that Joseph Smith claimed about his First Vision experience is provably fictitious. But that is just the start Smith’s problems. Read the full story, complete with detailed analysis and historical references here.

 

Animal, Vegetable and Mineral.

Joseph Smith got them all wrong in his Book of Mormon

The following are some (but not all) of the animals that were in existence in various parts of the Americas during the Book of Mormon (BOM) era: alpaca; bear; boar; bison; coati (which resembles a raccoon); coyote; deer; duck; guinea-pig; jackrabbit; pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, often mistakenly termed an antelope); mountain sheep; jaguar; llama; monkey; reindeer; sloth; tapir; wild turkey (also the domesticated turkey from about 3000 BCE); and turtle.

Smith mentions not one of these existing animals in his BOM. He does however, make mention of several other animals which did not exist, as if they actually existed in the BOM era in the Americas.

An overall list of impossible BOM animals includes these words: ass; bull; calf; cattle; cow; elephant; (domesticated) goat; flocks; herds; horse; ox; oxen; (domesticated) sheep; sow; swine (pigs); plus two unidentified animals called ‘cureloms’ and ‘cumoms’; one of which, it has been suggested by apologists, may have been the woolly mammoth, which of course went extinct several thousands of years prior to BOM times. Although God supposedly translated the BOM for Smith, there are no known meanings for curelom or cumom; God clearly forgot to translate them into modern English.

The BOM also mentions ‘butter’ (copied from Isaiah in 2 Nephi 17:15, 22) and ‘milk’ (2 Nephi 9:50), yet in reality, no animals existed to provide milk so they could not have known what butter and milk meant.

In 3 Nephi 7:8 there is a reference “…like a dog to his vomit, or like a sow to her wallowing in the mire” plagiarised from 2 Peter 2:22, the earliest claimed date for which is 63-64 CE whilst Smith claimed 2 Nephi was written many centuries earlier.

Sow: Unfortunately for Smith and more importantly, for the modern Mormon Church (which seems to constantly ignore such facts and suggest simply living by faith), although domesticated by the Chinese 6000 years ago, pigs were first introduced to the New World by the Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1539, fifteen centuries after this comment was (supposedly) made, at which time pigs would have been completely unknown to Smith’s imaginary residual Nephites and Lamanites.

Dog: So far as the dog is concerned, there is evidence of domestication dating back many thousands of years. When nomadic hunter-gatherers crossed the Bering Strait from Asia to North America, at least 12,000-14,000 years ago, they had dogs with them. Whilst Joseph Smith does not have the BOM state categorically that dogs were actually in the Americas, ironically, it is the only animal he mentions at all that actually was there. (See: Schwartz 1998).

Agriculture

Various foodstuffs were grown or were available and used during the Book of Mormon timeframe in different parts of America and included three main crops; corn, beans and squash. Other food (not all in the same locations) used by various peoples and cultures, included such things as: amaranth, eaten with chili peppers; chicham (like a turnip); chicozapote, a fruit; gourds; lima beans; manioc or cassava; yucca; peppers; peanuts; various plants; pineapples; potatoes; pumpkins; sunflowers; sweet potatoes and tomatoes. The Mayans grew cacao trees for chocolate, avocado trees and also papaya trees.

Against all odds of at least getting some of them right, Smith manages only one. He includes corn, but mentions not one of the rest of the above in his BOM at all, other than the cover-all statement ‘all manner of fruits’. Instead, he claims that they cultivated barley and wheat (which did not exist there) using manufactured implements, including ploughs made from metal (none have been found), pulled by draught animals which did not exist there at the time.

“And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts.” (Ether 10:25-26)

Smith here combines three errors into proof positive fiction. Clearly, the ancients did not make ploughs (or any other implements) with which to work their beasts, in order to plough, sow, reap and hoe, or thrash [thresh], as they did not have any wheat and they did not have any beasts of burden of any description with which to work such implements, for which there is equally no evidence. There couldn’t be, as there was no use for them. No wheat, no barley, no ploughs and no draught animals – equals a story of pure (and very obvious) nineteenth century fiction.

He also mentions ‘neas’ and ‘sheum’ which are just nonsense words, supposedly given by God to Smith in the 1820s in an understandable form for the people of the day, without further need for interpretation. No one then or now has a clue what they actually mean. Apologists claim ‘sheum’ was an old Assyrian word relating to barley (which they didn’t have), grain or other things such as pine-nuts and it was hardly a word Smith would have ‘known’ in his day as the relevant language was not then interpreted. But, why would God translate ‘reformed Egyptian’ into ancient Assyrian for Smith to see in his hat and then have written down, when no one would ever understand it? It is utter apologetic nonsense, just as is Smith’s use of the word which he just made up.

Pathetically, apologists cling to the idea that a few grains of a type of small barley of some description may have been found in one or two minor locations dating to the BOM time period. Unfortunately, Arizona does not help the geography associated with the BOM, so one problem always leads to another. Additionally, it is completely different to the species of domesticated barley claimed to have been introduced from the Near East by BOM characters. Remember, Smith claims it as a staple and it had to feed millions of people. The reality is that the Spanish introduced barley to South America in the 16th century. British and Dutch settlers introduced it to the United States in the 17th century. Soil core samples from across the continent show nothing prior to that.

Wheat was known to Smith, so he included it, yet it was never a part of the diet of any culture in the Americas any more than barley was. It simply did not exist there before it was introduced, centuries after the end of the BOM era.

Steel bows and swords; gold and silver currency.

Joseph Smith has his BOM character, Nephi, say that he broke his bow, which was apparently made of ‘fine steel’, almost 600 years BCE. This is clearly an anachronism, as it is readily accepted that the required metal (carbonised steel) did not exist in the era.

       And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food. (1 Nephi 16:18). (Emphasis added).

Smith may have felt safe in his assertion, due to the following Biblical references which he may have noticed in the KJV. Smith was familiar with the steel of his own day.

“He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.” (2 Sam. 22:35; also: Psalm 18:34).

“He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.” (Job 20:24).

Steel as we know it, did not exist in the era and Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) confirms the word ‘steel’ would better have been translated as ‘brass’ from Hebrew:

“Teaching my hands for battle, And brought down was a bow of brass in my arms.” (2 Sam. 22:35).

“…and a bow of brass was brought down by my arms.” (Psalm 18:34).                   

“He fleeth from an iron weapon, Pass through him doth a bow of brass.” (Job 20:24)

       The Hebrew phrase השוחנ תשק has been routinely translated in the above scriptures as bronze or brass bow. Why would God use the word ‘steel’ in Smith’s hat when ‘brass’ would have led to much less confusion?

Currency

 A complete monetary system, consisting of silver and gold coinage, is described in detail in the Book of Mormon. (Alma 11:3-20). Note that cleverly, Smith has Alma declare they did not copy the system used in Jerusalem (or by any Jews), but they made up their own system and adjusted it, generation by generation, to suit their needs.

Silver Coins

Senum   = a Senine of gold and for a measure of barley or any other grain.

Amnor   = 2 Senums (therefore also equal to a Seon of gold).

Ezrom    = 4 Senums (therefore also equal to 2 Amnors; also a Shum of gold.

Onti        = as great as them all (presumably worth 7 Senums)?

Gold Coins

Senine   = to a Senum of silver and for a measure of barley or any other grain.

Seon       = 2 Senines (and also equal to an Amnor of silver).

Shum     = 2 Seons (and also equal to an Ezrom of silver).

Limnah  = the value of them all (presumably worth 7 Senines)?

Lesser Coins (no mention of the metal used in manufacture).

Shiblon                = half a Senum and for half a measure of barley.

Shiblum               = half a Shiblon.

Leah                     = half a Shiblum

Antion (of gold) = 3 Shiblons.

That is more or less how the currency is listed in the Book of Mormon. As a member of the Church, when you read it as written, you quickly get confused and just gloss over it, accepting that it was their currency, giving it no further thought, as it is unimportant. It is only when you stop to question it and decide to look more closely, that once again the truth shines through like a torch in the darkness. It may be easier to rank the coins in value to show how confusingly useless such a ‘doubling up’ and gold and silver ‘equal value’ coinage system would be in practice:

Leah                       = lowest denomination.

Shiblum                 = 2 Leahs.

Shiblon                  = 2 Shiblums (4 Leahs) or half a measure of barley).

Senum or Senine  = 2 Shiblons (4 Shiblums or 8 Leahs).

Antion                    = 3 Shiblons (6 Shiblums or 12 Leah).

Amnor or Seon     = 2 Senum/Senine (4 Shiblons, 8 Shiblums, or 16 Leah).

Ezrom or Shum    = 2 Amnor/Seon (4 Senum/Senine, 8 Shiblons,

16 Shiblums, or 32 Leah).

Onti or Limnah    = “as great as them all” or “the value of them all”.

The four silver and four gold coins, being identical in value, make the point of the system silly, as the only difference in eight gold and silver coins of four equal values would have to have been in size, weight and percentage purity, rather than purpose. There is no logic to it and the refining and manufacturing requirements far too complex to undertake in such a society. The lesser coins also all double in value, with the exception of the strange Antion coin. Smith’s problem with his currency is that it is a ludicrous system which would not work at all well in a real setting, but he also has other, far more difficult problems that we will come back to. There has never been a system that doubles five or six times, sufficing for everything, for one very good reason; it is completely impractical. No one would invent such a system as it simply would not work in everyday use. That’s ignoring the fact that Native Americans didn’t actually need or use any currency at all, all those years ago.

The Church now tries to claim they may have been units of weight rather than coins, which hardly tallies with the chapter headings in many published BOM languages. (See more here: Nephite Coins In any event, either way, the same problems remain. Ignoring the fact that it is impossible that any Native American tribe or civilisation at the claimed BOM stage could have minted any such currency, the simple archaeological fact of the matter is that not a single such relic has ever been discovered anywhere in the Americas.

(Reformatted extracts from The Mormon Delusion, Volume. 2, Chapter 12. (pp. 213-241) Joseph Smith’s Flights of Fantasy. Anachronisms – Impossible Book of Mormon Claims).

The Mormon Delusion Volume 2 details.

 

The Bible Delusion

Extract

‘Hang On A Minute’ Moment 37

You Don’t Have to Go into Battle if…

The beginning of Deuteronomy 20 reads very much like one of my favourite Monty Python sketches, ‘Marching up and down the square’, where a Sergeant Major (Michael Palin), addresses his troops and excuses them from the parade ground in turn if they would rather be doing other things, such as being at home with the wife and kids, reading a book, or going to a movie; until there are none of them left. I wonder if this is where the Pythons got the idea from.

It starts off by saying not to be afraid if they see lots of horses and chariots and more people than they have, because God is with them. “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (v.4). So far, so good, I suppose. But then, when they are out there, ready to do battle, the officers are to first speak to the people. Instead of fighting, any man who has built a house but not yet dedicated it, can go home and do so, in case he should die in battle and another man dedicate it. Next, if any man has planted a vineyard and not yet eaten of it, he can go home, lest he die in battle and another man eat of it. Any man who is engaged, but not yet married, he can go home, lest he die in battle and another man take his betrothed. If anyone is too scared to fight, they can also go home, in case they would make others fainthearted. I wonder if there would be anyone left after that. And, why wait until they are out on the battlefield instead of addressing such issues beforehand? What nonsense is this?