Summary of TMD Volume 3

Section 1. In the beginning – The Origin and Some Beliefs of the Mormon Church.

This section is essentially a review of false positions taken by the Mormon Church and aspects that are not readily made public. Contains a series of short statements, some of which have been more fully explored in Volumes One and Two, but some of the following aspects are not covered in earlier work. Details of the reviews included are:

  1. The First Vision
  2. The 1820 Reality
  3. No Evidence of a First Vision
  4. The First Vision was Published Twenty-Two Years Late
  5. Pick a Vision – Any Version – They Are All Different
  6. The Angel Moroni – Formerly Known as Nephi
  7. Toads, Spirits, Angels and Deity
  8. Folk Magic and Smith the Con Artist
  9. Gold Plates, Vivid Imagination and Gullibility
  10. Joseph Smith Elopes with Emma Hale
  11. The Book of Mormon
  12. The Witnesses
  13. Occult Translation Technique – Modern Members Deceived
  14. From Monotheism to Polytheism
  15. DNA and the Book of Mormon
  16. Why the Book of Mormon is Accepted as Fact by Members
  17. Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
  18. Impossible Book of Mormon Claims
  19. The Bible Takes Second Place
  20. The Doctrine & Covenants
  21. D&C 84: Required Priesthood Made Smith’s First Vision Impossible
  22. The Articles of Faith
  23. The Pearl of Great Price
  24. Church Growth & Schisms
  25. Succession Confusion
  26. RLDS, Polygamy & Fundamentalists
  27. The Word of Wisdom
  28. The Mormon Endowment and Masonry
  29. Heaven and Hell
  30. Smith Admits Revelations could be Wishful Thinking or of the Devil
  31. Evolving Ideas and Theology
  32. Polygamy Required in Salt Lake City
  33. The Plan of Salvation
  34. Pay, Pray and Obey
  35. The Church of Christ and the Role of Women
  36. Fear as a Prime Motivator
  37. A Man Can Become a God
  38. The Restoration of All Things
  39. Honesty and Integrity
  40. The 2008 Priesthood Manual
  41. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church

Section 2. Adam was God – Myth, Theory or Doctrine?

The Church always had rumours when I was a member, that Brigham Young had taught Adam was in fact God. Whenever this was raised, the answer invariably was that this was just a myth and that Young taught no such thing, or that it was possibly a personal theory which he discarded. On that basis, I was not going to write about it, until I accidentally came across a specific reference from Young in an argument he had with an apostle who Young threatened to excommunicate unless he accepted Adam-God as doctrine. My research journey began, and three devastating months later, I had uncovered the fact that it was an enforced doctrine for several decades, woven into the temple ceremony and accepted by four successive prophets until Joseph F. Smith (who had been an Apostle throughout the time it was accepted as doctrine) decided he didn’t like it and arbitrarily dropped it. The Church then took the stance that it was never canonised doctrine and simply forgot it. Some fundamentalist groups that were breaking away at the time, due to the polygamy problem, still hold to the Adam-God doctrine today. This evolved into a lengthy section of well over 28,000 words. The story is compelling; the evidence conclusive; the Church ignores it; defiantly claiming that it is not there at all. Yet it was Young’s doctrine. There is no question about it.

Section 3. Mormonism & Masonry – The Evolvement of Temple Ceremonies.

Smith joined a Masonic Lodge, almost immediately attained one of the highest orders, and had several other male Church authorities join. Within weeks, he formulated the Mormon temple ceremonies and incorporated much from the Masonic rituals, oaths, signs, tokens and penalties, into the new ‘Endowment’ ceremony. The early temple ceremonies evolved and changed over time but when I was a young member, all the blood oaths, signs, tokens and penalties were still intact. This included some word for word details in some cases. The Church explains this phenomenon by claiming that these ceremonies stem for the time of Solomon and Smith ‘restored’ them exactly as they had been then. They must remain the same for all eternity. The Masonic versions, also dating from Solomon’s time, although similar, have become corrupted. Members, such as I was, faithfully accept the explanation without question. It is only when you discover that the Masonic order only invented these aspects a few centuries ago that the truth begins to emerge. The version Smith actually copied almost identically, came from a Masonic revision made in the late 1700s. Joseph Smith’s endowment incorporated those same aspects. As ever, he simply plagiarised, adding his own special touches. Unfortunately, as modern members are not so keen on symbolising having their throat cut and their tongue pulled through it, their heart being ripped out, disembowelment and such like, these once eternal principles have gradually been removed. Likewise, part of the end ceremony at the veil of the temple called ‘The Five Points of Fellowship’, which was word for word and act for act the same as Masonic ritual, and again of eternal necessity to Mormons, has been withdrawn from the ceremony. It entailed, in addition to the words, a stance that included – inside of right foot by the side of right foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back and mouth to ear, whilst holding the right hands in a specific grip. Women complained about the proximity of men unknown to them when being ‘taken through the veil’. Thus another eternal requirement has gone. Details and changes over the years are explored and explained.

Section 4.  Blood Atonement & Mormon Murders.

This is another aspect I had not intended to write about, as I had always accepted the Church explanation that ‘Blood Atonement’ referred exclusively to the atonement of Christ and was never a principle practiced by humans for whom Christ’s sacrifice would not be enough. This chapter explores Brigham Young’s extreme doctrine, which he preached over and over, regarding people who should have their blood shed to atone for certain sins. Evidence of instances of blood atonement being accepted by members who believed they deserved it and other examples where it was arbitrarily meted out on people who did not actually wish to ‘atone’ at all. Divulging temple rites merited blood atonement by carrying out the throat cutting enacted in the temple as a ritual – and it was carried out – in real life – and real death. Includes the ‘blood for blood’ attitude resulting in many Mormon murders and a court case where it was excused according to ‘mountain law’. The authorised murder, again by throat slitting, of Native Americans captured during Mormon wars. This section culminates in the psychology behind the Mountain Meadows massacre, which would never have happened, had it not been for the culture and indoctrination by Young which had already led to wide spread enactment of such horrific principles in practice.

Section 5. The Social Psychology of a Testimony.

A  section  detailing  how people are captured by the delusion of Mormonism, the conversion process and the psychology behind the treatment of members of different ages and marriage status. The constant programmed brainwashing of infants, almost from birth. The concept that members ‘know’ the Church is true, rather than just believe so. Doubt is a weakness. Members are held in a veritable ‘Matrix’. Many actually want to be there and do not wish to question, in case they may be wrong. Too much rests on remaining faithful. Claims and beliefs compared with reality in Utah which actually has exceptionally high bankruptcy, divorce, suicide and ‘poor’ mental health rates. Psychological comparisons with Mormon ideas. The psychology of prayer and reliability of answers. A vivid imagination is all that is really needed in order to believe something ethereal. Smith’s ‘get out of jail free’ cards when things went wrong. The psychology of Smith winning, whatever the outcome. Patriarchal Blessings — fortune telling based on being good. Through conditioning, by constant mind control and voluntary self induced brainwashing, the ‘testimony’ that was originally ‘obtained’, is maintained and even enhanced. Taught that Satan will try to deceive them, members must never look outside of published approved materials for information concerning the Church.

Section 6. Nonsense Revelations from the Doctrine & Covenants.

A random selection of ten sections from the D&C are analysed and shown to be complete nonsense when considered as actual revelation from God. We go from the impossibilities and unfulfilled prophecies, to God’s words shown to be wrong. From Smith’s translation of the supposed actual written words of Apostle John, we ask why John would bother to write such nonsense. Revelation to deal with Smith’s problem of other members ‘seer stone’ revelations being believed. Smith has to retain control, so they are of the devil and only Smith’s are valid. God calls a man to serve but then he doesn’t join the Church as expected, so God gives another revelation to say he is not called after all. God is therefore not infallible — He had no idea that Satan would get to the heart of Smith’s latest protégé. Revelations to an individual — transferred to someone else when they failed to perform. God gets it wrong — again. God leads Smith to promised money which isn’t there when he arrives. God gets that wrong too. Smith prophesied a war that everyone else also anticipated, except that it never happened, until decades later than expected. Members hold to this as one of the best of Smith’s prophecies, with no idea about the surrounding American history.

_______________________

Since the publication of Volume 3, I have added a little information to Appendix A regarding the Articles of Faith. This is the Second Edition updated material.

Appendix  A

The Articles of Faith.

The Articles of Faith are thirteen statements of belief that Mormons generally perceive to have been coined by Joseph Smith. They were derived from some earlier statements, which were actually penned and published by Orson Pratt in 1840, in his pamphlet; An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions. Smith, as usual in his writings, simply plagiarised them, adjusting them to suit his own requirements. He first published them as his in Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, 15 Mar 1842:709-710. See: The Changing Articles of Faith by Sandra Tanner, online resource available at UTLM; also: Tanner 1991:27-28.

Oliver Cowdery wrote a version in the Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate in October 1834 and later, Joseph Young, brother of Brigham Young, had a go at writing some articles while proselyting in Boston in 1836. Orson Hyde later wrote some that were similar to Orson Pratt’s version, when he was in Frankfurt, Germany in 1842, in his German language pamphlet ‘A Cry From the Wilderness’. It was in the same year that Smith wrote the Wentworth letter.

Mormons will be familiar with the thirteen articles being in the Wentworth Letter sent to ‘Long’ John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat. A review of the articles will provide some perspective on the religious beliefs and standards of moral behaviour that Church leaders and members were, and are, supposedly obliged to live by, compared with the actual behaviour of Church leaders in the early church as well as today.

The first eleven articles concern aspects of Mormon belief. The last two are important, as they deal with expected behavior. The Church believes in being subject to civic leaders and not just obeying but also sustaining the law. They also believe in being honest and chaste among other things.

The Articles Of Faith have had minor changes over the years. They can be located in History of the Church, Vol. 4:535-41 and the Pearl of Great Price.

THE ARTICLES OF FAITH

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

____________________

Post publication note:

Appendix G (Page 370): Reference to Item 130 should read Item 136 – as correctly referenced at the bottom of the page. The internet link for Adam-God quotes in Appendix G has changed.

Out of interest, there are several pages of Adam-God quotes starting here.

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Summary of TMD Volume 2

Chapter 1. The Magic and the Mystery.

Looks at the history of Smith prior to his claim to have found the supposed gold plates. He was a necromancer, a money digger who later admitted to and was convicted of ‘glass-looking’ – using a pebble in his hat by which he claimed to see into the earth for lost treasure – in 1826, long after the claimed dates for his visions of deity and angels.

Chapter 2. The First Vision.

The Church claims that Smith saw God & Jesus in 1820. This chapter reviews Smith’s own records of 1832 and 1835 which contradict the official (1838) version of events. Compares evidence with the Book of Mormon (1830) and Doctrine and Covenants (1835) showing Smith was entirely monotheistic until about 1836. Thus his claim to an 1820 vision of separate deities (after he became polytheistic) is proven to be a lie. This is followed by a summary analysis of all Smith’s own personal contradictory versions of such a vision. Other than the odd article appearing in their Ensign magazine which attempts to rationalise the significant differences between these accounts, the Church generally appears to ignore Smith’s earlier versions of this vision.

Chapter 3. Moroni and the Gold Plates.

Compares the 1838 ‘official’ Joseph Smith version of this vision with all the other contradictory versions of the Moroni vision. Evidence shows that Smith called the angel ‘Nephi’ (all but once) whereas the Church later altered it to ‘Moroni’ for no apparent reason. Includes a summary analysis of evolving versions of this vision.

Chapter 4. Moroni, the Angel Formerly Known as Nephi.

Follows the evidence of falsification from the original name Nephi to that of Moroni.

Chapter 5. Summary of Accounts of Visions.

Summary of twenty-five ‘one line’ accounts of visions, categorized to show contradictions in Smith’s various stories. Highlights the evidence of Smith’s lies concerning the First Vision and Moroni visions.

Chapter 6. Scripture quoted to Joseph Smith by the Angel Moroni.

Details of Smith’s record of scriptures supposedly quoted to him by the angel Moroni in 1823 and first recorded by Smith in 1838. Covers claimed alterations to the Bible made by the angel – which Smith supposedly remembered word for word, fifteen years later. Evidence is provided that meanwhile, Smith had constructed the Book of Mormon which included some of these same scriptures, transposed unaltered straight from the KJV. Smith also penned an Inspired Revision of the Bible, which again remained unaltered regarding scriptures that Moroni had ‘corrected’. Smith’s fraudulent claims and his equally fraudulent timeline are exposed through his own works and words.

Chapter7. Translating the Gold Plates.

Most members of the Mormon Church believe that Smith translated the gold plates by looking directly at the ‘reformed Egyptian’ characters, with God providing the translation into very bad Jacobean English. Evidence is provided that Smith ‘translated’ by using his pebble-in-the-hat trick, and as it happens, the very same pebble that he used when money-digging. He did not even look at the plates of gold during the ‘translation’ process. Whatever the pretended plates really were, they were either wrapped up or sometimes even buried elsewhere when he claimed to be translating them. Includes the ‘Charles Anthon’ hoax wherein Martin Harris claimed that Professor Anthon confirmed Smith’s characters from the gold plates were authentic. Letters from Anthon refute this, although the Church still claims it and Mormons still believe it.

Chapter 8. Joseph Smith’s Journey from Monotheism to Polytheism.

Traces the evidence of Smith’s initial monotheistic theology through his writings in the Book of MormonDoctrine and CovenantsLectures of Faith, and also works of his Apostles. Evidence of the falsifications that later took place when Smith changed his ideas to polytheism with God and Jesus as two separate beings, both with bodies, and the Holy Ghost as a separate ‘personage’ of Spirit. References much extant evidence of his original, unaltered theology. The Church explains remaining problems as the three being ‘one in purpose’ and claims the falsifications were for ‘clarification’; but the evidence conclusively proves that once again – Smith lied.

Chapter 9. Origin of the Story of the Tree of Life.

The Book of Mormon contains a popular and extremely detailed story known as the ‘Tree of Life’ purported to be a revelation from God to Lehi around 600 BCE. Evidence is provided, line by line, that the entire story was plagiarised from Smith’s own father’s dream, with which Smith had been completely familiar, from around his age six. Almost every detail is identical. It is a huge stretch to believe that it was an anciently recorded revelation from God.

Chapter 10. The Word of Wisdom.

Modern day Mormonism forbids the consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. This chapter exposes the fact that the ‘Word of Wisdom’ started as a joke between the men who were spitting tobacco and the women who liked their tea. Smith conveniently had a revelation forbidding both, to keep both sides satisfied. However, it was advice, not a commandment. No one much bothered with it for many years, especially Smith himself who smoked and drank until the day he died. Yet there are records of others being disciplined. In one instance, a man who slept with two women ‘coming up river’ got told off when he ‘confessed’; yet another man, who broke the Word of Wisdom, was disfellowshipped, even though he claimed he was just following the example of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. Beer was approved as not in violation of the WoW in the early twentieth century. The idea that meat should be eaten ‘sparingly’, has taken a back seat these days.

Chapter 11. Fundamental Flaws in the Book of Mormon.

Discredited witnesses to the book. DNA proves Native Americans are not of Israelite descent. False geography. Masonic ritual included in the Book of Mormon. Isaiah and other Old and New Testament material is plagiarised from the King James Version to a time and place when and where it was impossible to have been known. Archaeological evidence against the book. The Smithsonian Institute and National Geographic refute the idea that they support the book or use it to assist in archaeological research. Many Mormons believe they do.

Chapter 12. Anachronisms – Impossible Book of Mormon Claims.

Sections on the wild claims of Smith, including things which did not exist in the time or place Smith claimed. Members believe that one day, evidence will prove otherwise. The list of absurd impossibilities includes the magnetic compass; translucent windows and submarine type vessels. Horses and many other animals are mentioned which were not in the Americas at that time. The wheel and chariots are spoken of along with steel bows and swords plus a complete and demonstratively meaningless currency system of gold and silver coins. Native North Americans used wampum, but that was long after Book of Mormon times. Agricultural tools are included but despite BOM claims, they had no draught animals with which to use them. Smith included wheat and barley as staples when the real staples were corn, beans and squash. He mentions corn – the only one he got right, but there was no wheat or barley in the Americas. Smith claims they had silk, which they did not, but fails to mention cotton – which they did have. Smith’s claims in the Book of Mormon were impossible.

Chapter 13. White & Delightsome or Black and Cursed; Sexuality; Women & the Priesthood.

The Church altered scripture in 1981. This chapter follows my debate with FARMS over the issue. They promise to remove an (agreed) offending article. Months later, it is still there. We explore the area of ‘Black and Cursed’ and the psychology behind changed doctrine. Apostle Boyd K. Packer states: “The three greatest threats to the Church are homosexuals, feminists and intellectuals.” We explore why and look at future possible Church problems. Mormons think homosexuality is a curable illness or disease. Details include evidence of Church Patriarch Joseph F. Smith’s gentle, and also secret, treatment by Church leaders concerning his documented homosexual activities.

Chapter 14. The Book of Abraham Hoax.

In 1835, Smith came into possession of some Egyptian mummies and papyrus scrolls. He ‘translated’ them and announced that one scroll was the lost Book of Abraham written by Abraham himself in his own handwriting. No one could read Egyptian at the time and so Smith’s word was never questioned by his followers. The papyri later went missing and were presumed lost in the great fire of Chicago in 1871. Then, in 1967, some fragments were rediscovered in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now they could be verified. Smith constructed an Egyptian grammar and alphabet which he claimed to use in translation. This was suppressed by the Church for one-hundred-and-thirty years, until exposed as complete and utter nonsense. This chapter provides evidence of Smith’s claimed translation of three facsimiles and the text of the book. Many Egyptologists have examined and interpreted the scrolls which have been confirmed to date from about 50 BCE (not 2000 years earlier to Abraham’s time) and contain only common Egyptian funerary text. This chapter also examines the doctrinal content of the ‘translation’ and the nonsense claims that a daughter of Ham, son of Noah, called ‘Egyptus’ found Egypt after the great flood – hence it is called Egypt. The Mormon Church ignores the absurdity of such a claim, despite Egypt’s history long predating the time of the supposed flood; without any ‘flood gap’. In fact the word ‘Egypt’ is a modern derivative, via Latin and Greek, of Hwt-ka-Ptah – House of the soul of Ptah. This is a very late BCE name which only arose as Greeks could not pronounce Hwt-ka-Ptah for a place in Egypt. Even then, it was not a name actually used by Egyptians themselves and was certainly not in use when Smith claimed it to be.

Chapter 15. Joseph Smith’s Jacobean God.

A review of the absurdity of Smith using Jacobean English to portray God talking in his Book of MormonDoctrine and Covenants and other ‘scriptures’. Evidence that if God actually did use such language as this, He is in fact somewhat illiterate, as Smith’s God uses incorrect grammar and very bad phraseology for a God. Ergo: Smith was a fraud, as it was he who was somewhat illiterate.

Chapter 16. The Lucifer Mistake.

Smith made the same error that many Christians have, in thinking ‘Lucifer’ in the Bible referred to the Devil or Satan. Evidence shows the Jews did not, and still do not even believe in Satan. Ha-Satan, the adversary, is in the employ of God as an adversarial aid and is not actually evil. The only Biblical reference to ‘Lucifer’ is defined to mean ‘morning star’ regarding the King of Babylon. This is readily accepted by most theologians outside of Mormonism at least even though Satan remains an integral Christian idea. Smith also made the mistake of using ‘Jesus Christ’, ‘Only Begotten’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ in his Book of Mormon, during the Old Testament time frame. These were terms not invented until after the time of Christ.

Chapter 17. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.

Many members believe the Mormon myth that their Church is the fastest growing Church in the world. It is one of the signs of it being true. This chapter is partly an analytical review of the growth rates of all mainstream Churches and puts the Mormon Church into perspective in terms of its real growth. We look at the relationship between conversions and missionary numbers as well as births affecting statistics. Perception of size: 13 million – against a true active membership of 4-5 million. There are a number of disparities, as the Church attempts to look as though it is progressing well. In fact, statistically, although it is still growing, that growth is slowing down. As with some other denominations which have experienced a similar rise and fall, the signs of decline are already there. Missionary sales tactics and statistics against retention levels are identified. The cost of conversion is high in terms of the manpower used to achieve it. Church finances which are publicly disclosed by law under the Charities Act in the United Kingdom are analysed and the truth revealed about modern day Mormon Church funds. Evidence is exposed concerning instances of Mormon leaders using bribery and corruption in the Church.

Summary of TMD Volume 1

 Chapter 1. Polygamy – The Fiction and the Facts.

Describes the teachings of the Church in eight specific areas of polygamy – all of which are evidenced as false. The truth of each aspect is detailed against these teachings:

  1. Polygamy was necessarily restored; when it was perfectly legal.
  2. When it became illegal, polygamy ceased to be practiced completely.
  3. Only 2% – 5% of members practiced the principle, which was restricted.
  4. To take an additional wife, permission of the Prophet was obtained.
  5. Prior agreement and blessing of a first wife was obtained by a husband.
  6. Ability to independently support each wife to be shown and maintained
  7. It was taught as revelation when restored and it was practiced openly.
  8. Like all other doctrine, it was plain, simple and consistent in its nature.

None of the above aspects that I was taught were actually true. It was complex. Smith made it up as he went along. For example, William Clayton wanted to marry Lydia Moon but he had already married two of her sisters, Ruth and Margaret, as his first and second wives. Smith told him God’s law was that you could only marry two women from any one family. The truth was that Smith wanted Lydia for himself. She refused Smith. As the practice continued, men were permitted to marry three women from one family, including mothers and daughters as well as sisters. It was anything but plain and nothing was consistent.

Chapter 2. The Treatment of Women in Polygamy

A tribute to the women who suffered so much through polygamy.

Chapter 3. Plural Marriage – From Monogamy to Polygamy

Smith was initially monogamous; his Book of Mormon explicitly forbids polygamy. He invented revelations stating monogamy the only approved form of marriage. Then he had his first affair.

Chapter 4. The Restoration of Polygamy – Or the Seduction of a 16-year-old Housemaid?

Smith committed adultery with his sixteen-year-old housekeeper, Fanny Alger. There is no record of a marriage between them but the Church assumes and claims a marriage must have occurred, as the evidence of his affair is conclusive. To overcome his problem, Joseph Smith invented polygamy. Unfortunately, it contradicted everything he had thus far written, preached and recorded as scripture.

Chapter 5. Young Polygamous Wives of Joseph Smith.

Review of a few of Smith’s wives and his methods of seduction, including ‘marrying’ and bedding a fourteen-year-old girl, with her parent’s permission. Sex for salvation was Smith’s game. Includes extracts from victims’ own diaries showing the conflict they went through in obedience to Smith and their God.

Chapter 6. Unrequited Love – The Threats and Recriminations.

Inevitably, if you proposition enough women, some are bound to say no. Evidences at least eighteen refusals to Smith’s advances. Highlights four specific example stories of how refusals elicited Smith’s threats and recriminations, which were real, rather than imagined. Should the women reveal details of Smith’s illicit advances, he would publicly accuse the innocent women of adultery to cover his own crimes.

Chapter 7. Polygamists Prior to the Death of Joseph Smith

A short chapter detailing which men were polygamists before Smith’s death, when it was still kept entirely secret, not just from the world, but also from almost all Church members. Smith constantly denied polygamy even existed, such that, after his death, his first wife Emma, could deny he practiced it and be believed by her children and the RLDS (Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – now Community of Christ).

Chapter 8. Polyandry.

Evidence, details and stories behind Joseph Smith’s polyandrous wives and their first husbands.

Chapter 9. Joseph Smith’s Polyandrous Wives

Covers details of four of Smith’s polyandrous wives who went on to polyandrously marry Young, who had about 55 wives, and Kimball, who had about 43 wives. Also exposes the children that two of these women had with Young and Kimball respectively, all the while remaining married to their first husbands. Full appendices provide details of all the marriages and children of Smith, Young and Kimball.

Chapter 10. Seven More Polyandrous Wives of Joseph Smith

Details and evidence of the other polyandrous wives of Joseph Smith.

Chapter 11. Brigham Young’s & Heber C. Kimball’s Polyandry

Analysis of polyandrous wives and sample details behind some of the marriages.

Chapter 12. Fanaticism in the Extreme.

Evidence of the extremes men went to under the dictatorship of Brigham Young. Young girls were ‘counselled’ to marry older men. Murder and emasculation were methods of persuasion regarding young men disobeying counsel and for members who violated their temple covenants.

Chapter 13. Mormon Bigamy in Practice – Stealing Other Men’s Wives.

Mormons believed that ‘gentile’ marriages were invalid in the sight of God. Thus they took whoever they wanted, married or not. This amounted, in law, to bigamy on the part of the women. Stories of two women acquired in this way, exposing the results of the duplicity, including murder, one of which was to become an underlying factor in the later Mountain Meadows Massacre which is covered in Volume 3 of this work.

Chapter 14. The Beginning of the End of Polygamy.

Covers the period from Brigham Young to the Manifesto of 1890. Further laws were passed against polygamy in 1862, 1874 and 1882 yet Prophet John Taylor (Prophet from 1880-1887) enforced the principle, making it mandatory for all leaders and any other men who expected to be exalted in the hereafter. The ‘law of vengeance’ is discussed. A modern prophet lies about details in interview with Larry King. Revelation through Prophet John Taylor that polygamy will never be given up. Details of how and why it was.

Chapter 15. Church Leaders’ Polygamous Children Post (1890) Manifesto.

Despite modern members believing the 1890 Manifesto was a revelation from God, it was just a ruse to get the government to release seized Church assets. The leaders expected the Saviour to return by 1891 anyway, so it made little difference to them. They secretly continued to permit polygamous marriages for a further two decades and the top fifteen men had over a hundred more children between them. A fully evidenced list of children, polygamous wives and dates included. They lied in the Senate hearings and yet confirmed the Book of Mormon specifically prohibits polygamy. As Prophet, Joseph F. Smith was convicted of the crime of illegal cohabitation as late as 1906.

Chapter 16. Remnants of Polygamy – Fundamentalism Today.

How and why there are tens of thousands of fundamentalist Mormons who still practice polygamy even today. Includes mention of how Ervil LeBaron and also Warren Jeffs fit into the picture. Whilst the Church distances itself from such people, their organisations mainly have their roots in mainstream Mormonism. It is an irony that there are possibly more fundamentalist Mormons in the United States today than there were in 1890 when the Manifesto was issued.

Appendices

There are over 120 pages of appendices, including complete lists and analysis of all the wives and families of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.

God or Not, We Know Where We Came From

The  following  is  a  short  synopsis  of  just some of the main ‘characters’ in the history of mankind. It is by no means meant to be a complete or totally definitive view, rather a brief summary or thumbnail sketch of some of the background and forerunners of mankind. For a complete, simple and easy to understand overview of the full history of mankind, I strongly recommend the superbly illustrated, Human Origins, The Story of our Species by Yves Coppens, from which most of the following notes on mankind are summarised. There are many good books on the history of the Earth of course; and again, an easy to read and superbly illustrated version is Smithsonian’s Earth, The Definitive Visual Guide published in 2003 by Dorling Kindersley Ltd., from which the following notes relating to the Earth are summarised.

You can make our current knowledge fit a religious or scientific view; there is no conflict to the rational thinker. However, these are not speculative notes either; they make up the most recent position taken from scientifically proven evidence of what is the case. The actual point of this is that modern mankind (and therefore Adam) is at least 40,000 years old (unless, as some people suppose, Adam entered an already existing race); and that Joseph Smith’s pile of rocks could not have been Adam’s altar. I have tried to write this simply and make it easily readable, for those who may have no detailed knowledge of this area.

I will start with what happened before life appeared on the earth. It has only been within the last fifty years that the current accuracy of dating the Earth has been established and in the last twenty or so years that enough discoveries have been made to allow us to see a more complete picture of mankind than ever before, at last putting an end to the myths and contentious suppositions of the past. DNA and RNA have completed a basic picture of the ‘tree of life’.

People who still believe God created man in his own image and placed him on an empty earth in modern human form may decry the idea that DNA and particularly RNA now complete the jigsaw puzzle of life. Most probably have no idea that the phylogenetic tree of life can be confirmed from any discipline; comparative anatomy, embryology, developmental genetics, mutation studies, evolutionary ecology, population & quantitative genetics, transmission genetics… even palaeontology.

You can make an embryological assessment of all the organisms and construct a tree of life based on their evolution. You can do the same thing with genetics or comparative anatomy. They all line up correctly.

“Basically, organisms develop in a very specific way according to thousands of factors which allow their development to be examined, and placed on a phylogenetic tree.”

“Evolution unites all the disciplines as well as having useful applications in medicine and other fields.”

“Trees constructed from every gene in every organism on the planet all yield the same result… independently. Every single one!”

See: Proof of Evolution Part 2. (Summation). Don Exodus.

Life first appeared and evolved on our planet many millions of years after the planet itself had evolved sufficiently to actually produce and sustain life. Our own galaxy (the Milky Way) probably formed about 10,000 – 11,000 million years ago. Within our galaxy (cutting a very long story short), a nebula (a clump of gas and dust) began to condense into what became our solar system, some 4,560 million years ago. An object the size of Mars later collided with Earth around 4,500 million years ago, the debris from which, held by the Earth’s gravity; cooled and coalesced, ultimately forming a satellite that we call the moon. The intense bombardment that is still visible on the moons surface, which continued for 600 million years, continued more so on earth of course due to its size. The reason we cannot readily see it now is simply that the earth is covered with water and vegetation, whereas the moon has not significantly changed in its overall appearance since that time. Conglomerate rocks dated to 3,800 million years ago, show that the atmosphere and the oceans formed on earth at that time, thus hiding much of the visible evidence which would otherwise look similar to that which we still see on the surface of the moon.

[26 January 2009 update note]. New Scientist. “A SPECK of the mineral zircon that’s older than any yet found on Earth has been recovered from a rock sample brought back by Apollo 17 astronauts. The grain has helped pinpoint the age at which the molten moon solidified … is 4.42 billion years old, and came from the lunar highlands. …The moon is thought to have formed from debris ejected by a giant impact between Earth and a smaller body between 10 and 100 million years after the formation of the solar system, 4.57 billion years ago. Taylor reckons the lunar crust formed within 90 million years of the impact, which tallies well with the age of the zircon.”

The earliest evidence for life on Earth, which dates from about 3,800 million years ago, comes from hydrocarbon residues in metamorphosed sedimentary rocks in Greenland. By 3,460 million years ago, microbial photosynthesisers in warm shallow waters formed mounds known as stromatolites, while other microbes lived off chemicals generated by submarine hot springs. Chemical fossils suggest that the first eukaryotes (organisms with relatively complex cells that contain a nucleus) appeared about 2,700 million years ago, but the first direct fossil evidence for their existence does not appear until 2,200 million years ago from coiled filamentous microfossils called Grypania, found in Michigan, USA.

Subsequently, multicellular life existed 2,200 million years ago and red alga called Bangiomorpha existed 1,200 million years ago. By 1,000 million years ago, towards the end of the Proterozoic era, following a prolonged evolutionary gestation, the “big bang” of eukaryotic gestation had started. Evidence of the evolution of multicellular organisms with sexual reproduction (evidence of fossilised embryos have been found in China dating from about 600 million years ago) paved the way for larger and more diverse organisms. By 580 million years ago the first large animal fossils (known as Ediacarans) appear, followed by the first shelled animals, Cloudina, in 555-million-year-old marine sediments from Namibia.

Shark fossils date to 355 million years ago but it is thought they may actually have been in existence up to 528 million years ago. For 150 million years, from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous, terrestrial life was dominated by reptiles. There were over 900 genera in the group known as dinosaurs alone. Some 50% of all species and 90% of all life died out at the end of the Cretaceous in an event known as the K-T extinction event. This coincided with the impact of a huge meteorite in the Caribbean sea and the Deccan lava eruptions 650 million years ago. Effectively life, to a large degree, started again after this.

We now know and it is scientifically proven that the first true mammals appeared some 70 million years ago. After the great saurians became extinct, the mammals took over the ecosystem. They evolved and diversified. The first bipeds came about between 7 and 4.5 million years ago. Then 4.5 to 2.5 million years ago, several groups of hominids, collectively known as Australopithecus spread from Chad to southern Africa, scattered across three regions. Australopithecines were not just represented by A. aferensis, as in this period there were at least five related species. It is most likely that A. anamesis is the prime candidate for the title of our true ancestor.

The first “representative” of the human race, a new hominid, was Homo Habilis – (the handyman) the first toolmaker, some 2.5 million years ago. He was still much unlike us but he had a much larger brain than previous bipeds and used it to advantage. They were nomads wandering the savannah in groups. They had the ability to think and made shelters from large stones and branches between 1.8 and 1.3 million years ago. If Adam was the first of this race, unfortunately he lived in Africa and did not look much like us. If he arrived then and was in the image of God, then God also looks nothing like us; so if you are prone to imagine God actually looks ‘white’ and as ‘human’ as us, perhaps Adam came along somewhat later.

Homo Ergaster came on the scene around 2 million years ago. Hunter-gathers, they migrated and roamed the world. They stood tall and had a wider range of tools. Clearly a more likely candidate to include Adam, as no doubt they were in what we now know as the Americas, but again, facially very unlike today’s humans. H. ergaster enjoyed unparalleled thinking power and fresh neural networks arose, developing specific zones of the brain, such as those associated with language. Their brain capacity of 55 cubic inches (900 cm³) was almost as much as some modern H. sapiens. With other developments they became the beginnings of society. Was this the time of Adam? They were still quite ugly compared to modern man but quickly gaining intelligence.

Homo erectus (man on the move) had not only learned to walk upright, he had learned to think and organise. He lived from about 1.5 million years ago, mastering fire about 500,000 years ago. This led to cooking and inevitably to the further evolvement of the brain and their society. Closer in resemblance to modern man, but with still a long way to go, they had brains twice the size of their cousins, the great apes. Their height was about 5’ 3” – 5’ 9”, almost the same as us. Along with the brain, the larynx and other developments took place; such as the vocal chords and the ability to sweat, meaning man no longer had to breathe by panting, which meant a coherent set of sounds could evolve which would be the forerunner of speech. Adam would have looked a bit more human now but probably had to wait to arrive when speech would be properly formed and man could reason more.

Neanderthal man (homo neanderthalensis) 200,000 – 40,000 years ago, was not as some still seem to believe, a forerunner of homo sapiens. Indeed it is now clear that there have been several species of essentially what are termed homo erectus – those who stand on two feet. For many years, Neanderthals and H. sapiens lived side by side. There is little if any conclusive evidence that they ever interbred. A child found in a Portuguese cave showing signs of both Neanderthal and H. sapiens characteristics is perhaps all there is to date. We do know however that they co-habited the planet for a long time.

Considered for years to be ancient brutes, we later discovered that Neanderthals actually had quite modern brains, although they looked somewhat different to us facially. In the opinion of some palaeoanthropoligists, the Neanderthals descended from populations of H. habilis, or at a later period from H. erectus who arrived in Europe prior to 1 million years ago. Neanderthals were apparently well adapted to colder or even freezing climates. As they appeared to not easily technologically adapt to climatic changes that created a warmer environment, they became isolated into restricted geographical zones, mainly in Europe and were in competition with H. sapiens for territory and natural resources. H. sapiens were technologically more advanced and eventually and inevitably Neanderthals, who could not easily adapt to change, reduced in number and finally died out completely around 25,000 years ago. The process took many thousands of years.

Neandethals coexisted with H. sapiens. Homo sapiens (which means “The Wise One”) appeared some 200,000 years ago.  Between 100,000 and 30,000 years ago they were migrating across the planet and some 40,000 years ago this new type of human appeared in Europe before rapidly inhabiting the globe. Often referred to as Cro-Magnon man, whether originating from Africa or the Middle East, this new actor appearing on the stage of human history would inherit the earth. If not appearing before; Adam would surely have had to have been the first of these people who were essentially; us.

The upper Palaeolithic, from 40,000 years ago was the beginning of a period dominated by innovation, either technical or cultural. When he arrived in Europe some 40,000 years ago, this ‘anatomically modern Man’ as he is described scientifically, was very different from the native Neanderthals. His unique skull was somewhat rounded with a vast cranial capacity averaging around 88 cubic inches (1450 cm³) but sometimes as large as 122 cubic inches (2000 cm³). The evolutionary developments between the skulls of archaic and modern H. sapiens took place very quickly, that is over only 100,000 years. The skeleton of H. sapiens also acquired a more gracile form, especially the legs which were proportionally longer and less bandy. H. sapiens walked with the flat of his foot on the ground and therefore more efficiently. His arms were longer in proportion. This streamlining gave better balance, as the centre of gravity of his body was now measurably closer to the axis of his spine.

There were many “eras” during the last 40,000 years and such things as the first musical instruments date back 45,000 or even 60,000 years in Central Europe. Art and religious ritual developed. Cave art over a 25,000 year period suggests strong links between populations and a structured and defined means of communicating knowledge, myths and representations of the world, based on some form of religion.

Yves Coppens says “One of man’s innate characteristics is spirituality. He could visualise an afterlife, ceremonially daubed cadavers with red ochre (the colour of blood, i.e. life) and arrayed them with jewels, rather than leave them to the mercy of carnivores. He was able to portray symbolically the relations between men and animals and idealise those of man and woman. These activities reveal mental and psychical processes unique in the story of life on Earth.”

Whilst researching details about a different subject, I came across the following:

New data derived from studies done on living elephants and reported by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (BioScience, April 2006, Vol. 56 No. 4, pp. 292-298) suggests that though human hunting may not have been the primary cause toward the mammoth’s final extinction, human hunting was likely a strong contributing factor. Homo Erectus is known to have consumed mammoth meat as early as 1.8 million years ago.

So, we know that Homo Erectus was around 1.8 million years ago. What we have to decide in the religious sense is when and IF Adam, the first MAN is supposed to have appeared. Was it 1.8 million years ago or was it at some later time when the brain was more evolved and after speech developed. What time period do we choose for the appearance of Adam on the scene? The choice is yours but it really cannot have been much later than 40,000 years ago as “modern” man with speech was around by then. Perhaps the Mormon Church will one day say “Well, Adam was clearly placed on the Earth as a unique species even though all other life evolved.” Considering that is the equivalent of the way they now treat DNA evidence against original Native American (Lamanite) tradition, it is perfectly plausible that it could happen when there is nowhere left to go (i.e; apologists propose that Lehi et al may have integrated into an already populated continent, as an escape route from the original claim, now DNA closes that door).

For those who still cry out “so you believe man came from monkeys then”, read the above again, as clearly this is not the case, as scientifically established. The great ape is genetically a kind of cousin in palaeoanthropological terms. We had a common ancestor. Everything evolves; the last hundred years has seen our own species evolve beyond imagination, in our culture, abilities and lifespan. As a Mormon prophet put it, “What are you doing with those extra thirty years?” The universe and our planet are on an evolutionary path that is proven. Life on this planet is most certainly a complex evolutionary system and process that has already spanned many millions of years and yet we tend to look at only a few thousand and sometimes only a few hundred years in our reasoning of life, any religion or belief system.

However, all the above is basic scientific fact and it can be fitted (by the Church’s own admission), into religion if you want it to. The Church does not, at the highest levels, adamantly state that Adam was the first and only living being ever on the planet. It actually steps back from that, admitting that there is much we do not know and that the story of Adam as told in the Bible may just be an explanation in a form we can understand and all we need to know for now, in place of the ultimate and perhaps more detailed truth. They just do not know for sure.  It is an ever changing feast with the Church. It also leaves an opening to change the story if need be; always a good option, as has been seen with DNA and the Book of Mormon.

The Church will ultimately have to accept the DNA evidence, not only regarding the Book of Mormon but more especially DNA and RNA confirmation of the ‘tree of life’ which has now been mapped for all life forms from the beginning of time. If there is a God; He, She or It used evolution to develop life on this planet and what God ended up with appears to be sheer chance rather than design. That much is fact! It is only in relatively recent years that we even began to look as we do now, so how could humans possibly be in God’s image?

The bigger question is, if there is a supreme being, why would he populate a planet using such a random basis, which had to even include a cataclysmic event to wipe out dinosaurs before it was possible for modern humans to ever have a chance to evolve at all. Surely there would be a better way for a God? That takes us back to the fairy tale book called the Bible which attempts to create a supreme being when there never was one to begin with.

 

Evolution & Atheism

Evolution is sometimes (and often erroneously) associated with atheism. Evolution is of course a long established scientific fact upon which all branches of biology are now based. They integrate perfectly, and the tree of life continues to be added to almost daily. Atheism is simply the absence of belief that gods exist. The fact that to many atheists, evolution is a logical explanation as to why a god was not involved is a separate issue.

However, if a god does exist, it is now perfectly scientifically clear that he, she, they or it, set things in motion and then left evolution (by natural selection) to do the rest. It is like a scientific experiment and humans as we now exist were anything but ‘planned’ let alone ‘created’ as such. We know how, what, and also when and where, we evolved from as humans. We may still not have discovered ‘why’ the universe exists, but that much we know for an absolute fact. To believe in biblical creationism and/or a six thousand year old Earth these days, is equivalent to still insisting that the world is flat.

[October 2009 addition]. A few weeks ago, a Jehovah’s Witness rang our door bell. At one point in the ensuing conversation, I told him that he was welcome to fit God into evolution if he wished to, but he had to accept the fact that scientific evidence proves conclusively certain Biblical events were pure fiction. He naively said “But evolution is just a theory”. I explained to him that evolution has long been an accepted scientific fact. DNA, and particularly RNA, along with other biological avenues of science, have mapped the tree of life and the relationships of all life on the planet from several separate and distinct areas of confirming evidence. He said “Why is it called a theory then?”

I have to admit that I laughed out loud and said “You really don’t know anything about science, do you?” Gravity is just a theory – but he didn’t float away. I tried to explain what ‘theory’ means in terms of science and referred him to the Oxford English Dictionary so he could review the various meanings of the word. For the uninformed, the word ‘theory’ doesn’t just mean ‘unproven hypothesis’; it can, and in the case of science (and especially evolution), it does, also mean “…a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” (OED – cited on p.9 of Richard Dawkins new book, reviewed below). What was theory (or rather a hypothesis) in Darwin’s day has been confirmed as indisputable fact (proven scientific theory) in our day.

The problem is that many people learn to believe in something and then never keep up with the latest scientific evidence concerning aspects which may offend that belief. The fact is that evolution is a scientific fact. I am no expert in this area but I have studied it extensively in order to try to understand what we do know. Luckily, amongst all the material available, a new book has finally been written by Richard Dawkins which I highly recommend to everyone who has any interest in evolution. Although some of Richard’s earlier work is deeper and can be hard going for the casual reader, his new book effectively fills the ‘gap’ in the market for an up-to-date and simple to understand explanation as to why evolution is a fact. It is absolutely brilliantly written and easy to understand. You cannot put it down. It is the ultimate thriller and the outcome is that the reader obtains a clear understanding of the unassailable truth concerning evolution as a fact.

The book is called “The Greatest Show on Earth” with the sub-title “The Evidence for Evolution.” It is published by Random House (Bantam Press – Transworld Publishers). ISBN numbers are: 9780593061732 (cased) and 9780593061749 (tpb).

Richard wrote the book when he realised that “the evidence for evolution itself was nowhere explicitly set out, and this was a serious gap that I needed to close.” (Preface vii). “The Archbishop of Canterbury has no problem with evolution, nor does the Pope (give or take the odd wobble over the precise palaeontological juncture when the human soul was injected), nor do educated priests or professors of theology.” (p6).

“Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips… continue the list as long as desired. That didn’t have to be true. It is not self-evidently, tautologically, obviously true, and there was a time when most people, even educated people, thought it wasn’t. It didn’t have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and this book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close this book doubting it.” (pp.8-9).

“Biologists often make a distinction between the fact of evolution (all living things are cousins), and the theory of what drives it (they usually mean natural selection), and they may contrast it with rival theories such as Lamarck’s theory of ‘use and disuse’ and the ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’). But Darwin himself thought of both as theories in the tentative, hypothetical, conjectural sense. This was because, in those days, the available evidence was less compelling and it was still possible for reputable scientists to dispute both evolution and natural selection. Nowadays it is no longer possible to dispute the fact of evolution itself – it has graduated to become a theorum [Dawkin’s unique spelling used to establish a specific point throughout the book – explained elsewhere in his text] or obviously supported fact – but it could still (just) be doubted that natural selection is its major driving force. (p.17. Emphasis in original).

If you do not believe evolution is a fact – read Dawkins’ book and you will be left in no doubt that the evidence is in and that evolution is indeed a fact. If you are already convinced, then his book will explain why and also how it is now known to be a fact. I recommend Richard Dawkins’ new book to everyone who has any interest in evolution.

Likewise, if you are a Mormon and do not yet believe that the Church is not true, my books will leave you in no doubt that the whole thing was a hoax. The evidence is in and the Mormon conspiracy to deceive is a fact. If you are already convinced, then my work will explain why and also how the hoax was established and the conspiracy perpetuated.

Following the example of author, Richard Dawkins, I registered as a “Bright” on the internet. A “Bright” is a person who has a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements. Check out The Brights web site.

To me, science & DNA support atheism as the only plausible reality.
I actually hope I am wrong and that there is a God.

The one thing I am certain of, is that if there is a creative power; He, She, They or It, is definitely not the Mormon version.

If God does exist, He is not very good at religion.
Jim Whitefield