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:
- The First Vision
- The 1820 Reality
- No Evidence of a First Vision
- The First Vision was Published Twenty-Two Years Late
- Pick a Vision – Any Version – They Are All Different
- The Angel Moroni – Formerly Known as Nephi
- Toads, Spirits, Angels and Deity
- Folk Magic and Smith the Con Artist
- Gold Plates, Vivid Imagination and Gullibility
- Joseph Smith Elopes with Emma Hale
- The Book of Mormon
- The Witnesses
- Occult Translation Technique – Modern Members Deceived
- From Monotheism to Polytheism
- DNA and the Book of Mormon
- Why the Book of Mormon is Accepted as Fact by Members
- Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
- Impossible Book of Mormon Claims
- The Bible Takes Second Place
- The Doctrine & Covenants
- D&C 84: Required Priesthood Made Smith’s First Vision Impossible
- The Articles of Faith
- The Pearl of Great Price
- Church Growth & Schisms
- Succession Confusion
- RLDS, Polygamy & Fundamentalists
- The Word of Wisdom
- The Mormon Endowment and Masonry
- Heaven and Hell
- Smith Admits Revelations could be Wishful Thinking or of the Devil
- Evolving Ideas and Theology
- Polygamy Required in Salt Lake City
- The Plan of Salvation
- Pay, Pray and Obey
- The Church of Christ and the Role of Women
- Fear as a Prime Motivator
- A Man Can Become a God
- The Restoration of All Things
- Honesty and Integrity
- The 2008 Priesthood Manual
- 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.
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
- We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
- We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
- We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
- 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.
- 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.
- We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
- We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
- 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.