August 2011

My article on ‘The First Vision‘ has now been thoroughly updated and a number of references have been added. This will shortly be available in booklet form (or in Mormon terms, a ‘tract’) for those who want to share the historical facts with friends or missionaries when they come knocking.

Update: The First Vision – The Joseph Smith Story booklet is now available.

Also available as a PDF eBook here.

When I was a young Branch President in the Mormon Church, I was a hard working carpenter with little time for much outside of work, meetings and raising our very young and fast growing family. I was always tired but we were very happy. Our dedication was such that when my wife was having our third child, which was to be a home birth, and was heavily in labour, I asked if she thought she would have the baby before midnight. When she replied that she didn’t think it would be that soon, I said – great, well I’m off to my Branch Presidency meeting – and I went. (The baby was born in the early hours of the following morning). Dedication knew no bounds and my wife understood and approved of my dedication, or what I later realised was selfishness.

My favourite time of day was always last thing at night as we crawled into bed and snuggled down. I could hear traffic in the distance and felt safe at home in bed with no worries until the next day when it would be a very early start and off to work again for another ten hour day. I remember one morning running late and as a work mate arrived to take me to work, my sweet wife, who had yet to learn everything about cooking, thrust a welcome fried egg sandwich into my hand for me to eat on the journey. As we set off, I took a big bite of the sandwich and egg yolk spattered all down my front. My friend nearly ran off the road laughing. I still enjoyed the sandwich but had to endure the day looking very yellow and being teased about the incident. Cherished memories of my first love Jan who died almost a decade ago now.

Forty-five years later, children are long grown up and gone, my working life done and dusted five years ago, and equally, the Mormon Church done and dusted from my life several years ago (something I am still coming to terms with), and happily married once again; my favourite time of day is actually this moment – late morning on a cool relaxing day (as is every day now) with no worries about tomorrow, or any day, or any thing for that matter, with a mug of coffee (something I once considered a sin severe enough to keep me out of the Celestial kingdom) and a chocolate digestive, as I write about memories to anyone who cares to know about them – and if that is no one, it doesn’t matter. I have lived and loved; I have made mistakes and I have made some good decisions. At the end of the day, I found the truth and it is all so simple and so obvious to me now. I try to share it as effectively as I can for those seeking knowledge and an understanding of the hoax that Mormonism was and is.

I still enjoy snuggling down at night, but as I don’t have to set an alarm clock in order to get up and go anywhere in the morning, I don’t enjoy it half as much as this moment each day. All I have to do is remember to wake up each morning. Until I forget to do that, this time of day is coffee time! Absolutely perfect – and I will die happy.