The Mormon Delusion Volume 5 investigates the early Mormon ‘Lectures of Faith’, comparing the doctrines of the time with the teachings of today – which are entirely different. It then analyses each ‘Section’ of the Doctrine and Covenants in original chronological order, often reviewing the underlying history, searching for Joseph Smith ‘prophecies’ which are evaluated in terms of any evidence of fulfilment. It will come as no surprise to learn that none have any prophetic value or merit whatsoever. However, there is plenty of evidence of Smith’s fraud scattered throughout the D&C which is analysed at each stage.
At the end of the book there is a section entitled ‘The Final Analysis‘ which contains a summary analysis of several interesting findings from the Doctrine and Covenants.
Part 1. Joseph Smith’s Prophecies. Lists sixty-eight prophetic statements found in the D&C, alongside the ultimate outcome of each one. Despite Mormon rationalisation, and some early efforts constructed to ‘make’ some of them ‘appear’ to come about when they hadn’t, not a single one was fulfilled in any way.
Part 2. Pet Phrases used by Smith’s God/Jesus. As Smith progressed with his fake revelations, writing them in the first person (God or Jesus – and sometimes interchanging between the two without reference), he soon got into the habit of having them use ‘pet phrases’ that never appeared in the Bible but sometimes did in Smith’s other so-called scriptures which he claimed to ‘translate’ – the ‘Book of Mormon’ – his ‘Inspired Translation’ of the Bible and also in his own ‘History of the Church’.
For example, Smith’s god sometimes seemed to feel the need to repeat himself, often using essentially the very same explanation twice with no new information added, using the phrase “in other words” to connect his statements. God had no such problem expressing himself in the Bible where the phrase never appears – God always got it right first time. Astonishingly (well, probably more as we might expect actually), it does appear in Smith’s ‘Inspired Revision’ of the Bible. Smith’s god uses the phrase eighteen times in the D&C.
Not surprisingly, Smith himself uses the exact same phrase in his own ‘History of the Church’ – not so much in some later volumes which he did not write – which were written after his death – in the first person to make it look as though he wrote them. In HC Volume 1, Smith uses “in other words” some eighteen times, just like his god and Jesus did in the D&C. It should be more than obvious why. It doesn’t appear at all in HC Volume 7 – but then, Smith didn’t write it!
In addition, Smith has several different characters use “in other words” a dozen times in the Book of Mormon, where it appears three times by Nephi, some 600 years BCE; once by Mosiah in 121 BCE; six times by Alma, the Son of Alma, 82-72 BCE; once by Nephi, son of Nephi the son of Helaman, CE 26-30; and also once by him quoting a letter from Gaddianhi (leader of the Gadianton robbers), to Lachonius, asking him to surrender. It is strange (or perhaps not), that Smith’s characters, from God and Jesus through to his fictional ancients of the Americas, all needed to explain themselves “in other words” just like Smith himself did in his own work. Common sense and reason should be enough to see why that is!
There are several more tell-tale pet phrases only used by Smith’s god and Jesus – full details are analysed.
Part 3. The Mormon God says the Strangest of Things. Summarises some very strange ways deity expresses thoughts that don’t exactly read quite as well as you might expect. These are first person statements. Think! For example, would deity really speak this way? D&C 8:1. “…you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which has been spoken…” D&C 29:13. “…the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.” I listed a small selection of such nonsense statements as examples but the D&C is replete with them if you read it. Smith claimed that god himself was indeed speaking: “These words are not of men nor of man, but of me” (D&C 18:34). If this is the best that deity can do – God help us (to coin a phrase).
Part 4. Who am I; God, Jesus, or Both? It is often very hard to determine whether it is Jesus or god speaking in Smith’s revelations and he regularly seems to switch between the two beings – and back again, without reference. During the first few years of the Church, Smith was in fact monotheistic (see ‘The First Vision’ article, located on my home page side bar for evidence of this), so he viewed them as one and the same being. I list dozens of examples of conflicting ‘speaker’ expressions used in the same D&C sections.
In D&C 6, Smith starts out by having the speaker declare “I am God” – no doubt there; but later, the same speaker declares “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God”, so who did ‘reveal’ Section 6? These are just a couple of other examples of ever changing speakers; D&C 49: “Thus saith the Lord; for I am God, and have sent mine Only Begotten Son into the world.” Then later, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ.” D&C 51: “…saith the Lord your God.” Then later, “I am Jesus Christ.” Smith seemed to often forget who was supposed to be speaking. About half of the D&C Sections contain errors in accurate speaker identification. All of them are summarised.
Part 5. Smith and his Lamanites. Since conclusive mtDNA evidence has determined Native Americans are not of Hebrew origin, Mormon apologists have been doing everything they can to pretend they must have located in other parts of the Americas – or integrated into a large existing population. The Church even altered the Book of Mormon ‘introduction’. It originally stated “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” In the ‘Doubleday’ edition of 2007 and later, in the online version of 2010, that statement was altered to read “…and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.” From “principal” to “among” in one unannounced slick change, notwithstanding the fact that mtDNA overcomes problems of any integration and effectively determines complete and accurate ancestry for anyone – and from which all the migrations of humans across the planet have been carefully mapped over many tens of thousands of years.
In all this, Mormon Church leaders and apologists seem to forget (or simply ignore) the fact that Joseph Smith and all the early Church members knew very well who the Lamanites were – they are mentioned several times in the D&C; men were sent on missions to teach them the gospel – and we know where they went! It was always to the Native North Americans. Smith even identified the grave of a Lamanite in 1834, when he led ‘Zion’s Camp’ on a march to redeem Zion (they didn’t redeem it). Those familiar with Smith’s claim that an unearthed skeleton from a burial mound was an ancient and famous Lamanite warrior named Zelph who died in battle, may be interested to learn that this ‘find’ occurred along the march, on 3 June 1834, when Smith and a few others climbed a bluff and dug into the mound which lies a mile south of Valley City (See: HC. Vol. 2:79, 80n). Smith would have been in his element; such digging was reminiscent of his money digging days. In his early life, he had no luck with it but now there was a ‘find’. This is not an obscure and unknown location. The April 1979 Ensign article, ‘Zion’s Camp March’ indicates that ‘tourism’ by Mormons is not encouraged as the site is now privately owned. So, here’s an idea; why doesn’t the Mormon Church put its money where its mouth is (well, Joseph Smith’s mouth) and take DNA samples from the bones of Native Americans buried in that mound and determine their age and origin? We know they never will because they already know what the results would be. Nevertheless, it’s a challenge worth making.
I list details contained in nine D&C sections which paint a convincing picture of Smith’s (and all his followers) understanding of Lamanites. They were local and according to the Book of Mormon, they inherited the land as exclusive inhabitants – something that would never have been in question – were it not for the wonder of modern science providing irrefutable evidence which cuts across claimed revelations from Smith’s god. The Section 32 header confirms who the Lamanites were: “supplication was made that the Lord would indicate his will as to whether elders should be sent at that time to the Indian tribes in the West” and the sub-heading for v.1-3 confirms “Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson are called to preach to the Lamanites and to accompany Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jr.” As late as 1971, Church President Spencer W. Kimball claimed that Lehi, the family patriarch, was “the ancestor of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea.”