Happy New Year everyone. May 2014 be delusion free.
An ‘incredible journey’ through Mormonism.
A new book, by Bob Bridgestock, released today, is available from Amazon and all major outlets worldwide. I had the opportunity to read it pre-publication, courtesy of the author, Bob Bridgestock. The following review is unsolicited and provided in genuine response to Bob’s work. (At the time of writing, Amazon has not yet enabled reviews for this book).
“Bob’s description of his early life is beautifully written and at times even poetic; his later description of the attitude of Mormon leaders toward members who ‘question’ is accurate as well as eloquent. I found this book an interesting, engaging, informative (and easy) read. We were both Mormons from our teens through to our late fifties, and both married to our first wives for similar periods of time before they died from the results of breast cancer. I relived the experience of my first wife’s long fight, her ultimate untimely death and my own trauma, reaction and road to recovery which mirrored Bob’s description of his own sad and similar experience. I too was having doubts, but mine were about the whole idea of god, never mind just Mormonism. None of my doubts, and clearly none of Bob’s doubts, were related to the deaths of our wives. It is just a part of life and it happens.
I could readily understand Bob’s attempts to pray and study more, as I had done the same, and I recalled the day when I later finally closed the Book of Mormon for the last time in a flood of tears, ‘realising’ that nothing about the Church was true. As Bob described it, “I was enough in myself.” The only subsequent difference between us was that Bob was excommunicated for expressing his doubts while I resigned membership over mine. The resulting ‘paradigm shift’ which Bob describes is something one has to experience to fully appreciate.
Bob’s ability to explain and expose the way the Mormon Church treats and controls its members is impressive. His coverage of Mormonism’s ‘gymnastics’ regarding scripture is very well presented and “…the Mormon Church tortures the Bible to make it fit the Church’s doctrines” says it all really.
This is an excellent book ‘about’ Mormonism and ones man’s experience of it. It is a wonderful read, and as he tells his own story, Bob intertwines some of the history that the Church would rather forget. Presumably because it is not a book about ‘evidence’, and he felt it unimportant, Bob fails to provide direct source references for most of his historical claims, such as Smith having thirty-four marriages, some of which were polyandrous, and that “…in 19th century Mormonism, 20% to 30% of families were polygamous”, which are often mentioned almost in passing. You have to take the validity of such statements as read most of the time.
I am happy enough with that, but some readers (particularly believing Mormons), may criticise this and not accept some statements without the underlying evidence being cited. However, I can confirm that everything is indeed entirely accurate, and I know where the source references can be found, as they are all given in my own books on the subject. The doubting reader can be assured of Bob’s accuracy without worrying about where he got his information from, and the not so familiar ‘non Mormon’ reader can feel reassured that Bob really knows what he is talking about.
The Church may still dispute some things (postulating only 2% to 5% polygamy for example – but they are wrong – according to census returns for the era). Many Mormons will be unaware of the real historical detail but there is no inaccuracy and no guesswork involved in this book. It can be entirely trusted. Bob includes some outstanding quotes from other authors and historical figures to emphasise various points, and these he does reference. This book is a very worthwhile read and I can highly recommend it.”
The Church continues to admit they have a hidden history…
Book of Mormon Translation. You couldn’t make this stuff up! No, wait, yes you could; and in the fourth such statement, the Church officially (implicitly) admits that there was no point to the gold plates, which Smith didn’t even look at whilst supposedly ‘translating’ them. Remember, a man (Laban) was allegedly murdered to obtain the brass plates, some details from which are purported to have been included on the gold plates… which were then completely ignored during Smith’s now fully acknowledged ‘folk-magic’ translation process. Why murder someone when the Mormon god could have had Lehi find a ‘seer stone’, just as Smith claimed to do, and (assuming he had a hat), Lehi could have simply rewritten details from the brass plates without looking at them, rather than have someone killed in order to obtain them.
“As a young man during the 1820s, Joseph Smith, like others in his day, used a seer stone to look for lost objects and buried treasure.”
“…like others in his day…” is somehow supposed to excuse Smith for being a confidence trickster. Because others used the same con-trick, Smith is to be excused… What nonsense – and just how gullible does the Church consider its members really are?
They don’t mention Smith’s 1826 arrest and conviction for being a money-digging con artist, six years after supposedly having a ‘first vision’ of deity, and three years after his claimed visions of Moroni (or Nephi – take your pick). Smith does not qualify as someone any god would deal with in the real world – and that is a proven fact.
“Joseph placed either the interpreters or the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument.”
Lo and behold, Smith’s latest con… a new religion – like a rabbit – straight out of his hat!
We were raised on the concept that Smith literally looked at the plates in order to translate them. He had to – didn’t he? Otherwise it is a nonsense. Any other method negates the very need for plates altogether. If Smith had claimed, at the time, to ‘magically’ translate a book with his head in his hat, without ever mentioning any plates, would anyone have believed him? Of course not; the pretend plates were an essential part of the con. Almost two centuries later, we learn the truth and members are now expected to accept it without question. But question it they should – and then reject it!
The Church continues to selectively admit previously hidden truths, hoping to satisfy Mormons who have serious questions. If they have any sense, members will see through this scam and realise that those who have been trying to tell them it was a hoax were right all along. Admitting the truth after almost two centuries doesn’t make the past any less of a lie. “Everything is still smoke and mirrors – and nothing, nothing, about Mormonism is at it first seems, or at least as first taught.” (Jim Whitefield, ExMormon Foundation Conference, 2010). Testimonies that are built on a fabric of lies are completely worthless. Time to resign – if you haven’t already.
This is the link to the official Mormon Church article four:
LDS ESSAY: Book of Mormon Translation.
The earlier three articles are:
LDS ESSAY: Plural Marriage.
(TMD Volume 1 already covers this subject extensively. Notably, polyandry is conveniently completely ignored. After all, it always was, and still is, contrary to doctrine; something the Church confirmed to me personally, adding, “…those who participated would have to account for it.” Smith, Young and Kimball therefore completely forfeit their eternal salvation – doctrinally speaking).
LDS ESSAY: First Vision Accounts.
(I have already provided comprehensive coverage of this. See ‘The First Vision‘).
LDS ESSAY LINK: Race and the Priesthood.