Snippets from The Mormon Delusion. Volume 2. Chapter 4.

Moroni, the Angel Formerly Known as Nephi

The Pure and simple truth
is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde 1854-1900.

In a General Conference talk given in April 2005, President, Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet of the Mormon Church made the following remarks:

I hold in my hand a precious little book. It was published in Liverpool, England, by Orson Pratt in 1853, 152 years ago. It is Lucy Mack Smith’s narrative of her son’s life.

It recounts in some detail Joseph’s various visits with the angel Moroni and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

The book tells that upon hearing of Joseph’s encounter with the angel, his brother Alvin suggested that the family get together and listen to him as he detailed “the great things which God has revealed to you.” (Ensign, May 2005: The Great Things Which God Has Revealed; citing Smith, Lucy 1853:84).

Hinckley was apparently holding an original 1853 edition of the book, quoting from page 84. The quote actually runs from the bottom of page 83 on to page 84 in the original text and so Hinckley, in all probability, really was actually holding an original copy. He calls it “a precious little book” and appears to approve of the original edition. What he does not say is that the book was banned by Brigham Young, collected, burned and then rewritten, a completely falsified version later being published, as if it were the original.

It was initially recommended for everyone, and the 16 November 1854 edition of the Church newspaper, The Deseret News, reported that it was deemed suitable for children. It was used as a ‘reader’ in Church schools in the Utah territory. It was subsequently ‘disapproved’ by Brigham Young in 1865. The original 1853 edition was then suppressed and gathered in, both in England and Utah and burned or destroyed, according to The Deseret News, 21 June 1865. Young then had the book ‘revised’ and eventually, in 1901, a falsified reprint of the book was published by the Church.

It was rewritten, rather than being revised in the way that an historian would make revisions by adding footnotes, showing errors and corrections. Rather, the actual text was rewritten and then published, just as if it were the original work, with well over two thousand words added, deleted or changed, without reference, along with a further seven-hundred-and-thirty-six words deleted with the proper indication, according to Jerald and Sandra Tanner. (Introduction to photo reprint of Smith, Lucy 1853, UTLM).

Although this may seem bizarre, it is in fact typical of the way the Mormon Church has rewritten its history and thus hidden previous, sometimes more accurate and revealing accounts and records, often providing no reference to any changes. In their book, Changes in Joseph Smith’s History, the Tanners note that the Church added or deleted over 62,000 words in work Smith himself had written. These changes were made after Smith’s death. It is reasonable to ask why the personal written record of a prophet of God would need 62,000 word changes, if he was indeed a prophet. Perhaps the same question should be asked of the Book of Mormon, purported to be (declared by God himself) the most correct book ever written, which also had thousands of changes made after the first (supposedly correct) edition, and continues to have significant changes made in new editions, even today.

Lucy Mack’s book contains many interesting things, including her own (and particularly her husband’s) dreams which almost exactly parallel Lehi’s vision story, which the young Joseph Smith would have heard his parents repeat from the time he was about six years old and which later appeared in his Book of Mormon as the dreams of prophets over two thousand years earlier. (This is covered in detail in Chapter 9).

In Hinckley’s remarks above, he indicates that the book contains details of various visits by the angel Moroni. In actual fact, if he really is referring to the original 1853 edition, as he says he is, then Hinckley is at least mistaken, if not lying. In the book, Lucy refers to the angel as Nephi and not Moroni. Page 79 specifies that Nephi is the visiting angel. In the 1954 reprint (now page 75), it has been changed to Moroni in the falsified text. The reason Lucy thought the angel was called Nephi is because that is who Joseph Smith told her it was, and he recorded it that way himself. Initially, Smith’s records simply say that an angel visited, which in itself is strange when compared with the final official account. Apart from a couple of isolated instances in 1835 and 1838, when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery both quote Moroni as the visiting angel, Smith reverted completely, to the idea that it was Nephi who was the angel, in his later writings and publications, none of which were changed or retracted during his lifetime. Only later was the name changed to Moroni in the accounts, without reference, by other people.

In April 1842 Smith wrote in Times and Seasons:

“He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.” (Times & Seasons. 15 Apr 1842. V.3. No.12:753).

Exactly the same statement formed part of the story in the Latter Day Saints Millennial Star, published in England in August 1842. Smith had not ‘corrected’ it, following the April printing of Times and Seasons, of which Smith himself was Editor.

“He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.” (Millennial Star, Aug 1842. V.3:53).

The name is repeated a second time in the Millennial Star in an editorial comment, identifying that the saints in England certainly accepted the name of the angel was Nephi

“…the glorious ministry and message of the angel Nephi which has finally opened a new dispensation…” (Millennial Star, Aug 1842. V.3:71).

Smith did not die until 1844, some two years later, and he never published any retractions or made alterations to his own writings. Although previously using the names of both Nephi and Moroni, Smith ultimately seemed to settle on Nephi as his personal choice. Most importantly, the original handwritten manuscript of The Pearl of Great Price, dictated by Joseph Smith himself, shows that the name of the angel was Nephi. Only after Smith’s death did someone interpolate the name Moroni above the line of the handwritten text.

Jerald and Sandra Tanner say that in 1976 they were able to examine the duplicate copy of the handwritten manuscript, Book A-2. The manuscript, which was not even started until about year after Smith’s death, has the name of Nephi as the angel, just as the original, with someone later interpolating Moroni above the line, along with the original manuscript, Book A-1. This clearly shows that as an original copy of Smith’s work, started after his death, the original name of Nephi was not changed by Smith, but rather altered by someone else, long after his death. (Tanner 1987:142-C).

The falsified name of the angelic visitor was of course incorporated into canonised scripture. In 1851, the first edition of the Pearl of Great Price included Smith’s original statement that:

“He called me by name and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.” (PoGP 1st Edition 1851:41).

Orson Pratt “published The Pearl of Great Price in 1878, and removed the name of Nephi from the text entirely and inserted the name Moroni in its place”. (Tanner 1987:137 c. Textual changes in The PoGP, Walter L. Whiple, BYU thesis p.125 typed copy). This was twenty-seven years later.

Current editions of History of the Church use the same words that Smith used in Times and Seasons in 1842 but the angel’s name has since been changed from that of Nephi to Moroni, again without reference. (HC V.1:11). This is yet another falsification which occurred after Smith’s death. (Tanner 1971:13).

Richard L. Anderson, a Mormon writer, admits the change in The Pearl of Great Price but argues that it was necessary as “the ‘Nephi’ reading contradicts all that the prophet published on the subject during his lifetime”. (Improvement Era. Sep 1970:6-7).

He doesn’t qualify all that the prophet published that it contradicted, and in fact many of Smith’s (and others) writings don’t even mention the name of the angel at all. It is usually ‘the angel’ or ‘an angel of the Lord’ or a ‘messenger’ sent by commandment of the Lord. There did however, seem to be some confusion as to which name to ultimately pick, as Oliver Cowdery called the angel a ‘messenger’ and then a few weeks later ‘Moroni’, in 1835 (Messenger and Advocate Feb 1835: V.1:79; Apr 1835: V.1:112) and Smith did once call the angel ‘Moroni’ in 1838 in the publication Elders’ Journal (Vol 1:3). These are the only references to Moroni, along with D&C 27:5 which includes the name Moroni, but this was not in the original D&C revelation. It was inserted – along with well over three-hundred other words (attributed directly to the Lord himself) some years later, in the 1835 edition. The Book of Commandments version of the 1830 revelation contained no angel’s name at all. 1

Other than the couple of references where the name Moroni appeared in 1835 and 1838, the angel then firmly became Nephi in Smith’s writings. Prior to 1835, no name is given at all. By 1842, in published newspapers, in Smith’s own history, and in The Pearl of Great Price, given that Smith consistently used the name of Nephi, apparently it is the name that he had settled upon and intended to be used for his angel. (See: Chapter 5, Summary of Accounts of Joseph Smith’s Early Visions). Contrary to Anderson’s sweeping statement that using ‘Nephi’ contradicted all that the prophet published, that was not the case at all. It was actually the other way around. Smith only called the angel Moroni once. It would have been far easier to have deleted the name of ‘Moroni’ and to have used ‘Nephi’ instead.

Conclusion

Certainly Smith appears to have wanted to ultimately name his visiting angel Nephi. He was, after all, Smith’s first main character in his Book of Mormon. As time passed and Moroni became a more natural, appropriate and logical candidate for the role, as he had supposedly been the one to bury the fictitious gold plates, the angel ‘became’ Moroni. All things considered, it appears that it was a tidying up process after Smith’s death, to make the sequence of events into a more logical, effective and believable overall story.

Had the story actually been true, given the number of times Smith claims he was visited, Moroni’s name should most certainly have been given from the start in most, if not all accounts, especially Smith’s own records. In the event, Smith’s first record of the event in 1832 (nine and five years after the 1823 and 1827 visitations respectively) describes the visitor as “an angel of the Lord” who told him that the plates were “engraven by Maroni” [later Moroni] with the visiting angel not giving his own name at all.

This clearly indicates that when Smith first considered his experience, the angel had certainly not introduced himself as Moroni (or Nephi) as the angel spoke of Maroni [Moroni] in the third person, and did not give his own name. Had the name of Moroni been given as the name of the angel, Smith’s initial writings would have had to read differently and the name of Nephi would never have appeared in the first place.

As with the First Vision, the fabricated story of Moroni’s visits evolved over many years. It all started with the idea of finding gold plates using his money digging seer stone that he found in a well; it developed through to spirits and angels with no name; finally becoming a divinely instructed occurrence involving an angel who Smith ultimately decided to call Nephi, who is now known as Moroni. (Faulring 1989:56-7). An effigy of the angel Moroni now appears, clad in gold leaf, atop Mormon Temples, with the angel Nephi relegated to the pages of the Book of Mormon.

____________________

Notes

  1. Book of Commandments 28:6 (1833:60). Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 50:2 (1835:180). (Now Sec 27:5). Revelation given as 4 September 1830 in the Book of Commandments and changed to August 1830 in the D&C. The original 1830 revelation, published as Section 28 in the Book of Commandments in 1833 has seven verses. In the current version of the same revelation which appears as Section 27 in the Doctrine and Covenants, there are well over three-hundred words added, two deleted and several changed from the original, all without reference. They are written in the first person, as if spoken by the Lord himself, although added several years after the supposed original revelation. It is thus extended to fifteen verses.

December 2016

The Bible Delusion – extract.

HOAM 96
No Rain for Three Years and Six Months.

Luke and James both refer to the idea that Elias (Greek for Elijah) claimed it did not rain for three years and six months.

Luke records “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land.” (4:25). No rain at all for three and a half years would produce far more than just a famine. Loss of human life, flora and fauna, diseases; not to mention the mayhem that would ensue, would all be at unimaginable levels.

James confirms the event, also citing Elias as claiming a lack of rain for three and a half years. “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (5:17-18). God answered a prayer, stopping the rain, until another prayer resulted in it starting again.

Hang on – firstly, there is absolutely no mention of any such thing in the OT; secondly, if there were any truth to the claim (not about Elijah – but rather the actual lack of rain), it would not only completely disrupt the ecosystem (by somehow actually making it stop, at least in that area), all humans would have migrated away – and there would be records of that. Other local life forms would be extinct by the end of it. The concept of stopping the water cycle is, scientifically, completely impossible. It was not a miracle; the consequences are all too obvious. It would be a miracle (metaphorically speaking), if anyone, or any thing, were to actually survive such a cataclysmic event.

In ancient times, people really believed gods controlled the weather, and moreover that they used it to bless or punish, just as they pleased. Many ancient gods were credited with control over weather. Humans relied on good weather and timely rain for their crops in order for them to survive. In bad crop seasons, famine could decimate a society. The belief in gods using weather to bless or curse people, quite naturally rolled over into the Hebrew religion. Their God was no different, although Yahweh was somewhat more violent and cruel in his use of the weather than many gods of the ancients.

In the OT, rain, or the lack thereof, is inexorably connected to God using it in relation to sin or righteousness. The recorded incidences of Hebrew belief in God controlling rain are numerous. (See Appendix F. ‘Rain’ for a selection).

God no longer cares to control the weather – if he did, many thousands of people could have been saved from severe flooding which is a regular feature in many parts of the world. If God was once so ‘hands on’ regarding the rain – what excuse has he got for not assisting now – when helpless humans are so often so afflicted? Are they all too sinful, or is he too busy to bother with them?

Appendix F. Rain.

Referenced from HOAM 96.

God seemed to enjoy controlling the weather, in order to help or hinder, depending on his wont. That is to say, the Hebrews were convinced that God used the weather in this way. If it didn’t rain and their crops failed, they thought it must have been because they had sinned. Such concepts were actually just a continuation of earlier religious beliefs concerning what are now considered pagan gods. In reality, nothing changed – apart from the name of the deity. Gods invariably influenced the weather.
These are a few examples of Hebrew belief that God controlled the rain.

Genesis 7:4. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

Exodus 9:18. Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.

Exodus 9:23. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

Exodus 9:33. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the Lord: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

Leviticus 26:4. Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Deuteronomy 11:14. That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

Deuteronomy 11:17. And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.

Deuteronomy 28:12. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Deuteronomy 28:24. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

1 Samuel 12:17-18. Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king. So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

1 Kings 8:35. When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

1 Kings 8:36. Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

1 Kings 18:1. And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

2 Kings 3:17. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.

1 Kings 17:1. And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

1 Kings 17:14. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.

2 Chronicles 6:26-27. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.

2 Chronicles 7:13. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

Ezra 10:9. Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.

Ezra 10:13. But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

Job 20:23. When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.

Job 28:26. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:

Job 36:27. For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

Job 37:6. For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Job 38:26. To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

Psalms 11:6. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psalms 68:9. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

Psalms 135:7. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.

Psalms 147:8. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

Isaiah 5:6. And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

Isaiah 30:23. Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.

Jeremiah 3:3. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Jeremiah 5:24. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Jeremiah 10:13. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

Jeremiah 14:4. Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.

Jeremiah 51:16. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

Joel 2:23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Amos 4:7. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

Zechariah 10:1. Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Zechariah 14:17. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

Zechariah 14:18. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

The obvious reality? The Hebrew God did not exist or control the weather.

The Bible Delusion is available here:

https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Delusion-Minute-Moments-Mysterious/dp/1326662554/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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November 2016

Memories…

It took me many years to fully realise there was no god; least of all the Mormon version – the one I had accepted at age fourteen because Joseph Smith was my age when he supposedly had a vision and later translated a book – a seemingly impossible feat. I later identified the very moment that my Mormon ‘world’ began its slow but inevitable decline and ultimate demise as I ventured into the world of reality.

It was at a High Council meeting during times of fuel shortage and other issues. Regarding anyone being baptised, at one time it could be any day at any time; the candidate was baptised and had the gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed during the same service.

At some point, it was decided that baptisms could not be held on Sunday (once a favourite, after services), because it meant the custodian would have to ‘work’ to fill and empty the font. The Holy Ghost was then conferred on the next fast Sunday. That was new, up to four weeks between baptism and getting the Holy Ghost. I remember the odd convert no longer attending Church by the following fast Sunday but I expect the Church still counted them as members – statistics must always be bolstered somehow. Later, due to the fuel crisis, baptisms could only be held on Sunday as members were at church anyway.

I can’t remember which of these various changes of policy was being disclosed to us at this particular High Council meeting, but I suspect it was the ‘Sunday only’ policy. I suddenly remembered something that David O. McKay had said. He was our beloved prophet when I joined the Church in 1960. When the Stake President confirmed that there were no exceptions, I said “But David O. McKay said that it is every child’s right to be baptised on their eighth birthday.” The Stake President shot back with “Well, he’s dead!”

I don’t think I have ever been more shocked, and that retort (I realised several years later) marked the moment my heart and my belief system, at least subconsciously, began to break. He was of course quite right; the current prophet speaks for the Mormon god, thus all that has been spoken by previous prophets becomes somewhat null and void when past pronouncements contradict new ideas or no longer suit the current regime.

It’s not god who works in mysterious ways; it’s Mormon prophets who continue Joseph Smith’s well established lead – making things up as they go along. The god-given rights of children were thus revoked at a stroke. I subsequently discovered there was so much nonsense spoken by all Mormon prophets that they had to keep changing and modifying things to keep pace with later problems that earlier leaders caused with weird and wonderful ideas that didn’t stand the test of time (or later public opinion).

Time would erode my faith to hold to the rod, or to anything else religious, until the day my world caved in. One day, I was studiously reading the Book of Mormon, as I did every morning, and I suddenly knew for certain that I did not believe in a god, Mormon or otherwise. It was the last thing I wanted and as I closed the book for the last time as a member, I wept my heart out. I had tried to make the Church true in my head and heart for the previous year; but now, god and Mormonism were gone forever and out of integrity I resigned membership. It would be three more years before I quite accidentally stumbled across the truth behind the Mormon Church and my research and writing followed. For me, the next six years were full time therapy; for others, I hope it provides quick and easy access to answers to the questions that everyone should ask.

October 2016

This is from Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (known in the West by the Latinised form of his first name, initially ‘Alhacen’ and later ‘Alhazen’; writing in Basra, in present day Iraq, about a thousand years ago:

“Therefore, the seeker after the truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration, and not to the sayings of a human being whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.” (As quoted by Professor Brian Cox in ‘Forces of Nature’ pp. 213-4).

Alhazen expresses exactly how I feel about the ever exciting quest for truth and my love of science.

September 2016

Snippets from The Mormon Delusion
Vol. 2: pp. 239-241.
Agriculture

Various foodstuffs were grown or were available and used during the Book of Mormon timeframe in different parts of America and included three main crops; corn, beans and squash. Other food (not all in the same locations) used by various peoples and cultures, included such things as: amaranth, eaten with chili peppers; chicham (like a turnip); chicozapote, a fruit; gourds; lima beans; manioc or cassava; yucca; peppers; peanuts; various plants; pineapples; potatoes; pumpkins; sunflowers; sweet potatoes and tomatoes. The Mayans grew cacao trees for chocolate, avocado trees and also papaya trees.

Against all odds of at least getting some of them right, Smith manages only one. He includes corn, but mentions not one of the rest of the above in his BOM at all, other than the cover-all statement ‘all manner of fruits’. Instead, he claims that they cultivated barley and wheat (which did not exist there) using manufactured implements, including ploughs made from metal (none have been found), pulled by draught animals which did not exist there at the time.

“And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts.” (Ether 10:25-26).

Smith here combines three errors into proof positive fiction. Clearly, the ancients did not make ploughs (or any other implements) with which to work their beasts, in order to plough, sow, reap and hoe, or thrash [thresh], as they did not have any wheat and they did not have any beasts of burden of any description with which to work such implements, for which there is equally no evidence. There couldn’t be, as there was no use for them. No wheat, no barley, no ploughs and no draught animals – equals a story of pure (and very obvious) nineteenth century fiction.

He also mentions ‘neas’ and ‘sheum’ (see below) which are just nonsense words, supposedly given by God to Smith in the 1820s in an understandable form for the people of the day, without further need for interpretation. No one then or now has a clue what they actually mean. Apologists claim ‘sheum’ was an old Assyrian word relating to barley (which they didn’t have), grain or other things such as pine-nuts and it was hardly a word Smith would have ‘known’ in his day as the relevant language was not then interpreted. But, why would God translate ‘reformed Egyptian’ into ancient Assyrian for Smith to see in his hat and then have written down, when no one would ever understand it? It is utter apologetic nonsense, just as is Smith’s use of the word which he just made up.

Pathetically, apologists cling to the idea that a few grains of a type of small barley of some description may have been found in one or two minor locations dating to the BOM time period. Unfortunately, Arizona does not help the geography associated with the BOM, so one problem always leads to another. Additionally, it is completely different to the species of domesticated barley claimed to have been introduced from the Near East by BOM characters. Remember, Smith claims it as a staple and it had to feed millions of people. The reality is that the Spanish introduced barley to South America in the 16th century. British and Dutch settlers introduced it to the United States in the 17th century. Soil core samples from across the continent show nothing prior to that.

Wheat was known to Smith, so he included it, yet it was never a part of the diet of any culture in the Americas any more than barley was. It simply did not exist there before it was introduced, centuries after the end of the BOM era.

Again, it would have had to have been vastly cultivated, as Smith’s nations were of a major size. Apologists suppose that ‘wheat’ must have meant some other crop. Pick one from the list and call it what you like; it will not alter the fact that Smith made it up. The concept that God revealed the word ‘wheat’ to Smith in his hat when it really meant a different crop is simply preposterous.

The staples of Smith’s BOM people were wheat and domesticated barley, no remains of which have ever been found. Had his nations grown wheat and barley (or flax, see below), soil core samples from somewhere would include pollen from the plants (which all flower); thus we can be absolutely certain that they did not exist in the Americas during supposed Book of Mormon times.

“And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war – yea the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.” (Jarom 1:8). 420-361 BCE. (Emphasis added).

“And we began to till the ground, yea, with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits…” (Mosiah 9:9). 200-187 BCE. (Emphasis added).

Smith’s glaringly obvious faux pas continues in the many other things he also included. The BOM speaks of grapes and figs which did not exist in the Americas (3 Nephi 14:16) and whilst it may be claimed they were only spoken of, rather than being claimed to have actually existed there, how in the world would they have known about them in order to reference them in the Americas in 34 CE? It was hundreds of years and many generations after the supposed migration there, and no one would have had a clue what they were unless they were familiar with them.

Smith claims they had silk production and fine twined linen (mentioned several times) and made cloth from it. (E.g. Ether 10:24). These are another couple of impossibilities for which apologists list no end of claimed possible and yet totally ridiculous parallels which ‘silk’ and ‘linen’ might have meant.

God was supposed to have given Smith the correct words to use in his work. Whatever apologists say, silk is silk, and Smith said God gave him the word, yet silk did not exist there. Linen (fine twined or not) is made from flax which also did not exist there during the BOM period, as established by all soil core samples ever taken from anywhere you care to mention.

What they did have was cotton and the ancient Mexicans made cloth from that, five thousand year ago, long before the claimed BOM era. Nevertheless, Smith’s people apparently did not have cotton.

It is not just that there is something wrong about the Book of Mormon which leans toward the possibility of some detail it portrays as truth coming into question. The reality is that everything in the Book of Mormon is wrong, very wrong, in every dimension. There is nothing that lends toward the possibility of it being a true account of a real people; and everything, absolutely everything, points towards a hoax and a completely fraudulent claim by Smith. The evidence is overwhelming in every area, in more aspects than we can even begin to count.

 

 

 

August 2016

This epitomises the madness of Mormonism – and other religions that claim the flood a reality. See more Mormon madness captured on The Mormon Delusion fb page.

Moses 7:43. “Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came and swallowed them up.” (Joseph Smith – December 1830).

13680797_1369227949771480_8681244505873227741_n(Image credit: Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner).

Abraham 1:23-24. “The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden; When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.” The online Book of Abraham header today still claims this was from “The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus.”

So, Smith claimed Egypt was discovered by a black woman as the flood waters receded and Egypt was named after her, several hundred years before the Greeks invented the forerunner of the name (which came from the Latin derivative) when they couldn’t pronounce Hwt-ka-Ptah which meant ‘House of the Ka (soul) of Ptah’ which was originally a place, not a country.

At the claimed time of the flood, the term ‘Egypt’ did not exist. Smith has Abraham explain that Egyptus “signified that which is forbidden” presumably as she was black. Not only does the word not mean that, it is not Chaldean as Smith has the BOA (1:23) claim “…Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt,…” ‘Egypt’ derives from Latin, and hundreds of years would pass before the word evolved.

‘Junhuriyah Misr al-Arabiyah’ is no obscure or ancient phrase; it is in fact the modern name for a very well known country. In English, it means the ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’. Egyptians themselves refer to Egypt as Misr (an Arabic name simply meaning ‘country’), although Misr can also be a name for Cairo. In the early period of Egypt (during the Old Kingdom) it was referred to as Kemet or Kmt (Kermit). It means the ‘Black Land’ and refers to the rich black soil of the Nile Valley and Delta. The people called themselves ‘remetch en Kermet’ meaning the ‘People of the Black Land.’ Egypt was also sometimes referred to as Deshret or dshrt, meaning ‘Red Land’ or the desert. There is no ‘flood gap’ in extensively detailed Egyptian history. (See ‘The Mormon Delusion’ Volume 2 for more).

The fact that it was not under water and not called Egypt is ignored by the Mormon Church; as is the fact that from just one couple, after the claimed 2304 flood, Egypt had to become populated by two million people (who would all have to be black) by 1447 BCE; in just 857 years. Evidence is always a better choice than obvious fables.

It is high time the Mormon Church admitted that the flood story is pure fiction; one of the many fables that today fly in the face of conclusive scientific evidence on every possible level. But then they would have to admit that Smith just made it all up and was anything but a prophet of God. The idea that “it doesn’t matter; the Church is still true” has worn too thin to be given the time of day; it does matter and it simply isn’t!

July 2016

Extract: The Bible Delusion, Chapter 15, pp. 257-259.

God on Forced Servants and Slavery

Genesis 9:25-27. Noah curses his grandson, Canaan, the son of Ham, to be a servant of servants (the lowest of the low), to his uncles, Shem and Japheth. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

Genesis 17:12-13. God explains that purchased slaves should be circumcised. Ergo, God approved of slavery – not to mention circumcision being a cruel and obscene requirement for believers – let alone non-believing slaves to endure. Why mutilate men who were not Hebrews? “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” (Emphasis added).

Exodus 12:44. God says that once slaves are circumcised, they too may eat of the Passover. Once more, God shows his approval of slavery. “But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.”

 Exodus 21:2. Hebrew slaves can go free in the seventh (Jubilee) year. “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” God clearly approved of slavery, even setting terms for it.

 Exodus 21:7. If you sell your daughter, she is not to be allowed to go out. “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.” God approves of children being sold as slaves.

Exodus 22:3. A man shall be sold into slavery if he steals and can’t repay what he has stolen. “…he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” God commands the use of slavery as a form of punishment.

Leviticus 22:11. Slaves purchased by a priest, or born into his household may eat the holy things. “But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.” God endorses slavery.

 Leviticus 25:39. You can’t treat a purchased brother as a slave, but rather a servant, and he can go free in the year of Jubilee. “And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile [sic].”

Note: ‘Bondservant’ = slave; hired servant = paid help; although, as above, there may be an imposed term of servitude, such as until the year of Jubilee.

 Leviticus 25:44-46. You can buy slaves from anyone other than the children of Israel – and you can give them to your children as an inheritance forever. “…thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy… the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” God not only endorses slavery here, but he explains how to make the best use of it for your children and future generations.

 Deuteronomy 15:12. “And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.”

 Ephesians 6:5-8. Servants (slaves), obey your masters. “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ… whether he be bond or free.”

Colossians 3:22. God commands servants under the yoke (slaves) to be obedient in all things. “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.”

 1 Timothy 6:1. “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”

 Titus 2:9-10. “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

 1 Peter 2:18. “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward [harsh].”

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