Monday, May 4, 2015

THE WITNESSES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON: WHAT DID THEY REALLY SEE?

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Have you heard the news? According to the recent World News Daily Report gold plates linked to Joseph Smith have been unearthed in a cavern in the Hill Cumorah! Can it really be true? Really?

This startling discovery, the report states, was made by an archaeological team headed by Professor Abraham Jones, associated with BYU’s faculty of Archaeology—and (hang on) the hieroglyphic symbols on these plates are amazingly identical to those the prophet Joseph Smith copied from the gold plates of the Book of Mormon!
See article at http://tinyurl.com/p9q14ru


The article states they compared the hieroglyphic symbols with those Joseph Smith drew from his gold plates "in 1928." Say what?? (No doubt, he rose from the dead.)


Of course, there is no Professor Abraham Jones connected with BYU . . . and the above picture of plates are actually a picture of the faked “Lead Codices of Jordan” but passed off as plates found in the Hill Cumorah. (For those of you who don't know what the Book of Mormon is, it claims to contain writings of ancient prophets between 2200 BC to AD 421 who sailed from Jerusalem to the American continent.)


So . . . welcome to the exciting world of fakery par excellence!  

(Be sure to see Endnote 33 for the WNDR's (World News Daily Report) witty Disclaimer Noticeit's worth the chuckle).


THE WITNESSES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON: 
WHAT DID THEY REALLY SEE?

The WNDR's article is typical of those who like to pull jokes on people—which brings us to the subject of this post. Fooling the public was nothing new to Joseph Smith.

This was especially true concerning the gold plates of the Book of Mormon and the witnesses he manipulated to sign a statement saying they saw them. However, they actually never saw them! They later admitted it.

How did Joseph Smith manage to pull it off?

Well, this is what this post is all about.

This article will look at the claim of the three men who testified an angel appeared and showed them Joseph Smith’s gold plates; also, eight other men who, although did not claim to see an angel, testified Smith allowed them to "heft" the plates.

We will look at:

  • The testimony of the three men
  • The testimony of the eight men
  • Who actually wrote the statements they signed.
  • What the three witnesses admitted they really saw.
  • What plates did the eight witnesses “heft?” Did Joseph Smith forge a fake set?
  • What was the witnesses’ motivation in maintaining their testimony after rejecting Smith and the church?
  • Where are the gold plates now?
  • What does the Bible say about all this?

The Printed Statement of the Three Witnesses to the Gold Plates
of the Book Of Mormon

                                       Oliver Cowdery   David Whitmer      Martin Harris

Artist's rendition of angel showing places to the three witnesses

Below is the three witnesses’ statement printed in the front of the Book of Mormon, stating an angel showed them the gold plates and engravings. (For the sake of space, the following is an excerpt from that lengthy paragraph focusing only on this particular claim. The rest of the paragraph mostly mentions the Book of Mormon people and religious verbiage)
“That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record…And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true.
Oliver Cowdery
David Whitmer
Martin Harris”
(Excerpt; underlining mine)

The printed statement of the eight witnesses to the gold plates

                               Artist's rendition of Joseph Smith showing the plates to the eight men

The printed statement of the eight witnesses is slightly different. They do not claim an angel showed the plates to them; instead, Joseph Smith showed the plates to them and they “hefted” them.


“…Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. …for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken.
Christian Whitmer
Hiram Page
Jacob Whitmer
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
Hyrum Smith
John Whitmer
Samuel H. Smith”
(excerpt; underlining mine)

Many ask, “Certainly, these men wouldn’t testify to something unless it was true! Or, would they?”

First, let’s ask the following question:

Who Actually Wrote the Testimony of the Witnesses?
Where did the statement of these witnesses, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, come from? Did they write the testimony themselves? The answer is “No.” Joseph Smith actually did, and then each man supposedly signed it.

It is strongly maintained by LDS Church writers that Joseph Smith wrote the original version of the two testimonials for all eleven men to sign. We have no visual record of their signatures. The original manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which supposedly contained the original signatures, was placed by Smith in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo house in 1841.

The only visual record the LDS Church has is the “printers copy” made by Oliver Cowdery, all in his handwriting, including the signatures of the three men. It is called the “printer’s copy” to distinguish it from the original manuscript.

Below is a copy of the eight witnesses’ statement, including the signatures, all in Cowdery’s handwriting. Whether this is really the “printer’s copy” may be suspect. It could actually be the original, revealing that the men never actually signed it but only allowed their name to be placed under the statement of testimony, persuaded by Smith. However, this is just a suspicion of my own.



Was the original Book of Mormon manuscript, including the two testimonials ever retrieved from the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House?
Yes. The original was eventually retrieved from the cornerstone of the Nauvoo building. Only 28% of the manuscript survived. LDS writer, Royal Skousen, says “Most of it was severely damaged by water that had seeped in as well as by mold that ate away a lot of the manuscript.” Therefore, the church says: “As a result of this, we do not have the portion of the original Book of Mormon manuscript containing the witness statements.”(30)  (Perhaps it never did contain actual signatures.)

WHAT DID THE THREE WITNESSES SEE?


We’ll focus mostly on the three witnesses, since their account is the most fanciful; then later, the eight.

Whatever Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer saw, and by whatever means, it was not, by their own admission, in the dimension of physical reality.

Martin Harris admitted he never saw anything with his “natural eyes.” He stated:

“I never saw the golden plates, only in a visionary or entranced state.”(2)

Harris admitted the same to John H. Gilbert, the printer who set up the type for the Book of Mormon. During the printing of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, Harris was in the print shop while the type was being set for the testimony of the three witnesses. The printer, John Gilbert, asked him if he had seen the plates with his naked eye.

“Martin looked down for an instant, raised his eyes up, and said, ‘No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.”(3)

Harris further told a Palmyra lawyer who asked him, “Did you see the plates and the engravings upon them with your bodily eyes?” responded with:

I did not see them as I do that pencil-case, yet I saw them with the eye of faith; I saw them just as distinctly as I see anything around me - though at the time they were covered with a cloth.(4)
(underlining mine)

Harris further let the cat out of the bag when he revealed the other eight witnesses saw no plates either even though in the printed statement they claimed Smith showed the plates to them. Even Joseph Smith admitted the three only saw the plates in a “vision.” (See History of the Church vol 1,  p. 55)

How many knew about this?
On April 15, 1838, Stephen Burnett, a High Priest and missionary, denounced Joseph Smith and the three witnesses’ testimony and submitted the following letter to Lyman E. Johnson, a former twelve apostle, explaining his withdrawal from the church:

Br[other] Johnson – my heart is sickened within me when I reflect upon the manner in which we with many of this Church have been led & the losses which we have sustained all by means of two men in whom we placed implicit confidence, that Joseph Smith & Sidney Rigdon are notorious liars I do not hesitate to affirm, & can prove by a cloud of witnesses…

I have reflected long and deliberately upon the history of this church & weighed the evidence for & against it - loth to give it up - but when I came to hear Martin Harris state in public that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither Oliver nor David & also that the eight witnesses never saw them & hesitated to sign that instrument for that reason, but were persuaded to do it, the last pedestal gave away . . . . I therefore three weeks since in the Stone Chapel gave . . . the reasons why I took the course which I was resolved to do, and renounced the Book of Mormon. . . .

I was followed by W. Parrish, Luke Johnson & John Boynton, all of who concurred with me, (sic) after we were done speaking M. Harris arose & said he was sorry for any man who rejected the Book of Mormon for he knew it was true, he said he had hefted the plates repeatedly in a box with only a tablecloth or a handkerchief over them, but he never saw them, only as he saw a city through a mountain. And said that he never should have told that the testimony of the eight was false, if it had not been picked out of (him) but should have let it passed as it was.(5) (underlining mine)

So, in reality, the witnesses saw nothing. They even hesitated to sign the testimony, making it obvious it was written by Joseph Smith.

Well,” some might insist, “Harris and the eight wouldn’t have signed a statement if they hadn’t seen somethingDoesn't the 'eye of faith' count?" 

What they saw was a product of their own mind. Remember, by Martin Harris’ own admission, everything he and the others saw, came as a vision. Historical accounts reflect the witnesses were effectively induced to see the plates in a vision because of Smith’s mesmerizing methods. How did he manipulate them?

First, Smith persisted in badgering them by telling them that only the faithful could see them. That kind of remark would belittle the best of men. He used the manipulative method of intimidation.

Playing upon the witnesses’ emotions, he engineered them into conjuring up a vision by telling them God was not allowing them to see the plates because they were “unworthy” and needed to “repent.” With that kind of pressure, individuals will see exactly what they are expected to see.

An example of how Smith coerced them to see a vision was told to the Governor of Illinois, Thomas Ford by more than one of Smith’s key men:

They [Smith’s men] told Ford that the witnesses were “set to continual prayer, and other spiritual exercises.” Then at last “he (Smith) assembled them in a room, and produced a box which he said contained the precious treasure. The lid was opened; the witnesses peeped into it, but making no discovery, for the box was empty, they said, ‘Brother Joseph, we do not see the plates.’ The prophet answered them, ‘O ye of little faith!  How long will God bear with this wicked and perverse generation? Down on your knees, brethren, every one of you, and pray God for the forgiveness of your sins, and for a holy and living faith which cometh down from heaven.’ The disciples dropped to their knees, and began to pray in the fervency of their spirit, supplicating God for more than two hours with fanatical earnestness; at the end of which time, looking again into the (empty) box, they were now persuaded that they saw the plates.”(9) (Parentheses and emphasis mine)


?

Seeing the plates with their spiritual eyes instead of natural, accounts for newspaper reports that said all three witnesses told different versions. This “makes it all the more likely,” author Fawn Brodie wrote in her book, No Man Knows My History, “that the men were not conspirators but victims of Joseph’s unconscious but positive talent at hypnosis.”(10)

Persuasion of this nature is similar to the ploy Mormon missionaries use today. To the Investigator (potential convert), they read Moroni’s promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, which says that if one asks God in the name of Christ with a sincere heart, the truth of the book will be manifest to them by the Holy Ghost.

This can’t help but suggest to the investigator that if he doesn’t get an answer he or she is not sincere. When the missionaries tell them others have received an answer, it doesn’t take much for the investigator to be intimidated. He asks himself: “What’s wrong with me? Why won’t God give me a confirmation?” As a result many Investigators keep praying until they do get some kind of manifestation. It may be goose bumps, or some kind of sensation, but they finally take it as an answer even if it is produced by their own psyche. 

For Mormons, that kind of answer is okay. The Mormon Church teaches that feelings are the way God authenticates truth.(6) Nevertheless, that should sound an alarm because that is not what the Bible teaches. How should one go about determining if the Book of Mormon is true?

One should use a combination of methods, remembering I Thessalonians 5:21 says one must prove all things. Decision-making must utilize every avenue at one’s disposal. In other words, God gave us a brain to use. He doesn’t expect us, as Josh McDowell says, to commit “intellectual suicide.”(8)

First, pray to initiate guidance in:

1.                  Researching the historical facts of Mormonism
2.                  Compare the facts with God’s Word
3.                  Seek counsel from Christian pastors
4.                   Pray to confirm what has been gleaned.
         (Don’t pray about the “contents,” because Smith copied much of the Bible           into it, but pray about the origin.)

Now, to the eight witnesses’ testimony.

WHAT EXACTLY DID THE OTHER EIGHT WITNESSES “HEFT?

We have seen and hefted and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken.”

The eight witnesses stated they hefted the gold plates, and described them as “weighing between forty and sixty pounds and being approximately eight inches long, five or six inches wide, and five or six inches thick.”(18)

In the first place, if they were pure gold there is no way they could have lifted them in the casual manner they describe. According to the measurements these plates of gold would have weighed nearly 230 pounds—unless, of course, they weren’t pure gold. This is what LDS writer, Michael De Groote claims in an article entitled, “How Gold Were the Golden Plates?”

He references LDS Metallurgist, Read H. Putnam, who suggests the plates were a metal alloy of gold and copper called "tumbaga" by the Spaniards. It would look like ordinary gold but would weigh less. “Putnam estimated a solid block of the ideal engraving-friendly copper/gold alloy would weigh about 107 pounds. Take half of that away to account for air between the plates and "the weight of the stack of plates would be about 53 pounds."(29)

While it may be the plates weren’t pure gold, it is believed Smith may still have duped the eight witnesses in the same way he duped two of his friends, William T. Hussey and Azel Vandruver.

He showed them the supposed plates in a chest concealed beneath a canvas. Smith convinced them the plates were so sacred that if they looked directly upon them they would die.

SHussey became so excited, he ripped off the canvas, saying “Egad, I’ll see the critter, live or die!”(19)

What did he see? Nothing but “a large tile brick.”(20)

Smith was always pulling tricks like this, taking great delight in fooling people. Once, after a rain shower, Smith discovered some white sand. He “tied up several quarts of it [in his ‘frock’] and then went home.”  His family was eager to know what he had. Smith later told Peter Ingersol:

At that moment I happened to think about a history found in Canada, called the Golden Bible; so I very gravely told them it was the Golden Bible. To my surprise they were credulous enough to believe what I said.(21)

Since Hussey saw a tile brick, some may figure it safe to assume that whatever the eight witnesses hefted could have been another large brick covered with a cloth or canvas and Smith was able to persuade them it was the original plates. However, that won’t work because the men’s printed testimony claims they saw the engravings.

Could Joseph have forged false plates and engravings for the eight witnesses to see?
Many feel Smith concocted some kind of plates of his own. Oliver Cowdery could certainly have made such a set, including engravings, since he’d been a blacksmith in his youth.(22) Fawn Brodie, in her book, also suggests that Joseph built a makeshift set of plates.(23)

But the gears in Joseph Smith’s mind were working toward another motive in making a set, besides fooling the eight men.

Brodie notes in her book that by making real plates, Smith hoped to make money by exhibiting them. John C. Bennett, a close associate, said that Smith asked him to go to New York and obtain some falsely engraved plates so that he could exhibit them, at “25 cents a sight.”(24) While anything Bennett could say might be suspect considering his reputation, nevertheless, in this instance, Bennett’s story was backed up by Sarah, the wife of Mormon historian and Apostle, Orson Pratt.

When one researches the facts (instead of relying on feelings), one can only reach one conclusion:  the plates were an elaborate hoax.(25)

One has to pity the witnesses who, at first, may not have wished to testify to something that wasn’t true, even indicating they were reluctant to have their names under the testimony, but were manipulated and intimidated by a man they believed was a prophet of God.

It is also thought by some, that they were influenced further because of the family connections. Four of the eight witnesses were Whitmers; Hiram Page married a Whitmer daughter; and three were members of Joseph’s own family. Mark Twain later observed:

I could not feel more satisfied and at rest if the entire Whitmer family had testified.(26)

Stretching or misrepresenting the truth was no problem for Smith. He also altered his “revelations.”


Apostle William E. McLellin said, regarding the printed statement entitled, “Testimony of the Twelve Apostles to the Truth of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants” contained in the “Explanatory Introduction” to the Doctrine and Covenants:

"So far as the testimony of the Twelve published in that book (Doc. & Cov.) is concerned, it was a base forgery.(38)

It is not unreasonable to suppose the testimony of the three and eight witnesses were also forgeries. David Whitmer, listed as one of the three witnesses in the latter, accused Joseph of that very thing.(1)

He also said Smith had seriously altered other revelations:

…I was often in Joseph's office, and know positively that some of the revelations were so altered, mutilated and changed that a good scholar would scarcely know them. In one revelation I counted 20 alterations! Hence, who can depend upon them? I cannot. I will not. ... All your trouble arises from your taking that mutilated and altered Doctrine and Covenants.(1) (Saints Herald, Vol. 17:556, 557, as quoted in Changing of the Revelations, page 6)

Charles. W. Lamb quotes this statement from a letter written by Apostle William McLellin in 1877:

"I found that Smith did not always tell the truth... he materially altered his own revelations before they were ever printed."(1)

DID THE WITNESSES EVER DENY THEIR TESTIMONY?

The Mormon Church, of course, claims that none of the three witnesses ever denied their testimony of seeing the plates. But Oliver Cowdery, according to the Mormon publication Times and Seasons, did deny. Published in 1841, J. H. Johnson, a believer in the Book of Mormon, reflected the sentiments of the community when he wrote a poem echoing the fact that men (like Oliver Cowdery) lie, but it doesn’t necessarily invalidate the truth of the Book of Mormon. The last stanza reads:

…Or prove that Christ was not the Lord
Because that Peter cursed and swore?
Or Book of Mormon not his word
            Because denied, by Oliver?(12) (emphasis mine)

Oliver Cowdery said he was willing to make a public recantation and he was “sorry and ashamed of his connection with Mormonism” and left the Mormon Church and joined the Methodist Church.(13)

Oliver Cowdery died, not in Utah, but at the home of fellow witness David Whitmer, who had also left the Mormon church. Whitmer makes it clear that Cowdery “died believing as I do to-day,” which included a belief that Joseph was a fallen prophet, and that the Doctrine and Covenants contained false revelations.(28)

The Mormon Church, however, claims Cowdery came back to the church. But if he did, he must have left again because when he died he was buried by a Methodist minister in Richmond, Missouri.

David Whitmer became a member of the Church of Christ, and died still rejecting the LDS Church, but said he continued to believe in the Book of Mormon (probably its “contents” because of the many Biblical passages in it).

Martin Harris joined Anna Lee’s church, the Shakers, saying that his testimony of Shakerism was greater than that of the Book of Mormon.(14) Although later in life he came back to the Mormon Church and took out his temple endowments, he admitted it was just to find out “what was going on in there.”(15)

Interestingly, as often happens with time and celebrity status, there are accounts in the witnesses’ later years, where they greatly enlarged their testimony about the plates. Whereas both men (Harris and Whitmer) had admitted years earlier to only seeing the plates in a “vision” or “entranced state” and not as a physical reality, they are quoted in later years as giving very different and exaggerated accounts from their original testimony. Fawn Brodie notes, in No Man Knows My History, that David Whitmer’s testimony, given 49 years later, was too “richly embellished.” Whitmer added a long list of things he supposedly saw, which were not mentioned in his earlier account:

the brass plates, the plates of the book of Ether ., . . a table with many records or plates upon it . . . also the Sword of Laban, the directors - i.e., the ball which Lehi had, and the Interpreters (Urim and Thummin).”(16) (parentheses mine.)

WHAT WOULD MOTIVATE THE WITNESSES TO MAINTAIN THEIR TESTIMONY ABOUT THE PLATES IN SPITE OF THEIR REJECTION OF THE MORMON CHURCH?

Embellished or not, why would the three witnesses persevere in their testimony about the plates later in life, even though they renounced Joseph Smith and left the Mormon Church? Why? Because they had become celebrities!

But there were five other possible reasons:

  • They didn’t want to disillusion and destroy the faith of those who had converted to the Book of Mormon through their original testimony. 

  • They probably retained a special feeling for the Book of Mormon because of its many Biblical passages, which Smith plagiarized from the Bible. (He hadn’t come up with his unbiblical doctrines yet.) The biblical content is the leading reason the book converts people.(31) Author, Bryant H. McGill stated: “Truth is often the favorite tool of those who deceive.”
  • They would look pretty silly telling people that what they testified to and allowed to appear in print really didn’t happen. Their credibility would be suspect the rest of their life.
  • Since their declaration is stated in the name of the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” they would not want to appear guilty of perjury by denying it.
     
  • In their own minds their witness was not with their “natural “ eyes, so would not want to admit they deceived themselves.

WHERE ARE THE GOLD PLATES NOW?
?

Joseph Smith said that after 1829, when through translating, the gold plates were returned to the angel Moroni. He didn’t elaborate on it. All he said was:


“Thereafter the plates were returned to the custody of Moroni.”(34)

 

A story by early church leaders was that Smith, accompanied by Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith and David Whitmer accompanied him and instead of giving them to the angel, they returned the plates to a cave inside the Hill Cumorah. They said Smith placed the plates on a table near “many wagon loads” of other ancient records.(35)

Mormon apologist, John Tvedtnes, doubts the Hill Cumorah contains any caves based on scientific evidence. He states:

The New York Hill Cumorah is a moraine laid down anciently by a glacier in motion. It is comprised of gravel and earth. Geologically, it is impossible for the hill to have a cave, and all those who have gone in search of the cave have come back empty-handed. If, therefore, the story attributed to Oliver Cowdery (by others) is true, then the visits to the cave perhaps represent visions, perhaps of some far distant hill, not physical events.(36)

Even though geologically impossible, Mormons traditionally continue to tell the story of the cavern containing the gold plates and other ancient records. Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry, in his article, “Where are the Gold Plates Now? says:

No doubt [repeating] this tradition is meant to strengthen the faith of members who need to believe the plates actually existed. But it should come as no surprise that the actual evidence for such a conclusion is anything but compelling.(37) (brackets mine)

OBSERVATIONS

  • If the plates really existed, it would have been unnecessary for Smith to force the witnesses to pray until they conjured up a vision of them. 

  • Historical accounts reveal the witnesses never saw the gold plates because they were either covered with a cloth, or in an empty box; they could only be seen in a vision or entranced state after being told they lacked faith. They therefore had to conjure up their own personal vision in order to see the nonexistent plates. Never did they say they saw them with their natural eyes. 

  • It is believed Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon testimony-statements for the witnesses, and induced them to consent to signing, even though Smith knew none of the witnesses had ever seen any plates. Nevertheless, he worded the statement as if they had. 

  • The gold plates the eight witnesses hefted and said Smith showed them, were probably a fake set of plates made by Smith. That he did forge false plates with engravings, was stated by John C. Bennett and Sarah Pratt, wife of Apostle Orson Pratt. 

  • All three witnesses, plus many of the eight, left the church and embraced another faith. 

  • The testimony of the witnesses in their old age, proved to be embellished and exaggerated. 

  • No gold plates are available for proof because they were supposedly returned to the angel who took them to heaven; or else placed in an “impossible” cave inside the Hill Cumorah.


If the Book of Mormon is true, wouldn’t God want to provide archaeological evidence comparable to the kind discovered by archaeologists throughout the Holy Land? There are two reasons: (1) No such evidence exists because the Book of Mormon people never existed, and (2) God would not provide evidence to a church and prophet’s doctrines that contradict the Bible.

DOES THE BIBLE SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON
AND JOSEPH SMITH?

No…absolutely nothing .

The LDS Church claims the Book of Mormon is a “Second Testament” to Jesus Christ and contains the “fullness of the everlasting gospel,” even though it doesn’t contain all the unbiblical doctrines Joseph Smith later passed off as revelation from God. The Bible says no “Second Testament” is needed because the fullness of the everlasting gospel is already contained within its pages.

Unfortunately, the witnesses’ testimony of the gold plates has attracted a membership of over fifteen million, with over 296,000 converts baptized for the year ending December 31, 2014, although thousands later leave, or become inactive.

Mormon converts continue to be deceived who accept the story of the gold plates without investigating the facts.(27)  Deception is:

To delude and ensnare. Using a lie to promote something that is not of value. 
(See a comparison chart between what Christianity and Mormonism teaches at endnote number 32.)

The Bible is the God-breathed word of God. It is powerful and life changing, is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, and reveals the true God to us. It is credible, validated by archaeological discoveries, and we can be assured what we learn in the Bible comes from Him! (see my article, “Is the Bible Reliable?” at http://www.janishutchinson.com/newsletters/reliability.pdf

Did an angel deliver the Book of Mormon, and did God call Joseph Smith as a latter-day prophet?

The apostle Paul made it very clear in Galatians 1:8 that no “Second Testament” is needed. He warned that anyone preaching doctrine different from what he and the other apostles taught is false:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

                                                                   The Holy Bible
Until next time,
Janis

THANK YOU FOR VISITING!
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endnotes

1.  McLellin’s statement: Saints Herald, Vol. 17:556, 557, and the Charles Lamb statement both cited at      http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changingtherevelations.htm. The David Whitmer accusation cited in Mormonism-Shadow or Reality? By Jerald and Sandra Tanner (Salt Lake, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1972), 31.

2.  David Persuitte, Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (McFarland & Co. Pub., Jefferson, NC) 2nd Ed. 1991, p. 97.

3.  Persuitte, p. 96.  His quote is from Wilford C. Wood, Joseph Smith Begins His work, Vol. 1, forepart, “Memorandum made by John H. Gilbert, Esq.” (John H. Gilbert’s memorandum was a prepared statement in preparation for the World’s Fair held in Chicago, ILL, in 1892)

4.  Interview with Ole Jensen in Clarkston, Utah, published in J.M. Sjodahl: Introduction to the Study of the Book of Mormon, pp 58-60, as quoted in Fawn Brodie’s No Man Knows My History, (2nd Ed. NY, Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), 78. (emphasis mine)

5.  Letter from Stephen Burnett to Lyman E. Johnson.  (Italics, mine.)  A copy of this letter is in the Joseph Smith Collection in the LDS Church Archives.  Cited in Persuitte, 96.

6.  See The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look at their real message and methods, by Janis Hutchinson (Grand Rapids, Kregel Pub., 1995), Chapter 4.

7.  See Hutchinson, The Mormon Missionaries, 204-205.

8.  Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, rev. ed. (San Bernardino: Here’s Life Pub. 1979), 3.

9. 
History of Illinois (Chicago, 1854), 257.  (Italics mine.)  Cited in Brodie, 79-80.

10.  Brodie, 77.  (Italics mine.)

11.  In David Whitmer’s Address to All Believers in Christ; he stated: “All of the eight witnesses who were then living (except the three Smiths) came out [of the LDS Church].  Peter and Christian Whitmer were dead.  Oliver Cowdery came out also. (28).  Cited in Marvin W. Cowan’s Mormon Claims Answered (Marvin W. Cowan, 1989), 57.

12.  From Times and Seasons (2:482).  Also quoted in Oliver Cowdery - The Man Outstanding, by Joseph Hyrum Greehalgh, Phoenix, Ariz., 1965, p. 28, as cited in Tanner, 55.

13.  Affidavit by G.J. Keen. See also, Tanner, 54.

14.  Martin Harris-Witness and Benefactor of the Book of Mormon, 1955, p. 52.  Cited in Cowan, 56. Martin Harris was well known for his religious instability and that he changed his religious affiliation at least thirteen times in his life. In addition, he gave false prophecies and became carried away with his own visions.  In one vision he saw Jesus in the form of a deer.  In another, he said the devil looked like a jackass and had short smooth hair like a mouse.  (See Tanner, Mormonism-Shadow or Reality? p. 56.)

15. 
Tanner, op cit 58.

16.  Brodie, 78.  Compare the Palmyra Reflector, March 19, 1831, and David Whitmer’s interview with Orson Pratt 49 years later, as published in the Millennial Star, Vol. XL, pp. 771-2.

17.  Intentionally left blank.

18.  Anderson, op cit 9.

19.  James H. Snowden, The Truth About Mormonism (N.Y., George H.  Doran Co., 1926), 60.

20.  Snowden, op cit 60. See also, “The Salt Lake Daily Tribune,” October 25, 1879 at http://www.truthandgrace.com/1879translating.htm.

21.  Palmyra Reflector, February 28, 1831.  See also Snowden, 57, citing an affidavit given in Mormonism Unveiled by Howe, 235-36.

22.  Tanner, op cit 59.

23.  Tanner, op cit, 59.

23.  Brodie, No Man Knows My History, 80.

24.  Brodie, op cit 316-317

25.  See Hutchinson, Mormon Missionaries, Chapter 7 entitled “Magic and Masonry: How Joseph Smith put it all together”.

26.  Brodie, op cit 79.


27.  2014 Statistical Report for 2015 April General Conference. http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/2014-statistical-report-for-2015-april-general-conference

28.  “An Address To All Believers In Christ, 1887, Pp. 1-2). Cited at exmormon.Org/D6/Drupal/File9.

29.     “How Gold Were the Golden Plates?” by Michael De Groote, dated July 7, 2010. Deseret News. Cited at  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705384964/How-gold-were-the-golden-plates.html?pg=all


31.   Joseph Smith plagiarized thousands of words from the Bible to insert in the Book of Mormon. He borrowed from the Presbyterian’s Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms; the Apocrypha, and quoted from Malachi, a book written after 600 B.C., (when the Nephites supposedly landed in the Americas); copied 21 chapters of Isaiah, and, according to one author, 27,000 words total from the 1769 KJV of the Bible, including italicized words added by the translators. (See Tanner, op cit., 68-73)

32.      Comparison chart: (Sorry, I couldn't align the right-hand column; but you can still read it okay.)

Mormonism teaches:                                                 Christianity teaches:

The Existence of many Gods                                          There is only one God
(Journal of Discourses 2:345)                                     (Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 43:10)

God the Father is an exalted man                                    God the Father is not a man
(Doctrine & Covenants 130:22)                                   (Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 31:3)

God the Father has a physical body                                 God the Father is Spirit
(Doctrine & Covenants 130:22)                                   (John 4:24)

God the Father had a beginning                                      God the Father is Eternal
(The Seer, 132)                                                            (Isaiah 43:13)

God the Father has parents                                            God the Father has no parents
(The Seer, 132)                                                            (Isaiah 43:13)

God the Father is a polygamist                                        God is not married
(The Seer, 172)                                                            (Mark 12:28-30)

God only “organized” the universe                                  God created the universe
(Mormon Doctrine 589-590)                                       (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1)

Jesus was the physical Son of God                         Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit
(Mormon Doctrine, 546-547)                                      (Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35)

Jesus became a God                                                      Jesus has always been God
(Deseret News, June 17, 1901)                                    (John 1:1-18; Colossians 2:9)

Jesus and Satan are brothers                                          Satan is only a created being
(Gospel Through the Ages, 15)                                    (Isaiah 14:12-15; Rev. 12:9)

Jesus was a polygamist                                            Jesus has only one bride: the Church
(Journal of discourses, 1:345-346)                             (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:9)

Men can become Gods                                            Men can only become children of God
(Journal of Discourses, 2:345)                                   (John 1:12; Romans 8:23)

There is salvation after death                                         There is no salvation after death
(Mormon Doctrine 669-672)                                       (Hebrews 9:27)

There is salvation only in the LDS Church                 There is salvation only in Jesus Christ
(Doctrines of Salvation 1:350)                                     (John 14:6)

Salvation is through Jesus and Joseph Smith                    Salvation is only through Jesus
(Journal of Discourses, 7:289)                                    (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9)


33. “World News Daily Report (WNDR) by Barbara Johnson, dated April 3, 2015. http://tinyurl.com/m7myrm9:
WNDR “assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.” (emphasis mine) 
34.  Joseph Smith 2:27-65; D&C 27:5; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp 215-226. See also, Bruce R. McConkie Mormon  Doctrine, p.327, 1979 edition.



36.  FARMS Review of Books, vol. 2 (1990), p.261).









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2 comments:

  1. You are accountable before the people you mention here, the Angels, the HOLY GHOST,JESUS CHRIST, and HEAVENLY FATHER for twisting history of PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH JR.

    SEE you at JUDGEMENT DAY.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Alfredo,
    Thank you for your comment. I sincerely understand where you are coming from, as I was a Mormon for 35 years, taught the Gospel Doctrine class and was married in the temple. However, one of the things I make sure I do in my blogs is to quote from the LDS Church's own records, so members can check it out themselves to see that it is the truth. This is what I've done in this blog. No one can intelligently say that when I quote right from the LDS Church's own records that they are lies.
    I wish you the best and pray that you will allow God to open your eyes to the truth.
    Blessings,
    Janis Hutchinson

    ReplyDelete

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