Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, March 26

“A Short Analysis of the Children’s Cartoon TV Show ‘Growing Up Creepie’: Episode ‘Operation Monarch Liberation'” and Its Link to and Messages about the CIA’s Mind Control of Operation Monarch (Butterfly) Victims” by grego

A Short Analysis of the Children’s Cartoon TV Show ‘Growing Up Creepie’: Episode ‘Operation Monarch Liberation'” and Its Link to and Messages about the CIA’s Mind Control of Operation Monarch (Butterfly) Victims

grego
(c)2011

This TVY7 (for children 7 and up)-rated episode was pretty interesting: “Growing Up Creepie – Operation Monarch Liberation” (found at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0jluuN4jBI).

I’ll do a very quick analysis of the episode. This episode is really dark when you understand a little of the background.

The title says quite a bit: “Operation Monarch Liberation”. Read it this way “Operation Monarch” Liberation. It could have been called many other things: Operation Liberate Monarchs, Operation Monarch Butterflies, Operation Monarch Butterflies Release, Operation Butterflies… Nope. And there’s a good reason for it.

In a very quick summary (you used to be able to find a lot on the internet; there is still some; search “mind control” + “operation monarch” or variations if you dare–it gets pretty gross): Operation Monarch “was”/ is a secret government program under MK Ultra/ Operation Artichoke about mind-controlling children through inflicting deep trauma (such as violence, sexual abuse, and extreme fear) to split personalities and carry out others’ will, and using “repersonalityizing”, scripts, trigger words, self-destruct mechanisms, etc. The most famous is Cathy O’Brien. (If this little scenario is wrong in details, it’s correct in principles.)

So when you’re reading through this script, keep in mind that “monarch butterflies” = mind-control victims (children).

So here’s the episode recap:

The class shows up at the monarch butterfly sanctuary.
Old man teacher: “Welcome…sanctuary—a haven of peace and safety for the king of the insect world—the Monarch butterfly…”
Creepie: “Looks like a giant cage, if you ask me. Why would any butterfly wanna be cooped up here?”
The answer the boy gives: “They get plenty of milkweed, and they’re safe from their natural predators…”
One girl loves them and wants to take them home, but then says her “daddy would spray them with *toxic* pesticides”.
Boy (commenting about girl to Creepie): “Exterminators.”
Which is followed right by this:
Teacher: “Don’t be deceived by the monarch’s delicate beauty. Their orange color signals that they may be *toxic* (stressed) to the birds that feed on them.”
The girl laughs diabolically.
Creepie: “This isn’t right; insects should be free, like anyone else; not held against their will, like prisoners.”
The girl laughs diabolically again.

Creepie asks a butterfly: “How long you in for?”
“I’m in for life–all six weeks of it.” [Children are in for life—however short it usually is (rumor is no more than 40 years old).]
Creepie: “It’s terrible.”
Then come lots of excuses from the butterflies—it’s ok. “It’s not so bad. We were born here. We grew up here. It’s all we’ve ever known. You play the hand you’re dealt, kid.”
Creepie: “This isn’t right. Butterflies should be free to experience the outside world.”
Butterfly: “What’s an ‘outside world’?”
Creepie: “Wa… that does it.
Boy: “Having fun, Creepie?”
Creepie: “Sure, if you think watching others being imprisoned against their will is… fun.”
Boy: “I don’t know—they look pretty happy to me.”
Creepie: “Happy? … They don’t know the meaning of the word. And I’m not going to suffer one more minute watching them suffer.”

A butterfly lands on the teacher’s nose, and he laughs as he says, “That tickles.” ”
[Subliminal sexual imagery? Absolutely. One of the main roles many Operation Monarch victims play is children and adult prostitutes.]

Creepie isn’t happy; she’s bothered by the butterflies “all locked up and miserable.”
Bug: “Well, did they tell you they were miserable, dear?”
Creepie: “That’s the worst part—they don’t even know what they’re missing. Open skies, the chance to migrate… they deserve the same freedom every bug deserves.”

So, Creepie will try to liberate the “butterflies” (victims of Operation Monarch) in “Operation Monarch Liberation”.

Her friends don’t want to help for charitable reasons. She pays them.

She opens the hatch, goes in, and is mistaken as a spider. Then, she says “Attention captive butterflies. Tonight, you are free. Have fun. Do whatever you want.”

The butterflies say they like it where they are and complain. Her friends say “It looks like they have it pretty good here. Free food…”

She explains what she’s doing. They don’t want to go. Finally, she says, “…Don’t you want to see what you’re missing? … All you have to do is fly through that window.”

An excuse is given; then they go.

Creepie assumes they are now behaving like “normal” butterflies.

In fact, they haven’t left town.

The butterflies like the outside world, and are loved. Then problems with normal citizens start. They soon learn that they can’t live in the outside world. They are rejected by the normal citizens. The butterflies go wild.

Creepie figures it’s best to get them back to the sanctuary, offers them free food, and takes them back.

The last butterfly line in the script,right before they fly back into the sanctuary: “Hey, look, we’re back. It was great, kid; but, *there’s no place like home*”. Heard that before? Of course, that is Dorothy’s famous line in “The Wizard of Oz”. Hey, what a coincidence, eh? That’s the main movie/ script used to “program” mind control into the Operation Monarch’s victim’s minds.

Creepie: “Ok, don’t say it. I’ll say it myself. I should have minded my own business. But at least the butterflies are happy again.”
Boy: “That’s a relief.”
Then it shifts to snakes as the cartoon ends…

Creepie ends: “…The great monarch migration mystery. Wicked.”

A children’s cartoon?? Hardly.

This is nothing more than a very sick script specially written for all mind-control victims (future, past, present, future) and those who might want to help them.

It’s like saying straight-out: “Message to all good people:
Don’t help Operation Monarch victims who have been mind-controlled. You can’t help them. They were born into it, that’s their lot in life. You can’t make them any happier than where they are now, doing what they do, no matter how much you care and want to help them. Besides, if they say they are happy, who are to say they aren’t? Helping them will only cause trouble to normal citizens and hurt the butterflies in the process. Let them stay safe where they are.”

Wow.

Because that’s exactly the message wicked people want going out.

Besides, monarchs that stay in the safety of the sanctuary have free milkweed and safety from *natural* predators!!

It’s not hidden anymore to anyone with half a clue. Now it’s even in children’s cartoons.

2011, March 25

“Was the Tower of Babel a Stargate and More; and Was the One Language Corrupted by a Change in the Earth’s Fields?” by grego

Was the Tower of Babel a Stargate and More; and Was the One Language Corrupted by a Change in the Earth’s Fields?

grego
(c)2011

(NOTE: after writing this, I found that this is not really altogether a new thought.)

Basic story of the tower of Babel: People of the earth get together, build a tower to reach heaven; God disrupts their language, making them speak different ones.

Genesis 11:1-9
Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
Gen 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Gen 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Gen 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Like many stories, quite simple in its telling. But, what really happened?

I don’t think it was just a bunch of people building a big ladder up into the sky.
Nor do I believe it was about corrupt temple ceremonies/ covenants/ etc.

I believe it had to do with what we might call “transhumanism” today.

Long ago, I loved the library. My library had lots of books on “special” topics: the paranormal, great mysteries, weird science, etc. I read them. Sure, a few of the topics in some of those books turned out to be hoaxes, etc. But… ;)

Our typical great scientific books work really well for “hard” sciences and many experiments. However, there is so much more out there, it’s amazing; and the material is amazing.

Unbeknown to most of us, there are *many* natural laws that exist, many more rules about their manipulation and results. Some of these have been discovered; often by one individual, sometimes a small group; and so they go largely unheard of. Other times, they are purposefully kept secret. Even many of those that were heard of, are then concealed. One great example: Tesla.

Let’s start with something basic but extraordinary that energy workers know: it’s possible to transfer information over great distances by tapping into a field, and effect changes in a field. In fact, solid scientific experiments have shown this to be true. Mainstream science has downplayed much of this, holding that basic Einstein can’t be broken.

More: by changing electric fields, magnetic fields, etc., incredible manipulation of life happens. Speeding it up, slowing it down, increasing yield, changing resistance to pests, diseases, etc.; limb regeneration, etc. Lots of scientific studies and patents have been taken out on these things; few people use them, fewer understand them.

Let’s imagine, there are natural ways to:
travel the universe, in and out of body.
do everything paranormal you have ever heard about: communicate over great distances without speaking, see over great distances, etc.
extend physical life so that it lasts 1,000 years.
Etc.

How powerful would you be, especially over other people? and especially over the children? (Imagine using all this and running a full “Operation Monarch”/ MK-Ultra operation, on every child…)

So, let’s say people had amassed all their knowledge, abilities, and powers in one place, and were using this tower not to “get to heaven”, but to put all those powers into a safe place, a repository, a universe travel center, that would allow man to leave this sphere, this dominion, and break the bound and bonds God had set for and given to man; this is worse than Ulysses trying to reach Mount Purgatory (in Inferno).

Was the tower of Babel man’s thrust at using natural laws to become god-like (immortality, incredible physical, mental, and other powers), all without having to obey the commandments of God?

This was possible, it seemed, due to everyone speaking the same language. One language? No corruption? How is that possible? Or is the story just speaking about a small group of people, perhaps?

What is it that magic and occult societies do–study words and their power? “God spake, and the word was.” That’s some powerful stuff.

What was the Adamic language? Did it have to do with much more than physical words? Is it the language Jesus used when he visited the Nephites?
What if the language was symbols, forms, or thoughts?

How could this disruption of language come about? How did God do it?

So I happen on this quote, from a man who invented some of those really weird “unscientific” natural law thingies:
“In the beginning, humankind communicated with a different field of the brain but there were cosmological changes in the earth’s magnetism. This made it difficult for people to continue communicating in this psychic way…”

And people went on to use and rely on physical language, which slowed down the communication process by many thousands(?) of times… :)

2011, March 20

“LDS/ Mormon President Ezra Taft Benson’s ‘Prophet’s Talks’ Plan Laid out from the Beginning” by grego

LDS/ Mormon President Ezra Taft Benson’s ‘Prophet’s Talks’ Plan Laid out from the Beginning

grego
(c) 2011

Here is a quote from President Benson’s first general conference talk, “A Sacred Responsibility”:
“We have made some wonderful strides in the past. We will be lengthening our stride in the future. To do so, we must first 1)cleanse the inner vessel by awaking and arising, 2)being morally clean, 3)using the Book of Mormon in a manner so that God will lift the condemnation, and 4)finally conquering pride by humbling ourselves.
“We can do it. I know we can. That we will do so is my prayer for all of us.”

Let’s take a look at Pres. Benson’s talks, in order (from http://www.gapages.com/bensoet2.htm ):
**”A Sacred Responsibility” Note: This is President Benson’s first General Conference Address following the Solemn Assembly in which he was sustained as President of the Church. General Conference Address, April 1986
**”The Power of the Word” General Priesthood Meeting, April 1986
[“To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright'” General Conference Address, April 1986]
**”Cleansing the Inner Vessel” General Conference Address, April 1986
“He Lives” New Era, The Message, April 1986, P.4
[“To ‘the Rising Generation'” New Era, The Message, June 1986, P.4]
“The Constitution–A Heavenly Banner” BYU Devotional, 16 September 1986
[“To the Young Women of the Church” General Women’s Conference, 27 September 1986]
**”Godly Characteristics of the Master” General Priesthood Meeting, October 1986
**”The Gift of Modern Revelation” General Conference Address, October 1986
**”The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion” General Conference Address, October 1986
“Do Not Despair” First Presidency Message, October 1986
“Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus” First Presidency Message, February 1987
[“To the Home Teachers of the Church” General Priesthood Meeting, April 1987]
**”The Savior’s Visit to America” General Conference Address, April 1987
**”The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants” General Conference Address, April 1987
““Feed My Sheep” First Presidency Message, September 1987
[“To the Fathers in Israel” General Priesthood Meeting, October 1987]
**”Our Divine Constitution” General Conference Address, October 1987
**”Come unto Christ” General Conference Address, October 1987
“The Law of Chastity” BYU Devotional, 13 October 1987 MP3
“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God” First Presidency Message, January 1988
[“To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church” General Priesthood Meeting, April 1988]
**”The Great Commandment—Love the Lord” General Conference Address, April 1988
**”Come unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him” General Conference Address, April 1988
“Seek the Spirit of the Lord” First Presidency Message, April 1988
“In His Steps” First Presidency Message, September 1988
[“To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church” General Women’s Conference, October 1988]
**”I Testify” General Conference Address, October 1988
**”Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon” General Conference Address, October 1988
“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations” First Presidency Message, December 1988
“Think on Christ” First Presidency Message, March 1989
[“To the Children of the Church General Conference Address, April 1989, p.4]
**”Beware of Pride” Ensign, May 1989, p.4
“Of the Most Worth” New Era, June 1989, p.4
“Born of God” First Presidency Message, July 1989
“A Mighty Change of Heart” First Presidency Message, October 1989
[“To the Elderly in the Church” Note: This address was to be President Benson’s last General Conference address to the Saints. Though he lived on another four years,

never again would he visit with and personally address the Saints in General Conference. Even this talk had to read by President Thomas S. Monson. General Conference Address, October 1989]

I find it interesting that from the very start, his messages and the course his talks would take were basically laid out, and it was just a matter of time. Even the titles of his talks, to some extent. Most of his talks were about those four topics.

Two more personal notes that might help explain:
1. President Benson gave a talk in the MTC that I attended. He had one message that he kept repeating over and over: love (and encouragement, small counsel, etc.). Later, I asked his grandson (who worked at the MTC) about what seemed like a problem with his talk, and he said that President Benson had prepared a talk, but that every time he had started to get into it, he got redirected by the Spirit to just tell the missionaries how much he and the Lord loved them and was grateful for them. I guess this was needed much more than any other message he could have shared.
Note all the talks [“To the _ in the Church”] that follow this format.

2. A granddaughter said that near his death, he really was mostly out of it, all the time. BUT… at one of the family visits, when someone asked him if he had anything left to tell the Saints/ he hadn’t said, his suddenly “came to”, sat up, and clearly and strongly said something to the effect of, “I have told them everything the Lord wanted them to hear” then went back into his “near-comatose” state.

(Many like to say that after President Benson was called as President/ Prophet, he stopped talking about political things because he needed to “raise the bar” from his personal political opinions to what the Lord wanted him to talk about.

Well, this just isn’t quite true. Some of his general conference and other talks still touched on politics, though it is true they usually did so in a different way than in the past.)

2011, March 16

“Book of Mormon: Did a Comet Cause the Destruction near the Time of Jesus’ Visit to the Nephites and Lamanites in 3 Nephi 8; and Was There a Volcano Involved?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Did a Comet Cause the Destruction near the Time of Jesus’ Visit to the Nephites and Lamanites in 3 Nephi 8; and Was There a Volcano Involved?

grego

(c)2011

UPDATE: Well, after searching even more, I found a website that already guessed
this, and does a much better job at explaining it: http://www.bookofmormonpromisedland.com/Q%20&%20A.htm

Here is a description of the local destruction at the time of Jesus’ visit to the Nephites and Lamanites:

3 Nephi 8:5 And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.
8 And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.
9 And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
10 And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.
11 And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.
12 But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
13 And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
14 And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.
15 And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.
16 And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.
17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.
18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.
19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.
20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness;
21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;
22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.
23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them.

3 Nephi 9:8 And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth…
9 And it came to pass that thus did the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away.
10 And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood…

3 Nephi 10:14 … all these deaths and destructions by fire, and by smoke, and by tempests, and by whirlwinds, and by the opening of the earth to receive them, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.

I used to wonder, what a coincidence, all these destructions going on at the same time: great storm(s), lightning and thunder, fire (from heavens?), whirlwinds (tornadoes?), earth-quaking/ movement of mountains/ sinking of land (sinkholes?), dark vapor where nothing could be lit.

With some serendipity, I found an answer: a comet.

Were a comet to hit the land, it could cause all of that. (See, for example: http://www.thunderbolts.info/webnews/122107doomsdaycomet.htm, etc.)

In addition to “vapor” being used to describe the darkness, note that there is nothing about lava or suffocation; ash would not prevent fire; and after three days ash would not suddenly disappear. This strongly hints that the darkness is instead a wet mist of very small particle size, having nothing to do with a volcano.

2011, March 14

“Is May 21, 2011 Judgment Day for the Mormons/ LDS Church?” by grego

Is May 21, 2011 Judgment Day for the Mormons/ LDS Church?

grego
(c) 2011

So, some people believe that May 21, 2011, is Judgment Day/ the Rapture.

I could quote Bible scripture after scripture at different levels to show it’s from unlikely to impossible, but I don’t think it’s all necessary for the honest seeker of truth.

We just need a very small review of one event in the Holy Bible to know this isn’t right:
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 ¶But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 ¶Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 ¶But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

In other words, somehow, even though Jesus Christ tells his apostles that the angels and even Jesus himself DON’T KNOW, some good Christian leaders DO KNOW.

Who will you believe: the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, and the light of Christ;
or
those “Christian” leaders claiming special insight?

“Judgment Day” is NOT happening on May 21, 2011, or anytime soon. It likely won’t even happen before 2020 (see my article below for more).

I can clearly tell you that all those who claim to know that May 21, 2011 is the Judgment Day/ the Rapture and/ or that October is the End of the World, are false prophets who lack the spirit of understanding and/ or have the wrong spirit (of deception and the evil one), or are parrots of the false prophets. People who try to bring mysteries into the light, but in the same process put light into dark closets.

It would be nice in one way if that date were the end. The world is already past the point of wickedness in the past—even past the point of wickedness of the people at the time of Noah and the Flood. However, the world will get much, much worse in the coming days. And, God’s work and church will become more and more evident to all as the world gets darker and darker.

So if you think May 21 is “IT”, and it isn’t, please, please, please, look into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/ Mormon church) and the true living prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ: http://lds.org/study/prophets-speak-today/recent-messages?lang=eng .

More on this blog, including Biblical signs that haven’t been fulfilled yet: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/member-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-lds-mormon-the-bible-proves-may-21-2011-will-not-be-judgment-day-noah-hardly-knew-and-likely-neither-will-i-by-grego/

2011, March 10

Book of Mormon | “Are Laman and Lemuel Half-brothers to Nephi, and maybe Sam?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Are Laman and Lemuel Half-brothers to Nephi, and maybe Sam?

grego
(c)2011

I have had an impression/ hunch/ feeling the past few times of reading that Laman and Lemuel are half-brothers to Nephi, and maybe Sam. I think this might have to do with some of the things that happen in 1 and 2 Nephi, and the blessings Lehi gives his children.

I don’t know if there is much to support this, but that’s been my impression.

I have thought about the fight between Laman and Lemuel vs. Nephi over leadership. Laman, the firstborn, should have had it. But, it is given to Nephi. Seen in the context of Jerusalem 600BC, we’re likely talking birthright.
I have commented previously about Sam and why he might have been “left out”/ “passed over” due to temporal limitations. Or, he could have been Nephi’s half-brother, too.

I don’t know if it would be Lehi or Sariah who remarried; but in this context, it would likely have been Lehi who married Sariah, whose firstborn was Nephi. (Perhaps this is why Lehi is always “talking to” his older children, and not Sariah.) Laman lost the birthright, and Lehi gave it to Nephi.

I read recently this, on www.gospeldoctrine.com:
“Nibley goes on to explain that Laman and Lemuel were Arabic names and that Nephi and Sam were Egyptian names (see p. 46).”

Nibley also points out that Laman/Lemuel, Sam/Nephi, Jacob/Joseph are like paired brothers.

Then, about the names of Laman and Lemuel: “The only example of the name of Laman to be found anywhere to the writer’s knowledge is its attribution to an ancient Mukam, or sacred place, in Palestine. Most of these Mukams are of unknown, and many of them of prehistoric, date. In Israel only the tribe of Manasseh built them. It is a striking coincidence that Conder saw in the name Leimun, as he renders it (the vowels must be supplied by guesswork), a possible corruption of the name Lemuel, thus bringing these two names, so closely associated in the Book of Mormon, into the most intimate relationship, and that in the one instance in which the name of Laman appears.” (Hugh Nibley, Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites, p. 45)
http://www.boap.org/LDS/Hugh-Nibley/Lehi_in_the_Desert_part_1.html

Were Laman and Lemuel perhaps twins??

2011, March 9

“The Hope of the USA and Its Future Freedom: Found in the Book of Mormon?” by grego

“The Hope of the USA and Its Future Freedom: Found in the Book of Mormon?”

grego
(c) 2011

Three glaring holes in the big world takeover plan of the USA/ America will fail to be filled by the wicked, due to their wickedness and unbelief. Ether 14:24 explains why: Nevertheless, Shiz did not cease to pursue Coriantumr; for he had sworn to avenge himself upon Coriantumr of the blood of his brother, who had been slain, and the word of the Lord which came to Ether that Coriantumr should not fall by the sword.

The wicked are certain to fulfill the words of the prophets, be it unintentionally or even intentionally, such as Shiz—part of the reason for his continuing the killing was to prove that the prophets were wrong. The wicked, supported by unholy oaths, will and can only see victory in their carefully thought out, laid, and carried out temporal plans—but in the end, they will fail.

-=
1. When the righteous are cast out/ gathered out and their prayers for the people and lands are no longer, the destruction of the wicked and their lands is sure.

It happens with Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible. It happens with Ammonihah. It happens among the Nephites at the First Coming. Amulek, Mormon, and Samuel the Lamanite teach this principle:

Alma 10:22 Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword.

Alma 10:23 But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except ye repent.

Alma 62:40 And there had been murders, and contentions, and dissensions, and all manner of iniquity among the people of Nephi; nevertheless for the righteous’ sake, yea, because of the prayers of the righteous, they were spared.

Helaman 13:14 But behold, it is for the righteous’ sake that it is spared. But behold, the time cometh, saith the Lord, that when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction; yea, wo be unto this great city, because of the wickedness and abominations which are in her.

3 Nephi 9:11 And because they did cast them all out, that there were none righteous among them, I did send down fire and destroy them, that their wickedness and abominations might be hid from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints whom I sent among them might not cry unto me from the ground against them.

What does that have to do with the plan? If all the LDS and freedom-lovers (not that the two categories are mutual nor exclusive) are in concentration camps, they’re not among the cities of the wicked! Those cities and their wicked can now be destroyed. Unfortunately, sometimes there is an incredible amount of suffering for everyone before that time.

2. The land of promise has a promise, best summed up here:

Ether 2:7 And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.

8 And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.

9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

3. The wicked—being wicked—will fight among each other and bring each other down.

1 Nephi 14:3 And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.

1 Nephi 22:14 And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.

-=

The Book of Mormon gives great hope: remember that righteous freedom-lovers are not alone! It might not seem that way for the main part of the fight, but there will be times they will know there was help from above, and at the end, the wicked will not succeed.

2011, March 5

“LDS Church/ Mormon Missionary Work: Signs that the Second Coming Is Close?” by grego

Filed under: Book of Mormon,Uncategorized — grego @ 1:46 am

LDS Church/ Mormon Missionary Work: Signs that the Second Coming Is Close?

grego
(c)2011

This post is mostly thoughts and speculations.

In July 2010 Ensign, this report was given:
To better align resources to changing needs, the Church has created 10 new missions and consolidated others with neighboring missions. The resulting number of missions will be 340.
The Church has created the following missions:
Democratic Republic of Congo Lubumbashi, Guatemala Retalhuleu, Mexico Mexico City Northwest, Mexico Villahermosa, New Mexico Farmington, Nicaragua Managua North…, Peru Cusco, Peru Lima West, Philippines Iloilo, and Utah St. George.

The Church has combined the following missions:
The Australia Melbourne East and West Missions will become [one].
The Australia Sydney North and South Missions will become [one].
The Puerto Rico San Juan East and West Missions will become [one]…
The Germany Hamburg Mission will become part of the Germany Berlin Mission.
The Germany Munich/Austria, Switzerland Zürich, and portions of the Germany Frankfurt Missions will become the Alpine German-Speaking Mission.
The Illinois Chicago North and South Missions will become [one].
The Illinois Peoria Mission will be consolidated into a realignment of the Iowa Des Moines, Missouri St. Louis, and Nebraska Omaha Missions.
The Ireland Dublin and Scotland Edinburgh Missions will become [one].
The Italy Catania Mission will be [assimilated].
The Japan Hiroshima Mission will be [assimilated].
The Korea Seoul West Mission will become [assimilated].
The New Jersey Cherry Hill Mission will be [assimilated].
The Ohio Cincinnati Mission will be [assimilated].
The Spain Bilbao Mission will be [assimilated].

From the Church News dated May 2, 2009:
In Taiwan, the Taiwan Kaohsiung Mission, which comprises much of the southern portion of the island, is being [assimilated].

The Spain mission was created in 1997, and the Australia (one), Ohio, and Taiwan missions were created in 1998.

This opening and closing of missions has been happening a lot recently. I think it’s wonderful, in a way (I’ve talked about that in earlier missionary posts, and will post more thoughts on that later). The LDS Church is building around temples, and then “moving on”. The LDS church is also putting resources where most needed, and it seems pretty simple: if there is response from the people (baptisms), they get it. If there isn’t response, the missionaries go on to other areas (unless… see below).

Also, many of these USA states/ countries where missions close have done so soon after temples have been announced/ built there, which means there is already a substantial membership. Why is this important? So that when the missionaries leave, there should be enough members to find for the missionaries who are left (at present) to teach. (I believe there will be many times there won’t be missionaries, especially foreign ones, especially as the Second Coming gets closer.)

The church is using “in bono” the attack plan of Amalickiah that worked so well (go, establish a firm force, move on to the next), from the Book of Mormon:
Alma 51:22 …the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.
23 And it came to pass that the Nephites were not sufficiently strong in the city of Moroni; therefore Amalickiah did drive them, slaying many. And it came to pass that Amalickiah took possession of the city, yea, possession of all their fortifications.
24 And those who fled out of the city of Moroni came to the city of Nephihah; and also the people of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together, and made preparations and were ready to receive the Lamanites to battle.
25 But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in every city to maintain and defend it.
26 And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore.
27 And thus had the Lamanites obtained, by the cunning of Amalickiah, so many cities, by their numberless hosts, all of which were strongly fortified after the manner of the fortifications of Moroni; all of which afforded strongholds for the Lamanites.
28 And it came to pass that they marched to the borders of the land Bountiful, driving the Nephites before them and slaying many.

Which brings me to a second note: relatives mentioned that where they lived, over the past year at least, it seems that basically only physically and mentally-challenged people are getting baptized anymore, and few people (of any state) who get baptized remain active.

This brought a scripture story to mind: the story of the feast in Luke 14:16-24. Here it is:
16 Then said [Jesus] unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

A few years ago (at least four), a shift had occurred; our patriarch told me that the time had already come that those who were being adopted into the tribe of Ephraim (LDS) numbered more than those who were of the blood of Ephraim (LDS); the balance had changed.

Are we between verses 21 and 23? Do these patterns hint that the Second Coming is truly drawing closer?

A few more things should happen in the gathering side of things:
1. other countries will open. However, I doubt the traditional 200+ years of half-baked missionary work and converts will happen!
2. the LDS church will have to rely more on mass communication and mass meetings. To use an analogy, more casting nets and driving herds of bison over the cliff instead of fishing with lines and hunting with bows and arrows. This could be done on small-scale personal means (like town gatherings for preaching) and large scale impersonal means (like the internet).
3. the LDS church will have to rely more on members to find, and possibly to teach.
4. people from “far places” (places without a church presence) will be sent to find the missionaries/ gospel, and either stay or take the church back to their own places (and not just to BYU, either!).
5. Many more Seventies will have to be called, and more apostles will have to live foreign.
6. political leaders and influential citizens will open huge doors (as Lamoni and his father did in the Lamanite lands. Note that there is no compulsion, only a clear edict that the kings were converted, there is absolute safety and freedom for the messengers, and no disrupting whatsoever of their work is allowed. This is much more than just “you can come”, or even “we welcome your missionaries with open arms, please come”.)

It is clear that mainland China will open before the Second Coming, but before that happens, there must be a large number of missionaries all ready to go. (I see that time will be of the most essence in China, as in, possibly even like a race.) President Kimball spoke of the need for many more missionaries from Taiwan.
More and more members from Hong Kong and Taiwan live in China for work. Also, more and more members baptized outside of China are returning to China.
Local missionaries from Taiwan are increasing, a mission in Taiwan closed in July 2009, the number of missionaries overall in Taiwan has dropped a lot, convert numbers are lessening. Though births have been going down, there are at least double the missionaries from Taiwan now than there were ten years ago, and unlike back then, most of them now are males. Many of the males who don’t/ can’t serve full-time missions go on short-term missions (like for the summer).
And while Monday-Friday temple attendance is still not a lot, on Saturdays the temple is overflowing, with likely close to double the numbers from ten years ago.
(These are my personal observations, not official numbers from all of Taiwan).
There is also an important (at least to me, I believe it is) thing happening with the local Taiwanese missionaries: many of them—especially the males—have been and are being sent to foreign missions with established church units (USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc.), and learning English. This *might* help a lot in stabilizing and strengthening the Church in Taiwan. (I believe that one of the hardest parts for the church/ members in Taiwan is completely accepting the gospel with its sacrifices and getting over cultural problems, and without strong foreign leaders or rare local leaders telling them what they need to do and how to do it and living among them, this is the best way. Attending church in Taiwan and attending church in Utah can be a big difference and a different feeling!) For purposes of leadership, speaking English is a big helpful plus—not necessary, but helpful. (Currently, most Seventies and many stake presidents read and speak English decently well.)
However… many of the youth in the Young Men/ Young Women aren’t making it, so if the Church plans on having young male missionaries from Taiwan go to China, *something* must be done in Taiwan.
In addition, it might even be that China will limit (to what degree?) the number of American/ Western/ foreign missionaries (China does not (really) count Taiwan as a completely separate entity—racially, culturally, or politically. And, many Taiwanese will cheer for China teams before cheering for American teams.)

So… Which apostle will come live in Taiwan? ;)

Remember: before the Lord sends his punishments on the wicked, they must be warned. (I believe that more and more faithful members will find that life will be so hard, it will more and more be the easier choice to warn everyone and let the Lord’s judgments come, than to not warn and try to “wait it out”.)

2011, March 3

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Do the Cardinal Point Directions (North-South-East-West) References in the Book of Mormon Follow a Pattern?”

grego
(c)2010

So, what are the references to multiple cardinal points/ directions in the Book of Mormon, and is there any pattern in their mention?
(I have numbered the following to match up the summaries at the end.)

1. 2 Nephi 29:11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

2. Mosiah 27:6 And there began to be much peace again in the land; and the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land.

3. Alma 22:27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.

4. Alma 22:29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.

5. Alma 22:32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.

6. Alma 22:33 And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.

7. Alma 43:53 Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror.

8. Alma 46:17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty.

9. Alma 50:8 And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west.

10. Alma 50:11 And thus he cut off all the strongholds of the Lamanites in the east wilderness, yea, and also on the west, fortifying the line between the Nephites and the Lamanites, between the land of Zarahemla and the land of Nephi, from the west sea, running by the head of the river Sidon—the Nephites possessing all the land northward, yea, even all the land which was northward of the land Bountiful, according to their pleasure.

11. Alma 50:34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east.

12. Helaman 1:31 And now, behold, the Lamanites could not retreat either way, neither on the north, nor on the south, nor on the east, nor on the west, for they were surrounded on every hand by the Nephites.

13. Helaman 3:8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.

14. Helaman 4:7 And there they did fortify against the Lamanites, from the west sea, even unto the east; it being a day’s journey for a Nephite, on the line which they had fortified and stationed their armies to defend their north country.

15. Helaman 6:9 And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north.

16. Helaman 6:10 Now the land south was called Lehi, and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south.

17. Helaman 6:12 They did raise grain in abundance, both in the north and in the south; and they did flourish exceedingly, both in the north and in the south. And they did multiply and wax exceedingly strong in the land. And they did raise many flocks and herds, yea, many fatlings.

18. 3 Nephi 1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.

19. 3 Nephi 4:1 And it came to pass that in the latter end of the eighteenth year those armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of all the lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and the cities which had been left desolate.

20. 3 Nephi 6:2 And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward.

21. 3 Nephi 20:13 And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

Here’s a summary of the directions:
1. the east… west… north… south
2. on the north… south… east… west.
3. on the east… west… from the sea east… sea west (… north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west.)
4. (on the east by the seashore… all the northern parts…) from the east… west (…; … on the north…)
5. from the east to the west sea; … between the land northward… southward.
6. from the east unto… west sea; (… on the south… no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.)
(7. on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west…)
8. all the land which was south… both on the north and on the south…
9. from the east sea to the west.
10. the east wilderness… west… from the west sea
11. on the west… east.
12. neither on the north… south… east… west
13. (from the land southward to the land northward)… (from the sea south to the sea north), from the sea west to the sea east.
14. from the west sea… east
15. both in the land south… land north.
16. the land south… the land north; …land north… land south
17. both in the north… south; both in the north… south
18. from the west… east, both in the land north… south
19. both which were in the land south… land north
20. both on the north… south, both on the land northward… southward
21. from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north

Well, it looks like the opposite directions are usually grouped (east/ west; north/ south). East/ west both come first in examples, and north/ south both come first in examples. This is not clearly “north/ south/ east/ west”.

-=
In contrast, take a look at the cardinal points in the Doctrine and Covenants:

1. Doctrine and Covenants 42:63 And behold, it shall come to pass that my servants shall be sent forth to the east and to the west, to the north and to the south.

2. Doctrine and Covenants 44:1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way.

3. Doctrine and Covenants 75:26 And let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world, whether to the east or to the west, or to the north, or to the south.

4. Doctrine and Covenants 80:3 Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.

5. Doctrine and Covenants 125:4 And let all those who come from the east, and the west, and the north, and the south, that have desires to dwell therein, take up their inheritance in the same, as well as in the city of Nashville, or in the city of Nauvoo, and in all the stakes which I have appointed, saith the Lord.

(6. Doctrine and Covenants 43:22 Yea, and again, when the lightnings shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all tingle that hear, saying these words—Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come?)

1. to the east… west… north… south
2. from the east… west… north… south
3. to the east… west… north… south
4. north or to the south… east… west
5. from the east…west… north… south
(6. east unto the west)

Most are “east/ west/ north/ south”.

-=
Let’s take a look at the New Testament:

1. Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

(2. Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.)

3. Luke 13:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

4. Revelation 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

1. from the east and west
(2. east… unto the west)
3. from the east… west… north… south
4. On the east… north… south… west.

Ok, east/ west, north/ south, and for variety (?!), east/ north/ south/ west.

-=
Was there an established way of saying the directions it in the 1820’s? Whatever it might have been (if so), the Book of Mormon doesn’t follow it all the time, nor does it match the Doctrine and Covenants, nor the New Testament.

“Book of Mormon: Alma 51:33—“Heat of the Day”: Evidence of a Book of Mormon Mesoamerica Geographical Setting or a New York Geographical Setting?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma 51:33—“Heat of the Day”: Evidence of a Book of Mormon Mesoamerica Geographical Setting or a New York Geographical Setting?

grego
(c)2010

In the Book of Mormon, there is a verse about the temperature:
Alma 51:33 And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day.

Does this clue us that it’s hot in December, so the setting must be in Mesoamerica, as John Sorenson and the following FAIR article say?:
-=
“Different from Joseph Smith’s World
The Book of Mormon’s consistent representation of the seasonality of Mesoamerican warfare bodes poorly for the theory that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. A significant battle scene (one in which the long-term survival of the Nephite nation might have been at stake) is described in Alma 51: at the end of the year—around December. After heavy fighting and major marches, both sides were very tired because of their “labors and heat of the day.” This takes place on the east coast, “in the borders on the beach by the seashore” (Alma 51:32).

In Mesoamerica, at this season, the rain-swollen rivers have subsided, but the east region (which would correspond to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec area under the limited geography model) is still rather wet, low, and hot. The hottest weather was still months away, but down on the coast it was hot and muggy enough to contribute to the fatigue of the rapidly traveling troops.

Alma 51 shows that the land of the Book of Mormon peoples was not a cold, snow-covered place in winter, as upstate New York was for young Joseph Smith. If Joseph created the book based on what he knew, he would have had fighting occur in the summer, not during winter. The internal consistency of many passages dealing with war during the proper season of war for Mesoamerica is also remarkable—and has not been noted or recognized until the late twentieth century. Though it is a minor point in the text, the geographical and climatic information provided fits and makes sense. It must be considered as one of the many “mundane” but powerful evidences for authenticity.”
-=

That all sounds good on the surface… Let’s dig a little and see.

“…labors and heat of the day” near the end of the year…

First, is the Nephite calendar established in regard to the seasons (like it can be reasonably or at least plausibly concluded that December=end of the year)? If so, where, and to what degree? (I imagine and assume so, but…?)

Second, if the armies usually fight in the hot summer, and then “heat of the day” comes up near the end of the year, does that mean it was especially hot in that season, or on that day, or what?

If it had been 45F for the past few days, and typically was around 45F for the season, and the armies were dressed for 45F weather, with their protection on top of it—and then it happened to be 65F that day—that would be a plausible conclusion, right?

Third, how much of the tiredness is due to the labor, and how much to the heat of the day? Sure, war is always a tiring thing. Note, though, that they had Amalickiah, the War Starter, on the run, and were beating him soundly, all the way until it was likely too dark to see anymore. That was a lot of running to get away and to chase.

Also unfortunately, it seems there might have been an oversight or a little lack of scholarship among people pushing Mesoamerica. I found this article, and ouch is what I think when I read it. It not only rebuts “common sense” thinking, and arguments made by many Mesoamerican proponents, but provides scholarly, historical evidence that supports a New York setting based on Alma 51:33 and other Book of Mormon verses. (I have copied the article to here and edited it very slightly (shorter), but if the original author finds this unacceptable, let me know!):
-=-=
http://www.bookofmormonlands.com/link%20eight.htm
The Weather During Book of Mormon Times

It is interesting, that the most often asked question about the northern setting regards the weather, supposing it was too cold for the Lamanites, who the scriptures say wore nothing but loin cloths. However, the loin cloth noted beneath the blanket on the Algonquin of the Canadian northeast in this 18th century watercolor prove the descendants of the Lamanites dressed in the same way their ancestors did back in Nephite times. Even his wife is nearly naked except for a short skirt beneath her blanket covering.

And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites … wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven… (Enos 1:20.)

The French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, actually described the Iroquois and Algonquians of New York and along the St. Lawrence River as going entirely naked in his writings and drawings in 1602, a scene he captured in the accompanying illustrations. Sier de Roberval, the first Governor General of America’s “New France,” said of the Iroquois along the St. Lawrence River (a New York based tribe), “. . . are a people of goodly stature and well made; they are very white, but they are all naked, and if they were appareled as the French are, they would be as white and as fair, but they paint themselves for fear of heat and sunburning.”(Malory, p. 170.)

The reference to sunburning adds impetus to the fact that it gets hot in the northeast, not just in the tropics. Moreover, it is not likely that they would wear heavy skins in the tropics which remains hot all year long. However, the Book of Mormon mentions that the Lamanites in Book of Mormon territory wore very heavy skins, which we can take to be bear or buffalo hides, often worn to withstand the blows of their enemies, but likely also during periods of extreme cold.

Now the leaders of the Lamanites had supposed, because of the greatness of their numbers, yea, they supposed that they should be privileged to come upon them as they had hitherto done; yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness. (Alma 49:6.)

It would be good to remember that cold weather was also implied in the scriptures, for hail was mentioned twice, and Nephi mentions snow when he was recording the Tree of Life. He said: “and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.” (1 Nephi 11:8) While a gentle snow falls in Israel about every seven or eight years, it melts away rather quickly. Thus, Nephi likely did not experienced driven snow, the kind that blows in with a snow storm, until after he arrived in the promised land and had secured the ore he needed to record the experiences of his family. Rain, or the lack of it, is also mentioned in the Book of Mormon, usually in reference to the Lord’s sending it or withholding it according to the righteousness of the people. Thus, we have four separate weather conditions, heat, hail, snow and rain.
More important than looking for heat or cold in the scriptures is the need to find an area where all the ordinances of the law of Moses could be kept, which means an area with four distinct seasons such we find in the temperate climate of the northeast, for the observance of the Law of Moses is dependant upon the ripening of specific crops at different times of the years, such as wheat, corn, and barely, each of which are grown in abundance in New York.

Unfortunately, a comment by John Sorenson to the effect that the promised land of the Nephites should be place in the tropics because of one lone statement to heat in the scriptures (see Alma 51:33) seems to have stuck in the minds of many, for it is the most often asked question by those investigating New York as the proposed setting for the Book of Mormon saga. He said:

“The promised land was quite surely located in the tropics since no indication of cold or snow is given in the text while heat is.” [1]

As important as the weather patterns and seasons seems to be… (Here the author gives the typical argument about writing important things, like the proponents of ”

Nevertheless, since it is a subject of much interest, a discussion of the weather patterns of the northeast during the Book of Mormon era, both Nephite and Jaredite, seems appropriate here.

The Archaic Period

The close of the last Ice Age saw the weather patterns in the northeast change from bleak and cold to warmer than it is today which precipitated the melting of the great glaciers covering so much of Canada and the northeastern United States. This warm condition persisted until around 1000 B.C., when it became somewhat moister and cooler, although still warmer than currently. Another drop in temperature took place around the time of Christ and has persisted relatively unchanged until our present day—notwithstanding various fluctuations over the years, such as the little ice age which is thought to have begun somewhere between 1250-1600 and ended around 1900.
New York Archaeologist, William A. Ritchie explains that the archaic period, (that being the era of the Jaredites), experienced the latter portion of the hypsithermal episode, which is believed to have considerably surpassed the present in average warmth.[2] Moreover, for a thousand years between 2000-1000 B.C., little rainfall came, with the result that the northeast experienced a number of devastating droughts, just as was noted in the account of the Jaredites who lost a great many of their people to the famines which followed.

And it came to pass that when they had humbled themselves sufficiently before the Lord he did send rain upon the face of the earth; and the people began to revive again, and there began to be fruit in the north countries, and in all the countries round about. And the Lord did show forth his power unto them in preserving them from famine. (Ether 9:35.)

Ritchie instructs us that when the last remnants of the ice sheets disappeared from the northeast, forests of mixed evergreens and hardwoods covered much of the land. Many of the existing mucklands were shallow lakes in those days, and “the streams flowed clearer, deeper, and certainly more constantly than now due to the thick spongy covering of the forest floor.”[3] Fossil samples indicate that the relatively warm, humid conditions made it especially favorable for hunting and fishing and gathering wild plant foods, especially fruits and nuts. Ritchie points out that while the expansion of people also took them into lower Ontario, the archaic population was more numerous in New York, with its milder winters and probably more abundant wildlife than in lower Ontario, with the possibility that the weather was becoming increasingly warmer and drier during this era.[4]

The Nephite Era

The weather remained the same during the first 600 years of Nephite occupation in the land, only changing again after the birth of Christ when pollen samples indicate a cool, moist climate phase began to prevail over most of the area,[5] much as it does today. Yet, while New York enjoys a temperate climate, the regions to the east of the lakes can sometimes be hit rather hard during the colder winter months. Thus, since Book of Mormon territory appears to extend along much of the region to the east of Lake Erie, there can be little doubt that the Nephites experienced harsh winters at times during the last 384 years of their existence in the land. Yet their summers would have been as moist and hot as they are today as well, a condition hard to travel in, let alone fight in. The time period given the episode which speaks of Teancum’s army successfully overpowering the Lamanites because they were fatigued due to their labors and the heat of the day came in 67 B.C., according to Book of Mormon footnotes, which was before the climate change which took place at the time of Christ. But, whether before or after, the region would have endured hot, humid summers in either case. Thus, it seems foolish to discount New York as a plausible setting for the Book of Mormon saga simply because of one lone reference to the heat of the day, which some speculate can only be referring to the tropics. People still die in New York in the summer months, due to the heat and high humidity.

And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day. (Alma 51:33.)

Such hot moist conditions also promote the spread of various fevers in the land, another fact mentioned in the scriptures (see Alma 46:40). Malaria is a bad fever, and has plagued the people of the northeast for centuries. Literally hundreds died of the dread disease while building New York’s Erie Canal.
Regardless of the hot moist summers and the heavy snowfall which falls in New York at times, the state is still said to enjoy a temperate climate. But, even in the harshest conditions, Native Americans have been inhabiting this region for millennium and have survived nicely without central heating or electricity. Moreover, Joseph Smith, as well as numerous early Saints lived in New York without such conveniences and without complaint until forced from their homes by angry mobs. Thus, the Nephites no doubt also lived comfortably in the region after the weather turned cooler. The lush timberlands surrounding them would have provided them with plenty of firewood to keep them just as warm as the pilgrims and early gentile settlers of the past few centuries.
As for Alma 3:5 referring to the Lamanites wearing nothing more than loin clothes, the Native American Indians in New York continued that practice until modernized by the Gentiles who made every effort to civilize them. Many of the early colonizers were amazed by the Indians ability to go so scantily clad even during some of the harshest winters without the cold seeming to bother them. Yet, we must not overlook the fact that the scriptures also refer to the Lamanites wearing heavy clothing made from animal skins, which was the more common dress among them during colder weather.

Now the leaders of the Lamanites had supposed, because of the greatness of their numbers, yea, they supposed that they should be privileged to come upon them as they had hitherto done; yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness. (Alma 49:6.)

Notes:
1-John Sorenson, The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book, p. 351. F.A.R.M.S.
2-William A. Ritchie, The Archaeology of New York State, p. 32.
3-William A. Ritchie, Indian History of New York State, Ed Leaflet, No. 6, p. 6.
4-William A. Ritchie, Indian History of New York State, Ed Leaflet, No.6, p. 10.
5-William A. Richie, Prehistoric Archaeology and the New York State Museum Ed Leaflet, No. 22, p. 5
-=-=

“Book of Mormon: A Response to Critics of Joseph Smith’s Story of the 116 Lost Pages of the Book of Mormon Translation” by grego

Book of Mormon: A Response to Critics of Joseph Smith’s Story of the 116 Lost Pages of the Book of Mormon Translation

grego
(c)2011

So, Joseph Smith gets these golden plates, and starts translating (… or, begins his made-up story with) the Book of Mormon with 1 Nephi.

Whoops! Not so.

1 Nephi was actually written out by Joseph Smith after the completion of the translation of the large plates (Mosiah – Moroni). When his translation of the book of Lehi was lost, instead of going back and translating it again, he continued from Mosiah to Moroni; then he translated the small plates (1 Nephi – Words of Mormon).

He was told that the book of Lehi was not to be retranslated, but that the Lord had prepared for such an event; that in fact, evil men had the pages, and were going to forge the document/ make changes in an attempt to discredit the work. Here’s the revelation concerning this:

Doctrine and Covenants 10:11 And behold, I say unto you, that because [evil men] have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written;
12 And, on this wise, the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work;
13 For he hath put into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
14 Verily, I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing.
15 For behold, he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again.
16 And then, behold, they say and think in their hearts—We will see if God has given him power to translate; if so, he will also give him power again;
17 And if God giveth him power again, or if he translates again, or, in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold, we have the same with us, and we have altered them;
18 Therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power;
19 Therefore we will destroy him, and also the work; and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world.
31 For, behold, they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself.
32 And, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words.
33 Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation.
34 But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
35 Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved.
36 Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;
37 But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.

If Smith was making it all up and couldn’t remember what he had written in the first place, there would be no need for unbelievers to alter the words; a better proof would have been to immediately and knowingly put the documents “in escrow” and then Smith could retranslate them; but had this been done and Smith retranslated correctly, it would have been proof that he was a prophet, which was definitely not wanted (or it would have proven he had a great memory).

Some have said that the reason Smith didn’t go back and “retranslate” was because he couldn’t remember what he had written; this is, as often happens with Book of Mormon criticism, contradictory with the oft-used argument to explain how he faked the translation: that Smith never translated, but had the whole thing noted and planned out and memorized and just read it off, pretending to translate. (Once more, this problematic polemic dual polarity of “Joseph Smith genius/ idiot” raises its head, but once more, is seemingly ignored by Book of Mormon critics.) Or, as the Tanners wrote, he could “rather eas[ily] remember the major details, but that “the names and details would become increasingly difficult to remember”, and that he would “undoubtedly make many mistakes with regard to names, cities, lands, kings, military leaders and battles”.
Wow, the logical calisthenics one could go through, and for what? What was this, a history book of military campaigns?
First, let’s take a look at all those things. There aren’t too many people in the beginning, for a while. For the Nephites, there is pretty much one city worth mentioning: Nephi. Lamanites: not much at all. Names: well, pretty much just what is in there—Lehi’s family (that wouldn’t change, right?). Kings? As Jacob says, the names of their kings were: Nephi 1, Nephi 2, Nephi 3, etc. Military leaders and battles? Nephi leads the Nephites, while Laman and Lemuel lead the Lamanites. Um… not hard.
Then, let’s look at what *is* in the Book of Mormon in those chapters that are in the large plates (Mosiah – Moroni), in the “war chapters”: off the top of my head I recall Captain Moroni, Teancum, Amalickiah, Ammoron, Helaman, Lehi… oh my, I forget the Zoramite’s name! Maybe it *was* too hard for Smith, too. Yes, Smith the idiot would have definitely had problems remembering all those things the Tanners wish had been in there to make their story work better (great arguing from a negative, really), but, like not in the rest of the Book of Mormon records, likely weren’t… He definitely would have had problems—other than those many moments that Smith was a genius.
So what does Smith “replace” lands, cities, wars, military leaders, etc. with? Surely something much easier for his brain and memory, no doubt? Nope. Instead, there are many scriptures containing prophecies, doctrinal expositions, important speeches, and lots of little lessons; the smaller plates (1 Nephi – Words of Mormon) are rich. Given the two options, which is harder? No doubt the second, which is what replaced the first. The Tanners seem deluded in thinking that Smith was stupid and the second writings were much easier for him than the first.
Note also that since the smaller plates were not about history much, but stressed spiritual things, much of what is in small plates section doesn’t have to be there! There is no “well, that lost history was 116 pages, so I need to come up with 116 pages or so (of history or anything else) to replace it”. There was no need to copy Isaiah (to fill up pages because he couldn’t think of anything else), or to write much. Frankly, he could have cut the beginning by at least half.
Maybe Smith was too stupid to realize that generally the more he wrote, the more problems there could (and likely would) be, and the more material critics would have to work with. Nevertheless, realize also that what is in the beginning, is very strong apologetically, with regards to the Middle East.
Maybe Smith was too stupid, thinking that perhaps Americans (remember, many think Smith was trying to write a bestseller to get rich) preferred reading Isaiah and doctrinal expositions, etc., instead of war stories with lands, cities, kings, military leaders, etc., mostly with made-up names.

The fact that the original translation didn’t (and still hasn’t) come out suggests to me that it was destroyed (so wehter there was a retranslation or new material, is immaterial), or that to me that Joseph Smith’s translation of 1 Nephi was brilliant, in that those hoping to destroy the work by showing contradictions, couldn’t find any between two separate records of the same time and journey (Lehi leaving Jerusalem – Promised Land). This means that either he did two real translations, or he *could* remember everything he had written, and therefore in the second writing didn’t contradict himself (which goes along with the result of the rest of the Book of Mormon).

Sure, of course there is the possibility that this entire 116 lost pages was just a made-up story to shore up the translation story: it was realized the beginning writing was a failure/ practice and now needed to be disappeared, Martin Harris’ wife (and others) never saw it, or best yet, nothing was ever written/ it never happened; and that the period of Joseph losing the fit of translation/ silence was actually a time of “rethinking” the book’s plan.

But critics at the time said there were the pages, so that wouldn’t work; even if there wasn’t an evil plan and the pages weren’t found and critics gave different answers as to what happened to the papers.

Many said that the lost pages were burned; if the people were honest and that were the case, why wouldn’t Joseph go ahead with the translation? I imagine that if the people were honest and that had been the case, he would have; God told him otherwise.

But no such evil plan has ever been uncovered!, one might say. Well, of course not—even had a master forger done it, years later it might have been possible to discover the forgery and find the claim against Smith being a false prophet, to be false itself; and if the evil men waited, maybe Smith would think there was no need to worry, and would translate it later, and then they could catch him. After he died, it was useless if they couldn’t find anything contradictory between what was in it and what was in the published Book of Mormon.

So why? People were already violently against Joseph Smith and the work. Had he or the religion been discredited by a forgery at that time—even if it had been a horrible forgery of a word or two, and even if it were announced for just a short period—it likely would have succeeded in its purpose of bringing a deathblow to the work.

But, it “would be almost impossible to alter the manuscript without detection” (http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no72.htm) , right?
Well, only if it would be impossible to pass off every other lie, hoax, and forgeries, right?

But, surely it “could not have done so without it being very obvious that the original document was altered” (http://www.mormonthink.com/lost116web.htm).
Says who? That’s the whole point of a forgery—to make it so no one can tell it’s a forgery (at least until the purpose has been accomplished). That would have been nice!

And the whole purpose of stealing the pages (or else why steal them and not give them back in the first place?) was this: to kill the work. There was no intent to see if it was true or not, or to provide the truth, but to stop it.

Another critic argues (http://www.mormonthink.com/lost116web.htm):
“Martin wrote with ink on foolscap. Any alteration would be very noticeable and not convincing to anyone.
In addition to the rubbing out of old words and rewriting of new words, the handwriting would have been different. Any rudimentary handwriting inspection would have determined that it had been altered, especially easy to determine given that the new handwriting would have occurred in the same spot as the rubbed-out and re-written words.”
Um, how does this critic know how the lost pages were forged?? And, is the critic an expert on forgery? The fact that so many successful forgeries have succeeded under close inspection, and in retrospect seemed ludicrous, should allow for a little more understanding here.
But let’s say that it actually is a bad forgery… Do you think the evil men were going to let Smith and friends “take a look”, or the doubter of their words, or the common man for that matter? I don’t think so.
Or would they find a fellow critic who would be willing to write a few columns in the newspaper, and find a critic in a learned member of another religion or church to confirm and comment on the documents being original?

Would there really be a need for master forgers to rewrite large sections, as the Tanners and others have argued? Of course not. I mean, look at it right now, over 175 years later: many critics’ Book of Mormon arguments hinge on one word. Look at “Adieu”—this *one word* in the book has been toted ad nauseum as a deathblow to the entire work; “in the *land* of Jerusalem”—one word— has had numerous attacks by critics; and there are many other similar arguments and “problems with the Book of Mormon”. Is it hard to believe that the alteration had to necessarily be long and complicated?
What about scratch-outs? All the other scribes had them, why not Martin Harris? And if so, isn’t it easy to alter things that way?
Also, knowing what we know from research on false news stories and redactions, it’s clear even if a story about the translations being contradictory (due to the original being altered—but this little part wouldn’t be mentioned yet; or even “some men claim there are problems”/ “it’s possible”/ “I give my word we didn’t alter it”) were published even once before the alteration was discovered and confirmed, it might have seriously injured the work, or worse.

The critic continues:
“…they could have changed some names of people or places or altered events that are central to the beginning of the Book of Mormon and thereby prove that Joseph’s new translation was in error. If they really thought their alterations would have gone unnoticed they could have changed the names of Nephi’s brothers or the cities they came from or many other items that would have been included in both sets of plates.”
Well, with the spelling of many words at that time, including names, based on personal liking and phonetics, and with examples in English already (Larsen or Larson?), I seriously doubt the alterations of letters in names would have any effect, even in the common man’s mind.

More:
“If the work was really of God, the manuscript could be reproduced word for word without a mistake.”
Is this serious? Any references? Perhaps even from any prophet in the Bible? (Please let me know if you find any.)

More:
“If, however, Joseph created it himself, his memory would hardly be adequate to such a task, without numberless changes or verbal differences-and thus “give himself away,” since he loudly professed to be all the time aided “by the gift and power of God.”
So now, Joseph is an idiot/ has poor memory.
Verbal differences? What does that mean? He would mess up “gather together” for “unite”, or “go” for “come”, or use “had been traveling” for “traveled”? (Yeah, I know, this is knitpicking, I’ll try to stop and stay with the big picture.)

More:
“Since the lost pages never surfaced in any form, it is likely that they were destroyed immediately by Martin Harris’s wife. Therefore, the entire story about someone altering pages is impossible and just made up by Joseph because he knew he could not reproduce those same pages as he was not really translating the Book of Mormon story.”
The first sentence is illogical, but let’s continue to the main point. If the pages were burned, there would be no need to worry about an alteration and being proven wrong, and he could have done it again. Either way, it works without problems, right?

More:
“It is convenient that the prophets of old just happened to make an extra set of plates 1500 years ago to cover this contingency, isn’t it? Not only are the 116 pages lost, we have an explanation of how it was fixed right in the document itself written thousands of years before the event happened.”
Yes and no. Somewhat convenient, but there is no real clear explanation in the Book of Mormon about it. It’s like this: “I was locked out of the house because I had lent my keys away, when my wife pulled out another set, saying, ‘I had a feeling I should bring these…'” Is that impossible? Has that never happened to anyone, maybe even the author? How convenient! Is that story obviously a lie now?

More:
“Although it would be possible for a master forger to forge the documents in the early 1800s, what are the odds that either one of the evil men trying to bring down Joseph was either a master forger or had access to a master forger? It’s not a common skill and since money wasn’t the motive, how could they pay for a skilled forger to even begin this kind of undertaking?”
Ok, at least the author has gone from “impossible” to “possible”! What are the odds that Smith could have written the book? What are the odds that he knew all the Hebraisms? What are the odds that evil men could find a dowser of exceptional skill (which they did)? What are the odds that leaders of other churches would pay for it? Wait, if the key were money, why would anyone fight against Mormonism at all?

More:
“Martin Harris proclaiming that the document was a forgery would not have been so easily dismissed.”
First, how is the critic so sure that Harris would proclaim “that the document was a forgery”? That’s an assumption, especially in light of Doctrine and Covenants 3 and 10.
And if Smith couldn’t remember what he made up and said, how would Harris magically remember all he had or hadn’t written?
And why woudn’t his word have been “so easily dismissed”? Not even his wife believed him and Smith! And I’m sure others would have noted that. Also, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_116_pages: “A biographer of Harris wrote that his “imagination was excitable and fecund.” Harris once imagined that a sputtering candle was the work of the devil. He told a friend that he had met Jesus in the shape of a deer and walked and talked with him for two or three miles. (John A. Clark letter, August 31, 1840 in Early Mormon Documents, 2: 271.) The local Presbyterian minister called him “a visionary fanatic.” (Ronald W. Walker, “Martin Harris: Mormonism’s Early Convert,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Winter 1986):34-35.) A friend, who praised Harris as “universally esteemed as an honest man,” also declared that Harris’s mind “was overbalanced by ‘marvellousness'” and that his belief in earthly visitations of angels and ghosts gave him the local reputation of being crazy.(Pomroy Tucker Reminiscence, 1858 in Early Mormon Documents 3: 71.) Another friend said, “Martin was a man that would do just as he agreed with you. But, he was a great man for seeing spooks.””
Are you sure it would have been hard to dismiss his word that it was a forgery? Put him up against say, a respected minister or two of the community and three men of whatever standing and Harris’ wife. What are the chances of his testimony holding up strongly, as a matter of opinion among the people, especially if Harris’ wife were to say Smith and her husband were just trying to write a book to con people and make money?

More:
“If the testimonies of faithful LDS aren’t shaken by having Egyptologists demonstrate how Joseph Smith’s translation of the Egyptian papyri facsimiles in the Book of Abraham are totally wrong, then why would such an easy explanation as Martin Harris saying the pages were forged cause concern? To your point ‘why should someone believe the Church when we have the proof right here in front of us’ that Joseph did not translate the Book of Abraham facsimiles correctly?”
Sounds like a good argument, but where’s the proof that any of these claims are true? Once more, over time, the Abraham argument tilts more and more in favor of Smith.
It seems the author is so intent on pointing out other problems with the LDS Church, a simple matter is forgotten: there wasn’t a large group of “faithful LDS”! In fact, there weren’t *any* LDS. Whoops.

More:
“Also it would have prompted a detailed scrutiny of certain pages and if any inconsistencies such as slightly different handwriting, different paper, different ink, etc. were found only on the pages that Martin said he didn’t write, then it would be enough evidence to at least say it’s a stalemate – he said/she said. The faithful LDS would of course believe the LDS person and the critics would believe the non-LDS people. The Church would go on.”
Yes, it might have—and even a redemptive scrutiny would have been too late.
Once more, the author assumes this was all about “faithful LDS” believing Smith and that the (non-existant, yet-to-be-established) Church “would go on”…

More:
“ALSO, if it would be so easy to forge the 116 pages to discredit Smith then why wouldn’t the forgers have tried to alter the 116 pages even if Joseph was to tell the same basic story but from another source? As stated above, the forgers could still very easily have changed things that would be common to both the first 116 pages and to the rest of the BOM and just as effectively proved Smith a fraud. For example they could have changed the names of people like Nephi to Napham or change the names of cities like Jerusalem to Galilee or change any number of things that would cause problems for the published part of the Book of Mormon.”
In addition to many assumptions, I have already critiqued these arguments in response(s) further up.

More:
“Continuing on with the Book of Mormon translation does not prevent conspirators from presenting the Book of Lehi with contradictions in it. This was master forger Mark Hofmann’s ultimate goal, to forge the book of Lehi with contradictions to the rest of the Book of Mormon in it. Because the Book of Lehi presumably contained the key details on how the Israelites arrive at the New World, more or less the same story had to be told in different words – the Book of Nephi.”
Am I missing an argument here, or is there really nothing to begin with?

More:
“If the evil men were smart enough to be able to have the documents forged to such a degree as to escape detection, then surely they would realized that they could still foil Smith by changing some of the 116 pages to cause inconstancies with the BOM story.”
Perhaps. But it seems they didn’t.

More:
“Our thoughts
We find it hard to believe that Satan and some evil men were really behind the plot to steal the 116 pages. The stolen pages would have eventually come forth, in probably a failed attempt to discredit Joseph.”
Wow, now convenience is on the other foot… Beliefs and assumptions don’t win arguments.

More:
“If nothing else they would have been worth a lot of money so we can’t imagine why the evil men, if they existed, would not have used the pages to either try to discredit Joseph, ransom them to Martin and Joseph or hold on to them to eventually sell them. The stolen pages wouldn’t have simply been destroyed by men who went to such trouble to obtain them.”
Just a moment ago I was hearing the critic say there was no money in this; now it’s been changed to “they would have been worth a lot of money”—which one is it? Or is it all just based on a matter of argumental convenience?

More:
“Instead it seems much more plausible that Martin Harris’ wife had immediately destroyed the pages to defy her husband. If that’s the case we wonder if there could be any other reason why Joseph would make up the story about Satan’s plan to discredit him? We have not yet been able to think of any other reasonable explanation to answer Joseph’s actions other than he was not really translating an ancient document as he claimed.”
Plausible. If so, what difference would it make?

More:
“A further problem is that Joseph Smith appears to have falsified canonized scripture (D&C Section 10 and the inroduction to the 1830 version of the BOM) by making up a story about evil men stealing the lost 116 pages in an attempt to discredit him when it seems obvious that there were no evil men and that Mrs. Harris likely destroyed the manuscript. If Joseph did make up this story, and have it canonized as scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants, then how can his other scriptures that he brought forth be trusted?”
Beliefs, assumptions, desires to get extra unrelated hits in on an enemy… Please, at least some facts, evidence, and/ or logic! This is so shaky, it can’t even stand.

More:
“There’s an episode of the cartoon South Park called “All About the Mormons”. In the episode, a faithful LDS family tells the story of the lost 116 pages to a neighbor boy they are trying to convert. They tell this story as proof that Joseph Smith was telling the truth and Mormonism is true. Perhaps the most telling comment we’ve ever heard about the lost 116 pages debacle comes from the neighborhood boy, who, after hearing the story of the lost 116 pages, exclaims “”Wait, Mormons actually know this story and they still believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet?”
Depends on what story you hear, but yes, I do. Am I a Mormon just because of this story? No, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to be. Are you an anti-Mormon just because of this story? Given your arguments here, I doubt it.

More:
“Sandra Tanner has an interesting theory about the lost 116 pages. We haven’t fully explored this theory but basically it states that the retranslated portion of the first part of the Book of Mormon is very different from the rest of the book. Names and specific details seem to be intentionally left out from this section of the book such as the names of Ishmael’s daughters and names of kings. The reasoning is that Joseph probably wasn’t 100% sure of some of the specific details of the original 116 pages and he didn’t want to take the chance that the lost 116 pages may contradict him on names or other details. Therefore, he purposely omitted certain details, which is why the beginning of the Book of Mormon seems to be different than the rest of the Book of Mormon. When Joseph was dictating the events that occurred after the time period, that was covered by the original 116 pages, he then started including more specific details that would not have been in the original lost pages and could not be challenged.”
Nice theory. Unfortunately for the theory, this is exactly the reason for the small plates—it was already said in Doctrine and Covenants 10.
In fact, it’s also in the Book of Mormon, in 1 Nephi 1:16-17: And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.
17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life.

In addition to all that…
Doctrine and Covenants 3:12-13:
12 And when thou deliveredst up that which God had given thee sight and power to translate, thou deliveredst up that which was sacred into the hands of *a wicked man* (Martin Harris),
13 Who has set at naught the counsels of God, and has broken the most sacred promises which were made before God, and has depended upon his own judgment and boasted in his own wisdom.

Doctrine and Covenants 10:
1 Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of *a wicked man* (He says it once more; Martin Harris), you have lost them.
5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and *that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work*.
6 Behold, *they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted (Martin Harris) has sought to destroy you*.
7 And for this cause I said that *he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift*.
8 And because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold, wicked men have taken them from you.
9 Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness.
10 And, behold, Satan hath put it into *their* hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands.
29 Now, behold, *they* have altered these words, because Satan *saith unto them: He hath deceived you* (mostly Martin Harris and his wife?)—and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.
33 Thus Satan thinketh to overpower *your* (not Martin Harris’) testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation.
36 Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;
37 But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous (like with Martin Harris), therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.

Mrs. Harris and others confirmed that Martin Harris was hoping to make money, reports Bushman from other sources in “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling”. What if one of those evil men hoping to profit from this alteration venture also happened to be Martin Harris, and along with the forgery, would come his false testimony? How would that have been met? Given what the Lord says, this could have been a possibility.

Not that it would matter, I guess, but if Smith knew who asked him to retranslate the lost portion, he could probably figure out who had them.

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