Why Belief In God The Creator Is Necessary To Grow

Many young people reject idea of a grand Creator. But this is not superstitious belief in a mythical sky-god, as slack-jawed television comedians say. Belief in a Creator is necessary for your own aspirations, and your own confidence in yourself and your abilities.

In ancient times, it was easy to believe in a sky-god who pulled the ropes to make everything happen. We are certainly more knowledgeable today than those barbarians who sacrificed to the sky-god in hopes of a greater harvest. But isn’t there still a lot we don’t know? Well yeah, but we can at least see how life advances and how the planets move in the sky. Today, we know about evolution, and that seems to contradict a grand creator.

In Medieval times, people resisted seeking scientific advancement. If God creates everything, why explore anything? Some Christian groups still cling to such superstition. The point is not to compete with scientific advancement but to understand God. It gives God authority to be God if he is indeed the person who fashioned everything around us. This is important for us because we all act as creators to some degree. We build houses, we create light during the night, and we reproduce. God as creator thus relates to us. We are imperfect creators. A great creator can redeem and fulfill our imperfections, ecause he is Creator. We do not need social justice and a machine-like solution to life’s problems. We become in control of our fate and our own lives.

Avoid Superstition

I do not like “intelligent design” because it is Medieval ignorance of scientific truth. Do dinosaurs really undermine the belief in a Creation? I don’t think so.

The Medieval attitude is to label everything as the work of God’s invisible hand, and just mark it down as “God did it.” This is self-defeating to our progress. When we see tragedies and calamities in the world, if God’s hand is behind everything, doesn’t that mean God made children suffer and the innocent die? If everything happens because of God, does that mean suffering is the work of the Creator?

We therefore need to reject the notion that God makes everything happen. Superstition is the attempt to piece together a model of faith from the faulty logic and physical phenomena. For example, a superstitious person might look at a comet in the sky and conclude that it is some kind of celestial spaceship. But scientific exploration and logical reasoning tells us otherwise. We can’t just make guesses about the unknown based on what we see.

Aren’t secular “scientific” intellectuals often superstitious as well? Many are prone to create a faith-based model on physical phenomena. Scientists collect some data about global temperatures and hastily conclude that the earth is rapidly warming. Scientists find evidence for amino acids in primitive rocks and conclude that life began by sheer chance.

Until we scientifically explore every inch of the universe and determine how the universe came about, we can not determine what created it based on what we see. Scientists are still making assumptions like primitive cavemen. We can see the great complexities of life and reason that the chances of such organization happening on their own are extremely minuscule. We can use this as evidence that there is a God. But the real proof begins inductively with faith.

Spiritual Eyes

Abraham determined the reality of a Creator through reason and rational exploration. He reasoned that the prime motivating force of the universe was a person, because an intelligent person has more potential power than any natural force. He prayed for a manifestation from this being, and he was so sure of his hypothesis that he was willing to be put on a sacrificial altar to stand up for this belief.

In introducing Himself to Moses, God explained why Moses should worship Him as God: “I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands.” To prove His godliness, the Lord showed Moses the vast creations he had formed. That knowledge gave Moses the capability, when Satan soon came tempting him, to declare, “Where is thy glory that I should worship thee?”

When Satan came, Moses noticed that he could look upon him with his natural eyes. This was a physical manifestation. But he could only see God with “spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld” him otherwise. It was a knowledge of creation that did not rest only upon physical evidence, and this spiritual vision was a superior knowledge. Faith is an exploration of truth beyond physical matter, later backed up by a cause/reaction physical manifestation.

This is how Moses and Abraham gained faith in the God who created them. It transcended the physical. Aristotle taught that the purpose of physical matter is to allude to the immaterial perfect universe. The physical universe was created like a great mural, to reminds us of the heavenly universe which we can only see with spiritual eyes. Understanding of this immaterial heaven brings us faith in God who created the physical. Spiritual revelation is not some emotional tingle we get in the heart, or a phony “speaking in tongues” stunt at church. It is genuine enlightenment.

Our Role As Creators

Abraham reasoned that the prime motivating force of the universe must be a person, because people potentially have power over everything. There is seemingly no limit to our potential power as living beings with free agency if we progress far enough. Gödel reasoned whatever we conceive as the greatest power in the universe, this is God.

A man who believes in no greater power than himself is foolish and lost. On the other hand, a man who does not believe that the greatest power in the universe is a person like them does not value the free agency of his life. Our ability to act on things is ultimate. Rocks and water do not make decisions to act on other things. Plants and animals act on things to some extent, but there is only one force in the universe with willpower and inventive abilities to act on things on a large scale, and that is us.

We create, therefore God is a person who creates.

The character of God gives us structure and direction in life. We understand godly character when we build houses, explore planets, and develop positive relationships. Our creations imitate the creative acts of our god. Someone who believes in a selfish, wrathful God will sacrifice people to volcanoes. Someone who believes in a good God will seek for that which is good. Someone who believes the universe happened by chance, however, will reject his role as a purposeful creator, and he will turn to hedonism and short-sighted pleasures.

As much as secularists and atheists hate to admit it, any good morality we possess is the result of a belief in some kind of greater creator. Maybe that greater creator was just their parents, who taught them good principles. Maybe that greater creator was a wise philosopher. But if you really consider the existence of good the universe is, you will aspire for greater inspiration to emulate it. Your behavior will mimic the increasing organization and complexity of the universe itself, a vast space of unfathomable glory.

How Creation Happened

So, belief in a greater creator helps us improve, like apprentices. But in order to be apprentices, we can’t say everything is destiny determined by God and refuse to create something ourselves. So, if God does not make everything happen, how much is God responsible for?

This is a question that has split religious people from the beginning. Deists think of God as someone who created everything and then ran away to a far corner of the universe to let it sort itself out. Fundamentalists, on the other hand, see God everywhere they go. God made the water flow out of the kitchen sink faucet. God made someone cut me off on the road today.

Genesis creation – Two writings influence today’s belief in a divine creator: Genesis 1 and the Council of Nicea. Genesis 1 makes sense. First came light, then came division, then came diversity, and so forth. It is a design method, and it generally follows what we know about evolution. If God were a computer programmer, He would have set up the parameters and rules of the universe in such a fashion. A computer programmer does not get directly involved in every little thing that happens in the program, but sets it up so that he is always in control. Evolution and natural laws are simply programming of the physical universe. This gives us a method to follow in our own role as creators.

Nicean Creed – But then came the Council of Nicea, which makes no sense. The Nicean Creed tells us that things were created out of nothing, not formed. Creatio ex nihilo. What is the point of such a belief? I don’t see any.

The Nicean Creed teaches that Jesus created everything, spiritual and physical, and he created everything out of nothing. He is eternal creator and we are the created. The way I seee it, creatio ex nihilo defeats the purpose of believing in a creator. Our behavior is unavoidably imperfect. Why would God set a standard of perfection for spirits, and then conjure up and place us in an imperfect physical universe in which we could not reach the level of creator? Is that not a huge double standard?

Separate Creator Of Spirit – The answer is that the creator of spirit and the creator of the physical are two different people. We were formerly created as spiritual beings, pure beings. But then we were placed, through the Garden of Eden, into this physical universe. We are still held to the spiritual heaven’s standards.

Mainstream Christians get upset when I propose this explanation, because they say the bible calls Jesus the creator of spirits as well as the creator of the temporal universe. Well, does it? Colossians 1:15 declares that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” This makes it clear that Jesus was the first thing made by the creator of spiritual perfection, or God the Father.

But then it goes on: “For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible… all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Replace the word “created” with the word “formed.” The verb ktidzo refers to a construction, not a conjuring out of nothing. So Jesus formed everything in heaven and on earth. “Invisible” refers to “things which are not seen… eternal,” per 2 Corinthians 4:18. So Jesus formed spiritual, unseen, matter into a temporal universe which we experience today, and an eternal future existence.

Does this mean spiritual things did not exist before Jesus formed them in the physical universe? No. Isaiah 43:10-11 declares: “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” Notice that it uses the word “formed” and not “created.” This is how Genesis 1 ought to be translated as well. Here Jehovah plainly states that he was himself “formed,” for the purpose of being a Savior. All things were then formed by him from a chaotic, spiritual substance.

In order to take on this role of creator, Jesus had to attain the image and character of God the Father of spirits. In him “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col 2:10) As the creator of the universe, Jesus is master of all power and glory, and is in control of our salvation. The Creator of the physical universe must necessarily be perfect in every way and possess the full glory of the Godhead. I do not dispute that. But because he is not the original creator of spirit, he can play by different rules than the original creator of pure spirit.

Intercession – God the Father sets a standard of absolute perfection. He cannot deviate from it. The immaterial heaven that Aristotle spoke of cannot deviate its form to become closer to the physical. This is the justice of God.

It helps me to think of it like a courtroom, like how the ancient Egyptians conceived of divine justice as a law court. God the Father wrote the spiritual laws, and that makes Him the judge in the courtroom. Because we do not meet or understand these laws, we need a lawyer to understand the laws and to intercede on our behalf.

How can the lawyer and judge be the same person? How is that possible? It is impossible for the judge to be impartial if he is the intercessor. Jesus therefore is not the father of spirits. He is our lawyer. God, the creator of the physical universe, sets up a program for development to meet this standard. The physical universe becomes a testing ground for us to gradually reach the perfect spiritual form. This intercession is the point of the physical universe, as our physical behavior gains spiritual significance. Creation of the universe thus inspires our spiritual growth.

Because Jesus created the temporal universe, he can bring about a universal physical salvation. We all become resurrected. But because God the Father, not Jesus, created and set the standard of spiritual perfection, there is no universal salvation. We only excel to the degree that our intercession from Jesus allows us. Does this sound unfair? Well, if you want to believe in universal salvation, then I suggest you look in social justice. Social justice is man’s effort to strive for a universal spiritual salvation.

There are three ways to deal with the reality of death and imperfection. You could throw your hands up in the air, declare yourself thoughtlessly saved by Jesus, or in some other way ignore the problem. You could turn to social justice and trust in a social compact and forced behavior to bring about utopia, a collective salvation. Or you could truly turn to the creator of the universe to make a redemption for the distance between you and your rightful role of Creator. Take your pick

Need For Mythology

We could never piece together the spiritual perfect form starting with the physical world. The purpose of physicality is not to lead us to unseen truth, because there would be no development of faith that way. Physical evidence can allude to spiritual things if we start with a spiritual model and then test it in physical ways. In order to truly be Creators, we need to act on our own without the compulsion of proof.

We once used mythology to allude to higher truth. Obviously there were never any sky-gods who threw lightning bolts down to the earth, and the earth does not float on the back of a huge turtle as ancient Islanders believed. Maybe these tales were superstition. Maybe. But I think myths were not meant to be strictly believed as science. They were meant to allude to the spiritual realm.

Mythology is preserves history as a human memory in a very human way. People do not remember events as a recorded video. People remember events based on their impressions and how they relate to current circumstances. Mythology follows the human method of remembering.

To the Babylonians, Noah’s ark was a round boat similar to their own basket-shaped ships on the Euphrates river. To the Hebrews, Noah’s ark was a rectangular ship with the same proportions as their temple. What Noah’s ship looked like is not really important. What is important is how the allusion to higher truth relates to current circumstances.

It is unfortunate that we despise mythology today. Is it the same as being superstitious? No! It is not. Superstition makes a hasty conclusion based on insufficient physical evidence, with no spiritual hypothesis from the beginning. Successful mythology does not do this. We do not believe Santa Claus is a real man in the North Pole, but we do allude to higher important truths about humanity and our moral roles because of this myth. Psychologists could tell us that loving interaction is positive for childhood development. Biologists could tell us that species succeed when individuals behave selflessly toward each other. But machine-like science could never inspire us the way Santa Claus inspires us. Mythology can help us on the path to pursue spirituality.

Science is only beginning to understand the extent of what we don’t know. Quantum physics and dark matter achieve things that we haven’t even dreamed of. There are rules and laws of physicality that we have not discovered yet. Can science help our role as creators? Of course! The physical universe is meant to be explored and understood. Every truth you learn in a science class brings you closer to understanding God. The apprentice becomes a master by understanding his master’s art. But it is all a waste if we don’t consider the role of a grand Creator. The belief in a Creator is the aspiring belief in ourselves, that we are not subject to chance or fate, but that our ability to act as our own agents is supreme and that redemption from our limitations is possible.

Why Women Should Not Be Ordained To The Priesthood

Our Mormon belief that priesthood comes from God and not from man is a break-through doctrine which places the Mormon church at the top. We don’t get to decide who speaks for God. We don’t decide who God chooses. It is always frustrating when evangelical Christians “feel” the priesthood in their heart or receive the priesthood from a college professor. The movement to ordain women is frustrating for the same reason: because it totally denies the rich understanding we fought so hard to restore.

People have always sought to break the natural order of things. It could be as silly as men who demand the right to enter women’s restrooms. It could be as sickening as parents who convince their young children that they should change genders. The fringe Left’s crusade to ordain women to the priesthood is a similar kind of abomination.

They claim they want “equality,” but really it is about supremacy. They seek to upset the balance and receive all authority. When they get angry and the countenance of “Ordain Women” finally drops, we see desire for worldly glory, like apostates of ancient times.

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Biblical Basis For Priesthood Order

1 Timothy 2 commands women to learn in silence and subjection. What exactly does that mean? Feminist Steve Allred says:

“The Greek text says en hesuchia indicating, through the use of the preposition en (“in”), that silence refers to the condition under which the learning experience takes place and not to the permanent condition of women in church or in society.”

Does that make sense to you? If someone says, “I drink in moderation,” does that mean they only watch what they drink sometimes? How does “in” turn an adjective into a temporary condition? Since when does the word “in” do that? If someone says “sit in silence,” you don’t take that to mean “only sit silently for now.” Actually, “sit silently” means a temporary condition. “Sit in silence” is a permanent condition.

So the complete opposite of what he says is true. “In silence” and “in subjection” means a permanent condition. The bible uses the word hesuchia, which translates to a “silent lifestyle.” In 2 Thes 3:12, hesuchia translates to “a quiet, tranquil life.” The Greek lexicon defines the word primarily as: “Descriptive of the life of one who stays at home doing his own work.”

Oh, but what about cases in the bible when women taught others, asks Steve Allred?

“Is this a universal command for all women everywhere and for all time? If it is, then we must discount the other stories and commands in Scripture, mentioned earlier, where women were teaching (e.g., Acts 18:26).”

“To teach” does not always refer to a leadership position in the priesthood. Mormons understand this. Acts 18 tells of a Christian couple who taught an investigator about the gospel. There is nothing in that story that hints at a woman usurping a man’s priesthood authority.

But in 1 Timothy 2, “teaching” refers to a priesthood office, because he is talking about the roles and responsibilities of priesthood leaders. The word for “teacher” was the same as the Hebrew “Rabbi”, which was a priesthood position (see Num. 8), which only men were allowed to hold. The Book of Mormon uses the word “teacher”in the same context. I don’t know how Paul could have been any clearer: A woman is not to usurp a man’s authoritative position in the church.

This is not a ban on women teaching at any time. Paul is just making it explicitly clear that women should not undermine men’s priesthood positions in the church.

Steve Allred cites Titus 2:3, where Paul says old women should teach good things. But Allred leaves out the next verse, which points out that it is young women whom the older women are to teach. So rather than support the Ordain Women doctrine, this scripture actually supports the idea that priesthood authority in the church rests with men. Men teach men and women; and women teach young women. Same as today.

He then argues that the usage of the word for “authority,” authenteo, really means “to try to domineer the teacher.” Paul is saying women should not “assert authority in an arrogant way, or to flaunt ones authority,” he claims.

But that is false. Authenteo means to act with your own authority, to be absolute master, or to govern. When women teach over men in the church they are acting by their own authority, not by God’s. Paul does not say that women are authorized to maintain a teaching role, but that they should be subordinate and “silent” to priesthood leaders.

Steve Allred says, “Ordination by human hands is simply a recognition of whatever gift that God chooses to bestow.” The Ordain Women movement likewise frames godly authority as something that all people have a right to equally, but that just isn’t true. Priesthood isn’t a warm cozy feeling you feel in your heart because you studied the bible and you think that makes you a smart person. How do the rest of us know that you have the gift of godly authority, Steve?

This wildly false doctrine is where Ordain Women takes us. Ordain Women supporters say priesthood should be distributed based on the ability to give “helpful advice about life.” That’s how you know if someone is called of God? If they have helpful advice about life!? Suddenly Dr. Phil is a prophet now.

This is very dangerous apostasy because it turns the priesthood into a human institution, governed by anyone who thinks they are smart enough. Actually, what it ends up doing is making the priesthood exclusionary. The true order of the priesthood involves everyone. Women have a role. Men have a role. If you keep righteous standards, you can be part of it. Old people have a role. Young people have a role. It is well organized. You get called to offices, you don’t petition for them. Everyone gets a calling.

I must learn in silence and subjection.

The apostates throws this superior system away and turns it into a business model, where you go to college, get a degree, apply to the church, and get appointed by a panel of businessmen. A few elite individuals handle everything. They collect the money and dish out redemption.

Ezekiel called this mode of leadership “whoredom.” The Book of Mormon calls it “priestcraft.”

Adam and Eve

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2)

Mormons understand that it was a good thing Eve ate the fruit and transgressed, because it made it so that we can develop the faith we need for exaltation. Yes, it was good, but it was still a transgression.

I haven’t seen any prophet really explain why Adam and Eve’s different behaviors in the Garden of Eden lead to the gendered priesthood structure. But Paul says that it definitely did. And really after all, can’t we see our natural roles as men and women in Adam and Eve’s behavior? Eve disobeyed because she figured it would achieve her goal, which was the command to reproduce and multiply. Therefore, she needed childbearing. Adam stuck by the immediate command not eat the fruit until he absolutely had to. This meant he needed priesthood leadership.

“Latter-Day Saints surely recognize that qualifying for exaltation is not a matter of asserting rights, but a matter of fulfilling responsibilities.”

It is not a matter of what Adam and Eve deserved or were capable of, but what they needed for salvation. Eve was blessed with childbearing. This is actually very important. Sure, feminists dismiss the ability to create life as a burden, but what is more important than creating life? If priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name, what could be more godly than creating life?

D&C 132 tells us the woman “holds the keys of this power,” which is “that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued.” It is women who give birth, who teach children and thus decide what the human race will be. If women had childbearing and leadership everywhere else, what would be left for men to do? Men must be relevant or things won’t work.

Men and women are very different and naturally suited toward different roles as they work as a team toward success. Personally, I couldn’t imagine giving birth, taking care of the kids, running a company, and leading the local lay clergy of the Mormon church. Who can handle all that? There is a natural way to distribute the work load.

Apostates contrast childbirth as an alternative to holding the priesthood, but actually isn’t it part of the priesthood? In the temple, both women and men take on the priesthood and learn what it means for them. D&C 132 plainly calls child-birthing a “key” of godly power.

This is much more than just creating life. It includes the raising of foster children, and helping out with nieces, nephews, friends’ kids, and children in the ward. A righteous woman, even if she can’t have children of her own, helps immensely by providing righteous direction to other children. I believe this “key” is a female trait that can beneficially affect all children.

Beyond childrearing, I believe there are many other aspects of the priesthood in women. Do not be tricked into thinking of the priesthood as a corporate-structure of positions and elevations. Elder Oaks explained:

“We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their church callings, but whatever authority can it be? When a woman, young or old is set apart to preach the gospel as a full time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function.”

So, yes, women hold the priesthood in many ways. Godly functions are performed with priesthood authority.

“Our church doctrine places women equal to, and yet different from men. God, our master does not regard either gender as better or more important than the other. When men and women go to the temple, they are both endowed with the same power which is priesthood power. Access to the power and blessings of the priesthood is available to all of God’s children.”

Female Supremacy

In fact 93% of active Mormon women think only men should hold the priesthood. The number of men who think women should receive it is larger. But women don’t want to hold it! They understand the distribution of roles! It is white knight Leftist men pushing female priesthood leadership.

The media describes priesthood leaders as if they were bosses of a corporation. But are priesthood leaders actually leaders as the media describe them? No, priesthood leaders follow promptings. They basically do as they are told, like Adam did. It is not like a business hierarchy, but more like a military regiment.

Beliefnet claims the female clergy of any other church would “in an LDS context means giving women the priesthood.” False. Our concept of priesthood is totally different.

The LDS priesthood is not a hierarchy. It is not a clergy. The primary teacher is not any higher or more important than the President. Access to the priesthood is not restricted to those who hold keys and offices. You don’t go to a religious college and receive a degree that says you are God’s servant. Women go up to the pulpit and gives sermons just like men. It is a service role.

The church isn’t a dictatorship. All members vote on service roles that affects them, all the way to President of the Church. They can deny a priesthood appointment and their vote will be carefully considered. This is unique to the LDS church, and it is essential to prevent abuse of the priesthood.

Feminists use a fake definition of the priesthood because fake priesthood is exactly what they want. They want the oppressive priest who sells salvation for a price. If they can install a hierarchical definition of priesthood in the name of “equality,” they can then take control of that hierarchy and usurp the church.

Take a careful look at the feminists who are agitating for more leadership roles, look at how often they say “I” or “me” instead of “us,” look at how often they talk about what they deserve instead of what they are responsible for. They dream of standing in front of the pulpit, moving the adoring masses with speeches about being kind to the unfortunate, and saving the despairing wanderer, like superheroes, receiving awards for their greatness.

Well, the priesthood doesn’t work that way. Humility is a qualification, not desire for praise. If Ordain Women feminists want to help so bad, why don’t they volunteer at homeless shelters or fight the oppression of women in the Middle East?

It comes back to the Marxist obsession with class warfare. If one class has a benefit over another class, any kind of perceived inequality, it is always due to class oppression. Men are oppressing women in the church; there is no other explanation! Marxists seek to even out all classes as totally equal, and much like the “Kingsmen” in the Book of Mormon, they want a handful of elitists to be in charge and enforce the rules.

Ordain Women is classic Marxist agitation. It is classic priestcraft.

Did the patriarchs in the Old Testament distribute leadership and responsibilities to all the members of their families equally? No, they instituted a patriarchy. Why should the church be different today? Oh well, they were nomads in the desert, and today we have organized societies and advanced technology that makes the brute strength and warfare capabilities of masculinity unnecessary. This is what a Communications teacher at BYU-I will tell you, a follower of Marxism. But the truth is we are every bit as lost today without both masculine and feminine qualities in their proper roles. They are divine qualities. We need strong men to fight the spiritual war that is going on.

Feminists make a lot of noise and bully young women into joining their cause, but the truth is women crave a man who distinguishes his masculinity, asserts his morality, and embraces his leadership role in the priesthood. He will never stop being necessary for the woman’s ultimate goal, which is the creation and rearing of children. Any woman with an ounce of femininity, who hasn’t been completely “equalized” by Marxist doctrine, understands that men are needed for all they do, just as men understand why women are necessary for all they do.

So reclaim your identity! Ignore Marxist infiltrators, the envious women, the white knight males who try to tell us what to do. Don’t allow them to create competition between the sexes! Do not allow domineering priesthood leaders and exclusion in the workload. Ultimately it is about having faith in God’s restored church and knowing that He leads and directs it with His wisdom.

Did Joseph Smith Marry A 14 Year-Old Girl?

Helen Mar Kimball says she was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1843, when she was almost 15 years old. She was married “for eternity alone,” for the after-life only. There were no sexual relations. Historians agree, dynastic relations between families was the motivating factor for the sealing.

Not Civil Marriage

Early Mormons carefully distinguished between marriage “for time” and celestial sealing “for eternity.” A sealing for eternity was the promise that two people would be married in the afterlife. But this did not mean they had to be married for earth-life.

With most of his polygamous “wives”–perhaps all of them–Joseph Smith had no earthly relations with these women and were effectively not “married” to them.

Helen described her marriage as “celestial marriage” and “for eternity alone.” (Helen Mar Whitney, Autobiography, p. 2) Anti-Mormons incorrectly equate the eternal sealings with “marriage” to imply sexual relationships, but the truth is Helen continued to live with her parents after the sealing. Joseph Smith was arrested just days later on June 13, 1843 and was martyred in jail the next year. Clearly, they did not have physical relations.

Helen described suffering due to her “married life,” but this all happened while Joseph was either in jail or after he was dead. She suffered not because of Joseph Smith, but because of the pressure from her peers and the cultural restrictions placed on married women. Helen said she resented being kept from dances and other events meant for girls her age. She said her “youthful friends” became “shy and cold.” She said “poisonous darts from slanderous tongues were hurled” from jealous women. Helen resented being treated like a wife, when she actually had no husband around to speak of.

But despite her angst, Helen described her summer of 1843 as “of an exciting nature.” She learned to “bear the stigmas” of it all and enjoy the rest of her early life. She said “all their cruelties and whippings could not crush out nor subdue that spirit, nor make a ‘Mormon’ feel that he was conquered.” (Helen Mar Whitney, Life Incidents)

In 1892, Joseph Smith’s polygamous “wives” were called to testify in the court of law about their relationship with Joseph Smith, after a splinter sect sued another splinter sect to claim the Missouri temple site for themselves. They wanted to prove that Joseph Smith was polygamous. But they did not call Helen Mar Kimball as a witness in this “Temple Lot Case.” The attorney sought for only wives who they thought had sexual relations with Joseph Smith. Everybody knew Helen had not.

No Compulsion

Helen said the purpose of the marriage was for her family “to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph.” A leading historian explains: “The prophet’s marriage to her seems to have been largely dynastic–a union arranged by Joseph and Heber to seal the Kimball family to a seer, church president, and presiding patriarchal figure of the dispensation of the fullness of times.” (Compton, 1997, p.486) Indeed, Helen’s father, Heber C. Kimball, went on to become the first counselor to the president of the church.

Joseph gave Helen twenty-four hours to herself to consider the request, without compulsion. She was not forced or pressured into it. There is a phony quote attributed to Helen Kimball floating around:

“I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than a ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.”

Helen did not say this. This quote comes from anti-Mormon Catherine Lewis in 1848. Catherine Lewis apparently did have some insight into Helen’s sealing, as Helen herself wrote that Joseph Smith had told her the principle of eternal sealings would “ensure your eternal salvation and that of your father’s household.” He didn’t say Helen’s sealing would save his father’s family, but the principle of sealings would save them. Also, Helen said Joseph Smith had fully explained what celestial union meant, that it was much more than just a ceremony. So she certainly knew it was “more than a ceremony.” Finally, Helen left Nauvoo in 1845, which means she was 16 years old at the most when Catherine would have heard this. Would she really have called herself a young and naïve person just a year and a half earlier?

Catherine Lewis was a hateful vindictive apostate, and her book made all kinds of spurious false claims. She played to the racist sentiment of pro-slavery opponents of the church, spreading racist rumors that Indians were “all ready to go through, avenge, and destroy the people of Carthage; they only waited for the word of command from the Church.”

We know Helen must have told her peers about the sealing, otherwise she wouldn’t have gotten blow-back from it. If she knew Helen at all, Catherine was certainly one of the spiteful girls who bullied Helen and made her early life difficult.

Helen Defended Polygamy

Helen wrote that polygamous marriage turned out to be a great blessing for her:

“I did not try to conceal the fact of its having been a trial, but confessed that it had been one of the severest of my life; but that it had also proven one of the greatest of blessings. I could truly say it had done the most towards making me a Saint and a free woman, in every sense of the word; and I knew many others who could say the same, and to whom it had proven one of the greatest boons–a “blessing in disguise.” (Helen Mar Kimball, Why We Practice Plural Marriage)

Helen Kimball became one of the nation’s staunchest defenders of polygamy.

“I have encouraged and sustained my husband in the celestial order of marriage because I knew it was right. At various times I have been healed by the washing and annointing, administered by the mothers in Israel. I am still spared to testify to the truth and Godliness of this work; and though my happiness once consisted in laboring for those I love, the Lord has seen fit to deprive me of bodily strength, and taught me to ‘cast my bread upon the waters’ and after many days my longing spirit was cheered with the knowledge that He had a work for me to do, and with Him, I know that all things are possible.” (quoted in Augusta Joyce Crocheron, Representative Women of Deseret)

Why This Anti-Mormon Narrative Is So Powerful

Like Catherine Lewis, anti-Mormons exploit the issue of polygamy to shame and bully women in the Mormon church, and then turn around and attack the church in the name of “defending women’s rights.” Polls show Mormon women today oppose polygamy more than non-Mormon women do, because of the shame and bullying in American popular culture against them as women. How dare you be part of such a misogynist, patriarchal organization?

As for men in the church, the worst thing a man could be accused of is sexual perversion. Anti-Mormons use Helen Kimball to attack the church in order to embarrass and exploit sexual shame. Who wants to be associated with that kind of man? To make matters worse, there are splinter sects today that really do sexually exploit girls, which makes it easier for anti-Mormons to make this kind of association.

It is not coincidence that church defends traditional marriage and condemns sexual perversions such as homosexual behavior. If anti-Mormons can make Mormons look sexually perverted it ruins their credibility in matters of family and marriage. The LDS church is a stalwart supporter of masculinity and positive patriarchy. Feminists frequently use this issue to attack marriage, patriarchy, and men in the church. If someone uses this attack, you can bet his motivation is to shame men, pervert the family unit, and destroy patriarchy.

Any half-reasonable person would not judge centuries-old events through a modern lens. This was the early 1800’s. Women married much younger in those days. Fourteen-years old wasn’t normal, but it wasn’t unusual either. Marriageability was a matter of a woman’s physical and mental readiness. Most historians agree Mother Mary was only 15 years old when Jesus was born. Girls were marrying at that age all the time, and marriages were often motivated by dynastic relations and other such reasons. A ceremony for a relationship that didn’t take effect until the afterlife is hardly something to worry about for the early 1800’s.

These days are different. Polygamy doesn’t work today, and women should not marry young because their emotional and mental maturity is not yet developed. This is why the Mormon church long ago banned polygamy and no longer offers sealings for “eternity only,” with no civil marriage involved.

Were There Multiple Changing Accounts Of Joseph Smith’s First Vision?

The First Vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1820 commenced the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith prayed about which church to join, and God told him to join none. God called Joseph Smith to be prophet and restore God’s true church.

Opponents say Joseph Smith gave multiple contradictory accounts of his first vision of God the Father and Jesus. Why are there discrepancies of such an important event? But these opponents are distorting the facts. There there are no real discrepancies, but there is a persistent attempt by anti-Mormons to unfairly smear Joseph Smith.

Each time someone talks about a childhood event, we should expect a them to include different details.

Actually A Dream?

Opponents say it is unclear whether the First Vision was a “real, physical event.” Or “was this a vision in the same sense that Lehi saw a vision of the tree of life, in a dream?” Orson Pratt said:

“When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system; and, immediately, his mind was caught away from the natural objects with which he was surrounded; and he was enwrapped in a heavenly vision”

But Orson Pratt made it perfectly clear that he was talking about Joseph Smith’s state of mind. He was not talking about the physical manner of his vision, which you can tell when you like that the entire context of that quote:

“…he continued to seek for deliverance until darkness gave way from his mind, and he was enabled to pray in fervency of the spirit and in faith… He was also informed upon the subjects which had for some time previously agitated his mind… his mind was drawn out in fervent prayer… This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occassioned a shock or sensation that extended to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind…”

Joseph Smith said his vision was not a dream or out of body experience. It was a real physical event:

“I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”

Contradictory Accounts?

“When he first penned the account, Joseph only mentioned one person visiting him, which is no small detail to be mistaken about,” claim opponents.

Joseph Smith said in his 1832 account that “The Lord” spoke to him. Yes, but he never said “only” the Lord spoke to him. He simply didn’t mention that the Lord was introduced by God the Father. So what? There is no mistake here.

When a person includes extra details of an event in later accounts, that means they are creating “false memories about those events,” says anti-Mormon group MormonThink.

“We consistently spin the stories of our lives rather than recall events correctly. And the confabulations always are designed to make ourselves look better. These are established facts.” So if Joseph Smith included more detail in later descriptions of the First Vision, doesn’t that mean he could have been grossly exaggerating? Did Joseph Smith add details of the event over time to make it sound better?

This is really begging the question. Anybody who repeatedly recalls an event earlier in their life is going to talk about different details than before. Over time, Joseph Smith included some details and excluded some details. Joseph Smith wasn’t exactly making himself look good in his later accounts, with his descriptions of youthful weakness and being overcome by the power of Satan. And there were details in his earlier accounts that he didn’t talk about later on, such as multiple angels.

Only One Account From Joseph Smith’s Hand

They claim that there are “nine different accounts given by Joseph Smith relating the First Vision with varying degrees of changes and circumstances.”

Actually, the 1832 account from Joseph Smith’s Letterbook is the only account we have written by Joseph Smith. He didn’t write much during his life. The other accounts were written down by others. Some were recorded with closer supervision by Joseph Smith than others.

The opponents make it seem like Joseph Smith gave plenty of accounts later in his life and that few other people wrote about it. But actually the opposite is true! There are many accounts written by others but only this one account written by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith closely oversaw the 1842 account from the Times and Seasons, as it went on to become part of the official History of the Church.

“Joseph Smith described a different first vision story when he oversaw the first church history published in 1835,” claims MormonThink. Not true. In fact, the hadn’t published the church history yet in 1835! It was published years later. The 1835 account, written by Warren Parrish, and based on Joseph Smith’s discussion with Robert Matthews, had nothing to do with the church history volume. And it shows no differences with the other accounts. Comparison charts incorrectly claim that this account describes only one personage appearing. Actually it clearly describes two personages: “…a personage appeard… another personage soon appeard…”

No discrepancies there. The anti-Mormons are lying about the First Vision account.

Only One Discrepancy

The Letterbook account was written by Joseph Smith, but others added things later. Frederick G. Williams added later on: “in the 16th year of my age,” (aka 15 years old). This is important because all the other accounts say he was 14 years old. Why this discrepancy?

FairMormon says it is a matter of Joseph Smith’s poor school education:

Joseph wrote, “we were deprived of the bennifit of an education suffice it to say I was mearly instructid in reading and writing and the ground rules of Arithmatic which constuted my whole literary acquirements.”

Although the portion of Joseph’s 1832 history is in his own handwriting, the text insertion of “in the 16th year of my age” was in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams, Joseph’s scribe. It is likely that Joseph’s dating schemes were slightly off when he dictated his age to Williams, many years after-the-fact….

Once the date of the First Vision was correctly established it remained steady throughout all subsequent recitals as the “15th year” or “age 14.”

All other accounts say Joseph Smith was 14 years old.

Smith said that there were many things in the vision that he didn’t write about. “…many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.” (JSH 1:20) Smith told about parts of the vision according to whatever he was talking about in the context of that particular account, and these accounts were many years apart.

So there were details left out or included in different accounts, but not any major discrepancies. The only thing is the question of his age, and that appears to be Fredrick G. Williams just marking it in later incorrectly.

When Did Joseph Smith Learn All Churches Were Wrong?

In the 1832 account, Joseph Smith says he “already knew all other churches were false before he prayed,” points out Mormon Think.

“…by searching the scriptures I found that mankind did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatized from the true and living faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ…”

They are taking these snippets out of context, effectively misquoting this passage. Here is the entire quote. It is clear that Joseph Smith was worried about his own personal sins and apostasy, and was frustrated that he couldn’t find a correct church. He was talking about personal apostasy, not organized churches:

“…my mind become excedingly distressed for I become convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that mand did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins…”

Joseph Smith never said that he concluded that every church on earth was wrong. Just that he could not find a church that built on the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no contradiction in the 1842 account of the First Vision when it says Joseph Smith didn’t know yet that “all the sects” on earth were wrong.

“”I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join.”

 

 

Why Wasn’t It Published Quickly?

 

First Vision Was Among First Writings

Mormon Think complains that the “first written version of the account by Joseph was not given until 12 years after it supposedly took place.” Why wasn’t such an important event written about for over a decade?

The church and Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon in 1830. As Mormon Think points out, “The first regular periodical to be published by the Church was The Evening and Morning Star” (Dialogue, James Allen). That was started in 1832, the same year as Smith’s first writing about his First Vision.

So the First Vision is actually one of the first writings produced by Joseph Smith and the church.

Joseph Smith did not write much because of his poor education, as he mentioned. He didn’t write about anything much at all. Mormon Think says, “As far as Mormon literature is concerned, there was apparently no reference to Joseph Smith’s First Vision in any published material in the 1830’s.” That’s because there was little Mormon literature published at that time. Printing was tough to do in those days. The Book of Commandments was printed in a small number in 1833, until anti-Mormons destroyed the printing press. It wasn’t until years later that much could be printed at all.

Included In Church History

Mormon Think claims the First Vision “was left out of the first publication of the Church’s history written by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.” Completely false. The First Vision was included in the Church History publication under BH Roberts in 1902, from the Wentworth Letter account.

Previously, only small excerpts were published in the Times and Seasons, as it was a very massive library of literature and was still being prepared. The First Vision account that appeared in the Church History was published in this newspaper in March 1842 and April 182. Another account was printed in this newspaper on March 1, 1842.

Not Included In Book of Commandments?

Mormon Think also complains that the First Vision was “also left out of the Book of Commandments,” which was the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. Of course it was! The Book of Commandments was a book of commandments, not of Joseph Smith’s diary accounts of his experiences. Only direct accounts of revelation from God, with God giving commandments in first person language was included in this book. The First Vision record did not fit that qualification. This is why the First Vision does not appear in D&C today, but in the Pearl of Great Price, which was included in scripture in 1880.

Mormon Think claims “no reference was made to Joseph’s first vision in Book of Commandments.” False. References to the First Vision were indeed in the Book of Commandments. In D&C 20:5, God reminded Joseph Smith that the Lord told him in the First Vision that his sins were forgiven him. This section of D&C was delivered in 1829, only 9 years after the First Vision event took place.

Mormon Think claims “the general church membership did not receive information about the First Vision until the 1840’s.” But that can’t be true. Joseph Smith talked about it all the time. Why do you think there are so many second-hand accounts about it? Wikipedia is lying when it says Joseph Smith was “reluctant to talk about his vision.” He just didn’t publish it until 1842.

Threat Of Violence

“Most assume that the most important news about God and Christ would be written and published immediately to the world.” says Mormon Think.

That’s pretty stupid to assume. Joseph Smith was violently attacked by anti-Mormon persecutors because he taught a different Christian doctrine. They destroyed the church’s printing press for printing different religious ideas. They murdered and raped Mormons and stole their property. The U.S. government issued a genocidal extermination order of Mormons, ordering them wiped off the face of the earth.

How would the murderous anti-Mormons have reacted if the church started spreading literature of God the Father and Jesus Christ (two different personages) telling everyone that all their churches were corrupt and evil? It would have made the persecution worse. It is a good thing Joseph Smith made better assumptions than Mormon Think. His decision saved lives. Joseph Smith explained:

In the meantime we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of having received the Priesthood and our having been baptized, owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood.We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to time, and this, too, by professors of religion.”

Besides, why would Joseph Smith delay publishing his account of the vision? Wouldn’t he be better off spreading it right away and attracting followers?

Well, why didn’t Jesus immediately publish an account of His life? It wasn’t till many decades later that the first accounts of Jesus’ life were written and spread around. And the four accounts of Jesus had many major discrepancies, didn’t they? An examination and comparison of the four gospels in the New Testament would surely prove more discrepancies than between the nine accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision.

 

Did Later Mormon Leaders Give Contradictory Accounts?

Later statements by LDS prophets and apostles contradict Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision, claims Mormon Think. Why isn’t there a consistent narrative about this foundational event?

Well first of all, these statements were all given many years after the first vision was published. So why would they contradict a well known and well established account? Anti-Mormons have a talent for taking quotes out of context and twisting them to fit an anti-Mormon frame. Let’s take a look at each statement:

Did Orson Hyde

“Some one may say, “If this work of the last days be true, why did not the Saviour come himself to communicate this intelligence to the world?” Because to the angels was committed the power of reaping the earth, and it was committed to none else. And after the mighty champions that hold the keys of this dispensation came and brought the intelligence that the time of harvest was now—that the time of the end was drawing nigh,—when this proclamation was made, and the announcement saluted the ears of the children of men, what was to be done next? Behold, the gathering of the Saints begins.” (1854)

 

This is not even about the first vision. Orson Hyde was talking about the “grand harvest” of missionary work in D&C chapter 110, not about the restoration of the gospel in general. That is why he speaks of angels and not the Savior himself making the proclamation.

Brigham Young

“The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowledge of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.”” (1855)

Brigham Young was comparing the restoration through Joseph Smith with the Jews’ expectation of a militant Messiah in Jesus’ time. The point he was making was that the restoration of the gospel did not come with armies of angels destroying the earth, but through the restoration of priesthood keys. He was talking about the vision of angels through which priesthood keys were delivered:

“It is because the keys of the dispensation were committed by messengers sent from the Celestial world unto Joseph Smith, and are now held on the earth by his people.” He wasn’t even talking about the First Vision!

Mormon Think says: “It is certain Young is speaking of the First Vision for he says the angel told Smith to join no church for they were all wrong. This is the very question the official version of the story states Smith asked of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove.”

Anti-Mormons have a difficult time reading plain English. He didn’t say the angel told Joseph Smith not to join any church. Look again at what Brigham Young said: “But [God] did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects…” God sent his angel and informed him not to join any of the religions. Get it now?

Wilford Woodruff

“That same organization and Gospel that Christ died for, and the Apostles spilled their blood to vindicate, is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy angel from God,… The angel taught Joseph Smith those principles which are necessary for the salvation of the world;… He told him the Gospel was not among men, and that there was not a true organization of His kingdom in the world,… This man to whom the angel appeared obeyed the Gospel;…” (1855)

Mormon Think is misquoting this. They took out the part that made it clear that the First Vision was of the Lord:

“The gospel has gone forth in our day in its true glory, power, order, and light, as it always did when God had a people among men that He acknowledged. That same organization and gospel that Christ died for, and the Apostles spilled their blood to vindicate, is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy ANGEL from God, out of heaven, who held converse with man, and revealed unto him the darkness that enveloped the world, and unfolded unto him the gross darkness that surrounded the nations, those scenes that should take place in this generation, and would follow each other in quick succession, even unto the coming of the Messiah. The ANGEL taught Joseph Smith those principles which are necessary for the salvation of the world; and THE LORD gave him commandments, and sealed upon him the Priesthood, and gave him power to administer the ordinances of the house of the Lord. HE told him the gospel was not among men, and that there was not a true organization of HIS kingdom in the world, that the people had turned away from HIS true order, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, and inherited lies and things wherein their was no profit. HE told him the time had come to lay the foundation for the establishment of the Kingdom of God among men for the last time, preparatory to the winding up scene” (source)

 

Heber C. Kimball

“Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; but God did not come himself and call, but he sent Peter to do it. Do you not see? He sent Peter and sent Moroni to Joseph, and told him that he had got the plates.” (1857)

This was not about the First Vision or Restoration in general. It was specifically about the gift of the tools that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. This is clear if you look at Kimball’s entire quote.

“”If God confers gifts, and blessings, and promises, and glories, and immortality, and eternal lives, and you receive them and treasure them up, then our Father and our God has joy in that man. . . . Do you not see [that] God is not pleased with any man except those that receive the gifts, and treasure them up, and practice upon those gifts? And He gives those gifts, and confers them upon you, and will have us to practice upon them. Now, these principles to me are plain and simple.

Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet? God called upon him; but God did not come Himself and call, but He sent Peter to do it. Do you not see? He sent Peter and sent Moroni to Joseph, and told him that he had got the plates. Did God come Himself? No: He sent Moroni and told him there was a record, and says he, “That record is [a] matter that pertains to the Lamanites, and it tells when their fathers came out of Jerusalem, and how they came, and all about it; and, says he, “If you will do as I tell you, I will confer a gift upon you.” Well, he conferred it upon him, because Joseph said he would do as he told him. “I want you to go to work and take the Urim and Thummim, and translate this book, and have it published, that this nation may read it.” Do you not see, by Joseph receiving the gift that was conferred upon him, you and I have that record?”

John Taylor

“How did this state of things called Mormonism originate? We read that an angel came down and revealed himself to Joseph Smith and manifested unto him in vision the true position of the world in a religious point of view.” (1863)

Same out of context tactic as with the Heber C. Kimball quote. He was talking about the restoration of the priesthood. Out of the many hundreds of First Vision accounts from later general authorities, only a handful mentioned the angels in the First Vision account, and they did so because they were talking about the series of angelic visions necessary for that to happen. Anti-Mormons take these quotes out of context.

George A. Smith

“When Joseph Smith was about fourteen or fifteen years old,…he went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer, and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels, the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared, Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong,…”

See entire quote in context here.

The reason George Smith emphasizes the angels and not God the Father and Son is because he was talking about the restoration of the priesthood, and he was tying this message to subsequent visions regarding the priesthood keys. Joseph Smith wrote that there were angels present at the First Vision. The message of these angels in this and subsequent visions brought about the restoration of the priesthood. This is why George A. Smith’s quote goes on: “But the vision was repeated several times…” Angels repeatedly arrived to restore the priesthood.

Mormon Think distorts another George A. Smith quote:

“He sought the Lord by day and by night, and was enlightened by the vision of an holy angel. When this personage appeared to him, of his first inquiries was, ‘Which of the denominations of Christians in the vicinity was right?” (1863)

Again, look at the entire quote. This was about restoring the priesthood. George Smith was emphasizing the restoration of the priesthood by angels, and the angel Moroni repeated God’s assertion that none of the denominations of churches were true. Moroni explained in several visions following the First Vision why true church was not on the earth: because the keys of the priesthood were not on the earth.

Joseph Smith’s Mother

“Joseph’s mother, was unacquainted with a vision of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove. In her unpublished history, she traced the origin of Mormonism to a late-night bedroom visit by an angel. According to her, the angel told him “there is not a true church on Earth, No, not one”” (Mormon Think)

The entire quote makes it clear that she was talking about the priesthood. Moroni’s visit.

“After we ceased conversation, he went to bed but he had not laid there long till a bright enter the room where he lay. He looked up and saw an angel of the Lord by him. The angel spoke, I perceive that you are enquiring in your mind which is the true church. There is not a true church on Earth. No, not one, has not been since Peter took the Keys into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Again, the angel Moroni repeated God’s assertion that no true church was on the earth, as part of his explanation for why he was restoring priesthood keys.

Now, let’s take a look at the opponents pushing the false narratives about the First Vision. Mormon Think managing editor Tom Phillips tried to get the LDS prophet Thomas S. Monson arrested for fraud in a frivolous criminal court, because Tom Phillips disagreed with Mormon teachings, according to reports.

Those are the kind of anti-Mormons we are dealing with here. It’s no wonder they are dishonest and deceitful about Mormon doctrine.

Do Leftists Attack Christopher Columbus Because He Was An SJW?

Racist attacks are especially hateful this year. So far for Columbus Day, Leftists have beheaded a statue of Christopher Columbus in New York, and the city of Los Angeles erased Christopher Columbu’s name from the holiday because he was White.

This is supposed to be the day we celebrate the discovery of America. In 1492, this continent finally connected with the rest of the world, and became a shelter to the Pilgrims. Shouldn’t we all celebrate the discovery of America? Somehow, Columbus Day become a day for Leftists to talk all about race. Who could possibly be in favor of Columbus Day?”

An American Indian news site asks this question, and declares it is “wrong to honor someone who oppressed Indians, and who avoided catastrophe only by dumb luck of colliding with an unknown continent.” Is it wrong to celebrate someone for discovering a continent? Unfortunately, we see this kind of racial alienation getting worse. In an age when skin color and racial history should not matter, racial tensions are skyrocketing.

Oppressed Indians?

There is no question that Spain oppressed American Indians. Millions died as a result of their bloody conquest, foreign disease, and enslavement. But was Christopher Columbus involved in this? Why is he the symbol of this conquest?

When Columbus Day comes up, you start to see Leftist blogs take quotes from Columbus’ journal out of context: “With fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them.” Leftists say this means Columbus started the “enslavement of the native people.” They also claim as historical fact that Columbus took “captives” to parade through the streets of Spain.

But let’s look at the entire quote from Columbus’ journal:

“It might be converted into an island in two days, though I do not see that it would be necessary, for these people are very simple as regards the use of arms, as your Highnesses will see from the seven that I caused to be taken, to bring home and learn our language and return; unless your Highnesses should order them all to be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them.”

Columbus was inquiring whether the natives should be conquered or simply taught European languages and customs. He certainly had colonizing on his mind, but it sounds like he only wanted to make them a colony under Spanish government, not slaves. The seven that he “caused to be taken” do not sound like they were captives, but ambassadors, and they soon returned home. Leftists incorrectly claim they were slaves. They snip off the end of the quote–“that they may learn to speak our language”–to falsely imply that these six natives were taken as slaves.

But it’s true, Columbus did take some captives back to Spain, according to The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas:

“Determined to show some reason for his explorations, and with gold in short supply in the Caribbean, Columbus sent back from Santo Domingo… the first known cargo of slaves to cross the Atlantic… captives from other islands whom Columbus considered, merely because they resisted him, to be cannibals, though they ate the flesh of their captives merely in order to appropriate their valor to themselves, as they believed.”

So maybe they kinda were cannibals, Thomas said, but they only ate humans to appropriate valor; there was no reason to stop them! Uh huh. Fact is, Columbus did not consider them cannibals merely because they resisted him. Actually Columbus had good evidence that these captives were bad people, people who regularly inflicted misery on other tribes and needed to be stopped, based on what Columbus was told by various natives:

“I saw some with marks of wounds on their bodies, and made signs to ask what it was, and they gave me to understand that people from other adjacent islands came with the intention of seizing them, and that they defended themselves. I believed, and still believe, that they come here from the mainland to take them prisoners.”

Leftists make it sound like a peaceful village was ransacked by the Spanish–native tribes who “show as much lovingness as though they would give their hearts.” Not true. It was cannibals who frequently attacked peaceful villages that Columbus took back as prisoners to Spain. The Aztecs were famously conquered by Cortez for much the same reason. Cortez thought he was justified because the Aztecs had gone around killing people and the land would be better for everyone if they were gone

Spain’s queen decreed that all slaves taken by conquistadors after Columbus be released, and that only “a certain people called cannibals might be fairly fought and, if captured, enslaved.” Spain’s government initially made every effort to colonize the land peacefully.

Social Justice Warrior Conquistadors

Obviously the queen’s decree was not followed very well. Many peaceful natives were enslaved and killed. Entire civilizations were wiped out. The decree to conquer cannibals was abused by money-seeking conquistadors. There is no doubt about it.

But was their motivation only money? Leftists like to point out that the conquistadors spread the Christian religion with the point of a muzzle. Columbus said, “I knew that they were a people who could be more easily freed and converted to our holy faith by love than by force.” So Columbus clearly did not want to force them to convert. But what does he mean when he says he wanted to “free” them?

From my reading of conquistador writings, they wanted to free the natives in much the same way Leftist social justice warriors (SJWs) want to “free” racial minorities today. Spanish conquistadors displayed the same kind of self-righteousness moral supremacy that we find among SJW activists today. Calls for peaceful conversion to their ideology turn into compulsion, they seek to censor competing ideologies, they indoctrinate through schools, and they launch moral crusades. It wasn’t “Christianity” who oppressed the Natives, but the Jesuit wing of the church, the same Jesuit sect that directs globalism in the Catholic Church today.

Friar Landa, one of the first Catholic missionaries to the Americas, said:

“…but there has come to them, without payment, that which can neither be bought or deserved, which is justice and Christianity, and the peace in which they live. For these they owe more to Spain and the Spaniards, and chiefly to their very Catholic sovereigns, which with such continuous care and such great Christianity have provided and do provide them with these two things… Their first founders did not know what order to give them that they might evade the so many and so great errors in which they lived. Justice has taken them out from that through the preaching, and it must keep them from returning.”

Let’s update a couple words to modern circumstances and see if this same line of thinking applies today:

“There has come to Southern conservatives, without payment, that which money can’t buy and which they don’t even deserve, which is social justice and Socialism, and the peace in which they now live. For these things they owe more to the Socialists, and chiefly to their very federal government leaders, which with such continuous care have provided great social justice, and do provide them with these two things… The founding fathers did not know quite what order to give them that they might evade the so many and so great errors in which they lived. Social justice has taken them out from that through the media platforms, and it must keep them from returning.”

See how the conquistadors were like Leftists today? Friar Landa went on:

“It is with reason then, that Spain can glorify God in that he elected her among the nations for the remedy for so many peoples, and for which they owe her much more than do their founders or progenitors… those were still greater vexations and aggravations which they perpetually inflicted on each other, killing, enslaving, and sacrificing them to demons. As to the bad example, if they have had such, or today have it from some, the King has remedied it, and daily does remedy it by his Justices.”

(Yucatan Before and After the Conquest by Diego de Landa)

Land is saying Spain brought an ideology that civilized a backwards barbarian people, through social justice. You see this same attitude from today’s Left, whether it is overthrowing Qaddafi and instituting an Arab Spring, protecting gays in the “backwards” South, or just carving anti-religious slurs into cars at UC Davis. Today, who is it that spreads social justice to people they think are inferior? Is it Christians? No. It is secular Leftists.

The conquistadors tear down the statues of our founding fathers for the same reason they tore down symbols of the Native Americans’ founders and progenitors, because they consider their liberalism superior. They consider themselves the remedy for our ignorant and barbaric way of life. Friar Landa made it clear that the cause of “justice” made their attacks on the Native Americans good:

“I laid the charges and showed the Indians [had been] molested without fault… All this put the friars in great pain, knowing the wrong they had done, without order or justice, and thus they tried in every way to find faults in the Indians, to show that it had all been necessary.”

But hold on, Leftists today are anti-slavery aren’t they? How could they possibly be like the conquistadors? Well, consider how Leftists want to correct America’s “false narrative” about Columbus:

“Why was he like this? Because he was trying to “improve” the land through Catholic indoctrination and domination. Sure, Columbus didn’t know that pushing your religion on other isn’t cool. (Hell, we still have trouble with that one.) And, in his time, slavery seemed like a natural social organization. But now we know better. We know that enslaving people isn’t OK, and we know that conquering lands under the guise of “exploration” is not acceptable. And we know that horrid crimes against people are cause enough to strip someone of their celebration under a national holiday.”

(www.bustle.com)

In other words, social justice has evolved. It got a few things wrong in those days, like slavery; slavery is no longer okay. Colonizing as an explorer is outdated. Since “justice” is different today, we should no longer celebrate the old version of justice. We need to focus on our new updated justice, where Christians are ruined for refusing to bake gay wedding cakes and men are punished for hitting on girls in college who aren’t attracted to them. So really, the conquistador mindset is still there, it has just evolved to “modern” values.

The Left’s main gripe is that the Spaniards were spreading Christianity. How outdated! But I don’t see Bustle.com complain in their article about the destruction of indigenous language, religious writings, or the native ways of life. The left engendered a conquering ideology of social justice then, and while some values have changed, the ideology is still there.

Was Columbus Just Lucky?

Let’s go back to the claim that Columbus “avoided catastrophe only by dumb luck of colliding with an unknown continent.” What’s that all about? Firstly, America was not an unknown continent. What about Leif Erikson, Vespucci, or the Nordic people who explored upper Canada before Columbus? But I find it interesting that out of all the criticisms he could throw at Columbus, that journalist called him “lucky.” Why focus on his “luck?”

What if it wasn’t just “luck?” What if Columbus was guided by God? I know, crazy. That really blows their stacks, to think that God endorsed the Spaniards discovering America and going on to crush them. But as we have already seen, Columbus only took captive a few natives, those he observed behaving as violent criminals, and only later did Spaniards behave abusively and genocidal. But did God’s hand guide the connection between Europe and America?

“Despite the fact that, on his first voyage, Columbus left European waters during the Western Atlantic hurricane season, his fleet of three small ships experienced generally storm-free sailing weather as they cruised the West Indian Islands. Walter Henry has reconstructed possible weather situations from Columbus’ log book entries. Henry suggests that as Columbus approached the American waters, a cold front pushing off the Florida peninsula influenced his fleet’s course. Behind the front, northerly winds forced them to sail south, making landing first on San Salvador and then Cuba. Had the front not moved through the region, Henry believes, the Trade Winds would more likely have steered the fleet into the Gulf Stream and then northward up the US coast, making landfall in Florida or Carolina instead.”

(www.islandnet.com)

He just happened to take the perfect route, and the weather just happened to be unusually good for him. That’s some real luck! But the left needs to make us believe that it was just simple luck, that the discovery and connection between Europe and America was simply an exploration voyage that got off track. This reinforces their narrative that social justice values are what’s important, and that we need their racially divisive ideology.

The Joseph Smith Papyrus Was Never The Basis For The Book of Abraham

In 1966, a University of Utah teacher looked at some papyri fragments and discovered that they matched a facsimile in the Book of Abraham.

Joseph Smith’s Egyptian collection had perished in the Chicago fire of 1871, but apparently these ten small fragments survived. They are a small part of Joseph Smith’s original collection, which included at least four scrolls of considerable size.

The recovered papyri fragments contain text from the ancient Book of Breathings. This is a simple funeral ritual and has nothing to do with the Book of Abraham, according to Egyptologists.

Were these the papyri that Joseph Smith said he used to produce the Book of Abraham? Does this prove he was a fraud?

Evidence shows that Joseph Smith used a different scroll, a scroll that perished in the fire. The Hor Book of Breathings scroll does contain a vignette that matches Facsimile 1, but nothing leads us to believe that these fragments were the source used in the translation of the the Book of Abraham.

Our first question should be, are these recovered fragments actually from Joseph Smith’s collection? Probably, yes. There are maps of Kirtand drawn on the back. An affidavit with Emma Smith’s signature accompanied the artifacts. Also, the vignette does match up to the Book of Abraham facsimile.

But then again, these documents passed through at least ten people before being rediscovered. Are we sure that is has been perfectly preserved over this time? What about the parts that weren’t recovered? All we have are a few small fragments and that doesn’t tell us much.

Not The Source For The Book of Abraham

The recovered fragments match up to three scrolls from Joseph Smith’s collection. We know of a fourth scroll, of which no fragments were recovered. Witness accounts from 1835 give us clues about which scrolls Joseph Smith said contained the Book of Abraham text.

Black Scroll vs. Long Scroll – The rediscovered fragments are not what Joseph Smith used to produce the Book of Abraham. Witnesses describe one of Joseph Smith’s Egyptian scrolls as black, with fragments that she pasted into a book:

“[Lucy Mack Smith] produced a black looking roll (which she told us was papyrus) found on the breast of the King, part of which the prophet had unrolled and read; and she had pasted the deciphered sheets on the leaves of a book which she showed us.”

(1846, Friends’ Weekly Intelligencer)

A few sheets of this scroll were pasted into pages of a book. These pasted pages were apparently later put under glass, but the sheets under glass must not have been very large, as they had first come from pages of a book.

But then, witnesses described a different kind of scroll. After the black scroll, Lucy Smith “opened a long roll of manuscript, saying it was ‘the writing of Abraham and Isaac.’

Witnesses said there was “a number of glazed slides, like picture frames containing sheets of papyrus, with Egyptian inscriptions and hieroglypics.” The lengthy sheets of papyrus under glass could have come from the “long roll of manuscript” which “contained the Book of Abraham.”

The recovered papyri we have today contain only a few tiny fragments on book-sized paper, with only 18 characters from the Hor Book of Breathings. But witnesses describe “entire sheets of parchment” under glass, different from the scattered fragments we have today:

“From this he drew forth a number of glazed slides, like picture frames, containing sheets of papyrus, with Egyptian inscriptions and hieroglyphics. These had been unrolled from four mummies, which the prophet had purchased at a cost of twenty-four hundred dollars. By some inexplicable mode, as the storekeeper informed me, Mr. Smith had discovered that these sheets contained the writings of Abraham, written with his own hand while in Egypt.”

(Henry Caswall, The City of the Mormons 1842)

“Some parchments inscribed with hieroglyphics were then offered us. They were preserved under glass and handled with great respect. ‘That is the handwriting of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful,’ said the prophet.”

(Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past, 1883)

Red Ink – A witness says the source for the Book of Abraham contained red and black ink, in perfect preservation:

“Upon the subject of the Egyptian records, or rather the writings of Abraham and Joseph… This record is beautifully written in papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation.”

But the Hor Book of Breathings fragments with the Facsimile 1 vignette contains no red ink. The only fragments we have with red ink come from the Tsemminis scroll, and these fragments contain no facsimiles, and is also poorly preserved.

Handwriting & Preservation – The fragments we have today include messy handwriting. They are in very poor preservation. But Oliver Cowdery described the Book of Abraham scrolls as beautifully written and in great preservation:

“The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the mummies, is beautifully written in papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation.”

William I. Appleby likewise made it clear in his journal account that multiple scrolls were involved and that there was significant difference between the quality of preservation in the scrolls.

Hebrew Writing – Some of the writing on the Book of Abraham scroll appeared to be in Hebrew, Appleby said. Well, Joseph Smith had lessons in Hebrew so he should have been able to recognize it. Hebrew looks very different from hieroglyphics to anyone. The rediscovered fragments contain nothing that resembles Hebrew.

“Saw the Rolls of Papyrus and the writings thereon, taken from off the bosom of the Male Mummy, having some of the writings of ancient Abraham and of Joseph that was sold into Egypt. The writings are chiefly in the Egyptian language, with the exception of a little Hebrew. I believe they give a description of some of the scenes in Ancient Egypt, of their worship, their Idol gods, etc. The writings are beautiful and plain, composed of red, and black inks. There is a perceptible difference, between the writings. Joseph, appears to have been the best scribe.” (William I. Appleby Journal)

This couldn’t be from the Book of Breathings roll on the chest of the Hor mummy. The other two mummies were female. So whose scroll was it? There was a second male mummy in Joseph Smith’s collection which contained the Amenhotep Roll, identified based on transcriptions in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. These transcriptions are not decipherable as any known Egyptian text, and no fragments or sheets from this roll have been recovered.

Based on witness descriptions, the source of the Book of Abraham was the Amenhotep Roll, not the rediscovered papyri we have today. It probably was written with black and red ink, was in good preservation, contained some Hebrew, and contained large sheets from a lengthy scroll.

Facsimiles On A Different Scroll

Facsimiles 2 and 3 have not been recovered, but Egyptologists agree that Facsimile 2 likely came from the Hypocephalus document for yet another person named Sheshonq. It could not have been part of the Hor Book of Breatherings scroll, so if Joseph Smith took the vignette from a different document to produce Facsimile 2, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume he got Facsimiles 1 and 3 from different sources as well?

Also, we already have four scrolls for four mummies, so who was this Sheshonq? Why was a Hypocephalus for a different person included with one of the mummies?

One possibility is that Joseph Smith translated these Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham scroll, and that Facsimile 1 happened to also appear on the Book of Breathings scroll as well, relating to a different context. This leaves the question, why was Hor mentioned in Facsimile 1?

Not Abraham’s Facsimiles – The most likely explanation is that the Amenhotep roll which contained the Book of Abraham did not contain any facsimiles at all, only contained text, and Joseph Smith took the Facsimiles from the other scrolls. This would also explain why the fragments of the other scrolls were placed under glass in the same collection as the Abraham sheets.

Abraham 1:12-14 makes direct reference to one of the Facsimiles, but does that mean the Facsimile was actually drawn in that roll to reference? No. Ancient books omitted illustrations that were referenced in the text all the time. The Roman Ten Book on Architecture makes references to many illustrations, but none of those illustrations have survived over time, because the book has been transcribed many times.

Text is much easier to transcribe than illustrations. It is likely that the Amenhotep roll contained a copy of the original Book of Abrhaam, not the actual document written by Abraham himself, and that the illustration had been long ago lost. Yes, Joseph Smith said that the writing was written by Abraham’s own hand, but does that mean the ink on that parchment was actually put there by Abraham, or just that the words were originally from Abraham’s hand. Dr. Hugh Nibley laboriously points out that ancient documents frequently claimed to be from someone’s “own hand,” while they were actually from transcriptions of the original writing. Many ancient religious documents were like this.

Why did Joseph Smith handle multiple scrolls at all if only one of them could had contained the Abraham text? To get the facsimiles. They were presented in the other scrolls’ different contexts, but maybe they were similar enough to be useful, to discern the original Abraham meaning. This theory has several supporting pieces of evidence:

Facsimiles Translated Separately – The Grammar and Alphabet from 1835 reveals that the Facsimiles were all considered separately from the Book of Abraham. Elements of the facsimiles were carefully examined, with a side-by-side definition for each character. None of the Book of Abraham text was included in this examination. It all had to do with the Facsimiles. Why?

The Facsimiles apparently required extra consideration, because they were not direct transcriptions like the Abraham text. Joseph Smith likely had to delve deeper into their meanings because they were descendants of a much older version. The rediscovered parchments had been taken from an older Abrahamic source and used in a different context, the Book of Breathings. This would also explain why these side-by-side definitions do not always correspond to Egyptian definitions language we now have available today. They were deciphering the original meaning of those diagrams.

Abraham Describes Facsimile Differently – Abraham 1:12 describes a different Facsimile than what we see in the Hor Book of Breathings roll. Abraham describes the bedstead as standing “before” the idol gods. The facsimile shows the bed over the idols, but we don’t get a point of perspective whether they are in front of behind them. The priest’s foot is in front of the jars, so it looks to me like the jars are under the bed.

Abraham’s text reads: “I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning, which manner of figures is… hieroglyphics.” There are no hieroglyphics in this Facsimile, and there is nothing to explain anything about this idols. I don’t think this diagram is what Abraham originally drew, but they are similar. The Facsimiles we have today, which do somewhat match the rediscovered fragments, were not in the Book of Abraham scroll, but were taken by Joseph Smith from the Hor Book of Breathings document and other documents. Whoever drew them had taken original Abrahamic diagrams and fit them into the context of an Egyptian funeral document.

Book of Breathings Relates To Abraham As An Endowment

If indeed the original Abrahamic facsimiles were taken and used in Egyptian funeral documents, those Egyptian documents ought to relate at least somewhat to Abraham, right? Well it turns out they do.

The Book of Breathings is a condensed version of the Book of the Dead, which was a guide for the deceased to reach exaltation. It is one of the oldest religious writings in history, and it was one of the first Egyptian books to be translated into English, as it was greatly revered by 19th century Theosophists. It provided “spells” and direction for an initiate in the Egyptian temple to pass through the gates of heaven and achieve rejuvenation.

Before anyone could translate Egyptian into English, Joseph Smith had said that some writing in the scrolls “was pertaining to the Priesthood.” (Warren Foote) He also said that some of the writings in the Facsimiles: “Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.” That is exactly what the Book of Breathings was all about.

If Joseph Smith had translated the word-by-word meaning of the Book of Breathings, it still would not have “revealed unto the world” the true meaning behind them. The literal translation of these writings translate to commands, such as: “Grant that the soul of Osiris Sheshonk may live!” What does that sound like? They are keys and tokens of the priesthood, for use in the temple. Abraham makes many references to temple priesthood.

Book of Breathings & Abraham On Same Scroll? – The Book of Breathings is a guide for the temple. Considering the Book of Abraham credits Abraham as the author of astronomy and religious elements of Egypt, it makes sense that the vignettes in this temple book descend from Abraham. It also makes sense that a transcription from some of Abraham’s text accompany this important book. Appleby clarified that the mummy only had “some of the writings” of Abraham. Maybe this Book of Breathings descended from another book of Abraham? Or maybe the Abraham text was on the same scroll as the Book of Breathings, in a part that didn’t survive the Chicago fire?

Possibly, but remember Appleby wrote that “a genealogy of the mummies, and the epitaphs and their deaths, etc., etc., are also distinctly represented on the Papyrus which is called the ‘Book of Abraham.'” Why would a scroll written by Abraham contain such funeral information about a totally different person? Joseph Smith never claimed that any of these mummies were the corpse of Abraham. Appleby’s account therefore confirms that Joseph Smith knew these were funeral documents, that the mummy was not Abraham himself, and that they were not the original Book of Abraham document. It also provides further evidence that the Book of Breathings scroll was not the Book of Abraham scroll. There is nothing on the recovered fragments, or in any other Book of Breathings scrolls in Egypt, that would appear to contain genealogy or epitaphs of mummies, even to those unfamiliar with Egyptian.

Only Part Of Abraham’s Text – The Book of Abraham ends very abruptly. Abraham mentions that he moved to Egypt, he starts to talk about the Creation, and then… suddenly it ends. Why?

So the scroll apparently only had part of the Book of Abraham text, or Joseph Smith translated only a portion of it and left the rest, which may have contained the genealogy and epitaph of the deceased. Consider just what it was that Joseph Smith translated. Most of it speaks of foreordination and the creation of the world. These are temple themes that are perfectly appropriate alongside temple initiation writings found in the Book of Breathings. It speaks of an “appointment to the priesthood,” and a “right belonging to the fathers” to “possess a greater knowledge,” which is what the Book of Breathings was for.

The Book of Abraham text could have very well have been on the same scroll as the Book of Breathings. My guess is that the scroll started with the Egyptian endowment, started with Abraham’s text, and then continued deeper into temple themes, and Joseph Smith held back translating those parts. That would explain why the Abraham text ends so abruptly. It’s like Joseph Smith cut it off just as it started getting really interesting. Either that or the scroll was simply damaged.

But Abraham does record that God said:

“I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father… and in thee (that is, thy Priesthood)… even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” (Abr 2:10-11)

What is this Gospel of life eternal? In the Book of Breathings we find it:

“The hearts of the gods are content with all that he has done. He has given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked. He has given offerings to the gods and invocation offerings to the blessed dead. There is no accusation against him before any of the gods. Let him enter into the afterlife without being turned away.”

Feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked… Exactly what the New Testament talks about. Jesus provides this same list of behaviors that lead to “life eternal.” “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt 25:46) The Book of Breathings and the Book of Abraham talk about the same thing.

Why Did Joseph Smith Compare Book of Breathings Character To Abraham Text?

The most incriminating evidence that the Book of Abraham came from the Book of Breathings fragments can be found in early church documents that line up some hieroglyphs from the recovered fragments with text from the Book of Abraham. In the first column, we see characters from the rediscovered fragments, and in the other column paragraphs from the Book of Abraham.

Is this the smoking gun? Does this prove that these surviving fragments were involved in its translation, and that it’s therefore phony?

  • No. If this document was the source of the Book of Abraham, why did they only get to chapter 2 in this comparison? There are several chapters that are unaccounted for. It therefore could not have been used to produce the Book of Abraham
  • Each single hieroglyph character matches up to long paragraphs of text. Why would Joseph Smith claim he was translating paragraphs from a single character?
  • The hieroglyphs overlap the page’s columns, while the English text does not. This suggests that the English was written first, and that it therefore came from a previous source.
  • These hieroglyphs do not appear in the Grammar and Alphabet list, so their definitions were apparently not explored like the facsimiles were. Why not? Both documents were written around the same time, after all.
  • Joseph Smith wrote that he commenced translation immediately after he got the scrolls in 1833. But these documents were started 2 years later. What was Joseph doing that whole time?
  • Why were there three separate documents with this exact same alignment of hieroglyph vs. text?

These documents are simply comparing the Abraham text with the Book of Breathings character. For some reason, characters from the Book of Breathings were aligned with a paragraph each from the Book of Abraham.

Acted Alone? – Dr. Hugh Nibley suggests that Joseph Smith’s scribes acted on their own. The handwriting is not Joseph’s, but belongs to W.W. Phelps, Warren Parish, Oliver Cowdery, and Fredrick Williams. All these men happened to turn against Joseph Smith at least two or three years later. Phelps testified for Joseph’s arrest in 1838 and Parish pointed a pistol to his head in the Kirtland temple. Nibley’s theory is that they had each lost faith in Joseph Smith by 1835 and tried to reverse-engineer the Egyptian language from his revelations.

Or maybe, considering the scroll relates to the priesthood and temple endowment, the scribes were trying to decipher secrets about the temple with this comparison? Maybe they were working on a further project and gave up? But it can’t as simple as saying they acted alone. One of the Grammar and Alphabet documents is in Joseph Smith’s handwriting himself. So we know at least the Grammar and Alphabet effort was sanctioned by Joseph Smith.

Paragraph Translated From Single Character? – There is also Appleby’s description of a mummy as a daughter or an Egyptian priest, which he apparently got from Joseph Smith. That matches another document written by these scribes in the Egyptian Alphabet book. This document, written by Oliver Cowdery, lines up two hieroglyphs with two paragraphs of English text, much like the Abraham text comparisons:

“Katamin, Princess, daughter of Onitas of Egypt, who began to reign in the year of the world 2962. Katumin was born in the 30th year of the reign of her father, and died when she was 28 years old, which was the year 3020.”

If Joseph Smith translated this, it seems to indicate that he did indeed get an entire paragraph from one single hieroglyph. But curiously we have almost the exact same translation in a document by W.W.W.Phelps, but this time these two paragraphs are aligned with 26 hieroglyphs. So which is it? Did Joseph Smith translate a whole paragraph from a single hieroglyph character, or from a lot of characters?

Well here is the answer: The Phelps document flat-out claims it is “a translation” while the Cowdery document does not. So apparently Joseph Smith did not translate paragraphs of text from a single characters, as the Book of Abraham comparisons would lead you to believe.

We also have evidence that the Phelps translation of the 26 characters is true. A recent archeologist translation of Cowdery’s characters speaks of a “mistress” daughter of the name “Ta-shert-min.” Ta-shert-min vs. Katamin? The fragments dated later in history than ancient Egypt, remember, so it would make sense that we get a more Hellenistic-sounding version of an Egyptian name. Katamin is pretty similar to Tashertmin. So the translation written by Cowdery sounds plausible.

The only problem is that it takes 10 characters just to say the woman’s name. How could Joseph Smith get all that from the rest of the 26 characters? Either Cowdrey did not write down all the characters that he translated from, or the translation was not literal word-for-word, but a deeper description based somewhat on what the text said. This is likely the case, if you also consider that this translation does not correlate with the Egyptian counting method indicated in the Grammar and Alphabet.

Or maybe it didn’t come from Joseph Smith at all. In any case, it proves that the comparison documents that anti-Mormons typically point to as the “smoking gun” were not a translation effort.

Reverse Engineering The Egyptian Language?

If you compare the three documents that compare Book of Breathings characters next to Book of Abraham text, you find that two of the documents have the exact same mistakes crossed out and corrected. This suggests that they were written down as someone dictated aloud. The speaker apparently messed up what he was saying and corrected himself. Another clue is that the third, and probably earliest, document does not contain these mistakes but does contain something the others don’t: Abraham 1:1-3, which is the only portion of the written by W.W.Phelps.

Maybe Phelps began his comparison of the characters, and the other two scribes later filled in after he was gone, and then his document was filled in with what they later produced. But why?

My guess is Joseph Smith recognized that the Hor Book of Breathings scroll must have been important, because it contained a Facsimile that was based on an earlier diagram of Abraham. So after he had dictated the Abraham text from the Amenhotep roll, he asked his scribes to try to compare it to the Hor scroll. But the Book of Breathings scroll was much shorter, so they had to try to match up paragraphs with each character. After they got through a few chapters they realized there was no way it could match up, so they gave up.

This is a puzzle that frankly cannot be solved with such few clues. Maybe Joseph Smith intended to discover the temple endowment text inside. Or maybe it was an attempt at reverse-engineering the Egyptian language. But one other thing I will point out is that the characters are taken from the Book of Breathings right to left. How did Joseph Smith know that most Eygptian is written right to left?

I will examine the Grammar and Alphabet deeper some time. This has become literally a whole field of study, trying to figure it all out, and entire libraries have been written. If the Book of Abraham were a fraud and a phony, Joseph Smith sure went to a lot of effort to transcribe and write things down for no reason.

Also there are striking archaeological evidences to corroborate Joseph Smith’s Abraham translation. Verified ancient writings corroborate much of what Joseph Smith claimed, writings that Joseph Smith did not have access to.

A cursory comparison of witness accounts about the Joseph Smith collection suggests that the Hor Book of Breathings scroll was not the source of the Book of Abraham text that we have today. The Book of Breathings was an important temple text, and it would make sense that be included with Abraham text and Facsimiles about Abraham. These Facsimile vignettes in the scrolls were likely derivatives of much older vignettes, and required extra work to decipher. Some early church documents show the work they put into these Facsimile “translations,” and they also suggest that the Book of Breathings was not the source of the Abraham text.

I don’t assume to know how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham. It could be that there was no direct writing source at all for the book, that it was pure inspiration. Elder Henry Eyring said: “If the only function of the scrolls was to awaken the Prophet to the idea of receiving such inspiration, they would have fulfilled their purpose.” But the evidence shows that the text was found in the Amenhotep which perished in the Chicago fire.

34 Evidences For Joseph Smith’s Book of Abraham In Egyptology & Archaeology

1. The Facsimile 1 lion couch scene appears in an Egyptian
papyrus and references Abraham in the text below.

Leiden I 384 reads: “Let Abraham who… upon…” and then breaks off. It refers to this lion couch scene as “The sacrifice (or burning).”

2. An inscription by Akkadian ruler Naram Sin gives the name of a field called Ulišim in Northwest Syria, where today stands a city Oylum, near Ebla. This perfectly matches “Olishem” from the Book of Abraham.

Execration texts from Sesostris III also name Ulišim near Ebla.

3. Zig-zag lines indeed referenced waters of the sky, and the vertical serekh lines indeed referenced the “pillars of heaven,” as told in the Book of Abraham.

“It is always assumed that the flat slab of iron which formed the sky, and therefore the floor of the abode of the gods, was rectangular, and that each corner of it rested upon a pillar. That this is a very ancient view concerning the sky is proved by the hieroglyphic which is used in texts to determine the words for rain, storm, and the like; here we have a picture of the sky falling and being pierced by the four pillars of heaven.” (E.W. Budge)

4. King Unas of Egypt is referred to as the crocodile god, like in Facsimile 1. Utterance 317: “Unas has come today from the overflowing flood, Unas is Sobk [crocodile god], green-plumed, wakeful, alert… Unas has come to his streams.”
5. The three figures to the right in Facsimile 2 represent the god srpt-m3i-sr. This god is associated with Abraham in the Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden: “Abraham, the apple (?) of the Eye of the Uzat… srpt-m3i-sr is thy name”.
6. Facsimile 2 is a Hypocephalus, a circle that “represented all that the sun encircles—the world of the living, over which it passed during the day, was depicted in the upper half, and that of the dead, which it crossed during the night.” The recently discovered Apocalypse of Abraham references this world circle, and talks about it in the same context as Joseph Smith’s interpretation for Facsimile 2:

“…you may be able to see in heaven, and upon earth, and in the sea, and in the abyss, and in the under-world, and in the Garden of Eden, and in its rivers, and in the fullness of the whole world and its circle… Look now beneath your feet at the firmaments and understand the creation represented and foreshadowed in this expanse.”

7. An Egyptian text associates Abraham with the hypocephalus in Facsimile 2:

“O Khopr-Khopri-Khopr [creator god], Abraham, the pupil of the wedjat-eye, four-fold Qmr 8, creator of the mouth, who created creation, great verdant creation.” (PDMxiv 228–29)

The Facsimile 2 Hypocephalus is called “the pupil of the wedjat-eye” in Book of the Dead 162-63, and according to Joseph Smith it is all about creation. Facsimile 2 says the wedjet-eye is “the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to… Abraham, and all to whom the priesthood was revealed.”
8. We now know that Egyptians practiced human sacrifice, which involved funerary vessels as shown in Facsimile 1:

“An intact assemblage from the Middle Kingdom fortress of Mirgissa contained the body of an executed man buried in a shallow pit along with a number of broken red clay vessels and several limestone and clay figurines of prisoners and associated images. The deposit appears to reveal the conjunction of three events: (1) a ritual called ‘breaking the red vessels,’ well attested in representations of Egyptian funerary practice; (2) an execration ritual in which certain individuals, both Egyptian and foreign, are ritually damned; (3) finally, the actual execution of a human.”

Egypt ended the practice of human sacrifice during Abraham’s lifetime, which suggests Abraham indeed had something to do with it:

“Something fundamentally changed in relation to man’s attitude toward human sacrifice, together with the elaboration of the notion that it could be replaced by animal sacrifice; just when and why this change took place cannot be answered satisfactorily in Egypt or elsewhere. Our strongest textual evidence that something had indeed changed in Egypt dates to the Middle Kingdom (beginning c. 2055 BC).”

9. The text at the bottom of Facsimile 3 reads: “O gods of the necropolis, gods of the caverns, gods of the south, north, west, and east, grant salvation to the Osiris Hor, the justified, born by Talkhibit.” This matches very closely to 2 Nephi 29. The order of cardinal directions are flipped backwards:

“I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath… For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south… I will judge the world every man according to their works, according to that which is written… I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.”

The Facsimile is a judgement scene, and also notice that the chapter is about the covenant of Abraham. The order of cardinal directions seem random, but actually they are the same (flipped backwards): south, north, west, east, versus in Nephi: east, west, north, south.
10. Papyrus GM 5.459-489 references Abraham and several teachings in the Book of Abraham:

“I call upon thee who hath created earth and bones and all flesh and all spirit and who hath established the sea and nailed the heavens, who separated the light from the darkness [compare Abr. 4:4], the Supreme Intelligence, who lawfully governs all things [compare Facsimile 2 figures 1,3,7] , Eternal Eye, daimon of daimons [guide of guides], god of gods, the lord of the spirits, the unerring aion iao oyei [fixed planet, Jehovah–compare Facsimile 2 figure 5] –hear my voice.

I call upon thee, master of the gods, high-thundering Zeus… in Hebrew: ablanathanalba abrasiloa! For I am silthachoouch lailal blasaloth iao ieo barouch adonai eloai abraam barbarauo nausiph [‘Blessed is my Lord, the God of Abraham‘], high-minded one, immortal, who possess the crown of the whole world.”

11. There are 23 significant differences between the Book of Abraham and Genesis from the bible. Recently discovered ancient documents back up the Book of Abraham on each issue. Joseph Smith did not have access to any of these sources.

The Book of Jubilees from the Dead Sea Scrolls includes 15 striking parallels not found in the bible:

  • Idolatry was prevalent in Ur, caused the people to sin
  • (Jubilees 11:3-6,16)

  • Abraham’s fathers were idolatrous and learned astrology
  • (Jubilees 11:7-10,16)

  • Learned to write from his father
  • (Jubilees 11:16)

  • Rejected his father’s worship of idols
  • (Jubilees 11:16)

  • Prayed for God’s help to be saved from evil, and sought God in prayer
  • (Jubilees 11:17, 12:17-20)

  • Turned back a famine
  • (Jubilees 11:18-22)

  • Preached to his father against idolatry
  • (Jubilees 12:1-7)

  • Abraham’s father warned he would die for preaching against idolatry
  • (Jubilees 12:7)

  • Destroyd idols (Monotheism spread in Abraham’s lifetime, as pointed out in detail in the book The Eighth Day, The Hidden History of the Jewish Contribution to Civiliation.)
  • (Jubilees 12:12)

  • Observed the “hand of the Lord” in astronomy
  • (Jubilees 12:16)

  • Copied his father’s book of knowledge and obtained books of his forefathers
  • (Jubilees 21:10)

  • Taught his children to reject idols
  • (Jubilees 20:7-9)

  • Referred to idols as “gods of wood or stone”
  • (Jubilees 22:18, compare Abr. 1:11)

  • Warned Jacob not to marry Canaanites because of the “sin of Ham”
  • (Jubilees 22:20, 12:21)

  • Abraham’s words were written and read by Joseph

(Jubilees 39:6)

12. Many books written by or about Abraham have been discovered. Archaeologists once thought Abraham was not literate:

  • Apocalypse of Abraham, Testament of Abraham, Book of Jashar, Jubilees, 10 Books of Abraham (mentioned by al-Masudi), Book of Abraham (mentioned by Fimicus Maternus), Abraham’s treatise on astronomy (mentioned by Vettius Valens)
13. The attempt on Abraham’s life is explained in recently discovered ancient literature, with striking parallel details not found in the bible:

  • The Tanna debe Eliyahu tells of Abraham being put in bonds and the attempt to kill him by fire because he refused to worship idols
  • Targum Jonathan: “It came to pass, when Nimrod cast Abram into the furnace of fire because he would not worship his idol, the fire had no power to burn him.”
  • Targum Neofiti: “They went out from the furance of fire of the Chaldeans’…
  • Genesis Rabban: “He (Terah) took him (Abraham) and gave him over to Nimrod. (Nimrod) said to him: Let us worship the fire!… I shall therefore cast you in it, and let your God to whom you bow come and save you from it!”
  • Midrash Rabbah explains Nirmod cast Barham into the fire because of his opposition to idolatry.
  • Book of Jashar: “And they brought them both, Abram and Haran his brother, to cast them into the fire; and all the inhabitants of the land and the king’s servants and princes and all the women and little ones were there, standing that day over them. And the king’s servants took Abram and his brother, and they stripped them of all their clothes excepting their lower garments which were upon them. [See Figure 2 in Facsimile 1.] And they bound their hands and feet with linen cords, and the servants of the king lifted them up and cast them both into the furnace. And the Lord loved Abram and he had compassion over him, and the Lord came down and delivered Abram from the fire and he was not burned. But all the cords with which they bound him were burned, while Abram remained and walked about in the fire.”
  • The Story of Abraham our Father from What Happened to Him with Nimrod says king Nimrod attempted to kill Abraham several times, and finally catapulted him into the fire. (See pp. 164-174)
  • Venerable Bede: Abraham was thrown in the fire for refusing to worship idols but was rescued by the Lord. “…among the Hebrews, truly, Ur means fire. They tell that he would have been consumed in the fire of the Chaldeans because it seemed that when Abraham, knowing the true God more than his brother, he refused to worship the fire, which they worship; and therefore both were cast into the fire by the Chaldeans…”
  • Jerome: “Abraham was sent to the fire because he did not want to worship the fire that the Chaldeans worshiped, and being rescued by the help of God, escaped the fire of idolatry.” Commentarium in Genesim repeats this account. Alcun adds: “the tradition of the Hebrews is true that Thare (sic) and his sons came out of the fire of the Chaldeans…”
  • Al-Nisaburi: “When he was in the securely in the midst of the fire, the King, may He be exalted, made the fire cool for him.”
  • Exposito super septem visiones libri apocalypsis: “…as gold is known to be tried in the furnace: so Abraham, who was brought out of the fire of the Chaldees.”
  • Christian Chronicle: “And Nemrod threw Abraham into a fiery furnace because he did not approve the worship of idols, but he flame of the furnace was changed into pleasant dew.”
  • Rabanus Maurus: “..from when he was rescued from the fire of the Chaldeans into the which was cast to burn because he did not want to worship the fire.”
  • Catena Severi: “Abraham took fire in his zeal and burnt that famous temple of Qainan, the graven image of the Chaldeans… When the Chaldeans realized what Abraham had done, they were compelling Terah to hand over his son Abraham to them to death. …he began his flight then with all his household, and they left Ur of the Chaldeans…”
  • De Trinitate ed operibus ejus : “Concerning Abraham, who (as the majority assert) by the help of God was rescued from Ur of the Chaldeans, that is, from fire.”
14. Abraham’s deliverance by angels is explained in recently discovered ancient literature. These accounts correlate the delivering angel shown in Facsimile 1:

  • Biblical Antiquities: “And they took him and built a furnance and kindled it with fire… But God stirred up a great earthquake, and the fire gushed forth from the furnace and brake out into flames and sparks of fire and consumed all them that stood round about in sight of the furnace; 83,500. But upon Abram was there not any the least hurt by the burning of the fire. And Abram arose out of the furnace, and the fiery furnace fell down, and Abram was saved.”
  • Tanna debe Eliyahu: “And at that time the entire household of Terah were idolaters; not one of them acknowledged his Creator. And so all of Terah’s neighbor came and jeeringly tapped him on the head, saying to him: ‘You have been put to bitter shame! That son of yours, of whom you have been saying that he was to be heir of this world and of the world-to-come, Nimrod is having him consumed by fire!’ At once the compassion of the Holy One welled up , and the holiness of His great name came down from the upper heaven of heavens [See the concept of heave in Facsimile 2], from the place of His glory, His grandeur, and His beauty and delivered our father Abraham from the taunts and jeers and from the fiery furnace.”
  • Midrash Rabbah says the angel Michael and Gabriel offered to go down to rescue Abraham from the fire, but “God came down and delivered him” instead.
  • Babyloanian Talmud: “…because it was said that when Nimrod the wicked threw Abraham our father into the fiery furnace, the angel Gabriel said to the Lord: ‘Permit me to go and make the furnace cold, that it may do no harm to Abraham,’ and the Holy One, blessed be He, replied: ‘Abraham is now the only one who has forsaken idolatry and believes in God, and I am the only One in the world, hence it would be but fair that the only One should rescue the other exception,’ and as the Holy One, blessed be He, would not deprive any one creature of the reward due, He said to Gabriel: ‘Thou shalt have an opportunity to rescue thee of his children from the fiery furnace, while I Myself shall rescue him.”
  • The Story of Abraham our Father from What Appended to Him with Nimrod says God sent the angel Gabriel to save Abraham from Nimrod because of Abraham’s prayer and opposition to idolatry. (see pp.167-174)
  • A Study (Midrash) of Abraham our Father says God sent the angel Michael to save Abraham from the furnace, declaring “My glory shall rescue him.”
  • Alcuin says Abraham “surrounded by the conflagration in Babylon because he did not want to worship it, was freed by the help of God.”
  • Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir said Abraham was bound for breaking the idols, catapulted into the fire, and delivered by God with the assistance of the angel Jibril (Gabriel) and other angels. Jibril later initiated Abraham through sacred ordinances.
  • Islamic legends: “The star that would rob king Namrud of his glory was to be the Prophet Abraham… Abraham said that his God could do anything, the king led the way to the royal cemetery. Here, Abraham knelt down in prayer and lo (…) the tomb opened and there rose up the old king and still clinging to his shroud but his eyes looking fiercely at his son, whom he addressed in a hollow but recognizable voice: ‘Peace be upon you; listen to this young man and follow his advice for he is the chosen prophet of the One God. Do not heed the priests and their useless idols… the king ordered that it must be kept burning for a week. An angel descended from Heaven with a sharp knife and quickly cut the ropes that tied Abraham, but he would not go away. ‘My Lord placed me here. he will take me away.'”
  • Muslim scholar Rawandi says Abraham was “unharmed and untied from his shackled” after being thrown in the fire. “Nimrud remained for a few days not doubting that the fire had consumed Ibrahim. So he looked as if he watched the fire while it was burning furiously, and Ibrahim was sitting next to a man in his likeness.”
15. The idolatry of Abraham’s fathers is explained in recently discovered ancient literature, with striking parallel details:

  • Damascus Document: “And not to go about in the thoughts of an evil imagination… By them went astray the sons of Noah and their families. Because of them they were cut off Abraham did not walk in them, And he was (recorded) friend because he kept the commandments of God.”
  • Pirkei Avot: “There were ten generations from Noah to Abraham, to show how great was His patience, for every one of those generations provoked Him continually until Abraham, our father, came and received the reward of them all.”
  • Apocalypse of Abraham: “I Abraham, at the time when my lot came, when I was completing my services of my father Terah that he had given me, and I was preparing his sacrifice to his gods of wood, of stone, of gold, of silver, of copper, and of iron, and it was about this time I began to wonder, which of the gods were in truth the strongest.”
  • Eliyahu Rabbah 27: “Keep in mind that the household of Abraham’s father, idolaters all, used to make idols and go out and sell them in the marketplace.”
  • Midrash Rabbah: “Terah was a manufacturer of idols.”
  • Book of Jasher: “And the king and all his servants, and Terah with all his household were then the first of those that served gods of wood and stone. And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offering to his gods; thus did Terah all the days. And all that generation were wicked in the sight of the Lord, and they thus made every man his god, but they forsook the Lord who had created them.”
  • George Hamartolos: “Terah lived 135 years… And he was a sculptor, molding and selling gods from stone and wood.”
  • Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan: “Ut, the son of Kesed, built a city which he called Ara, where he set up the worship of a host of heaven and idols, and taught men to worship them…. Terah, who was the first to make idols of clay.”
  • Michael Patriarch of the Syrians: “Serug taught Nahor the Chaldean doctrine of sorcery and
    divination by the star signs… [Ninus] fashioned large idols of silver and gold for his father Belus’ [statues], and had him worshipped… Abraham burned the idol house of his father which was in Edessa (Ur’ha).”
  • Michael Glycas says Abraham’s great-grandfather Serug (Serouch) promoted idolatry.
  • Epiphanius: “Serug, which means ‘provoked,’ from whom idolatry and Hellenism began among men (as the knowledge which has come to me has it.)”
  • Georgius Cedrenus says Terah and his family had idols.
  • Kebra Nagast: “I Terah… had a son whose name was Abram… his father sent him off to sell idols.”
  • George Syncellus says Terah worshiped idols and Abraham destroyed them.
  • Al-Tabari says Terah made idols and gave them to his sons to sell.
  • Ibn Kathir: “He (the father) said: ‘Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim [Abraham]? If you stop not (this), I will La’arjumannak. So get away from me Maliyan.”
  • Pesikta Rabbati: “He, saw all the generations that worshipped idols, (saw) Abraham rise up and separate himself form the generations because he would not be like them; (saw) that while they worshipped idols, Abraham rose up and learned wisdom by himself so that he came to worship the Holy One, blessed be He.”
  • Book of Jasher: “… and all the sons of the earth in those days greatly transgressed against the Lord, and they rebelled against him and they served other gods… and the inhabitants of the earth made unto themselves, at that time, every man his god, gods of wood and stone.”
  • Book of the Cave of Treasures: “Some of them through their error adored the heavens, and some of them worshipped the sun, and moon and stars, and some of them the earth, and wild beasts, and birds, and creeping thigs, and trees, and stones, and the creatures of the sea, and the waters, and the winds… And error having been sown broadcast in all the earth, and the land became filled with idols in the form of men and women.”
  • Michael Glycas says crocodiles were specifically worshiped.
  • Book of the Rolls says earthquakes and winds destroyed idols, and child sacrifice was practiced.
  • Symeon Logothetes: “He alone, of those everywhere suffering from the errors of idols, recognized the true God.”
  • Michael the Syrian says God destroyed idols with a great storm after Abraham burned his father’s idols.
16. Terah’s attempt to kill his son Abraham is explained in recently discovered ancient literature, with striking parallel details:

  • Rashi: “Terah had complained of Abram his son before Nimrod that he had broken his images, and he cast him into a furnace of fire.”
  • Chronicles of Jerahmeel: “When Terah arrived home and found his idols burnt, he went to Abraham… Thereupon Terah took Abraham, our ancestor, and went with him to Nimrod. And Terah said to Nimrod, ‘O my lord the king, judge this my son who has burned my gods.”
  • Surah 19: “Do you hate my gods, O Ibrahim [Abraham]? If you do not forbear, I will indeed stone you to death.”
17. Terah’s repentance is explained in recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Tanna debe Eliyahu: “[After Abraham’s deliverance], Terah, for the sake of Heaven, proceeded to quit his dwelling place.”
  • Chronicles of Jerahmeel: “Abram, who did not worship, and who did not bow down to the idol, was saved from the fire of the Chaldeans and was not burnt…. When Terah saw that God delivered Abram, he deserted his former faith, and went forth with him (Abram) to dwell in a foreign country.”
  • Ibn Al-Tayyib: “Terah had already started for the promised land, and yet he remained at Haran, because his intention was not pure like that of Abraham, who was the first to turn away from the cultic objects, that is, the idols. Neither Nahor nor Bethuel nor Laban converted perfectly, even after having learned that God had helped Abraham so magnificently.”
  • The Story of Abraham our Father from What Appended to Him with Nimrod says Abraham urged his father to reject idolatry.
18. Child sacrifice is revealed in recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Kebra Nagast: “…and after him Tara (Terah) reigned. And these are they who made magical images… and a devil used to hold converse with that out of each of the images of their fathers, and say unto them, ‘O my son So-and-so, offer up unto me as a sacrifice the son whom thou lovest.’ And they slaughtered their sons and their daughters to the devils.”
  • Book of the Cave of Treasures: “And behold, from that time the children of men began to sacrifice their sons to devils and to worship idols, for the devils entered into the images, and took up their abodes therein.”
  • Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan: “Then in the hundredth year of Nahor, God looked down upon the children of men [and saw] that they sacrificed their children to idols. Then God commanded the stores of winds to open, and to send forth the whirlwind, and gales, and darkness upon the whole face of the earth.”
  • Al-Biruni: “But after having done it, he repented and wished to sacrifice his son to the planet Saturn, it being their custom to sacrifice their children, as that author maintains.”
  • Chronicles of Jerahmeel: “The Chaldeans came to dip both Haran and Abram in the fire, for they were accustomed to dip them in the fire, just as some nations dip their sons in the water… As soon as the astrologers saw Abraham they recognised him at once, and said to Nimrod, ‘O lord the king, this is the child of whom we spoke on the day of his birth, and whom thou didst desire to slay. If it be thy will, we shall bring thee wood and burn him to death.”
19. Abraham’s possession of his forefathers’ records are explained in recently discovered literature:

  • Genesis Apocryphon: Abraham reads “the [Book] of the Words of Enoch and …the words of Noah.”
  • Book of Noah says Abraham received a book of wisdom passed down all the way back to Adam.
20. Abraham received the priesthood from his fathers, according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Pesikta Rabbati: “Abraham said to God: ‘Master of the universes, am I fit to offer Isaac up? Am I a priest? Shem is High Priest. Let him come and take Isaac from me for the offering.’ God replied: When thou reachest the place, I will consecrate thee and make thee a priest. Accordingly, the term Moriah suggests that Abraham was to be a substitute for Shem, his replacement.”
  • Al-Biruni says “Henana says that Abraham was a high priest and son of a high priest.”
  • Midrash Rabbah: “Now, Abraham said HERE AM I–ready for priesthood, ready for kingship, and he attained priesthood and kingship. He attained priesthood, as is says, The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou are a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek; kingship: Thou art a mighty prince among us.”
21. Abraham converted souls according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Rabbi Nathan says Abraham decided to “devote himself to converting his fellow creatures,” as indicated in Genesis 12:5 which says there were people Abraham “had gotten in Haran.”
  • Midrash Rabbah: “‘And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the person that they had gotten in Haran’… what is meant is the helping of people to convert to Judaism… Abraham our father used to bring them [people] into his house and give them food and drink and be friendly to them and attract them and covert them and bring them under the wings of the Shechinah.”
  • Al-Kisai: “Abraham travelling from Mesopotamia to convert the people of Palestine.”
22. Abraham taught astronomy to the king of Egypt, according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Artapanus: “Abraham… came to Egypt with all his household to the Egyptian king Pharethothes and taught him astrology.”
  • Eupolemus: “Abraham excelled all in nobility and wisdom; he sought and obtained the knowledge of astrology and the Chaldean craft, and pleased God… [He taught] the Phoenicians the cycles of the sun and moon… He explained astrology and the other sciences to [the Egyptian priests], saying that the Babylonians and he himself had obtained this knowledge… Enoch first discovered astrology, not the Egyptians.”
  • Babylonian Talmud: “Abraham possessed a power of reading the stars for which he was much sought after by the potentates of East and West… He possessed an astrological instrument.”
  • Chronicles of Jerahmeel: “Abram was able to foretell the future by the observance of the stars, and was very wise in astrology. He taught his magic science to Zoroastres, the philosopher, and he saw from the planets that the order of the world was not as before, for the order of creation was changed… Abraham was exceedingly great in magic, so much so that all the kings of the East and West waited upon him.”
  • George Syncellus said from Abraham, “the Egyptians learned the place of the stars and their movements and the mathematical science.”
  • Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions describes Abraham as “the culture-hero and teacher of the Egyptians; and Abraham the astrologer (or astronomer), who discovers the one true God through observation of the orderly motions of the stars.”
  • Ioannes Zonaras said the Egyptians “marveled over his understanding, he taught the Egyptians mathematics and astronomy.”
  • Vettius Valens said Abraham wrote “books about this subject” of astrology (astronomy).
23. Abraham desired to possess great knowledge, according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Philo of Alexandria: “Of the number of these men is Abraham, who attained to great progress and improvement in the comprehension of complete knowledge.”
  • Clementine Recognitions: “Therefore Abraham, when he was desirous to learn the causes of things, and was intently pondering upon what had been told him [by an angel], the true Prophet appeared to him, who alone knows the hearts and purpose of men, and disclosed to him all things which he desired. He taught him the knowledge of the Divinity; intimated the origin of the world and likewise its end; showed him the immortality of the soul and the manner of life which was pleasing to God; declared also the resurrection of the dead, the future judgment, the reward of the good, the punishment of the evil, – all to be regulated by righteous judgment: and having given him all this information plainly and sufficiently, He departed again to the invisible abodes.”
24. God warned Abraham that the Egyptians would steal his beautiful wife, according to recently discovered ancient literature. The Genesis Apocryphon says “Abraham’s idea to deliver Sara is motivated by a dream… After waking up from this dream, Abraham concludes the following: the dream refers to a situation in which Abraham shall be killed but Sara shall be spared.”

25. God showed Abraham the heavens and pre-mortal souls of men, according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Sefer Yetzirah: “When Abraham our father understood, formed, permuted, probed, thought and was successful, the Blessed Holy One revealed Himself to him, declaring to him, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before and emerged form the womb, I sanctified you.'”
  • Apocalypse of Abraham: “And I saw there a multitude of spiritual angels, incorporeal, carrying out the orders of the fiery angels who were on the eighth firmament… And he said to me, ‘Look now beneath your feet at the firmament and understand the creation that was depicted of old on this example, (and) the creatures which are in it and the age prepared after it… And (I saw) there the earth and its fruit, and its moving things and its things that had souls, and its host of men… Sit and write all the souls of mankind, however many of them are born, and the places prepared for them to eternity, for all souls are prepared to eternity, before the formation of the world… Those on the right side of the picture are the people set apart for me of the people with Azazel; these are the ones I have prepared to be born of you and to be called my people.”
26. Kings honored Abraham on a throne, according to recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Book of Jasher: “It is incumbent upon us to make him great, to elevate him and to do unto him all the good which thou shalt command us; and at that time the king sent to Abram silver and gold and precious stones in abundance, together with cattle, men servants and maid servants; and the king ordered Abram to be brought, and he sat in the court of the king’s house, and the king greatly exalted Abram on that night.”
  • Midrash Rabbah says Abraham was seated up high on a platform as “king of the world.”
  • Chronicles of Jerahmeel: “Now, it came to pass, when Abram came from Babylon–i.e.,Ur of the Chaldees–he betook himself to Damascus, he and his household, and he was made king over that city… all the kings of the East and West waited upon him.”
27. The famine in Chaldea is described in recently discovered ancient literature:

  • Bar Hebraeus: “And when Abraham was fifteen years of age he entreated God and drove away the karkase (ravens? locusts?) which were destroying the country of the Chaldeans and eating up their crops.”
  • Jacob of Edessa says there was a “great famine over the earth in the time of Terah, and the people were barely able to save any of the seed that was sown in the ground because of the multitude of the ravens and birds that God sent upon the land.”
  • Qisas al-anbiya: “Then God took away the rain from them, and Nimrod was left in dire straits.”
28. In the Story of Abraham, young Abraham worshiped the moon god Levanah, which is very close to the idolatrous god “Libnah” from the Book of Abraham. Levanah derives from the male Canaanite god Yerah. In Egyptian the “L” and “R” are identical, so this could be “Yelah”, which similar to the moon god “Olea” mentioned in the Book of Abraham.

29. Babylonian Talmud: “Abraham had a precious stone hung round his neck which brought immediate healing to any sick person who looked on it, and when Abraham our father left this world, the Blessed Holy One hung it from the wheel of the sun.” This perfectly matches the Urim and Thummim stone that Abraham has in the Book of Abraham, as the name Urim and Thummim possibly derives from “complete sun.”

30. Clementine Recognitions: “He (Abraham), when the whole world was again subject to various errors… having studied astronomy, was able from the logic and order of the starts to perceive the creator and understood that everything that was governed by his providence.” It reports God revealed details of the Creation to Abraham, which matches the creation explanation given to Abraham in the Book of Abraham.

31. Question: “The sons of Ham made a king for themselves out of their own number, whose name was Pontipus.” A descendant of Ham founded Egypt, according to the Book of Abraham. Muslim tradition is that a son of Ham founded Africa as king of Egypt, and was not idolatrous.

32. Artapinus calls the king of Egypt “Pharethothes.” Question calls the first king of Egypt “Pontipus,” a Greek version of whatever it really was. The Book of Abraham just calls them both “Pharaoh.” Bar Hebraeus likewise just calls him Pharoah: “And there rose up also a sixth king in Egypt, Pharaoh Apintos; [he reigned] thirty and two years. This king sent to Kasaronos, the Parthian king, and he brought the writings and the doctrine (religion?) of the Chaldees to Egypt.” The “Egyptians learned Chaldeeism, and they made an image of gold in honour of Kinos, the idol.” This proves the Egyptian influence over Chaldea, a claim which archaeologists long scorned from the Book of Abraham.”

33. Apocalypse of Abraham says God’s throne is at the eighth and highest firmament of heaven, which matches the Book of Abraham‘s geocentric perspective of the universe, with the earth in the center rather than the sun.

34. The Book of Abraham says priesthood keys go along with the Gospel of Abraham:

“I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father… and in thee (that is, thy Priesthood)… even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” (Abr 2:10-11)

The Egyptian Book of Breathings, which was discovered alongside the Book of Abraham source, lays out the biblical Gospel as a requirement for priesthood power:

“The hearts of the gods are content with all that he has done. He has given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked. He has given offerings to the gods and invocation offerings to the blessed dead. There is no accusation against him before any of the gods. Let him enter into the afterlife without being turned away.”

Why The Mormon Church Banned Blacks From The Priesthood

From 1852 until 1978, people of African descent were not allowed to receive the priesthood in the LDS church. No reason was given for the racist policy, though there are many theories. Mormons have a difficult time because there is no good answer! How do you justify racial discrimination?

An apology is just an admission of guilt, as far as the anti-Mormons are concerned. What this really shows is the difference between the Left and the religious Right. The Left is allowed to admit their racist history and “evolve,” but Mormons cannot do this because Mormons believe truth is eternal and God has never been a respecter of persons. A church that was once racist and hateful is a church that was not led by God.

So how do we reconcile this history?

First, put it in context. None of us were around in those times and we don’t know the circumstances. Look at what was going on. Also consider how things might have been if the policy wasn’t in place. Finally, we need to consider how this issue is being exploited by political activists to punish their ideological enemies.

Make Peace With Democrats

Joseph Smith ran for president on an anti-slavery platform that rankled his non-Mormon neighbors. He rallied against racism in a staunchly racist state, a major cause of his martyrdom and the genocidal “extermination order” of Mormons by the government.

At the time Brigham Young first announced the policy, Utah faced a hostile pro-slavery President, Millard Fillmore. The largest army on U.S. soil in history marched toward Utah. The threat of total extermination was real. Later, a coalition of Republicans and Democrats in the government were looking for another crusade, following the Civil War, and Mormons became their target. Mormon polygamy was labeled the “new slavery” in the newspapers and leaders declared they would save women from their Mormon oppressors.

With their widespread missionary work across the globe, the newspapers believed Mormons were breeding a new race that combined all the other races. Political cartoons showed polygamous Mormons with Black and Asian babies. By announcing the priesthood policy, Brigham Young was assuring American leaders that they were not breednig a new race or rebelling from America’s stratified culture.

It doesn’t make it right, but when you’ve had your land stolen, your wife raped, and your children murdered for opposing slavery, and now they were sending a huge army to kill you, you might be ready to make concessions.

This theory is hard to ignore, as Brigham Young announced the policy not to the church but to a state assembly. The great irony is Mormons were pushed into this position precisely because they were against racism. Joseph Smith’s strong anti-slavery platform led to great persecution, and the race policy helped alleviate that persecution.

Keep Church Together Amid Rapid Expansion

Another theory is that the policy unfortunately was needed to keep the church together amid rapid expansion. The small church could have fallen apart in its infancy if so many different cultures had been mashed together so quickly.

This is a phenomenon that I have witnessed first-hand as a missionary in Europe. The branch-president of a small congregation in a far-off city decided one day to sell magic rocks from the pulpit, and the Relief Society started telling people’s fortunes with Tarot cards. The congregation was utterly torn apart by this apostasy, and innocent members were kept from the blessings of the priesthood.

I didn’t think it was coincidence when multiple passersby on the street told me the dominant local Catholic parish had been roiled in massive scandals of its own. A people’s dominant religious culture is important to consider. This would be unlikely to happen in America, but it happened in Europe because the people in that particular city live very different religious sensibilities.

The pressure for cultural change was very different for some races. I don’t think African-Americans would have gone selling magic rocks, but there certainly would have been massive chaos with the integration of different religious sensibilities. The church was far from settled, as most LDS leaders were not in Utah. They were out spreading the gospel across the globe. Every little chaotic moment was a huge deal back then.

For all their virtue signalling, this is something Leftists understand as well. When corporations spread to Tibet, do they immediately hire locals of that country to leadership? No, they send some of their people in to train locals to future leadership.

When Leftist hero Chairman Mao swept across China, he pushed a dominant culture because he understood it was necessary for national stability. The church does not believe in destroying cultures or pushing cultural supremacy, but gradual integration appears to be prudent, according to this theory.

Why did Jesus instruct his apostles to preach only to the Jews at first and not the Gentiles? Was it because the Gentiles were unworthy or cursed? No, it was because they were widely disparate cultures and the church was too small in its primacy to handle their integration. As it was, the cultural integration proved too much for the early Christian church, and it fractured along racial lines. Various churches inserted local doctrines from native religions, and huge wars killed many people until the Catholic church finally held the Nicene Creed (which still got many things wrong).

Why did Moses restrict the priesthood to the sons of Levi? Priesthood was frequently restricted in history in order to keep power centralized and the church stable. Not fair, but maybe it was necessary for survival.

Possible Communist Infiltration

Another thing to consider is that radical Leftist groups were associated with the civil rights movement. Mormons supported equal rights as well, however they strongly opposed Communism. Open association with Communism could have been a big problem.

The LDS church was very susceptible to this kind of infiltration due to the lack of centralized leadership. Polygamy kept away feminists–another cause of the day that was unfortunately associated with Communism–yet Socialists still infiltrated the church through feminism. Does this make women’s suffrage evil? No. But it is a fact that Communists hopped on the feminist bandwagon and integrated into organizations through such positive movements.

The church was already known as a champion for abolishing slavery. Other abolitionists fiercely excluded Mormons due to anti-Mormon sentiment, so they were lonely and desperately looking for allies. Isolated, the Communists could have easily acted friendly and spoken nice words about common goals, and then taken positions in the church and pushed their wildly different ideology.

I don’t think this theory explains why the policy started but it could explained why it wasn’t repealed right away. By 1978, the church was less isolated and civil rights were generally accepted.

What Does ‘Cursed’ Mean?

In his announcement, Brigham Young said: “this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain.” That was his opinion, not doctrine. He spoke of a curse that would be lifted with the civil rights movement:

“That slavery will continue, until there is a people raised up upon the face of the earth who will contend for righteous principles, who will not only believe in but operate, with every power and faculty given to them to help to establish the kingdom of God, to overcome the devil, and drive him from the earth, then will this curse be removed.”

Brigham Young prophesied that Blacks would “have the privilege and more” of holding the priesthood at that future time. What was the “curse” holding them back? Well, Brigham Young made it clear it was not a matter of skin color:

“You talk of the dark skin, I never saw a white man on earth. I have seen persons whose hair came pretty nigh being white, but to talk about white skins it is something entirely unknown.”

Embedded Cultural Bias – Some are outraged to read in the scriptures that people are “cursed” because of their parents. How is that fair? But really, this is an observation more than a declaration. Some people are born into nicer circumstances, aren’t they? The popular thing now is to blame it all on historical oppression and racial privilege. Socialists believe class inequality is always because of oppression. But sometimes it’s simply because of a choice your forefathers made.

The church sought from day one to spread the gospel to every nation, to fulfill the prophesy that it would fill the entire earth, including Africa. The scriptures declare God esteems “all as one, black and white.” So then, why aren’t there missionaries in every country on earth? Racism? No, the church did not close its borders to the Chinese, for example; China closed its borders to the Mormon church. Still today, nations like Communist China do not enjoy the blessings of the gospel because they shut themselves off from it.

In the Book of Mormon, Lamanites were likewise cursed because they closed their borders to the gospel. Does this make the Lamanite or Chinese descendants evil? Absolutely not, but embedded cultural bias means their children will not enjoy the blessings and enlightening direction of the gospel and priesthood power, until that barrier disappears. So in one case, the “curse” is the circumstance of being born in a society that is intolerant towards the gospel.

External Barrier – But when it comes to Blacks in America, the curse was not a barrier that they put up themselves; the barrier was imposed by others. Sometimes people really are oppressed by others and racial privilege actually is a thing. I believe this was the case with Blacks in America, and that this is what Brigham Young was referring to.

In the case of 19th century African-Americans, I don’t think they as a society were intolerant of the gospel, but mainstream American society placed social barriers around them and perpetuated the “curse.”

Brigham Young declared Whites should not marry Blacks due to the curse, because they might be led away from the church if they do. This echoes the commandments in the Old Testament to not marry outside Hebrew society for the sake of religious unity. Of course, today, it is ridiculous to think skin color or race will determine if someone goes apostate, but back then it was a worry. Cultural division were much more driven by race. And I would say it is important today to marry someone who shares your same religious ideology.

The “curse” was never dark skin. That was the “mark” of the curse. This distinction is something the scriptures taught about the Lamanites: “…revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.” (Jacob 3:9) The curse was embedded bias. As time went by, dark-skinned Lamanites learned the gospel, and then the “mark of the curse” was no longer the case.

Today, how likely is an inner city Chicago resident to listen to a nice Utah missionary and accept the gospel? Embedded biases and cultural barriers persist because of intolerance on all sides. But I think barriers to the gospel today tend to have more to do with politics than race. Polls show intolerance for Mormons is determined most by political affiliation.

In the journey for equality, the church continues to focus on merit, on being realistic about circumstances, on being realistic about survival, and on embracing others as your brother when social barriers are finally lifted.

Different Solutions To Racism

I see lots of fringe Mormon blogs introduce Social Justice as the solution to the Mormon race “problem.” They insist that class inquality is always due to oppression, in direct contradiction with scripture. For example, fringe-blog Rational Faiths says Nephi called it a “curse” because he held “an ideological system that enables one group to plunder another group.” Racism equal plunder.

In our zeal to show that we do not like racial discrimination one bit, we Mormons could do more damage than good. For example, BYU professor Randy Bott told The Washington Post some ideas. What Randy Bott didn’t consider was that there was an intense presidential campaign between an African-American and a Mormon going on, and the Washington Post simply wanted to twist his words to smear Mormons, and that’s exactly what happened. The media soon spread anti-Mormon articles that included his remarks.

We don’t need to speculate whether Brigham Young was a racist or wonder why the church was imperfect. There are always unfortunate circumstances. Rationalizing makes God look imperfect too, and it gives the media license to dwell on the subject. It was wrong, that’s it.

From the beginning, the Book of Mormon commanded us to preach to all people, and not to discriminate.

“For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” (2 Nephi 26:33)

The prophet Joseph Smith’s views on race were ahead of their time:

My cogitations, like Daniel’s, have for a long time troubled me, when I viewed… two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours…

The wisdom which ought to characterize the freest, wisest, and most noble nation of the nineteenth century, should, like the sun in his meridian splendor, warm every object beneath its rays; and the main efforts of her officers, who are nothing more nor less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all, black or white, bond or free; for the best of books says, “God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth.”

How long did it take Leftists and the Democrat Party to catch up to this conclusion? Divine revelation is superior to social justice, and even today you see the misdirection of those on the Left, who tear down statues, give unmerited rewards, and spread racial division in the name of equality. If the LDS would just stick by their principles–let the army come, let the newspapers print their cartoons–they would always be on the right side of history.

We should celebrate our church’s history. The racial restriction with the priesthood was unfortunate and inexcusable, but our doctrine regarding race has had it right all along. The doctrines of popular culture continue to push racism, and we need to stick by the classical principles that we’ve had from the beginning.

When I was 5 years old my friend said to me one day, “You know, some people say that I have black skin. Isn’t that weird?”

That was the strangest thing I had ever heard. My family did not talk about people in terms of color. “What? Your skin isn’t black. It’s a little dark, but there’s nothing really that different about the way you look. Why would people call you black?”

“I don’t know. It’s weird.”

Regardless of everything that happened in history, it still seems totally unnecessary.

America Should Be A Theocracy… But Not How You Think

You think of crusading Christians. Middle-Eastern wastelands. But what is a theocracy? Must it be extreme and oppressive? The “separation of church and state” is much cherished in our country, but it produces a secular society in which we lose the soul of Western culture.

Try changing the definition of theocracy. You will start to see a society much like America at the turn of the 19th century, before Socialism took root.

America experienced historic growth because it was a theocratic system. Not the kind of theocracy that we see in the Middle East, but one that is inclusive and tolerant. Why do we think any kind of religious government will give us intolerant extremism?

Our nation is steadily decaying without religious foundation. The founding fathers saw religion as a crucial part of the American government. The problem is we define theocracy incorrectly today and unwittingly embrace the evil religion of Leftism.

True Theocracy Protects Religious Worship

Brigham Young described theocracy as tolerating a variety of religious beliefs:

“Erroneous traditions and the powers of darkness have such a sway over mankind, that when we speak of a theocracy on the earth, the people are frightened.

The government of the ‘holy Catholic Church,’ from which all Protestant churches are offshoots, is professedly theocratic, though it is directly opposed to the theocracy described in the bible. But few, if any, understand what a theocratic government is. In every sense of the word, it is a republican government, and differs but little in form from our national, state and territorial governments, but its subjects will recognize the will and dictation of the Almighty.”

We assume that religious governments will ban other religions. But this is often not the case. In fact, we can pretty much judge the worth of a theocracy by how much religious freedom it provides.

What makes a true theocracy?

  • Laws derived from correct divine principles, as we find in scripture
  • Rulers who execute the law righteously
  • Preservation of the laws in purity

People think theocracy is a government that compels people to part of a certain religion and punishes those who aren’t. But true theocracy derives its laws from divine principles, executes those principles righteously, and preserves the laws in purity. The main principle is individual responsibility, which requires freedom of religion.

“The Constitution and laws of the Untied States resemble a theocracy more closely than any government now on the earth, or that ever has been, so far as we know, except the government of the children of Israel to the time when they elected a king. All governments are more or less under the control of the Almighty, and in their forms, have sprung from the laws that he has from time to time given to man. Those laws, in passing from generation to generation, have been more or less adulterated, and the result has been the various forms of government now in force among the nations.”

Brigham Young said it is not a question of whether a government is theocratic but how much theocracy it has. All governments are religious. Our Leftist government today is incredibly intolerant toward Christianity, which indicates that the Socialism which dominates our government is itself an intolerant religion.

Personal Responsibility

There is a natural moral law which our nation’s laws resemble to some degree. The strictness of our laws according to natural law depends on how much personal responsibility the majority of the population can handle.

Some nations require stricter laws and less personal freedom, because the moment people are given an inch they turn to crime. The law of Moses, for example, precisely defined every part of people’s lives.

Some nations require looser laws, because they possess a great sense of personal responsibility and demand that higher level of freedom. Revolutions ignite if they don’t get it. This doesn’t mean the natural law is defunct, but the people follow the natural law without requiring government law to make them do it.

It is like the kid who is allowed to stay out late because his parents trust him to keep himself out of trouble. Some societies keep themselves out of trouble and others don’t. If the parents don’t trust a good kid, he will patiently bear it for a while. But there is a breaking point. At some point he leaves home.

Thus, the appropriate amount of personal freedom that our laws permit are determined by the maturity of the people, if the nation’s laws enforce natural law.

Socialists Disagree – This is different than what we popularly believe. Our Socialist education system has taught us that laws shape the people, not the other way around. Natural law doesn’t exist, and government shapes the people, which means personal freedom (specifically private ownership) leads to a stratified, unjust society.

They say private ownership exists under the incorrect notion of “eternal laws of nature and of reason.” Under Capitalism, each individual shapes a “will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.”

To some degree we are shaped by economic conditions, yes. But for all the sophistry in the Communist manifesto, this is overly simplistic.

J.M. Romney explained how Europe matured out of the Dark Ages:

“While the popes had thus gradually extended their spiritual dominion over nearly the whole of Europe, they were at the same time striving to become powerful temporal lords… But finally, under Gregory VII, a man of great energy and capacity, and one who made everything subservient to the aggrandizement of the papacy, enormous strides were made in this direction. His dream was to establish a great theocracy, over which the pope was to rule as the representative of Jesus Christ…

However we may be inclined to view the usurpation of power by Rome and its clergy, we are forced to confess that it was well for mankind, during the dark ages, that the pope did possess great spiritual power at that time; for it was then necessary that some powerful restraint be exerted to preserve the chaotic elements of society in something like seeming order. The Roman hierarchy answered this purpose.

But there came a time when men ceased to be children; when, in the nature of events, they began to reach the estate of manhood.”

The people lived under suppression, but this was appropriate because they could not yet handle more personal freedom. The push towards theocentric hierarchy was false theocracy, because it did not push the people toward greater personal responsibility. The government’s law did not enforce natural law to a great enough degree, so sometimes we saw anarchy.

The same can be said for Communism. It diminishes personal responsibility and swings either towards oppression or anarchy.

What “events” helped the Europeans mature from children into men?

Romney says it happened “when learning was reborn, and printing came to scatter it broadcast over the earth; when discovery was enlarging the world.” New technology spurred revolution as the quality of the people outgrew its government, like how a snake sheds its skin. Suddenly, the common man could print a book and distribute his ideas rather than relying on big powers to distribute learning. The two-edged sword of technology launched a movement towards scientific discovery and people became much more interested in personal excellence. Sometimes we saw theocracy.

Divine Principles

The Supreme Court ruled in 1892, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”

John Adams wrote: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. ”

John Quincy Adams said: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”

Our founding fathers drew radical principles of freedom from the holy scriptures, the principles of natural law found therein.

For example, freedom of religion can be found in Romans 14:1, “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” Freedom of speech can be seen Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.”

Until recently, the Ten Commandments hung in courtrooms to illustrate that we derive our laws from divine justice. The ACLU did not allow this, unfortunately.

The bible is not the only source of these divine principles. Greek philosophy was arguably an even bigger influence on our Constitution. Aristotle established the principles of the constitutional republic that gave us separation of powers and our Constitution. We see a similar constitutional republic in the Book of Mormon, which was developed separately from Aristotle. This indicates to me that the ideas of Aristotle in our government are divine. Natural law springs up in a variety of places throughout history.

Righteous Execution Of Law

When we consider the importance of good leaders, we must look at more than just our politicians. What about business leaders? Educators? Media personalities?

The media plays a huge role in righteous execution of the law. America saw this with the yellow journalism that caused the Spanish-American war. Business leaders and media today play a greater role than ever, as America is today more of an autocracy and less of a democracy.

B.H. Roberts said leaders in a theocracy are given divine power:

“I believe in a true republican theocracy, and also a true democratic theocracy… What do I understand by a theocratic government? One in which all laws are enacted and executed in righteousness, and whose officers possess that power which proceedeth from the Almighty…

What do the world understand theocracy to be? A poor, rotten government of man… Again the theocracy I speak of is the power of the Holy Ghost within you–that living and eternal principle.”

The federal Capitol Building in Washington D.C. originally provided Sunday worship services for America’s leaders. Did you know that? The nations leaders met for Christian church services even before it was used for government.

Sure, there are some charlatans who put on a religious face. But generally, one can tell if a leader is good for the country by their level of spiritual involvement. Barack Obama, for example, attended a racist, anti-American church in Chicago, and he went on to destroy personal responsibility and tear down America every chance he got.

Seek Better Leaders, Not More Laws

Brigham Young said:

“I repeat that the Constitution, laws, and institutions of our government are as good as can be, with the intelligence now possessed by the people. But they, as also the laws of other nations, are too often administered in unrighteousness.”

Why is it that every time there is a shooting that spreads in the news media, everybody screams for a new law, as if that will stop it in the future? Every time we see a tragic news story in our Facebook feed, we scream “Why isn’t there a law against this?”

Why do we need new laws? There are all kinds of laws that would prevent these tragedies if they were only enforced. The crime rate in America would plummet dramatically if the border laws were enforced and illegal aliens were deported.

According to Brigham Young, the law is just fine (or at least it was, until Socialists showed up). The problem is our leaders do not enforce nor abide by the law. The more we create new laws to solve society’s problems and tear down the structure that we had, the worse things get. More laws only make the problem worse, because those laws are not based on nature but on social justice.

A theocracy is like a well-crafted violin. If it doesn’t sound good, does that mean you need to take a chisel and make modifications to the violin, or is it because the person playing it is incompetent?

This is not to say we should go back to the original Constitution. Obviously, abolition of slavery was a good idea. A handful of other things were good. But the vast majority of changes has made people more dependent on government and less free.

Secular Nations Are Violent & Intolerant

Look at pretty much any conflict in America. They were all started by secularism, when we drifted away from divine law. The Spanish-American war. The slaughter of American Indians. Internment camps in WW2. The Iraq War. Slavery. In each case, America “progressed” away from the founding classic principles.

But what about the degenerate Islamic nations in the Middle East? Aren’t they theocracies, based on what they consider divine principles?

No. These nations may wear a mask of religious leadership, and they cling to a set of rules, but their religion resembles Leftism more than it resembles classic divine principles. For example, the “secret police” in Saudi Arabia resemble the shadow government set up under Barack Obama which spy regularly on American citizens. The Mutawa “moral police” in Saudi Arabia agitate and punish people for violating their form of political correctness in much the same way as SJWs.

Good morals and exceptionalism do not come from Social Justice, but from religious conviction, and they drive people toward greater personal responsibility as they accept more personal freedom. The false theocracies of the middle east do not afford people personal freedom, but oppress them with an arcane strict law, much like the increasingly strict laws that the Left push onto America.

Europe’s “progressive” secularism thrives off the backs of slave labor in third-world countries. They import immigrants to be their maids and lawn care providers, paying them practically nothing. They pursue wars for natural resources. This economic system does not follow divine laws, and results in the moral suicide we see today in the West. Social justice led them there, and will continue to lead to societal collapse.

The Socialist solution to societal ills pushes us away from divine law, and inevitably toward oppression or anarchy. It is foolish to pretend divine law does not exist or that God does not control.

Can Trump Preserve The Republic With Pardoning Power?

Is the constitutional republic lost? I fear we have fallen so far off the tracks, it is a wonder things are functioning at all. We need to take a fresh look and consider bold measures to restore a healthy government.

We are blessed with a good president, but he is crippled by obstruction in both the legislative and judicial branches. Pardoning power is one important tool which is often overlooked that he can use to overcome these corrupt obstructionists. But it is also a great danger.

Unbalanced Power & Autocracy

Everything is unbalanced. Deep state conspiracies, corporate-media machines, corrupt senators, and tyrannical judges are doing everything they can to stop the president. Right now we have two branches against the one: judicial and legislative versus the executive.

The media and big corporations support obstruction from the judicial and legislative branches because it is good for their autocracy, as Aristotle said it would be. In his explanation of a constitutional republic, Aristotle said the constitution is designed to get in the way of autocracy and stop the revolutionary cycle that nations typically see. Big businesses naturally want autocracy, so they are going to fight against the constitution.

The constitution is supposed to be a constant backbone that keeps everything grounded through checks and balances. But the imbalance prevents President Trump from getting anything done. The legislature obstructs him, because he is cutting worthless legislation and regulations that make the legislative branch more powerful. The judicial branch obstructs him because of his ideology, and because his orders undercut the lawyer racket.

The lawyer racket is where I want to focus. The judicial branch is totally out of control. Here is one example: An internet pioneer named Jeff Baron reportedly had his property and possessions seized by a district court judge, his civil rights suspended, and threatened with death by the court, in a case that left House Majority Leader Tom Delay calling for the judge’s impeachment. A man’s rights were brazenly crushed and his wealth taken away by crooks in the court of law.

Judicial corruption is rampant and there is nothing anyone can do about it, because judges are the law. They practically order law enforcement to do whatever they want.

Obama-appointed judges are coming out and blocking President Trump with obviously illegal rulings. Why? Because Trump’s policies would decrease the amount of activity that comes before their benches. The more criminal cases and lawsuits, the more money they earn. Illegal immigrants are good for big businesses (cheap labor), good for the Democrat party (loyal voters in exchange for free handouts), and good for the courtrooms (immigration lawyers).

How To Restore The Constitution

Everybody talks about “restoring the constitution” in terms of returning to what the federal document says. Give people gun rights. Give people religious rights. Yes, but first look at it in abstract terms. What is a constitution? It is an unchanging code that prevents things from changing too much from the way things were.

The judicial branch is much different today than how it started out. Originally, judges merely passed down sentences as determined by a jury. The judges gave themselves power, beginning in 1803 when they declared their right to judicial review. But now they are inventing law out of thin air–abortion policies and immigration laws. The weasels use vague phrases like “general welfare” (which isn’t even in the constitution) as justification for their new laws.

Judges have become exactly what we fled from in Europe, supreme rulers.

How can we go back to the way things were? President Trump is starting with the legislature. He is cutting regulations and slashing bloated legislative bodies. Congress hates this, as they thrive on excessive regulation and spending. They gasconade their new laws and handouts that “protect” minorities and increase reliance on government.

Trump is providing incentive for corporations to back him on this, which is tough to sell as corporations naturally tend toward autocracy. Corporate selfishness is bad for everybody, and they are fighting Trump every step of the way.

Trump pointed out that it is easier to get projects through government approval if there are consolidated oversight bodies. True, but maybe big corporations don’t want consolidated oversight? Maybe they want it bloated, they want it to be tougher, so that only big corporations like them are able to navigate the process and get the bids? This has been my observation. Big corporations want more government red tape and more hoops to jump through so that the smaller corporations will give up and only the big players are left in the market.

Trump therefore needs to rally small businesses and build pressure for change in the House and Senate, economic populism. He played this angle wisely with the recent healthcare debacle. Sure, healthcare may have fallen through, but not only does this give him justification to oppose Paul Ryan and the RINOs in the future, he can now bulldoze Republicans who don’t fall in line.

Once Trump has cleaned the legislative swamp, he can take care of the judicial.

How To Take Down Judicial Tyrants

There is just one problem left. Judges obstruct everything Trump does, and they are pretty much all-powerful. They snag him up in ridiculous lawsuits. They illegally use the FISA courts to attack his public image, with nonsense conspiracy theories about Russian hackers and ice cream scoops.

Every branch is supposed to be able to check the other branches, correct? Isn’t that how it goes? So how does the president check the judicial? Through appointments. Yeah well, that’s out the window. Trump needs legislative approval and that is almost impossible to get, because they are obstructionists.

What about pardoning power? The only time we hear about pardons is at the end of the president’s term, when Democrats like Obama and Clinton release all the criminals that suit their fancy. Obama famously commuted [Chelesea] Bradley Manning, a huge traitor to America, because he was transsexual and an outspoken Leftist hero.

As the power to get somebody out of jail, pardoning power could be the key to overcoming judicial corruption. With Congress on his side, Trump can easily pardon anybody. Why even wait for Congress to be on his side? Just give an order, and if a judge overrules it, enforce the order anyway and pardon anyone that the judges try to punish for enforcing it.

The president can even pardon before a conviction. That means he can pardon his people before a judge even hands down a ruling to obstruct them.

Playing With Fire

This is an angle of the constitution that hasn’t been looked at closely–and for good reason. Imagine if Obama had done it. Imagine if Obama had created civilian police patrols who go around burning Republican property, internment camps for Christians, etc–basically what Antifa is today–and simply pardoned anyone who got in trouble for doing it. This is a very dangerous can of worms to open.

That’s why the legislative branch has a check against the president: impeachment. If Trump goes too far they can impeach him. If a future Democrat president takes it too far, hopefully our Senators aren’t so corrupt that they refuse to impeach him.

My main concern is that his will make the office of president very powerful, and the office already has way too much power. But I fear this is what it will take. It will take a temporary blitz of power for Trump to sort out the swamp, a modern-day Napoleon, and then hopefully he will balance the power back where it belongs. Have things become so bad that this is what needs to happen?