Fact 1451

THE BOOK OF MORMON: LIKELY SOURCES…

Since the Book of Mormon did not spawn from divine sources, it behooves us to determine its origin.

Although it’s fascinating to speculate on the View of the Hebrews, The Late War, and a host of other texts surfacing (thanks to the digital era), we need look no further than three sources: Joseph Smith’s life experiences/19th century events, The Old Testament, and the New Testament.

Regarding the former, Dan Vogel has done a masterful job presenting the case in “Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet.” This text is free to view at: http://signaturebookslibrary.org/joseph-smith-the-making-of-a-prophet/

For biblical evidence of plagiarism, I have determined to present an exhaustive on-line comparison, which is also free and available at: http://realbookofmormon.org/likely-sources/

Because of the unabashed “Isaiah” insertions, we are all familiar with this stolen text in identifying the influence of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon. However, were you aware that Jerald and Sandra Tanner documented more than 2,500 instances of New Testament influences? What makes this particularly significant is that the “Isaiah” passages can be tracked back (mostly) to when Lehi left Jerusalem. The presence of New Testament parallels is problematic; especially when it comes to anachronisms.

My initial task, is to review each passage in the Book of Mormon (OM/PM texts) against the entire New Testament; to find ‘3+ word string’ matchings.

I’ve posted my findings through 1 Nephi 7 thus far. Each verse has its own .pdf. I estimate this project will ultimately generate about 8,000 pages of data.

Once completed, I’ll move on to the Old Testament.

After that? We’ll have to see, as there seems to be no shortage in parallels, and there will be even more many years down the road.

Fact 1452

SCIENCE FICTION and RELIGIOUS FICTION

The world of science happily embraces works of fiction. In many cases, elements of sci-fi writing help perpetuate true scientific ideas, and in other cases, help the progress of new theories. All done (proudly) in the name of science, and without leading the reader into believing it’s something that it’s not.

Isn’t it time for the Book of Mormon to enter the realm of ‘Religious Fiction’ instead of being touted as an historical document? There is absolutely NO science-based evidence to give the text an iota of historicity.

There has got to be a way, given the lack of physical evidence, via a reputable secular organization, to have the Book of Mormon permanently labeled by society as “Religious Fiction,” so that our children, indeed everyone to come after us, can easily dismiss this book as historically inaccurate.

I don’t have a problem with it being a philosophical text. And although there are fewer inspirational verses in it than other ‘more accredited’ religious works, it certainly can be a force for good in the lives of some people.

“Having Faith in Something Does Not Make It True” (Virgos Merlot). Let’s find a way to rid the world of the historical lie of the Book of Mormon, and put it in it’s proper place: Religious Fiction.

Fact 1453

WHY SEND OUT MISSIONARIES THEN?

“Brigham Young expressed his frustration by stating that he did not ‘care about preaching to the gentiles any longer.’ Indeed, he stated, paraphrasing Lyman Wight, ‘Let the damned scoundrels be killed, let them be swept off from the earth, and then we can go and be baptized for them, easier than we can convert them.’”

~Brigham Young via Lyman Wight, JS Papers – Administration-Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 March 1845~

Fact 1454

A SENSE OF BETRAYAL COMES AFTER ALL ONE CAN DO TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

Many years ago – before the internet was really born, I sat next to my lovely wife and watched her cry. She had asked me at odd times through our marriage, why I doubted the church? Most of the time we did not talk about it – it was too painful to discuss. I can remember moments where my entire family sat in a room – all trying to persuade me I was wrong. I had my own intellectual arguments and gut feelings, yet nothing you might call substantial or concrete…. no evidence, just a different opinion on certain doctrines and policies. Everyone thought ‘I’ was the problem. She was a very beautiful, loving and kind person to me – regardless of the worry I must have caused her. If she was still alive now and asked me the same question, she would still cry, but at least I’d have an avalanche of facts available.

In those days members would say to me: “You think too much.” The truth is, I did not think enough, or I should never have joined. Over decades, the burden of doubting and trying to soldier on became so very exhausting. I wanted so much for it to be true (I do not know of any Ex Mormon who wanted and hoped it was false), so when I still hear GA’s call people like me lazy, lacking in faith, deficient in tenacity, endurance, patience or spirituality…. and to cap it all: prideful, I feel so bloody angry!

Right from the start of my church life (at 18) I would regularly go out after dark in local woods where I lived to pray; always vocally and on my knees (with poly bags under them). Over the years I have had some long agonizing petitions and soul wrenching conversations with God. In later years I still continued this practice, except I reverted to going to remote locations near home and would sit in my car to pray. It grew into a form of meditation, where I asked for nothing – only talked about how I felt, cried and offered praise back. The strength and sustaining I felt from this was just unparalleled.

…… A wedge was forming in my soul between God and the church. The equation was changing – the relationship was shifting, I no longer needed to affiliate or equate God WITH the church – the two had separated. Slowly, ever so slowly, I gained a certain confidence within myself to trust what I was feeling – my own gut revelation, if you like. So when I began to assert a stronger opinion to those in priesthood leadership, I noticed a change – in them. Somewhere beneath the surface of kindly faces, white shirts and dark suits, was a harder line – a harsh uncompromising dogmatism, which, if crossed, or provoked, would rise to the surface. Then I saw the other face; the face that is soulless. The Church is bogged down with procedure, rules, conditions, rigidity, dogmatism, compliance and morbid guilt. They talk of Christ and then so often proceed to deal with you as if He did not exist. Sometimes their God can feel so beautiful and you really want to believe.

Sometimes you so desperately want to return to that soft cotton wool emotion of thinking, “you know” it is true, because that feeling is so reassuringly peaceful. I came to realize I COULD NOT TRUST those kind of emotional whisperings, without becoming fundamentally dishonest inside. I am a man who found huge poetic beauty in Mormon scripture. On this basis alone, my divergence proves something was seriously wrong. It is rather like being in love and adoring a woman, yet leaving her regardless. I should have found every justification for staying – not deserting.

40 REASONS WHY I FEEL BETRAYED:

  1. Blood atonement
  2. Polygamy
  3. B of M Witnesses confess to NOT actually seeing and feeling plates, angels etc.
  4. Early magic, spiritualism, Invented vision, invisible plates,
  5. Character of prophets and other leaders
  6. B of M problems (all evidence against it)
  7. Sources for B of M now found
  8. Polyandry
  9. Creation (7000 years since death)
  10. Doctrinal contradictions (stupid teachings and mothballed ideas of prophets)
  11. Secrecy and deliberate lies
  12. Temple endowment
  13. Book of Abraham + other translation failures
  14. Outright racism in disguise
  15. Corrupt and dishonest Kirtland Bank fiasco
  16. Tithing – corrupted in its interpretation and application
  17. No financial transparency
  18. DNA proof B of M narrative is false
  19. Lack of power in priesthood, failed predictions, no revelation
  20. Homophobia
  21. The promise that the Church would never be led astray
  22. Smith’s life and conduct
  23. Restoration of Priesthoods – not as described – retrospective claims inserted later
  24. Changing Doctrines
  25. Changing Endowment
  26. Rewritten and retro invented History
  27. Corrupt prophets
  28. Discredited claims and beliefs
  29. The methods of ascertaining truth by the church are totally inadequate
  30. Greedy, money soaked Corporation – fronted by a church
  31. Misogyny, cloaked in the patronizing pretense of esteem
  32. Biblical myths, like the flood with Noah’s Ark – creation timeline
  33. First Vision claim not credible – inserted later to bolster Smith authority at time of widespread apostasy, even of the 12 apostles
  34. Smith’s 3 heavens is actually bloody awful and NOT merciful. It reveals ‘separation’ by default, unless you prove ‘worthy’ to men playing God. There is a powerful level of anxiety and fear, due to variations in conformity by their family members, classified as ‘unworthy’ of the Celestial kingdom.
  35. Unfulfilled prophecy by Smith in the bucket loads
  36. Current Gay policy punishing children – the church pretends it is protecting children, which is another way of saying that their possible baptism and Gift of the Holy Ghost would have had NO effect upon any child, to guide and protect them?!! Instead, they leave each child to feel terribly isolated, alienated, unworthy, guilty and unwanted – compared to their peers. It was presented as a Revelation from Jesus Christ. My God – what a load of shit… if you believe that, you will believe anything! “Whosoever hurts one of these little ones, it would have been better for him…. “
  37. Hoffman forgeries which show prophets are NOT seers and have tried to buy and suppress information.
  38. Kinderhook plates nonsense
  39. Leadership succession totally devoid of guidance and sinister
  40. Church Essays themselves, are evidence (if you ever wanted it) of how the church tries to excuse its way out of all responsibility for its own sins and wrong doing.

~Robbie Bridgstock, FB Post – 12 September 2017 (used with permission)~

Fact 1455

GREEN FRIENDS: THE ELUSIVE TEXT IN MORMON 8:5

Occasionally, I get questions about the ‘green text’ in the ‘Book of Mormon Comparative’ and ‘The Handwritten Book of Mormon.’ I explain their use in these tomes: “During type-setting and while attempting to secure a Canadian copyright for their work, Oliver Cowdery exchanged the PM with the OM at the printer’s office so he could travel with the PM. Consequently, the OM was utilized during the type-setting of Helaman 13:17 through Mormon 9:37. Accordingly, these passages in the printed 1830 edition reflect favorably with the OM version. Although thousands of modifications were made to the entire handwritten text by the printers of the 1830 edition, there are a few instances where certain words differ from the PM to the 1830 edition; likely to have been from the non-extant portions of the OM in these few chapters.”

In the books, the verse has the word “Friends” in green. The OM is not extant. The unedited PM reads “but I have not I have none”, and Oliver Cowdery ‘later’ inserted two words to make it read “but I have not and ore I have none”. So why the green text “Friends?” Royal Skousen does not address this in “Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon,” nor is it referenced by him in his “Earliest Text” volume. John S. Dinger does not address this in “Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon” either. My copy of the 1830 edition Book of Mormon doesn’t read this way!

…The plot thickens…

On page 532 of the 1830 Book of Mormon, shown on the Joseph Smith Papers site (http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/538) this same text reads “but I have not.  Friends I have none…” This begs the question: Why is it not in my copy of the 1830 Book of Mormon? The 1830 edition of the BOM was constantly evolving during printing. Indeed, a friend once speculated that “there may be as many different versions of the 1830 edition as there are original copies still in existence.” Could the word “Friends” have been a part of the (now destroyed) OM? Was this variety in the JS papers a mistake John Gilbert made during typesetting? Evidently the church is convinced of the latter, as well as the Oliver Cowdery edit of the PM, since the current version reads “but I have not; and ore I have none…”

~Dan Wees, 13 September 2017~

Fact 1456

JOSEPH SMITH’S GENEALOGICAL/CHRONOLOGY ERRORS IN THE BOOK OF MORMON

Most of us stand in awe of how Joseph Smith accomplished writing the Book of Mormon, particularly when it’s easy to understand it didn’t come from a divine source. But sometimes this awe has been manufactured by the church, and it takes years of investigation to learn the truth behind every falsehood perpetrated at the hands of the religion.

One such item is the chronology of the Book of Mormon. It’s easy to tell when events happened, because the church has given us the approximate years of BOM events, when definite years are not identified in the text. The fact that Joseph didn’t have this benefit as we do, adds to the awe.

How could he have given such accurate chronology without divine intervention?

Regardless of what we’ve been taught, it not only wasn’t divine, it wasn’t accurate either.

Not even close.

Colt Kalcich has recently finished an in-depth evaluation of the Book of Mormon chronology. Mr. Kalcich postulates there are (conservatively) at least 10 “missing” generations in the chronology; but the REAL number may be closer to 20. Here is the full study:

 

Book of Mormon Chronology by Colt Kalcich

There have been several historical studies which seem to refute the historicity of the Book of Mormon. In contrast, there are also several studies which seem to support the chronology and the belief that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient peoples. What we lack is an independent study of the Book of Mormon itself, wherein we analyze the book at face value in and of itself with little outside support. This is the purpose of this study: to match the chronology of the Book of Mormon against itself to determine if there are any contradictions.

After writing this report, I found https://byustudies.byu.edu/book-of-mormon-charts. This website diagrams out the lineages of the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, they don’t give exact dates and some of their guesses of birth or death dates make no sense compared with this study. However, their study shows in picture form the overall idea that most writers of the Book of Mormon had children in the last years of their lives.

From the time I was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, part of my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel was built on how complicated the chronology and story line of the Book of Mormon is to understand and follow. My belief was “How could any unlearned man (Joseph Smith) write such a complicated book in such a short amount of time?” It had to have been divinely inspired. However, as my faith has begun to transition and I have been taught to skepticize everything, I decided to critically examine my original belief of the Book of Mormon. This report of the examination is not “anti-mormon.” You will not find a smoking gun herein. This study might be very hard to follow if you have not read and studied the Book of Mormon. There are likely some new questions which apologists will have to consider, but I doubt anything read herein will sway one’s beliefs on the divinity of the Book of Mormon, whether they be in the belief camp or not. For those of you who believe the Book of Mormon was written by ancient peoples, I believe this study will further help your overall understanding of the Book of Mormon.

There are several exact dates given of events, births and deaths in the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, several educated guesses have to be made for this study. A lot of critical thought has gone into the guesses to make sure this examination is fair to the supposed chronology set forth in the Book of Mormon. These guesses are annotated accordingly. The Chronology is set up to be 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ or during the first year of the reign of King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. History may have slightly different correlations for these exact dates, but this report assumes the Book of Mormon chronology is correct in and of itself. This study does not attempt to combine outside studies to prove or disprove when specific Book of Mormon dates occurred. This is necessary because we have to take the Book of Mormon at face value to determine if there are any major inconsistencies in the book itself. In conjunction with this, most of the suggested dates in the chapter headings are used or considered. As far as we can tell, these dates were originally added in the Book of Mormon by the apostle, Elder James E. Talmage, in the 1920’s. All guessed or actual dates are to be considered with a deviation of +/- 1 year.

Pre-SUMMARY

Across the Book of Mormon generations we have 6 men living to be at least 90 years and two of them living more than 120 years. Five men had children after the age of 60 years, with Amos 1 setting a record of becoming a father again at the age of 97 years. We are missing about 10 generations over the span of the millennia the Book of Mormon covers. Most writers spent their early years fighting the Lamanites or going on missions. They married in their 30’s or 40’s to Nephite girls in their teens and 20 years their junior. Many of the writers had to re-marry after the death of their 1st wife to continue having kids into their 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s. Of course there is nothing wrong with this, but it is just something you do not generally consider as you read the Book of Mormon.

Generational Study

Before we get into each individual writer of the Book of Mormon and how long they lived and what they were doing when they lived, I did a generational study. From the first writer, the Prophet Lehi (born ~645B.C.) to the last writer, Angel Moroni (born ~350A.D), it is about one millennia. This makes 20 generations +/- 1. I found it easier to do this study based on the dates of birth of the writers as opposed to the dates of death; even though we have 17 exact death dates compared to 3 birth dates.

A cursory search of the internet postulates there are about 30 generations in 1000 years. This estimates the new generation is born when the father is about 33 years old on average across the whole millennia. This is a heavy contradiction to the Book of Mormon (excluding Book of Ether) with only 20 generations with the average age of the father at 50 when his progeny is born. A quick reference to Addendum 1 shows 19 of 24 writers were having kid(s) at 40 or older with several (8 writers) having children at 54 or older.

Psalms 90:10 was written during the time of Enos1 and it intimates people could live to be 70 years during that time. In ancient Greek history2, there are rumors of multiple people living to be 100 years old. So, this is not too much of a mental stretch to think ancient prophets in the Americas were living long lives, longer than the age expectancy of an American male today3. A major question is, up until what age could the writers realistically impregnate their wives? Modern instances show men in their 80’s and 90’s have “begat” children4.

Almost all of the writers were warriors who fought in battles. They were all Nephites, but not all of them were righteous. However, the Book of Mormon teaches against polygamy and concubines. Consider most writers were in their 40’s and still having children. Studies today tend to show only 13% of females can have children past the age of 453. Even if most of the writers married women 20 years their junior, the wives would likely have had to die for them to continue having kids into their 60’s 70’s or even 80’s and 90’s! Your mind can wander thinking about how many consecutive wives some of these writers had and at what age they were marrying the Nephite girls.

Study of the Writers

The following is a summation of Addendum 1 and of each of the 20 generations and other key writers or actors of the Book of Mormon. Anything highlighted in yellow is an exact date. A few assumptions are made to help with the date estimations. We assume a rule the writer dies the same year or soon after he passes on the plates to the next writer. Another assumption is a writer cannot give the plates to anyone younger than 20 years unless explicitly stated. A rule of 50 which can be calculated from the generational study says most men, on average, were having children at 50 years old unless exact dates tell us otherwise. And just for fun, if possible, we like to have the writer die at the age of 76 (Age of a tree) assuming it fits with the given chronology.

Generation 1: LEHI Born 645 BC– Died 585 BC (2 Nephi 4:12)

Lehi likely had teenage children prior to 600 BC, so a rough estimate is he was born no earlier than 645 BC. His death date really doesn’t matter, but the earliest he probably died was 585BC, making him approximately 60 years when “he waxed old.” He was having kids (Joseph) as old as 53 years. Sariah, Lehi’s wife, would have been having children into at least her 40’s.

Generation 1.5: Nephi 1 Born 615 BC – Died 545 BC (Jacob 1:9)

Amazingly, for this study, Nephi is rather unimportant. However, to investigate his life story here, we can predict he was a teenager by the time he first left Jerusalem in 600 BC, making his birth around 615 BC. He passed on the plates about 545 BC and died at the age of 60 years. He had children, so why didn’t he pass the plates on to one of his sons? We know the plates were generally given to a righteous man if there was one, but it was rarely ever given to the first born son (maybe 6 times).

Generation 2: Jacob (son of Lehi) Born 593 BC – Died 490 BC

Jacob was the firstborn of Lehi in the wilderness prior to coming to the Americas.  He received the plates at about 37 years when Nephi died. His death has to be guessed and it does really matter. Our best guess for his death date would precede his son’s birth by 20 years. So, if his son Enos is born in 510 BC, and he dies 20 years later, Jacob lived to be about 103 years old. He was still having kids at the age of 83 years! He doesn’t win for the oldest conception age however.

Generation 3: Enos (son of Jacob) Born 510 BC – Died 421 BC (Enos 1:25)

We know Enos died in 421 BC or later and we make a guess he died at the age of 89. You basically have to split the age of Jacob and Enos, so if you make Jacob younger at his death, you have to make Enos older at his death. Either way, they lucked out in the gene pool despite Lehi and Nephi living to be only 60 years. Enos had a kid at about the age of 60 years.

Generation 4: Jarom (son of Enos) Born 450 BC – Died 362 BC (Jarom 1:13)

Jarom died in 362 BC and we rule he had to have been born before the death of his father by 20 years. But just to keep with the good genes, and to not make his dad or himself too old to be having kids, we estimate his birth to be about 450 BC. This applies the rule of his age to be about 50 years when he spawned the next generation and he died at 92 years.

Generation 5: Omni (son of Jarom) Born 400 BC – Died 318 BC (Omni 1:3)

We know when Omni died, and we estimate his birth using the popular age of 50 for his father. Sure, he could have been older, but there is no reason to assume he was having kids past the age of 50. Omni died at a young age of 82 years, compared to his ancestors. Most interesting is our guess that he was still having kids at the ripe old age of 50 (Chemish).

Generation 4.5: Amaron (son of Omni) Born 355 BC – Died 280 BC (Omni 1:5)

We estimate the birth of Amaron by 45 years after Omni’s birth. This means he only lived to be 75 years. Any younger does not make sense for the gene pool, and any older gets us farther away from the magic number of 50 for his dad to be having kids. Amaron did not have any male sons still living at the time of death, so he pulled a Nephi and gave the plates to his brother, Chemish. Overall, Amaron’s birth date estimate is fairly important to help us determine the age of his brother, Chemish.

Generation 5: Chemish (Son of Omni) Born 350 BC – Died 260 BC

We have to completely estimate the birth and death dates of Chemish. We assume his dad was 50 when he was born. Chemish died several years after his brother Amaron who died in 280 BC. His son was born in the same year Amaron died. Using our general rule that the father can only give the plates to a son who is 20 years or older, we have a death date. He dies at 90 years while having children at 70 years.

Generation 6: Abinadom (Son of Chemish) Born 280 BC – Died 210 BC

Abinadom’s life span isn’t important for our study. We assume he was born around 280 BC but you could go 10 years in either direction. He has a child at 50 and passes on the plates to him when he turns 20 years.

Generation 7: Amaleki (Son of Abinadom) Born 230 BC – Died 140 BC

Amaleki is born 20 years before he receives the plates from his dying father. He is born in the days of Mosiah 1 and dies before King Benjamin. Using those two reference points, we know he lived to be old (Omni 1:25) and we assume that to be 90 years in this case. Using his statement that he was “born in the days of Mosiah” to mean Mosiah was a young king at the time of his birth, we use Amaleki as a half generation or Mosiah 1 was 24 years senior to Amaleki.

Generation 6.5: Mosiah 1 (Unknown father) Born 254 BC – Died 174 BC

Although not of the previous writer lineage, Mosiah 1 lived to be an old age. We have to really work backward here from the known death date of Mosiah 1’s son. He could have been born prior to 254 BC, but we are assuming he was a young king already by the birth of Amaleki and he had his son, King Benjamin, at the age of 50 years.

Generation 7: Zeniff (Unknown father) Born 235 BC – Died 165 BC

Zeniff was born before Mosiah left the Land of Nephi, so we assume he was born slightly before Amaleki in the land Nephi in 235 BC. This assumption makes him about 35 years when he attempts to return to the land of his birthplace. He was a righteous leader. He led for many years and fought many battles before dying at the age of 70. He was having kids into his 50’s. The big question with Zeniff is, is he is the brother of Amaleki (Omni 1:30)? He kept his history on plates which is evidence that suggests he was a son of Abinadom.

Generation 7.5 King Noah (Son of Zeniff) Born 185 BC – Died 145 BC

Zeniff was too busy to have children until after he returned to the Land of Nephi. This gives us a birth year of 198 BC for King Noah. He was a very young leader at the age of 21 years which may have contributed to his wickedness. His reign ended after killing the prophet Abinadi. He went into the wilderness and “suffered “death by fire” around 145 BC. He lived to be at least 53 years while having kids early on in his 20’s.

Generation 7.5: King Benjamin (Son of Mosiah 1) Born 204 BC – Died 121 BC (Mosiah 6: 4-5)

We know the death date of King Benjamin and it seems like he was extremely wise and beloved by his people. He probably reigned as king for a long time (53+ years?). He didn’t necessarily live to be 83 years, but it fits in with the overall chronology if we use this estimation. Plus, using this birth date, he was a sensible 30 years when he began his reign.

Generation 8: King Limhi (Son of King Noah) Born 170 BC – Died 99 BC

King Limhi’s dad had a lot of concubines and started having kids even before he was made King. Despite his father’s wickedness, King Limhi had a soft spot for his conscience. This was probably because King Limhi was born a few years before the death of Zeniff who also partially helped raise him. Mosiah 2 sent Ammon to find the people of Zeniff. Ammon saved King Limhi from the Lamanites and King Limhi died about 10 years after being baptized by Alma in 99 BC in the Land of Zarahemla. We know nothing of his posterity. He died at the age of a tree.

Generation 8.5: Mosiah 2 (Son of King Benjamin) Born 154 BC – Died 91 BC (Mosiah 29:46)

Mosiah 2 is one of the few writers whose birth and death years Mormon gives us. He died relatively young at 63 years. His sons and Alma 2 were probably persecuting the church around 100 BC. This implies he likely started having children in his mid 20’s.

The study of Zarahemla and the reign of the Judges

This is where the chronology really starts to get complicated. We have to back up to a few years to the birth of Alma 1 which gets us back to the eighth generation. Even though Alma 1 was 20 years senior to Mosiah 2, their kids were contemporaries. But it is more realistic Alma 1 was 7 generations from Lehi as opposed to 8 generations. The reign of the judges started in 91 BC.

Generation 8: Alma 1 (Unknown father) Born 174 BC – Died 92 BC (Mosiah 29:45)

Mormon gives us the birth and death years of Alma 1. He died at the age of 82 years. If Abinadi died by fire in 148 BC (see chapter headings), Alma gained his testimony and became the leader of the church at the age of 26. He baptized in secret, and then spent time in the wilderness with his followers before returning to Zarahemla around 120 BC. He had to return to Zarahemla after the death of King Benjamin.

Generation 9: Alma 2 (Son of Alma 1)  Born 115 BC – Died 72 BC (Alma 45:2)

It makes much more sense if Alma 2 is born in the Land of Zarahemla as opposed to the wilderness, making him missionary age (20 years) by the time he is converted to the gospel after persecuting the church. We have some evidence he was born in the land of Zarahemla (Mosiah 27:16). He had several sons of missionary age in 74 BC, meaning he was having children very soon after his conversion to the gospel at about 21 years. This contrasts to the sons of Mosiah 2 who went on missions while Alma 2 stayed behind to become the chief Judge in 91 BC. Our estimation has Alma 2 “dying” younger than any previous writer at the age of 43. He was on his way to proselyte when he vanished, so he was probably just killed in a stampede of wild horses or something else on the way.

Generation 10: Helaman 1 (Son of Alma 2) Born 94 BC – Died 55 BC (Alma 62:52)

We have to assume a lot here to determine the birth of Helaman 1. Assuming we have the correct dates for Alma 2 and we use the suggested date for Alma 2’s conversion at 95 BC in chapter headings, and we assume Helaman 1 was born post-conversion of Alma 2, we have him born in 94 BC. Mormon gives us his death date, meaning he was 39 years when he died. You really can’t add any time to his life, 39 years is gracious.

Alma 2 was hardly ever home after he was converted because he was on missions almost non-stop for the next several years. He had just a couple of years near his hometown to make a family.

Generation 11: Shiblon (Son of Helaman 1) Born 75 BC – Died 52 BC (Alma 63: 10)

The rest of the Book of Mormon chronology should have went through Shiblon, but he died at the age of 27. We know it was not a very sudden death because he verbally and/or physically gave the plates to his brother Helaman 2. This is one of the most interesting stories left untold in the Book of Mormon. He is the youngest writer to die by far. He probably had kids, but they were too young to get the plates so we just follow Helaman 2’s lineage from here.

Generation 11: Helaman 2 (Son of Helaman 1) Born 72 BC – Died in 38 BC (Helaman 3:37)

If Helaman 2 received the plates when he was 20 years, we get his birth date at 72 BC. We know he died in 38 BC making him 34 years when he died. There is definitely a story here with both righteous brothers dying at such young ages. Luckily, he started having kids early on in his 20’s, or else we would have had to jump lineages again.

Generation 12: Nephi 2 (Son of Helaman 2) Born 50 BC – Died 01 AD (3 Nephi 1: 1-2)

We don’t know when Nephi 1 was born, and he could be slightly older than the 50 BC birth date we give him, but it’s a moot point other than to say he was probably the youngest prophet at the age of 12. We are told by Mormon, Nephi 2 simply gave charge to Nephi 3 concerning all of his affairs just prior to the birth of Christ in AD 1. Nephi 2 then pulled an Alma 2 and walked off at the age of 50 years never to be seen again.

Generation 13: Nephi 3: (Son of Nephi 1) Born 20 BC – Died 56 AD

Nephi 3 is known as the disciple because he was the prophet prior to Christ’s visit and became a member of the quorum of the 12 apostles after Christ visited the Americas. We assume he was born at least 20 years prior to receiving the plates giving us a 20 BC birth date. We know he died before 79 AD, but just for fun we assume he died in 56 AD which is the age of a tree (76 years). He was having kids into his 50’s.

Generation 14: Nephi 4 (Son of Nephi 2) Born 34 AD – Died 110 AD (4 Nephi 1:20)

Nephi 4 was considered the first generation of Christ (4 Nephi 1:18) and he was dead at 110 AD. If he was born at the time of Christ’s death, this also makes him the age of a tree just like his father when he gave up the ghost. He was having kids into his 60’s.

Generation 15: Amos 1 (Son of Nephi 3) Born 96 AD – Died 194 AD (4 Nephi 1:21)

We know Amos lived a long time. He kept the plates for 84 years until he died in 194 AD. So when did he get the plates? We bend our long standing rule of 20 for this study and give the plates to Amos 1 when he is only 14 years old. It sounds better to have him born when Nephi 3 is in his 50’s instead of making his birth date younger and his dad being really old. We can pretty confidently say he lived into his late 90’s while still having kids as late as 97 years!

Generation 16: Amos 2 (Son of Amos 1) Born 184 AD – Died 305 AD (4 Nephi 1:47)

We have to break the 20 rule again and given the plates to Amos 2 when he is only 10 years old because his dad dies in 194 AD. With this birth date, we can still give Amos 1 more time to make more children (Ammaron). This still gives us a lifespan of 121 years for Amos 2! With genes like this, maybe we should make Amos 1 born earlier, like around 66 AD?

Generation 17: Ammaron (Son of Amos 1) Born 194 AD – Died 321 AD (4 Nephi 1:48)

Sure, Ammaron could have been born more than one year prior to his father’s death, but we know he lived until at least 320 AD making his lifespan a minimum of 126 years. He wins the Book of Mormon longevity war. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about his family. He was born in one of the most pacific times of the Book of Mormon, and died in one of the most war-torn times. He likely had several sons who were killed in the ending war with the Lamanites. As a result he prepared a “sober child” named Mormon to take the plates.

Generation 18: Mormon (Father of Mormon) Born 260 AD – Died 320 AD

This is all a guess, but a great trivia question is asking who Mormon’s father was. Because Ammaron lived for so long, Mormon the elder could even be put into generation 18.5 if we wanted to.

Generation 19: Mormon (Friend of Ammaron) Born 310 AD – Died 386 AD (Mormon 2:2)

We know when Mormon was born and when he received the plates. His death date is not exactly given. The battle of Hill Cumorah was probably around 385 AD and he was hunted down and died after that with all other survivors except his son Moroni. This makes him also the age of a tree at his death, although he was brutally killed by the pursuing Lamanites. He was having kids as late as 40 years.

Generation 20: Moroni (Son of Mormon) Born 350 AD – Died 426 AD

The birth date of Moroni is a complete guess; it could go 10 years in either direction from 350 AD. He died after he buried up the plates in 421 AD. This makes him too tired to carry the plates at the age of 71 years so he hides them up and wanders around the wilderness for another 5 years until he is transfigured at the age of a tree.

A study of the Book of Ether

The Book of Ether compares itself to the bible and then ties into the Book of Mormon. Ether himself gives us an almost complete genealogical history of his ancestors. By our study, the Brother of Jared was a contemporary of Nimrod and they were both the third generation from Noah, who was the 9th generation from father Adam.

Ether lists 30 names of his direct ancestors. If you include Ether and assume Coriantumr was a generation later, you have about 32 generational names. Unfortunately, Ether admits the list is incomplete and skips the names of some of his ancestors in the original chronology. In Ether 1, there are three specific instances where Ether states the son “was a descendent of” another person. However, “son of” and “was a descendent of” seems to be interchangeable. Ether calls himself a “descendent of Coriantor” in Ether 1, but then says in Ether 11:23 he is the “son of” Coriantor. Also, In Ether 1, Shez is said to be the “son of” Heth, but in Ether 10:1, it says Shez “was a descendant of Heth.” There are other instances as well Aaron/Heth (Ether 10:31) and Ahah/Ethem (Ether 11: 11). Why is there such an ambiguity between the phrases “son of” and “descendant of”?

So, we can assume there is only one chronological skip in the book of Ether: Between Morianton/Riplakish. This incompleteness leaves us missing about 11 names of ancestors. This begs the questions, why would anyone give a genealogy that is only 75% complete? What would we think of the Bible if it did this with the genealogy of the Jesus? The Bible gives us 42 straight names from the time of Nimrod to contemporaries of Coriantumr. It then continues all the way to Jesus. Does this incompleteness in Ether make this “…the most correct book…”?

Also, compare Ether 1: 11-12 with Ether 11: 4-5. We get two spellings for the son of Com: Shiblom and Shiblon. Which is correct? In the Book of Mormon Comparative5 by Dan Wees, it shows the ‘Original Manuscript’ and the ‘Printer’s Manuscript’ for the early editions of the Book of Mormon  have this exact same mistake. Royal Skousen blames this mistake6 on Oliver Cowdery.

1 https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/parallel/paral18.cfm

2 http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/life_history/age-specific-mortality-lifespan-bad-science- 2009.html

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253726/

4 http://www.conceiveeasy.com/get-pregnant/is-there-an-age-limit-to-male-fertility/

5 http://realbookofmormon.org/comparisons/

6 www.mormoninterpreter.com

Post-Summary

We learned a lot from this study. We learned most writers lived long lives and were having children past normal child bearing ages. Most writers re-married to continue having children. The plates were generally not passed on to the first-born son, rather to one of the last-born sons whether they were righteous or not. There are a lot less generations in the Book of Mormon than one would expect based upon historical research. The Book of Ether has its own problems to include misspellings and ambiguity. It also has its own lack of generations mostly due to an incomplete genealogy.

Despite these errors and inconsistencies, the Book of Mormon can stand upon itself in its own chronology. There are no major problems with the chronology. This leads one to admit the book is either a true historical document or it was produced by a “learned man.” The Book of Mormon was not written in a short amount of time or told from memory. If it is not historical, someone spent A LOT of time to make sure there were very few mistakes.  Whether you believe in the divinity of the Book of Mormon or not, I hope you learned some foundational information for some of our favorite childhood heroes.

I did this study for my own personal reasons. I am open to feedback via e-mail. I hope one way or another you will be able to use some of the information provided here to help your overall understanding of the Book of Mormon.

-Colt Kalcich 9/21/17 (colt_a_k@hotmail.com)

 

How to read Addendum 1:

^ gives the age of the father when the corresponding writer is born.

545 Gives an exact year for a birth, death or event which gives a Book of Mormon reference in the study

~645 Gives an approximate date for a birth, death or event based upon explained rules or other information given

*Denotes important events with the corresponding year

The left column gives the basic chronology of the writers from start to finish. The right column including Zeniff, King Noah and King Limhi shows how interconnected the timeline is.

  

How to read Addendum 2:

Most of the genealogy was taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Genesis_patriarchs.

Jesus’ genealogy was taken from Luke 3:23-28 or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogy_of_Jesus

Adam was born in the year 3988

The missing generations of Ether were just guesses on where they would be in comparison to the Genesis Patriarchs and the Book of Mormon writers.

 

Fact 1457

ANTI-SCIENCE 

“The truth seeker asks, ‘Canst thou by searching find out God?’…(Job 11:7). The answer: Yes and no…no, if the search is in the laboratory, in the philosopher’s classroom, or through the scientist’s telescope.”

~Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, page 14~

Fact 1458

BAD REVIEW

In 2011, I published the “Encyclopedia of Anti-Mormonism.” I assumed the title would be enough to drive away active Mormons, as it wasn’t meant to inspire them. Somehow, it attracts them nonetheless. Rather than take the information at face-value, scathing reviews follow. Here is one such instance, along with my thoughts:

A consumer (thank you very much!) of my digital book known as “L Book Collector,”

took it upon himself to write a review about my work. I will identify his words in blue below, and offer my evaluation in black:

Let me begin by stating that although “L Book Collector” (hereafter known as LBC) doesn’t appear to have read my entire book, he certainly has at least skimmed the surface enough to be more familiar than some. Regardless, in having encountered data he feels uncomfortable with, LBC allows his emotions to take control of his other faculties, until finally, he is resigned to offer a feeble example and to challenge the reader to toss my book to the fire quicker than Lucy Harris did with the 116 pages, and read the Book of Mormon instead. Says he:

This book takes the pure and simple truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and distorts them so much its horrible.

No example is given, so it’s difficult to know what LBC is referring to. Anyone reading the book cover-to-cover will note that the Lion’s Share of the material comes directly from either LDS authorities, or members closely associated with the early days of the church. In several cases, testimonials are witnessed to, to help add credibility. There is not a single item in the book that has been ‘horribly distorted.’ Additionally, one will easily note that very little attention is given to the New Testament; thus, the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” is not attacked (per se), but LBC uses this phrase to mean “Mormonism,” which most Christians would take issue with.

Members of the LDS Church are really good people and this does nothing but take truths completely out of context and puts it in a book trying to sway people away from the church.

Nowhere in the book have I labeled Mormons as anything less than “good people,” although, personally, I’ve ran into many who are not. No, my beef is with Mormon-ISM, not with Mormons. I make this clear: “The faithful Mormon will likely view this book as an affront to their values; this is untrue. I find many of the values to which Mormons espouse to be virtuous, yet I find no virtue in the religion itself. There is a vast chasm between being “Anti-Mormon” and being “Anti-Mormonism.”

It’s difficult to quote passages from books and leave the entire content in play so that the reader may find some nuanced wisdom in context. There was never a time in compiling this volume that I felt the need to intentionally take something out of context to prove a point about Mormonism. The trouble with the church can be easily found within its own writings. I need not distort it to make the religion look bad; it does that fine on its own.

As far as this being “a book trying to sway people away from the church,” I might be guilty; in fact, elated if this was possible. However, it is not. The only thing that can sway someone away from the church is their own heart, not the words in a book. Thus, LBC’s praise is unwarranted.

This book is full of Complete 100% Lies, There are some truths in here but they bend it to their views that the church and everything about it is bad but it isn’t.

A textbook example of how easy it is to dismiss someone’s rant about your work can be found in a single sentence which contradicts itself by saying the book is “100% Lies,” but “There are some truths in here.” I find it difficult to debate this notion, but I see it from a totally different perspective. Yes, I quote several lies by authorities in the book. To this end, I find there to be truth. Since I’m certain LBC is accusing me of lying in my presentation, I can only say that his opinion can be easily dismissed with the fact that he doesn’t take the time to present an example (but, it’s coming!).

I Strongly recommend anyone to avoid this book like the Plague because it doesn’t come from a very good source, this author must have too much time on their hands and probably needs to do something more productive.

An ad hominem attack; labeling me as not a “good source.” Admittedly, there is a bit of editorializing in the book, but very little regarding the quotes from other sources. Although I (and those closest to me) know how busy my daily schedule is, I have moved on to other ventures; the book was written six years ago.

They put sources in there but they aren’t reliable. Especially the links from Wikipedia??? They teach you that in Elementary school that Wikipedia is bad. When has Wikipedia ever been a good reliable and intelligent source for information??? Ill answer it, never….

I have many links to Wikipedia in the book, but NONE when it comes to using it as backing for an argument. Almost all wiki-references are identifiers, such as a brief history of one of the leaders of the church (which is the primary focus). Many Mormons have a deep-rooted hatred for Wikipedia, which seems to stem more from the fact that their sources paint a real (and consequently less desirable) picture of Mormons and LDS history, than from the accuracy of the data. Personally, I find Wikipedia to be a perfectly good ‘starting point’ in researching most things. I rarely find things to be way off the mark, if even a little.

Example a quote by Joseph smith was about Being Loyal to good friends and you turned it into something about Heaven and Hell that had nothing to do with the original quote that he said

Finally, LBC offers an example! This is from page 311 of the original book under the topic of “Heaven and Hell.”

Joseph Smith said: “I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 316).

Compare the statement above with this one:

“We reject the unscriptural doctrine that there are two places or states of eternal existence – heaven and hell – and that all men will go to one or the other” (Hugh B. Brown, Conference Reports – April 1965, page 43).

LBC has accused me of taking things out of context, and he is guilty of the tactic here. The undeniable topic of this issue is “Heaven and Hell.” I wasn’t trying to distort JS’s love of the Saints, nor did I even focus on the insanely produced final sentence of his words (which is not, nor has it ever been church doctrine). No, I was pointing out the simple fact that JS acknowledged a belief in “Heaven and Hell,” and Hugh B. Brown contradicted it. Period.

A person will normally deliver their BEST example as fire-power to destroy an argument (let alone an entire book). If this is the best LBC can do, then I count that as a big win. Frankly, I could find a better argument against my own work!

(I have all the books you quote in this book in my library, by the way)

Doubtful. Although there’s no way to prove he has this expansive library (which I don’t have a portion of myself), perhaps I give him the benefit of the doubt and say he does. The chest-pounding way of claiming his library is bigger than ours is tacky.

Anybody searching for the real truth can see that those in this book are not good sources, you have to do what Christ said in the bible even to see for yourself from the original source.

I take issue with this. Although I’ve not gone back through this volume with a fine-toothed comb since its inception, I’ve yet to discover an unreliable source. Yes, occasionally I find that I should have mentioned a carryover page in the footnotes, and yes, after six years some of the links have disappeared/changed. But there has never been a deliberate attempt at deception within it’s pages in any way. Indeed, the reader will find that my quest for perfection in the pages is evidenced by, “Every reasonable attempt has been made to check on the sources, as available to the compiler. No claim is made to the text being error free, and there are going to be passages in this volume that have accidentally slipped through the cracks; having failed to meet the standard of integrity we hope to have. Authenticity is a paramount goal, and as such any/all corrections are welcomed.”

                        Can someone help me find the reference regarding Christ’s admonition about “original sources.?”

If you want to see if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is true see for yourself. Honestly and with real intent (full heartedly) looking for an answer, read the Book of Mormon and Pray and ask God if it is true after you have read it and pay attention to the answer you receive and the way you feel. you will then know for sure.

Ahhh…the testimony. It is delivered as a way to ultimately conquer all. LBC’s desire is to divert the reader from downloading the book long enough to witness to them, and to finally convince us to follow our feelings rather than the data.

~Dan Wees, 11 October 2017~

Fact 1459

‘MERICA 

“We may, however, observe, that so far as new revelation has given us information on this subject, this Continent of ours may be ranked among the first lands occupied by the human family. The very first man who had dominion on the face of the earth, under the direction of the Heavens, once dwelt on this Continent, His name was Adam…It was on this land where both Noah built his ark, which was blown by the winds of Heaven away to the east, and landed on Ararat.”

~Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:338~

Fact 1460

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Again[,] President Young said Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson Co[unty] Missouri, & when Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden He went about 40 miles to the Place which we Named Adam Ondi Ahman, & there built an Altar of Stone & offered Sacrifice. That Altar remains to this day. I saw it as Adam left it as did many others, & through all the revolutions of the world that Altar had not been disturbed. Joseph also said that when the City of Enoch fled & was translated it was where the Gulf of Mexico now is. It left that gulf a body of water.”

~Wilford Woodruff – 30 March 1873, in Susan Staker’s (editor), Waiting for Word’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, page 305; 1993~

Fact 1461

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Adam’s Altar, which was mentioned, I have visited many times. I sat upon the wall of stone and reflected upon the scenes that had taken place thousands of years ago right where I was. There were the rocks that Father Adam used…My father’s house stood about two hundred and fifty yards from that altar, on the bottom land of Grand River, in the valley of Adam-on-Diahman.”

~Oliver B. Huntington, Juvenile Instructor – 15 November 1895, pages 700-701~

Fact 1462

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the city of Zion, or the New Jerusalem will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri.”

~Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 3:74~

Fact 1463

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Since Adam called together seven generations of his descendants at Adam-ondi-Ahman, it can well be believed that there was his old homestead. If so, the Garden of Eden was probably not far distant, for it was the entrance at the east of the Garden which was closed against them at the time of the ‘fall’ [Genesis 3:24]. In fact, it has been commonly understood among the Latter-day Saints, from the teachings of the Prophet that the temple was to be built in or near the location of the Garden of Eden.”

~John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, page 396~

Fact 1464

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“That is the position of the Latter-day Saints today, with respect to the much-discussed location of the Garden of Eden. Adam, after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, lived in the vicinity of the great Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As his descendants multiplied, they would naturally settle along the fertile and climatically acceptable river valleys. When the flood came in the days of Noah, the Mississippi drainage must have increased to a tremendous volume, quite in harmony with the Biblical account. Noah’s ark would be floated on the mighty, rushing waters, towards the Gulf of Mexico. With favorable winds, it would cross the Atlantic to the Eastern continents. There[,] the human race, in its second start on earth, began to multiply and fill the earth. The location of the Garden of Eden in America, and at Independence, Missouri, clears up many a problem, which the Bible account of Eden and its garden has left in the minds of students.”

~John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pages 396-397; 1960~

Fact 1465

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley.”

~John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, page 127; 1960~

Fact 1466

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Adam was the first man of all men; Ahman is one of the names by which God was known to Adam. Adam-ondi-Ahman, a name carried over from the pure Adamic language into English, is one for which we have not been given a revealed, literal translation. As near as we can judge – and this view comes down from the early brethren who associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was the first one to use the name in this dispensation – Adam-ondi-Ahman means the place or land of God where Adam dwelt.

“Apparently the area included was a large one; at least, the revelations speak of the land, the valley, and the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman. They tell us that Christ himself ‘established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman’ [D&C 78:15-16], and that it included the place now known as Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri [D&C 116].

“Far West, Missouri, also appears to be included in the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman. On 17 April 1838, the Lord commanded his saints to assemble at Far West, which place, he said, was holy ground; and there they were to build a city [D&C 115]. By July 8 of that year, William Marks and Newel K. Whitney had not left their temporal concerns in Kirtland, Ohio, and were not assembling with the saints coming to Zion. In rebuking them the Lord said this: ‘Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters? Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion.’

“William Marks was told that he was to ‘preside in the midst of my people in the city of Far West,’ and Newel K. Whitney was told to ‘come up to the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and be a bishop unto my people’ [D&C 117].

“The early brethren of this dispensation taught that the Garden of Eden was located in what is known to us as the land of Zion, an area for which Jackson County, Missouri, is the center place. In our popular Latter-day Saint hymn which begins, ‘Glorious things are sung of Zion, Enoch’s city seen of old,’ we find William W. Phelps preserving the doctrine that ‘In Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zion rose where Eden was…’

“One of the greatest spiritual gatherings of all the ages took place in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman some 5,000 years ago, and another gathering – of even greater importance relative to this earth’s destiny – is soon to take place in that same location. Our revelations recite: ‘Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.

“And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel. And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever. And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being fill of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation’ [D&C 107:53-56].”

~Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pages 19-20~

Fact 1467

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On 19 May 1838, Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord [see John Taylor’s Mediation and Atonement, pages 69-70]. At this council, all who have held keys of authority will give an accounting of their stewardship to Adam. Christ will then come, receive back the keys, and thus take one of the final steps preparatory to reigning personally upon the earth.”

~see King James Bible, Daniel 7:9-14; see also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 157; see also Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 21~

Fact 1468

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Consider how very fortunate we are to be living in this land of America…Many great events have transpired in this land of destiny. This was the place where Adam dwelt; this was the place where the Garden of Eden was; it was here that Adam met with a body of high priests at Adam-ondi-Ahman shortly before his death and gave them his final blessing, and the place to which he will return to meet with the leaders of his people [D&C 107:53-57]. This was the place of three former civilizations: that of Adam, that of the Jaredites, and that of the Nephites.”

~Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pages 587-588~

Fact 1469

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“A CORROBORATIVE DISCOVERY. A short time ago the Washington Post made a remarkable statement regarding the location of the Garden of Eden. It announced that Dr. Campbell, of Versailles had lately discovered that it was on this continent, and near where St. Louis now stands. That gentleman, according to the Post, asserted that the Mississippi River is the Euphrates of Scripture, and that the Bible furnishes evidence of the correctness of his conclusions. It is probable that Dr. Campbell is not aware of the fact that he is not the discoverer of what he now announces, the Prophet Joseph Smith having many years ago stated that the Garden of Eden was located in what is now known as the State of Missouri. The Prophet also pointed out the precise spot where Adam offered sacrifice to the Lord, and where, as the great patriarchal head of the race, he blessed his children previous to his departure from the earth. That sacred spot in Missouri was designated by the Prophet as Adam-ondi-Ahman, the meaning of which is – the land where Adam dwelt.”

~Deseret News – 18 September 1888~

Fact 1470

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“I sometimes wish that every member of the Church could have the privilege of going to Liberty, and Richmond, Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, and Haun’s Mill, on their way east or west, as they come through the Central States Mission, for the impression that it gives them, for the increase in their faith and their reverence for the work that has been performed in this Church by its founders and leaders. One cannot stand upon the hill overlooking the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman without being very deeply impressed with the sacredness of the place.” 

~Elias S. Woodruff, Conference Report – October 1938, page 73~

Fact 1471

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“I have been privileged to feel the nearness of President McKay’s spirit. I have felt the majesty of his soul as we stood in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, observing in the short distance a place there known as Spring Hill, referred to in Section 116 of the Doctrine and Covenants as the place where Adam, Michael, or the ‘Ancient of Days,’ in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel, shall in the due time of the Lord visit the earth for an important reason, and while there hearing President McKay utter quietly, ‘This is a most holy place.’”

~Alvin R. Dyer, Conference Report – October 1967, page 41~

Fact 1472

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“Shortly after his arrival Joseph rowed up the Grand River to Lyman Wight’s ferry to explore land on the north bank in Daviess County [Missouri]. On a high bluff overlooking the river someone in the party discovered the ruins of what seemed to be an altar and excitedly led the prophet to it. After examining it Joseph stood silent, his eyes sweeping over the prairie that rolled away beneath him…The glory of the scene made Joseph heady as with new wine. ‘This is the valley of God in which Adam blessed his children,’ he said, ‘and upon this very altar Adam himself offered up sacrifices to Jehovah…we will lay out a city which shall be called Adam-ondi-Ahman. Here Adam, the Ancient of Days, shall come to visit his people’”

~Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, page 211; 1971~

Fact 1473

THE GARDEN OF EDEN IN AMERICA?

“On the basis of currently available information it would appear that the one that locates Eden near the head of the Persian Gulf combines the greatest number of probabilities of every kind.”

~Dr. Roland K. Harrison (professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, Toronto), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 2:17~

Fact 1474

GENEALOGY

CHARGE: One’s genealogy must be traced all the way back to Adam.

LDS RESPONSE: Four generations are encouraged; additional research is also encouraged. It is impossible to trace one’s genealogy back to Adam.

REALITY: The CHARGE is exaggerated, and yes, it is impossible to accomplish. It is rare to find anyone’s genealogy traced back further than about 1000 AD.

The reason there is such a strong emphasis on genealogy within Mormonism is to be able to locate deceased people having not had proxy temple work done for them. To the active Mormon, the two go hand-in-hand.

Far more money is spent by the LDS Church for the salvation of the dead than the living. Even most LDS missionaries are not supported financially by the Church, but by personal savings and family members.

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1475

GOD IS A MAN 

“Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so.”

~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:345~

Fact 1476

GOD IS A MAN

“It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being.”

~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:333~

Fact 1477

GOD IS A MAN

“I have embraced the Gospel for life and salvation; I have embraced it for time; I have embraced it for eternity. I calculate to go back and see my Father. Say the Christian world, ‘Who are you going to see?’ A personage very much like myself.”

~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 13:220~

Fact 1478

GOD IS A MAN

QUESTION: “Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?”

GORDON B. HINCKLEY: “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.”

~Time Magazine: Interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley; 4 Aug 1997~

Fact 1479

GOD IS A MAN

QUESTION: “Don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?”

HINCKLEY: “I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, ‘As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.’ Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else.”

~San Francisco Chronicle: Interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, page 3/Z1; 13 April 1997~

Here is a conflicting statement, proving it was more than a simple couplet:

“That exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day. I had a direct revelation of this. It was most perfect and complete. If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly, clearly, so that there could be no doubt or dubiety, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words: ‘As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.’ This may appear to some minds as something very strange and remarkable, but it is in perfect harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and with His promises.”

~Lorenzo R. Snow, Unchangeable Love of God; 18 September 1898~

Fact 1480

GOD IS A MAN

CHARGE: Mormons believe God is a man.

LDS RESPONSE: God is an exalted, resurrected, glorified man, far more superior than mortal man can conceive.

REALITY: The CHARGES and LDS RESPONSES are taken from the www.ldsfair.org topic “Errors, Misinterpretations and Exaggerations Concerning LDS Doctrine.” I find that the CHARGE is not an error, a misinterpretation or an exaggeration; however, the LDS RESPONSE certainly is.

The LDS Church is one of the only major religions that profess a belief that God is a Man. Generally, the mainstream religious right does not believe this about God, which makes the Mormon claim an error, a misinterpretation, and an exaggeration in the eyes of most of the religious world; as well as the non-religious community.

It is both condescending and twisted to tell the populous that the nature of God is “far more superior than mortal man can conceive” in the same breath as confessing that he is a man. Mormons try to preach a practical religion they claim just makes common sense; attempting to defuse the mystery surrounding God, yet they will use the “far more superior than mortal man can conceive” card whenever they choose.

A God who is less tangible and more ethereal would be a little more beyond our ability to conceive than one that has human characteristics.

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1481

GOD IS A MAN

CHARGE: It is arrogant to define God as human.

LDS RESPONSE: Yes it is, and Latter-day Saints do not define God as such, but do believe man is of God’s species.

REALITY: The LDS RESPONSE fails to mention they also believe that God is of man’s species. Mormons tend to split hairs about this issue; one of which they are seriously committed to.

To be certain: The LDS Church teaches that we are spiritual and physical children of God, and they are very clear that this all happens in a very natural manner; via sexual activity.

The traditional Mormon view of God is summed up by the famous Lorenzo Snow phrase: “As man is God once was, as God is man may be” (see Unchangeable Love of God; 18 September 1898).

The historic understanding of this strongly implies that God the Father was once a sinner, and that we ourselves may model our mortal experience unto godhood after the mortal experience he once participated in. In his famous King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith taught: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret…you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 345).

Joseph Smith then boldly preached: “If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it” (JS History of the Church 6:476; chapter 23).

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1482

GOD IS A MAN

CHARGE: Like Mormonism, Hinduism teaches humans are Gods.

LDS RESPONSE: Latter-day Saints believe each individual has the potential to become a God, whereas Hinduism teaches that the human soul (atman) can eventually merge and unite with the universal Brahman.   

REALITY: The point the CHARGE is making is the idea that humans can become “Gods” is a bad path to follow. I doubt that the person making the CHARGE was looking for a lesson in Hinduism, or that he/she cared if this was a Jewish or Catholic idea.

The LDS RESPONSE is an open admission that Mormons do not shy away from the belief that men can become a Gods.

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1483

GODHOOD: RESERVED FOR MARRIED COUPLES ONLY

CHARGE: The fine print of Mormonism is that becoming Gods cannot be done alone, but only in partnership with a spouse to whom one has been married in the temple For Eternity.

LDS RESPONSE: This is not a teaching members do not know, but one of the most well-known LDS doctrines.

REALITY: Although this certainly is a common enough idea among Mormons, it is simply unfair to assume that all LDS people know it, let alone the details of its origin. Additionally, as the years go by there is less talk about these things; the teachings over the past 20 years have been focused more on obedience and less on Free Agency.

This is not a topic you will find readily available in any of the current LDS instruction manuals (perhaps in an institute manual). There is less discussion about this concept since the original foundation is corrupt.

It is not something an investigator will learn in his/her missionary discussion lessons, unless the investigator has already heard something about it, then the missionaries will apprehensively entertain a very sparse discussion; choosing to end the conversation as soon as possible.

There is little time spent in LDS meetings discussing “becoming Gods” any longer, therefore it would be difficult to say that this is a doctrine that is known to all members or is one of the “most well-known LDS doctrines” either.

There can be little doubt the Bible doesn’t list marriage as a requirement for salvation. Paul was clear about this: “So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better” (1 Corinthians 7:38).

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1484

GOD’S PRESENCE

CHARGE: The Mormon God is not omnipotent, or omniscient.

LDS RESPONSE: Latter-day Saint doctrine teaches that God is all-knowing and has all possible power, but even God cannot save an unrepentant sinner.

REALITY: There is a trinity of “O” words which normally go together: Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. The word Omnipresent is the only one of the three that can firmly be dismissed in Mormonism; some Mormons would even debate this.

The best single word definition for omnipotent is almighty. Within Mormonism, and within the realm of experience in this world, the term almighty is appropriate. The LDS faith teaches that the God of our world was once like we are, and that he had a God over him in the past. This certainly makes the notion of almighty less appealing in Mormonism.

Omniscient is having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things. Mormon doctrine leads us to understand that one must grow into knowledge before becoming a God. Yes, this means the LDS faithful believe there was a time when God didn’t know it all. Mormons are less confident when it comes to the idea of awareness or perception as they don’t believe in predestination, or that God knows what you’re going to do before you do it. They claim he has a pretty good hunch about it, but we are not destined to act a given way. Mormons believe God is personally aware of our circumstances and our needs, but rarely intervenes to steer our course in an alternate direction.

The concept of omnipresence (that God can be present everywhere at the same time) is shunned in Mormonism. There would be no way for this to work since they believe God has a body of flesh and bone. They claim that in some mystical way “The Holy Ghost” and another mystical entity known as “The Light of Christ” can influence our spirits and inspire us; yet there is no explanation as to how this is possible.

In a mean-spirited display of Mormon arrogance, the pre-1990 version of the LDS temple ceremony portrays a Christian Minister employed by the devil to teach false doctrine to Adam and Eve and the rest of Adam’s posterity.  The concepts of Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence are ridiculed. Here is a portion of the transcript:

MINISTER: “I understand that you are inquiring after religion.”

ADAM: “I was calling upon Father.”

MINISTER: “I am glad to know that you were calling upon Father. Do you believe in a God who is without body, parts, or passions; who sits on the top of a topless throne; whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere; who fills the universe, and yet is so small that he can dwell in your heart; who is surrounded by myriads of beings who have been saved by grace, not for any act of theirs, but by His good pleasure. Do you believe in such a great Being?”

ADAM: “I do not. I cannot comprehend such a being.”

MINISTER: “That is the beauty of it. Perhaps you do not believe in a devil, and in that great hell, the bottomless pit, where there is a lake of fire and brimstone into which the wicked are cast, and where they are continually burning, but are never consumed?”

ADAM: “I do not believe in any such place.”

MINISTER: “My dear friend, I am sorry for you.”

LUCIFER: “I am sorry…very, very sorry!”

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1485

WAS GOD ONCE A SINNER?

CHARGE: God was once sinful.

LDS RESPONSE: This is not LDS theology.

REALITY: There does not seem to be concrete evidence to prove the LDS Church teaches this idea.

The insufficiency of evidence does not preclude a conviction.

“We believe that [God] was in our same situations. I don’t want someone judging me, until they have walked in my shoes. I am sure God has sinned. How else would he know and understand that he didn’t want his children to feel that pain. The difference between God and I, is that he took the steps to fix his wrongs. He offers the same to us” (Kathryn/Salt Lake City, UT – Active LDS).

Brigham Young declared that our God is lierally the first man, Adam (see Brigham Young via John Nuttall’s Journal; see also David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship, pages 111-112). There seems to be little disagreement among Christians that Adam sinned.

As with almost every other aspect of Mormon philosophy, one must weigh the statements of their leaders and doctrines to determine what they believe in.

~CHARGE and LDS RESPONSE (originally) online at: fairlds.org/The_God_Makers/tagm04.html~

Fact 1486

GOLD AND SILVER GROWS! 

“Gold and Silver grow, and so does every other kind of metal, the same as the hair upon my head, or the wheat in the field; they do not grow fast, but they are all the time composing or decomposing.”

~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:219~

Fact 1487

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“There has always been evidence of it [Joseph’s money-digging] in hostile affidavits from the Smiths’ neighbors, evidence which Mormons dismissed as hopelessly biased. But when I got into the sources, I found evidence from friendly contemporaries as well, Martin Harris, Joseph Knight, Oliver Cowdery, and Lucy Mack Smith. All of these witnesses persuaded me treasure-seeking and vernacular magic were part of the Smith family tradition, and that the hostile witnesses, including the 1826 trial record, had to be taken seriously.”

~Richard L. Bushman, Sunstone volume 2, no. 5, page 5 “Treasure-seeking Then and Now” (1987)~

Fact 1488

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“Yea, we have hid up our treasures and they have slipped away from us, because of the curse of the land.”

~Book of Mormon, Helaman 13:35~

Fact 1489

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“[These people] began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land.”

~Book of Mormon, Mormon 1:18~

Fact 1490

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“[Joseph Smith, Jr.] claims and believes that there is a [seer] stone of this quality, somewhere, for everyone.”

~Joseph Smith, Sr., in Fayette Lampham’s Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, page 306; see also Kirkham, New Witness for Christ in America 2:384~

Fact 1491

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“Joseph had a stone which was dug from the well of Mason Chase, twenty-four feet from the surface. In this stone he could see many things to my certain knowledge. It was by means of this stone he first discovered these plates.”

~Martin Harris, Tiffany’s Monthly – August 1859, volume. 5, no. 4, page 163~

Fact 1492

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“The money-diggers claimed that they had as much right to the plates as Joseph had, as they were in company together. They claimed that Joseph had been [a] traitor, and had appropriated to himself that which belonged to them.”

~Martin Harris, Tiffany’s Monthly – August 1859, volume. 5, no. 6, pages 163-170~

Fact 1493

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“Consequently[,] long before the idea of a Golden Bible entered their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place, where they struck their treasures, Jo used to be usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they should begin to dig. It was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendor.”

~Martin Harris, quoted in John Clark’s Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses, page 226; 1842~

Fact 1494

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“There was a company there in the neighborhood, who were digging for money supposed to have been hidden by the ancients. Of this company were old Mr. Stowell – I think his name was Josiah – also old Mr. Beman, also Samuel Lawrence, George Proper, Joseph Smith, Jr., and his father, and his brother Hiram Smith. They dug for money in Palmyra, Manchester, also in Pennsylvania, and other places…and they took Joseph to look in the stone for them, and he did so for a while, and he then told them the enchantment was so strong that he could not see, and they gave it up.”

~Martin Harris, quoted in John Clark’s Testimonies of Book of Mormon Witnesses, page 226; 1842~

Fact 1495

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by his authority, I now state that he does not say that Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim, but by means of one dark colored, opaque stone called a ‘Seer Stone,’ which was placed in the crown of a hat, into which Joseph would put his face, so as to exclude the external light.”

~Martin Harris, The Saints’ Herald, Vol. 26, No. 22, November 15, 1879, p. 341, Col. 3.~

Fact 1496

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine.”

~David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, page 12; 1887~

Fact 1497

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“The revelations in the Book of Commandments up to June, 1829, were given through the ‘stone,’ through which the Book of Mormon was translated.”

~David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, page 53; 1887~

Fact 1498

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“These treasures that are in the earth are carefully watched, they can be removed from place to place according to the good pleasure of Him who made them and owns them. He has his messengers at his service, and it is just as easy for an angel to remove the minerals from any part of these mountains to another, as it is for you and me to walk up and down this hall… I relate this because it is marvelous to you. But to those who understand these things, it is not marvelous.”

~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 19:36-38~

Fact 1499

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“The seer stone which Joseph Smith first obtained He got in an Iron kettle 25 feet underground. He saw it while looking in another seer’s stone which a person had. He went right to the spot & dug & found it.”

~Brigham Young, in Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1833-1898 Typescript 5:382-383 (11 September 1859), edited by Scott G. Kenney ~

Fact 1500

GOLD DIGGING & SEER STONES 

“Ten years ago, it was called heresy for Joseph Smith to be a money digger, and receive revelations; it actually became treason; and the people killed him for it: and now I see hundreds of reverend gentlemen going to dig money. I despise a man who won’t dig for gold, he is a lazy man, and intends to sponge on others. Do not think that I blame you; all I have to say is, that you have to follow in the wake of ‘Old Joe Smith,’ and paddle away to dig gold.”

~Brigham Young – 23 June 1850, Deseret News – 29 June 1850, page 20~