Book of Mormon-Satire-or ticket to heaven?

Joseph Smith’s God was no smarter than Smith.

Smith obviously had some help with the Book of Mormon from the School Teacher, Oliver Cowdery who was his last scribe and penned the final version of that book and became the second ‘Elder’ in Smith’s church. His first scribe, Martin Harris, who mortgaged his farm to publish the book with the hope of making a lot of money, spent more time at the job but in the end, lost all of the manuscript that he penned covering the first 475 years of history supposedly ‘translated’ from the gold plates of Lehi. Thus proving that Smith’s God wasn’t any smarter than Smith and couldn’t outwit an uneducated farmer’s wife! The LDS ‘Prophets’ following Smith have made no serious attempts to recover the lost 475 years of religious history detailed in the book of Lehi.

It is obviously not a ‘translation’ in the sense the term implies when you do not have to look at the writing you are attempting to ‘translate’. There has been speculation as to just how Smith created this ‘translation’ but all agree it wasn’t by him looking at and trying to read any ancient text.

There is no question that Smith was a charismatic, imaginative fellow with a capacity to convince ordinary people of almost anything.  He was known around Palmyra as one who lived by his ‘wits’ and branded as a ‘money digger’ who claimed to be able to find treasures of silver and gold in the ground and used what he called a ‘seer’ stone placed in his hat (that he found while digging a neighbor’s well) in his attempts. His wife and his first scribe claim he dictated to them pages of his ‘translation’ while looking at this same ‘peep’ stone placed in his hat with his face covering the opening.

In the memoirs of his mother Lucy Mack Smith we find the following: Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p.83

“During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.”

This was before the Book of Mormon was written, so it seems Smith was capable with his imagination of creating a story about the aborigines but limited to his own learning and creativity and the ignorance of his listeners.

Smith had a year or more to formulate his ideas about the Book of Mormon story line, from the time he claimed the angel Moroni showed him the hiding place of the gold plates at the hill Cumorah, not far from his home, to his first attempts at dictating text to Martin Harris. Among Smith’s talents could have been the ability of a photographic memory. However that may be, when farmer Martin came back to the Smith house without the manuscript that he needed to show his wife to convince her the book would be worth mortgaging the farm for future royalties, he found his wife was dead set against him being involved with Smith in any scheme. The belief is that she hid the manuscript so well that neither Martin or God could find it.

Lucy’s memoirs tells us the scene when Martin returned without the manuscript: Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p.128

“At length he told Martin to go back and search again. “No”; said Martin, “it is all in vain; for I have ripped open beds and pillows; and I know it is not there.”  “Then must I,” said Joseph, “return with such a tale as this? I dare not do it. And how shall I appear before the Lord? Of what rebuke am I not worthy from the angel of the Most High?”

I besought him not to mourn so, for perhaps the Lord would forgive him, after a short season of humiliation and repentance. But what could I do to comfort him, when he saw all the family in the same situation of mind as himself; for sobs and groans, and the most bitter lamentations filled the house. However, Joseph was more distressed than the rest, as he better understood the consequences of disobedience. And he continued pacing back and forth, meantime weeping and grieving, until about sunset, when, by persuasion, he took a little nourishment.:” [If we can believe the subsequent record, Smith’s God had foreseen this and had already made preparations. See D&C 10] 

Smith had about 10 months to find a solution to his new dilemma before his next and final scribe, Oliver Cowdery, arrived on the scene. Oliver lodged at Smith’s parents home while teaching school where he heard of the ‘gold plates’ and maybe the  possibility of Smith needing a new scribe.

Smith knew he couldn’t possibly produce another manuscript even close to what had been lost and convinced his God of the futility of trying to do so. The idea that Smith came up with to have another ‘history’ of the same period from someone other than Lehi, the father of Nephi, was a great idea. Lehi was the original leader of the group and whose name was used for the plates and book that was lost. This clever idea of having Nephi write his own record just called for a lot of back tracking for everyone involved including Smith’s God. Nephi dies of old age at about 50 plus years into the lost history with over 400 more years to account for. Smith didn’t give all of the ‘translated’ manuscript to Martin to show his wife and he tells us that he was already into the King Benjamin part of the story at about 124 BC.

This is where things really get tricky. The story is predicated on the timeline of leaving Jerusalem at 600 BC, where Nephi also states that it is during the first year of the reign of King Zedekiah. Modern history tells us Zedekiah didn’t ascend the throne until 596-7 BC, about 3 years later. The Bible tells us that all the sons of Zedekiah were put to death at Riblah on the captivity march to Babylon, but Smith tells us one escaped with his entourage and came to America. (With no details on this) One could believe, reading Smith’s King James Bible of his day, that the year 600 BC for Zedekiah could be a good guess. In 2Kings it shows dates of 600 and 599. The 600BC date is important because an angel tells Nephi that Christ would come exactly 600 years from the time his father left Jerusalem but with Zedekiah already King. Nephites relied on these ‘facts’ to keep their faith strong in Christ’s coming with the King James Biblical dating.

Dating is thus critical to the Book of Mormon, so it would be critical for Smith to know that the Jewish calendar was lunar and the year consisted of 354 days. The 11 day difference from the solar year was corrected every 3 years by the Jews in Jerusalem. The scribes would have to add 30+ days in order for their seasons to come when the calendar said they would. They had Spring planting Festivals where the Festival date needed to come in the Spring. There is no indication that any Book of Mormon writer knew this, including of course, Smith. This would make the dating of Christ’s birth off by 18 years or more. (600 times 11 or 6600 days) But that’s not the issue here. (But, an amazing fact that most people do not know is that the Mayan Indian calendar of that time in Central America was more accurate than our calendars of today!)

We are concerned about how and when Mormon would be able, logically, to have this replacement record availalbe for his abridgment right where Smith needed it with the addition of the small book ‘Words of Mormon’ to explain. (Smith called this replacement record his “small account of the prophets from Jacob“, (WOM 3, Jacob would be Nephi’s younger brother.) and that needed to be in the cave as well with the tons of other plates. Smith and his God get confused about which records are which.

Smith tells us in the preface of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon that the lost manuscript contained an abridgment by Mormon of the book of Lehi from the plates  of Lehi. “I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon.” The confusion is compounded in a ‘revelation’ claimed by Smith in his Doctrine & Covenants, Sec. 10:44 where God tells Smith that “Behold, they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi Why would a smart God call it an ‘account of Nephi’ when Smith in his preface calls it the Book of Lehi from the plates of Lehi?

The confusion goes further when Mormon tries to explain what is going on in his Aladdin cave. Mormon 4:23 tells us Mormon went 900 miles all the way back through the jungles from Nicaragua (Desolation) to Columbia so he could get the ‘many wagon loads’ of gold plates, without any indication from God that God wanted him to do it in order to make a 1% abridgment of all the records. These records at hill Shim needed to include a record never before spoken of that needed no abridgment by Mormon.

There was no forewarning by God to Mormon what the purpose was for Mormon to bring these tons of Gold Plates to Cumorah in the last possible minute, other than to load the Nephites down with tons of gold plates that wouldn’t allow them to escape from the savage Lamanites who would kill them and keep the gold. Mormon 5:7 “And it came to pass that we did again take flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites’ were swept down and destroyed.”

The other story is that God is smart and he put fools gold in the cave at hill Shim along with the true gold plates and the slowest and most wicked of the Nephites were given this fools gold in their knapsacks and when the savage Lamanites caught and killed them, they started fighting among themselves for the fools gold and stopped pursuing the Nephites so they could get the sacred records safely to hill Cumorah. Ha! You see what faith promoting stories can be concocted! (I went to SLC my last year as a Mormon teacher in Sunday School, (and as a former returned missionary) to pay a visit to the then LDS President Spencer Kimball. I saw a book in the waiting room called ‘Faith Promoting Fiction’ it seems Mormons can make up all kinds  of fancy tales, especially in LDS Testimony Meetings, of stories that reinforce the Mormon faith, and that’s OK.)

It is easy to digress in this tangled web of smoke and mirrors. But if we get back in our Aladdin cave at Cumorah with Smith as the story teller, he knows he has the rough drafts of his histories completed, including Mormon’s chapter 6&7 describing the final battle. At this point Smith doesn’t realize that he gave Mormon no commandment or time to review and abridge thousands of Nephite records except in the abridgment itself. And the abridgment couldn’t be made until Mormon found a major gold mine, had the time and motivation to make many gold plates that he tells us about making, more than half way through the abridgment! (3Nephi 5:11)

Smith thinks he just needs to finesse a new first 475 years and get back to his retained King Benjamin manuscript. Smith has General Mormon of the Nephite army, from the time he was a teenager, so busy with battles that he keeps the Holy Ghost waiting at hill Shim an extra 10 years for Mormon to pick up the plates of Nephi and engrave his observations with reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics that he taught himself. We have to presume Ammaron left him an empty gold plate or two to do so.

It was not anticipated that he wouldn’t start those ‘observations’ or ‘abridgment’ until after the last great battle when he was all alone in his Aladdin cave with plenty of time. (For those who don’t believe that God could make Mormon an Aladdin like cave will have a hard time believing any of this!) If Mormon God had looked in his Seer Stone he would have known this, and didn’t have to risk losing the whole history on the plates of Nephi by Mormon carrying them into battle over thousands of miles for 40 years! (Mormons are taught that if they go to the ‘Mormon Kingdom’ in heaven, each will be assigned their own (3G iphone5) or ‘Seer Stone’.) Mormon could have picked them up with the other plates 35 years later as described in Mormon 4:23.

Based on what Smith said in the preface to the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, Mormon should be telling us of a commandment to abridge the complete Nephite history of tons of records. (Otherwise, what was the point of bringing them 5,000 miles from Medellin, Columbia?) He might have followed Ammaron’s advice and recorded what he observed during his lifetime. (Mormon 1:4) But we find in 3Nephi 5:16-17 that he made the abridgment first, with plates he made with his own hands! “16 Therefore I do make my record from the accounts which have been given by those who were before me, until the commencement of my day; 17 And then I do make a record of the things which I have seen with mine own eyes.” He tells us in vs. 11 “And behold, I do make the record on plates which I have made with mine own hands.”

Smith has Mormon start his record after 4Nephi, according to vs. 17, above. Mormon 1:1 “And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.” The fatal mistake of Smith was not having Mormon get a revelation from God telling him that his great mission in life was not to just make a book about ‘the things which I have both seen and heard‘, but to make a 1% abridgment of the 1,000 year history! Obviously there was no rush. Smith could let Mormon live as long as he wanted. He let Amaleki and Ammaron live to be about 300 years!

But what Smith can’t do, if he wants to gain credibility, is not give a command for Mormon to find and retrieve the Nephite records for the specific purpose of abridging that record, and this needs to be part of what Mormon ‘heard‘ from God! Smith can still have Mormon record it as what he has ‘seen and heard’ 40 years later, but it must be included for Mormon to have had the motivation to find a gold mine, etc, etc.

There would be no point and it would be too risky for Mormon to take the plates of Nephi from their safety at hill Shim with the sacred history on it if Mormon had no command or time to abridge it before the last battle at Cumorah 50 years later! Smith missed his best opportunity when he had Mormon quit the army for 12 years with nothing to do. (Mormon 3:11) That would have been the ideal time, for Smith to have God give him a revelation for his son not to be a missionary somewhere, (Moroni 8:1) but to help him retrieve all the records and have Moroni mine for gold in Nicaragua while Mormon studies the records and makes his abridgment. God could tell him that he didn’t have to go back the 900 miles to Columbia because God knew just which records he wanted abridged and could easily whisk them to Mormon’s doorstep either in Nicaragua or Cumorah!

But no, Smith has another less credible story of Mormon engraving his own life story after abridging the 1,000 year history with plates he made with his own hands. The Words of Mormon contradict all of that. Now, Mormon had to finish chapters 6&7 after the battles where he was wounded. (Moroni just makes up the lie in chapter 8:3, 5, that his father was slain in battle when he hadn’t even begun his abridgment, and needed a few years just to study tons of records, and wait for God to give guidance.)

Based on the 1830 edition, after his son, along with the other survivors, left wounded Mormon alone in the cave, when Mormon was feeling better after the angel brought him food and water, he would have to pick up the plates of Lehi and realize this contained the beginning of the story and start his abridgment called ‘the book of Lehi’. He would often stop and wonder how he had failed as a father to have Moroni leave without even saying goodbye and with only chapters 1-5 on the ‘few plates’ he gave him before the battle. (Mormon 6:6) But, if we can believe what Mormon says in 3Nephi 5:17, then he hasn’t even begun the abridgment from the time of Lehi to Mormon’s day, and his first 5 chapters can’t be on those ‘few plates’.

Smith certainly had Mormon chapters 1-7 and Moroni’s chapters 8 and 9 completed before he dictated his two page book called ‘Words of Mormon’ and had Moroni quote a lot of New Testament stuff to be used for conversion to his shortly to be formed new church. He unwittingly quoted the last verses in KJB Mark’s gospel 16:15 verbatim “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”, not knowing that later editions of the Bible will delete this and what comes after as not being in the oldest manuscripts. Smith goes on in Mormon 9:24 “And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Smith and Cowdery had the nerve to copy verbatim from Smith’s KJ Bible and continues with vs. 16: “And these signs shall follow...etc” with another verbatim quote from what modern scholars have discarded as not being the words of Jesus! (Can anyone imagine the implications of finding a word for word version on plates written in Egyptian on the American continent in 400 AD with the writer never having heard of the gospel writer Mark or the words ascribed to him? Wow!)

With full confidence  Smith inserts the ‘Words of Mormon’ into his record after he finished dictating his replacement record. In a convoluted ‘true story’, Mormon needed to find the plates of Lehi and start with the book of Lehi that would support what Smith wrote in the preface of the 1830 BOM edition. But here again, Smith and his God are painting a false picture. Smith doesn’t have Moroni show up during Mormon’s time in the cave in order to know that his father didn’t die in battle and was busy with records including the Jaredite record and maybe realize it would be better for a son to help his father than chase after savage Lamanites for 15 years.

But Smith has Mormon, without command, abridge the full Nephite record, and as long as the angel kept bringing food and water along with finished new gold plates ready to engrave, Mormon might as well busy himself doing something. Did Mormon lie when Smith has him say in 3Nephi 5:11 that he made the gold plates that he engraved on with his own hands? Did he do that by Alchemy or by finding a gold mine?

But contrary to what Smith says in his 1830 edition, Mormon in his ‘Words of Mormon’ doesn’t go to the plates of Lehi to start abridging the book of Lehi that Smith tells us is on the manuscript that Martin Harris lost, Mormon, instead goes to the plates of Nephi and abridges them down to the ‘reign of this king Benjamin of whom Amaleki spake.‘ To say the least, this is a very misleading and confusing verse. (WOM 3) If we take literally what Mormon/Smith says, he is saying that he just abridged the very record that he now intends to insert in this same record!

To cover his butt, Smith, in his replacement record refers to more than one set of ‘plates of Nephi’, if there is one thing for sure that you can say about the Book of Mormon that Mark Twain hasn’t already said, is it is full of ambiguities. The LDS church maintains that Mormon didn’t abridge the replacement record, but inserted it in the middle of the book of Lehi without abridgment. But here Mormon says just that, that he abridged the record in which Amaleki spake.

The remaining question is; why are we not reading that the record Mormon is referring to in vs 3 that he abridged is the book of Lehi that Smith describes in his 1830 edition? Why does Mormon say that it is the record in which ‘Amaleki spake’ when the only record we know of, that Amaleki spake in, is the one that Mormon is about to insert during his abridgment of the plates of Nephi down to king Benjamin! It is surely a tangled web we weave when we attempt to deceive.

We don’t really have to be concerned about who wrote what and when, as all the tons of records were meaningless. The plates supposedly delivered to Smith were superfluous. Smith did not need to examine anything that was supposed to be written by ancient writers. Smith, along with whoever was inspiring him, just needed to have a plausible story that could be believed by people who lived by emotion or feeling, rather than fact or logic. (There are those who believe that dead Mormon was with Smith in spirit and he was reviewing all that he had written on the plates and was busy writing an English translation on the tiny egg shaped stone that Smith placed in his hat and read from.The spirit wouldn’t let the words disappear until the ‘spirit’ saw that what the scribe wrote was correct.) Good luck with your Mormon belief, High Priest Mitt Romney!

Smith knew that his replacement story would have to be essentially the same with the same events because Martin Harris knew the story line of the book of Lehi. So the events in the desert would have to be essentially the same only now God would have to give any important revelations to Nephi as well as his father or his father would have to give Nephi the details of his visions that Nephi needed to remember for 40 years before being inspired to write it down on different sets of plates. But this isn’t Mormon’s problem in 385 AD. It’s a big credibility problem for the book’s author along with his premise. (It just seems so much easier for God to prevent Lucy Harris from stealing the manuscript her husband brought home.)

It is a tough sell anyway you look at it. Most of the objective scholars who spend anytime trying to make heads or tails out of the book, give it up as a lost cause. Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Brigham Young are all on record describing the Aladdin cave at hill Cumorah filled with not only tons of gold plates stacked up everywhere but also including the sword of Laban that someone had to hand down for a thousand years.

Mormon/Smith needs to find a reason why Mormon needed to risk everything to go back 900 miles of mountains and jungle through enemy lines to dig up these tons of records and find some way to transport them without mules, horses or oxen over 5,000 miles. If Mormon had a son leading 10,000 in the Nephite army, why didn’t he get him to help his 70 year old father? He had to do this when he knew that his God could just whisk them to anyplace in the world he wanted them, just by exercising faith as God did when he removed them back from hill Cumorah to hill Shim in Columbia. (Smith has a whole mountain moved (Mt Zerin Ether 12:30) in his Jaredite history.) Or, move them an extra 50 ft deeper in the earth at Cumorah in order to keep them safe. Don’t laugh, Smith tells us in his book how god can make money and metal objects ‘slippery’. When they are buried, God or the Devil can slide them through the earth wherever they desire. (Mormon 1:18, Helaman 13:33-37)

Smith loved to improvise and it passed for ‘inspiration’ for a lot of his followers. But when it is written down, you are stuck with the consequence of your written words. By writing that Mormon returns from Nicaragua through 900 miles of mountain jungles of enemy lines and back again to collect tons of sacred Nephite records with no mode of transportation for them, makes Mormon/God look stupid, if these records would not be used for some useful purpose!

Mormon supposedly took the plates of Nephi from this hill 40 years earlier and was supposed to write his observations on them. If he is now to abridge this record, he has to find time to study it and find time and a place to mine ore and make it into plates after he was directed by God to do so. In Mormon 3:16 he tells us he has quit the army and has become: “…I did stand as an idle witness to the things which I saw and heard…”  If we can believe the story, Moroni, Mormon’s son is a leader of ten thousand in the Nephite army that his dad just quit as commander because of their wickedness.

Moroni is later to become and ‘angel’, so if his father quit because of the wicked army, what about Moroni? If he and his father were the only righteous ones, why didn’t they work together picking up the tons of records from hill Shim during the 10 years of idleness that Mormon describes? Certainly Moroni could help mine for gold so that his father could use his time to study the records and then use the ore and still be able say he made the plates with his own hands?

Mormon uses the next 5 verses to preach to the gentiles and the tribes of Israel that he seems sure will read his remarks. Chapter 4 is devoted t0 his 10-12 years of’ ‘idle witnessing’ of the fights between two wicked groups of Jews with his son leading ten thousand of them. During this time he writes about 30 verses of preaching and observations of wickedness and battles. (But of course he could have written nothing until after the battle at Cumorah.)

This 12 years as an ‘idle witness’ would have been a great time for Mormon to study and abridge the plates of Nephi that he has successfully kept from being stolen from his army tent by his wicked followers. He could have written about any revelation telling him to do so. God could have told him that he needed what was still in hill Shim before starting this monumental effort. Had this ‘storyteller’ or ‘God’ known in advance, the year before Mormon quit because of extreme wickedness, Mormon and his son could have picked up the rest of the plates at hill Shim more easily when the Lamanites returned to their own lands as described in Mormon 3:7. Mormon/God still risks losing the records along with lives, by loading Nephites down with these tons of records. (Mormon 5:7 “…and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites’ were swept  down and destroyed.

Smith tries to have it both ways in his tangled web. He invents an only son of Mormon named Moroni, someone who will be almost more famous than anyone connected to Mormonism. He turns this character into one of his biggest liars by first having him lie about how his father died and what his own life consisted of. Mormon introduces us to his son Moroni in Mormon 6:6 in 385 AD by telling us he gave his son a ‘few plates’ before the big battle. What exactly they were and for what purpose, will never be known!

Mormon continues by describing the battle and how he was wounded in vs. 10, and in vs. 11, and tells us that only 24 Nephites were left living, including his son Moroni. And in vs. 12 talks of the ten thousand of the army, led by his son Moroni, and are now all dead and gone to hell. He continues the description that he would have had to engrave on the plates of Nephi after the last battle in the Aladdin cave when both the Lamanites and the surviving Nephites along with his son had departed.

This is all Smith/Mormon had written about Moroni before the loss of the book of Lehi manuscript. Things were always in a creative state of flux in the head of Smith. At one point, early on, Smith’s brother is on record that the angel who first appeared to his brother Joseph, was named Nephi, not Moroni. Be that as it may, if Moroni is be a major character in Smith’s tangled web, more must be added to the then existing story, hopefully without contradiction.

It would appear that Smith had Moroni’s chapters 8&9 in his father’s book finished before the insertion of the Words of Mormon, after the insertion of the replacement record. The illogical sequences are mind boggling. Let me make the point of the ‘little’ that Mormon says about his son and its significance. Obviously Mormon did not go southward as claimed by Moroni in Mormon 8:2-3 and was not killed as stated. Smith should have fixed this, but he didn’t. He was too interested in getting the next chapter finished that would be the basis of his new church.

But, we see the compounded absurdities when we think of how we reconcile the addition of Moroni’s chapters 7, 8&9 by Smith, that he thought would hopefully give more of a connection between father and son. For one who studies the book, it just creates more absurdities. First, there is no time and place for Mormon to have met a woman to marry as commander of the Nephite army continually moving thousands of miles fighting mostly losing battles. In Mormon 2:16 he tells us in the 345th year he was fighting and had been forced north to the city of Jashon near the hill Shim. He was 10 when he was told by Ammaron to pick up the plates of Nephi at Shim when he was 24. It is now 23 years later and Mormon is maybe 34 instead of 24 and tells us that he sees nothing but wickedness around him. He tells us in vs. 18 and 19 that he finally picked up the plates of Nephi and that he wrote his observations on them and they contained more complete descriptions of the wickedness that abounded. He tells us further that what he is currently writing on is not fuller account he wrote on the plates of Nephi. (After the battle.)

A plausible sequence could be that Mormon could have written his fuller eyewitness account on the plates of Nephi after the book of 4Nephi. If that fuller account contained the command to abridge the complete plates of Nephi including his fuller eyewitness account, he should have included it in his abridgment that he says he he didn’t start until he had finished the complete 1,000 year history. All of this could only have happened at Cumorah where it would have been difficult for Mormon to find enough gold to do the job. Or, of course, in Smith’s head in 1827.

And is this all taking place as flash backs written in the cave at Cumorah? It is unlikely that Mormon would be able to give dates based on the coming of Christ without having studied the plates of Nephi. This is another argument that Mormon wrote nothing until he had the time and tranquility in the Aladdin cave at Cumorah. He could have told us he did this when he quit the army in Nicaragua, but he  didn’t. He could have told us God told him to go back and  pick up all the records, but he didn’t. He could have told us his son Moroni quit the army that his father no longer commanded and helped him mine for ore, but he didn’t!

In Mormon 2:29 we are told that a treaty was made by Mormon with his enemies when he was about 40 for the Nephites to inherit the lands north, starting at Panama. Mormon is 40, we hear of no wife or son and Mormon is constantly on the move with very wicked people. Now Smith comes up with the bright idea that Mormon has a son who is old enough to have not only heard him speak in a Jewish Synagogue but wrote down all the words in Egyptian of his father’s plagiarism of Paul’s ‘faith, hope and charity’ epistle to the  Corinthians in the New Testament. This, Smith inserts as Moroni chapter 7. He does this without checking in his story where this could have conceivably taken place. No one taught Mormon or Moroni to read and write in two complicated languages. In which of the battlefield tents was Moroni conceived and with what woman? Who cared for the infant and young child Moroni? Women didn’t read or write, so who had the time and knew the languages to teach Mormon and/or Moroni?

Chapter 8 starts out by Moroni telling us it is an epistle from his father shortly after Moroni entered the ministry. Now Moroni is suddenly a grown man teaching somewhere where wickedness didn’t abound and they were only concerned about the Catholic teaching of infant baptism. Wow!

First, how did Mormon’s epistle get to Moroni and how did Moroni’s epistle get to the retreating Mormon with his idolatrous, wicked people to tell him of their disputations about infant baptism? Where in north or south America could he have been with his ‘Ministry’ where such things were being discussed? His father is about to quit leading the army because of its wickedness and just observe what was happening. Mormon says that Moroni led ten thousand of these wicked soldiers. Just when did Moroni leave the ministry to lead soldiers that commit awful things? Why didn’t he quit the army when his dad did and help him write the record? When and where did he learn to read and write both Hebrew and Egyptian?

What Smith didn’t think out was, if there was no ‘directive’ from God to make a 1% abridgment of the whole Nephite records except in Mormon’s abridgment itself, then the only conclusion one can come to is that this abridgment was all made after the last battle when Mormon had been deserted by everyone and all his people were dead and he was left alone to die in his Aladdin cave. This vital point is never apparent during the abridgment, especially in 3Nephi when Mormon identifies himself as the abridger and commentator of the record in 3Nephi 5:11-12 on plates that he has made with his own hands. (11 “And behold, I do make the record on plates which I have made with mine own hands”.) If he made them while still in Nicaragua he fails to tell us about his command to do so.

Palmyra is not known for its abundance of gold. Smith has got himself boxed in with Mormon doing the abridgment before any commandment and before he says he is going to do the record of his observations during his life. So Mormon must leave his Aladdin cave and look for gold, mine it, refine it, make it into plates, etc, but first make a pick and shovel while looking for an available vein of gold somewhere. He tells us nothing about these activities or that his son Moroni would have been very helpful if he had not abandoned him. 3Nephi 5:16 “Therefore I do make my record from the accounts which have been given by those who were before me, until the commencement of my day; 17 And then I do make a record of the things which I have seen with mine own eyes.” He tells us in vs. 15 that it is a record from the time of Lehi, and if we can believe Smith, starting with the book of Lehi from the plates of Lehi. “15 Yea, a small record of that which hath taken place from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem, even down until the present time.”

When we examine the written word, it just doesn’t ring true that Mormon all by himself, wounded, 80 years old, scavenging for food and water, finds gold, makes plates, finds engraving tools all before getting any instructions from God as to what God wanted. It certainly sounds like Mormon is continuing his narrative of his life after he finishes 4Nephi, but then what could possibly be on the ‘few plates’ that he supposedly gave his new found son? (Mormon 6:6 “…these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.” This is the first time our storyteller Smith allowed 75 year old Mormon to mention that he had a son named Moroni who was a leader of ten thousand in the Nephite army that Mormon commanded.

In Alma 43:16 Mormon writes in his abridgment:  “Now, the leader of the Nephites, or the man who had been appointed to be the chief captain over the Nephites —now the chief captain took the command of all the armies of the Nephites—and his name was Moroni; 17 And Moroni took all the command, and the government of their wars. And he was only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain over the armies of the Nephites.”  In real life, how can any father of an only son named Moroni not mention this fact when he mentions the name of a former leader of the Nephites with the same name at least 20 more time in just this one chapter!

This would be the first time Mormon saw that anyone had been called Moroni among the Nephites other than his son! In Alma 44 Mormon writes the name Moroni another 13 times. There are 13 more in Alma 46. Five more times in Alma 48 and 9 more in Alma 49. There are 18 in Alma 50 and if that was not enough Mormon read about a City being built with the name Moroni, the very city that his son was named after! And still silence from this cold uncaring father. Alma 51 has another 11 instances of Moroni, the leader of the Nephites being mentioned fighting the Nephites’ enemies. So we can only conclude after mentioning the name 91 times in 5 chapters that the only reason for Mormon not to mention the connection with his son would be that Smith hadn’t yet thought of creating a son for Mormon with the name Moroni! Mormon was now old and in the cave, abandoned by son and the 23 survivors. Was he just too ashamed and bitter to associate his son with such a superb leader, the first Moroni?

Just so the reader knows, the references to this Moroni continue 99 more times until he gives his command to his son Moronihah. A grand total of 190 times. One would think with a son called Moronihah that would trigger a reference to Mormon’s son, but Moronihah references continues for another 16 times with no connection to Mormon’s son Moroni.

Smith or Cowdery concluded after a couple chapters of the book of Moroni that this father-son thing in Mormon chapter 6 was very tenuous. Smith had invented the ‘epistle’ thing for written communication, without knowing the meaning of the word, and created fantasy emails between various leaders, and now, with father and son, in the book of Moroni.

Of course we never hear who the mother was. Mormon tells us Lehi descended from the tribe of Manasseh. (Mormon was supposed to be a pure descendant of Lehi) Lehi’s people were absorbed into the much larger Mulekite group in Zarahemla that were undoubtedly all of the tribe of Judah.

It is certain that a son of the Jewish King Zedekiah was a Jew. All of the people in Zarahemla were Jews until the small group of the Manasseh tribe led by Mosiah merged with this much larger group of Jews, it is likely Mormon married a Jewess. And it was likely that Moroni learned his Hebrew speech (Mormon 9:33) from her and was inspired to do his missionary work in the area of hill Beverly in the land northward where most of the Zedekiah/Jews had migrated. Moroni chapter 8 is unclear whether Moroni is paraphrasing his father’s plagiarism of Apostle Paul’s New Testament teaching. I believe the synagogue thing and the infant baptism in Moroni 9, were all Smith’s imagination at work. It is highly unlikely that Moroni wrote down the Synagogue sermon of his father that he kept in his vest pocket for 40 years. And it is very unlikely that Mormon would be preaching the Apostle Paul’s teaching of the New Testament in a Jewish Synagogue in Central America in 360 AD. He tells us in Mormon 3 that this was a time of extreme wickedness on both sides during his stay in the city called Desolation and he was just an ‘idle witness’.

There are so many ‘red flags’ in this book it is hard to know how to simplify. Mormon, after being chased by the savage Lamanite Indians from Columbia through jungles of present day Panama, Costa Rica and into Nicaragua, tells us in Mormon 4:23 that he was going back to maybe Medellin, Columbia (after having been an observer for 10 to 12 years where he could have started his abridgment if God/Smith had been smart enough to have him retrieve the records earlier) (Even for God, moving the plates 900 miles is easier than 5,000 miles!) so Mormon could retrieve all the records that 300 year old Ammaron hid in hill Shim when he moved them from near the temple in Bountiful to Shim. (One would think this ancient of ancients would find a convenient hill near Bountiful to carry them to, before burying the tons of gold plates.) One would also think that Mormon, if he had a son Moroni, would have taken him to help load and carry these tons of records the 8 or 9 hundred miles from Medellin, Columbia to Nicaragua. But, alas, not a word about Moroni until he appears, 10 yrs later, as leader Moroni of 10,000 soldiers in the wicked Nephite ragtag army.

Immediately after obtaining these tons of records we are told in Mormon 5:7 “And it came to pass that we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites’ did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites’ were swept down and destroyed”.

So who was inspired to load hundreds of Nephite soldiers down with tons of gold plates if they wouldn’t be able to flee as fast as a Lamanite with only a spear and loin cloth? Come on Smith, you can do better than that when God can have all the tons of records waiting in the Aladdin cave at Cumorah months before you get there with no effort at all on his part.

With Smith’s God no smarter than Smith is, no one told Mormon he didn’t have to go back 900 miles through enemy lines to get anything, God knew in advance what he would need and could select only the records that God wanted abridged. Up to that point neither God nor Smith talked about an abridgment where all the records would be necessary for Mormon to review at Cumorah or in the land of Desolation if the Mormon God wanted Mormon to do something productive during the 12 years of being an ‘idle witness’ writing 30 verses.

More on this later…or check out “Fatal Flaws of the Most Correct Book on Earth” (Book of Mormon) at Amazon.com

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. A lot of interesting date…someone did considerable research


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