Book of Mormon 19th & 20th Century Scam, part 1, Is the Scammer getting scammed?

 

“`I would say – and I am not exaggerating – that 75 percent of the country’s major investment schemes are hatched in the Salt Lake City-Provo area,'” (Ogden Standard-Examiner, 26 March 1984, p. 10A).

The question is whether Joseph Smith was relying on the ignorance of his followers to believe whatever he told them and did other potential scammers see the opportunity for self gain in affiliating themselves and learn from the master Con Man as with MLM marketing today in Utah. Was ‘Polygamy’ the second scam after the ‘gold plates’ and ‘seer stone’?

Book of Mormon 19th Century Scam…250,000 sq mi of nothing but sand!

The Empty Quarter Saudi Arabia

What Man or Beast could live in this environment continually for eight years?

Much has been written about the early ‘con’ life of Joseph Smith. We know he was convicted in court for being a ‘glass looker’ who defrauded farmers into thinking he could find buried treasure by looking at his seer stone placed in his hat. The Smiths were into superstition and into religious magic. They firmly believed that people could see things in seer stones and of course believed in sorcery such as when Pharaoh’s Sorcerers turned wooden rod/staves into live snakes. Moses could do the same trick but made a bigger snake that ate up the smaller ones.

Exodus 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent…now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

Smith’s father was known as a ‘Rodsman’ when he still lived in the state of Vermont, and was called when Farmers needed to find minerals or water with a witch hazel stick or sometimes called a ‘Dowsing’ or ‘Divining Rod’.

Oliver Cowdery, Smith’s scribe and Second Elder in the Church was also a ‘rodsman’ who received revelations from the same ‘God’ that Smith did.

For those who take the time to research the Book of Commandments, it contains purported revelations from God to Smith, and the revelation concerning Oliver Cowdery’s Divining Rod capabilities has been altered in the Doctrine and Covenants from Chapter 7 to Section 8 and the original references to Cowdery’s ability to communicate with God by the power of the ‘Rod’ are completely changed.

In the Book of Commandments we have ‘Chapters’. So in Chapter VII we find in verse 3 the following words to Cowdery from Smith’s God.

O remember, these words and keep my commandments. Remember this is your gift. [This 1st gift was ‘the spirit of Revelation’ the same gift that Moses had] Now, this is not all, for you have another gift, which is the gift of working with the rod: behold it has told you things: behold there is no other power save God that can cause this rod of nature, to work in your hands for it is the work of God and therefore whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you that you shall know.”

There are hundreds and hundreds of word changes from various chapters of the Book of Commandments when they re-published it as Doctrine and Covenants, just as there is significant change in doctrine between the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon and later editions when they changed such things from Mary being the Mother of God to the Mother of the Son of God. 1Nephi 11:18. ‘of the Son’ was added twice in later editions.

18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

The Book of Mormon was the greatest supporter of the Triune God theory when the prophet Abinadi stated Mosiah 15:1

And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—

3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—

How could someone who dictated the above passage claim he saw two separate Gods 10 yrs earlier. Smith had no problem changing his or God’s mind. The Triune God theory along with a ban on polygamy ended with the printing of the Book of Mormon. The 1st vision account of the godhead was written after 1830.

The followers of this great con artist have followed the same path even if not as audaciously. Like a cult, they do not covenant to God or Christ, but to the Cult itself. If Lucifer is the great deceiver, then what better doctrine than ‘the end justifies the means’. Mormons encourage ‘faith promoting fiction’ if it produces faith in the Cult.

Matthew 24 Christ tells of some of what happens in the last days, Vs 23:

Matt. 24:33 “For in those days, there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.”

In order to deceive someone who is on his way to being ‘the elect’ you would have to have at least outwardly, a pretty good set of beliefs that were followed for the wrong reason. Like in the Mormon Cult Temple you make covenants not to God or Christ but with oaths to the Cult, with death penalties that have been dropped in the last 30 yrs.

It is ultimately man’s greed that allows con men to have the success that they achieve, along with trying to gain an advantage over their peers in this life or the next. Basically, no matter what I am in this life, if I remain faithful to the Mormon Church, I can be a God in the next life, create my own world where I am worshiped. I can have as many wives as I like and create an earth and people it with the offspring of those wives! If everyone doesn’t do exactly as I say, I can send them all to Hell. This is an idea that has wide appeal (mostly to men) and they do their best to get the girls to go along with most of them getting conned that they will be the only wife in heaven. I knew a young mormon girl in Los Angeles who became the ‘spiritual wife’ of the Bishop when she was 14 years of age. This was a tightly held secret that she finally told me about when she was 45 years old . She never told her current Mormon husband of this prior commitment.

Smith relied heavily on his copy of the King James Bible, but didn’t spend enough time to learn all he needed to know to write 1Nephi or any of the rest of his book. He initially had it right when he called himself the ‘author’. Later when he designated himself as ‘translator’ the theories have never ceased as to how he did it. It seems incredible that anyone can make a translation of an unknown record in a dead language without having to look at it, without ‘magic’ or deception being involved.

D. Michael Quinn’s ‘Early Mormonism and The Magic World View’ is a must.

Smith was supposed to restore the Gospel of Miracles again. Not just raising the dead and healing the sick that got immediate attention and results, but Smith wanted to show how his God can keep humans and animals in airtight containers for a month without any ill effects.

Desert

260,000 sq mi of the Empty Quarter where the Brass Ball guided them, if they turned East before or at the 19th parallel. The 20th Parallel is a range of high mountains going to Muscat-Bountiful and has been continually inhabited from 1,000 BC. It’s the last stop for Frankincense traders going to India.

Smith wanted to show that his God could keep his chosen few going in circles in nothing but sand dunes for 8 years because the brass ball (1Nephi 16:10) that could write and give directions was so sensitive that if anyone in the group doubted its ability to get them to their destination directly and efficiently or doubt it couldn’t find wild game for Nephi to shoot with the same stick for 8 years, he would punish all with death or bad health for the rest of their lives by guiding them in circles so they would be eating nothing but raw scavenger meat for those 8 years! sand_stormGod, of course, had to change the instincts of the Jackals and Hyenas to avoid this desert and would have to bring them the manna and quail like he brought the Israelites with little pools of water. They soon developed faith if they followed this hapless group they would get some magical good food before they died.

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Smith wanted to show that his God could get them to survive on a home built boat for an 18,000mile voyage without stopping for water or supplies in a great calm. Not easy in a great calm unless that magic brass ball could extend its spindles where they became oars and at the same time purify the ocean water so they could drink; if the magic ball could put hooks and bait on the end of the spindle/oars he might bring them a catch of fresh fish over the two years of ocean calm. Mormons believe God is a God of miracles they just don’t see as much any more of the kind of miracles that was commonplace for Nephi and the rest of God’s chosen folks.

He wanted his faithful to know that God could make brass without the need for smelting zinc and copper; he actually made a whole stack of brass plates for Laban when everyone else was using tin and copper to make bronze. He would teach Nephi to do the same with Gold maybe mixed with copper. He would show Nephi how to make swords of the finest steel. If you think it was easy in the desert of Oman to find a rock with iron ore in it and make a furnace to smelt into raw iron and fashion some kind of tools that needed no sharpening to make a sea going ship to carry 30 people with water and provisions to last them 2 or more years, if you think this was easy even for Nephi, it wasn’t, especially with his brothers thinking he couldn’t do it and wouldn’t work while he was off praying to the Lord to get instructions, this was very challenging! Even his wife thought he was nuts! This was certainly an exciting time in history, or fantasy run amuck.

We have no idea of the narrative in the book of Lehi from the plates of Lehi that was on the lost manuscript that took the story line to the reign of King Benjamin about 124 BC a period of 475 years. We know by Smith’s mother’s memoirs how devastated he was at that loss. But con artists are anything but dimwitted and he took about 10 months to find his best solution, but, like all cons, even the best make mistakes and this was a long complicated one. His main concern was that whoever possessed the lost manuscript could come forward to discredit whatever the replacement turned out to be.

Smith was lucky that school teacher Oliver Cowdery was a boarder at the home of his parents and was one who believed in magic and was fascinated about what he heard about Joseph. Hearing that Joseph was prepared to go forward and needed a new scribe, Oliver presented himself. Smith figured out the best possible solution, but the logistics were mind boggling covering the lost 475 years and then make it seem possible for the last of the Nephite leaders, Mormon and son Moroni, to get the new 475 yrs of history back into the record in a plausible way. This was all tricky stuff.

It would have been interesting now, to see what kind of a role Nephi played in the book of Lehi, certainly a subordinate role to Lehi. It is likely that Laman and Lemuel were the bad guys in Lehi’s record and of course the visions and the journey would be essentially the same. It is possible that in Lehi’s book his youngest son didn’t kill his brother…but that is irrelevant other than here is where ‘the end justifies the means’ got started.

Smith’s mistake or misfortune was that he didn’t read 2 Kings 24:8-17 before starting the replacement record of 1 Nephi and didn’t realize that Zedekiah wouldn’t be on the throne until 597 BC instead of 600 BC. He probably made the same error in his book of Lehi not knowing that the King of Babylon had just done a complete sacking of Jerusalem 3 months before taking thousands captive including Ezekiel, and then the Babylon King put Mattaniah on the throne and changed his name to Zedekiah.

March 597 BC, 

2 Kings 24:10 “At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

17 ¶ And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Had Smith read this chapter in 2 King 24 he certainly would need to re-think the whole first chapter of his book. If all the craftsmen and smiths were gone, no doubt the house of wealthy Laban was ransacked and certainly the valuable bronze was taken along with the gold and silver. There was no gold or silver anymore at Lehi’s home to bargain with, if only ‘the poorest sort of the people of the land’ remained. Certainly Lehi’s 4 sons were part of the 10,000 strong young men that the new NIV Study Bible calls ‘and fighting men’ that the King of Babylon took captive a week before he put Zedekiah on the throne in 597 BC, not 600 BC! (Babylonian records!)

For those seeking truth we have the dilemma of Lehi going through the streets of Jerusalem preaching to the poorest people left by the Babylon King, that they better repent or bad things are going to happen and of course after the disaster that just happened a few weeks before, they didn’t believe him… what kind of a prophet was Lehi not even knowing that the prophet Ezekiel was among the captives! Smith, Lehi and Nephi knew nothing of what in real life happened around the people living in Jerusalem in March of 597 BC. Lehi, Nephi didn’t know because his fictitious characters only knew what their creator knew, NOT MUCH!

We hear nothing about how Lehi and his family along with Ishmael and his family including Laban and his servants all escaped this terrible sacking of Jerusalem with everything of value gone as plunder to Babylon, including gold, silver, seeds, grain, fruits, etc. And the 10,000 of their top people would have included Laban, Zoram, Ishmael and sons, and sons of Lehi, if they had existed.

To compound this, Nephi blithely tells us in the first year of Zedekiah’s reign he and his family are being chased out of Jerusalem because Lehi was preaching that bad things might happen to Jerusalem. The weeks before Lehi was supposed to leave were cataclysmic for everyone in Jerusalem! Yet, Nephi was supposed to calmly go to the market and buy seeds of every kind, get tents, etc. His older brothers would be still hiding somewhere to escape being taken prisoners. The sons of Ishmael would be doing the same, yet no mention by Nephi of the very narrow escape.

If Laban’s whole life had been dedicated to God with daily inspiration to translate God’s Holy Word into the heathen Egyptian language, and miracle of miracles, the King of Babylon’s men who were ordered to take as spoils of war all valuables as well as foodstuff, and the ‘brass plates’ were not found; it seems that since Laban’s life was now ruined by the sacking, and the whole purpose of his grandfather and father’s life was to find a safe place in Jerusalem for Laban, so that for the last 40 years he would become literate in Hebrew and Egyptian in order to get the Hebrew Torah ready for his brother to take to America, (by sneaking the holy scrolls out of the temple by night) that he might as well go with the plates to teach Nephi and his brothers to read and write Hebrew and Egyptian. Wouldn’t that be a better solution for God/Smith than turning Nephi into a killer, saying it’s better to murder your uncle, even when a nation is going to dwindle in unbelief anyway. This sets a dangerous precedent for the God of this Cult.

1Nephi 5:17 “That these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed.”  The Brass Plates never ended up anywhere!

There are so many contradictions about Uncle Laban and the brass plates. How could he command 50 as Nephi says in 1Nephi 3:31 if they are all now captives in Babylon and Laban’s riches are gone?

How could Nephi talk of going to their home and getting all their gold, silver and precious things to bribe Laban if it was all gone in the looting and sacking of Jerusalem and surrounding area that just took place? If 10,000 were taken captive and only the poorest people remained how could Nephi write what he writes in Ch 3?

It just doesn’t pass the smell test!

How could he be a wicked man if he kept the record so up-to-date that he includes records of the Jews that included writings up to the reign of King Zedekiah? (1Nephi 5:12) If it had that, then it would have the sacking of Jerusalem under the reign of Zedekiah’s nephew two months earlier that would make the first 5 chapters of 1Nephi utter nonsense! In fact if you analyze Nephi is supposed to have written unedited by, the ‘so called’ Mormon, you find it weird to say the least. This Nephi record is totally lost in the story with the record of the Kings replacing it for hundreds of years, but then magically appears again in the cave of Mormon when Smith needed it to be found in the records as a replacement for the lost book of Lehi. 1st and 2nd  Nephi are full of ambiguities and smoke and mirrors. To contain all that they contain, Nephi would needed to have written it very late in life. There is no way he would write it as a contemporary account and after the horrendous sacking of Jerusalem, he wouldn’t have ignored that and pretend both he and his father were having wonderful visions and visitations by angels while everyone else was suffering! The story doesn’t have a prayer of ringing true with the lack of current knowledge by the writer!

Smith was winging the beginning and everything else. He knew he needed the record not to be in Hebrew, or he would be found out. To have a plausible story would be impossible. The idea of someone translating the sacred scrolls of the Jewish Temple into a heathen tongue would be blasphemy! No self respecting Scribe or Levite Priest would even entertain such a thought. They were the only literate people for Centuries.

Smith doesn’t even attempt to give a halfway plausible reason. Laban, from the tribe of Manasseh would not be entitled to be a part of the school for Levite Scribes. He would be lucky to have a house in the land of Judah along with Lehi. Laban, Lehi and Nephi would be lucky to find someone to teach them to read and write even Hebrew. Why would anyone want to learn to read or write if they were not of the scribe profession? Life was too hard!

Yet, in Smith’s fantasy, Nephi at the age of 15 could read and write both Hebrew and Egyptian, he was an expert archer with a steel bow; he was a master builder so he could build the Solomon temple in the land of Nephi and of course he was a master sailor and shipbuilder as well, with the ability to forge tools for such tasks out of rocks in the desert. We never hear about how he conned the Levite Priest to let a Manasseh boy inside to study the architecture.

One of the reasons Smith/Lehi gives for wanting to get the Jewish record was to be able to continue to follow the Mosaic Law. The Law of Moses cannot be practiced without the Priesthood that only Levites were ordained to hold. So, come on, Jo, why couldn’t Laban be a Levite Priest and if a relative of Lehi had to write it so he could know what tribe he was from, is a contradiction to Hebrew tradition. The first thing a young Hebrew boy is taught is the tribe he belongs to. Lehi would have had to hear from his father how his great-grandfather came from Manasseh’s tribe lands to Jerusalem in 726 BC. There were a few who escaped just after all of Samaria was killed or taken captive to the North. (The Lost 10 Tribes) Some of Manasseh who escaped and came to Jerusalem for the Passover in the year 716 BC with King Hezekiah might have stayed.

With a date of 726 BC we find in II Chronicles 30:11 “Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.” This would be the last chance for the great-grandfather of Lehi and Laban to leave the land of their inheritance and come to Jerusalem.

But the point here getting the Jewish record, even in Egyptian still called for Levites to perform the ordinances in the Temple. It would be totally pointless for Nephi to spend time with such few workers to build a Solomon like temple that took Solomon 7 years with tens of thousand of workers, if there were no Levite Priests to officiate. Just like Smith had John the Baptist return to give them the Priesthood, he could have Aaron return for Nephi or Jacob…right!

Nice try, Smith but it still doesn’t pass the smell test even though your followers today do a great job of obfuscating all your mistakes.

You don’t even have to be a scholar if you read the Old Testament and reread 2 Kings 24 with a March 597 BC date, no one can take the Book of Mormon seriously as actual events in history. So we do not have to search the Americas for evidence of Nephites ever having been here and have to conclude the aborigines were mongoloids that came from Mongolia, some of whom stayed in Alaska to become the Eskimo while others continued south to eventually people both continents. Nothing to do with Israelites!

So apologists like Wayne May and countless others at F.A.R.M.S. are programmed to perpetuate a lie that they hope will someday give them Godhood!

The angel in 1Nephi 19:8 compounds the dating problem further by announcing that the birth of Christ will happen exactly 600 years from the time Lehi leaves Jerusalem. If he left during the reign of Zedekiah that started in April of 597 BC which Nephi states boldly in the 4th verse of his book, then 600 years is April 3 AD….or

The dates would be even more messed up if Smith didn’t have the Nephites add 30 days to their calendar every three years to compensate for the Jews Lunar Calendar. Of course there is no mention of this. After 600 yrs the angel is off by about 16 yrs.

Book of Mormon first page analysis in Claude’s ‘Fatal Flaws of the Most Correct Book on Earth’

1Nephi CHAPTER 1

1 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father…therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

[Story timeline is 600BC according to JS. Nephi’s/JS writing timeline is anyone’s guess; 568BC according to Joseph Smith, likely, 1829.]

Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of theJews and the language of the Egyptians.

One comment: Josephus the Jewish Historian says in his ‘History of the Jews’ that the term ‘Jew’ was first applied to the descendants of Judah when they returned from the Babylonian captivity. This would be decades after Lehi was supposed to have left Jerusalem. This term would be unfamiliar and never used by House of Judah people in 600BC!

For Hebrew families living all their days at Jerusalem who weren’t Levite Scribes, being literate in Egyptian would be unthinkable! It would be even less thinkable that a ‘Lay’ person [Laban] would have all the sacred books of the Bible down to Jeremiah including Micah and Malachi and not just on scrolls, but everything engraved on brass [bronze] plates! Having this in the current Egyptian language would appear sacrilegious to most pious Hebrews. It appears that Laban wasn’t a Levite scribe either. How can a pious Hebrew boy say the language of his father who dwelt in/at Jerusalem all his days was Egyptian?

Was Lehi preaching in the streets of Jerusalem in Egyptian? Who did he learn it from? There was no point in Lehi or Laban knowing Egyptian, or Laban translating unobtainable copies of Hebrew scripture into Egyptian even if somehow he was literate in the language. It’s one thing to speak and understand your mother tongue, which most people did, but to be literate in two tongues was the domain of Scribes.

It didn’t happen unless you were one of them. It was a ‘craft’ that Levites dominated and they didn’t just teach ‘anybody’ to read and write languages. The only reason for ‘Egyptian’ was that JS needed the record in an unknown tongue so no one could challenge his translation! If the speculation of Hugh Nibley would be correct and that Lehi was a merchant who traded with Egypt, he might speak rudimentary Egyptian but to read and write something like the Hebrew scriptures in Egyptian would need special schooling for Lehi and family as well as Laban, Ishmael and their families, and it wasn’t available to anyone but a very small group of Levite Scribes.

If Lehi didn’t live at Jerusalem all his days but lived in Elephantine, Egypt with his family, and he found a ‘literate’ Egyptian-Jew, he could be literate in Hebrew and Egyptian, but that’s a different story than what JS tells.

3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.

How can Nephi say he knows the record is true when he is barely into the third verse? He wrote less than 100 words! Nephi probably writes about 30-40 years later relying on his memory and his father’s record if we can believe Joseph Smith.

4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.

*2Kings 24:14 says: ‘…none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.’ This is the state of Jerusalem immediately prior to Zedekiah being placed on the throne by the Babylon King in 597BC. The only true prophet in Jerusalem to declare God’s word was Jeremiah. All people of substance were taken captive to Babylon in 598BC, including Ezekiel. Jerusalem was sacked and little was left for Lehi or anyone else to preach repentance to. Bad timing for Joseph Smith! If prophets came immediately after the surrender and sacking of Jerusalem in 598BC saying ‘the people must repent, or the great city of Jerusalem must be destroyed’; the poor people who remained would wonder what cave these prophets lived in and who inspired them! Jeremiah’s prophesy was fulfilled and God led all the ‘good figs’ to Babylon. See Jeremiah 24:5 ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good’. [598BC, just before Zedekiah.]

Jeremiah says in vs. 8: ‘And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, so will I give Zedekiah the King of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, [Lehi & family] and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:

9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.’

10 ‘And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.’

[The Nephites, if they existed, were certainly consumed off the land and removed for ‘their hurt’!]

A case is to be made that part of the ‘evil figs’ not taken captive to Babylon, were Lehi and family who were driven to a distant ‘kingdom of the earth’ for their ‘hurt’, where they became a reproach, a taunt and a curse! (This was Lehi’s oldest sons’ fate, the Amerindians! Helaman 8:22 ‘Our father Lehi was driven out of Jerusalem’

Nephi obviously never lived in Jerusalem before or during the first year of the reign of Zedekiah or he wouldn’t say what he just said about ‘many prophets’. He wouldn’t say his father lived all his days in Jerusalem but his language was Egyptian. That would be the first oxymormon. (The Bible does say ‘many false prophets’ came to Zedekiah.) It’s unfortunate for JS that he picked the worst possible time for his story, departing from Jerusalem at that time. Jerusalem had just been ‘sacked’ by the King of Babylon and 10,832 captives were taken into Exile.

When Nebuchadnezzar put Zedekiah on the throne, 2Kings 24:14 says: ‘And he [King of Babylon] carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.’

This is the contradictory environment in which JS starts his story; with wealthy Laban who can ‘command fifty’ with his servants where he is in his treasury working on an OT translation on nonexistent brass. We have wealthy Lehi with his country estate and treasures! Ishmael, with his available family is not deported. Lehi’s sons could have been considered ‘mighty men of valor’ or ‘apt of war’. Vs. 16 further defines ‘…and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the King of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.’ (598BC)  The next vs. says it was then that the Babylon King put Zedekiah on the throne!

The Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus tells it this way in his ‘Antiquities of the Jews’, pg 307: “…for the King of Babylon…gave orders to his generals to take all that were in the city captives, both the youth and the handicraftsmen, and bring them bound to him; their number was ten thousand eight hundred and thirty-two; as also [King] Jehoiachin, and his mother and friends…and appoint Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, to be king.’

If we back up to page 306 we have a prelude of what happened three or four months before Zedekiah was made King that the BOM story totally ignores.

‘…he [The Babylonian King] did not observe the covenants he had made, but he slew such as were in the flower of their age, [Not Nephi or Ishmael’s daughters.] and such as were of the greatest dignity, [Not Laban or Lehi!] together with their King Jehoiakim, whom he commanded to be thrown before the walls, without any burial; and made his son Jehoiachin King of the country, and of the city: he also took theprincipal persons in dignity for captives, [Not Lehi, Laban or Ishmael] three thousand in number, and led them to Babylon; among which was the prophet Ezekiel, who was then but young.’

This was 3-4 months before Zedekiah was placed on the throne. Jehoiachin reigned only 3 months before he was replaced by Zedekiah. So here we find that three to four months before Zedekiah was placed on the throne the King of Babylon killed ‘such as were in the flower of their age’. This couldn’t affect Nephi or Sam or the daughters of Ishmael! Sure! The ‘principal persons in dignity for captives’ wouldn’t be Lehi, Laban or Ishmael! Why didn’t Nephi find this important enough to mention if his brothers and sisters weren’t killed in ‘the flower of their age’? How did they escape this first deportation of 3,000 and the second of 10,832, four months later?

Josephus continues in Chapter VII: ‘But a terror seized on the King of Babylon, who had given the kingdom to Jehoiachin, and that immediately; he was afraid that he [Jehoiachin] should bear him a grudge, because of his killing his father, and thereupon should make the country revolt from him; wherefore he sent an army, and besieged Jehoiachin in Jerusalem; but because he [Jehoiachin] was of a gentle and just disposition, he did not desire to see the city endangered on his account, but he took his mother and kindred, and delivered them to the commanders sent by the King of Babylon, and accepted of their oaths, that neither should they suffer any harm nor the city; which agreement they did not observe…for the King of Babylon did not keep it, but gave orders to his generals to take all that were in the city captives, both the youth and the handicraftsmen, and bring them bound to him; their number was ten thousand eight hundred and thirty-two and appointed Zedekiah as king.’

Joseph Smith should know it’s perilous to write history if you have never studied history! To give a fuller picture of Jerusalem, another quote from 2Kings 24:11 ‘And Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it…And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon King of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.’

What about the treasures from Laban’s house, or those from Lehi’s house? Do you think they would be spared? Next to silver, bronze was the most precious and useful metal from which swords and shields and artifacts are made. There was no ‘brass’ during this period. So ‘brass plates’ is a misnomer. The modern Bibles translate the term ‘brass’ to the correct ‘bronze’.  The ‘treasures of the house of the LORD would include the 12 bronze oxen and the ‘sea’ that they supported. Next to gold and silver, bronze was on the Babylonian King’s list for removal. If the soldiers are ransacking and looting the city for the second time just before Zedekiah is placed on the throne, do you think they didn’t go to the district where the wealthy lived and ransacked those houses? The Bible says all the persons of dignity (wealthy) were deported! Can we believe that Laban’s villa next to the High Priest’s villa, along with Lehi’s two villas are all untouched? They took all the bronze from the temple but left Laban’s stacks of bronze plates intact in his Treasury? Sure!

Our smart Mormon God who was once a ‘Man’ and is learning on the job has inspired Laban from youth to become literate in Hebrew. He did this by inspiring a Levite Scribe to break the rules and teach someone not of his tribe to read and write Hebrew. God picked this scribe in 620BC because this particular scribe was also literate in Egyptian when King Josiah was paying tribute to Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. It was Necho who put Jehoiakim on the throne that Nebuchadnezzar threw from the city walls; (according to 2Kings) but was carried to Babylon in fetters (according to 2Chronicles) in the 1st sacking of Jerusalem. It was just 6 mos. and two kings before Zedekiah started to reign in 597BC after this second sacking; it left only the poorest people of the land. In all of this upheaval and turmoil, Laban was constrained by the ‘spirit’ to scratch on the hard brass surface, plate after plate of sacred Hebrew text into Egyptian that God’s special angel was wafting from the temple before it was sacked; scroll after scroll from the sanctuary where they were placed by the High Priest. The Mormon God was doing this year after year counting on the diligence of Laban to accomplish this important task so that the soon to be called prophet Lehi could take them with him to America. But, God is busy multi-tasking and let Lehi depart without the ‘bronze’ plates and it took God a couple of weeks and 200 miles on foot by Lehi and family, before God remembered the purpose of working with Laban on a daily basis for the past 30 years.

This is the environment where Lehi was preaching repentance and warning about a future destruction to Jerusalem! When they took the prophet Ezekiel captive, why not Lehi? Why doesn’t Lehi/Nephi tell us how they escaped all of this, two months before they left for the Red Sea? For Joseph Smith, the big event was Lehi’s dream which paralleled the dream of his own father recited many times to the family.

7 AICTPT he returned to his [our] own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen. [Like all the Elders that were taken captive?]

Nephi just happened to come home after his archery lesson so he was able to see this. Nephi himself was amazed how his mind could recall these details after 30 or more years! JS probably thought by using the term ‘at Jerusalem’ it gave him more flexibility, not fully realizing that Jerusalem was a ‘walled city’. You either lived ‘in’ Jerusalem or you didn’t.

Vs 7 must be chalked up to another error on the part of JS, unless Lehi was really a wealthy merchant. Having a ‘house at Jerusalem’ and one in his ‘inheritance’ land of the half tribe of Manasseh would mean he had to cross through the lands of one or two tribes before he was at his ‘country estate’ with all the gold, silver and treasures. It’s extremely difficult to believe that Lehi and family along with Laban and Ishmael and their families all survived as though the history the Bible and Josephus speak of, never existed! If Lehi had a house that wasn’t protected by the wall of Jerusalem, his was one of the first to fall to the invading Babylonian army along with his gold and silver and precious things! The house of Ishmael was next with his 5 daughters killed, being in ‘the flower of their age’ or captive and headed for Babylon. (Events occurring 1-3 months before Zedekiah became King of Judah!) JS’s story couldn’t occur without reconciling the historical events in Judea, that we hear absolutely nothing about!

Fatal Flaws of The Most Correct Book on Earth (Book of Mormon) can be purchased at Amazon.com