Mormons do not take criticism of their faith lightly; sadly, many [of them] have followed the path of our culture in assuming that disagreement is akin to bigotry.
– Bill McKeever
Those who have studied Mormonism’s history have seen that much of the Book of Mormon was written largely in part thanks to other sources that were available to Joseph Smith at the time he lived.
The two most notable examples are Joseph Smith’s plagiarism of the King James Bible, and Joseph Smith’s not-so-unique tales of native American Indians being ancestors of Israelites. The former was the standard translation of the Bible used in America at that time, and the latter was a popular notion advanced in numerous books during Joseph Smith’s time.
Even Mormons (including LDS general authority member and apologist B.H. Roberts) have had to concede the uncanny similarities between the Book of Mormon and other works of men available to Joseph Smith at the time.
In fact, there’s been much discussion about writings by Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith which are eerily similar to that of the Book of Mormon and predate the Book of Mormon.
You can read more on Solomon Spaulding’s manuscript here, and view the numerous similarities between Ethan Smith’s work and Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon here.
But the Indians-are-Hebrews stories aren’t the only tales that were circulating during Joseph Smith’s time
There is another Mormon teaching that was espoused by early Mormon leaders that–like the Indian/Hebrew theory–was also not original to Mormonism. I’m speaking of the Mormon teaching that the moon was inhabited by men.
Oliver B. Huntington, who was a close associate of Joseph Smith and remained a faithful Mormon his whole life, said:
Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere, etc. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory. Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style. In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and–to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes. Young Woman’s Journal, Volume 3, pages 263-264, 1892
Huntington also said the following of Joseph Smith’s teaching regarding moon people:
The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about 6 feet in height. They dress very much like the quaker style and are quite general in style, or fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally, near a thousand years.” This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, and he could “see” whatever he asked the father in the name of Jesus to see. The Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Volume 3, Page 166
William A. Linn had this to say about Martin Harris, one of the three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon:
Daniel Hendrix relates that as he and [Martin] Harris were riding to the village one evening, and he remarked on the beauty of the moon, Harris replied that if his companion could only see it as he had, he might well call it beautiful, explaining that he had actually visited the moon, and added that it “was only the faithful who were permitted to visit celestial regions.” William A. Linn, The Story of the Mormons, Page 35, 1902
Of, course, not to be outdone by all the grandiose claims, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young went even farther by alleging that there are solar inhabitants as well:
We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 271, 1870
So where did early Mormon leaders devise such tall tales about moon people and sun dwellers?
Well, all of the above quotes from Mormonism arose after 1835, the year when a tale of lunar habitation by humans was being spun by a paper called the New York Sun. A tale that later became known as The Great Moon Hoax.
In August of 1835 (just two years before Oliver B. Huntington said Joseph Smith began talking about inhabitants of the moon) the New York Sun (a paper from Joseph Smith’s own home state) reported that British astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered people living on the moon (as well as unicorns and hut-dwelling, fire-wielding bi-ped beavers).
Of course, thanks to advancements in astronomy, we now know for certain that men do not live on the moon (or the sun) and modern Mormons have since back-peddled from these teachings (painting over them with a veneer that these were only their leaders’ “opinion”). But even though they recognized the foolishness of these teachings, they still believe in extra-terrestrial habitation on other planets . . . just not on our moon or sun.
Mormon prophet Brigham Young said:
Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species. Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, Page 285, 1859
Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet/president of the Mormon organization, said:
We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring. Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, Page 62
Recognizing the prophets’ errors of claiming the moon and sun are inhabited is honest and the right thing to do, but why still cling to the idea that other planets are inhabited?
I’m still waiting for LDS apologists to finally concede that the Book of Mormon was just Joseph Smith’s “opinion” as well since advancements in archeology have not revealed one city, town, sword, shield, coin or other artifact or location in Book of Mormon history; advancements in DNA science have proven that American Indians are not descendants of ancient Hebrews as the Book of Mormon claims; that there is not one ancient manuscript to support the authenticity of the Book of Mormon; that the “Reformed Egyptian” language Joseph Smith supposedly translated the Book of Mormon from has never existed; and that the Book of Mormon (called “the most correct of any book on earth”), has undergone 3,913 documented changes, corrections, and alterations since it’s original 1830 publication.
But I suppose, even in the face of all that evidence, the odds of Mormons admitting that the Book of Mormon was a fabrication is as slim as finding Quakers living on the moon.
The ministry of Living Waters has just released the following video that has the potential to drastically change the culture’s view on abortion and to save souls. Please take the time view this important video:
As you share this video with people, please suggest they go to www.180movie.com for additional information.
DefCon presents another installment of Old Mormon vs New Mormon.
See our previous installment Old Mormon vs New Mormon: The Missouri Prophecies here.
I wouldn’t have bothered posting this video but I found the second half of it very interesting. They take a video camera into a Mormon bookstore (Deseret Books) and show us some of the items being sold. You may be surprised at what you see.
LAST CHANCE – BIBLE vs JOSEPH SMITH DVD OUTREACH
Dear FPW’s (Faithful Prayer Warriors),This will be very short. Several people have contacted us about the possibility of purchasing THE BIBLE vs JOSEPH SMITH DVD at the discounted price of $1.75 ea. If you are still thinking about ordering, the time to act is NOW because we are ready to place our order.So far 46 people from all over the country (plus one from Africa) have ordered the DVD and plan to distribute over 10,000 of these DVD’s. This will surely create a ripple effect that will be felt world-wide by the LDS community.
The LDS community is a tight knit, very well connected subculture. If only a few Mormons are saved as a result of this outreach, the impact will reach deep into the Mormon community. We are praying that outreach opportunities like this one will eventually become the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Not by power, nor by might, but my His Spirit!!!
We do not care how many DVDs you order – we just want to touch Mormons all across the world. So if you know any Mormons… order the DVD and drop one on their doorstep. Then pray and see what God will do.
Contact T.G.M at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to place your order, but hurry, they will be placing this one-time large order very soon.
If you’ve ever been in a discussion with a Mormon and you’ve quoted one of their prophets or church leaders (and that quote was not favorable to their organization’s current position on any given matter), then you no doubt have received the following response:
“But that was just his opinion.”
So, is this a valid response or is this simply a dishonest retort which completely evades the issue?
Using only Mormon published materials, I will prove to you in this post that it’s the latter.
Please read the following 23 quotes very carefully.
We do not wish incorrect and unsound doctrines be handed down to posterity under the sanction of great names, to be received and valued by future generations as authentic and reliable . . . . Errors in history and in doctrine, if left uncorrected by us who are conversant with the events, and who are in a position to judge of the truth or falsity of the doctrines, would go to our children as though we had sanctioned and endorsed them.– Brigham Young, Millennial Star, Volume 27, Page 659, 1865
I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 95
I will commence by saying to the Latter-day Saints and to all the inhabitants of the earth that I am responsible for the doctrine I teach; but I am not responsible for the obedience of the people to that doctrine. – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 1, 1869
I will take up my text again—I am responsible for the doctrine I teach. – Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 4, 1869
Brigham Young has said “when he sends forth his discourses to the world they may call them Scripture.” I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God. – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 264, 1870
What man or woman on the earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 12, Page 127, 1867
Another DefCon exclusive:
What happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon? Find out in the first installment of the new series: “Old Mormon vs New Mormon.”
And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple; for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation.
Times & Seasons
Volume 6 Page 956
April 06, 1845
To be in readiness to move into Jackson county in two years from the eleventh of September next, which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.
History of the Church
Volume 2 Page 145
August 16, 1834
The day is near when a Temple shall be reared in the Center Stake of Zion, and the Lord has said his glory shall rest on that House in this generation, that is in the generation in which the revelation was given, which is upwards of thirty years ago.
George Q. Cannon
Journal of Discourses
Volume 10 Page 344
October 23, 1864
Ever-reinventing and re-polishing themselves till they get it right, the LDS church is back at the drawing board once again. This news article from BNet highlights the latest product of the LDS propaganda machine: Pathetic pandering to the culture.
Notice how he claims the LDS church “teaches good principles?” Since when do “good principles” save a man? Did you also notice how he said the LDS church makes a bad person good and a good person better? This is just further proof that this organization doesn’t preach the Gospel, nor even remotely understands it. True Biblical Christianity does not make a bad person good and a good person better, it takes a dead man and makes him alive; it takes an enemy of God and makes him an heir.
But being a cult does have its benefits though, because since truth to a Mormon is subjective and ever-changing, what was “truth” yesterday, is now relegated to:
We have new revelation.
We don’t teach that anymore.
We don’t believe that anymore.
That was just that prophet’s personal opinion.
You’ve taken that LDS teaching out of context.
A new prophet supersedes anything a previous prophet says.
You misunderstood what the LDS church was trying to say back then.
Just try to nail us down on something, you’d have better results trying to nail Jello-O to the wall.
In other words, “forget what our history and our doctrine say, this is what we want you to think of us now.”
HT: UTLM.org via Facebook
DefCon is pleased to introduce its first ever Cultoon. If the dialogue in this Cultoon sounds familiar, it was loosely derived from an actual debate featured on this previous post. Enjoy.
I just read a great article on why a transformed life is not proof of salvation that I highly recommend to all DefCon readers. It is well thought-out, well-written, and can be found here at Better Than Sacrifice.
Here’s an excerpt:
The seed which fell upon stony ground appeared to burst into life – it ‘immediately sprang up’. Why? ‘Because there was no depth’. Far from the immediate flourishing of growth being an indicator of eventual fruit, that growth was caused by the seed falling upon unprepared ground. This is sobering; the implication is that a quick conversion – an abundance of early growth – might very well prove to be ill-grounded. . . . The seed which fell on stony ground is likened to one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet there is no depth there, no true understanding of what has been declared.
If this is sometimes the case with those who hear the true Word of the Kingdom, properly proclaimed, how plainly this exposes the dangers of our modern watered-down presentations of man’s sinful state. Rather than risk offending people by telling them of the wrath of a holy and just God toward sinners, we instead talk of having ‘made mistakes’ and ‘messed up our lives’. Instead of warning of the coming judgement, we tell people that God loves them, omitting any mention of His holiness and justice. Rather than call sinners to repent, we entice them with the offer of a better, more abundant life.
And thus we emasculate the Gospel, robbing it of its majesty and power. For if God is not angry with sinners, the punishment of His Son in their place on the cross can make no sense. Truly, it is this kind of diluted evangelism that results in false converts, lacking depth and with no understanding of the amazing grace that has been poured out upon sinners through the cross of Jesus Christ.
The Church’s task is not to make the Gospel palatable to unbelievers. It is to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Christ so clearly that the offence of the Gospel – Christ crucified in our place, the just suffering for the unjust – is plain to everyone who hears.
Our message should be such that it is impossible for anyone to accept, except the Holy Spirit be at work supernaturally in people’s lives. The Church is charged with preaching the Law in all its severity to frighten comfortable sinners, and then to comfort frightened sinners with the Gospel.
It was two years ago (July 2008) that a Mormon named Keith visited us on a post regarding Faith and Works. During this discussion I tried to get Keith to explain how I could be saved if I only had a few minutes to live. Keith did a lot of talking (including changing the conversation, accusing me of trying to manipulate him, and accusing me of asking a trick question), but he never answered the question.
I decided to publish this discussion (with all of our typos) in this post to show you exactly how Mormonism advances “another” gospel; one that gives false hope to a dying man, if any hope at all.
You can check out the entire conversation (and how it began) by checking on the comments section of this post from December of 2007.
When you get to the end of the discussion, if you are still perplexed as to what one has to do to “be right with God” according to Mormonism, the answers are actually listed here: Requirements for Mormon salvation.
Enjoy the conversation.
Ok, Keith, here it goes:
It’s late at night.
You hear something at your front door.
You find me laying on your porch step covered in blood.
You see a blood trail where I dragged myself which leads to the street where fresh skid marks are present on the asphalt.
I was just hit by a car that sped off.
You call to your wife to dial 911 and you kneel down to offer any assistance that you can.
I only have a few minutes left to live (and by your estimation of my condition you know it’s true).
I’m in fear of facing God and I ask you one simple question.
“How do I get saved?”
You’ve got five minutes.
The clock is ticking . . .
– The Pilgrim
Ok, this is a trick question for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but this is what I will say. My dear friend you are not lost because God in his wisdom has made a plan for every one of his children. Your acceptance of Jesus Christ at this time will be to your great advantage and your sorrow and asking for forgiveness for your sins will be of merit for you. When you get to other side you will find that you still have an opportunity to learn of his work. Through the miracle of the restoration of the Gospel the Lord has made it possible that your baptism can still be done and you can upon meeting the requirements have the blessings of the Gospel in your life. Now Pilgrim, rejoice in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ because it is through him that you will live again and receive his great blessings. I love him and I want you to know that I know that he lives and that through him you will be resurrected and can receive forgiveness of your sins and be accepted into his presence. Now should we pray together and ask for God to hear your plea.
As you know Pilgrim your understanding of the term of salvation and mine are different and just because we understand the same scriptures differently does not make me wrong and you right. I am interested in your reply.
The ever-changing mainstream Mormon church has taken yet one more step to distance themselves from the original teachings of their church. This is just another step to appear more “Christian” as they reject the doctrinal roots of their founders. Can anyone recognize Mormonism anymore?
Here’s the very brief article:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released this statement Wednesday:
In the mid-19th century, when rhetorical, emotional oratory was common, some church members and leaders used strong language that included notions of people making restitution for their sins by giving up their own lives.
However, so-called “blood atonement,” by which individuals would be required to shed their own blood to pay for their sins, is not a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in and teach the infinite and all-encompassing atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes forgiveness of sin and salvation possible for all people.
Source: Deseret News
Could the timing of this press release have anything to do with this week’s execution by firing squad of Ronnie Lee Gardner in Utah?
Find out more about the truth of Mormonism’s doctrine of Blood Atonement from these previous DefCon posts:
Joel Kramer and Sourceflix have hit another home run with their latest release, The Bible vs. Joseph Smith.
DefCon has been pleased to feature Joel Kramer’s past documentaries DNA vs. the Book of Mormon, The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon, and Lifting the Veil on Polygamy, and now The Bible vs. Joseph Smith continues in the excellence of quality, production, and product.
Joel Kramer sits down with a lifelong Mormon and puts Bible prophets and Mormon prophets to the Deuteronomy 18 test “to see which prophets are truly speaking for God.”
This video not only deals with such problems as the Book of Mormon error of stating that Jesus was born in Jerusalem, but it also deals with Joseph Smith’s problems of false prophecy, so clearly in fact, that I suggest to you that this video conclusively proves that Joseph Smith was a false prophet.
“In a conversation between a Christian and a Mormon, the prophets of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are put head to head in a test to see which prophets are truly speaking for God. If even one prophecy fails to come true, that prophet is a false prophet, and must be put to death.”
Coming soon: The Mysterious Islands.