The Book of Enoch and the Book of Moses

This isn’t my idea, but rather is borrowed from a poster at mormonapologetics.org.  Below are 21 similarities between the story of Enoch as found in the Book of Enoch and the Book of Moses.  The Book of Enoch was found and translated long after Joseph Smith published the Book of Moses.  It is remarkable, therefore, that there are so many similarities.  It is another evidence that Joseph Smith was called of God and had the gift to translate by the gift and power of God.
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Number 1–Enoch sees Noah protected by the hand of God

Moses 7:43–Enoch saw that Noah built an ark; and that the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand; but upon the residue of the wicked the floods came.

1 Enoch 67:2–At this time the angels are working with wood (making an ark) and when it is completed, I shall place my hands upon it and protect it.
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Number 2–Enoch Sees All Things

Moses 7:67a–And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world.

2 Enoch 40:1–Now therefore, my children, I know everything; . . . my eyes have seen from the beginning even to the end, and from the end to the recommencement.

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Number 3–Enoch Sees Men’s Deeds

Moses 7:41–The Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men, wherefore Enoch knew.

2 Enoch 53:2–See how I have written down all the deeds of every person before the creation, and I am writing down what is done among all persons forever.

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Number 4–Enoch Sees All Generations

Moses 7:4–(the Lord said to Enoch): Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations.

3 Enoch 45–And I saw Adam and his generation, their deeds and their thoughts (etc.) . . . And every deed of every generation, whether done or to be done in the time to come, to all generations, till the end of time.

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Number 5–Premortal Existence

Moses 6:51–And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

2 Enoch 23:4-5–You (Enoch) sit down and write–all the souls of men, whatever of them are not yet born, . . . For all the souls are prepared for eternity, before the composition of the earth.

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Number 6–The Earth Speaks

Moses 7:48a–Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children.

1 Enoch 7:6–(After a description of the wickedness on the earth) And then the earth brought an accusation against the oppressors.

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Number 7–Enoch Weeps

Moses 7:44–And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted.

2 Enoch 41:1–And I (Enoch) sighed and burst into tears, and I said concerning their disreputable depravity, Oh how miserable . . ..

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Number 8–Mahijuah/Mahujah

Moses 6:39-40–[W]hen they heard him (Enoch) . . . fear came on all them that heard him. And there came a man unto him (Enoch), whose name was Mahijah, and said to him: Tell us plainly who thou art and from whence thou comest?

Dead Sea Scrolls 4QEnGiants 1:20–[Thereupon] all the giants [and the nephilim] took fright and they summoned Mahujah and he came to them: And the giants asked him and sent him to Enoch […] saying to him: Go then […] and under pain of death you must […] and listen to his voice; and tell him that he is to explain to you and to interpret the dreams.

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Number 9–Enoch a Lad at 65

Moses 6:31–Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad?

2 Enoch 10:4–And the men answered me (Enoch), This place, youth, has been prepared for those who practice godless uncleanness on the earth.

3 Enoch 3:2–[Enoch] answered, I have seventy names; . . . however, my King calls me Youth.

3 Enoch 4:2–Why, then, do they call you Youth in the heavenly heights? He answered, Because I am Enoch, the son of Jared.

3 Enoch 4:10–Because I am young in their company (the holy angels) and a mere youth among them in days and months and years–therefore they call me Youth.

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Number 10–Enoch Given Right to God’s Throne

Moses 7:59–[Enoch to God] Thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne.

3 Enoch 10:1-3–[Enoch speaking] The Holy One made for me a throne like the throne of glory . . . He placed it at the door of the seventh palace and sat me down upon it.

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Number 11–The Lord’s House Shall Be Called Jerusalem

Testament of Levi 10:4 (quoting from an otherwise unknown Enoch source)–For the house which the Lord shall choose shall be called Jerusalem, as the Book of Enoch the Righteous maintains.

Moses 7:62b–For there shall be my tabernacle and it shall be called Zion, a new Jerusalem.

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Number 12–God Gives Adam Free Will

Moses 6:56–And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves.

Moses 7:32b–In the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency.

2 Enoch 30:15–And I . . . called his name Adam. And I gave him his free will; and I pointed out to him the two ways–light and darkness. And I said unto him, This is good for you, but that is bad.

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Number 13–Enoch In Possession of Adam’s Book

Moses 6:5, 8–Enoch quotes extensively from Book of Adam (Moses 6:51-68) that was kept by Adam and his posterity.

2 Enoch 33:11-12–[God to Enoch]–For I will give you an intercessor, Enoch; Michael, on account of your handwritings and the handwritings of your fathers–Adam and Seth. They will not be destroyed until the final age. For I have commanded my angels to guard them and to command the things of time to preserve the handwritings of your fathers so that they might not perish in the impending flood.

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Number 14–Restoration of Book of Enoch Predicted in Enochic Literature

2 Enoch 35:1-3–And I will leave a righteous man (Noah), a member of your tribe, together with all his house, who will act in accordance with my will. And from their seed will arise a generation, the last of many, and very rapacious. And I shall raise up for that generation someone who will reveal to them the books in your handwriting and those of your fathers, by means of which the guardians of the earth will show themselves to the faithful men. And they will be recounted to that generation, and they will be glorified in the end more than at the first.

Moses 1:41–(God to Moses) And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou shalt write, behold, I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men–among as many as shall believe.

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Number 15–Enoch Clothed with Glory

Moses 7:3–As I stood upon the mount, I behld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory.

2 Enoch 22:8-10–The LORD said to Micahel, Take Enoch, and extract (him) from the earthly clothing. And anoint him with the delightful oil, and put (him) into the clothes of glory. . . . And I gazed at myself, and I had become like one of the glorious ones, and there was no observable difference.

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Number 16–Enoch Sees the Saints Arise

Moses 7:56–And I heard a loud voice; . . . and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory.

3 Enoch 44:7–I saw the souls of the fathers of the world, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the righteous, who had been raised from their graves and had ascended to heaven.

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Number 17–Enoch Sees the Return of Zion From Heaven

Moses 7:63–Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other.

1 Enoch 39:1–And it shall come to pass in those days that the elect and holy children will descend from the high heavens, and their seed will become one with the children of men.

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Number 18–A Prison Prepared for the Wicked

Moses 7:57–And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remaineder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.

1 Enoch 10:13-14–In those days they will lead them into the bottom of the fire–and in torment–in the prison where they will be locked up forever. And at the time…, those who collaborated with them will be bound together with them from henceforth unto the end of (all) generations.

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Number 19–Chains of Satan

Moses 7:26–And he beheld Satan, and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness.

1 Enoch 53:3-4–So I saw all the angels of plague cooperating and preparing all the chains of Satan. And I asked the angel of peace, who was going with me, For whom are they preparing these chains?

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Number 20–Enoch Acts as Intercessor for Mankind

Moses 7:49-50–Enoch . . . cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, . . . Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah? . . . I ask thee . . . that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah and his seed.

2 Enoch 18:7–And that is why God has judged them with a great judgment; and they mourn their brothers, and they will be outraged on the great day of the LORD. And I said . . ., I have seen your brothers and their deeds and their torments . . . and I have prayed for them.

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Number 21–Lions (Wild Beasts) Roar

Moses 7:13–And …[Enoch] led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, … and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly.

4QEnGiants Frg 8–[Ohyah the enemy of Enoch) … by the strength of my power, [I had attacked] all flesh and I have made war with them . . . they live in holy abodes, and … they are more powerful than I. [Thereupon …] the roaring of the wild beasts came and the multitude of the wild animals began to cry out.

113 thoughts on “The Book of Enoch and the Book of Moses

  1. I think it would be interesting to compare the 1821 “Book of Enoch” by Laurence rather than the later version you are using and see if the same parallels can be found.

  2. I dont know much about mormonism but I do know this….the book od Enoch has been in existence way before the 1st century which makes your statement untrue “The Book of Enoch was found and translated long after Joseph Smith published the Book of Moses.”
    Jude quotes from the book of Enoch in Jude 1:9 (KJV) “8Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
    9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

  3. Pascah,

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope that you take the time to read a little more around here and learn more about Mormonism.

    I think you misunderstood my statement about the Book of Enoch. I didn’t state that the Book of Enoch wasn’t in existence at the time of Joseph Smith, I said it was “discovered and translated” into English long after Joseph Smith published the Book of Moses. The former statement would have been untrue, the latter is indisputable fact. That’s precisely the point, the Book of Moses contains motifs and ideas that are found in the Book of Enoch (which is an ancient book!), and yet there is no way Joseph Smith had access to the Book of Enoch. Thus, it is another evidence that the Book of Moses is authentic and Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet.

  4. “The first English translation of the Bodleian/Ethiopic manuscript was published in 1821 by Richard Laurence, titled The Book of Enoch, the prophet: an apocryphal production, supposed to have been lost for ages; but discovered at the close of the last century in Abyssinia; now first translated from an Ethiopic manuscript in the Bodleian Library.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Enoch

  5. I stand corrected! I guess the next question would be, how likely would Joseph Smith have had access to this translation of the Book of Enoch in rural United States in 1830?

  6. This is what I could dig up. I guess Quinn mentioned that, in 1825, Thomas Hartwell Horne’s four-volume work, Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures was advertised in Palmyra’s newspaper and that apparently 1 Enoch appears mentioned in Horne’s section, “On the Apocryphal Books Attached to the Old Testament” (see Mormonism and the Magic World View, pg 191).

    Digging further, even before that was an 1813 publication- There was a very popular and common source for a summation of The Book of Enoch which was highly popular. The Book of Enoch was first discovered by James Bruce who published a highly popular travel narrative called Travels to discover the source of the Nile. The 1813 edition of this book has the following summary of the contents of the Book of Enoch:

    “The translation from the Greek, which is found in the Ethiopic bible, under the name of Metsahaf Henoc, is divided into 90 Kefel, or chapters. It begins with this preface: ” In the name of God, the merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and of great mercy and holiness. This book is the book of Henoch the prophet. May his blessing and help be with him, who loves him for ever and ever. Amen. Chap. I. The word of the blessing of Enoch, with which he blessed the chosen and the righteous, that were of old. May it be in the day of temptation a protection against all the evil and wicked. And Enoch lifted up his voice and spake, a holy man of God, while his eyes were open, and he saw a holy vision in the heavens, which the angels revealed to him. And I heard from them every thing, and I understood what I saw.” After this follows the history of the angels, of their having descended from heaven, and produced giants with the daughters of men ; of their having instructed these in the arts of war, and peace, and luxury. The names of the leading spirits are mentioned, which appear to be of Hebrew original, but corrupted by Greek pronunciation. The resolution of God to destroy them is then revealed to Enoch. These topics occupy about 18 chapters, which Mr Bruce had translated into English, but, weary of the subject, proceeded no further.

    “From the 18th to the 50th chapter, Enoch is led by Uriel and Raphael through a series of visions, not much connected with the preceding. He saw the burning valley of the fallen spirits, the paradise of the saints, the utmost ends of the earth, the treasuries of the thunder and lightning, winds, rain, dew, and the angels who presided over these. He was led into the place of the general judgment, saw the ancient of days on his throne, and all the kings of the earth before him.

    “At the 52d chap. Noah is said to have been alarmed at the enormous wickedness of mankind, and, fearing vengeance, to have implored the advice of his greatgrandfather. Enoch told him, that a flood of waters would destroy the whole race of man, and a flood of fire punish the angels, whom the deluge could not affect. (Chap. 59.) The subject of the angels is resumed. Semeiaza, Artukafa, Arimeen, Kakaba-el, Tusael, Ramiel, Danael, and others to the amount of twenty, appear at the head of the fallen spirits, and give fresh instances of their rebellious disposition. At Kefel (62), Enoch gives his son Mathusala, a long account of the sun, moon, stars, the year, the months, the winds, and like physical phenomena. This takes up eight chapters, after which the patriarch makes a recapitulation of what he had uttered in the former pages. The remaining 20 chapters are employed on the history of the deluge, Noah’s preparations for it, and the success which attended them. The destruction of all flesh, excepting his family, and the execution of Divine vengeance on the angels and their followers, conclude this absurd and tedious work.”

    http://books.google….safari&pg=PA415

    Unlike Lawrence’s work this book was highly popular. While it does contain the whole story of the Book of Enoch, it does contain some of the more interesting tidbits.

  7. I would say guest writer 800+ pretty much just slaughtered your apologetic. As I was reading the blog, I was thinking. I’ve already seen hundreds of examples of Mormon historical revisionism and now I’m going to have to look into this as well, but thanks to the guest writer…. he did the work for me.

    This just makes it look like Joseph Smith was plagiarizing, not translating.

  8. Mike, not so fast, buddy.🙂 First of all, the 1813 summation (even if Joseph Smith had access to it, and there is no way of saying he did or didn’t) does not contain the clear direct parallels mentioned in the blog post. In other words, there is no way he could garner all of that information out of that short summation. So, that’s clearly not our source and can be ruled out. Horne’s work only mentions the Book of Enoch?! How, exactly, could Joseph Smith garner so much information simply out of a text he may or may not have had access to (based on a newspaper mentioning it) when the text doesn’t actually contain the Book of Enoch, but only mentions it?

    So, the question still remains as to whether he actually had access to the Book of Enoch itself after it was published. So far the only answer we have is that he could have read a newspaper article that MENTIONS a four volume book that MENTIONS the Book of Enoch. That’s a stretch for sure. The other possibility is that he could have read a two paragraph summation of the Book of Enoch and garnered all of the information out of that. That’s a stretch too. If Joseph Smith was plagiarizing, you’ve done a poor job at showing his source thus far.

  9. I agree that this is still an open topic. All I have shown is that translations had been done and discussions were being had about the Book of Enoch long before 1830. Perhaps some went into more specifics than the one I posted.

    Also, you are lessening the 1825 Palmyra publication too much. Quinn states: “Horne’s summary of Laurence’s book was on sale in Palmyra from 1825 onward…” So the book in Palmyra contained a summary of the translation of the Book of Enoch (presumably more thorough than the footnote summary I posted above).

    Combine an understanding of a few books of scriptures and the summary already posted, and you might end up with a lot of the parallels you have posted (and if it had been written a bit differently, you would have found different parallels, as parallels can be found between virtually any writings). However, I agree that Sidney or Joseph might have needed more than the quotes I have posted.

    The parallel that seems to have the most substance to me is the Mahijuah/Mahujah parallel that comes from the Dead Sea scroll. However, one thing that lessens that is a verse in Genesis that even links the name Enoch with one that seems awfully similar.

    “And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.” Gen. 4:18

  10. Guest Writter 800+, good comments. I still think the Horne’s summary of Laurence’s book being on sale in Palmyra and therefore accessible to Joseph Smith to be a stretch. Joseph Smith couldn’t even afford a Bible until well into or perhaps after the Book of Mormon translation. There is no record of which I am aware that Joseph Smith owned the book. He would have had accessed it somewhere else such, which I suppose wouldn’t have been impossible, but I’m not sure how probable it was. I guess somethings we may never know with any certainty.

  11. You must run in different circles than my father.🙂 It doesn’t matter if you own a book or not. In the Burned-over District, the topic of conversation would have been abuzz about what was in the Book of Enoch. Hours of conversation would have been had about what people had heard or read about it. The fact that summaries were to be had, meant that people would have been talking about it. At least, that’s the case of the circles my father affiliates with.

  12. Guest Writer 800+ and Mike Birkhead, if the Burned-over District was all abuzz about the Book of Enoch and Joseph Smith plagarized it, do you have evidence in period writing exposing the plagarism? How did Joseph Smith’s followers not become aware of the plagarism and declare him a fraud?

  13. That Joseph sure fooled us. Usually that is the goal of a con-man, to fool people 150 years in the future by using vague and obscure sources no one has heard of.

  14. You need to understand that the Book of Enoch which was first translated into English in 1821 is also called 1 Enoch. It is distinct from 2 and 3 Enoch. The portions or Enoch which you parallel with the Book of Moses are from 2 and 3 Enoch. Both 2 and 3 Enoch were translated into English long after Joseph Smith was dead. Therefore, there is no way Joseph had access to the elements of 2 and 3 Enoch that are so similar to what we find in the Book of Moses.

  15. I love that last quote by David which is supported by Hugh Nibley who discusses the topic at great length!

  16. Two and a half years later🙂. I find it incredible that Joseph had no access to 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, Book of the Giants and unlikely access to 1 Enoch and that there are these 21 similarities between these ancient sources and the Book of Moses. It seems the debate died suddenly after David correctly provided the timetable of when these Books of Enoch were available. 🙂

  17. I’ll just respond to myself. Here is another perspective on the matter by Cheryl Bruno in her article applicable to the discussion. She states:

    “Some Mormon writers continue to follow Nibley’s tradition of basing Smith’s prophetic status upon his ability to parallel the Enoch pseudepigrapha without having had access to these ancient writings. This view is problematic.”

    She further states in a footnote: “Many apologists argue that revelation is the only viable origin for Smith’s version of the Enoch stories, despite probable access by Smith to numerous contemporary resources. For representative apologist approaches, see Nibley; Bradshaw; see Cirillo for information on Enoch sources easily available to Smith.”

    Her theory discounts the Book of Moses as being received by revelation and makes her best case that it, the Book of Moses, is the product Joseph access to pseudepigrapha or even more likely Joseph’s access to “Masonic tradition rather than other sources for inspiration in his Enoch writings.”

    Interesting article.

  18. Nice comment Steve.🙂 I stated earlier that “I find it incredible that Joseph had no access to 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, Book of the Giants and unlikely access to 1 Enoch and that there are these 21 similarities between these ancient sources and the Book of Moses”. I am reading the Book of Moses again. It feels true!

  19. Another good comment old Steve. In addition to parallel number 8 Mahijah/Mahujah Bradshaw, i think, made this additional interesting observation; “In the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Bible, the variants MHYY [Mahijah] and MHWY [Mahujah] both appear in a single verse (with the suffix “-el”) as references to the same person, namely Mehuja-el. The KJV renders both variants identically. Moreover, the Joseph Smith versions of the name drop the “-el” suffix to the name thus differing from the Hebrew text of the Bible and in accord with its Dead Sea Scrolls  equivalent…” It is doubtful that Masonic oral history of Enoch providing this source to Joseph Smith. Keep them coming Steve.🙂

  20. Steve, Im glad you revived this. The earlier poster who said essentially that all these paralleles are nullified since “the book of enoch” was available before 1830 is astonishingly ignorant. The majority of these parallels, which happen to be the most impressive, come from 2 enoch, 3rd enoch, and the book of the giants found in 1948 along with all of the other dead sea literature. 2 and 3 enoch also have very late dates of discovery but dont remember them off the top of my head but can be found in Bradshaws article about the moses/enoch parallels found on Interpreters web site.

    The book of moses offers some of the best apologetic evidences of the lds church’s truth claims, i am suprised it is not used more often.

    Ps ive read a non-lds review of the article that claims josephs enoch knowledge came through masonic means. The reviewer, as was myself, was totally unimpressed.

  21. Andrew thanks for keeping your blog open and commenting, I was getting a little lonely. Russell , if you ever read this I would be very interested where the review of Cheryl’s article can be found.

  22. Hey Steve I have a comment on a little different subject. There is so much on the Mormon blogosphere about doubt and celebrating doubt. Nothing wrong with doubt but I prefer to celebrate faith. I also see a trend in discounting the importance of the historicity of the Book of Mormon and other restoration scripture like the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses. In other words they (the BOM, BOA) can be19th century productions without losing their value as canonized scriptures. They can testify of Christ and can contain his words without being being historical. I am surprised with this argument, but respect those who hold this view. I’ll come back in several weeks and give my view of the many comments this will generate!

  23. Today in our Fast & Testimony meeting a member of the bishopric who is a very successful trial lawyer conducted. He bore his testimony that the Book of Mormon is an ancient record translated in our day. He testified that by reading that Book that one can gain a knowledge of its truthfulness. The Book of Mormon is an ancient record that is true, therefore there was a Lehi and a Sariah and a real Moroni. There really were gold plates and a seer who translated them. If there were no plates, no seer stones nor a real Mormon then the story is a fabrication. If the Book of Mormon is a fabrication then so is the First Vision. If there is no vision then there is no priesthood along with its exalting ordinances. As he and the others testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel I felt a peace and assurance of the truthfulness of what they said. How does one know the truth of spiritual matters? Paul taught that spiritual things are known through the spirit and Moroni said we can know the truth of all things through the power of the Holy Ghost.

  24. Hey Robert60 are you Steven Skabelund? One and the same.🙂 Maybe I’ll use still another name for my conversation.

  25. Steve, you may be interested in a recent comment by Ben Spackman on a Book Review of Adam S. Miller from the Common Consent blog. Ben S. that he “certainly take[s] issue with casually throwing in doubt as a spiritual gift, though I leave open the possibility that with the right definition and contextualization, it could be justified. (I can’t quite imagine what those might be, but leave it open.) But as this is apparently a loose translation (without explanatory notes?)” I understand he (Ben S.) is one of the authors of the Wheat and Tares blog.

    Earlier I said, “Nothing wrong with doubt but I prefer to celebrate faith.” I am sure we will continue to hear about much about doubt but without faith what good is doubt.

  26. I really should say nothing wrong nor good about doubt by itself, how we react to it can make it a positive or a negative feeling.

  27. “I guess the next question would be, how likely would Joseph Smith have had access to this translation of the Book of Enoch in rural United States in 1830?”

    I know the answer to that. It is between slim and none. The only known American copy of an earlier edition of Laurence’s “Book of Enoch the Prophet” in the New York area (an 1828 printing of the 1821 first edition) was acquired in the early 20th century by an institution in New York. That is too late for Joseph Smith to have had access to it.

    Furthermore, in the 1838 and 1883 revised reprint editions of the work, the scarcity of previous editions of the volume was discussed in the prefatory material. It was stated to be so rare in the previous editions that many had concocted the idea of a Church conspiracy that suppressed the volume from the public. And, that was in Europe where it was published! The 1838 edition denied the suppression and stated that that third edition was printed as a result of a large order from America. No previous orders from America are mentioned at all.

    In any case, I cannot imagine it being less rare across the ocean in upstate New York at the time of the previous editions published during the lifetime of Joseph Smith (the 1832 second edition is too late, too, since the Book of Moses was written from 1830-1831), and that would have been available to him to copy from in any way.

    So, yeah, between slim and none. Probably much, much closer to none.

  28. I loved the comment made one year ago today by me (I guess i am a little proud) . “I find it incredible that Joseph had no access to 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, Book of the Giants and unlikely access to 1 Enoch and that there are these 21 similarities between these ancient sources and the Book of Moses”. I am reading the Book of Moses again. It feels true!” The source for the Book of Moses is the same in 1830 as it was in 2014 and 2015. I find the analysis incredible. My guess is that the source (revelation) will also be the same in 2125. 🙂

  29. Today at our stake conference the visiting G.A. rhetorically asked why we hold Joseph Smith in such high regard. He answered that because of Joseph we know Jesus so much better. In the modern time Joseph saw Jesus along with His Father. The speaker then said yes the Father and Son were seen by Joseph — Joseph saw a Family! In a internet age when so much negative is written about Joseph this G.A.s witness rang so true to me. I felt it the truthfulness of his words like I have hundreds of times before as I have read, listed to and pondered the mission of Joseph Smith.

    Joseph brought forth the BOM by the gift and power of God. It is the second testimony of Jesus — it is written to convince the Jew and Gentile (all of us) that JESUS IS THE CHRIST. Its four principal authors Nephi, Jacob, Mormon and Moroni all saw Jesus. Did not Moroni speaking to our generation and say “And then ye shall know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked to me face to face…” HIs father Mormon in his 15th year “was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus. Over 900 years earlier Jacob and his older brother Nephi both saw Jesus.

    We so we sing praises to the man who communed with Jehovah. For it was Jesus that “anointed that Prophet and Seer” — even Joseph Smith.

  30. Interesting that truth is based on a feeling. The Taliban feels its gospel is true, Catholics feel their gospel is true, Baptists feel their gospel is true, Hindus feel their gospel is true, Warren Jeffs and all his nut bags felt their gospel was true….they cant all be true. Too bad there isn’t some evidence that Joe Smith didn’t just make all this up. If I was God and I wanted to restore my gospel on the earth I would make the message as believable as possible to save as many people as possible. Not give a treasure seeking boy with a reputation for deceiving people gold plates that he can never actually show to anyone……kind of fishy if you think about it logically and come out from under the spell of “I am right” and ” I know the church is true”.

    I don’t think I would sing praises to a man that married and had sex with a 14 year old girl or lied to his wife about how many mistresses he was bonking, or commanded a newspaper be destroyed because he didn’t like the words it printed ….. by their fruits you shall know them…

  31. The Taliban have no gospel and they don’t base it upon a feeling. Hinduism has no gospel. Baptists do not pray to know the truth by the influence of the Holy Ghost, and neither do Catholics. Epic fails of an analogy. I cannot speak to Jeffs and his followers, however, not being familiar enough with their beliefs and practices. But, people also can be misled. There is no corner on that market and people are people and many people are suckers of one sort or another, bending their ears to the whispers of the evil one.

    Evideces that he didn’t make it all up? The internal evidences of the Book of Mormon are the splattering all over the book that can only be seen by careful study and application. Similar can be said about the Book of Moses, which is the subject of this thread. You explain how it was that Joseph Smith, knowing no Egyptian, got an Egyptian-styled phrase-name, with correct grammar and vocabulary and equivalent meaning, and put it into the Book of Mormon, and you might have a small point. That word? Irreantum. It is composed of the words jr, r [or jrrj, either answers to the correct form and meaning], nt(w), and (t)m. (Characters in the parentheses tend to get dropped in written Egyptian.) And, it is grammatically correct Egyptian. It’s literal meaning is “more than all bodies of water” or “more than all waters” and by interpretation into hebrew actually has a roughly equivalent meaning of “many waters.” There was nothing from which Joseph Smith could have gotten that. I have checked. The words nt(w) (“bodies of water”/”waters”) and (t)m (“all”) did not begin to appear in Egyptian lexicons until recent decades, being unknown in Joseph Smith’s time. Lucky guess?

    How did he get genuine Egyptian names (Anti, Ani, Parhoran, Kherihor, etc) into the Book of Mormon, knowing no Egyptian whatsoever? Lucky guesses? How many lucky guesses does there need to be before people sit up and take notice?

    I have checked the availability of the Book of Enoch to Joseph Smith as well. Something Quinn didn’t do was to check the acquisitiion date on the copy he claimed could have been available to Joseph Smith. It was acquired long after his death. The edition Quinn claimed could have been available was so rare in even Europe that it sparked conpiracy theories that its translator had pulled and destroyed all copies and no one could get one. What would be the likelihood that a single copy would make its way here to America for Joseph Smith to access in Harmony, Pennsylvania (no library nearby!), or Kirtland, Ohio, in the event of such rarity in Europe? It wasn’t until the 1838 edition of Launrence’s Enoch that a large order for the Laurence Book of Enoch was made available to America as a result of people being exposed to it in Europe and telling others about it in America. The translator of the book said so about these things himself, as did the introduction of the 1883 reprinting.

    How did Joseph Smith manage to get the name Alma correct as a male given name among Hebrews? You were aware that archaeology backs that up, weren’t you? Indeed it does. The name Alma son of Judah was found in Palestine in 1977. Lucky guess?

    How did Joseph Smith, knowing no Egyptian, get the very Egyptian idea of gods as gatekeepers into the Book of Mormon? This wasn’t know until the pyramid of Teti was discovered and the texts translated into English and made available in the Americas–long after Smith’s death.

    How did Joseph Smith, knowing no languages but English in 1828-1830, know that Egyptian that had been altered could potentially take up less room than standard Egyptian and Hebrew? How would he know that Egyptian could have been altered at all? It was, but how could he have known? There were Hieratic and Demotic forms, both of which became abbreviated and able to compress into smaller spaces. How would or could he also have possibly known that Egyptian has some very interesting properties in writing that could cause a person who knew Hebrew to stumble at the placing of words in the text. Again, Joseph Smith knew neither Egyptian nor Hebrew and yet he managed to correctly identify pitfalls to using Egyptian instead of Hebrew in written records. So, how did he do it?

    As to what God does and how he does it, consider that God often uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Look it up. It’s in your Bible. And, while on the subject, there are even pretty colorful stories about the various prophets and other characters in the Bible that are of interest if you think peceived misdeeds invalidate the whole, overall message.

    And, you have gotten some other facts wrong as well, but I am not surprised. He may have married a 14 year old but he did not consummate that marriage until years later. In addition, history in that time shows that marriage to what we now consider underaged was not unheard of in those days. People didn’t get all tied up in knots about it like they do today. In my own wife’s Scottish ancestry, there is a guy who married an 11-year old, and they weren’t LDS. Young marriage still happens in the rest of the world, even today. Ever read the Talmud? Marriage to a 3 1/2-year-old is OK by that book. Don’t believe it? Look it up for yourself. Not to say I agree with marrying that young but why not mention it, too, while on the subject of young marriage?

    And, Joseph Smith wasn’t “boinking” mistresses. They were wives. He married them. It was not until later that he would mention them to her because he wasn’t completely sure of her reaction to the news. When he finally did mention it to her she went nuts and he actually hid from his wife out of fear. In a letter he wrote to the family of one of his plural wives, he warned them that they could not be safe if Emma was around. So, yeah, I might have had a small problem telling her, too. That doesn’t make him any less of a prophet any more than the real misdeeds of the prophets and apostles of the Bible are invalidated by what they did during their lives.

    Finally, Joseph Smith did not give the initial order to destroy that press. The city council ordered him to order the constable to suppress the press as a public nuisance. Not only is it in the historical records, it is also in his own personal journal that he was ordered as Mayor to do what he did by the Nauvoo City Council. If you are going to attack the Church, its teachings, the Book of Mormon or Book of Moses, or even Joseph Smith himself, perhaps it might behoove you to get a little more learning about the subject matter under your belt.

  32. Oh, and one other thing. Joseph Smith did show the plates of the Book of Mormon to others. Even after being tossed out of the Church they still testified that they saw something (and actually handled the plates in the case of the eight witnesses, and so said even under pressure).

  33. An interesting thread. I have been entertaining Mormon missionaries for about 18 weeks now and have been earnestly seeking to determine the truth of things. I have read the Book of Mormon (all of it), some of the Doctrine and Covenants and some of the books contained in the Pearl of Great Price. I have listened to and read Mormon apologists and I have listened to the critics also including ex-Mormons. I have also fasted and prayed on the matter. I thought I had my mind made up but then this thread caught my eye and it seemed at first like plausible evidence for Joseph Smith having received spiritual inspiration for the Book of Moses rather than it having been compiled from earthly sources, so I have done some research.

    First, a word on 1 Enoch, in the preface to the 1938 (third) edition of Laurence’s English translation Laurence states that “…a very large order for more copies has been received from America”. The word ‘more’ suggests to me that earlier editions had been available in America and when the book sellers sold out they ordered ‘more’. It is possible, therefore, that reasonable numbers of the first edition were available in the New York area in the 1820s and thereby generated the interest for the “very large order” for the later edition.

    Secondly, it is clear that Joseph Smith was involved in free-masonry and the Freemasons have a strong tradition of Enochic legends in their secret rites. There is plenty on the internet about this which is openly discussed. We could speculate that there is much more that is not openly discussed and that the Freemasons may have had access to 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch long before they were more widely available.

    Thirdly, even if Joseph Smith did receive spiritual inspiration for these verses can we be sure it is of God. The Book of Enoch is not regarded as scripture by Christians and we have to be mindful of Paul’s warning in Galatians 1: 6-9 about not receiving another gospel even if it is from an angel.

    In the end, for me, it comes down to the whole picture of the doctrines, scriptures and behaviour of Joseph Smith and the LDS Church.

    Oh, and the plates, they only saw them with their spiritual eyes not physically.

  34. In the case of the copies available in America, the “more” did not refer to previous orders in America. The book would have been much more commonplace than it actually was, if that were so. The edition that made its way into the New York Library was acquired long after the death of Joseph Smith. I know because I checked when I found out about it. That edition was an 1828 second printing of the 1821 edition. The previous editions went so fast in Europe that conspiracy theories arose as to the reason for the book’s scarcity. Hardly any made their way to America because previous editions went so quickly in Europe. It was not until the just prior to the third edition that people in America began hearing about the book and trying to obtain copies, culminating in a large order from America for copies of said book. That resulted in the 1838 edition.

    Joseph Smith’s involvement in Freemasonry would not have helped him at all. Enoch traditions form part of the Royal Arch traditions in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (and its predecessor, the Rite of Perfection), and there was no Scottish Rite anywhere near Joseph Smith until 1846 (the Rite of Perfection having ceased to exist long by then), when an attempt was made to introduce it into Illinois. Joseph Smith was long dead by that time.

    In addition, Joseph Smith never went beyond the Sublime Degree of Master Mason (3rd Degree), having never belonged to any Appendant Body of Freemasonry, be it York Rite or Scottish Rite. Freemasons do not discuss 2 or 3 Enoch in meetings and never did, and these books formed no part of Masonic rituals or monitors, past or present. I know. I checked and I am also a Freemason in both York Rite (Knight Templar) and Scottish Rite (32nd Degree and Knight Commander of the Court of Honour). And, even if they had wanted to read 2 Enoch at that time they would have had to know Slavonic to read it, and would have had to have been among the few Russian scholars who knew about it (I can assure you that Joseph Smith could not read Slavonic and I know of no Russian scholars who were friends of Joseph Smith from the period). 2 Enoch was revealed to the world at large in 1892 and published in English in 1896. That’s 66 years after the Book of Moses was committed to writing and 52 years after the death of Joseph Smith.

    3 Enoch was written in Hebrew but very few Freemasons actually could read Hebrew at the time. Joseph Smith didn’t start to learn Hebrew until Winter 1835. That’s too late for the Book of Mormon or the Book of Moses. 3 Enoch was published in English in 1928. That’s 84 years after Joseph Smith was dead and 98 years after the Book of Moses was committed to writing.

    Certainly we can be relatively certain that his inspiration came from God. If we have it confirmed to us by reliance alone upon the Holy Spirit that he is a prophet, that is a no-brainer. While, it is true that 1 Enoch today isn’t regarded as scripture by most Christians, there are those Christians who would disagree with you relative to 1 Enoch. That book is part of the Bible canons of the Ethiopian Orthodox and Eritrean Tawahedo Churches. So also would the earliest Christians have disagreed with you. Bible manuscripts also contained at least part of the text in Greek (Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri among them), and Jude quoted from a Greek version available to him (Jude verses 14 and 15), as did several other early Christian writers before the third century quote it as an authority. And, since 1 Enoch and the Book of Moses aren’t gospels, Paul’s warning doesn’t apply.

    As to worrying about the behavior of prophets of God and how that affects your acceptance of them, I think you’d better read your Bible a little more carefully and reveal to yourself your double standard of rejecting Joseph Smith on the grounds of behavior while accepting ancient prophets who did similar or the same, or even worse things. Think about that for a moment. David in the Bible was identified as a prophet by early Christians, and he not only was a polygamist (but only because God had another prophet tell him that he gave him all his wives and would have given him more if he had just asked, 2 Samuel 12:8) but David the prophet-king also committed adultery and arranged to have her husband killed to cover up his errant behavior. You, in your double standard of judgment, would still accept David as a prophet while rejecting Joseph Smith? Seems that way from what I see of what you wrote. Perhaps you should rethink your decision.

    As to your claim of the witnesses seeing the plates with spiritual eyes only, you are mistaking the testimony of the three witnesses with the testimony of the eight witnesses. The Eight Witnesses not only saw with their eyes but they also handled the plates with their hands, and even after being tossed out and/or leaving the Church continued to maintain that they saw them and handled them when confronted under pressure. Fact is, there were two different kinds of eyewitness testimony, one spiritual and the other physical. That is an inconvenient fact that many critics of the Church tend to leave out in their publications. I hate to break it to you but you’ve been had!

  35. One other thing to add: Odeburg, in his first ever translation of the complete Hebrew or 3 Enoch into English, said regarding the text:

    “The complete Hebrew Book of Enoch has never been printed before. Most of the MSS. preserved also present 3 Enoch in a fragmentary form.”

    (Hugo Odeburg, 3 Enoch or The Hebrew Book of Enoch edited and translated for the first time with introduction commentary and critical notes [London: Cambridge University Press, 1928], 17)

    As I stated before, the chances of likelihood of Joseph Smith having had contact with this text are between slim and none.

  36. Whoops! I inadvertently left out some additional facts. Joseph Smith did not become a Freemason until March of 1842. That is just under 11-12 years after the Book of Moses was committed to writing. So, Joseph Smith wasn’t a Freemason at the time of his composing the Book of Moses, and had no access either to 2 Enoch (he didn’t know Slavonic even if he could have had access to the 20 or so fragmentary manuscripts in Russia and environs (he didn’t)), or to 3 Enoch (it never was printed in full until long after his death and he couldn’t read Hebrew at the time, anyway, even if he had come across fragments in Rabbinical literature, not having begun learning Hebrew until the Winter of 1835, and even to read much of that literature he still would have had to have known both Hebrew and Aramaic since a lot of said Rabbinical literature is written in both of those languages set, at least in part, in a different font than that which most Hebrew readers would have been accustomed to in reading).

  37. D. Charles Pyle. If the fact that the New York Library only received a copy of 1 Enoch long after Joseph Smith’s death means that copies were not generally available in America until then it still does not preclude the possibility that Joseph Smith obtained a copy from some alternative means, for example, a gift from a friend returning from Europe.

    I obviously can’t compete with your knowledge of Freemasonry as I am not a Freemason but I am aware of the book by Robert W. Sullivan (also a Mason of the 32nd degree) which hints at ancient esoteric knowledge of Enoch held by the Freemasons and mirrored in the Book of Enoch. That Joseph Smith was not a Freemason until 1942 I do not dispute although I understand that he was instantly promoted to the third degree which suggests to me some foreknowledge or connection with Freemasonry.

    I agree that many early Christians may have viewed the Book of Enoch as scripture but there were many heresies in the early years. I don’t have a massively strong view on this but if we are to take God at his word that he will preserve his “word” then maybe the fact that the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible could be taken as an indication of its status.

    We do refer to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the four gospels but that is not an exclusive term for those four books. The word “gospel” means “good news” as I am sure you know. In Galatians 1: 6-9 Paul is talking about the good news of Jesus Christ meaning the doctrines that Paul has espoused so it can apply to any doctrines that contradict those. In fact, Paul wrote Galatians before any of the four canonical gospels were written so he cannot be referring to them specifically.

    Regarding the comparison between Joseph Smith and David as I understand it David repented of his sins and humbled himself before God.

    I know there are endless debates about polygamy but that is not the only thing that worries me about the origins of Mormonism. There are many things. Some things of particular concern to me are:

    In Mormonism God has been downgraded from the eternal Spirit who created everything to some exalted man who rearranged the eternal matter (so who/what created who/what?).
    The fall of man is not regarded as a disaster but rather something God planned all along (is Lucifer to be thanked?).
    Mormonism has promoted Lucifer from a fallen angel to a brother of Jesus (who is a part of the Godhead),
    Mormonisn teaches that people can be like God (that was how Lucifer tempted Adam and Eve)
    ((Jesus said “ye are gods” not “you can become Gods” – another discussion perhaps))
    In the Mormon temple ceremony account of the fall, the apron is an emblem of the symbols and power of the Luciferian priesthoods and those in attendance put it on over their other garments in obedience to Lucifer to hide from God (worrying symbolism)
    The LDS church shuns the cross of Christ (1 Cor 1:18) but decorates the Utah temple with the star of Baphomet.

    It is hard for me as a Christian to ignore these issues.
    God Bless You

  38. Again, your scenario of a gift from Europe has little to no support. It was so rare and unobtainable, even in Europe, prior to the publication of the 1838 edition that conspiracy theories arose about its suppression. What makes you think someone was going to have an easier time finding it in Europe and gifting it to Joseph in America?

    We also know about the books that Joseph owned because most of them were donated to the Nauvoo library, and a few continued in family, as well as books he actually cited or referenced at the time. We know that Joseph did not own a copy of Laurence’s Book of Enoch. There is zero evidence that he owned a copy or even had one close. The Manchester Library (near Joseph at the time the Book of Moses was committed to writing) didn’t even have one. There is zero physical evidence that he either had one or had access to one.

    I am aware of the book as well. I have not read more than a few snippets of it, however, but most of what I did read was pretty speculative and lean on real evidence. A lot of what is claimed to be in 1 Enoch by the author simply isn’t there on closer inspection, and there isn’t much of anything in 1 Enoch that I have seen in any Masonic ritual from Joseph Smith’s time or otherwise. One could get more Enoch lore that parallels Freemasonry from Josephus and other sources that were available than from 1 Enoch. What I have seen of the book you reference is that it engages in a form of parallelomania, wherein any connection could be made, no matter how tenuous and unsupportable. It even discusses seriously the symbol on the American $1 bill as being connected to Freemasonry–and that is a laughable claim, I am sorry to say. Would it surprise you to know that the symbol actually was designed by a non-Mason?

    The year was 1842, not 1942, but Joseph also wasn’t “instantly promoted” or anything the like. It wasn’t because of some foreknowledge or connections on his part, either. In many jurisdictions, there is a tradition of Grand Masters making Masons at Sight (or “on Sight” depending on jurisdiction), which entails using an abbreviated ritual and waving the traditional waiting periods between Degrees, nothing more.

    In Joseph’s time, it was the first time it was being done in Illinois, and two men were initiated, passed, and raised (Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon). It doesn’t require prerequisite knowledge or some connection to the Fraternity, and never did. The Grand Master did it as an honor to Joseph Smith, who was at that time a civic leader to whom that Grand Master was catering for future political support. Joseph thought it was a good idea because of the good that having some Lodges around could bring about.

    The Grand Lodge of Illinois took a disliking to the Nauvoo Lodges for continuing the practice of balloting on multiple people at once and initiating multiple people at the same time, and actually expelled the Nauvoo Lodges from Freemasonry by declaring them clandestine after they refused to comply with the requests of the Grand Lodge. Now, after all that, the Grand Lodge of Illinois uses a similar practice today. Nowadays we Masons refer to that practice of initiating several (or even many!) people at once in several Grand Lodge jurisdictions in the United States as a “one-day class.” Even the York Rite and Scottish Rite in the US are doing it!

    So, Jude was an heretic? His Bible manuscript had 1 Enoch in it. So, God was OK with it being in Greek Bible manuscripts for several centuries but then changed his mind? In addition, individuals such as Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus were not heretics. They were widely respected in the early, post-apostolic church. And, 1 Enoch still is in Bibles in at least two Christian churches (and one Jewish group) today.

    “Preserve his ‘word'”? That is a discussion in and of itself. I wish I could post pretty pictures here. What I could show you from the manuscripts of the Bible might shock you. Why do you think Bart Ehrman went agnostic the way he did? It is because after seeing the manuscripts for himself he lost his faith that God did actually “preserve” his word. There is a lot more I could say about that subject, such as that the 99.5% manuscript agreement, or preservation, or whatever variant of the claim regarding the manuscripts of the New Testament is presented, is pure mythology. There are actually more variant readings than verses of the entire New Testament, if you want to get technical.

    In addition, some of those changes, even in the Old Testament, actually are theologically significant, contrary to claims often made by Evangelicals. For example, the oldest reading of Deuteronomy mentioned multiple gods in heaven and sons of God. Some Bibles have started using that older reading since its discovery but most still do not. In any case, the older readings in the Bible are less monotheistic than those in most of today’s Bibles. And, there are even a few passages speaking of plural gods hidden in the current text by English translations! No translation translates even close to literally Genesis 20:13, in which Abraham speaks of plural Gods causing Abraham to wander from his father’s house. (Holy shades of the Book of Abraham!) Check your Hebrew text. Both the verb (hith’u, “they caused to wander”) and noun (‘Elohim, God/Gods depending on whether context and/or verb is plural) are plural.

    But, that discussion of textual transmission and translation is a lengthy topic and that is another reason why Mormonism is of benefit. We already knew that there would be potential problems with the Bible, and that leaves room for faith in the light of latter-day revelation.

    These decisions to keep and/or omit books from the Bible are the concerns and actions of men. Nowhere does God himself get a say on what is or isn’t canon when it comes to the Bible. That is one of the only reasons why it isn’t in a lot of Bibles. A group of men got together and decided it shouldn’t be. But, even the Bible itself cites books of scripture by name, yet nary a copy can be found today of most of these sources.

    Yes, I know that the term “gospel” has several uses in the early church. And, we do not know all the doctrines that Paul taught because 1) we are missing some of his letters, and 2) not everything he knew was comunicated openly to all believers. They had a wisdom that was spoken “in a mystery” to keep outsiders from knowing this wisdom-knowledge. (See, for example, the Greek of 1 Corinthians 2:6-8.) What do you suppose was part of that hidden knowledge? Do you really expect that it was written down if they went to the trouble to hide it? Consider also the several passages in even the Bible that show that Christ had things to teach that they could not bear at the time, that Paul had to teach milk because they couldn’t handle meat, and that there were things that were difficult to explain in writing but could only be communicated to mature Christians. Read your Bible very carefully to find those. They are there, I can asssure you. But, read them for what they say rather than for what people interpret into them via commentaries.

    And, do you honestly think that the four gospels were the only writings which Christians had and studied? There were others before the four gospels were written, almost none of which survive today. Luke refers to the things “many had taken in hand to set forth” but does not name them (Luke 1:1-2). Wish we still had them.

    And, what makes you think that Joseph didn’t repent of his shortcomings? Are you a time-traveling mindreader? Fact is, the prophets and apostles in the Bible did some pretty heinous things from time to time, sometimes paying for them with their lives. Does that invalidate their message? If not, why not? And, if not for them, why for Joseph Smith?

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    Sure there are “endless debates” about polygamy. But, why should that worry you at all? It happened. They believed that God commanded it for a time. How do you know he didn’t? And, there still is the matter of God giving David all his wives and offering more for the asking. Did God, therefore, lead David into sin?

    Did you ever stop to think that man “upgraded” God to that status? The Bible doesn’t teach that God is an “eternal Spirit.” Would it shock you to learn that John 4:24 doesn’t actually teach that God is a spirit? John 4:24 refers to the action of God rather than his composition. Later Christianity made that reference into a rference of God being a Spirit. There is no scripture anywhere that says that God is bodiless. And, in fact, there are scriptures that directly state that God has form and shape, which also is an aspect of three dimensions and corporeality.

    As to being an “exalted man” isn’t the physical body of Jesus an “exalted man”? If it is no problem for Jesus why is it a problem for the LDS view for the Father also to have such? If Jesus is truly the exact representation of the Father’s nature (Hebrews 1:3), should not the condition of Jesus be that of his Father? Deep doctrine, I know, but supportable by a literal reading of the Bible, particularly in Greek.

    Now, consider also the words of Jesus himself. Jesus paraphrased the law of Moses in a passage but does not directly quote it. He states “the testimony of two men is true.” He then follows that with naming himself as one of those “men” and the Father as the other. Take that literally and what do you get? Why should I interpret the Bible less literally there or give up new revelation that agrees with the notion?

    As to eternal matter, why does anything have to create it? Why cannot it just be? Were you aware that the Bible does not teach creation out of nothing in its original language texts? It doesn’t. In fact, because it really doesn’t people in some Bibles had to reword a passage that doesn’t even talk about creation to make it an explicit “creation out of nothing” passage! The Apocrypha also shows the real view of creation, in agreement with the rest of the Bible, which is creation from formless matter (Wisdom 11:17, for example). And, even as late as Justin the Martyr he also held the doctrine that creation was from formless matter. “Creation from nothing” came about in the late 2nd Century. “Creation from nothing” was neither the view of Christianity nor Judaism before then. “Mormonism” sticks with the older view on the grounds of latter-day revelation.

    Yes, and part and parcel of that fall scenario is that God provided a Savior, the Lamb of God, “slain from the foundation of the world.” (See, for example, Revelation 13:8.) That means that God knew the whole time what was going to take place and provided for it. It was no surprise move to God on the part of the Devil. What is more, it set in motion an entire plan that was in place from the beginning. according to the Book of Moses (the subject of the original posting), Lucifer did what he did not knowing the mind/plan of God. But, God had planned for this from the beginning, or foundation of the world. Did you not ever notice that Adam and Eve did not have children the entire time they were in the garden? Think about it. How long do you think it would have taken for Adam to name the animals that God created? Why do you think that was? Not enough time? And, why thank Lucifer for setting into motion what God planned for all along? If it weren’t for him, someone else would have done it. More interesting still, why do you think God sent Lucifer here rather than, say, sending him to Mars and keeping him away from this creation so as not to mess things up? It was deliberate and God did it do give man agency to choose his path in life and eternity.

    Mormonism takes literally the passage that God is the “Father of our spirits” (Hebrews 12:9) and that we “are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:28). That includes Lucifer, ourselves, and the Son of God, all of whom are/were spirits. If God is the Father of the spirit of Jesus and the spirit that is Lucifer, that makes them brothers. Funny thing about that is that such a thought as “brotherhood” didn’t seem to bother Lactantius, who also referred to them as brothers. You take the fullk teaching out of context when you spoiut off that oft-spouted “spirit-brother-of-Lucifer” canard. Indeed, even Paul speaks of the entire family of God in heaven and on earth. (See, for example, Ephesians 3:14-15) Just because Lucifer fell doesn’t invalidate the doctrine as a whole, and not the just the part you like to sensationalize.

    Lucifer actually told it straight two out of three times. He told Eve three things would happen if they ate the fruit: 1) they would not die, 2) their eyes would be opened, and 3) they would be like God, knowing good and evil. Now, with that in mind, please read Genesis 3:7 and 3:22. We know that Adam and Eve both died. That was the only lie that Lucifer told them. The rest was the truth. And, even worse for your position, the Bible itself teaches that we will become like God! (Read 1 John 3:2-3, very carefully and out loud to yourself).

    Now, were you aware that the Bible also teaches that we would not only be like God but also have the same glory as Jesus Christ? (See for example, John 17:22 and 2 Thessalonians 2:14.) Were you aware that the Bible also teaches that we can participate/share in the divine nature, the very nature that makes God what he is? (See, for example, 2 Peter 1:3-4.) That those who overcome will sit on the throne with God and that we will judge/rule angels and the world? (See, for example, Revelation 3:21; 1 Cointhians 6:2-3.) Those are the kinds of things God does, and faithful Christians who overcome will do the same. There is much, much more that could be said about this. I provide you a link for further consideration but even that paper is by no means exhaustive (hope the link comes through):

    http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/1999-fair-conference/1999-i-have-said-ye-are-gods-concepts-conducive-to-the-early-christian-doctrine-of-deification-in-patristic-literature-and-the-underlying-strata-of-the-greek-new-testament-text

    Yes, deification certainly is another subject that could take a long time to hammer through. See my above paper and read it carefully. Then, take a look at 2 Corinthians 8:9. The fist part of that verse refers to Christ’s “emptying” himself and taking on the nature of humanity in Philippians 2:6-8. If that is so, to what does the second part of the verse refer, comparing that to Philippians 2:9 and to Matthew 23:12?

    I see you are under the influence of Schnoebelen and Decker. The apron actually symbolizes two things (the literal aprons of Adam and Eve, and the aprons worn by the ancient priests of Israel), depending upon when one wears it during the ceremony neither of which is that it itself is the symbol of Lucifer’s anything. That interpretation on which you relied is a false interpretation taken by conflating the ritual together and twisting it around like a pretzel. It also helps when the creators of that interpretation are consummate liars. Again, you’ve been had.

    We do not shun the cross of Christ. We prefer instead remember his life and to do as he commanded to remember his death, which is to participate in sacrament/eucharist/Lord’s supper, etc. Show me one passage where Jesus commanded us to display the cross on churches on in clothing accessories in rememberance of him. Just one will do. Until then you really have a moot point. And, “star of Baphomet” on “the Utah” temple? Really??? I see you’ve been had again. Ever hear of the Star of Bethlehem symbol? It is a symbol of the birth, and by extension, the incarnation of Christ. The star of Baphomet is an interlaced, five-pointed star, point upwards. There isn’t one of those on any temple in Utah. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. Oh, and did I mention that you’ve been had again?

    I just don’t know. I just don’t see your concerns particularly worrisome, and I am a convert to the LDS faith from a previous Christian background. (Father is Southern Baptist and mother Lutheran.) I once left the Church becuase of the same concerns you raise and more, but later returned and confirmed my stay via the Spirit and by doing extensive research over a period of decades. This post has grown longer than intended so will end here.

  39. Just noticed that a couple parts of my post didn’t make it through correctly and that my spell-checker failed me. I cannot correct that so will leave as is, except here to add that even if we could prove that Joseph Smith knew of 1 Enoch and its contents, there still is zero tangible, physical evidence that Joseph Smith actually had access to, much less actually made use of 1 Enoch.

    But, that still does not distract from the problems that 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch give to those who postulate that Joseph Smith must somehow have had access to these. Neither of those latter works were available to him, and even if fragments of them had been available to the backwoods of frontier America at the time, Joseph Smith could neither read Slavonic nor Hebrew at the time, and Joseph Smith never learned to read Slavonic. English translations of these latter works would come too late to be of any benefit to him.

    The only Library close to him at the time was the Manchester Library, and copies of neither 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, nor 3 Enoch, were available there at the time he was anywhere near. He in 1830 lived in Harmony, Pennsylvania and they were a small rural community (that no longer exists) that had no infrastructure nor library.

    Other institutions that (on a very, very slim, unproven chance) might have had something were hundreds of miles away, round trip, a journey that at that time and place, and with available travel methods in that region, would have taken nearly a month to accomplish, or even more time if on foot. The likelihood of him using something like even 1 Enoch was, as I said regarding the use of books of Enoch, from slim to none, leaning much closer to none, particularly the case for 2 Enoch or 3 Enoch.

  40. Had to step away for a moment before finishing my posting for the day. The other thing I wanted to say but which did not make it into the above response for whatever reason, was that the passage in 1 John 3:2-3 is even stronger in meaning in the Greek. Not only do I know that from my own personal knowledge of the text, I also saw it on the face of a native-Greek speaking Evangelical when we were having a discussion on the very subject of deification, or, as the Mormons call it, the doctrine of eternal progression.

    He claimed it was impossible for the doctrine to be true in any form and that is was blasphemy to believe any part of it, and that there is no passage anywhere in the Bible that states in any way that we could become “like God” or share his glory and nature. During the discussion, he asked me to show him just one passage of scripture that said anything like we would become “like God.”

    He brought up the same passage in Genesis that you did, and more, and then I asked him if he read Koine Greek (the dialect of New Testament Greek). He said that he did, so I pulled out a bilingual Greek New Testament (ancient Greek and Modern Greek in side-by-side columns) and handed it to him, and asked him to read 1 John 3:2-3. (I was actually surprised to learn earlier that he didn’t do most of his reading in Greek in light of what he then admitted.)

    At any rate, he read the passage once silently, handed it back to me, and said that it was no big deal and that it didn’t really say what I was suggesting. I said, “No, look again, and this time read it out loud. Oh, and this column, not the Modern Greek one.” He took it from my hand and began reading out loud. He never got past the first half of the Koine Greek text when he stopped reading aloud, whispered a word, and went suddenly silent for several seconds, while a look of fear and intense, open-mouthed dread came over his face and his body tightened up at what he had just read.

    He stopped on the Greek word translated “like” in most English Bibles but which really carries the underlying meaning of sameness, or close similarity in nature, in that passage. I even heard him say the word ‘same’ in that whisper from his lips before his subsequent silence. He was stunned for a few moments and just stared at the passage trying to make what he just read go away. He couldn’t.

    Finally, he hurriedly handed it back to me and changed the subject to something else that had little relation to the subject we were discussing. The discussion went downhill from there and didn’t last too much longer. But, it was additional evidence that I was on the right track in understanding the passage as I did.

  41. OK, here is what I found in the equivalent verses in the 1821 edition of Laurence’s Enoch the Prophet (numbered as presented above) even if it could be proven (it hasn’t and so far there is exactly zero physical, confirmable evidence) that he actually had access to this at the time very rare text (Laurence has differing chapter and verse divisions than the scholarly editions):

    Number 1:

    Now then shall the angels labour at the trees; but when they proceed to this, I will put my hand
    upon it, and preserve it. (1821 Laurence 66:2)

    No mention of the ark here in this translation but I suppose a very careful read might possibly suggest it.

    Number 2:

    Then the earth reproved the unrighteous. (1821 Laurence 7:15)

    Here in this translation the earth reproves rather than complaining about or bringing accusations against men. In another translation I have (Knibb), and in the footnote in the edition of 1 Enoch I am in process of preparing for publication, it reads this way: “Then the earth complained about the unrighteous ones.” That is a better parallel, but it is too late.

    Number 17:

    In those days shall the elect and holy race descend from the upper heavens, and their seed shall then be with the sons of men. Enoch received books of indignation and wrath, and books of hurry and agitation. (1821 Laurence 39:1)

    This one is the best parallel yet, assuming Joseph actually could have gotten access to this (at the time) very, very rare book (again, zero physical, verifiable evidence of that, thus far).

    Number 18:

    Then shall they be taken away into the lowest depths of the fire in torments; and in confinement shall they be shut up for ever. Immediately after this shall he, together with them, burn and perish; they shall be bound until the consummation of many generations. (1821 Laurence 10:16-17)

    No mention of the actual prison for spirits, or the term ‘prison,’ just mention of being shut up and of confinement.

    Number 19:

    I beheld the angels of punishment who were dwelling there, and preparing every instrument of Satan. Then I inquired of the angel of peace, who proceeded with me, for whom those instruments were preparing. (1821 Laurence 52:3-4)

    No mention of chains here.

    I’ll leave it for the readers to decide for themselves what they want to think about any of the examples from the 1821 edition of Laurence’s Enoch the Prophet.

    Note: Apologizing in advance if the font formatting doesn’t come through like it went awry in a previous post above.

  42. Hi, D. Charles Pyle, I’m not ignoring your posts. I don’t have time right now to respond. Hope to reply Sunday. Respect for the amount of work.

  43. No worries. Just also wanted to let you know that I searched the entire record of the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute. Not a single copy of Laurence’s Enoch the Prophet, in any edition, was listed among the holdings and/or donations.

  44. Also searched the entire Manchester Library holdings as well. No copies of 1 Enoch there, either.

  45. And, finally, I ran a complete search through all the early periodicals of the Church. There are but two references to a Book of Enoch: one of which refers to the quote in Jude, and the other actually referring to Laurence’s Enoch the Prophet, although not by name. The latter actually is a quote from another Newspaper called the New York Star. Here they are for interested readers.

    The Lord is not in a hurry, neither is he slack: His work goes on, and though his way is past finding out, while a time for repentance to man is granted, and any are spared from the consumption decreed, some will turn to the words of eternal life, for life and salvation, whether they are found in the old bible, book of Mormon, lost book of Jasher, or the book of Enoch, mentioned by Jude. Though men are afraid of the books of God, or afraid that God will suffer any more to be in the world, I expect that when the dead, small and great, stand before him, that the books will be opened; even the books of Jehovah, and men will be judged according to what is written in the books.

    (Messenger and Advocate I.9:130 ¶4)

    Not useful to Joseph Smith, being too late a reference and too non-specific. Also dated June 1835.

    Recently the Book of Enoch has been discovered, translated from the Ethiopic, and published in England. Professor Stewart has lately reviewed it.

    (Times and Seasons I.8:127 ¶5)

    Too late. Dated June 1840. Also expresses excitement over its discovery.

    Searching through these early periodicals is a waste of time, by the way, nothing dating to the time of the Book of Moses. But, I wanted to be thorough and cover the proverbial bases.🙂

  46. Apologies for the long post but you raised a lot of points in your 7 posts.

    Regarding 1 Enoch, there may be no physical evidence nowadays that would lend weight to the proposition that JS had seen a copy of the 1821 translation of the Book of Enoch and you may say that it is very, very unlikely but the fact that the book existed in 1821 means that it is not impossible.

    There is, of course, no physical evidence for the gold plates nowadays either – sorry could not resist that one. Where are the gold plates now?

    Having not read the Robert W. Sullivan book in any detail and not being a Freemason either I can’t comment further on whether there is any esoteric knowledge of any of the books of Enoch in Freemasonry that would have aided JS, however, in ‘The Mormon Church and Freemasonry (2001)’, Terry Chateau writes: “[The Joseph Smith family] was a Masonic family which lived by and practiced the estimable and admirable tenets of Freemasonry. The father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was a documented member in upstate New York. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818 in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. An older son, Hyrum Smith, was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112, Palmyra New York.” So although Smith and Rigdon were not made members until 1942 there was clearly a conduit to JS for such esoteric information should it actually exist.

    It strikes me as odd though that JS embraced Freemasonry given the Book of Mormon’s condemnation of the Gadiantons and their “secret combinations”.

    You say that the Bible was put together by men. It was, but they were men inspired by God. If that can be true of Mormon literature it can be of the Bible (more so in my opinion). You sate, “… the Bible itself cites books of scripture by name, yet nary a copy can be found today of most of these sources.” Can you cite any examples – it’s just that I can’t think of any?

    1 Cor 2:6-8. The hidden knowledge was hidden in plain sight (in the Old Testament), i.e. that the Messiah would come and be killed for the sins of the world “for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

    John 4:24 – I have no clue as to how you are reading this. I have read it in several translations, including Young’s Literal Translation, and they all say, “God is a Spirit”. I shouldn’t really quote the Book of Mormon as I don’t believe it is true, however, take a look at Mosiah 3:5. It talks about the eternal God (so can’t be the Mormon Jesus or the Mormon God-the-Father for that matter as neither were eternally God according to Mormon doctrine) dwelling in a tabernacle of clay.

    Jesus is fully man and fully God. He was fully God before being born on earth as a man. In Mormon doctrine how did Jesus become a God without a physical body?

    Creation from nothing is the widely held Christian view and fits best with Gen 1:1 (void), Psalm 33:6, Psalm 148:5, John 1:3 (“All things” includes matter and energy), Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 11:3 and The Big Bang Theory.

    In the formulation of its doctrines I think Mormonism has taken quite a few biblical verses out of context; taken literally what should be taken metaphorically and vice versa and ended up with Lucifer as the spirit brother of Jesus. Consider what Jesus meant when he said, “You are of your father the devil” John 8:44.

    Gen 3:22 – not sure what point you are trying to make. They ate and knew good and evil.

    1 John 3: 1-3, include verse 1 when you read it – note ‘love bestowed’, should be ‘called’ the sons of God, NOW we are …, hope in Him purifies us like Him. Also, there are the many biblical verses showing that we are adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus e.g. Ephesians 1:5. Actually, I agree that we are all God’s children but perhaps not in the literal way you understand it.

    Lucifer’s apron, “emblems of his power and priesthoods” Go to 23 min on this You Tube video of the endowment ceremony and listen. Hope the link works.

    The Star of Baphomet: look it up on the internet, and look up the Star of Bethlehem and look up the symbols on the temples in Nauvoo and Salt Lake City. Was the LDS church commanded to show these symbols or did it choose to show them rather than the cross? I’m not suggesting that the average Mormon is in league with the devil, far from it, but I think an objective look at the origins and early years of the LDS organization would be worthwhile.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things.

    Best Wishes

  47. Here is the thing, when people make claims they need to back them up. People have made the claim that he had access to the text, and, to date, no one has been able to make that case with any physical evidence.

    Did you look at the examples from 1 Enoch I actually posted from the 1821 edition? How many of them are actual, close-to-exact matches in that edition? We get better matches from modern translations of 1 Enoch than from the 1821 edition. So, even if he had access to that very, very rare and scarce English text, of what use was it to him if the parallels are better in modern translations than in the 1821 edition of Laurence? You need to think that through a bit.

    I expect that the plates are with Moroni since he is the one tasked with keeping of the plates. But, there actually is physical evidence of their existence. The box that Joseph used to keep them in actually has trace amounts of gold particles embedded in the wood panels of the box. There was gold in the box. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough remaining to do a full chemical and other analyses to determine age, and other descendents used it afterward. We can only determine that actual gold was present in the box. How much gold could Joseph Smith afford, if any, in 1828-1829? He couldnt afford lead much less gold at that time when the box was in use.

    And, there is recorded, firsthand, eyewitness testimony that confirms that they actually existed. He had plates and 8 others saw them physically. Even under pressure they never went against their collective testimony that they had seen plates that had the appearance of gold and that they had engravings on them. His wife rubbed her fingers along the edges while it was wrapped, and it made a metallic sound, and they weighed around about 60 pounds according to other eyewitness testimony.

    Sure, Joseph’s father and brother were Masons. Have no issue with that. And, again, however, there is no connection of Freemasonry with the Enoch literature in such a way that would have been of use to Joseph, and the rituals and monitors of Freemasonry contained nothing that could have been of use to Joseph Smith in composing the Book of Moses. Nothing. I’ve looked and found nothing. And I have access to said materials as well as copies of such in my collection.

    There is no conduit. You honestly think that Masons would break their solemn vows to confide esoteric information to an uninitiated youth? In that time period? Not on your life! But, again, it is a moot point since nothing of the Enochian traditions in Freemasonry would have been of assistance to him to create the Book of Moses. I know, and I have already stated why I know.

    There is nothing odd about it. “Secret combinations” in the Book of Mormon are not referring to Freemasonry. Freemasonry isn’t like the Gaddianton Robbers and the Robbers are nothing like the Fraternity of Freemasonry. You claim to have read the Book of Mormon all the way through and you are making such a suggestion?

    Only the inspired writers were inspired by God, not the people who put the Bible together, unless you want to credit the councils of the Catholic Church with inspiration of the Holy Spirit in how they decided what should go in the Bible, and later Protestant actions after that. Most Evangelicals aren’t willing to go that direction as to Catholics. Are you? And, the inspired men who wrote the texts didn’t compile them into a Bible. That compilation didn’t happen until long after the deaths of the writers of the individual texts. Here are a few examples of books named and/or quoted, but which no longer exist:

    Book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14)
    Book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18)
    Book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41)
    Book of Gad the Seer (2 Chr 29:29)
    Book of Nathan the prophet (2 Chr. 9:29)
    Prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9:29)
    Book of Shemaiah the prophet (2 Chr. 12:15)
    Acts of Abijah in the story of the prophet Iddo (2 Chr. 13:22)
    Book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34)
    Sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33:19)
    Rest of the Acts of Uzziah by Isaiah (2 Chr. 26:22)
    A previous epistle to our 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:9)
    Epistle from Laodicea (Col. 4:16)

    There are others. In addition, the Book of Jonah that we now have is much shorter than that which once existed. What we now have is but a fragment of what once was. We know this because a prophecy of Jonah that is mentioned cannot be found in what remains of his book (2 Kgs. 14:25). See if you can find such a prophecy in the Book of Jonah. The interesting thing about the above examples is that in several places the reader is referred to the various books for further information.

    That quote of yours from 1 Cor. 2:6-8 is a rather bad misinterpretation of what the Greek text actually says. Check the word musterion in a copy of the more honest A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. The passage has nothing to do with the content of the Old Testament, whether hidden in plain sight or otherwise. That interpretation you provided is nothing more than a kind of copout of someone wanting to avoid the fact that Christians had hidden wisdom that was communicated in such a way that outsiders couldn’t recognize or learn of the information. In addition, why do you think Jesus taught in parables? He taught in the open with those so that most of the people wouldn’t learn of the actual meanings in most cases.

    I am reading it out of the Greek, and from what I know of Greek grammar and its significance. All of those translations you referenced are wrong. Period. Well, that is unless you want to admit that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is correct in translating John 1:1c as “and the word was a god.” (It isn’t.) The word for “spirit” in the Greek of John 4:24 is the predicate, just as the word for “god” in John 1:1c also is the predicate. It is making an assertion regarding the nature of the subject, not identifying or describing composition. The anarthrous predicate has a characterizing effect.

    By the way, C. H. Dodd also states that translating the phrase as “‘God is a Spirit’ is the most gross perversion of the meaning.” (See C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958], 226)

    A decent, fairly literal rendering is “God is spirit.” However, even that literal translation doesn’t actually give us the meaning underlying the passage. That passage still does not describe the composition of God. the predicate neither identifies nor describes composition. So, it cannot be actually saying that God is a spirit being or a spirit. It is referring to the God who acts. God is no more a spirit than are the words of Jesus or those born of the Spirit who walk in the flesh are (See John 3:6; 6:63), or that God is a kind of light (1 John 1:5) or made of love (1 John 4:8, 16). But rather, God is Spirit because he gives us his Spirit that begets us anew, just as God is light because he gave us the light of the world, and that God is love because he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. Raymond E. Brown was right about this in his commentary volumes on John. They are references to the God who acts not descriptions of his composition.

    You certainly do not understand Mormon doctrine. In LDS doctrine both the Father and the Son were God before this earth existed. In addition, you don’t understand the actual meaning of the words for “eternal” in both Hebrew and Greek. I suggest that you consult Gesenius. The Greek usages of the words derive the same meanings from the Hebrew, and these do not have the meanings that western theologians have attached to them. In fact, if you check the actual usages in the Hebrew, you will find that the same word is used to discuss things that we know had beginnings. For example, we read of the “everlasting hills” in Genesis 49:26. Yet, God created them. They had a beginning. Yet, they are called “everlasting” or “eternal.” “Eternal” simply means a long duration of indefinite time in the original Hebraic thinking. Why do you think many Jews use the phrase “time immemorial” to render the passages in scripture and in their prayers? the very same Hebrew word also is used to describe the time Jonah spent in the belly of the whale, which was three days. I can go on and on about this.

    Yes, Jesus is fully man and fully God. More precisely, Jesus’ physical body (the man part) is an exalted man. No issue with that, and again, if you really understood Mormon doctrine, you would know that both Father and Son were God before this earth and universe were created. Having a body isn’t required to receive godhood for all individuals, just us mortals. Both the Son and Holy Spirit were God before the creation and before Jesus ever set foot as a mortal on this earth. Jesus is the Lord Jehovah, the God of Israel in the Old Testament in most all instances, and that is Mormon doctrine. Sorry to say it but you’ve been had again. You also cannot possibly have read the Book of Mormon all the way through if you didn’t know that. Jesus was the God of Israel before he set foot on earth in his kenosis. So says the Book of Mormon and so says official “Mormon” doctrine. See also the Doctrine and Covenants as well.

    Creation from nothing may be the widely held view but it isn’t the original Christian view. We prefer the original view, and our scriptures support that view.

    The scriptures you give do not support your view. “Void” is a mistranslation. The passage concerning the earth being the way it was really should be “empty and desolate.” But, even the term “create” is a synonym of other Hebrew terms. It involves taking something already there (visible and invisible) and making it into something new. Its cognates show that it by no means creation from nothing.

    Psalm 33:6 saying that the heavens and their host were made says nothing about the methodology or that creation was out of nothing. Psalm 148:5 does nothing like what you suggest.

    Interpreting “matter and energy” as part of the all things is just that, an interpretation. The Bible doesn’t actually say that. And, if God really is light, he is also substance and energy. Since he pre-existed the universe that would mean that matter and energy existed before the universe.

    “All things” also doesn’t really mean that in the Bible. Jesus is said to know all things, yet he doesn’t know the time of his coming. I can multiply examples, if necessary, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Anyone who reads his/her Bible with care would know and learn this.

    Colossians 1:16 also doesn’t say what you claim it to say. While you are at it, see Colossians 1:20 and its use of the phrase “all things.” Do you really believe that even Satan will be reconciled to God? Wouldn’t he be under the umbrella of “all things”? Or, does the Greek technical term mean something else? I see it as a technical meaning “the universe” and I am not alone. That, by the way, is how the Greeks saw it. And, the Greek New Testament was written in Greek so that Greeks could understand it.

    Your citation of Hebrews 11:3 is the worst of all. The Greek word in that passage (katartizo) is used in every single passage it is used throughout the entire New Testament to refer to something already there and making it better, etc., not creating something out of nothing.

    You also have no idea about what the Big Bang Theory entails. A singularity isn’t “nothing.”

    Yes, Jesus did use metaphorical language when referring to those men as having their father the Devil. But, that doesn’t get rid of the literal meanings of various other passages nor the meaning of the Greek. Paul quoted a philosopher and the Greek really does mean “offspring of God” in that genos in that passage really means “descendents of a common ancestor.” Again, see the Greek-English Lexicon mentioned above. And, the wording of the passage in Hebrews 12:9 certainly isn’t metaphoric. God is the Father of our spirits. There isn’t anything metaphoric about that. And, if God is the Father of our spirits, and he is our common ancestor, and God has a family both in heaven and on earth, what is the issue?

    My point is that the devil doesn’t just lie, he told the truth as twice as well as lied once in that passage. That is the point. They became like God in knowing good and evil in that passage.

    You are entirely missing the point of 1 John 3:2. The Greek word referring to us becoming “like God” carries the underlying meaning of “sameness of nature.” Adding verse 1 to that doesn’t detract from the meaning of the Greek underlying the passage.

    I do not discuss precise details of the temple ceremony, or even of Masonic ceremonies, and I certainly have no intention of watching that video. I know what it is you refer to but your understanding of the meaning is flawed from the beginning. The apron used by the people in the temple ceremony has zero reference to Lucifer. What his apron means is nothing to the rest of the ceremony. In point of fact, the ancient priests of Israel wore aprons. We do the same. It has no more nor less significance that that with the exception that it represents the literal aprons of Adam and Eve at one point in the temple. By the way, he nowhere says “Hey, go and make aprons just like mine with the same meaning.” It couldn’t have the same meaning because at that time Adam did not have the priesthood conferred on him. Please stop trying to twist it into something it isn’t just because Decker and Schnoebelen lie that it is.

    I know exactly what the so-called “star of Baphomet” is and that star isn’t on any LDS temple anywhere, Utah, Nauvoo, or otherwise. You need to look more carefully at the actual “star of Baphomet” (hint: it’s on his forehead) and note that it is point-upward and interlaced. The star of Bethlehem isn’t, stars on our temples aren’t, and the inverse pentagram on the upper windows of the Nauvoo temple isn’t interlaced, either. That’s important. Plus, it’s the wrong direction to be the “star of Baphomet.” It also is a symbol of Christ. Please stop trying to equate modern satanism and occultism with the original meanings of the symbols we use (the satanic/occultic meanings didn’t originate until 1852 and the Nauvoo temple was originally built in 1842-1846; we used the original window symbols when we rebuilt it). You’ve been had, and now you know the actual meanings of the symbols on our temples. Continued misuse of them for sensationalistic effect will make you one who makes and loves a lie (Revelation 21:27; 22:15).

    In addition, I explained to you that we do not display crosses because Jesus was very specific as to how to be in rememberance of his death, and he nowhere said to put crosses up everywhere to do it. We prefer to think of the living Christ, not the dead one. The cross is the symbol of his death, not his life. Besides, a number of our buildings actually are shaped in the form of a cross. Isn’t that good enough for you? Why do we need to put it anywhere on the buildings or on walls inside of them to reminds us of him when he told us specifically how to remember him? What is more, which cross do you think we should use, the tau cross, crux commissa, which? No one uses the actual shape of the actual cross of Christ, anyway, I dare say not even your church.

    Sure the heart is deceitful. That is why the Lord searches and tries the hearts. But it also doesn’t stop him from giving the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. But, that is only one rendering. Know how the translators of the Septuagint read it, the way they saw it in the older copies of the Hebrew text they translated? Their text actually said: “The heart is inscrutable [or, “deep”] beyond all things, and it is man, and who can know him?” Notice the difference? It goes along better with the context of the rest of the verse to translate it as they read it from the Hebrew.

    But, again notice that the quotes I provided above from the 1821 edition of Enoch the Prophet are less close than the more modern translations of 1 Enoch.

  48. I think I understand why it is that you are not understanding what it is that I am saying. Here, let me offer the following to assist you in understanding:

    Like the four-pointed star, the five-pointed star symbol in Christianity is also known as the Star of Bethlehem and represents Jesus’ birth and incarnation.

    Also known as the Epiphany Star, it is used especially for church decoration during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/five-point-star

    I think you are confusing that star with the Moravian multipoint versions that are found in clipart all over the internet. You also should know that I am in possession of an item that came from Israel. It is an incense holder and it has the Christian seals of both Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The star that appears on the Bethlehem side is the very same star seen on LDS temples in Utah.

    By way of contrast, here is the so-called “star of Baphomet” on the head of this picture out of the works of Eliphas Levi, (whose works I have read). I post the following picture (hopefully the link works):

    Notice that it is the wrong direction and that the star on the forehead is interlaced. That is the star of Baphomet, and there is not a single one of those on any LDS temple, not even Nauvoo. Again, you’ve been had.

  49. Sorry, the image linking did not work. Here is the direct link instead. Again, pay very close attention to the star on the forehead of this image from Levi’s works.

  50. No time right now to respond to your other comments but that picture may be Eliphas Levi’s impression of Baphomet but it is not the STAR of Baphomet. Maybe the terminology is confusing things somewhat. I used the term ‘Star of Baphomet’ for convenience as that is what it is often called these days and maybe I should have used a more neutral term like ‘inverted 5 pointed star’. By inverted I mean with two points upwards.

    A star with one point upwards is generally regarded as ‘good’ like on a general’s uniform or the US flag or lots of other examples. A five pointed star with two points up has generally been regarded as a symbol of evil for centuries.

    So it is an issue for me that the LDS church has those doctrines I mentioned that redefine who God is, who Lucifer is, who Jesus is, what Jesus achieved and has the inverted star on its temples.

    I will try to respond to your other comments later.

  51. Both Schnoebelen and Decker are liars who know nothing of the subject matter. There also are many cranks on the internet. If you rely on anything like that, or on any sources that track back either to Decker or to Schnoebelen, you are being misled if you believe what they say. And, the “two points up = evil always” analogy also is wrong. It is a falsehood.

    Were you aware that the ancient seal of Jerusalem was a circle containing an inverse pentagram with the Hebrew letters spelling Jerusalem between the points?

    That the inverse pentagram also shows up on the Amiens Cathedral?

    How about the one on a Lutheran church in Hannover, Germany?

    I can go on and on with this but do not see the point. Even the star of Bethlehem is sometimes shown as inverse (two points upward with or without the downward point slightly elongated). I don’t have another example of that at the moment, but you can see some on the Nauvoo Temple.

  52. You should never use incorrect terminology for any reason, convenience or otherwise. Just because a star is inverted doesn’t mean that it represents evil. You seem to be unaware that inverse stars also appear on uniforms and other objects in the US military.

    You also seem to be unaware of the inverse five-pointed star on the Amiens Cathedral, or the one on a Lutheran church in Hannover, Germany, or even of the ancient seal of Jerusalem, which is inverse five-pointed star within a circle, with the letters for Jerusalem written between the points. Even the star of Bethlehem on occasion is displayed inverse with point downward, with or without elongation on the downward point.

    I just tried to post images of each of these but the post was censored. So, I’ll just tell you about them and let you look them up for yourself.

    We also do not redefine who God is, who Jesus is, who Lucifer is, or what Jesus achieved. Nicaea redefined God. The God of the Bible, however, isn’t the God of Nicaea, more particularly in the older readings of the Bible. The Bible also doesn’t contain everything that God ever caused to be written. Councils of men decided the contents of the Bible, and the various canons of scripture, not God.

    And, having inverted stars on temples is not an issue at all, especially when interpreted in light of the meanings of the symbols to those who built the temples. That is where you need to look, not to some sources from clueless people who lie for a living.

  53. Just considered something. Seeing people take an old symbol that meant something good and back-interpret it as something evil because that’s how everybody sees it today would be akin to someone telling Hindus that they shouldn’t have swastikas on their temples or anywhere else because the Third Reich took the symbol and they and later people applied their own meanings to it. Not the way to go in religious studies or dialogues.

    But, back to the subject of the thread. Comparing the 1821 edition of Laurence’s Enoch the Prophet to the above shows that most of what are better parallels to the Book of Moses in newer editions of 1 Enoch were not as good parallels and/or not good parallels at all in the 1821 edition. That points away from that edition as being a source for the Book of Moses.

    There were no other sources of Enoch literature that Joseph Smith could have made use of in composing the Book of Moses, and this is even more the case for 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. There weren’t any English editions available. 2 Enoch wasn’t available at all in America, and even if it had been it was written in Old Church Slavonic, a language that Joseph Smith never learned. It only recently became available in fragments of a text written in Coptic, another language Joseph couldn’t read. 3 Enoch was only available in fragments in Rabbinical literature that Joseph Smith could not have read until after 1836, when he would have learned enough Hebrew to read portions of those fragments of the text. That’s too late for the Book of Moses, which was set to writing in the period from 1830 to 1831.

  54. Due to other commitments this will be my last post on this subject, so you will have the privilege of the last word. I have no doubt that you will take full advantage.

    I feel that you are ‘dancing on the head of a pin’ somewhat. You say that the Book of Mormon is from God but the Bible was compiled by men and then try to use it to prove your point, except where it doesn’t and then you say it is a mistranslation.

    You say Jesus was a God from the beginning, but the Mormon missionaries tell me that it is necessary for me to have a physical body in order to be challenged and to choose between good and evil so that I can progress. If I am essentially the same as Jesus, although obviously currently much less holy, how come Jesus was able to become God without a physical body? Why wasn’t that way open to me?

    As for Jesus is Jehovah, please read Psalm 2 (LORD = Jehovah).

    I searched for “inverted” 5 pointed starts on US military uniforms and I found one reference to US navy uniforms with inverted stars – bad choice is all I can say. In the end, I guess it does depend on what the temple builders intended by the symbols, although we non masons will never know why the LDS church chose, stars, sun, moon, beehive, square and the all seeing eye over the cross of Jesus.

    Just picking up, very briefly, on a much earlier point, does Moroni have the plates or are they in a cave in the hill Cumorah like Brigham Young says? If it is the latter then there is a good chance that they can be found with modern technology.

    Back to the subject of the thread. I can’t prove that Smith copied any texts from any of the books of Enoch for the Book of Moses so, for the sake of argument, let’s say that he didn’t and that he received revelation. That still brings us back to Galatians 1: 6-9.

    As for people who lie for a living:-
    In the 1835 version of Doctrine and Covenants, Section C1, p251 it states, “In as much as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife……….” Now if this is meant to be an inspired writing it seems a bit odd that God would command this writing and then command polygamy round about the same time.

    “What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can find only one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers” History of the Church, vol 6, p411. Joseph Smith, Sunday May 26, 1844, at the time he had over 25 wives.

    You keep saying I have been had, well one of has, but I don’t think it is me.

  55. Sorry, but this will be lengthy. It often is easier, and uses fewer words, to make an objection in various instances than it is to answer it with as few words. So, I will be as brief as is possible considering the subject matter, but again, it will be lengthy.

    You complain about my statements of fact regarding the Bible, when they are statements of fact? The Bible was compiled by men after councils voted on what would be in it. That is a fact. Not all churches agree on canon in the Bible, and that also is a fact. The Bible also has translation and transmission issues, whether you are willing to acknowledge them or not. That also is a fact. If it weren’t true, why are so many people trying to bring forth so many differing translations? (Why engage in textual criticism to try to recover the original readings, for that matter?) It is because they take issue with translations previous to theirs.

    I do not use the Bible to try to prove my point, only to show that its underlying strata actually supports a lot of what Mormons have been saying all along. I would rather cite modern-day revelation to support my points but for people like yourself it sometimes is necessary to cite the Bible and it is useful for such.

    I see no issue with pointing out translation issues and problems, and even problems with the transmission of the text (such problems do exist) when necessary. And, portions of what you cited were translation problems. Why not point them out? Usually some critic says that Mormons just say that there are translation errors but then cannot point them out. Well, I can point them out because I can read Greek, as well as Hebrew and Aramaic, and because I am familiar with the relevant literature, and all that combined allows me to point them out. “God is a spirit” indeed is a mistranslation. C.H. Dodd agrees. Seems like you did not consult him. By the way, I have seen two formats of text in that book. One is a longer page format and the other a shorter page format. If you did try to look up the reference but didn’t find it on page 226, try page 225. He flat out states in the footnote that “‘God is a spirit’ is the most gross perversion of the meaning.” And it is. “Spirit” is the predicate, and thus isn’t identifying what God is. It also isn’t saying anything about God’s composition. So, you cannot use the passage to prove that God is an “eternal spirit.” It doesn’t say that and any Bible that does state that “God is a spirit,” when the underlying text says no such thing, has a faulty translation. Again, “God is spirit” is better, but in Greek it still doesn’t describe his composition.

    On that subject, I see you left off discussing the entries in the Lexicon that I mentioned. Did you even bother to consult them? I suspect not, but perhaps you have and you did not like what you saw and don’t wish any longer to discuss them further. I wouldn’t blame you. Sometimes the truth can be bothersome, and sometimes painful.

    But, you ask as to why it is that Jesus was God before coming to earth but you don’t get that opportunity? It is rather simple. It is because it pleased the Father for all the fulness of deity to dwell in Christ. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants all say the same thing about that. In addition–and this is important while on the subject of older Bible readings–he was “born that way.” The older reading in the oldest manuscripts of John 1:18 refers to Jesus as the “only begotten God.” Who are we to argue with God the Father about how he does things? Irenaeus also considered that question. He simply said:

    For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods; although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness. He declares, “I have said, Ye are gods; and ye are all sons of the Highest.” But since we could not sustain the power of divinity, He adds, “But ye shall die like men,” setting forth both truths, the kindness of His free gift, and our weakness, and also that we were possessed of power over ourselves. For after His great kindness He graciously conferred good [upon us], and made men like to Himself, [that is] in their own power; while at the same time by His prescience He knew the infirmity of human beings, and the consequences which would flow from it; but through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil.

    (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1: Irenæus, Against Heresies IV.38.4; bold emphasis mine)

    And, yes, a number of early Christian writers wrote and taught similar things, as you would have seen had you consulted my paper linked above in a previous post.

    Yes, I am familiar with Psalm 2. You also could have quoted Psalm 110, had you wished. All this would prove, even if we did not have evidence that the texts of the Bible have been rewritten and the divine name put in places where it wasn’t in the older readings, and that Jewish scribes rewrote portions of the Bible into munged together scriptures that originally mentioned multiple gods changed into just one, we might have an example of where the Father also is called Jehovah. It’s meaning basically is “he who is” or “the eternal.” Both meanings apply equally to Father and Son in relation to their creation.

    Genesis 19:24 also mentions two Jehovahs. Were you aware of that? One Jehovah rained fire and brimstone FROM another Jehovah. That is two persons named Jehovah; one supplying the fire and brimstone, and the other raining it down on Sodom and Gomorrah. Even in LDS scripture there is a passage where the Father is named Jehovah (Doctrine and Covenants 109), followed by the next section that plainly speaks of the Son while speaking of his voice being that of Jehovah (110). For LDS is just is easer to refer to Father as Elohim and Son and Jehovah.

    Compare your Bible reading with the older one that now appeared in the NRSV after being discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls’ biblical texts. Here is the older reading of Deuteronomy 32:8-9:

    When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided mankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods; the LORD’s [Hebrew: Jehovah’s] own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share.

    This text implies a separation of Most High and Jehovah. The later reading merged the two into one. Several texts when considered in the older readings were less monotheistic than the later readings that arose. Deuteronomy 32:43 similarly mentions multiple gods in heaven ordered to worship God (note the parallelism if you look that verse up in the NRSV). With such evidence, it is not hard to see that such kinds of modification could also have happened in the Psalms, and in point of fact comparing manuscripts also shows that in places they disagree between themselves as to where to place the divine name, Jehovah.

    And, worse for you, again I turn to the older readings of the Bible. See Jude 5. Your Bible might read a little differently, but my Greek text says the following (which I translate here for the readers):

    I will put you in remembrance, though you once knew all (these) things, that Jesus, having saved (the) people out of the land of Egypt, the second time destroyed those (of them) who did not believe.

    (Jude 1:5, translated from the UBS 5 Greek text)

    In the Old Testament, Jehovah did that. Turn to 1 Corinthians 10:9. If you have a current Bible you will note that Christ was put to the test and destroyed Israelites using serpents. Turn to Numbers 21:4-7, and you see Jehovah being put to the test and sending serpents. The whole section preceding 10:9 speaks entirely of Christ, and calls him the Rock of Israel in so many words. We know from the “Hebrew Bible” that Jehovah is the Rock of Israel and that he alone was Israel’s Rock.

    Turn to John 12:39-41, and you have John quoting a passage in Isaiah, and then stating that he made certain statements after seeing the glory of Jesus, to whom the context of the text referred. Turn to Isaiah 6:1-10 and you see that Isaiah was referring to Jehovah. It was Jehovah whom Isaiah had seen. According to the Greek text of Isaiah it was indeed the glory of Jehovah that Isaiah had seen, and then he made the comment in verse 10 and which John then quotes as a response to seeing the glory of Jesus.

    So, it looks like Mormons are in good company. And, you really should read the writings of Justin the Martyr. He very clearly and unmistakably stated in his writings that Jesus was the same God who did what he did in the Old Testament. I wish you could read his text in Greek. He is even closer to LDS doctrine than you know in the Greek text.

    Oh, you missed the Medal of Honor? Also an inverse five-pointed star. And, “bad choice” how? Were you not aware that the inverted star is also the symbol of the epiphany, and of the Eastern Star, both symbols of Jesus and also ancient symbols of honor? No? I figured as much. You still are bent on the idea that inverted stars are evil when originally they were not considered such until 1852 and afterward, when modern Satanists took it and ran with it. But, their misuse of the symbols certainly does nothing to get rid of the original meanings of these symbols, which originally were Christian symbols of Christ.

    And, which cross should we use? Crux commissa, crux immissa, Presbyterian cross, or which??? Why should we use it at all? We already have used many old symbols of Christ on our architecture. Again, we prefer the living Christ to the dead Christ. What is the issue with that stance? The cross is the symbol of the dead Christ. And, we obey the specific command of Jesus to remember and show his death by means of the Sacrament/Eucharist/Lord’s supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Why do we need to go beyond what Jesus commanded to be acceptable to you and your traditions? Again, where did Jesus actually say that we need to use the cross on our architecture to remember his death? You have yet to answer that question I have asked multiple times.

    Curiously, you do not seem to have looked up the inverted star in the window of the Amiens Cathedral. You also do not seem to have looked up the inverted pentagram on the Lutheran church in Hannover, Germany that I mentioned above. Why not? At least, if you had, you do not wish to discuss them. Here is the thing. You falsely claimed above that the inverse star and the inverse pentagram were considered evil symbols “for centuries.” Yet, if that were true, why did the Christian builders put these symbols into the structures of their Christian churches so many centuries ago? I see you in an unenviable position, between a rock and a hard place, in attempting to answer that one cogently.

    And, it certainly does depend upon what those who built the temples understood by the symbols they put on the walls. Glad you admitted as much, as that is what the evidence actually shows. But, you also seem to be very unaware that Masons borrowed all of the symbols you mentioned from Christianity. All of these symbols appeared on old Christian artwork and architecture and predated Freemasonry by centuries. Of course, you weren’t aware of that, were you? Most under the influence of paid liars don’t, and that is sad.

    Moroni has the plates under his control and possession, no matter where he keeps them. It is no different from me stating that I have a certain thing in my possession even though I am not present with the object where I keep said object. A- for effort on trying to establish a contradiction but F on result. You left out the rest of the statement of Brigham Young that they were directed to put the plates where they did by the angel himself. Here is the text you (or rather, your source) omitted:

    Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. Joseph did not translate all of the plates; there was a portion of them sealed, which you can learn from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did.

    (Brigham Young, “Trying to Be Saints” in Journal of Discourses 19:38; bold emphasis)

    Joseph Smith would say of the plates:

    But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.

    (Joseph Smith—History 1:60)

    Joseph Smith stated the circumstances and Brigham Young stated specifics as to how Joseph delivered up the plates.

    Sure, I expect that it might be possible for modern technology to find them but only if God wants them to be found. You honestly don’t think he has the power to hide them from the modern technology of man? Your God isn’t very powerful, is he?

    As to people lying for a living, you cited something that isn’t and wasn’t an inspired writing or revelation. You seem blissfully unaware of the historical context of this item. Joseph Smith had nothing to do with its insertion. Oliver Cowdery waited until Joseph Smith was away and then had the council vote on and include the text in the Doctrine and Covenants. Thing is, the general Church weren’t practicing plural marriage. At that time (1834-1835) only Joseph Smith was practicing plural marriage, so even if Joseph Smith had wanted it in the Doctrine and Covenants, it was completely accurate as to the entire rest of the Church. Again, an epic fail of an example on your part.

    As to your lame second example of claimed lying, you (or, rather, your lying source) have taken the text out of its historical context. At that time Joseph Smith was being accused of adultery. You only can have adultery if you aren’t married to the other women with whom you have relations. (Otherwise, you have the sticky situation of God having given all the wives that David had to David, and that he would have given more to him if he had just asked instead of committing adultery with Bathsheba. Did God lead David into sin by giving him all those wives? You never answered that question above.)

    In addition, Joseph also mentioned another event that happened in his past wherein he was accused of something and was relating the past even with the accusation in his present, that of adultery. The “seven wives while only finding one wife” claim applied to the early restoration period of the Church prior to when Joseph Smith was practicing plural marriage. At that time he really did only have one wife. Both were false accusations in their respective times, and when seen in light of the fact that he was referring to two completely different events in his history and of being innocent both times, it completely undermines your claim. Not lying but referring to two completely different charges in a stretch of 14 years. He was comparing his current history with his previous history.

    He really was innocent both times. The first time he was charged with something (having seven wives), he only had one wife but unscrupulous people started a rumor that he had seven when at the time he only had one. The second time, the time he was speaking in 1844, he was being accused of adultery (he also had been accused of that a few years in the past by Oliver Cowdery but that was put to rest in a previous Church High Council). He wasn’t committing adultery, at least not any more than was David when God gave him all those wives he had. (See again 2 Samuel 12:8, and again, did God lead David into sin?)

    But, because your source omitted the fuller context that would have shown that he was referring to two separate events on that occasion, you would not have seen that.

    Yes, I keep saying you’ve been had. One of us has been had, and that definitely remains you. But, thanks for playing.

    Back to the subject of the thread, it is true that you cannot prove that Joseph Smith had access to any books of Enoch. No one has been able to do so to date, and people have tried very hard to do so. Many of them rely on suckers who won’t check out what they do with the sources. And again, Galatians 1:6-9 doesn’t apply. Paul was speaking of specific individuals falling for and teaching specific teachings, as the context of the verses will show you if you read carefully. You Evangelicals like to twist that to refer to anything outside Paul’s specific reference. Still doesn’t mean it applies or even that it is meaningful to anything related to Joseph Smith. The revelation Joseph got for the Book of Moses didn’t even come through an angel! Got something better?

  56. I post the following so that readers can see the Christian churches, to which I referred above (hopefully the images come through and aren’t censored).

    Amiens Cathedral:

    Lutheran “Marketplace” Church in Hannover Germany:

  57. I post the following so that readers can see the Christian churches, to which I referred above (hopefully the images come through and aren’t censored).

    Amiens Cathedral

  58. This is the ancient seal of Jerusalem that I mentioned in an above post:

    See the paleo-Hebrew letters of the name Jerusalem. The spelling and form of the characters show that this seal was originally very, very old.

  59. Oh, and there was one thing more I wanted to state but forgot. Know who the creator of the pentagram really is? You may not have guessed it but it is God himself who created it. Surprised? You see, given the relative positions of Earth to Venus, in the places where God placed them in his creation, Venus will trace the pattern of a rotating pentagram in the sky over a certain period. Here is an image depicting that which can be traced from the points where Venus will appear relative to Earth in conjunction.

    In addition, Venus also is referred to as the Star of the East, Daystar, and Morning Star, and these are symbols of Christ; and Jesus himself is the Great and Morning Star according to no less than the Bible. Glory to God in the highest!

  60. Something else came to mind as I was walking away from the computer. Had to hurry back and post it before I forgot what occurred to me while discussing this side subject. It would be just like the Adversary of our souls to take and twist something of beauty (created by God himself in the heavens to witness of him and his Christ. and which we put onto our sacred temples to represent Christ), turn it into something ugly, and then to have his children adopt this twisted view of a symbol of God’s own creation, and use its existence on God’s Church’s architecture as a means to attack God’s Church. Go figure.

    But, then the Adversary is always in the habit of twisting things around so as to try to discredit revelation through God’s servants the prophets. Nothing is more apparent from the above and from what critics have tried to do with the Book of Moses, a witness of the divine calling of Joseph Smith, his prophet of the latter-days, in his obtaining for us additional revelation about Enoch that is preserved fragmented in texts for which there is no physical evidence that Joseph Smith ever had recourse to any of it to give us this new revelation for our day. The actual evidence points to revelation rather than some naturalistic phenomenon.

  61. I was informed that I didn’t fully answer a question in my response above. That question was:

    …although we non masons will never know why the LDS church chose, stars, sun, moon, beehive, square and the all seeing eye over the cross of Jesus.

    Response:

    1. Actually, yes, we can know what they were thinking and what the symbols meant because the designers, architects and builders of the temples left behind their thoughts regarding the symbols in writing and they can be read either directly or through the publications of other members of the Church who quoted the original writings. It is better to get it direct from the horse’s mouth than from some other source written by someone who knows little to nothing on the subject matter, or, worse, from someone who lies for a living.

    2. Which cross of Jesus? No one today really knows what it looked like. And, if it was the typical cross used to execute state criminals it probably would have had at least two or three cross beams, the beam for the arms (patibulum, the part that was carried), the suppedaneum, and the sedulum. Only the cross used in the Greek Orthodox Church would come even close to that setup, meaning that your cross isn’t the cross of Jesus, anyway (unless you are Greek Orthodox). And, was it the crux commissa (tau cross) or the crux immissa (the one seen on or in many Christian churches) combined with those three parts (if the crux commissa then even the Greek Orthodox cross is wrong)? So, as I asked above, which cross? How can you prove it? What would be the point of putting something on a building when we don’t really know its true form?

  62. I just learned something new for myself concerning the 26-star Great Star Flag of the United States of America, and decided to share what I learned because it is pertinent to the additional subject matter discussed above, and which was used as an excuse to reject the Book of Moses and all else associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To learn of this flag and to learn of the history of this US flag, go to the following site:

    https://www.flagcollection.com/itemdetails.php?CollectionItem_ID=2597

    Notice that several of the stars are inverse and that they are arranged into the pattern of an inverse star. It is an additional evidence that the inverse star actually wasn’t seen as something evil at that time, contrary to the claims of the above, pseudonymous Evangelical who falsely claimed that the symbol of the inverse star was considered evil for centuries.

  63. Your many words and venomous responses tell me a lot (1 Cor 13). I suggest that you check out these websites for your own sake unless you intend to remain wilfully blind.

    http://cesletter.org/

    http://www.mormonthink.com/

    “Runnells’ CES Letter presents many historical issues concerning LDS history, which for many members has been a wake-up call. The letter deserves to be read, both in and out of the LDS community. Read with an open mind and you will understand why many members are asking questions.” — Hans H. Mattsson, Former Area Authority Seventy, LDS Church.

  64. The link below will take you to a page with a link to a pdf copy (and other formats) of a letter to a Church Educational System Director. The letter was written by Jeremy Runnells in 2013. Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone, an Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple. In the letter he very eloquently states his concerns about the origins of the Mormon Church. I hope you find it useful.

    Hans H. Mattsson, Former Area Authority Seventy, LDS Church said, “Runnells’ CES Letter presents many historical issues concerning LDS history, which for many members has been a wake-up call. The letter deserves to be read, both in and out of the LDS community. Read with an open mind and you will understand why many members are asking questions.”

    http://cesletter.org/

    Another useful site is Mormonthink

    http://www.mormonthink.com/

  65. The link below will take you to a page with a links to a pdf copy (and other formats) of a letter to a Church Educational System Director. The letter was written by Jeremy Runnells in 2013. Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone, an Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple. In the letter he very eloquently states his concerns about the origins of the Mormon Church. I hope you find it useful.

    Hans H. Mattsson, Former Area Authority Seventy, LDS Church said, “Runnells’ CES Letter presents many historical issues concerning LDS history, which for many members has been a wake-up call. The letter deserves to be read, both in and out of the LDS community. Read with an open mind and you will understand why many members are asking questions.”

    http://cesletter.org/

    Another useful site is Mormonthink

    http://www.mormonthink.com/

  66. http://cesletter.org/

    The link above will take you to a page with a link to a pdf copy (and other formats) of a letter to a Church Educational System Director. The letter was written by Jeremy Runnells in 2013. Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone, an Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple. In the letter he very eloquently states his concerns about the origins of the Mormon Church. I hope you find it useful.

    Hans H. Mattsson, Former Area Authority Seventy, LDS Church said, “Runnells’ CES Letter presents many historical issues concerning LDS history, which for many members has been a wake-up call. The letter deserves to be read, both in and out of the LDS community. Read with an open mind and you will understand why many members are asking questions.”

    Another useful site is Mormonthink

    http://www.mormonthink.com/

  67. I know I said my last post would be my last post but I find that I have a little time to respond and thought that you might find this useful.

    http://cesletter.org/

    The link above will take you to a page with a link to a pdf copy (and other formats) of a letter to a Church Educational System Director. The letter was written by Jeremy Runnells in 2013. Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone, an Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple (at least that is what it says on his website). In the letter he very eloquently states his concerns about the origins of the Mormon Church.

    Hans H. Mattsson, Former Area Authority Seventy, LDS Church said, “Runnells’ CES Letter presents many historical issues concerning LDS history, which for many members has been a wake-up call. The letter deserves to be read, both in and out of the LDS community. Read with an open mind and you will understand why many members are asking questions.”

  68. JCSOG,

    My, my, my! It is reasonably certain that you haven’t read this document all the way through. The author attacks the Bible (not just pointing out translation and transmission errors but full on attacking the God of the Bible), too.

    In addition, much of the material in this paper is just plain garbage. In other cases, portions of the material mention certain truths but which have been twisted in other ways to make them worse in appearance than they really are in reality.

    For one example, the very first claim about so-called translation errors of the 1769 edition of the KJV Bible making their way into the Book of Mormon proving it not an ancient text. That is ridiculous. And, anyone who has actually read translations of ancient texts published in the 19th century (both early and late) will find that they indeed have the same or similar situation with italics in the 1769 KJV Bible showing up in the translations not italicized! In other examples, the alleged translation errors aren’t really translation errors at all. I have studied these and have found that it is rather difference of scholarly opinion rather than purely translation error in a number of such passages.

    In many cases the translations wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense without the italicized words. In addition, in a number of cases the italicized words in the Bible actually are omitted from the Book of Mormon sections of Isaiah. The author cannot have it both ways (though he tries).

    But, it says nothing as to whether or not the Book of Mormon is an ancient text. I personally have a text in my possession, written by a translator of the New testament and which is designed to teach reading of Greek to beginners, that states that when one does a translation one can opt to use direct quotations from older translations if these quotes are from the Old Testament. If modern scholars can recommend such practices, why attack Joseph Smith for having done something similar? And, there is the matter of the translation practices of the translators of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, who themselves quoted directly from the KJV Bible in quotations of the Old Testament in the writings of these early Christian writers. Can one really ask the same question of these ancient texts because of translator’s preferences and practices? No more than we can concerning the Book of Mormon, unless we want to engage in a principle of double-standard.

    In addition, in the 433 verses of Isaiah quoted, more than half of them do not read as in the KJV Bible, either of 1611 or 1769, with quite a number of subtle differences. I wish I could post pictures here of my marked Book of Mormon. I marked every difference between Isaiah and the Book of Mormon’s quotations of Isaiah. Quite a few pages are splattered with orange all over the pages. It is obvious that this guy did not really do his research, or he would have seen the many differences between the two.

    The author of the paper also attacks the qualification of Red Sea in the Book of Mormon’s version of Isaiah 9:1 (by the way, is it the 1611 or 1769 Joseph Smith is said to have used, or some other?) and that definitely qualifies as being different from the Bible. But, the translation mentions “the way of the Red Sea” not the “Red Sea.” The “way of the Red Sea” is the Egyptian translator’s description of a road that comes down from northern Galilee to the east of the Dead Sea and on down to the Red Sea itself. It is otherwise known today as “the King’s Highway.” The curious thing about the way the Greek rendered it? The phrase “toward the sea, across the Jordan” is where the “way of the Red Sea” or, “King’s Highway” actually was located as it branched off from “the way of the sea” that led near the Mediterranean toward Egypt, and ran to the east of the Sea of Galilee on its way toward the Red Sea. Incidentally, that is the actual route that Nebuchadnezzar took as he waited at Rabbah (located just off this same highway) for Zedekiah to be brought to him.

    Oh, and that passage that contains allegedly “seven” italicized words that all were copied into the Book of Mormon? I only counted five italicized words in that verse of Isaiah, one of which does not appear in the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Mormon uses ‘afterwards’ rather than the KJV ‘afterward.’ Not only was the numbering inaccurate, the underlying information was as well. By way of comparison, the American Standard Version also uses four of the same five italicized words that the KJV uses even though most of the rest of the translation differs.

    Here is the other thing: the text of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon isn’t a translation of the Hebrew, rather being an Egyptian translation of Isaiah. That is what the Book of Mormon itself says. These sorts of additions and clarifications are known to appear in translations of Hebrew texts, perhaps not the same ones but the same kinds of such. These minor interversional renderings and modifications actually are signs of translation literature underlying an English text, not a Hebrew text underlying the English. Sometimes, the translators would feel a need to correct and/or to clarify a text they were translating. The translator of Isaiah 9:1 into Egyptian, seeing that the text seemed to imply two “ways of the sea,” would have felt the need to clarify which one was spoken of even though the Hebrew original didn’t. It surely could not have been the road most commonly known at the time as “the way of the sea” for it was clear from the Hebrew that this one was located beyond Jordan. So, what might an Egyptian translator do? He might insert the word “Red” into the passage to clarify which one was the one to be used by the hordes of Babylon.

    Thus, it should not be expected that we would find “Red Sea” in any Hebrew text of Isaiah if the text used by Nephi was an Egyptian translation of the Hebrew text of Isaiah. I not only never expected it I was not disappointed in it not being found in the Isaiah text among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    So, not only is it a moot point that that verse in Hebrew or in the New Testament doesn’t say anything about the “way of the Red Sea” but it also isn’t a quote from the Hebrew text of Isaiah, but rather the Greek translation of Isaiah’s Hebrew. And, it wasn’t Christ who quoted it, as the author of your recommended screed claimed.

    And that is just commentary on points 1 and 2 of your recommended screed. This post is already long enough. To work over the entire text point by point would overwhelm this page with unrelated comments. It still does not answer questions I put to you as to why it is that modern translations of 1 Enoch have better parallels than did the 1821 Laurence edition of Enoch, or how it is that so much material in Enoch literature parallels ideas in the Book of Moses when Joseph Smith had zero access to such. It also doesn’t answer the fact that the inverted star for centuries was not seen as evil until after 1852, and that it appears on Christian churches as well from those earlier periods. Your post seems more like some sort of red herring, or some such, to draw people off the track of these interesting Enoch parallels to revelation which have yet to be explained away naturalistically.

  69. I just had to post another comment because I think readers of this page might love this (well, maybe not all readers of this page)! So, I was digging around through Targum Jonathan for Isaiah, and noticed that the way the original author paraphrased Isaiah 8:23 (English reference: Isaiah 9:1) to refer to the miracle of the sea (or, power of the sea, etc.) I wondered whether there were an English translation of the text of that Targum for later reference for the use of others who do not read Aramaic. I found one and it was of interest what I found. The translator inserted the word Red into the reference, so that his translation reads: “because they did not remember the power of the Red Sea” therein. (See C.W.H. Pauli, translator, The Chaldee paraphrase on the Prophet Isaiah [London: London Society’s House, 1871], 30)

    URL: https://archive.org/stream/chaldeeparaphra00uzzigoog#page/n46/mode/2up

    Kind of lends weight to the idea that a translator might want to insert a clarification as to which location or geological feature is intended. There are plenty of examples in the ancient translations of translators of the Hebrew of the Bible doing just that sort of thing in various places, so my point is supportable on just that ground alone, but it is of interest that a later scholar after the time of Joseph Smith would do as he did decades before and translate “Red Sea” in the same verse found in the Book of Mormon with that same phrase.

  70. Raising the CES letter maybe a little off topic, on the other hand, the whole purpose of this blog was to provide evidence for the veracity of the book of Moses and by extension to Mormonism in general and in that endeavour it fails to make any significant headway compared to the mountain of evidence to the contrary as summed up in the CES letter.

    I have read the CES letter to the end and it is one of the tragedies of Mormonism that when the house built on sand (LDS church doctrine) comes crashing down people are losing their faith altogether which only proves to me that their faith was misdirected in the first place. If their faith was in Jesus, our firm foundation, then there would be no problem.

    May I ask what you make of the Book of Abraham and the funeral papyri issue?

  71. This is going to get a bit lengthy. Did you expect otherwise from me? Raising the CES letter isn’t just a bit off-topic but a whole lot off-topic from the Book of Moses. I also do not recall anything in the CES letter specifically addressing the Book of Moses, but perhaps I have forgotten or missed something about that over the year. You really think a mountain of evidence is in that CES letter? Nope. Just carefully recrafted claims that have been regurgitated from past literature in the main over the years. Most of it actually has answers in various forms, and this has long been the case, but the answers are scattered around and not conveniently concentrated in one place.

    By the way, you just saw what I did with just the first two points of the letter, didn’t you? Any thoughts on what I wrote about those? Do you think it would be much different if I took up a lot of space to address the whole content of the letter myself? Why or why not?

    Do you know why people really lose their faith altogether? It is because once they start down that path of criticism they start to see the same problems with the Bible that they did with other Mormon scripture. That is in large part what snaps them out of faith entirely. I have asked many who have left the Church why they became full-on atheists. Most of the time among those I knew it was that they saw the exact same or similar kinds of problems in the Bible and its persons that they saw in the Church and other things related after having it pointed out to them. I have also seen with my own eyes similar happen in Evangelical churches and with Evangelicals as well.

    I myself have had discussions with Evangelicals such as yourself at work, and elsewhere, including at my home. One in particular stands out, whose name was Edward. I’ll not easily forget him. We would have various discussions over a period of days, mostly him attacking my faith and me not getting much of a word in edgewise except part of the time when I could, wanting me to come to his church and watch this video or that so that I could see the truth about my religion’s origins and so forth. By the way, I have seen these videos and own copies of them (as well as newer ones that came out years later). This went on for quite some time.

    Finally, I got tired of the conversations going the way that they did and I decided to take another tack. I would couch his own arguments against the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price in similar terms but address his Bible and beliefs with his own arguments, as well as point out some historical facts of which he was unaware that I was sure would shock him (they did). I told him that the same arguments he was making could be made against the Bible and his own beliefs. He did not believe me at first. I assured him that such is the case and we arranged for him to work alongside me the next day so that we could go on while working, as well as continue at lunch. The next day, I did what I told him I was going to do. He listened intently, and I could see the look of fear in his eyes and confusion on his face as we went over many of the same arguments he had made, and the whole time I was addressing nothing but the Bible and his own beliefs. After one day of my doing this, he stopped speaking as I saw the light go out in his eyes. He slowly walked away from me in silence, looking to the ground, and, as he was about to pass a trash can, stopped, looked at his Bible for a few moments, took his Bible and threw it into the trash, and continued walking slowly away, head down. I did not see him again for weeks after that.

    One of his Evangelical friends came by after I accosted Ed’s faith and Bible, absolutely freaking out, wanting to know what I had said and had done, because he not only threw away his Bible he stated that he was no longer going to attend his own church that weekend. That Evangelical man, Edward, was one of those who regularly claimed to me that he had your same, variant, non-biblical Jesus as the firm foundation of his faith, and had tried almost mercilessly to get me to walk the same path. And, he was “fired up for Jesus” until that fateful day. Weeks later, after much effort, he was convinced to return to his faith by his friends. Not long after his return, he walked up to me and said, “It’s a good thing that you serve God!” He walked away and never attacked my faith again.

    You see, the same kinds of things used to attack “Mormon” beliefs and even books can be leveled back at the Bible if one uses great care in examining it in depth of detail. I learned that firsthand when I myself once left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of the same kinds of things that Runnell regurgitated in his letter text, but that was contained in a much, much larger book than his own. I wondered whether or not the same could be done with the Bible and I went digging. I was about to return to my former, militant atheism when I realized that something about my life was now different. I had learned what it was like to have the Spirit of the Lord with me and then to lose it after unfaith. And, I also could not deny the many spiritual experiences I had had that also showed me that atheism wasn’t the way to go, either. I could find no naturalistic way to explain any of what had happened to me. I then prayed and made the decision to return to Church and to do some further research. I returned to the Church and continued my research, sometimes traveling around the US looking for further information, historical or otherwise. With many more spiritual experiences in finding answers I had found satisfying answers to most all of my questions in time. I have never looked back since.

    May I ask what you make of the Book of Abraham and the funeral papyri issue?

    Sure. I’ll admit that that was once a serious issue for me but not so much any longer after what I have learned from primary sources over the years, much of which I have found on my own. Part of my answers came by direct revelation from the Lord of heaven. The rest came from myself as I searched far and wide, and started noticing some interesting things about the papyri as compared with other funerary papyri around the world.

    As a result of what I learned, I have come to understand that the original scroll contained two books, a Book of Breathing, and afterward in position on the scroll, the Book of Abraham. You may not see the full significance of that now but several things about the papyri Joseph had in his possession (we have only small fragments now) point to that, in my thinking.

    For one instance, a warning that is supposed to be placed at the end of a Book of Breathing is placed at the beginning in the Horos scroll, right after the first vignette. That is an interesting circumstance. This seems significant to me because once a Lector Priest reads this warning the embalmers are supposed to close the scroll and place it with the mummy before closing the sarcophagus! This warning at the front of the scroll would have prevented the priest, or anyone else in Egypt at that time, from reading further and discovering what was after the rest of the Book of Breathing. This fully explains why it was that Joseph Smith, who knew no Egyptian, could have thought the first characters on the papyrus might have been connected with Abraham, knowing that information regarding Abraham also was on that same scroll. He just did not know where one text ended and the other started, and couldn’t because he knew no Egyptian whatsoever. No one in America did at that time.

    For another instance, none of the text surrounding the vignette (the illustration drawn by the draughtsman at the front of the scroll, with surrounding text, containing the Horos Book of Breathing) now extant has anything to do with the vignette itself. You just read that correctly. The first vignette has exactly zero to do with anything in the text surrounding it! The vignette also is neither a resurrection scene nor a funerary/burial/embalming scene. The figure on the lion couch is skewed into a position that is found nowhere else in any funerary papyri, and I have looked at a lot of them, as have others. The figure is alive and moving (symbolized by both arms, both hands to face, and leg elevated). The figure on the couch also is not fully on the couch. Only his back is on the couch, with the priest dressed in an Anubis mask standing between the lower half of the man’s body and the lion couch, neither in front of nor behind both man and the lion couch. And, the man is fully clothed, complete with kilt and anklets! On the other hand, in resurrection scenes the person either is nude or is mummiform. A man also isn’t fully clothed in embalming scenes, and the man is always laying on the couch, but this man is not fully on the couch, is fully clothed, and is very much “alive and kicking,” as it were. No other Book of Breathing known to exist has anything like this.

    And, all the more interesting, the remaining Egyptian word in a broken column on the original of the first vignette actually can be translated as having reference to sacrifice or to being fit for sacrifice! That is a Book of Abraham theme, not an Egyptian funerary theme.

    And, in many of the papyri from the same and surrounding period, men are labeled as gods, women as men, men as women, male gods as female, and so forth. One of the longest copies of the Book of Breathing yet found, that of Ker’asher, a Purification Priest pours water over the mummy, with a standing human priest wearing a jackal mask propping up the mummy of Ker’asher in front of his living wife during a ceremony that takes place on earth before internment, and which involved human priests, clearly is labeled jnp(w) (English: “Anubis”) above him! There is a more that I could say about this, and I think you inherently know it at some level of your psyche.🙂

    Incidentally, this Book of Abraham thing is a rather large subject that would take several posts all their own to address. Have you a specific point or two in the letter that you want addressed? The unfortunate reality is that some of the points that would need to be addressed need the use of photos to address them. If I could post photos (and not just links), I would be able to answer some of those points much more adequately than without. Most of what I have isn’t on the Internet, or if it is, it is on sites where you wouldn’t be able to see it. I’ve shared a lot of it with differing people over the years. And, I cannot put more than one photo at a time in each post or it gets moderated into cyberspace.

    By the way, you still haven’t addressed why it is that parallels between the Book of Moses and modern editions of Enoch are far better and closer than those from an edition of the Book of Enoch published in Joseph Smith’s time, for which no evidence of his even seeing the book yet exists. You still haven’t addressed how it is that strong parallels to books of Enoch Joseph Smith could never have accessed at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon are so close to contents of the Book of Moses in places. You still haven’t addressed the use of inverted stars on old Christian churches. And so it goes.

  72. Oh, and there was one other thing I wanted to address but forgot to do so as I was typing earlier. Something else happened in Egypt and outside of Egypt that was of interest, and this sort of behavior dates to the times of Abraham and continued thereafter. A point of attack often made against the Book of Abraham that was made for years because seemingly Egyptian gods in appearance were named by Semitic and other names, according to the Book of Abraham, and that Egyptians worshipped foreign gods, dressed to look like theirs, as well as their own.

    Many years later, it actually was found that just as the Book of Abraham had suggested, Egyptians also dressed foreign gods and goddesses in the dress of Egyptian gods and goddesses. On a temple inscription of Ramesses Meri-Amun we find an inscription in front and above of a figure that looks at first appearance to be Osiris. The inscription, however, reads “‘Anat, Lady of Heaven (and) of Ramesses Meri-Amun.” ‘Anat, of course, isn’t an Egyptian goddess at all. She was a Canaanite goddess! Old Ramesses Meri-Amun was worshipping ‘Anat and dressed her up like Osiris! That inscription I have seen now sits in the Brooklyn Museum, in New York. See that inscription here:

    https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3601

    True, this post-dates Abraham, but it shows that even after the time of Abraham the practice continued. In addition, the Semitic goddess of Byblos, “Ba’alat Gebal,” in a region that the Book of Abraham connects locally to Abraham, actually was dressed to look like Hathor. The Egyptians worshipped her and sometimes referred to her as “Hathor of Byblos” but she really was not Hathor. She was just dressed that way. That goddess dressed like Hathor actually did date to the contemporary time of Abraham and previously. Correct Information about this goddess isn’t readily available in the form of photos on the Internet but you can read a snippet about her at the following URL.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%E2%80%98alat_Gebal

    To the point, in spite of what the critics claimed for many years (for decades, really) the Book of Abraham was right all along about the ancients of Abraham’s time and before doing just what the Book of Abraham claimed they were doing. That is, those in the region where Abraham lived actually were dressing their gods and goddesses as Egyptian gods and goddesses, call them by whatever name that they would, and Egyptians also were worshipping foreign gods and goddesses and dressing them up to look like common Egyptian ones!

    There is zero chance that Joseph Smith could have known that to be the case at all, not knowing Egyptian and no one knowing of this in his day. That is why certain Egyptologists attacked him and the Book of Abraham on this point for so long! Nothing available in his day could have prepped Joseph Smith for that for inclusion into the Book of Abraham. I know. I checked. Can you explain that naturalistically? Just a random guess he got right? If so, how many random guesses do there have to be right to give you any particle of room for pause? We already have so much about Enoch in Enoch lore that Joseph got right in the Book of Moses, without exposure to it, as can be seen above.

  73. Oh, and there was one other thing I wanted to address but forgot to do so as I was typing earlier. Something else happened in Egypt and outside of Egypt that was of interest, and this sort of behavior dates to the times of Abraham and continued thereafter. A point of attack often made against the Book of Abraham that was made for years because seemingly Egyptian gods in appearance were named by Semitic and other names, according to the Book of Abraham, and that Egyptians worshipped foreign gods, dressed to look like theirs, as well as their own.

    Many years later, it actually was found that just as the Book of Abraham had suggested, Egyptians also dressed foreign gods and goddesses in the dress of Egyptian gods and goddesses. On a temple inscription of Ramesses Meri-Amun we find an inscription in front and above of a figure that looks at first appearance to be Osiris. The inscription, however, reads “‘Anat, Lady of Heaven (and) of Ramesses Meri-Amun.” ‘Anat, of course, isn’t an Egyptian goddess at all. She was a Canaanite goddess! Old Ramesses Meri-Amun was worshipping ‘Anat and dressed her up like Osiris! That inscription I have seen now sits in the Brooklyn Museum, in New York. See that inscription here:

    https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3601

    True, this post-dates Abraham, but it shows that even after the time of Abraham the practice continued. In addition, the Semitic goddess of Byblos, “Ba’alat Gebal,” in a region that the Book of Abraham connects locally to Abraham, actually was dressed to look like Hathor. The Egyptians worshipped her and sometimes referred to her as “Hathor of Byblos” but she really was not Hathor. She was just dressed that way. That goddess dressed like Hathor actually did date to the contemporary time of Abraham and previously. I’d post a link but it looks like if I post more than one link my posts now disappear and don’t post. But you can look it up for yourself using the name of the goddess I provided.

    To the point, in spite of what the critics claimed for many years (for decades, really) the Book of Abraham was right all along about the ancients of Abraham’s time and before doing just what the Book of Abraham claimed they were doing. That is, those in the region where Abraham lived actually were dressing their gods and goddesses as Egyptian gods and goddesses, call them by whatever name that they would, and Egyptians also were worshipping foreign gods and goddesses and dressing them up to look like common Egyptian ones!

    There is zero chance that Joseph Smith could have known that to be the case at all, not knowing Egyptian and no one knowing of this in his day. That is why certain Egyptologists attacked him and the Book of Abraham on this point for so long! Nothing available in his day could have prepped Joseph Smith for that for inclusion into the Book of Abraham. I know. I checked. Can you explain that naturalistically? Just a random guess he got right? If so, how many random guesses do there have to be right to give you any particle of room for pause? We already have so much about Enoch in Enoch lore that Joseph got right in the Book of Moses, without exposure to it, as can be seen above.

  74. Ah, yes. The MormonStink website. (Childish, I know, but what can I say? “I’m not perfect; just forgiven.”) I have had dealings with a fellow who works that site. Based upon my experiences, I can tell you that they aren’t really quite as interested in truth as you might think they are, or claim to be. The same with a related site, the name of which escapes me at the moment. I initiated a discussion of the Book of Abraham, making some points of argument. He pitted an Egyptologist against me. I then responded as to why what he had done was problematic, and all my posts were deleted without comment except the very first one on the Book of Abraham page. He then deleted all my other comments on other pages and then turned commenting off so I could say nothing more on the site. I thought that that was a very interesting way to deal with truth, but what do I know?🙂

    And, “venomous responses”? Calling a spade a spade and trying to get you to answer what you don’t seem to want to answer is venomous? Many words being an example of 1 Corinthians 13? Really? Attempting mindreading again, are you? Typical Evangelical trait. I have checked out those websites, both of them, years ago, and remain unfazed. Why? It is because of my experiences over the decades of my life with people and claims like those found at those sites, and with people like yourself. Decades of experiences! There isn’t a lot that is new there. It is just more of the same with few exceptions.

    I’ll tell you another anecdote relating to that. Some years back, my very anti-Mormon uncle had some things to say while I was away. This happened many years ago, before I moved out on my own and was married. He spoke with my father (also non-LDS), trying to get him to get me to leave the Church again as I had done years before. During the course of the discussion (my father told me all about it later) he started telling him about various books that I should read that should help to get me out of the Church. My father told him that I had a lot of books. He then began telling him specific titles.

    Funny thing about that was that every title my uncle brought up, my father would open the door, look in my room and on my shelf, and tell my uncle, “Yep. He has that one. “Well, how about this one?” He would name the title, my father would look in, and tell him, “Yep. He has that one, too!” This happened for several titles, one of which books I actually had in three multiple editions on the shelf. My uncle responded, “And he’s still a Mormon?!?” Needless to say, my uncle was very, very surprised that someone could read such things and still remain in the LDS Church.

    Had he gotten to me before I began my research quest, he might have been the one to deconvert me–but then he would have had a militant atheist on his hands to deal with. But, he was too late. At that time I had already amassed quite a collection of anti-Mormon books, papers and pamphlets. Some time later I lost those and many of my notes to fire but began immediately rebuilding my collection. I’ve got several shelves full of the stuff these days. Just saying.

  75. Hey, just a quick reply before I respond more fully to your points including the ones that I previously ignored. I only meant to do one post last time. The “venomous responses” one wasn’t supposed to go. I thought better of it. I felt it wasn’t charitable so I deleted it except it looks like I didn’t. Very odd. Apologies.

  76. D. Charles Pyle, I am always amazed at the length of your answers given that they are produced in such a short space of time. Are you retired, independently wealthy, or working for FAIR?

    As requested, going back to some of the older points.

    I don’t know why those Christian churches have upside down stars on them, perhaps the architects were Freemasons and the design authorities were infiltrated by Freemasons – quite likely in medieval Europe I would have thought.

    I am sure you will agree that in the end, a symbol is just an inanimate object or shape but symbols affect the human psyche due to what people associate with them. I already said way back that I can only guess as to why the builders decorated the Mormon temples with the sun, moon, stars and other symbols rather than the well-established Christian cross. Your suggestion that it was because the exact form of the cross was unknown does not make much sense to me.

    Honestly, I haven’t had the time to go through the Book of Enoch and the Book of Moses to look at the exact parallels. I would take the time if I thought it was a clincher one way or the other but it isn’t. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the strong parallels exist and the only explanation is spiritual revelation. It doesn’t prove that Mormonism is from God. Even Joseph Smith said some revelations are from God, some are from man and some are from the devil. If he couldn’t tell, how can you?

    The comparison of the 433 Bible verses with those in the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon would probably also be worthwhile but I haven’t had time to do that either and may not get the time in the near future. If I understand correctly, you are saying that in over half the verses there are subtle differences. That could be interpreted as not all the verses were copied accurately and JS felt at liberty to make some subtle differences. We know he felt bold enough to alter the Bible considerably when he “translated” the JST, so what you say wouldn’t prove your point. Interestingly, when I challenged the missionaries on the Isaiah verses in the book of Mormon, they freely admitted that he copied them because it was the easy way to do it. Is that what they are being taught now?

    Your sketch about the disillusioned evangelical is unbelievable. If, however, you have some fairly easily digestible references on the problems with the Bible I will be happy to look at them. I have looked at claims like this in the past and so far they have all turned out to be totally untrue.

    Your answer about the Book of Abraham goes round the houses a bit and to be honest I could not really follow the logic of your argument. My arguments are firstly, if Joseph Smith knew no Egyptian how did he translate it? If the Book of Abraham was given by direct revelation why was the papyrus necessary in the first place? If he did receive revelation why did he claim to have translated it? If he did receive revelation how did he know it was from God given that he couldn’t tell whether his revelations were from God, man or the devil?

    Your statements about the vignette as you call it don’t match with the example shown in the CES letter, for example the man being fully clothed. He is fully clothed in the JS version but not in the example of the funerary picture shown in the CES letter. I’m not an Egyptologist but I think neither are you. The Egyptologists say it is a funerary text. I would need to see good evidence to the contrary that proved that the worlds eminent Egyptologists were wrong and that you were right.

  77. Again, this is going to get a bit lengthy. No, I am not retired, am not independently wealthy, and I certainly do not work for FAIR. Do I sense an itch to begin throwing in some argumentum ad hominem?

    You’d be mistaken in thinking that Freemasons infiltrated anything at that early time. Freemasonry did not exist on the Continent at the times those structures were built. Nice try, though. A for effort, and all that. The reason the inverse stars are on those Christian churches is that originally it was a symbol of Christ and was not seen as evil by the builders of those churches. I could even multiply examples if there really were a need. Is there a need, do you think?

    Yes, I might agree that symbols themselves are just inanimate objects. But, something you are loth to understand, it doesn’t matter what later people feel in their psyche when they see an older symbol that had a very different meaning to the builders, a meaning that goes back to ancient times predating both Satanism and post-Levi occultism, and inject their own meaning into it.

    It isn’t my suggestion that we don’t put the cross on our buildings because we don’t know the exact form it took. I told you the reason why we don’t do it. It is the symbol of his death. We prefer to remember him by his life. There also is no command whatsoever that we should have to put crosses on our buildings to remember Christ’s death or somehow prove to the world that we are Christians. Bible believing Christians already were told by Jesus how we were to remember his death, and that is via the Sacrament, Eucharist, Lord’s Supper, or whatever else you might call it. The earliest Christians certainly didn’t put crosses on their Churches. That was for later Christians to do with no teaching of Jesus or his apostles to justify it. I am asking you which one out of the many you think we should put on our buildings and why we should. You don’t understand what I wrote because you are looking at it as an argument rather than as my asking you pointed questions regarding which one we should use and why you think so?

    You should look at the parallels. They are of interest. True, it doesn’t prove in the world of empirical evidence that Mormonism is from God. However, it can lend evidence in the realm of faith, particularly when no valid evidence he had access to the texts can be found, and when it starts to seem easier to accept his claims than it is to reject them on purely naturalistic grounds. As to whether or not Satan is behind it or not is another question, as you next bring up.

    Interesting thing about that quote of yours is that only one person claimed that Joseph said that, and he wasn’t there at the time, or involved in the events. There is zero evidence that Joseph even said that except for that one quote from David Whitmer, who at the time he wrote the quote was working on a tract to try to prove that Joseph was a fallen prophet. He also misremembered certain details as well as part of his own history at that time, his memory starting to fail him. He claims that he left the Church in June of 1838 but, the fact is, he had already been kicked out of the Church previous to that time. Also pertinent? No one else preserves this memory. Those who actually were there talked about the conditional nature of the revelation. We actually have a copy of the revelation.

    Only David Whitmer preserves that alleged quote (and anyone else much later who found a need to quote him). But, nothing exists in any of the writings or journals of Joseph Smith, nor in the journals and recorded statements of those who actually were there and heard his words. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery, however, were there, and neither of them had any recollection of Joseph making such a statement. Even Page stated that the revelation was contingent on certain things and was conditional in nature.

    Thus, there really wasn’t even a need for Joseph to come up with some quote like the one Whitmer attributed to him. You are making an argument based on something pretty tenuous, but, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the words are a correct remembrance of something Joseph Smith said, even after so many years, more than 50-something years later to be somewhat precise, when Whitmer’s memory was beginning to fade on various matters.

    If it were so easy, why would the scriptures say we need to test the spirits? Shouldn’t we just all know? How was it that some prophets and more or less spiritual men in the Bible were deceived, or didn’t know details on certain things in the heat of the moment? Shouldn’t they all have just known at all times like Peter did that one time in the Book of Acts?

    Fact is, at that time Joseph Smith was relatively inexperienced in such matters. Do you not think he’d learn to figure things out as he got older and more experienced? It is the same with myself. I have had so many experiences, for so long, that I do know the differences between when unclean spirits say things or try to influence me, and when the Spirit of God speaks to me. I also have the gift of discernment in order to know, and so forth. So, I indeed can and do know.

    Some of the differences in the Isaiah texts were substantive. Others were subtle. That he copied the texts inaccurately? How would he have copied anything? He had no Bible, had no books or manuscripts on the table with him, and he had his face buried in a hat to exclude light. He didn’t even own a Bible at that time in his life! Did you know that? He didn’t own a Bible, so from what Bible would he have copied either accurately or inaccurately?

    I know what some people say about how it is easier to copy and so forth (a claim that goes back some years but never to any eyewitness). But, what people who make those claims do is to ignore the entire collection of unanimous eyewitness testimony of all those around to see the translation happen. Joseph had no Bible, and had no books or manuscripts from which to do anything. The only time he had use of a Bible during that time is when he got into arguments and they had to get a physical Bible from a neighbor some distance down the road to settle the dispute. Joseph Smith did not obtain a Bible for his use until October 1829, and the translation of the Book of Mormon was completed months before that, in about July of that year. But that Bible was to be used for other Church-related works, such as the Book of Moses and rest of the JST. He did not obtain his own, personal, family Bible until he purchased one in 1831, along with one he purchased for his brother. So, again, how did he copy anything from Isaiah into the Book of Mormon when he had no Bible, no books, no manuscripts, and had his face buried in a hat during the translation process?

    The JST is another subject, however, but you should know that Joseph wasn’t the only prophet to do what he did with the Bible in the JST. Other prophets in the Bible and inspired writers actually did the same thing with the writings of earlier prophets. There are a number of examples in the Bible itself. Want to see one? Compare Isaiah 36:1-10 with 2 Kings 18:13-25 and read them side-by side. It works even better if you have a person read Isaiah along with you as you read the 2 Kings reference out loud. The differences wouldn’t prove my point? Again, explain it in light of the facts that Joseph at that time had no Bible, no books, no manuscripts, and that he had his face buried in a hat to exclude the light when he dictated those Isaiah portions?

    I couldn’t care less that you don’t believe what I told you about the Evangelical I had dealings with. I know it happened. Those who were witnesses know it happened. The guy it happened to knows it happened. And, God knows it happened. That is all I really care about. No, I do not have a list of easily digestible references. I have many books from which to draw such things, as well as some notes in the margins of my own scriptures. I actually did once hand write a multipage list but some close friends were so concerned when they saw it and read some of it that they pleaded with me to destroy it, which I did when I saw how worried they were and after one made a threat that they were going to go to my Stake President about it if they found out I didn’t destroy the list. They were worried that it might fall into the wrong hands and cause considerable damage. I came to agree after thinking further about it, and so I do not any longer have something like that. Sadly, one of the friends subsequently became an atheist and the other I have no idea about, having lost contact with her some years ago.

    In addition, I’d have to see you personally, listen to you in person and see your body language, and custom tailor a list suited to your argumentation against the Book of Mormon and other Mormon scripture in order to give full effect. However, I am not in the business of making atheists so don’t expect me to devolve into doing such here. It isn’t completely pertinent to the discussion although it was necessary to bring up because it is a fact that many arguments made against Mormon scripture can be redirected back onto the Bible, and many I have known who leave the Church and become atheists actually came to realize that and thereby lost all faith. That is the only reason why I brought it up at all, as an example.

    My argumentation on the Book of Abraham issue seems to “go around the house a bit” because you aren’t fully informed on the issues. That isn’t my fault. I tried to cover as much ground in as little text as possible to address problems with the claims that are out there and which are summarized in the CES letter. And, as I also stated, being able to post pictures would make some of it much easier. Unfortunately, not being able to do that here will make things less clear in some instances in this situation. Familiarize yourself with the subject matter and my objections probably will begin to make more sense.

    Following, I will address your direct questions as briefly as possible (I am going to try, in any case).

    My arguments are firstly, if Joseph Smith knew no Egyptian how did he translate it?

    By the power of God, similarly to the Book of Mormon but without either the interpreters or the stone. But, he had no knowledge of Egyptian. No one in America did at that time.

    If the Book of Abraham was given by direct revelation why was the papyrus necessary in the first place?

    Some would say as a catalyst for obtaining revelation. I am not inclined to disagree with that. It makes sense enough to me. He was told that other records after the Book of Mormon would be coming his way (see, for example, Doctrine and Covenants 9:2), but he might never have asked about a Book of Abraham had he not seen the papyri. We know that it did motivate him to ask.

    If he did receive revelation why did he claim to have translated it?

    It had to do with the dictionary definition of “translation” in his day, in part. The definition was considerably more expansive than most dictionaries today. He still had to study it out, and ask God for confirmation. The examples we have among the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, however, are unfinished and aborted attempts to align text and translation. I have already briefly discussed the significance of some of that in a post above.

    If he did receive revelation how did he know it was from God given that he couldn’t tell whether his revelations were from God, man or the devil?

    Again, see above. There is zero firsthand evidence that Joseph Smith actually made that statement to which you referred. Even if it were actually said by him, again see my argument above as to experience and time. Besides that, sections of the Book of Abraham also match the original Hebrew in the Bible in the way it words certain passages, particularly when Abraham said “the Gods” caused him to wander from his father’s house, etc. That is what the Hebrew of Genesis 20:13 actually says even though no English translation in print actually translates the passage accurately. I’d say that it leans toward it being of God, and besides that, I know from the Spirit of the Lord that it is from God in spite of its incompletion. Consider also Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9. While considering this passage, remember that it was not until the disciples of Christ remembered the burning sensation in their bosoms that they felt that they fully realized that Christ had spoken with them after his resurrection and quickly told the others (Luke 24:32 and context).

    Your statements about the vignette as you call it don’t match with the example shown in the CES letter, for example the man being fully clothed. He is fully clothed in the JS version but not in the example of the funerary picture shown in the CES letter.

    I call it a vignette because that is what professional Egyptologists call it. And, they don’t match because the CES letter is garbage, citing and using outdated information as its basis. You also do not seem to know much about Egyptian clothing styles. The facsimile in the published Book of Abraham is an inaccurate reconstruction. I have no problem admitting that. In fact, I have altered mine in my reading copy of my scriptures with a sharpie to make it look as much like the original as I could with what I had without rendering the text behind it unreadable or completely destroying the paper. But, I am not referring to that facsimile at all. Unlike the rest of the facsimiles, we actually have the original. Whenever there is an original handy I always like to make reference to that, if possible. Now you know.

    Notice that the figure on the couch in the original, to the left of the page of CES Letter, is wearing a kilt and anklets? Look closely. I can assure you that it is a kilt he is wearing. We may not know what is on the upper part of the body due to the lacunae in the papyrus fragment but even if he were “shirtless” in the original he still is fully clothed and accessorized for a man in ancient Egypt. But what remains definitely is a kilt, and he is wearing anklets. He isn’t nude or mummiform. That is significant although you don’t seem to understand why yet. This is why it isn’t a resuscitation/resurrection scene, either, contrary to many claims that it is. Such a scene requires a figure that either is nude or mummiform. He is fully clothed so neither nude nor mummiform. Starting to understand the basis of my argument yet?

    By the way, have you seen the latest proposed reconstruction? No bird hovering about the middle of the person on the bier and no privy member, either. Why? It is because a professional Egyptologist, who is not a Mormon, argued well his point that there is no room for either in the original. Wish I could post a picture. In any case, Runnells is out of date and still chooses to retain the older (much older!) proposed reconstruction for his ulterior motive and for effect.

    Now, while I have your attention, look at the original and notice the stance and relative positions of the figure on the bier, the priest with Anubis mask, and the bier itself. What is portrayed in the original vignette is not an embalming/burial scene. The Egyptian text surrounding the vignette, however, does refer to a “splendid burial in the mountains of Manu.” Thus, the text around the vignette has zero to do with the vignette. Does that make part of my previous argumentation a little clearer? This guy isn’t dead. His arms being up, and the leg, show that this person is very much alive. He also isn’t fully on the bier or lion couch. His legs are both off of the couch with the priest between his legs and the bier. Notice it now? The guy is alive and moving, not dead, and thus this vignette has nothing to do with burial.

    Now, notice the broken column of text above the arm of the priest with Anubis mask. You will notice two characters there. Those two characters are from a single word, the only word remaining in that column. Those two characters actually also can be translated as “sacrifice,” or “fit for offering.” That isn’t a funerary theme in that context even though it looks like one at first glance. But the funerary text surrounding the vignette has nothing to do with this vignette, and this vignette portrays something not stated by the text immediately surrounding it. A portion of the “warning” I mentioned in a previous post is to the left on the original.

    Fact is, this so-called “common breathing permit” isn’t so common after all. No other copy of the Book of Breathing I know to be extant has a match for this one’s initial vignette.

    I’m not an Egyptologist but I think neither are you. The Egyptologists say it is a funerary text. I would need to see good evidence to the contrary that proved that the worlds eminent Egyptologists were wrong and that you were right.

    No, I am not an Egyptologist but I can read Egyptian texts. This is the second time you have tried to fish for personal information. Given my personal experience with Evangelicals, it would seem–if I didn’t know any better–that you are getting ready to set up an ad hominem argument. Before you go there, you should understand that we only have Egyptologists today because of a School Teacher who deciphered some Egyptian text and characters. Just because I am not an Egyptologist doesn’t mean that I don’t know a thing or two about the subject matter. To say otherwise could be seen as an argumentum ad hominem rather than examining and testing an argument upon its merits. Got to watch those logical fallacies, son!🙂

    That said, yes, the text of the Book of Breathing indeed is a funerary text. I do not disagree with that. I know that to be the case. What I disagree about is whether there was another text attached to the Book of Breathing (some copies of the Book of Breathing do have other texts attached and we know Horos the priest actually was buried with more than one funerary text in his sarcophagus, based on existing evidence including the fact that I also have seen Horos’ Book of Going Forth by Day (a.k.a., Book of the Dead), never owned by Joseph Smith), and that the initial vignette in the text he did have doesn’t go along with what is in the text. It doesn’t. The text in the columns surrounding the vignette implies its a burial but this guy in the vignette isn’t dead. No death; no burial. It isn’t a burial scene and it also doesn’t match your typical resuscitation/resurrection scenes, either, because the guy isn’t nude or mummiform. Starting to understand now what I have been arguing?

    As to “eminent Egyptologists” being wrong, yes, that has often been the case throughout the history of the discipline. For example, it was long maintained by these “eminent Egyptologists” that the figure on the bier was wrapped in mummy bandages. We now know that isn’t the case. They claimed that this was a “standard funerary vignette” but this is anything but a “standard vignette.” I could multiply examples if I were to gather up my materials from the year 1912 to the present but this post has already grown intolerably long.

  78. JCSOG (Acronym for “Jesus Christ Son of God?”), there is another matter that has proffered much discussion elsewhere and that is the scroll itself. Two formulae have been created, one by an Egyptologist to determine how long a scroll missing the end of its text might have been, and another created by non-Egyptologists. The one created by non-Egyptologists tends to make anything look shorter than it should be and the other one, created by an Egyptologist, actually works. Where problems arise with the one made by an Egyptologist is when one attempts to use it on a scroll that is not just missing its end but also a section of text just after the beginning of the scroll. Then that latter one might estimate a total length that is too long. I took that formula created by an Egyptologist and have seen that the formula is a good one that actually does work on various scrolls and gives good results.

    But, I had to introduce a ‘compensation factor’ into the equation because it doesn’t work completely with broken text located at the beginning to middle section of a scroll. With that modification on my part (which I have shared with others in the past), a scroll of 10.2 cm circumference gave me a total length of about 21 feet. 10.2 cm is the relative circumference of the Horos Book of Breathing scroll when it was wound up, based on the evidence of the damage on the scroll itself. Egyptians also tended to pack and wind those scrolls pretty tightly, and sealed them with bitumen at both ends prior to placing on the mummy so that they wouldn’t unwind and so that people of that day could not read the texts without damaging them. (That is, in fact, why the Horos Book of Breathing text is so badly damaged. Someone prior to Joseph Smith tried to open it in modern times, tearing it to pieces in places so that much was lost from the margins and when fragments fell away thereafter. The best preserved portion of the scroll, however, actually was lost to a fire in a museum, which is unfortunate, so we cannot empirically prove anything further regarding the actual text, context, and length of the scroll. We can only work with what we have.)

    Now, however, with that information I obtained in hand, I compared that with a range of Book of Breathing texts. The longest ever found was just over 7 feet in length, and the shortest complete text took about 2 to 3 feet. The Horos Book of Breathing, based on extant evidence, would have taken up about 4.5 to 5 feet of papyrus scroll. What do you suppose might have been on the remaining 16 or so feet of scroll? Hope that helps to clarify further another portion of my argument above in a previous post. If it doesn’t, it might become clearer as we proceed.

    As a return to the subject of this thread, I wish I had one of my older copies of the Book of Moses unpacked and out of storage. I actually found another really good parallel to the Book of Moses in a manuscript of 1 Enoch, one that was an almost exact match for a phrase in the text, and that portion of that manuscript also absolutely wasn’t available to Joseph Smith, the manuscript being in Africa at the time, as yet undiscovered, and being written in Ge’ez, a language Joseph Smith did not know. Wish I knew which box it is in. I would have liked to have added that parallel to the above list. However, I won’t add it until I have the source information regarding the manuscript available to me that I wrote into the margin of that copy of the Pearl of Great Price, or look again at the manuscript when opportunity arises. Who knows when that will be? I merely mention that it exists. Perhaps someone else may also have found it as I did and would like to add it here in the meantime.🙂

  79. I don’t have time right now to be able to give as fulsome a response as I would like so I will have to keep my points brief and to the point. They are not meant to sound sharp if they do come across like that.

    Yes, JCSOG stands for Jesus Christ Son of God. I had to come up with something quick and I couldn’t use my own name as I didn’t want those Danites coming after me!

    No, there is no ad hominem attack brewing. I was and remain amazed at the fullness of your responses.

    You said, “The reason the inverse stars are on those Christian churches is that originally it was a symbol of Christ.” When I searched the internet for symbols of Christ (ancient and modern) and the inverted star did not come up.

    The Amiens Cathedral was built in the 1200s. I thought your craft was meant to have ancient origin going all the way back to Euclid in Egypt and it apparently came to England in the reign of King Athelstan (894 -939) (Google is amazing) so the architect could have been a practitioner of the craft.

    I can concede, however, that the builders probably did not see the inverse star as evil, however, I believe they were misguided (my opinion). As you are asking, I would not suggest putting any crosses on LDS churches as I think that would mislead people.

    You implied that David Whitmer might have been an unreliable witness because he was trying to prove JS a fallen prophet. Was he a man not to be trusted on such weighty matters? If not then his testimony about the plates is in doubt. If he was honest he could easily have been fooled by Smith into believing he had handled the plates. Usually, old people remember things from long ago accurately. It’s what happened yesterday that they struggle with.

    Certainly, we have to test the spirits, especially of those claiming to be prophets who come up with doctrines in clear opposition to Bible teaching and we can know if they are true by doing what the Berean’s did (Acts 17:11) which was to examine the scriptures and see if the new doctrines are consistent with God’s word.

    No offense, but I think your ‘gift’ of discernment is faulty just like the LDS leaders and the Kinderhook plates (not genuine) and the Hoffman letters (not genuine).

    Joseph Smith could have borrowed a Bible to copy the Isaiah texts, unless they were the same texts that were in that book ‘The View of the Hebrews’ that JS used to get his basic plot – B.H Roberts was certainly worried about that.

    Thank you for the further explanations of the Egyptian vignette; what you say does make more sense to me now. The figure on the couch is clothed from the waist down at least but that is not what I understand a kilt to be, but what it is called is not the main point. I understand your main point now (I think). You are saying that because the figure is clothed and has his arms and one leg in the air that he is alive and therefore it is not a funerary scene. I see your point and right now I can’t contradict you because I don’t know enough about this type of thing. Are there any recognised Egyptologists anywhere (other than the LDS church) that think you may have a point? – just asking!

    Another two questions though. JS said that the papyrus was written by Abraham’s own hand but it has been dated to the 1st century AD or do you think it is older? Also, why would Abraham write in Egyptian?

  80. As before, this is going to get a bit lengthy, but I will try to keep it as brief as is possible, given the circumstances.

    I had to come up with something quick and I couldn’t use my own name as I didn’t want those Danites coming after me!

    No Danites would have come after you at any time, nor will any do so. They don’t exist. That sort of claim is the kind of thing that Ed Decker would make up, when he wasn’t changing his story up and claiming the Masons were poisoning his pizza and diet Coke. It was sensationalistic and added drama to his claims as well as added to his pocketbook when he suckered Evangelicals into donating to his cause with that tripe.

    No, there is no ad hominem attack brewing. I was and remain amazed at the fullness of your responses.

    That’s good. After what I have experienced at the hands of Evanglicals for decades, you’ll excuse me if I seem a little leery.

    You said, “The reason the inverse stars are on those Christian churches is that originally it was a symbol of Christ.” When I searched the internet for symbols of Christ (ancient and modern) and the inverted star did not come up.

    That is because you do not know how to search properly, or how to remove extraneous results that overwhelm the search results and hide what you are looking for. No, seriously, you don’t. And, in addition, there is a lot of material that still isn’t available on the Internet. Fact is, most of the symbols of Craft Freemasonry actually were borrowed from Christianity of the various ages, as well as from Josephus, the Bible and Apocrypha.

    The Amiens Cathedral was built in the 1200s. I thought your craft was meant to have ancient origin going all the way back to Euclid in Egypt and it apparently came to England in the reign of King Athelstan (894 -939) (Google is amazing) so the architect could have been a practitioner of the craft.

    That is the thing. The Craft has long had a mythological history, some of which claimed the Craft went all the way back to Adam because he wore an apron, and so forth. But, it is a myth. Speculative Masonry did not exist at that time. We have the records of the Lodges when the transition from operative to speculative first began, and also when the rituals of Freemasonry began to be created and further multiplied. Speculative Freemasonry began in Scotland and England in the very late 1500s, at that time only having two ritual Degrees and a Chair Degree. The first Grand Lodge was organized in 1717. And, so it goes, but what I just stated is the real history. There were no speculative Masons on the Continent or even in the British Isles before those times I stated. There were no speculative Freemasons to infiltrate anything. I also imagine that if the Catholic Church saw such and thought there was evil afoot, it would have led to some kind of inquisition and an attempt to remove the inverted star from the architecture. Nothing the like happened, however. They knew the meaning of the symbol as it was at that time and left it as is, worshipping there for centuries afterward.

    I can concede, however, that the builders probably did not see the inverse star as evil, however, I believe they were misguided (my opinion). As you are asking, I would not suggest putting any crosses on LDS churches as I think that would mislead people.

    They weren’t misguided because it hadn’t become a symbol of evil until post-Levi (after 1852). That is why it appeared all over the place, including in US flags, until that time. It is even to be found on some old gravestones in Europe in a few places, all of which were Christian burials. But, you would be right that they did not see the symbol as evil, which buries your (or, rather, Ed Decker’s and Bill Schnoebelen’s) previous claim that the symbol was known as having had evil connotations for centuries.

    Now, first, you argue that you were concerned that we don’t have crosses on our churches, and now you would be concerned that we might because it would be misleading? Can you make up your mind?🙂

    You implied that David Whitmer might have been an unreliable witness because he was trying to prove JS a fallen prophet. Was he a man not to be trusted on such weighty matters? If not then his testimony about the plates is in doubt. If he was honest he could easily have been fooled by Smith into believing he had handled the plates. Usually, old people remember things from long ago accurately. It’s what happened yesterday that they struggle with.

    I implied that his memory was starting to get faulty at that point. It doesn’t mean he was an unreliable witness because we can trace back his witness from the beginning and it doesn’t diverge much at all. We can see just when he began changing his mind on things and when his memory became somewhat deficient. And, the fact that so much information has been preserved that can be consulted makes David Whitmer a very powerful witness who remained outside of the Church.

    But, when he speaks of things that no one else recollects, it can become a concern, particularly because he actually wasn’t involved in the events that took place at the time he claimed Joseph Smith said this. In addition, those who actually were there to witness the events at the time do not recollect anything the like, and there is not a trace of such a statement in any journal, personal writing, or anything else from the time of the event or even afterward! The only known source is an 1886 statement in a kind of anti-Mormon pamphlet written by Whitmer. It is questionable at best, although such a statement could be very useful, if we didn’t have a copy of the revelation itself. But, we do have a copy of the revelation itself, and that copy of the revelation shows that there wasn’t even a need for Joseph to make such a statement in the first place. No need for the statement, no extant manuscripts or any other document containing it, no evidence whatsoever except this one publication.

    And, we also know that David Whitmer did change his views on other matters as well, because we have the documents. Later, David Whitmer claimed that he rejected the Doctrine and Covenants, and always did, claiming that the only revelations that were valid were those which came through the stone, and not even modified versions of those. But, we have an old letter of David Whitmer from the time leading up to his excommunication that shows that his opinion was otherwise at that time in 1838 and previous, and that he actually did believe in them. He in 1886 claimed that he left the Church in June of 1838 but the records themselves, unaltered as well, showed that he had already been kicked out of the Church some time previous. Those are the facts.

    And, fooled by Joseph Smith? Even if true, it would still have to account for the witness of those who actually handled the plates and didn’t see them in a vision. That is why there were two kinds of witnesses. One set would see a vision accompanied with the plates. Eight would see and handle them without a vision.

    Certainly, we have to test the spirits, especially of those claiming to be prophets who come up with doctrines in clear opposition to Bible teaching and we can know if they are true by doing what the Berean’s did (Acts 17:11) which was to examine the scriptures and see if the new doctrines are consistent with God’s word.

    Which Bible? The Bereans’ Bible contained the Apocrypha. And, what the Bereans did wasn’t testing the spirits. It was to see if the things the apostles and others were quoting were in the texts they were quoting from memory. And, which doctrines? Pre-Nicene or Post-Nicene?

    No offense, but I think your ‘gift’ of discernment is faulty just like the LDS leaders and the Kinderhook plates (not genuine) and the Hoffman letters (not genuine).

    And, you would be mistaken because you know nothing about me or what I have experienced. I can tell you that the gift is very real. In fact, I made use of it many years ago when I was first confronted with the Salamander Letter in front of a Tri-Stake Conference. A group of anti-Mormons were standing around handing out “literature.” At that time it had not yet been discovered that the documents were forgeries. I was handed the paper, and what I saw was concerning. So, then and there I took it up with the Lord in my heart. It was made know to me that the letter was a forgery and I then so stated vocally and with conviction.

    At first, they were dumbfounded when I told then that the time would soon come when the documents would be exposed as a forgery. Then, they laughed. I told them to remember that day I told them that, for as surely as the Lord lives and I live, those documents would be proven forgeries. And, later on, they were, just as I had stated they would. I had always known them to be forgeries. from the very first that I laid eyes on them.

    Now, as to the leaders of the Church, it would appear that they did not make use of the gift, having put trust in the document experts who were fooled by Hoffman. What need would they have to use the gift when they had document experts, in and out of the Church, all over the place proclaiming the authenticity of the documents at the time? Even Federal document experts were fooled! On the other hand, once was an atheist who trusted no one, and that past experience led me to make use of the gift of God that I was given. But, even there, if you look deeply enough into the matter, several of the Brethren involved expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the documents, particularly later on when Hoffman tried to sell the McClellan Collection to the Church when they already had much of it. Even President Hinckley himself (before he was President Hinckley) directly stated in a General Conference talk that “they may be forgeries but they are interesting.” Nowhere did he (nor, anyone else, for that matter) ever say that he discerned by the Spirit that the documents were real and that they should be accepted as such. Nowhere.

    As to the Kinderhook plates, were you aware that details surrounding them lend weight to the fact that Joseph didn’t seem to fall for the hoax? According one of the hoaxers, Joseph looked them over, and then actually asked them to take them to an antiquities person and have them authenticated and then bring them back. I found that curious.

    In addition, several rumors arose about his having translated them, but the accounts all differed from one another as to specific details. If he really translated them, why all the differences? Why no translation among any of his papers? One of Joseph’s best friends at the time, John Taylor, on the other hand, actually stated for the record that:

    Mr. Smith has had those plates, what his opinion concerning them is, we have not yet ascertained. The gentlemen that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a facsimilie of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed however, that he purposes returning with them for translation; if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it.
    (Times and Seasons IV.12:186 ¶2)

    So, Joseph’s best friend, in whom he often confided, didn’t know what Joseph’s opinion was concerning them. How odd that would be if he had really translated them.

    Joseph Smith could have borrowed a Bible to copy the Isaiah texts, unless they were the same texts that were in that book ‘The View of the Hebrews’ that JS used to get his basic plot – B.H Roberts was certainly worried about that.

    Nope. If he had, at least one of the eyewitnesses of the translation would have said something. Martin Harris would have lost belief entirely because it would have confirmed for him what the neighbors were saying about how Joseph was doing it. Even Joseph’s own wife, Emma, was adamant that he had no books or manuscripts, and that if he had he could not have kept that from her at the time.

    She and others watched Joseph translate. Why do you think it was such a miraculous thing for them at the time? It is precisely because they all knew him, and also all knew that he never had any Bible or manuscripts, or books of any kind, from which to take portions of the Book of Mormon, and he had his face buried in a hat all the while doing it, and could not have seen a physical Bible from which to copy anything during that time, even if he had had one, borrowed or otherwise. His face was buried in a hat!

    Additionally, most all of the Isaiah texts in View of the Hebrews weren’t the ones Joseph translated into the Book of Mormon. I have read the book and not once that I can recall did Joseph formulate an argument or interpretation in the Book of Mormon like one found in View of the Hebrews. And, B.H. Roberts wasn’t all that concerned. Were you aware that he often would play Devil’s advocate? I know of circumstances where he would pretend to be a critic of the Church to test the knowledge and mettle of Missionaries and even made some grown men cry with his approach. In fact, his manuscript study on View of the Hebrews was just such an approach. A letter that he attached to the manuscript (but which often gets omitted in discussions such as these) stated the following:

    Let me say once and for all, so as to avoid what might otherwise call for repeated explanation, that what is herein set forth does not represent any conclusions of mine. This report [is] . . . for the information of those who ought to know everything about it pro and con, as well as that which has been produced against it as that which may be produced against it. I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakeable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it.

    (B.H. Roberts to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, March 1923.)

    And, to make matters worse for your claims, in 1833, Roberts himself stated that he had “concluded that Ethan Smith played no part in the formation of the Book of Mormon.” He also taught in later General Conferences and elsewhere that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith did not write it. So, no, he wasn’t all that concerned. You’ve been had–again.

    In addition, no record or tangible, physical evidence exists of Joseph’s ever having owned that book at any time. There is zero physical proof that he ever saw the book. Oh, and by the way, did you know that Church-owned BYU’s own Religious Studied Center at one time actually reprinted View of the Hebrews for members of the Church and others to read? See View of the Hebrews: 1825 , 2nd Ed., complete text by Ethan Smith, edited with an introduction by Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1996). Fancy that!

    Thank you for the further explanations of the Egyptian vignette; what you say does make more sense to me now. The figure on the couch is clothed from the waist down at least but that is not what I understand a kilt to be, but what it is called is not the main point. I understand your main point now (I think). You are saying that because the figure is clothed and has his arms and one leg in the air that he is alive and therefore it is not a funerary scene. I see your point and right now I can’t contradict you because I don’t know enough about this type of thing.

    You are welcome. The first vignette indeed was made to look like funerary literature, but what is depicted isn’t funerary. You see, Egyptologists for years claimed that this was nothing more than a common embalming scene. But, you embalm dead people, not living people. Then, they changed it up over the last few decades and now claim that it is a resuscitation vignette. The serious problem with that newer claim is the positioning of a person on the bier to depict such an event is nude, one leg up, with one hand at side and other hand with elbow upward and hand to face, symbolizing rising from inactivity and from sleep. If mummiform, the legs are still shown bound up while the rest of the figure is reclining in an upward, awake position, usually holding the crook and flail or something else. None of that is evident in this vignette. None of it. This fellow isn’t dead, and he isn’t made to appear to rise from sleep. He isn’t even on the bier except for his back, and both hands are up but elbow isn’t raised with hand to face and one hand at side, as in typical rescuscitation scenes.

    Are there any recognised Egyptologists anywhere (other than the LDS church) that think you may have a point? – just asking!

    Sounds like the beginnings of an ad hominem argument possibly coming on. Sorry, but it does. I highly doubt that a non-LDS Egyptologist would agree at the present time. But, I could be presently surprised. One non-LDS Egyptologist one time had some interesting things to say about the Anthon Transcript. He looked it over and claimed in print that portions of it actually are translatable and that he saw date information and such. He never published a translation, however. I do not recall the name of the fellow at the moment, but if I do, I’ll let you know. If I recall correctly, he worked for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art at the time, which has a good Egyptian collection there.

    But, I know I have a point. Besides, it took over a hundred years to get them to backtrack and change their minds that the vignette wasn’t really an embalming scene after all! I expect nothing less for the new claim.

    Another two questions though. JS said that the papyrus was written by Abraham’s own hand but it has been dated to the 1st century AD or do you think it is older?

    Oh, definitely older. I see you are relying on outdated information again. It dates to Ptolemaic times, which is in the BC period, as in about 323 BCE or thereabouts. But, that is the manuscript as it now exists, which was written for Horos, who was a priest who lived at that time. I believe that this document just contained a copy of the Book of Abraham, not the original. Were you aware that even in the Bible, some texts are said to have been written “by the hand” of a certain person? For example, the Hebrew of Haggai actually says that “in the first day of the month came the word of the Yahweh by the hand of Haggai” (Haggai 1:3, translated from Hebrew; see also Haggai 2:1, Hebrew, et cetera). Yet, not a single handwritten document actually written by the hand of this prophet, other prophet, or other inspired writer exists today. And, most Bible translations hide the idiom in many instances rather than translate it literally, as you have just seen. It is a Hebraic (and, if I recall correctly also an Egyptian) expression indicating “by the authority of,” or “through,” and nothing more.

    The translation of the Book of Abraham also originally had the words “Purporting to be” prior to the title of the work and the phrase “written by his own hand.” Those words got dropped after the Second Edition for some reason. Don’t know why. I suppose it may have been by way of protest against the Egyptologists of 1912, but do not know for a certainty, at least insofar as I can recollect at any rate.

    Also, why would Abraham write in Egyptian?

    For the same reason he spoke Hebrew when he lived in Palestine. In his day it was just a Canaanite dialect, not its own language. Also, Abraham’s original spoken language was Aramaic, since his ancestral home and place of his nativity is stated in the Bible to be in a region that spoke Aramaic (Aram Naharaim). He apparently was multilingual. Both the Book of Abraham and Josephus, the Jewish historian, and others, claimed that Abraham taught Pharaoh and his court astronomy. I do not see him doing that in the court of Pharaoh in either Hebrew or Aramaic. No interpreter is mentioned, as was the case in the Bible when Jacob and his sons visited Egypt.

  81. JCSOG, Here is a another link I pulled up searching for Christian symbols (ancient and modern). Note that it has both the inverse pentangle within a circle, combined with cross in center. This is from a church known as Our Lady of Victory, located in the Marble Cliff area in Columbus, Ohio, and the first Catholic Mass was held in this church in 1922.

    Just pulled it up today while searching for Christian symbols and regarding the five wounds of Christ. Had to use a lot of Boolean and other operators to get that even to show up in the search results at all at the time I ran the search. There are a number of others as well, including several other churches with inverse stars in windows and even one with it painted on the wall in front of a chapel of one church, all in Europe with the exception of one, which was actually a Presbyterian Church in Texas dated to 1873. That last one was unexpected, to say the least. Guess none of them got the memo about that symbol allegedly representing evil for centuries.

  82. Funny thing just happened. I visited a website at BYU that has the entire text of View of the Hebrews as it was reprinted by the BYU Religious Studies Center, up on the web where everybody can see it. So, if you should wish, you, too, can read the entire contents of the 1825 edition of Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews for yourself, and even study it closely, without having to invest any sum of money. See it here:

    https://rsc.byu.edu/pt-pt/out-print/view-hebrews-1825-2nd-edition

    Still also trying to find my old copy of the Book of Moses with the text reference I put into the margin so that I can post another close Enoch manuscript parallel for this page. Haven’t found it yet but I am still looking on again and off again for it. It is another Enoch source Joseph Smith absolutely could not have known about from physical means.

  83. Sorry, just a quick response. I will only cover only a few points in this post and will cover the other points in a later post. You said “No Danites would have come after you at any time, nor will any do so. They don’t exist.”
    Did the Danites ever exist?

    I think you have won the debate on the upside down five pointed star. I don’t believe it was an ‘ancient’ symbol of Christ unless you can show me something ancient associated with Christ but it (probably) wasn’t widely seen as evil in the 1800s. Based on what you say and what I have subsequently read it looks like I was wrong to say that it had been known as a symbol of evil for centuries, by which I meant before the Mormon temples were built. It was an assumption I had made but I think you are right that it only came to be widely associated with evil after Levi (1852). But what about the All-seeing-eye, the clasped arms, the Sun face, the beehive etc. You are not claiming that these are all ancient Christian symbols, are you?

    I still consider the decorations on those temples to be rather odd for a church that considers itself Christian in the widest sense. If the builders didn’t like the cross there were lots of ancient Christian symbols that they could have chosen (fish, chi-rho etc.)

    By the way, you keep going on about, Ed Decker and Bill Schnoebelen. I have heard of Ed Decker but that is it – I heard that he is an ex-Mormon. I haven’t read or seen anything of theirs. So that will save you some time typing those names out.

    When it comes to testing the spirits what would Joseph Smith recommend? How does that compare with what the Bereans did?

    “Now, as to the leaders of the Church, it would appear that they did not make use of the gift, having put trust in the document experts who were fooled by Hoffman. What need would they have to use the gift when they had document experts, in and out of the Church,” Either you have the gift of discernment or you don’t. The idea that the Leaders should turn it on and off, like Superman and his X-ray eyes, strikes me as a little bit ridiculous.

    Right now that is all I have got time for. Will try to do more later.

  84. Just a preliminary post prior to responding to your most recent post. This link leads to an old photo of a Jewish Temple, as the Wilshire Boulevard Jewish Temple once looked, in the year 1862. (Hope the link works.)

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120204221930/http://www.wilshireboulevardtemple.org/common/viewphoto.php?id=248

    Note the prominent pentagram in the window above the door. I will address the content of post as soon as I have time. But, as you can see, it isn’t just a Christian symbol. The pentagram as Christians used it actually originated in Judaism, which you can see above and in the Seal of Jerusalem that I posted several posts above.

    For Christians, however, the symbol came to represent the five wounds of Christ. Have you ever seen the signet/amulet of Constantine I? On one side a stylistic Chi-Rho; on the other an inverse pentagram. That signet takes us back to the early fourth century of Christianity, after Constantine’s conversion to the Christianity that existed in his day. More later….

  85. Next up, the signet/amulet of Constantine I. Also preliminary to posting a response. I post this link so that you can see a representation of it without having to invest in books on symbols to see it. (Again, hope the link works.)

    Should you choose to invest in such, there are a number of books in which this signet can be found. Not just pulling this out of thin air. The text of those books also informs us that the symbol goes back to early Christianity, and one of the books I consulted also stated that the pentacle was a preferred symbol of Christians (as seen on Christian jewelry, iconography, and amulets) until the cross became popular as a representation of Christianity (note: that would have been in or about the fifth century and afterwards, if I recall correctly).

  86. Just another preliminary post so I won’t have to cause a post to go into moderation for too many links and pictures, and can just refer you to these. This is a photo of a wall mural in the Vatican, where the Pope sits with Cardinals and so forth.

    No Freemasons originated this painting. Freemasons are considered automatically excommunicated and no Freemason ever would have been allowed to paint anything there much less paint something that wasn’t part of Catholic symbolism. Notice the prominent All-seeing eye above a white dove representing the Holy Spirit.

  87. Another preliminary post. Sorry about all these but it is necessary so as to not go through the hassle of getting a single post to go into moderation because of multiple pictures and links. This one is an old Catholic painting, with no Freemasons involved in its painting. (Hopefully this picture shows up in the posting.)

    Notice the Sun and Moon symbols on either side of the cross in the upper painting. They are clearly marked Sun and Moon in Latin, and the line of text at the center top is abbreviated, which reads “Jesus Christ.” The person on the right of Jesus (our left) is identified as Saint Mary, and the other on the left (our right) of Jesus is identified as “Saint John.” It is a depiction of the events in the crucifixion scene found in John 19:26.

  88. One last one for the night, I think. Another preliminary posting of an image of part of a “monstrance” on a Roman Catholic altar. No Freemasons there, either. (Hope this one comes through.)

    I should have some beehive and clasped hands images to post later. Response to text coming as soon as I find the time after images are posted.

  89. JCSOG,

    Final preliminary post but–alas!–all the ones concerning the beehive that I would have pointed out to you are gone 404. Others that still exist are later than I would have liked. There are also Christian churches around the US that also have the beehive in their stained glass windows as Christian symbolism. The First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro in North Carolina has a hive in one of its windows and is an example of such built during the times they were built, this church being inspired by the gothic style. See that here:

    The architect who built that church isn’t on any list of Freemasons I have consulted. But, in lieu of other representations, I cite the following from a section of a non-LDS book headed “Significant Symbols of the Saints”:

    BEEHIVE

    The Beehive is associated with Bernard of Clairvaux, John Chrysostom, and Ambrose. It indicates their eloquence: honeyed words came from their mouths. The hive is also a representation of the unified, harmonious Christian community.

    (Alva William Steffler, Symbols of the Christian Faith [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002], 97; bold emphasis mine)

    Same unfortunately goes for my favorite image of an inscription in an old Catholic Church that has two hands clasped. It also has gone 404 and I have yet to find it in an archived page as of yet. Another one I also wanted to post has two men in a position that is of interest to “Mormons” with respect to the temple ceremony, as well as to Freemasons and their ceremonies, now also is 404, with no archive preserved that I was able to find as of yet. With that said, I also quote from the same book but from the section headed “Glossary of Additional Symbols”:

    Hand The hand has multiple meanings. Like the arm, the hand is used as a symbol of might and power (Ps. 31:15; Mark 14:41). The dropping of hands indicates weakness or lack of resolve (Isa.13:7), whereas the lifting up of hands is a gesture of praise or supplication (Exod. 9:33; 17:1; Job 11:13; Ps. 28:2; 1 Tim. 2:8). Two people clasping hands is symbolic of an agreement (Job 17:3)….

    (ibid., 111; bold emphasis in heading in original; other bold emphasis mine)

    In addition, the hands clasped is the old symbol of fides, and represents fidelity. It has a Roman origin, but was depicted in other venues when Christianity of that day became the dominant religion of the Empire. With that said, the next post will be a response to your last post, as soon as I get some extra time to address its contents.

  90. OK, so it will be the next post that actually replies to your previous one. I found the following on the website of the First Presbyterian Church of Cape Girardeau (bold emphasis mine):

    The Chancel Window

    This is the window which the congregation faces as they are gathered in the sanctuary for worship. The sanctuary is essentially a place of worship and at the top of this window are three symbols of Deity.
    The first of them is the MANUS DEI, or hand of God. It is the most ancient symbol of the First Person in the Godhead. This ancient symbol, frequently employed in the Christian art, represents the creative power of God, and is also the ancient symbol of God’s reach for mankind and His concern for man. It perhaps sets forth, better than any other symbol, God’s search for man.

    The second of them is the AGNUS DEI, or lamb of God. This is one of the oldest symbols of Christ. It speaks of the redemptive Power of God. It recalls the words of the prophecy of Isaiah, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter”; and those of John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”; and the Revelation, “Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain.”

    The third is the DOVE. This has long stood as a symbol of the heaven-descended Spirit of God. It speaks of the directing and energizing power of God. The Spirit of God has been very real in the church throughout its history. When Christ was baptized of John at Jordan the Spirit descended as a dove.

    At the bottom of the windows are three symbols of the church.

    The first of these is a ship. This is an ancient symbol of the church. It recalls the origin of the word “nave” which comes from the Latin word which means ship. A ship embarked on a voyage in a community with purpose. It is a fellowship together to a common goal. They obey the commands of their Captain. Their hope is in him.

    The second of these is the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant symbolized, for Israel, God in the midst of His people. It was the depository of the tables of the law, the Ten Commandments that had been given to them of God. It is a symbol of worship, and of the church as a worshipping community.

    The third is that of the clasped hands. What better symbol of the church as a fellowship could we find? Here we meet as children of God and brethren. Here we are taught to “Love one another”. Here if anywhere should men find friendship. Here we find fellowship with one another in communion with God.

    Source: http://firstpccape.org/stain-glass-windows/

    Unfortunately, I found no high resolution photo of this window; just the low resolution photo on the site. But, if you look closely at the one on the bottom right of the chancel window, and have good eyes, you can just make out the handclasp in the stained glass. The Church was first built in 1854 but has been rebuilt and/or remodeled twice. Though its present form took shape in 1966, it was based off of the Tudor Gothic style. A committee of church members along with the pastor designed the themes for the stained glass. I did not find the Pastor of that time’s name in any Masonic records I looked through. The board was not named individually so I could not check any names from that. Be that as it may, Mormons aren’t the only ones to put clasped hands on their buildings of worship. I just wish I had more photos to show you some of the oldest buildings I’ve seen with such symbols. OK, with that, I am done for now, and will post a text response as soon as I can.

  91. Old painted Icon of the transfiguration of Christ in an old monastery:

    Note that the glory of Christ has been fashioned as an inverse five-pointed star within a circle.

  92. …You said “No Danites would have come after you at any time, nor will any do so. They don’t exist.”
    Did the Danites ever exist?

    Yes, they at one time did. Read about the hows and whys here:

    https://www.lds.org/topics/peace-and-violence-among-19th-century-latter-day-saints?lang=eng

    …I don’t believe it was an ‘ancient’ symbol of Christ unless you can show me something ancient associated with Christ but it (probably) wasn’t widely seen as evil in the 1800s….

    I posted an old monastery icon of the transfiguration of Christ above. I also provided a scanned image above of the Chi-Rho symbol of Christ connected to the inverse pentagram on the Seal of Constantine I. Those Christian and other writers who wrote of the symbol also stated that Christians were using it as a representation of the five wounds of Christ.

    But what about the All-seeing-eye, the clasped arms, the Sun face, the beehive etc. You are not claiming that these are all ancient Christian symbols, are you?

    As seen above, the symbols were used in old churches, as also was seen in the above quotes from books I cited and otherwise mentioned. To see the older version of the clasped hands as seen on the old church and other buildings, see the cover of Teresa Morgan, Roman Faith and Christian Faith: Pistis and Fides in the early Roman Empire and Early Churches (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

    It is also known that beehives appear in old, illuminated Christian manuscripts. I have seen some of those. See also the quote from the Symbols of the Christian Faith book above. You also saw a sun face on the monstrance I mentioned above, which monstrance appears on an old Catholic altar. You also saw sun and moon personified on an old Christian wall plaque.

    Finally, let me quote from the same Christian symbol book I cited above in a previous preliminary post:

    SUN The psalmist describes God as “a sun and shield” — the source of favor, honor, and all good things (Ps. 84:11). Later Malachi announces, “The sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings” (4:2). This is a prophecy of the salutary effect of Christ’s coming — the triumph of good over evil. Depictions of Christ as the Sun God appear as early as the fourth century in the catacombs of Rome.

    (Alva William Steffler, Symbols of the Christian Faith [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002], 16)

    Interestingly enough, the rising sun faces on the Nauvoo temple are particularly apt in this analogy. They depict rising suns, rising above clouds and into the sky, which connects to the imagery of Malachi 4:2.

    As you can see, they indeed are Christian symbols, a number of which can be seen in old and ancient examples. You also saw that the inverted pentragram was used also in Judaism, and even saw it on an 1862 Jewish Temple in one photo. (Note: some of the pictures didn’t show up on the posted pages above, but clicking the ‘broken image’ placeholders and links still will take you to site and the pictures themselves.)

    I still consider the decorations on those temples to be rather odd for a church that considers itself Christian in the widest sense. If the builders didn’t like the cross there were lots of ancient Christian symbols that they could have chosen (fish, Chi-Rho etc.)

    Consider them odd all you want. They are much older Christian symbols than LDS Temples but they still are Christian symbols. In addition, the architects of the temples seem to move away from having word or letter-form symbols, preferring instead to use pictorial symbols. Even the fish symbol usually was a letter-form symbol. They chose what they chose and that just is the way it is. It is of no real concern to anybody except to conspiracy nuts and those like-minded.

    By the way, you keep going on about, Ed Decker and Bill Schnoebelen. I have heard of Ed Decker but that is it – I heard that he is an ex-Mormon. I haven’t read or seen anything of theirs. So that will save you some time typing those names out.

    I keep going on about them because the arguments you make are the same as their arguments, and they originated the arguments. By the way, I have a funny anecdote to share about something related to that.

    Over a decade ago, I had another critic of the Church in my home (one of many over the years). He had promised that he would not discuss the temple ceremony the day before we met, but then he started in doing so anyway contrary to his promise he had made the day before coming into my home. Everything he argued came from a particular set of two other authors. Each time I brought up their names and their arguments (remember that I am well read in anti-Mormon literature and even own printed copies of a lot of it). He told me point blank that he had never even heard of those authors and that he certainly hadn’t read anything by either of them.

    Then something fortuitous happened. As he leaned forward not long after telling me what he had just said, several of his books fell onto the floor. One of them was a book written by the very two critics I named to the guy, and not only that, it had fallen partially open, and as he picked it up I also saw that it was a well-marked copy of the very book by the very authors I stated he was obtaining his arguments from. In essence, he lied in front of everybody there. It was then obvious that he had a lying spirit in his heart and I told him so. But, I digress…

    When it comes to testing the spirits what would Joseph Smith recommend? How does that compare with what the Bereans did?

    The Bereans did not test the spirits. Read the text. They were searching the scriptures they had to see if what the apostles had quoted to them could be seen in the text and actually said what they claimed they said. There is no mention of testing spirits there. And, Joseph Smith stated several things that one could do to test the spirits. These can be seen in the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Read the texts and you will find the examples. So, how does it compare? It doesn’t. Apples and oranges. The Bereans weren’t testing the spirits. They were searching the scriptures to see if what they said was true.

    Now, again, the scriptures they were using, the Septuagint, had the apocrypha therein. So, which Bible? And, again, which doctrines? Ante-Nicene or Post-Nicene?

    “Now, as to the leaders of the Church, it would appear that they did not make use of the gift, having put trust in the document experts who were fooled by Hoffman. What need would they have to use the gift when they had document experts, in and out of the Church,” Either you have the gift of discernment or you don’t. The idea that the Leaders should turn it on and off, like Superman and his X-ray eyes, strikes me as a little bit ridiculous….

    No, one can make use of it or not make use of the gift (your analogy of “switching it on or off”), but it is used and initiated by the action of the individual who has the gift. It doesn’t just happen all the time like you seem to think. Even the Bible states that “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32; see the context). In addition, we know that there are times when it isn’t operative in even prophets in the Bible.

    For instance, Joshua, who received the same spirit as Moses, was deceived by people. Same goes for Elijah the prophet, who did not know the reason why a woman was there coming to him when she had previously lied and said all was well, because he said that the Lord had hidden it from him. There is the unnamed prophet in the Bible who was lied to by a false prophet, and the real prophet believed him and lost his life because of it. False people crept into the Church unawares even while the apostles were still alive.

    In other words, sometimes the Lord hides things from his prophets for purposes often known only to him. But, if the gift were automatically active and operative at all times and in all places in the prophets and apostles, can you logically explain how people got away with what they did in the times of those prophets and apostles in the Bible? Remember, whatever you come up with for the Biblical prophets applies equally to the modern prophets. To do or to think otherwise is to operate upon a principle of double standard.

  93. Again, sorry for the somewhat brief replies.

    I am surprised that the first Jewish Wilshire Boulevard Temple used a 5 pointed star and not the usually preferred Star of David. The building almost look like a church rather than a synagogue. I wonder if they were trying to avoid persecution. Apparently, the ancient Hebrews used the pentagram to represent the 5 books of the Torah.

    Regarding the Amulet of Constantine you said, “The text of those books also informs us that the symbol goes back to early Christianity, and one of the books I consulted also stated that the pentacle was a preferred symbol of Christians.” Fair enough, but could you give a reference to the latter book please, as I can’t find any sources that agree with that.

    Apparently, the first use of the all-seeing eye by the Catholic Church was in Aachen Cathedral, built 786.

    The fact that a painting has a sun and a moon on it does not mean that the sun and the moon are ancient Christian symbols, especially if Jesus and/or the cross is taken out of the picture now so to speak.

    Same comment on the ivory plaque which obviously follows the same theme. As you say, the ivory plaque was produced in 1130. I don’t know if there are earlier (ancient) uses of the Sun and Moon in Christian iconography. It should also be noted that these items were also produced by the Catholic Church which we know, at that time, had strayed somewhat from the true Christian message.

    Sun-face on Roman Catholic alter. OK. Again, not exactly ‘ancient’ Christian but obviously used by the Catholic Church along with other peripheral symbols.

    The beehive, again not ancient or widely used, but in a Christian church, I’ll give you that.

    I see the painting with Jesus in front of the ‘upside down’ star but are you claiming that when LDS or Freemasons depict the ‘upside down’ star that they are consciously choosing to symbolise the five wounds of Christ? If so, that would be nice to know.

    Clasped hands, yes, the hand is a powerful symbol used in a variety of ways but again not ancient or widely used in Christianity that I know of. I wouldn’t dispute that it has a positive meaning to you and for the Presbyterians of Cape Girardeau or other Christian groups but are they using it in the same way. Given that it appears on the temples along with other Masonic symbols it raises the suspicion that it is meant to symbolise secret fraternity rather than the hand of God or simple friendship.

    I think it is the combined use of these symbols on the temples and the absence of more ancient or widely used Christian symbols that points to Freemasonry rather than Christianity, that is, Freemasonry with its secret handshakes and passwords etc. I suppose, as a Freemason and a member of the LDS Church you will say that there is not a problem with that.

    Regarding the Danites, to be honest, I don’t trust LDS.org articles. I have read a good few in the last 6 months and find them full of spin and that they ‘airbrush’ history.

    Will post more later.

  94. My original comment on the Danites was actually meant ‘tongue in cheek’ but your comment that

    “No Danites would have come after you at any time…..”

    got me interested so, against my better judgement I read the article in the link about the Danites and the violence of those times. The article stated,

    “Danites intimidated Church dissenters and other Missourians; for instance, they warned some dissenters to leave Caldwell County.”

    So, I guess what you said is true unless I had been a dissenter in Caldwell county, at that time.

  95. Not ignoring you, JCSOG. Just haven’t had time to respond but will as soon as I can. I will, however, mention that I managed to read in limited spare time an article and material in a book relating to archaeology of Christian gravesites in Sai, in Nubia, dating back to 1900 years ago and beforehand (it is an old gravesite with Christian and other strata going as far back as Neolithic times). According to the article and book, the pentagram was found incised in pottery seals, painted on pottery, and knitted on shrouds, in Christian graves found there. That takes the pentagram as an ancient Christian symbol back to the first century. More on this as soon as I have more time, complete with brief quotes and citations from what I read.

  96. No problem, I know what it is like to be pushed for time. I was thinking – we could go backwards and forwards on these symbols for a heck of a long time without necessarily getting to the heart of the matter, which is whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. For instance, it would not surprise me that in the end we may find that the five pointed star was used somewhat by early Christians and that they didn’t care much about the orientation (one point up or two points up). I have already conceded that you were right and the association of the ‘inverted’ star with evil is a relatively recent thing (after Levi). We may also find that the other symbols have been used now and again in churches throughout history. I have also conceded (several times) that the builders of the Mormon temples did not mean any evil intent in the use of any of the symbols on the temples and presumably they thought they were good. So, whilst I still don’t understand why the LDS church is so tightly entwined with Masonic symbols or ritual, finding out more about these symbols may not answer the question at the heart of the matter (accidental reference to the anti-Mormon TV show) which is whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

    What may be more of an acid test is the Book of Mormon itself and again the book of Abraham. If you don’t mind switching focus, what is your answer to Runnels criticism in the CES letter of the translation of the second facsimile, the Hypocephalus?

    By the way, I did appreciate your defence of the first facsimile, although I can’t say I buy it entirely, your arguments are interesting and may have some merit. I think the Hypocephalus will be a sterner challenge though.

    Hyperlink reproduced purely for convenience

    http://cesletter.org/

  97. Funny how this happens but something just popped into my head so I write it now before I forget. A while back when we were discussing the copied passages from Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, you were claiming that JS had no access to a Bible and you made the statement,

    “How would he have copied anything? He had no Bible, had no books or manuscripts on the table with him, and he had his face buried in a hat to exclude light. He didn’t even own a Bible at that time in his life! Did you know that? He didn’t own a Bible, so from what Bible would he have copied either accurately or inaccurately?”

    According to Joseph Smith’s own history as shown on the LDS website,

    “11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

    So how about he copied from that Bible?

  98. I still don’t have a lot of time right now, but I do have time to answer briefly this question. The Bible your quote references belonged to his parents. He lived with his parents at that age. However, that Bible wasn’t his. Joseph Smith also had moved out of the house, at the time he was translating the Book of Mormon, was living in Pennsylvania with his parents in New York, and did not take the family Bible with him when he moved out. So, it was a bit of an impossibility to quote from that Bible even if he had wanted to do so.

  99. Here is some context from the same source (forgot to copy and paste it in the previous post):

    61 The excitement, however, still continued, and rumor with her thousand tongues was all the time employed in circulating falsehoods about my father’s family, and about myself. If I were to relate a thousandth part of them, it would fill up volumes. The persecution, however, became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of leaving Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehanna county, in the State of Pennsylvania. While preparing to start—being very poor, and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that we would ever be otherwise—in the midst of our afflictions we found a friend in a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, who came to us and gave me fifty dollars to assist us on our journey. Mr. Harris was a resident of Palmyra township, Wayne county, in the State of New York, and a farmer of respectability.
    62 By this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania; and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters off the plates. I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife’s father, in the month of December, and the February following.
    (Joseph Smith—History 1:61–62)

    This small portion of the Book of Mormon translation mentioned in verse 62 no longer is extant. With the exception of a couple chapters of Mosiah, only the portion transcribed by Oliver Cowdery remains and was published, and the work on that Cowdery portion did not begin until April 7, 1829. It would not be until October 8, 1829, that Joseph Smith, together with Oliver Cowdery, would jointly purchase a Bible for use in the Joseph Smith Translation, but the translation of the Book of Mormon had previously been finished by July 1, 1829.

    He did not own a Bible of his own until the year 1831, when he purchased one for his family and another for his brother, Hyrum. As an aside, I should mention that the translation of the Book of Mormon text as we now have it in the manuscripts was completed in less than three months. And, even if he had had a Bible, he still had his face buried in a hat during translation, with no books or manuscripts on the table near him. All eyewitnesses of the translation process are unanimous about the fact he had no books or manuscripts, including those who later were angry at him and became his enemies. That is why it seemed so miraculous a thing to them for a barely literate young man, who could at the time barely write a coherent letter, to dictate off the contents of a complete book with a complex and connected structure, who also had no books or manuscripts with him whatsoever during the translation. It was also because he did it with his face buried in a hat and everyone who saw him do it knew he could not have gotten his material from somewhere else while he was dictating the translation.

    And, where he lived at that time, there was no library nearby. The nearest library that had any of the works that people now say that he was using as sources were hundreds of miles away round trip, journeys that would have taken almost a month or more with current methods of transportation at that period, if at any time he wanted to use something to put into the book. You need to keep all that in mind.

  100. Something interesting happened when I visited again the MormonStink website you recommended and linked above. I addressed a claim they made with a quote from the Bible. The objection they made was with respect to the others in the house not being awakened by the appearances of the angel Moroni to him with others present in the same room. I wrote the following:

    Why was not the following passage of scripture discussed in relation to this subject of people being in the room and not being awakened at the visitation of an angel?

    It is pertinent as to how an angel could appear in a room filled with people, and shining light in the room, and open prison doors that would have been noisy to open, and yet no one else seem to awaken or notice anything, not even soldiers placed to guard Peter.

    7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
    8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
    9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
    10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
    11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. (Acts 12:7–11)

    Surely the falling of chains to the ground would have made a sound, even if opening the doors of the prison didn’t. Funny thing is, even Peter thought he was just seeing a vision at first, but realized once he was outside the prison that he had indeed been visited by an angel.

    That’s the way I see it happening in Joseph’s room even though siblings were present and didn’t awaken with the light. In the case of my own children, they slept all the way through one of the biggest earthquakes I had ever experienced while living in California. Not one of them woke up. Never underestimate the sleepiness of a non-infant child and its ability to sleep through just about anything.

    Their response?

    The Smith house was very small. Everyone in the house, including the 2 adults, should have been awoken up by such a glorious event that happened three times and took the whole of the night.

    I won’t use a story from the Bible as evidence that the BOM is true since there is no evidence that the Bible story is literally true.

    MT

    Just interested in truth, eh? Hmmm. Well, I wasn’t trying to prove the Book of Mormon true with anything, anyway. I just asked them why they didn’t bring that scripture up or discuss it. Interesting website you have suggested might have truth for us benighted “Mormons.” More of the same of what I remembered when having dealings with them in the past. Just saying. That said, I suppose it is better than just being banned from comment as usually occurs when I question information on various websites like theirs. Of course, you wouldn’t know it from looking at the site. They often control the flow of information when it suits them.

    By the way, should be able to take some more time to respond to things you asked in a few days.

  101. So, just briefly continuing the ‘did JS copy from the Bible?’ theme for a while. It is possible that he was reading the family Bible when he was struck by the power of that verse about wisdom in the book of James, or it could have been his own Bible that he was reading. The fact that he and Oliver Cowdrey bought a Bible later does not mean that they didn’t have one before. There are a number of possible explanations as to why they would want another Bible. I am sure that you can think of as many as I can, if not more.

    Apparently, on time JS said to his mother Lucy, “I can take my Bible, and go into the woods and learn more in two hours than you can learn at meeting in two years, if you should go all the time” which suggests that JS probably had his own copy of the Bible. I say ‘apparently said’ because I can’t find a primary source for that quote (just being honest). I got it from a website looking into the possibility that JS copied from the Bible – not an overtly anti-Mormon website actually.

    Certainly, other Mormon scholars have no problem with JS having a bible, Daniel Ludlow, a professor at BYU

    “[T]here appears to only be one answer to explain the word-for-word similarities between the verses of Isaiah in the Bible and the same verses in the Book of Mormon. When Joseph Smith translated the Isaiah references from the small plates of Nephi, he evidently opened his King James Version of the Bible and compared the impression he had received in translating with the words of the King James scholars. If his translation was essentially the same as that of the Kings James Version, he apparently quoted the verse from the Bible.” Daniel Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, 141.

    Our old friend B.H Roberts

    “When Joseph Smith saw that the Nephite record was quoting the prophecies of Isaiah, of Malachi, or the words of the Savior, he took the English Bible and compared these passages as far as they paralleled each other, and finding that in substance, they were alike, he adopted our English translation; and hence, we have the sameness to which you refer.” B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, Vol. III, p. 428.

    As for the witnesses, well they weren’t there all the time so JS and OC could have got the Bible out when the others were gone. David Whitmer wrote:

    “Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear.” David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.

    Whitmer can’t have seen the spiritual light or parchment, unless he stuck his head in the hat at the same time, so he was relying on what JS told him, so really he was no witness to that aspect at all.

    Another thing, what is this about JS being barely literate. He actually writes very well as can be seen by the quotes you furnished above and his other writings. He seems to have a certain skill with words as far as I can see.

    And why does he say that he translated by using the Urim and Thummim when we know that he used his hat and his peep stone? It seems he didn’t need the gold plates or the Urim and Thummim.

    I wish you all the best, I really do.

  102. OK, maybe he had a Bible in the Smith home at that time, years prior to the translation of the Book of Mormon. It is more likely that he was referencing the family Bible he was using at the time, but assume for the sake of argument that your conjecture is right. Of course, that is assuming that the quote you referenced was word-for-word perfect. It still also refers to years prior to the translation of the Book of Mormon.

    You also won’t find a primary source for that quote because one does not exist. That said, Lucy Mack Smith was also a primary source for Joseph’s overall behavior, and what she says is significant. Elsewhere in her same history she says of Joseph (I am using the 1902 edition at the moment but can go earlier, if you wish):

    From this time forth, Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every evening for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same. I presume our family presented an aspect as singular as any that ever lived upon the face of the earth–all seated in a circle, father, mother, sons and daughters, and giving the most profound attention to a boy, eighteen years of age, who had never read the Bible through in his life: he seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of our children, but far more given to meditation and deep study.

    (Lucy Mack Smith, History of the Prophet Joseph by His Mother Lucy Smith [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1902], 84; bold emphasis mine)

    Ordinarily, I would not have a problem with the idea that he used a Bible during translation, as various translators even in our own day have done and have recommended doing as much, but then I would have to ignore the unanimous eyewitness testimony that he had no book or manuscript with him during the translation of the Book of Mormon. So it is with anyone who postulates use of the Bible. They have to do it by ignoring multiple eyewitness testimonies to the effect that he had no such thing with him at the time. So, I do not concern myself with those who make the claims or take them all that seriously.

    While Whitmer could not have been a witness for the internal aspects of the translation (the parchment, spiritual light, etc.), he still very much was a primary witness of the outward expression, namely, that Joseph had a hat pulled tightly around his face during the translation period. How would he read a Bible or any other text or manuscript while doing that? On the inward elements, he would have had to have been told by Smith, but I think that Whitmer got the details of what Joseph told him mixed up a little because Joseph never told the details of the translation process of the Book of Mormon whenever he was asked, and also because it really was an event that actually took place at the same time as the translation of the Book of Mormon–most likely the text of what would become 3 Nephi 28:4-9, to be more precise.

    At that time, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery got into a dispute over something Joseph had dictated for that section of the translation. Cowdery requested a revelation proving this regarding John. Joseph then inquired using the stone, and what resulted became part of what would later become Section 7 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In that case, Joseph stated he saw a parchment, which he then translated.

    This revelation settled the question but the dispute actually began arguing over whether something was in the Bible concerning this. An eyewitness stated that Cowdery demanded a Bible be obtained and something shown to him from the Bible. So, someone went to obtain a Bible. After not being able to settle the difficulty using the Bible obtained for the purpose, they then agreed to settle it by Urim and Thummim. But, if Joseph Smith really had been in possession of a Bible, why didn’t he just pull his out? Why have someone go down the road to obtain one? And this isn’t the only time this business of having to go out and get a Bible happened during the course of the translation, by the way. Eyewitnesses recorded other instances. But, such doings would make zero sense if he really had a Bible of his own at the time. And, again, if he did use one, how did he do it with the hat drawn tightly over his face?

    Now, the mention of this event is important because it helps to establish in what order the texts of the Book of Mormon were translated, and at that time the books of 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi (the portions containing the Isaiah material in question) were not yet translated. This is also important because it involves a change in venue, one in which people were around at all times, whether Emma, Whitmer’s mother, or others. You see, for the last month of the translation, that portion containing 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi all was translated in the home of the Whitmers from about about June 1 to July 1, 1829, in Fayette, New York.

    We also have it on record that Whitmer’s mother was upset because she wasn’t getting the help she thought she would need, and was about to toss the whole crew out of her house because they were spending so much time watching what was going on during the translation rather than helping her out around the house the way she thought they should. There was no way he could have used a Bible during that time without someone noticing. And, no one noticed anything. All were unanimous that he used no books nor manuscripts, and that he had none near him during the translation. His wife also was asked about that and she herself stated that he could not have gotten away with having books and manuscripts with him with her around the house.

    Want to know what else makes this significant? If Oliver Cowdery were colluding to fraud, as you seem to suggest by referencing getting out the Bible when no one else but Smith and Cowdery were around to see them do it (and remember, you also have to contend with Martin Harris, who tested Joseph and who also noted no manuscripts or Bible around during his time with the translation process), why didn’t Oliver Cowdery expose him when he became Smith’s enemy and was tossed out of the Church? And, why return to the Church knowing the whole thing was a fraud in which Oliver Cowdery colluded with Joseph Smith? There was motive and plenty of opportunity. Yet, Oliver Cowdery never exposed any sort of fraud when people said that Smith had no books or manuscripts with him. He agreed that such was the case. He himself also never denied his testimony of the Book of Mormon and never even once attempted to expose Joseph even after growing to hate Smith and even after being tossed from his high position of leadership in the Church and out of the Church. Why would he seek to rejoin the Church after Joseph was dead, if he colluded with Joseph Smith to commit fraud in that way? Don’t you think that behavior is a bit odd if he colluded with Smith to commit fraud in this way?

    Also how many times do I need to remind you about watching the timeline when you quote and reference things? You have gotten the timeline mixed up again. At the time Joseph dictated the history you and I have quoted above in previous posts, it was in the years 1838-1839, and published beginning in the year 1842. Unbeknownst to you, he had participated in additional schooling in the years 1833-1836. He had set up a “School of the Prophets” in Kirtland, Ohio, on Januaray 23, 1833 (with a brief pause in 1833 and resuming in 1834), and many were invited to learn a great many things (which also included learning Hebrew in 1835-1836) and also English grammar and composition. Joseph himself participated in furthering his own education at this school and elsewhere as time would allow.

    However, Emma herself stated that at the time he dictated the Book of Mormon he couldn’t even dictate and compose a coherent, well-worded letter. She wasn’t the only one to say such things regarding him, which is why people came up with the idea that he plagiarized wholesale the contents of the Book of Mormon from Solomon Spaulding. Anyone who knew Joseph personally for any length of time at that early period knew he wasn’t capable of writing the book at the time, and so stated. Hence, the initial arising of plagiarism “theories” in his own day. It would not be until many years later that someone would suggest that he could have done it himself, but, then, none of those later people actually knew Joseph personally.

    He also stated that he translated by the Urim and Thummim because he used both. According to Martin Harris, Joseph also used his seer stone (or, as you call it, “peep stone”) for convenience, and there were many times that he needed to hide the plates and Interpreters to keep them all safe. When he did that he used the stone to see the plates and to translate them. Not difficult to understand when one is conversant with all the facts. At first, he was up close and personal with the plates (even copying characters off of them), but that proved too dangerous over time and he started keeping them hidden away from his location during the translation.

    Additionally, even the Book of Mormon itself also implies that both a stone and the Interpreters could and would be used, by the way (it should be noted that these items weren’t called Urim and Thummim until about 1834). See, for example, Alma 37:23.

    The physical description of the Interpreters, however, was as follows (Joseph’s mother saw them wrapped in a thin, silk handkerchief (and she wasn’t the only one to see them, by the way)):

    I trembled so much with fear lest all might be lost aging [again?] by some small failure in keeping the commandments that I was under the necessity of l[e]aving the room to conceal my feelings Joseph saw this and followed me Mother said he do not be uneasy all is right see here Said he I have got the key I knew not what he meant but took the article in my hands and examing it that it consisted of 2 smooth  connected with each other in the same way that old fashioned spectacles are made He took them again and left me but did not tell me anything of the record

    (*with no covering but a silk handkerchief)

    (“Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, Page [7], bk. 5,” p. [8], bk. 5, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed October 31, 2016, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/lucy-mack-smith-history-1844-1845/61)

    And, even a stone and other things can become a Urim and Thummim (Doctrine and Covenants 130:9-10). Seriously, if you want to study Mormonism in-depth, first you need to start with the basics. You also need to watch that timeline and the fuller context. Just saying.🙂

  103. Looks like the blog software erased the editing marks for the above text from Lucy Smith, which caused omissions of details in the quote as well as the interlinear text in my quote. See the above citation link for the full and complete text of the rough draft of Lucy Smith’s history that mentions the details of the description of the Interpreters.

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