There are errors in the Book of Mormon that
are unique to the 1769 edition of the Bible, the one owned by Joseph’s family.
DNA analysis has concluded that the Native Americans do not originate from the Middle
East or from Israelites, but from Asia. There are things in the Book of Mormon that
didn’t exist during Book of Mormon times in the Americas. For example: horses, chariots,
goats, elephants, wheat, and steel. There is no archeological evidence for the
millions of Nephites and Lamanites, even though we have evidence from smaller groups of people
who existed thousands of years before. Book of Mormon names and places are strikingly
similar or identical to many local names and places of the region where Joseph Smith lived.
The Book of Mormon is remarkably similar to View of the Hebrews, a book published in Joseph
Smith’s area in his time. It is also very similar to The First Book of Napoleon published
in 1809, and The Late War, a textbook written in King James style language for New York
State School children in Joseph’s time. The original 1830 text of The Book of Mormon
had a trinitarian view of the Godhead, and was changed over time as Joseph’s ideas
about the Godhead evolved. Over 100,000 changes have been made to the book.
There were at least 4 different First Vision accounts given by Joseph at different times,
at least one of which didn’t even include God or Christ.
Scholars have translated the papyrus Joseph claimed the Book of Abraham was translated
from and found that they have nothing to do with Abraham or anything contained in the
book. The church now tries to claim that “translate” meant “get inspiration from”. Joseph also
penciled in some parts of the papyrus. Joseph married at least 34 women, many without
Emma’s consent as forbidden in the Doctrine and Covenants and 11 of whom were already
married, some without their husbands knowing. 10 of Joseph’s wives were teenagers, some
as young as 14. This was shocking even by 19th century standards. Joseph also married
some of his foster daughters. Joseph used a variety of methods to coerce
women into marrying him, including promises of eternal life, threats of damnation, and
even claiming that he himself was under the threat of an angel with a flaming sword.
President Hinckley publicly said polygamy isn’t doctrinal despite teachings by numerous
early church leaders, including Brigham Young that it was essential for exaltation.
The only scriptural justification for polygamy is “to multiply and replenish the earth”.
So either Joseph was sleeping with his 14-year-old wives, or he wasn’t adhering to scriptural
laws. Joseph married Fanny Alger years before he
had the sealing power or received any revelation on polygamy.
Brigham Young taught Adam-God theory at general conference and as part of the temple endowment
ceremony. This doctrine is now disavowed by the church.
Brigham Young taught blood atonement, now also disavowed. This doctrine factored into
the events which led up to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, where church leaders murdered over
100 pioneers travelling through Utah. Black people weren’t allowed to hold the
priesthood until the 1970s. Joseph gave it to a few people, but from Brigham Young to
Spencer W. Kimball they were deemed unworthy to hold it.
In the 1980s, the church paid around $900,000 to suppress bizarre and embarrassing church
history documents. These documents were later proven to be fake. Mark Hofman, the forger,
turned out to be a murderer. Before the documents were known to be forgeries, church leaders
gave talks offering explanations for them. Joseph Smith translated plates called the
Kinderhook Plates. He claimed they were a record of a descendant of Ham from the Old
Testament. These plates were later found to be a hoax.
Every spin-off of the LDS church also has members say that they “know” their church
is the true church. Other religions, such as Islam, say they “know through the power
of God”. It’s these same spiritual feelings that led to the mass suicide of the Heaven’s
Gate Cult. Joseph sent Oliver and Hiram to sell the copyright
to the Book of Mormon in Canada, saying he received a revelation to do it. They failed
to secure the copyright, leading Joseph to conclude that not all revelations are from
God. The church teaches that you should bear your
testimony in order to gain one. This is a classic psychological tactic.
You can feel the spirit while doing a multitude of things that have nothing to do with the
gospel, even while watching some R-rated movies. Joseph and Oliver didn’t tell people about
the priesthood restoration until years after supposedly receiving it and changed earlier
revelations to match their new accounts. Joseph was hired to use the seer stone to
find “buried treasure,” for which he was taken to court on charges of fraud.
The Smith family was involved in folk magic and the Occult, practicing animal sacrifice,
conjuring spirits, and using magical parchments and talismans.
People at Joseph’s time had a “magical worldview”, which included seeing things
“with spiritual eyes” including the golden plates.
Martin Harris was known as a gullible man who changed religions at least 10 times. Even
after becoming Mormon, he was a witness to self-proclaimed prophet, James Strang. Strang
also had gold plates and used a Urim and Thummin to translate them. Martin Harris also said
that he had as much evidence for a Shaker book as he had for The Book of Mormon. He
also said he saw Christ in the form of a deer and talked with him.
David Whitmer said he saw an angel with his spiritual eyes, and said his impressions were
just like those of a Methodist having happy feelings.
People in Joseph’s time believed in a spiritual “second sight” and that it was no different
than seeing something with your physical eyes. The witnesses did not sign their own signatures
or write their own accounts except Oliver, who was the scribe.
All of the Book of Mormon witnesses, except for Martin Harris, were related by blood or
marriage to the Smiths or the Whitmers. Joseph had many people sign an affidavit saying
he wasn’t practicing polygamy when he was. Some of those who signed it were also practicing
polygamy. Joseph didn’t even use the Gold Plates to
translate the Book of Mormon. He also couldn’t re-translate the missing 116 pages, taken
by Martin Harris’ wife to test Joseph’s validity as a translator.
Joseph revealed the LDS temple endowment just seven weeks after his Masonic initiation. The
endowment is nearly identical to the Masonic ceremony in numerous ways.
The temple ceremony was supposed to be eternal, yet blood oaths and other disturbing elements
were removed in the 1980s, just a few years after those elements were removed from the
Masonic ceremony. Joseph Smith made a number of prophecies that
were never fulfilled. According to Deutoreonomy 18, this would disqualify him as a prophet.
If Adam and Eve were the first humans, how do we explain the 14 other Hominin species
who lived and died 35,000 – 250,000 years before Adam?
Science has proven that there was no worldwide flood 4,500 years ago.
Simple mathematics and logic of animal food consumption show that there was insufficient
room on the ark to house all of the animal species found on the planet, let alone the
food required to feed them. Science also discredits the idea of the Tower
of Babel, 600-year-old humans, Jonah and the Whale, people turning into salt, and carrying
honey bees across the ocean. In contrast to Jesus Christ, the Old Testament
God condoned genocide, slavery, rape, and racism.
The church has removed material that is not faith-promoting from its history and been
dishonest on numerous occasions. In Kirtland, Joseph created an illegal bank
and used fraudulent means to raise money. Once his fraud was discovered, he fled to
Canada, leaving the church members to pay his debts.
The church has not been transparent about its finances since 1959.
The church spent 1.5 billion dollars on City Creek Mall, more than it spent on humanitarian
aid in almost 20 years. The early church taught that tithing was 10%
of your surplus; the church now teaches that it is 10% of your income, even if you can’t
afford to pay your bills because of it. The church’s name has changed a few times,
at one point removing “Jesus Christ” and being called “The Church of the Latter-Day Saints.”
The church has taught that the prophet can’t lead the church astray, despite obvious mistakes
made by past prophets. Church leaders such as Boyd K. Packer have
counseled historians to avoid telling the truth if it isn’t faith-promoting. In 1993,
6 scholars were excommunicated or disfellowshipped for publishing their scholarly research on
Mormonism and its leaders. Dallin H. Oaks said you shouldn’t criticize church leaders,
even if the criticism is true.