I’m going to write more on religious sects, but today I want to focus on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism).
Before I start, I would like to point out that everything below is supported by and documented in official Mormon Documentation, which Mormons hold sacred, namely, The BOOK OF MORMON, THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, and THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, as well as official Mormon articles in newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets, and Revelations of the Prophets/Presidents of the Mormon Church. As well as reliable outside and ex-Mormon sources.
As a shortcut, people use LDS to denote the cult/religion, so I will follow that convention.
As an atheist, I do not believe in any gods and that includes the god or holy trinity of Christians, or the other Abrahamic traditions. I have no reason to do so. But even within that ‘limitation’, LDS stand out as a particularly ridiculous belief system.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was invented by a character called Joseph Smith, a convicted fraudster who pretended to predict people’s future or tell the the location of hidden treasure by gazing into a seer stone.
A fool and his money are soon parted, as the old saying accurately has it.
There is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever once found the location of hidden treasure, and if there were such evidence the LDS Church would be citing that as evidence of his prophetic qualities. Instead they don’t talk about such things, and play down or deny his convictions. Some members do not even know about them. Many leave the church when they discover previously hidden facts about Joseph Smith’s background.
So where to start? I could start with a list of Joseph Smith’s criminal convictions, his holier than thou character, even as a boy, his claim to have done more than Jesus, his blatant polytheism, his wholesale adoption of masonic rituals into LDS temples, his inconsistencies and lies, his racist policies, his entirely fictitious Book of Abraham, his piss-taking, (where the greatest prophet in the Book of Mormon is called Moron! ) – yes, he had a sense of humour, or with some of the absurd statements of the so-called line of living prophets. But I have to start somewhere, so here goes. And I think this is a good place to start, because a single false prophecy from a so-called living prophet of god gives the lie to the whole affair.
Some people have put a lot more research into this than I have, so forgive me for using extensive quotes in this article. I don’t usually do much quoting in my articles, my belief being that simple reasoning and a basic knowledge of science and logic can usually point out the errors in most religious belief systems, but in the case of religious sects, there is not a lot of point in that way of writing because most of what applies to the main monotheistic religions and others, also applies to Mormonism, and I’ve made my point about what is wrong about most religions in many other articles on this website, so there is little point in covering old ground.
Mormonism is a particular case where my thoughts on the subject have already been extensively researched by others. However, despite the extensive research out there, many faithful mormons are not aware of much of the content covered in this article, because they are encouraged not to read anything critical to their belief system that could challenge their faith. I don’t know if it is worth my while saying this, but if you are a Mormon, let your faith be tested. If you still hold onto your faith after reading this article and following the embedded links, you must have a very strong faith. Good for you. If you are afraid to test your faith that means that you are insecure in your belief system, and you may as well admit that you are a coward, just holding on to something because it’s all you’ve got. In that case, you are like the coward who is too afraid to challenge an unfaithful wife in case you lose her.
False prophecies of Joseph Smith:
History of the Church
- Prophecy about Jesus’ return within 56 years–“President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion–our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh–even fifty-six years should wind up the scene…” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 189). See context.
Jesus did not return within fifty-six years when 1891 arrived!
Doctrine and Covenants:
- Prophecy that the temple would be built in Missouri within Smith’s Generation–“Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house . . . Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed…” (Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5, 31). See context
- The Mormons were driven out of Jackson County in 1833. They were not gathered there in accordance to this prophecy dealing with building the temple.
- The prophecy clearly states that the generation present when the prophecy was given would not pass away until the temple was built at the western boundaries of the state of Missouri which is in Independence. This clearly failed.
- All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War–“Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations…” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3). See context
This is clearly another false prophecy since all nations did not get involved in the American Civil War!
Apologists say, “Ah, maybe he was not referring to that war, but in a future war, they will be.”
- Prophesy that the earth will tremble and the sun be hidden in “not many days”: “For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree,” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87). See context
- The sun hasn’t yet been hidden nor has the moon hidden its face.
- This prophecy was given on 12/27/1832. “Not many days hence”? Since the writing of this article on 6/22/06, it has been 63,364 days or 173 years, 5 months, 26 days. I think that 63,364 days is more than “not many days.”
- For reference to January 1, 2000, it was 61,000 days (even) or 167 years, 5 days.
From “The Pearl of Great Price”
- Prophecy that Isaiah 11 was about to be fulfilled–“In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, s aying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when ‘they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,’ but soon would come,” (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, History, verse 40). See context
- Isaiah 11:6-9 says, “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.”This has not yet been fulfilled. The wolf is not dwelling with the lamb, the calf and the lion are not together, nor are the cow and bear grazing together. The lion is not eating straw like an ox. Nursing children are not playing in the dens of cobras.
Not exactly the story of someone truthfully inspired by his god, is it? Continued false prophecies simply do not point to inspiration from God, and that cannot be argued with except by duplicitious and perfidious means.
Time to let an ex-bishop of the LDS Church have a say:
I’m Lee Baker, an Ex-Mormon and Former Bishop – YouTube This guy is a Christian, but he makes good points.
On the origin of the Book of Mormon
What seems more likely, that angels should repeatedly appear to a convicted con-artist called Joseph Smith or that The Book of Mormon was a work constructed partly from Joseph Smith’s vivid imagination and partly copied from other works.
Again, from Wikipedia:
“In the early 20th century, Mormon apologist B. H. Roberts authored a manuscript titled Studies of the Book of Mormon, in which he compared the content of the Book of Mormon with View of the Hebrews. Roberts’s conclusion was that, assuming a hemispheric geography theory for the Book of Mormon, sufficient parallels existed that future critics could claim that View of the Hebrews could have provided a structural foundation for the Book of Mormon story… Roberts’s manuscript was private and shared only with church leadership at the time he did the analysis. Publicly, Roberts continued to support the miraculous origin theory of the Book of Mormon…
Roberts’s list of parallels included:
- extensive quotation from the prophecies of Isaiah in the Old Testament;
- the Israelite origin of the American Indian;
- the future gathering of Israel and restoration of the Ten Lost Tribes;
- the peopling of the New World from the Old via a long journey northward which encountered “seas” of “many waters;”
- a religious motive for the migration;
- the division of the migrants into civilized and uncivilized groups with long wars between them and the eventual destruction of the civilized by the uncivilized;
- the assumption that all native peoples were descended from Israelites and their languages from Hebrew;
- the burial of a “lost book” with “yellow leaves;”
- the description of extensive military fortifications with military observatories or “watch towers” overlooking them;
- a change from monarchy to republican forms of government; and
- the preaching of the gospel in ancient America.
David Persuitte has presented a large number of parallels between passages in View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon, but notes that there are no instances of direct copying. The parallels between the two books that Persuitte presents cover a broad range of topics, including religious ideas about the responsibility of the American people in convincing the Indians of their “Israelite” origins and converting them to Christianity. Persuitte quotes from View of the Hebrews Ethan Smith’s theory about what happened to the ancient Israelites after they arrived in America. That theory is also essentially a summary of the basic story line of the Book of Mormon, including the idea that the ancient Israelite immigrants to America split into two factions: a civilized group and a savage group that subsequently exterminated the civilized group. Persuitte also quotes from the two books several similar descriptions of structures built by the civilized faction and wars that were fought between the two factions, as well as numerous other similarities. According to Persuitte, the ideas that can be found in View of the Hebrews are sufficient to have “inspired” Joseph Smith to have written the Book of Mormon had he read it. Joseph Smith himself mentioned Ethan Smith and cited passages from View of the Hebrews in an article published in the Times and Seasons in June 1842.”
There were also a number of other contemporary but preceding works with parallels in the Book of Mormon. It seems therefore to have been a compilation of other works, but with many of Joseph Smith’s own ideas incorporated.
To turn to other matters, first have a look at http://americablog.com/2014/11/the-mormon-churchs-odd-explanation-for-joseph-smiths-polygamy.html.
Not only did Joseph Smith have many wives, he publicly lied about it, and to members of his own church.
The graphic below is from:
The Many Wives of Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith’s Criminal Record
I think I’ve done enough quoting in this article but I want to point readers to the fact that Joseph Smith was a convicted criminal, and was charged many time for everything from fraudulently taking money from people by pretending that he could tell them where buried treasure was, to setting up a fraudulent bank and issuing fraudulent bank notes, to treason, which he would almost certainly have been sentenced to death for had not a furious mob broken into his jail cell and killed his brother (Joseph Smith shot three of the assaulters, killing two) before trying to escape through a window when he himself was shot and killed by people outside on the ground floor.
Please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith_and_the_criminal_justice_system
You can read more about his criminal convictions here:
Racism in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith Condoning Slavery Until that Position became Untenable, Denial until Recently of Black People to Positions of Power in the LDS Church, and the Assertion by Brigham Young that Black People could Receive Exaltation but Would be Servants of White People in Heaven.
See the link below for information one these subjects.
Magic Underwear and Getting your own Planet when you Die
Unbelievably, (and there are genuine Mormon Sources for these beliefs, some Mormons believe that the special underwear can protect them from bullets, fire, and many other physical assaults.
See this piece from “The Mormon Curtain”
Also see the YouTube videos below.
Mormon Temple Rituals
It is interesting to note that Mormon Temple Rituals have very much in common with Freemasonry rituals and symbols, these having been introduced to the Mormon Church just two weeks after Joseph Smith was initiated into the Freemasons. They even have a special handshake.
See the below website for more details.
All of the above covers perhaps a quarter of the problems I see with the Mormon Church. It is a religion that expects believers to become very involved, it demands a tithe, (a tenth of all your income plus generous payments over and above that for ‘special circumstances’. And this is taken so seriously that if you miss tithing for a period, you must pay it back.
It is said by some Mormons that it is better to go hungry than miss paying your tithe. It is a very wealthy religion which does not release its financial record in the USA for inspection by the authorities or public. It owns everything from huge shopping malls to Business and private properties that they rent out.
Time magazine estimated in 1996 that the church’s assets exceeded $30 billion. It’s fair to assume that quite a few billion have been added to to those assets by now.
Mormonism also takes up a lot of an individual’s free time. Mormons are expected to be part of the Mormon community where they live, visit people and take part in converting them to Mormonism. They are encouraged not to read anything that would test their faith. Watching television is forbidden to Missionaries, and I believe discouraged in other Mormons because ignorance is the basis on which the church/cult operates best. They don’t want you knowing too much about the world, history, facts, astronomy, science, or anything else that might cause you to doubt their statements.
Is it little wonder that, almost alone amongst religions, no Mormon has ever gained a Nobel Prize? (Although one ex-Mormon did after leaving the church allowing his mind to work properly again…)
Please visit the website to see much more:
“Leadership uses deception, both to the public and to its own members.
From the beginning, and continuing to the present, the Mormon leaders have used all kinds of deception, both with their own members and with the public at large. They have stated falsehoods as truth, they have concealed crucial information, they have altered documents, “doctored” their history, and continue to practice the art of “plausible denial.” Their principle seems to be that such actions are justified if it “furthers the work.” It is frequently referred to as “lying for the Lord.” For a long listing of examples, see “Mormon Lying”. ”
Enough for now. I hope this has been an informative article. If you are thinking of or being encouraged to join the Mormon Church, I do hope the above gives you pause for thought.