The Visitation

image.pngRandom Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

Insight for your “Journey across the Sky”

A View from the Nest

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Rev 3:20 (NKJV)

I had just ordered a pizza a short time before the door bell rang. As I got the money together to answer the door I was surprised to find two young men dressed in white shirts and ties and no pizza. Well I knew right away who was standing at my door and I was prepared to enter into a dialogue with these evangelists of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons.

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel — 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:6-9 (RSV)

I really was not interested in receiving their “Another Testament of Jesus Christ“, or the Book of Mormon so I asked them if they would discard it. I have to admire their resolve and determination to make disciples for their religion but I simply was not interested. Primarily because I have found the tenets of their faith are not based on a biblical foundation, or for that matter based in any factual evidence. Having spent some time attending a Seventh Day Adventist church, with friends of mine, I was familiar with EXTRA writings by church prophets. My impression of the Seventh Day Adventists was they placed way too much emphasis on the books and writings of Ellen G White their prophet, so much so that I fear her books have taken pre-eminence over scripture. It would appear the Mormons are doing the same thing with the writings of their “prophet” Joseph Smith.

It was with this same mind set that I asked the Mormon evangelists if they would discard this extra book and simply read from the Bible. They proceeded to tell me that the Book of Mormon was an additional testimony of Christ. I then said well if it is “additional” why not simply stick to the original gospel? I could tell that our conversation was not going to end well. They asked me if I had read the Mormon book and I said that I really did not have much interest in doing so. I stated that I am not really much interested in reading the Qu’ran either for that matter. I said that I was happy with my relationship with Jesus and I was not interested in attending their church or any of their services. Nor was I interested in becoming a Mormon because being a Christian was sufficient for me. I added that  I rarely read any religious books other than the Bible.

Their response saddened me because they seemed more interested in giving me a copy of the Mormon book then rejoicing in our supposedly shared faith. This sparked my interest to find out why they were incessant in their attempts to leave behind this literature. Well it did not take me long to understand from whence they got their world view.

The internet is a fantastic resource if you know how to use it. I Googled “the Book of Mormon” and found several articles concerning their belief. I found a short article outlining some of these beliefs and from there I did some more research to find out why these Mormon evangelists were so intent on promoting their religious views. One such source states this:

The Mormon church asserts that the Church Christ founded became increasingly corrupted by pagan ideas introduced by nefarious members. (Sound familiar?) Over a period of years, the Church lost all relationship with the Church Christ established. Consequently, the keys of authority of the holy priesthood were withdrawn from the earth, and no man any longer had authorization to act in God’s name.

From that time onward there were no valid baptisms, no laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Ghost, no blessings of any kind, and no administration of sacred ordinances. Confusions and heretical doctrines increased and led to the plethora of Christian sects seen today.

Mormons claim that to restore the true Church and true gospel to the earth, in 1820 God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in a grove of trees near his home. They told him that all professing Christians on the face of the earth were abominable and corrupt and that the true Church, having died out completely shortly after it began, was to be restored by Smith.

From this world view I was able to understand why they felt the need to promote their book to those who believe the Bible. From their teachings they believe the established church has become apostate and needs to be restored with this new teaching of Joseph Smith.

Further the article states:

The Book of Mormon describes a vast pre-Columbian culture that supposedly existed for centuries in North and South America. It goes into amazingly specific detail describing the civilizations erected by the “Nephites” and “Lamanites,” who were Jews that fled Palestine in three installments, built massive cities in the New World, farmed the land, produced works of art, and fought large-scale wars which culminated in the utter destruction of the Nephites in A.D. 421. The Latter-Day Saints revere the Book of Mormon as the divinely-inspired record of those people and of Christ’s appearance to them shortly after his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

The awkward part for the Mormon church is the total lack of historical and archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon. For example, after the cataclysmic last battle fought between the Nephites and Lamanites, there was no one left to clean up the mess. Hundreds of thousands of men and beasts allegedly perished in that battle, and the ground was strewn with weapons and armor.

Keep in mind that A.D. 421 is just yesterday in archaeological terms. It should be easy to locate and retrieve copious evidence of such a battle, and there hasn’t been enough time for the weapons and armor to turn to dust. The Bible tells of similar battles that have been documented by archaeology, battles which took place long before A.D. 421.

The embarrassing truth—embarrassing for Mormons, that is—is that no scientist, Mormon or otherwise, has been able to find anything to substantiate that such a great battle took place.

There is no genealogy, there is no archeology, there is no physical evidence of any kind to substantiate the existence of Nephites” and “Lamanites, in fact there is no BIBLICAL evidence of the existence of these sons of Abraham, written about in Joseph Smith’s book of Mormon.

Let us examine the life of their “prophet” Joseph Smith:

Joseph Smith was born in Vermont and at a young age Joseph and his family moved to Palmyra, New York where he engaged in  treasure hunting by reading seer stones. This mystical practice was supposed to lead him to find treasure. He was paid for his talent of peering into these stones which he placed in a white stove pipe hat and read the reflections they gave off. It is not surprising then that during his dictation of the Book of Mormon Joseph used similar practices to translate the supposed text found on the golden tablets.

Joseph rose to prominence in the late 1820’s when he said he had a visitation from an angel named Moroni who directed him to a long-buried book, inscribed on golden plates, which contained a record of God’s dealings with ancient Israelite inhabitants of the Americans. This record, along with other artifacts (including a breastplate and what Smith referred to as the (Urim and Thummim), was buried in a hill near his home. On September 22, 1827, Smith said that after he had spent four years in spiritual preparation, the angel had allowed him to take possession of the plates and other artifacts. Almost immediately thereafter local people tried to discover where the plates were hidden.,_Jr.

Joseph Smith engaged in many nefarious activities while building a following of his beliefs. Some of these activities led to criminal charges being filed. They include: counterfeiting and bank fraud (The Kirkland Safety Society), polygamy,  (plural wives) plagiarism (his Book of Mormon appears to be very similar to View of the Hebrews written by Ethan Smith) an out right fraud (his Book of Abraham a supposed translation of an ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead which supposedly taught the tenet of baptism for the dead, was later learned to be bogus. It was not even a close translation.)

Joseph Smith has no evidence of the existence of the “gold plates’ he was supposed to have uncovered after being visited by an angel in the likeness of Moroni. In fact it seems quite convenient that all descendents of this people group where killed and no remaining offspring exist. It also seems convenient that the ancient “gold plates” have also been destroyed or taken away by Moroni himself. The only proof of their existence is found in the introduction to Smith’s book where written “eye witness” testimony is given of eleven others who supposedly saw these tablets. And yet none exist that can be examined for verification, we only have the word of Joseph Smith and eleven of his closest friends. Not very convincing evidence to me.

And of course this prophet Moroni was never seen by anyone other than  Joseph Smith himself, one would think that such an important figure in the life of the church would make himself a bit more available to his followers than only appearing to one man. Jesus after his death appeared to multitudes and not simply to one man.

3 For I repeated to you the all-important fact which also I had been taught, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; 4 that He was buried; that He rose to life again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and was seen by Peter, and then by the Twelve. 6 Afterwards He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, most of whom are still alive, although some of them have now fallen asleep. 7 Afterwards He was seen by James, and then by all the Apostles. 1 Cor 15:3-7 (WEY)

As to the Book of Mormon and the stories it contains, there is no verifiable historic or archeological evidence to support any of the claims made in this story book. There are no manuscripts from the ancients that can be compared to the Book of Mormon.  There are no other written accounts of these stories, there are no other corroborative accounts of these same people groups or battles. There is no evidence of these cities or people  groups, mentioned in the Mormon writings, to have existed except upon the pages of Joseph Smith’s book. And of course there are no “golden plates” for one to examine for authenticity.

Compare all this with the Bible and how meticulously the Jewish scribes maintained their written accounts and histories. There is a written record of the accounts recorded in sacred scripture as well as other ancient writings of the day. The Bible even contains a record of the genealogy of Christ. All these can be verified and authenticated. There is no such history for the Mormon manuscript other than the book itself to support the claims contained therein.

I would think if there was such a great battle somewhere in this hemisphere that there would be other historical records of this blood bath. I would also assume that there would be those who would want to take credit for being a descendent of this great man of god by the name of Mormon if he actually existed. But no such lineage can be found.

The Mormon scriptures state in Alma chapter 11 verse 4 of a king Mosiah who ruled and instituted laws and set forth judges, yet no history book other than the Book of Mormon mentions any such king ever having lived or reigned in this hemisphere. Why is that do you suppose? In this same book Alma chapter 7 verse 10 it says Jesus would be born to a virgin in Jerusalem. Well this is factually untrue. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not Jerusalem.

It is this authors conclusion that the Book of Mormon is a fictional work. I believe a big hoax has been played on well meaning people. I believe Joseph Smith has done a masterful job of playing a practical joke on a great many people. Anyone who follows this fanciful tale bearer is deceived. I shall pray for their souls.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey