The Revelations of Joseph Smith — An Incredible Story Part IV - Rich Kelsey; showing changes and problems with Joseph Smith's Revelations
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An Incredible Story Part VI — The Revelations of Joseph Smith
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said this about their founding prophet:
“Joseph Smith was full of revelation. He could translate anything given to him of God. He could receive revelation without the Urim and Thummin. … [The revelations] were given to him by the inspiration of Almighty God.’” (Millennial Star, 12 Oct. 1891, p. 642)
Millions of faithful Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) trust that Smith’s revelations are the word of God. In this study we examine some of these revelations to determine if they actually did come from God; or, if perhaps Smith was the real author? Let’s begin with a revelation about Martin Harris covering the cost of printing the Book of Mormon:
Revelation given through Joseph Smith, at Manchester, New York, March 1830… In his history, the Prophet introduced it as “a commandment of God and not of man, to Martin Harris, given by him who is Eternal”
Verse (10): For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—
Verse (11): Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.
Verse (12): Endless punishment is God’s punishment.
Verse (13): Wherefore, I command you to repent, and keep the commandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., in my name;
Verse (14): And it is by my almighty power that you have received them;
Verse (15): Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not
Verse (26): And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God—
Verse (32): Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter; for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.
Verse (33): And misery thou shalt receive if thou wilt slight these counsels, yea, even the destruction of thyself and property.
Verse (34): Impart a portion of thy property, yea, even part of thy lands…
Verse (35): Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage.
Is it possible that God was not the one threatening Martin Harris with endless punishment if Harris did not pay the entire cost of printing the Book of Mormon? There certainly appear to be some contradictions in God’s supposed words.
■ In verses (10) and (13), God is allegedly speaking because God uses the term “I.” However, in verses (11) and (12) the perspective is changed; now someone is speaking about God’s punishment; in those verses apparently God is not the one speaking, yet, the dialog continues unbroken!
■ Then, in verse (26), once more supposedly God starts off speaking in the first person by using the word, “I,” then in mid-sentence God changes His perspective by talking about “the word of God.” It appears that someone could not keep their story straight.
■ This revelation resembles another revelation in which supposedly God commanded Martin Harris to devote “his moneys for the proclaiming of … [God’s] words, according as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., shall direct” (Doctrine and Covenants 104:26).
■ And, the revelation appears to be self serving, because pressure was being put on Martin Harris to pay the entire cost of the printing, even though Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum had originally agreed to pay half of it. (Please see: Book of Mormon Printing Arrangements)
The next revelation we examine instructed Martin Harris to sign a prepared statement insisting that he had seen the gold plates:
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, March 1829, at the request of Martin Harris (see History of the Church, 1:28–31).
1—10, This generation will receive the Lord’s word through Joseph Smith… Martin Harris may repent and be one of the witnesses...
Verse (1): Behold, I say unto you, that as my servant Martin Harris has desired a witness at my hand, that you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., have got the plates of which you have testified and borne record that you have received of me;
Verse (2): And now, behold, this shall you say unto him—he who spake unto you, said unto you: I, the Lord, am God, and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and have commanded you that you should stand as a witness of these things;
Verse (26): And I the Lord command him, my servant Martin Harris, that he shall say no more unto them concerning these things, except he shall say: I have seen them, [the plates] and they have been shown unto me by the power of God; and these are the words which he shall say.
Verse (27): But if he deny this he will break the covenant which he has before covenanted with me, and behold, he is condemned.”
God supposedly said,
"...my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., have got the plates of which you have testified..."
Yet, something seems wrong with this dialog! Doesn't it only makes sense that if Joseph had the plates, then he could have shown them to Martin without needing,
"the power of God."
Who was really speaking:
● Joseph Smith?
One thing is certain: someone was putting pressure on Martin Harris do exactly what came out of Smith's mouth. It doesn't help matters that Martin publicly stated,
"...that he never saw the plates with his natural eyes only in vision or imagination, neither [did] Oliver nor David” (Stephen Burnett letter to Lyman E. Johnson dated April 15, 1838, Joseph Smith papers, Letter book).
One reason Martin supposedly needed to repent was because he was telling people that he did not see the plates with his natural eyes. Therefore, this revelation could have been Smith's attempt to silence Martin. Harris is one of the Book of Mormon's "Three Witnesses." Mormon missionaries use his testimony to win over potential converts. Yet, history records that Smith did not allow Martin to see the plates until after they had been taken to heaven by an angel, and even after Martin saw the plates in the hands of an angel, at times, Martin struggled with the idea that he had really seen the plates. Martin eventually left the Church; on this subject, it is written:
“…a few others who acted as lackies, such as Martin Harris… are so far beneath contempt that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make… no sooner were they excluded from the fellowship of the church and gave loose to all kind of abominations, swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drinking with every species of debauchery…” (Elders’ Journal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, August 1838, Vol. 4, p. 59. "edited by Joseph Smith")
Martin's testimony seems weak. And, his credibility as a witness is certainly lacking. People don't usually turn into liars, cheaters, and swindlers, overnight! Also, LDS scholar, Wayne Cutler Gunnell, noted in his thesis written at Brigham Young University that that on December 31, 1844 Phineas H. Young who was Brigham Young's brother, and other leaders of the Kirtland organization wrote a letter to Brigham Young in which they spelled out:
“Martin Harris is a firm believer in Shakerism, says his
testimony is greater than it was of the Book of Mormon.” (Martin Harris -
Witness and Benefactor to the Book of Mormon, 1955, p. 52 /
Joseph Smith History, 31 Dec 1844, p. 3.)
This is the same Martin Harris which supposedly God, speaking through Joseph Smith, had earlier called,
“…a wicked man. Who has set at naught the counsels of God, and has broken the most sacred promises which were made before God, and has depended upon his own judgment and boasted in his own wisdom.” (D&C 3:12-13)
Then, in 1846, Martin Harris went on a mission to England as a member of the LDS splinter-group led by James J. Strang; who claimed to be the true successor to Joseph Smith. Shortly after Harris arrived in Liverpool, the LDS publication: Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, said this about him:
"One of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, yielded to the spirit and temptation of the devil a number of years ago—turned against Joseph Smith and became his bitter enemy. He was filled with the rage and madness of a demon. One day he would be one thing, and another day another thing. He soon became partially deranged or shattered, as many believed, flying from one thing to another....
In one of his fits of monomania, he went and joined the 'Shakers' or followers of Anna Lee. ...but since Strang has made his entry ... Martin leaves the 'Shakers,' whom he knows to be right,... and joins Strang.... We understand that he is appointed a mission to this country,... if the Saints wish to know what the Lord hath said to him they may turn to ... the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the person there called a 'wicked man' is no other than Martin Harris ... Elder Wheelock will remember that evil men, like Harris, out of the evil treasure of their hearts bring forth evil things....
Just as our paper was going to press, we learned that Martin Harris, about whom we have written in another article, had landed in Liverpool,... there was a strangeness about him, and about one or two who came with him ... A lying deceptive spirit attends them, and has from the beginning.... they know that they are of their father, the devil, who was a liar from the beginning, and abode not in the truth. The very countenance of Harris will show to every spiritual-minded person who sees him, that the wrath of God is upon him" (Wayne Gunnell, "Martin Harris," p. 55. / Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, vol. 8, pp. 124-28)
It is difficult to imagine God choosing Martin Harris as a witness, because that would mean God exercised poor judgment. Martin opposed the LDS Church from 1838 through 1870. Only near the end of his life did Martin re-join the Church; yet, his testimonies of seeing the gold plates were hardly believable.[i]
The Joseph Smith Translation:
In section 73 from the Doctrine and Covenants we find the words:
“Now, verily I say unto you my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, saith the Lord, it is expedient to translate again; …it is expedient to continue the work of translation until it be finished.”
What Smith and Rigdon were working on is called the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible:
“Beginning in June 1830, Joseph Smith began a careful reading of the Bible to revise and make corrections in accordance with the inspiration he would receive… In a process that took about three years, the Prophet made changes, additions, and corrections as were given him by divine inspiration while he filled his calling to provide a more correct translation for the Church…” (Statement from Kent P. Jackson, who was a professor of ancient scripture at BYU, How We Got the Book of Moses, Kent P. Jackson, in Religious Educator 3, no. 1, 2002, p. 127)
Following is an example of some of the corrections Smith made to the King James Version:
Genesis: Chapter 1, JST / Moses 2:
Verse (1): And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak.
Verse (2): I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things.
Verse (3): Yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.
Genesis: Chapter 1, KJV:
Verse (1): In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Verse (2): And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Verse (3): And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
It may only seem appropriate for the Joseph Smith Translation to begin with the words,
"And it came to pass...
That phrase is used throughout the Book of Mormon. But one might wonder: Is there any textual evidence available to support a different beginning to Genesis 1 than what is found in Bibles penned before the Joseph Smith Translation?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) explains that Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible is more revelation than literal translation.
Smith started off by adding an introductory revelation[ii] to Genesis. He then added to the existing Genesis text.[iii] Three thousand, four hundred, and twenty two words were added to Genesis up until chapter 6:13 which is where the Book of Moses ends. That almost exactly doubles the conventional word-count of Genesis up to that point in the King James Version. This supposed restored work of Moses is published in the Pearl of Great Price; which is LDS scripture.[iv]
“Selections from the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of Genesis 1:1-6:13, the beginning pages of the New Translation. The material in it was revealed [to Joseph Smith] between June 1830 and February 1831. In some ways, the Book of Moses can be considered the most significant part of the JST, because it has contributed more distinctive Latter-day Saint doctrine than any other part of that work. It has stood since the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as one of the doctrinal cornerstones of the Restoration and as an enduring testimony to the divinely inspired work of Joseph Smith.” (History of the Book of Moses - Kent P. Jackson, The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005), p. 1-52)
One might wonder if Joseph Smith[vi] may have acted presumptuously when he set forth to correct the bible? Anachronisms found in the Book of Moses will answer this question; because, several words and terms which Smith added to Genesis are anachronistic.
is an error in chronology.
An example of an anachronism in film would be use
of modern helicopters instead of period-correct helicopters while recreating war
scenes. Using helicopters made in the 1990s for a war that ended
in 1975 such as the Vietnam War is a dead giveaway that this segment of the film
is not actual; or, even realistic footage.
Agents unto themselves:
"And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves…" (Book of Moses 6:56)
Neither the word “agents” nor the phrase “agents unto themselves” is found in the writings of Moses from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy, nor has the term been used by any other prophet, king, or apostle, in the entire Bible. There is no historical evidence that God’s people living during or before the time of Christ ever used this term.[viii]
It’s worth mentioning that in Smith’s revelations, as found in the Doctrine and Covenants, the phrase agents unto themselves is used three times:
● "And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves…" (D&C 29:39)
● "For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves…" (D&C 58:28)
● "… I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves." (D&C 104:17)
The phrase, "agents unto themselves" is an anachronism; it is out of place chronologically with Moses’ day.
Agency of man:
"Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him…" (Moses 4:3)
Neither the word “agency” nor the phrase “agency of man” is found in the Bible. “Agency of man” is a doctrinal term;[ix] it expresses man’s free will, or, God-given ability to choose. This term is and was often used by scholars discussing a doctrine called predestination, also known as Calvinism.
It's interesting that the phrase, "agency of man," is also found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
"Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man…" (D&C 93:31)
What are the odds that a doctrinal term[x] which was popular in Smith’s day would be among Moses’ lost record?
"Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children…" (Book of Moses 6:54)
The term “original guilt” is never used once in the Bible, but it was a popular term in Smith’s day. “Original guilt,” also known as “original sin,” is a doctrinal term which Smith and his contemporaries were familiar with.
The Book of Moses is full of explanations about controversial doctrines that were the subject of debate in Smith’s day, just like the Book of Mormon is:
“This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decided all the great controversies… the fall of man, the atonement…even the question of free masonry…” (Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II, February 1831, p. 85)
"For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark…" (Book of Moses 5:51)
Neither the term, “secret combination;” nor the word “combination” can be found in the Bible. Yet, in the Book of Mormon we find the plural version of this term — secret combinations — used thirteen times.[xi] Also, as the Book of Moses was being written, Joseph Smith received a revelation containing this term:
"And even now, let him that goeth to the east teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west, and this in consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations." (February 9, 1831, D&C 42:64)
This was a popular term in Smith’s day, to describe the practices of Freemasonry:
"…at the time of the Book of Mormon's publication the term 'secret combinations' was used almost exclusively to refer to Freemasonry." (Mormonism's Anti-Masonick Bible, p. 18)
It’s worth mentioning that Joseph Smith’s father Joseph Smith Sr. was a practicing member of a Masonic lodge in upstate New York. On May 7th 1818 when the young Smith was about to turn thirteen his father rose to the degree of Master Mason.[xii] The Prophet himself sought[xiii] and achieved[xiv] the title of Master Mason[xv] shortly before his death.
The non-biblical title “Master Mahan” is found twice in the Book of Moses:
● "And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan…" (Book of Moses 5:31)
● "For Lamech having entered into a covenant with Satan, after the manner of Cain, wherein he became Master Mahan, master of that great secret…" (Book of Moses 5:49)
In both passages, this title is connected to the knowledge of a great secret. Freemasonry contains a “great secret.”[xvi] The similarities between the titles and privileges of Master Mahan from the Book of Moses, and that of Master Mason from Freemasonry are noteworthy.
"And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold…" (Book of Moses 1:27)
The term “particle” is not found in the Bible; yet this word is found in the Book of Mormon:
"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith…" (Alma 32:27)
It’s noteworthy that in the writing style of the Book of Mormon, and in Moses’ supposed lost words, the same phrase:
“a particle of,”
found. It’s also worth mentioning that in Alma 32:27, from the
Book of Mormon, where the phrase is used,
is used,we find two other words which are not found in the entire Bible, “faculties,” and “experiment.” Five different Book of Mormon prophets had the word “faculties” in their vocabulary.[xvii] Obviously, words like “faculties,” and “experiment,” also seem out of place among supposed ancient writings.
"And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea…" (Book of Moses 7:30)
The plural definition of the word, “particle,” while in use in Smith’s day cannot be found in the Bible.
"And he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand;" (Moses 7:52)
Not only is the word “unalterable” outside of Moses’ known vocabulary; it cannot be found in the entire Bible. However, Joseph Smith was familiar with this term. Smith dictated the term “unalterable” to his scribe while translating the Book of Mormon:
"I had not ought to harrow up in my desires… decrees which are unalterable…" (Alma 29:4, 1830 Book of Mormon)
Obviously, the expression,
“I had not ought to harrow up in my desires…”
does not sound like language[xviii] one would expect from a holy man living in 90 BC.
Meridian of time:
● "…even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world." (Moses 5:57)
● "…the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time." (Moses 6:57)
● "…through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time." (Moses 6:62)
● "And the Lord said: It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance." (Moses 7:46)
It is worth mentioning that in other supposed revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith this same phrase is found:
● "…after he came in the meridian of time…" (D&C, 20:26)
● "The same which came in the meridian of time unto mine own, and mine own received me not;" (D&C, 39:3)
The term Meridian can point to the midpoint in a day, high noon, when the sun is at the top of the earth’s circle of rotation. The word[xix] stems from Latin meridianus and also from Middle French meridien where meri refers to center; in the way of a midpoint, and dien from the Latin word for “day.”
“The meridian of time has been defined by one LDS apostle as ‘the middle or high point of that portion of eternity which is considered to be mortal time’" (MD, 1966, p. 486).
While found four times in the Book of Moses; neither the phrase “meridian of time,” nor the word “meridian” can be found in the entire Bible.[xx] What is the likelihood that Moses used this doctrinal term in his original writings, only to have all four of those passages deleted by dishonest scribes? Are those odds worth gambling on? That is what every person who places their faith in Joseph Smith is doing! They are risking their spiritual destiny on impossible odds.
Anachronisms within the Book of Moses are solid-irrefutable-proof that Moses did not write the Book of Moses. Yet, Joseph Smith claimed he did! Joseph Smith's New Translation[xxi] of Genesis is nothing more than a poorly crafted forgery, dictated by Joseph Smith himself, then falsely attributed to an ancient holy man.
For more information on this subject please read
the Revelations by Jerald and Sandra Tanner
For more information on this subject please read Changing the Revelations by Jerald and Sandra Tanner
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■ “I will tell you a wonderful thing that happened after Joseph had found the plates. Three of us took some tools to go to the hill and hunt for some more boxes of gold or something, and indeed we found a stone box. We got quite excited about it and dug quite carefully around it and we were ready to take it up, but behold by some unseen power the box slipped back into the hill. We stood there and looked at it and one of us took a crowbar and tried to drive it through the lid and hold it but the bar glanced off and broke off one corner of the box. Sometime that box will be found and you will see the corner broken off and then you will know I have told the truth again.” (Martin’s death-bed statement - signed as witnesses Clarkston, Utah, July, 1875 - John Godfrey, Ole A. Jensen and James Keep)
■ “I never saw the golden plates, only in a visionary or entranced state. I wrote a great deal of the Book of Mormon myself, as Joseph Smith translated or spelled the words out in English. Sometimes the plates would be on a table in the room in which Smith did the translating, covered over with a cloth. I was told by Smith that God would strike him dead if he attempted to look at them, and I believed it.” (Anthony Metcalf, Ten Years Before the Mast, n.d., microfilm copy, p. 70–71; quoted in Dale Morgan, Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism: Correspondence and a New History, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1986).
■ “Harris was told that it would arouse the most terrible divine displeasure, if he should attempt to draw near the sacred chest, or look at Smith while engaged in the work of decyphering (sic) the mysterious characters.” (1827 — Account of Martin Harris given to the Rev. John A. Clark, as related in his 1842 book Gleanings by the Way, W.J. & J.K. Simon, pp. 222ff). [Microfilm copy]
■ John H. Gilbert, who participated in printing of the Book of Mormon. said: "Martin was something of a prophet: He frequently said that 'Jackson would be the last president that we would have; and that all persons who did not embrace Mormonism in two years would be stricken off the face of the earth.' He said that 'Palmyra was to be the New Jerusalem, and that her streets were to be paved with gold.' Martin was in the office when I finished setting up the testimony of the three witnesses, (Harris — Cowdery and Whitmer) I said to him, 'Martin, did you see those plates with your naked eyes?' Martin looked down for an instant, raise his eyes up, and said, 'No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.'" (Wilford C. Wood, Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1, 1958, introduction. This is a photomechanical reprint of the first edition  of the Book of Mormon. It also contains biographical and historical information relating to the Book of Mormon.)
[ii] "The first document [Moses I] in the Old Testament manuscripts (now Doctrine and Covenants Section 22) was not incorporated as part of the biblical text. This, however, has appeared in all editions as an introductory revelation." (Foreward to the Inspired Version on-line)
[iii] “The Book of Moses is part of the scriptural canon of Mormonism dictated by founder Joseph Smith Jr. It is an amalgamation of the 'Vision of Moses,' which Smith dictated in June 1830, the 'Book of Enoch,' dictated December 1830, and material deriving from Smith’s of the Book of Genesis in early 1831 which incorporated the Book of Enoch and treated the Vision of Moses as a prologue to the Bible. Its full title is Selections from the Book of Moses, implying that it is not a complete work. The vision of Moses and the Book of Enoch works were originally published separately by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in 1851…” (Wikipedia – Book of Moses)
[iv] (The 1851 Pearl of Great Price)
In 1851 Elder Franklin D. Richards created what we now call the Book of Moses by publishing Genesis excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation in his British Mission pamphlet, the Pearl of Great Price. (Kent P. Jackson, The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005), p. 1)
[v] “The first edition of the Book of Mormon carried numerous sentences with a plural subject and singular verb, and vice versa; it sometimes placed an idiomatic “a” before a participle (“a marching”) or an idiomatic “for” before an infinitive (“for to destroy them”); it regularly used “which” for the personal “who.” Such language clearly originated with the Prophet as he dictated, not with the secretary” (Ensign, September 1977, “By the Gift and Power of God,” Richard Lloyd Anderson).
[vi] “…Joseph’s translation was more revelation than literal translation from one language into another.” (On-line Introduction to the Joseph Smith Translation @ scriptureslds.org)
1: an error in chronology ; especially : a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other
2: a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place; especially: one from a former age that is incongruous in the present
3: the state or condition of being chronologically out of place
(Merriam — Webster Dictionary, on-line, 2009)
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin agent-, agens, from Latin, present participle of agere to drive, lead, act, do; akin to Old Norse aka to travel in a vehicle, Greek agein to drive, lead
Date: 15th century
(Merriam – Webster Dictionary, on-line, 2009).
[ix] “Agency is the ability God gives people to choose for themselves. This makes each person responsible for the decisions he or she makes…” (Mormonwicki.com/Agency, 2009)
[x] “Calvinists deny that their scheme is a form of determinism and instead uphold the free agency and moral responsibility of the individual. They do, however, hold that the will is in bondage to sin and therefore unable to actualize its true freedom. Hence, an individual cannot choose to trust God because their will is enslaved to evil…” (Predestination, Wikipedia, 2009)
[xi ] SECRET COMBINATIONS:
● For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for vengeance upon those who were their murderers; and thus the judgments of God did come upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations. (Alma, 37:30)
● Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe. (Alma, 37:31)
● And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not. (Ether, 8:22)
● Now the brother of Shared, whose name was Gilead, also received great strength to his army, because of secret combinations. (Ether 14:10)
● And it came to pass that one of the secret combinations murdered him in a secret pass, and obtained unto himself the kingdom; and his name was Lib; and Lib was a man of great stature, more than any other man among all the people. (Ether 14:10)
● And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. (2 Nephi, 9:9)
● And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. (2 Nephi, 26:22)
● And it came to pass in the forty and ninth year of the reign of the judges, there was continual peace established in the land, all save it were the secret combinations which Gadianton the robber had established in the more settled parts of the land, which at that time were not known unto those who were at the head of government; therefore they were not destroyed out of the land. (Helaman. 3:23)
● May the Lord preserve his people in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they may cause to be felled to the earth all who shall seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations, even as this man hath been felled to the earth. (3 Nephi, 4:29)
● And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness. (Mormon, 8:27)
● And now I, Moroni, proceed with my record. Therefore, behold, it came to pass that because of the secret combinations of Akish and his friends, behold, they did overthrow the kingdom of Omer. (Ether 9:1)
● Wherefore, it came
to pass that in the first year that Ether dwelt in the cavity of a rock,
there were many people who were slain by the sword of those
fighting against Coriantumr that they might obtain the kingdom. (Ether
[xii] “[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.” (The Mormon Church and Freemasonry (2001), Terry Chateau)
[xiii] “I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office.” (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1978, Vol.4, Ch.32, p.550-1)
[xiv] “Smith was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason at the Nauvoo lodge on March 15, 1842. The next day, he was raised to the degree of Master Mason; the usual month-long wait between degrees was waived by the Grand Master of Illinois,” (Bushman 2005,p. 449).
[xv] "...with uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition and benevolence of Savages or Pagans. They were both Masons in good standing. Ye brethren of 'the mystic tie' what think ye! Where is our good Master Joseph and Hyrum? Is there a pagan, heathen, or savage nation on the globe that would not be moved on this great occasion, as the trees of the forest are moved by a mighty wind? Joseph's last exclamation was 'O LORD MY GOD!' " (Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 585)
"When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being these words, 'O Lord My God!' This was not the beginning of a prayer, because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are pledged to give a brother in distress.” (Mormonism and Masonry, by Mormon writer: E. Cecil McGavin, p. 17)
the great secret
mediaeval Masons consisted
in the application of the principles of Geometry to the art of building
by methods known only to themselves, and which they developed
in the Gothic style of architecture which they invented. This secret
perished with the dissolution of the Operative Fraternity, or by its
transmission into the Speculative Association.
Yet this Speculative Association, the Free and Accepted Masons
of the present day, have retained the memory of their descent
from these Operative Masons of the Middle Ages by a sacred preservation
in their ritual of a reference to Geometry as the " fifth
and noblest of the sciences and the one on which the superstructure
of Masonry is founded."
The retention in the ritual of the letter G, the earliest and the
most extensively propagated of all the symbols of Speculative Masonry,
is an ever-present and a loudly speaking testimony in every
lodge that the brethren there congregated have not forgotten that
the great secret of their predecessors was a geometrical one.
Indeed, if there were no other proof that the mediaeval Freemasons
did all their work according to certain principles of Geometry,
the method of applying which was known only to themselves,
and that therefore the science of Geometry was to them a most important
and indispensable part of their Craft…
(The History of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey, William Singleton; 1898, p.763)·
● “Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.” (1 Nephi 15:25)
● “O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.” (Jacob 3:11)
● “Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.” (Words of Mormon 1:18)
● “And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;” (Mosiah 29:14)
● “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27)
[xviii] This text now reads: “I ought not to harrow up in my desires…” (Alma 29:4, 1837 edition) By removing the word “had” and changing “not ought” to “ought not” Alma now sounds a little less like someone from the 19th Century.
[xix] (Webster’s New Dictionary of the English Language, 2002 edition, author’s paraphrase).
[xx] “The meridian of time has been defined by one LDS apostle as "the middle or high point of that portion of eternity which is considered to be mortal time" (MD, 1966, p. 486). It is the dispensation in which Jesus Christ lived in mortality. The term does not occur in the Bible, but is found in the Doctrine and Covenants (20:26; 39:3) and in the Book of Moses 5:57; 6:57; 6:62; 7:46).
The word "meridian" suggests the middle. According to Old Testament genealogies, from the Fall of Adam to the time of Jesus Christ was approximately 4,000 years. It has been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus' birth. The millennial reign will commence "in the beginning of the seventh thousand years" (D&C 77:12). After the Millennium there will be a "little season," the exact length of which is not revealed, but it could be several hundred years. In the context of these events, the Lord's mortal ministry took place near the meridian, or middle, of mortal time (DS 1:81)… MARSHALL T. BURTON” (BYU Studies, also found in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1992 edition)
[xxi] (Joseph Smith referred to it, the ‘New Translation.’ See Doctrine and Covenants 124:89; Times and Seasons 1, no. 9 (July 1840): 140. See also Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2d ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 1:341, 365; 4:164.)