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Book of Moses Changes / Anachronisms

Rich Kelsey




Please come with me on a straightforward, informative journey, looking into the development, writing style, and expressions used within the Book of Moses in a quest for truth concerning its authenticity.

Joseph Smith, Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), claimed that he discovered and translated the lost writings of several ancient holy men.  Smith first discovered a record of America's former inhabitants written on golden plates, which included Jesus Christ's ministry in America.  The golden plates were hid up in the earth, revealed by an angel; then, translated by the gift and power of God.  There was also a parchment which the Apostle John had hid up, as well as some Egyptian scrolls which Smith bought from a traveling dealer in antiquities.

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.” (Millennial Star, 12 Oct. 1891, p. 642)

Included in Joseph Smith's published works, are:

1.    The Book of Mormon

2.   The Book of Abraham

3.   The Book of Commandments / Doctrine and Covenants

4.   The Apostle John's Revelation — (see documentation)

5.   The Book of Moses


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.” (Verses 3-4)


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)


First, let's look at a section of the bible before Joseph Smith corrected it:

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.


Now, the same section showing the corrections: (the added words are in bold/italics)

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.


 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[1] to Genesis.  He then added to the existing Genesis text.[2]  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.[3]

“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)


Changes Made to the Book of Moses:

The reason we know Joseph Smith changed passages in the Book of Moses after his first draft was written is because the LDS Church has two pre-publication manuscripts that clearly document the changes. These manuscripts are entitled Old Testament Manuscript One (OT1) and Old Testament Manuscript Two (OT2) respectively.  OT1 was penned by Smith’s scribes as Smith gave dictation.  OT2 started out as a copy of OT1, yet many changes were made to it after it was copied; words were crossed out, additions were made, etc.


According to LDS sources:

"The text of OT1 is one of the most significant documents of the restored gospel. In its doctrinal contributions it is on par with the greatest of revelations. But OT1 is not the complete and final text of the Book of Moses, because that is found on OT2, on which Joseph Smith made further inspired corrections and additions.


The most important changes made after the original transcription were those that were inserted by Joseph Smith. Sometime after Genesis of OT2 was written, the Prophet revisited the manuscript to make further revisions. Some of those are editorial in nature and clarify and smooth out the words of the dictated text. But others are inspired additions and corrections that provide new insights or even change the meaning of what had been written before." (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) 


Examples of Additions Made:

The following words are not found in OTI: 

“Therefore I give unto you a commandment to teach these things freely unto your Children Saying that in as much as they were born into the World by reason of the fall which bringeth death by water and blood and the Spirit which I have made and so became of dust a living soul even so ye must be born again of water and the spirit and cleansed by blood even the blood of mine only begotten into the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven...” (Caption: Correction on a small piece of paper pinned to Old Testament Manuscript 2, page 18; handwriting of Sidney Rigdon; Moses 6:58-59)


Joseph Smith did not dictate those 85 words to his scribes as they penned the first draft of the Book of Moses.  Sometime after the first draft was written, this dialog, supposedly God speaking to Moses, was written on a separate piece of paper and pinned to the second draft.  There are strong reasons to doubt that those 85 words, which Smith added to Genesis, were words spoken to Moses by God:

●  The content of the text is unlike anything found in Moses’ accepted works.

●  It hardly resembles Old Testament prose.

●  The text in question uses the term “Born again,” which is a term found only in the New Testament.



"…and he beheld also things which were not visible…" (Moses 6:36, OT1)



"…and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye…" (Moses 6:36, OT2)

In Moses 6:36 four words were added:

If Moses had used the words

"to the natural eye"

in his record then why were those words omitted in Smith’s early manuscript?



"... millions of earths like this..." (Moses 7:30, OT1)


"... millions of such earths like this..."  (Moses 7:30, OT2)


"Noah called upon men..." (Moses 8:20, OT1)


"Noah called upon the children of men..." (Moses 8:20, OT2)

Both of the last additions give the writing style more of an Old Testament feel; yet, why is it that the translation was not recieved correctly in the first place?


Example of a Deletion:

"... and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Moses 8:24, OT1)


 "... and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost" (Moses 8:24, OT2)

The expression

"the gift of the Holy Ghost"

is found in Acts 2:38 and 10:45 in the King James Bible.  It is not found once in the Old Testament.  Again, the changed text gives the writing style more of an Old Testament feel; it makes the passage sound more like something Moses might say; which is noteworthy.


Examples of Changing the Text: 

"These words was spoken unto Moses in the mount…" (Moses 1:42, OT1)


"These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount…" (Moses 1:42, OT2)



"If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted?" (Moses 5:23, OT1)


"If thou doest well thou shalt be accepted." (Moses 5:23, OT2)


The early manuscript phrased the text of Moses 5:23 as a question. The final manuscript changed the same passage into a statement.  This change had nothing to do with grammar.  It had everything to do with a change in the supposed record of what God said to Cain.



"…the people trembled, and could not stand before his presence…" (Moses 6:47, OT1)


"…the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence…"  (Moses 6:47, OT2)



"And behold, all things has its likeness…" (Moses 6:63, OT1)


"And behold, all things have their likeness…" (Moses 6:63, OT2)


Another BYU statement explaining the revisions: 

"On many pages of the manuscripts are revisions that were made after the original dictation. These are of two types: (a) Some are simply mechanical, such as the insertion of punctuation and verse numbering, changes of ampersands to and, or changes of letters to upper- or lowercase. There are hundreds of these. (b) In other cases, words were added to the text or existing wording was revised. Some of these changes simply correct errors in the original recording, such as when the Prophet's eyes skipped words while he was dictating or when his scribe recorded words incorrectly. But in many insertions Joseph Smith revised the writing or added words or phrases to produce new meanings not recorded in the original dictation. Some of these insertions required more room than was available between the lines of the text and were written on small pieces of paper and attached in place with straight pins-the nineteenth-century equivalent of paper clips or staples. Even though some of the later corrections provide important clarifications and insights, an overwhelming majority of the significant contributions of the JST were made during the original dictation." (Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible, Original Manuscripts, Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004, Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews)



One might wonder if Joseph Smith may have acted presumptuously when he set forth to correct[4] 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. 


An anachronism[5] 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. Anachronisms in books are similar; if a character in a book from the 1970s is using words and terminologies from the 1990s then we know that those parts of the book were not taken from any actual quotes of the character in question.  The Book of Moses has anachronisms, and they are obvious!


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.[6]

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;[7] 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[8] which was popular in Smith’s day would be among Moses’ lost record?


Original guilt: 

"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 which were the subject of debate in Smith’s day, just like the Book of Mormon: 

“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)   


Secret Combination:

"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.[9]  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)


Secret combinations 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.[10]  The Prophet himself sought[11] and achieved[12] the title of Master Mason[13] shortly before his death.


Master Mahan: 

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.”[14] 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,”

is found.  It’s also worth mentioning that in Alma 32:27, from the Book of Mormon, where the phrase 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.[15]  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)

Another thing to consider: Does the expression, 

“I had not ought to harrow up in my desires…”

really sound like language[16] 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[17] 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.[18]  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[19] of Genesis is nothing more than a poorly crafted forgery, dictated by Joseph Smith himself, then falsely attributed to an ancient holy man.


The LDS Church maintains:

"The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore truths to the Bible text that had become lost or changed since the original words were written. These restored truths clarified doctrine and improved scriptural understanding... Because the Lord revealed to Joseph certain truths that the original authors had once recorded, the Joseph Smith Translation is unlike any other Bible translation in the world." (LDS.org, The Scriptures Internet Edition: Introduction to Joseph Smith Translation)


In Reality:

While under the guise of restoring

"truths to the Bible"

 Joseph Smith corrupted it by adding 19th Century doctrinal terms and other fabricated passages to the text.


Where Do We Go From Here:

At the beginning of this article, I asked potential readers to,

"Please come with me on a straightforward, informative journey ... in a quest for truth ..."

for some of us, at this point, it's becoming all too clear that the LDS faith was built upon a false foundation.  The scriptures which set it apart from other churches have been proven to be spurious.  So, why not cut out the untruths: Remove what Joseph Smith added to God's word and disregard what he changed! 


Also: Instead of trusting in the LDS priesthood, saving ordinances, and blessings to guide us on our spiritual walk, realizing that the doctrine of the priesthood was also a built on falsehood (see documentation); wouldn't it make more sense to look for a Christian experience outside of the LDS Church's supposed authority?







[1] "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)


[2] “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)

[3] 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)

[4] “…Joseph’s translation was more revelation than literal translation from one language into another.” (On-line Introduction to the Joseph Smith Translation @ scriptureslds.org)

[5] Anach·ro·nism:

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)


[6] Agent:

Function: noun

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).


[7] “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)

[8] “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)


●  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)

●  For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man. (Ether, 8:19)

●  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 secret combinations, fighting against Coriantumr that they might obtain the kingdom. (Ether 13:18)

[10] “[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)

[11] “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)

[12] “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).

[13] "...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)

[14] "… the great secret of the 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).

[15] Faculty / Faculties: 

●   “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)

[16] 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. 

[17] (Webster’s New Dictionary of the English Language, 2002 edition, author’s paraphrase).

[18] “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)

[19] (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.)