The Real Joseph Smith — Rich Kelsey

Image of Joseph Smith used in the article: The real Joseph Smith — Rich Kelsey
The real Joseph Smith

The Real Joseph Smith:

The real Joseph Smith, founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his father, were involved in the money digging business from 1822—1827.[1]

Smith’s neighbor, Joseph Capron said:

“Joseph discovered, northwest of my house, a chest of gold watches; but, as they were in the possession of the evil spirit, it required skill and stratagem to obtain them.”[2]

To keep the evil spirit from being able to move the treasure, or carry it away, a magic circle is first formed around the spot where the treasure is. And on more than one occasion, a lamb was sacrificed to the demon spirit who guarded the treasure.[3]

“Certain ceremonies were always connected with these money-digging operations. Midnight was the favorite hour, a full moon was helpful, and Good Friday was the best date. Joe would sometimes stand by, directing the digging with a wand. The utmost silence was necessary to success. More than once, when the digging proved a failure, Joe explained to his associates that, just as the deposit was about to be reached, some one, tempted by the devil, spoke, causing the wished-for riches to disappear. …

Joe even tried on his New York victims the Pennsylvania device of requiring the sacrifice of a black sheep to overcome the evil spirit that guarded the treasure. William Stafford opportunely owned such an animal, and, as he puts it, ‘to gratify my curiosity,’ he let the Smiths have it. But some new ‘mistake in the process’ again resulted in disappointment.” (Lippincott’s Magazine, August 1880)

Money Digging Continued:

In 1831, the local Palmyra newspaper spelled out:

“We are not able to determine whether the elder Smith was ever concerned in money digging transactions previous to his emigration from Vermont, or not, but it is a well authenticated fact that soon after his arrival here, he evinced a firm belief in the existence of hidden treasures, and that this section of country abounded in them. — He also revived, or in other words, propagated the vulgar, yet popular belief that these treasures were held in charge by some evil spirit …” (THE REFLECTOR February 1, 1831)

Alva Hale [Emma’s brother] said:

“… ‘Joe Smith never handled one shovel full of earth in those diggings. All that Smith did was to peep with stone and hat, and give directions where and how to dig, and when and where the enchantment moved the treasure.'” (Joseph Lewis, Emma Smith’s cousin.“ (Review of Mormonism: Rejoinder to Elder Cadwell,” Amboy Journal (IL), June 11, 1879)

The real Joseph Smith was a man who, by looking at a seer stone in a hat, claimed that he could see where buried treasure was, and the spirit guardians watching over the treasure. The real Joseph Smith offered lamb[4] sacrifices to these treasure guardians, to try to obtain the treasure.

The Real Joseph Smith, Conclusion:

If Joseph Smith were a true prophet of God, what are the odds that his story of obtaining golden plates, would be almost identical to the money digging accounts he was known for in his day?

Including a spirit who had charge over the treasure (golden plates), clothed in ancient dress.[5]

Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not know who the real Joseph Smith was.

Please send links to this article to those in need; together we can enlighten souls.

Articles of interest:

■ Ten LDS Plot holes — Rich Kelsey

■ Joseph Smith 1823 Bedroom Dream — Rich Kelsey

■ Cognitive Dissonance and the LDS Faith — Rich Kelsey

LDS Series / Full Article Index


[1] “The combined testimony from area residents, which is examined in detail below, identifies six specific locations in Manchester for Smith family treasure quests (see Map 2). The majority of these Smith-inspired digs date to the earliest period of Joseph Smith’s activities as treasure seer (1822-25), before his employment with Josiah Stowell in October 1825 and subsequent treasure searches in Pennsylvania and southern New York. One dig, which evidently occurred in 1827 on the Joseph Capron farm before Smith procured the Book of Mormon gold plates in September, is also considered.” (

[2] Joseph Capron said:
“… Joseph discovered, northwest of my house, a chest of gold watches; but, as they were in the possession of the evil spirit, it required skill and stratagem to obtain them. Accordingly, orders were given to stick a parcel of large stakes in the ground, several rods around, in a circular form. This was to be done directly over the spot where the treasures were deposited. A messenger was then sent to Palmyra to procure a polished sword: after which, Samuel F. Lawrence, with a drawn sword in his hand, marched around to guard any assault which his Satanic majesty might be disposed to make. Meantime, the rest of the company were busily employed in digging for the watches. They worked as usual till quite exhausted. But, in spite of their brave defender, Lawrence, and their bulwark of stakes, the devil came off victorious, and carried away the watches.” (TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH CAPRON, Mormonism Unvailed — Eber Howe’s 1834 book, p.p. 260-261)

[3] “Mr. Stowell went to his flock and selected a fine vigorous lamb, and resolved to sacrifice it to the demon spirit who guarded the coveted treasure. Shortly after the venerable Deacon might be seen on his knees at prayer near the pit, while Smith, with a lantern in one hand to dispel the midnight darkness, might be seen making a circuit around the pit, sprinkling the flowing blood from the lamb upon the ground, as a propitiation to the spirit that thwarted them.” (Joseph Smith 1826 Glass Looking Trial / Jonathan Thompson Testimony)

[4] Joathan Thompson’s testimony of a lamb sacrifice: “… was declared under oath, in a Court of Justice, by one of the actors in the scene, and not disputed by his co-laborers. They then descended the excavation, but the treasure still receded from their grasp, and it was never obtained.” (The Joseph Smith Papers, Appendix: Reminiscence of William D. Purple, 28 April 1877)

[5] “I think it was in the year 1830, I heard that some ancient records [the golden plates] had been discovered that would throw some new light upon the subject of religion; being deeply interested in the matter, I concluded to go to the place and learn for myself the truth of the matter. … he [Joseph Smith] had a very singular dream; but he did not tell his father of his dream, until about a year afterwards. He then told his father that, in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody.

And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it.” (The Fayette Lapham Account)