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Joseph Smith, Mayor. Joseph Smith — History of the Church, December 12, , vol. Joseph gave Dr. Richards two dollars to give the guard; but the guard said one was enough, and would take no more. The guard immediately sent for a bottle of wine, pipes, and two small papers of tobacco; and one of the guards brought them into the jail soon after the jailor went out. Richards uncorked the bottle, and presented a glass to Joseph, who tasted, as also Brother Taylor and the doctor, and the bottle was then given to the guard, who turned to go out.

I have never been taught in Church that abstinence from alcohol and other hot drinks were already popular concepts of time leading up to the revelation. It appears that the Word of Wisdom may not be unique instruction, but well within the context of 19th century assumptions. Was the temple endowment really a revelation from God or could it have another origin? This chapter covers the origin of Freemasonry, founders of the Church and their Masonic membership, and similarities between Masonic temple ceremonies and the LDS temple endowment.

The oldest known work of this type, The Halliwell Manuscript, dating from between and The stories they weave around the building of the temple are obviously not literal or historical facts but a dramatic means of explaining the principles of Freemasonry. The general agreement amongst serious Masonic historians and researchers is that Freemasonry has arisen, either directly or indirectly, from the medieval stonemasons who built great cathedrals and castles.

Those who favor the direct descent from operative masonry say there were three stages to the evolution of Freemasonry. The stonemasons gathered in huts lodges to rest and eat. These lodges gradually became not the hut but the grouping together of stonemasons to regulate their craft.

In time, and in common with other trades, they developed primitive initiation ceremonies for new apprentices. It was, after all, easier to communicate a special word to prove that you knew what you were doing and were entitled to the wages it deserved that to spend hours carving a block of stone to demonstrate your skills.

Why this was done and what form of ceremony was used is not known. This is based on evidence from Scotland. In England, the first evidence of a lodge completely made up of non-operative masons is found. English evidence through the s points to Freemasonry existing apart from any actual or supposed organization of operative stonemasons. This was a period of great religious and political turmoil and intolerance. Men were unable to meet together without differences of political and religious opinion leading to arguments. Opposing views split families and the English civil war of was the ultimate outcome.

Stonemasons tools also provided them with a multiplicity of emblems to illustrate the principles they were putting forward. The formation of the premier Grand Lodge in had been followed, around , by the Grand Lodge of Ireland and, in ; the Grand Lodge of Scotland. These three Grand Lodges did much to spread Freemasonry throughout the world, to the extent that all regular Grand Lodges throughout the world, whatever the immediate means of their formation, ultimately trace their origins back to one, or a combination, of the Grand Lodges within the British Isles.

From whom it is said to have been handed down through the centuries. Elder Melvin J. The Masonry of today is received from the apostasy which took place in the days of Solomon, and David. They have now and then a thing that is correct, but we have the real thing. Heber C. Kimball — Heber C. Kimball and Family, The Nauvoo Years. Brigham Young University Studies. Freemason historians cite its origins to the late 14th to early 15th century in Scotland as a trade guild, not BC in Jerusalem.

As soon as the saints erected the Nauvoo lodge, Joseph Smith also sought membership in the fraternity beacause members of this family and several of the first members of the Church were Masons. Joseph Smith Sr. Bennett and Heber C. Kimball, apostles: Orson Pratt, Parley P. 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 Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office. Also in History of the Church, vol. Just seven weeks after his initiation as a first-degree mason, on April 4, , Joseph introduces the endowment ceremony in the upper room of his red brick store; the same room where his Masonic initiation took place. Kimball and others.

What exactly was Joseph Smith exposed to during his initiation and is it possible that any of it made its way into the endowment ceremony that he introduced just weeks later? Three books on Freemasonry by William M. Morgan, Jabez Richardson and Malcom C.


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Duncan, reveal all of the rituals used in Masonic temple ceremonies. They show that the words, actions and symbols used LDS temple ordinances have nearly identical Masonic sources. Below is a collection of those that bare most striking resemblance. Illustrations of Masonry by One of the Fraternity, Monitor of Free-Masonry, Masonic Ritual and Monitor, On the right is the mark of the square. Take you fig leaves and make you aprons. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by our roots.

Industry was the employment of a very large number of men, tens of thousands in many instances, on one undertaking at one place and at the same time period. Where a modern builder looks to machines as the means to accomplish his results, the Medieval builder who had no power-driven machines had to look to men. It was for such reason that Medieval Freemasons thought much about and had a wide knowledge of the forms of work. The general organization of a Lodge is based on the principle of forms of work. An emblem of work, called industry, is the Beehive.

Hence looking at the regulated labor of these insects when congregated in their hive, it is not surprising that a beehive should have been deemed an appropriate emblem of systematized industry. Freemasonry has therefore adopted the beehive as a symbol of industry. The All-Seeing Eye may then be considered as a symbol of God manifested in his omnipresence, his guardian and his preserving character.

Overwhelmed by the building itself, people may not realize how extensive the ornamentation is … on the east and west center towers with accompanying stones representing an all-seeing eye and clasped hands. He uses the sun, moon and stars to describe varying degrees of heavenly relationships with the Lord, the closest being named the Celestial Kingdom. Emanuel Swedenborg — Heaven and Hell, Ch. These are known as the Celestial, Terrestial and Telestial Kingdoms, of which the sun, moon and stars are spoken of as being typical.

March 15, — Joseph Smith became a Freemanson in his general business office. May 4, — Joseph instructed the other leaders on the washings, anointing, signs and tokens. Parallels between Freemasonry and the LDS endowment appear to be problematic. It seems that every LDS temple ceremony has a nearly identical masonic ceremony with the corresponding words, token, sign and symbol.

What kind of motivations could a man have to wed many women? By some estimates Joseph Smith married up to 52 women from a growing group of people that intensely admired him and that he held great influence over. For unspecified reasons his polygamy is never addressed in the Church education system, yet when studied in detail, problems appear concerning the timeline that Joseph began this practice, the secretive nature with subsequent denial, and the types of women married. Doctrine and Covenants, Section Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, , relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant and the principle of plural marriage.

At the time, Fanny was living in the Smith home, helping Emma with housework and the children. Smith had an adopted daughter, a very pretty, pleasing young girl, about seventeen years old. She was extremely fond of her; no mother could be more devoted, and their affection for each other was a constant object of remark, so absorbing and genuine did it seem. In a letter to his brother, Warren A. Cowdery, Oliver wrote:.

The issue of polygamy divided Oliver and Joseph so wide that Joseph turned Oliver out of the Church after his unceasing disapproval of the practice. Additional marriages were kept secret and when word began to spread Joseph turned to outright denial. Emily and Eliza were the daughters of the first bishop of the Church, Edward Partridge.

When he passed away, his daughters Emily 16 and Eliza 20 sought work as maids to help support their family. Emily recalls:. Kimball performing the ceremony. My sister Eliza was also married to Joseph a few days later. This was done without the knowledge of Emma Smith. Two months afterward she consented to give her husband two wives, providing he would give her the privilege of choosing them.

She accordingly chose my sister Eliza and myself, and to save family trouble Brother Joseph thought it best to have another ceremony performed. We remained in the family several months after this, but things went from bad to worse until we were obligated to leave the house and find another home. Tomy Perry special collection, Harold B.

Lee Library, BYU. Joseph sought to add 17 year-old Sarah Ann Whitney to his growing collection of wives. Joseph penned a letter divulging his feelings for her. Joseph had to convince her parents to allow the secret marriage. There had to be compensation. Six weeks after the secret sealing, Joseph deeded to Sarah a lot of land only one block from his home. It was rare for a woman to own land in Nauvoo, especially a woman as young as Sarah. A large issue soon arose. As a secret bride of the prophet, she was not available for courtship any longer. Appearing single while refusing suitors was bound to raise suspicions.

Joseph decided to arrange a civil marriage between Sarah and recent widower, Joseph C. This would make it seem as though Sarah was no longer available. Joseph C. Kingsbury — Journal, p. August 17, Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.

Probably because by the time that Section of the Doctrine and Covenants was written, Joseph had wed 29 women by his own desire. As late as Joseph continued to deny his involvement in polygamy despite having well over 30 wives by this point. I am quite tired of the fools asking me…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. Written records, primary accounts and second hand accounts puts the number between women. Most disturbing was the fact that many of these women were already married, much younger and related to each other.

Married Record show at least 13 women were married to other men at the time Joseph took them for his wives. He sent several men on missions for the Church then married their wives, or married their wives in secret and then sent the husbands on missions afterwards. While staying with the Johnsons in March, , Joseph Smith was dragged out by a mob and tarred and feathered.

Soon Marinda married apostle Orson Hyde. On April 6, , Orson was sent on a 3 year mission to Jerusalem.

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Joseph was to officiate their wedding, but never showed. Instead, bishop John C. Bennett performed the marriage. At one point Joseph sent a message to Zina through her brother Dimick. It read,. Joseph Smith — Zina D. After four proposals and pressured with the responsibility for the life of the prophet, Zina finally accepted. Brian C. Hales, Mormon Historical Studies 11, no. Brigham called Henry to serve a mission in England and told him to find another wife.

While Henry was in England, Zina began living at the Young house with her children and soon bore a child with Brigham. He had already sacrificed homes, possessions, friends, relatives, all worldly rewards, peace, and tranquility for the Restoration. Nothing was left to place on the altar save his life, his children, and his wife. Then came the Abrahamic test. Joseph demanded for himself what to Heber was the unthinkable, his Vilate.

Totally crushed spiritually and emotionally, Heber touched neither food nor water for three days and three nights and continually sought confirmation and comfort from God. The Prophet wept at this act of faith, devotion, and obedience. Joseph never intended to take Vilate. It was all a test. Kimball, p.

Instead of taking Heber C. My father had but one ewe lamb and willingly laid me upon the altar. How cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched until they were ready to snap asunder. His promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. I was young and they deceived me by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it. Joseph told a reluctant Helen Mar Kimball that if she married him it would ensure her salvation and the salvation of all her family. While records show Nancy was married to Joseph, no dates were written.

It is possible that, like Helen MarKimball, Nancy could have been Unlike what is commonly taught in Sunday school lessons, marriages to young teenagers were not common in pioneer days. Census Bureau started collecting marriage data, it was recorded that the average age of a first marriage for men was 26 years, and the average age of marriage for women was 22 years. Sara Lawrence and Maria Lawrence. Joseph had asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband.

William Law then started a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor. In print he spoke of the polygamous affairs of Joseph Smith. This led to an emergency session of the Nauvoo city council; of which Joseph was mayor. In this session Joseph ordered the printing press be destroyed. You are here commanded to destroy the printing press from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor, and pi the type of said printing establishment in the street, and burn all the Expositors and libelous handbills found in said establishment; and if resistance be offered to your execution of this order by the owners or others, demolish the house; and if anyone threatens you or the Mayor or the officers of the city, arrest those who threaten you, and fail not to execute this order without delay, and make due return hereon.

They broke open the door with a sledge hammer and found Chauncey Higbee and Charles Foster inside the building. We made no resistance, but looked on and felt revenge, but leave it for the public to avenge this climax of insult and injury. The posse accompanied y some hundreds of the citizens, returned with the Marshal to the front of the mansion, when I gave them a short address, and told them they had done right.

I then blessed them in the name of the Lord. This speech was loudly greeted by the assembly with three-times-cheers. The posse and assembly then dispersed all in good order. Members have been taught that the times Joseph Smith spent incarcerated in jails were because Satan stirred up the hearts of men to falsely imprison him, yet nothing is ever said of the actual crimes committed by Joseph and his followers.

The actions of Joseph Smith raise several troubling concerns. Why would the prophet begin taking wives 10 years before receiving the official revelation? Why did he send men on missions and marry their wives? Why did he marry girls as young as 14 when he was nearly 40? Why would his closest friends take such great issue with his actions? Why does Joseph try to hide these actions from his wife, Emma? And why did he react so violently to those thattried to make his actions public? Does polygamy seem to be truly ordained of God? This will always be so.

Brigham Young — Journal of Discourses vol. For over years the Church has taught and sustained racially prejudiced doctrines while attributing these actions to the will of God. These teachings include a ban on black members from holding the priesthood and participating in the temple, and went as far as preaching death as a consequence for inter-race marriage. Recently, the Church has tried to clean up this part of its image by disavowing these past teachings. If the white man belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot.

That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures.

Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as to the priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There are 50 million Negroes in the United States. If they were to achieve complete absorption with the white race, think what that would do.

Mark E. Peterson Papers. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. David O. McKay — Hugh B. Brown, N. I am a firm believer in slavery. Lyman and Charles C. Rich, to settle in Rancho San Bernardino, California. This company included a large number of slaves. Some slaves had been liberated by their owners since they were taken to Utah; others still remain slaves. But the most of those who take slaves there pass over with them in a little while to San Bernardino, a Mormon settlement in California … How many slaves are now held there they could not say, but the number relatively was by no means small.

A single person had taken between forty and fifty, and many had gone in with smaller numbers. In February of , Congress passed the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination according to race, religion, or sex. Four years later, Rev. Martin Luther King was martyred for his role as a leader in the movement. After his death, black preachers continued to call for full integration of blacks into white restrooms, buses, schools, jobs, and neighborhoods. As a church claiming to be led by Jesus Christ himself, I would expect it to be on the front line in the fight for equal rights for all people.

Instead the Church did nothing; in fact, they actually tried to prevent it. In his letter, Elder Stapley urged Governor Romney not to support the Civil Rights Act as it would bring the integration of blacks into society. I am sure the Prophet, with his vision and understanding, foresaw the problems we are faced with today with this race, which caused him to promote this program. Delbert L. Stapley — Letter to Gov. George Romney, January 23, Archive. In this letter Elder Stapley warned Governor Romney that support for civil rights was against the will of the Lord as revealed through Joseph Smith.

Stapley further cautioned that punishments are in store for those who seek equality in such ways. As evidence for such dire warnings, Stapley wrote that three U. Presidents who had fought for equality and civil rights met an untimely death — Lincoln and Kennedy by assassination and Grant by cancer. President Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk in general conference after the passing of the Civil Rights Act and before the Church changed its stance on the issue:.

The Civil Rights Act brought equal treatment for all people in this country and ended legal segregation. Remember, this was at the height of the ColdWar between the U. It seems that the basis of these prejudice doctrines may have began with the culture of racism held by early general authorities and perpetuated by the following leaders until the direction the nation was moving forced the hand of the Church. Race and the Priesthood — December 6, The Church reminds us to give strict obedience to the prophet because he speaks for God and is incapable of misconduct.

It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, Follow the prophet; he knows the way.

If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their bloodshed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church. Brigham Young took the doctrine of blood atonement even further. You would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the Kingdom of God. I would at once do so, in such a case; and under the circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands….

There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins.

In his autobiography, Hickman confessed that he was often tasked by Brigham to take the lives of men. This was my first act of violence under the rule of Brigham Young. After feeling remorse later in his life, Hickman confessed his crimes to R. Justice Baskins states,. Its existence was stated by Bill Hickman in his confession made to me. Hickman confessed to me that he personally knew of thirteen persons having been murdered, some of them by him … that at one time he murdered a man by the name of Buck at the personal request of Brigham Young.

It is so with you, ye Elders of Israel, when you forfeit your covenants…. I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against the covenants they have made, and they will be destroyed as Judas was. We have amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are too deep a dye … I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood … Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins.

And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid. Apostle Jebediah M. Grant — 2nd counselor to Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. Therefore their only hope is to have their blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. Joseph Fielding Smith — Doctrines of Salvation, , vol. This is horrifying! Lives have been taken under the direction of the Church and in the name of the Lord.

Does merely claiming divine authority give someone a free pass to murder? If so, many terrorist organisations around the world that commit horrific acts in the name of God should also get a free pass. Should we feel that the Prophet Brigham Young and the early saints are justified for their actions? Imagine if Thomas S. Monson were to preach this at general conference and task local authorities to follow through with this council. It is obvious why the Church would not want this part of the history to become common knowledge. Does this practice sound like it was truly the will of a loving Heavenly Father?

Prominent early saint, Elder Oliver B. As far back as , I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they live to a greater age than we do — that they live generally to near the age of a 1, years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style. Oliver B. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there?

No question of it; it was not made in vain. Joseph Fielding Smith — Prophesying the will never reach the moon. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen. The Book of Mormon story begins with Lehi, an Israelite, who fled to the Promised Land with his family and landed somewhere in Mesoamerica. This unique claim lends itself perfectly to genetic testing.

Studies have been performed on the genetic history of Native Americans and the resulting information reveals inconsistencies in The Book of Mormon narrative. Over the years, prophets, apostles, and the missionary department have preached an ancestral link between the ancient Hebrews and Native Americans. The record gives an account of two great civilisations. One came from Jerusalem in B. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites.

After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians. This is but the beginning of the work in Peru. Simon G. Southerton — Senior molecular biologist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia and former bishop. Southerton said that genetic research allowed him to test his religious views against his professional training. In Losing a Lost Tribe, published in , Southerton concluded that the LDS church, his faith for 30 years, needed to be reevaluated in the face of these facts.

They would feel that there would be a loss of members and loss in confidence in Joseph Smith as a prophet. Thomas W. Some optimism was expressed by church members that such research would vindicate the Book of Mormon as an ancient document…. For those who held such an expectation, the data collected by MGRG and results of similar research projects have been disappointing. Instead, genetic data have confirmed that migrations from Asia are the primary source of American Indian origins.

Only 0. Lineages A through D are only found in Asia. While the X lineage also is found in Europe and the Middle East, Asian and American lineages have distinctive markers that indicate an ancient separation long before the events described in the Book of Mormon. Similar results from nearly 1, paternal lineages substantiate a Northeast Asian origin of American Indians. The evidence suggests that they share a common ancestor and that American natives did not descend from Israeli lineage.

DNA is trusted. DNA is a part of our lives now.


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  • There is nothing in which to be afraid. DNA is just information, lots of information…. In my experience, each generation trusts and relies on DNA more than the previous generation, and my children are growing up in a world where DNA just is and has always been a wellspring of reliable information. Anything, any group, or any organization that tries to discredit DNA as a legitimate data source will with each passing year lose credibility with the rising generations.

    And so I am very, very concerned about the faith that I call my spiritual home. In my lifetime, a one-word change in the introduction to our holy scripture, The Book of Mormon, has had massive ripple effects while yet also remaining mostly undiscussed by the membership at large. How has this one word swap changed things? I was taught every week that the Native Americans were the descendents of the Lamanites. I was shown pictures of Mayan and Aztec ruins all the time as if those were evidence of the Book of Mormon civilizations. Instead they will see the church as afraid — afraid of the wonder and miracle that understanding DNA is.

    Afraid that truth cannot withstand study.

    Afraid that for many of them the very thing that brought them to this place, diagnosed their disease, treated their disorder, identified their parent, captured their rapist, freed their friend, gave them a healthy sibling, and that is trusted everywhere cannot be trusted at church? The international Human Genome Project — contributed to our insight of human migratory patterns based on identifiable gene markers contained within DNA.

    This was of particular interest to the Church for its insight into the origin of Native Americans. Virtually all mitochondrial DNA lineages found throughout the world can be grouped into less than twenty-five major family groups represented by letters A, B, C and so on. In the case of the native Americans, essentially all of their lineages fall into one of five major families: A, B, C, D and X. Current genetic and paleontological evidence indicates native Americans arrived from Asia.

    Various groups of early travelers descend into the Americas between , years ago. They crossed the Bearing Straight land bridge between modern day Russia and Alaska during the last ice age. The Altai region has played a critical role in the peopling of northern Asia as an entry point into Siberia and a possible homeland for ancestral Native Americans.

    It has an old and rich history because humans have inhabited this area since the Paleolithic. To untangle Altaian genetic histories, we analyzed mtDNA and Y chromosome variation in northern and southern Altaian populations. Based on these data, we noted differences in the origin and population history of Altaian ethnic groups. Matthew C. Dulik, et al. The article makes a few interesting statements. Although its purpose may be spiritual, the claim that the Book of Mormon contains the actual history of the Native Americans has always been one of the foundations of the LDS church.

    And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This is incorrect. According to the Book of Mormon, the genetic lineage of the Lamanites is exactly known. He is the same Joseph who was the son of Jacob who was the son of Isaac who was the son of Abraham. Native Americans did survive.

    Joseph Smith specifically named the Lamanites as the ancestors of the Native Americans. The first were called the Jaredites and came directly from the Tower of Babel…. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. Ensign July It also depicts stylized Mayan hieroglyphs on the walls and papers. This writing system is completely unique to the Book of Mormon people. James E. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea.

    Since President Spencer W. Kimball said the Lamanites became the ancestors of all natives in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, we should expect to find reformed Egyptian spanning both continents and all of Polynesia. While indigenous groups of the New World used a rich array of languages, formal writing systems did not exist in North America, South America and the Pacific Islands before contact with European explorers and missionaries.

    North American natives used a series of symbols for crude communication, South American natives used a system of rope knotting only for accounting purposes, and Polynesians used a series of symbols in traditional tattooing. But it was the Mesoamerican civilizations, located in Central America, that were the only cultures to invent and use an extensive and detailed writing system. The earliest inscriptions date to about B. Maya texts have survived on stone, bone, shell, pottery, wood, and paper. Did Joseph leave any examples of reformed Egyptian to compare?

    Before Martin Harris was to mortgage his farm to finance the printing of the Book of Mormon, he made an attempt to verify its authenticity. Martin had Joseph transcribe some characters from the Book of Mormon and took it to visit Charles Anthon, professor of classical linguistics at Columbia University. Howe, stating the following,. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles.

    On hearing this odd story… I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then took his leave carrying the paper with him. Professor Charles Anthon — Letter to E.

    Howe, February 17, Fredrick G. Since Mayan hieroglyphics were the only formal writing system throughout all of the Americas and Pacific Islands, we should find similarities when comparing them with reformed Egyptian. However, the characters do not appear to bear any resemblance. Surprisingly, the reformed Egyptian characters contained in the Anthon transcript appear to contain the entire English alphabet and numeric system.

    The idea of a reformed Egyptian writing system simply does not hold up to scholarly scrutiny. No formally trained archaeologist, anthropologist, or linguist, not employed by the Church, has ever recognized the characters of reformed Egyptian as a legitimate language and writing system that is backed by evidence.

    Although the many indigenous cultures used rich languages, no formal writing system capable of taking detailed records existed anywhere but in Mesoamerica. Because the play is fictional, it is simply a mistake. However, if Shakespeare were to claim that he had found an ancient document from 44 B. The Book of Mormon time period covers 2, B. Elephants, mastodons and mammoths evolved from a common ancestor about millions years ago. While elephants stayed in Africa and Asia, mastodons and mammoths migrated into America across the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age.

    Mastodons and mammoths were hunted to extinction during the Pleistocene era, about 11 thousand years ago. While the fossil record shows contact early humans, these animals disappeared thousands of years before any people from the Book of Mormon reach the Americas. Live stock.

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    Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting for food. The last known cattle species in the Americas went extinct around the same time as mastodons and mammoths 11 thousands years ago. Although wild big horn sheep, mountain goats and boars are native to some areas in North America, there is no evidence of domesticated sheep, pigs and goats used as livestock anywhere in the Americas.

    There were no honeybees in the Americas before its introduction from Europe in the 15th century. Subspecies were also introduced from Italy in , and later from Spain and Portugal. And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots…. Indigenous North American horses were also part of the great extinction of the Pleistocene era. Despite extensive archaeology, not a single bone or tooth from this animal has ever been discovered in the Mesoamerican region.

    Maya, Aztec and Olmec cultures depicted many native animals in art and ideology but have never depicted a horse on any temples, carvings or paintings. It would easy for New Englanders to assume that horses have always been part of the American landscape because the Native Americans they encountered rode horses. What was unknown to East coast Americans at that time was that Native Americans had domesticated the feral horses that ran away from the West Coast Spaniards; who in turn, reintroduced horses into the Americas by bringing European breeds with the arrival of Columbus.

    Now when Lamoni had heard this he caused that his servants should make ready his horses and his chariots. Used in conjunction with horses were chariots. Chariots have wheels, however the wheel as a technology was not found in ancient America. Like many new things, it was brought over with European settlers. The curator of ethnography at the American Museum of Natural History states,. The wheel was unknown in pre-Columbian times.

    Oxford University Press. The military and transport advantages would have spread the wheel through the native populations as it did through Europe and Asia. If horses were actually domesticated and wheeled transport was used, Archaeologists would also find chariots throughout the Western Hemisphere, however there has never been a single horse, chariot, or wheeled transport artifact discovered from pre-Columbian America to indicate that chariots ever existed in the New World.

    And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. Much like the invention of the wheel, the military and infrastructure advantages of steel would have seen widespread adoption in the Americas.

    Furthermore, mass production of steel weaponry for such large-scale wars as depicted in the Book of Mormon, would have required large iron and steel forges. These would have left evidence of slag, remnants of ore and stock piles of steel weaponry. The spreading of this technology, as it provides many significant advantages, would make steel a very common archaeological finding, however there is no evidence of this.

    There is simply no record of steel or iron having ever been smelted in the New World. Agricultural food crops were used as the common form of currency; especially cacao. Coinage in the Western Hemisphere during the Book of Mormon time period was unknown. Coins were introduced more than a thousand years after the conclusion of the Book of Mormon. It is evident that the Church became aware of this discrepancy when it made these revisions with regards to nephite coinage. Beginning in , European explorers brought new animals, plants, technology, theology and disease to the Americas, yet many of these items described in the Book of Mormon simply did not exist during its timeline.

    If Joseph Smith was given the Book of Mormon translation word-for-word by the power of God, then it should not contain these significant errors. They were a vast civilization of people who were completely wiped out before the arrival of Lehi and his family to the Promised Land. The Jaredites narrative contains two major issues: first, a year-long oceanic journey to the Americas, and second, a final battle at the Hill Cumorah where millions of people perished. This transatlantic journey taken by the Jaredites presents major problems.

    And the friends of Jared and his brother were in number about twenty and two souls; and they also begat sons and daughters before they came to the promised land. We are looking at approximately 74 people. And the Lord said: Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner in which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord.

    And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water. And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish.

    And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.

    Even though most trees average much shorter, the largest indigenous tree in the region is the Date Palm tree Phoenix dactylifera , which grows 70—75 ft in height.

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    Air tight with holes on top and bottom so it would float when upside-down. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared, now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight, went forth unto the mount…. And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them—and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.

    Divided into 8 barges, that puts almost 10 people per barge. Humans need approx 1 gallon per person per day for consumption and sanitation www. They also brought flocks and herds. There are a minimum of 3 animals to a flock or herd, assume 1 flock and 1 herd per barge. Sheep drink about 1 gallon of water per day and cows drink about 10 gallons. That comes to a total of about 14, gallons. How would they store that much fresh water in a boat that was, at most, 75 feet long?

    Remember, this was supposed to be 2, — 2, B. Any leaks would drown the passengers. Storage — Adults need approx. Larger portions of these foods need to be consumed to meet the daily caloric requirements; about 4 lbs a day. Small sheep require about 2 lbs of feed a day and small cows require about 10 lbs of feed a day.

    Preservation — Aside from the enormous space requirements, the lack of refrigeration or ability to make fires inside an enclosed wooden boat becomes the larger issue. Any grains, dried fruits and vegetables would quickly spoil in the dark, humid environment. This would guarantee rotting, fecal contamination and the spreading of deadly bacteria and parasites. In addition to the logistical issues surrounding the trip, the 2nd major problem with the Jaredite story involves large-scale casualties.

    Moroni reported that Cumorah was also the site where the Jaredites were earlier destroyed. The Book of Mormon chronicles two civilization-ending wars: first the Jaredites, then the Nephites. About A. Orson Pratt — Journal of Discourses, February 11, , vol. Later, the Church built a visitors center at the base of the hill. Since , the Church has produced the annual outdoor Cumorah Pagent. This image looking southwest a century ago, was taken when the hill was less wooded than today.

    But the largest battle, in Ether, recounts casualties of at least 2 million people. For perspective, this is an image of 1. In contrast, the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York occupies less than half a square mile and is only feet tall. This tiny hill is supposed to contain the bodies, weapons and armor of nearly 3 million soldiers, yet to this day not a single remain has ever been found. John E. The very word elicits a series of empirical questions that can only be addressed through archaeology. When we pay attention to time and to cultural context, it becomes clear that the events described in the Book of Mormon did not occur in New York.

    In accord with these general observations about New York and Pennsylvania, we come to our principal object— the Hill Cumorah. Archaeologically speaking, it is a clean hill. No artifacts, no walls, no trenches, no arrowheads. The area immediately surrounding the hill is similarly clean. Pre-Columbian people did not settle or build here. We must look elsewhere for that hill. Clark admits that the Jaredites were never part of any mass-extinction on the Hill Cumorah. This fact, along with the impossible type of transatlantic voyage as described in the Book of Mormon, both point to the conclusion that the Jaredite story did not occur.

    Was Joseph Smith capable of writing the Book of Mormon himself? Could there be other sources for its language, themes, stories and characters? President of the Quorum of the Seventy, Brigham H. What contemporary sources could have inspired the stories of the Book of Mormon? From childhood members are taught that a man named Lehi had a dream about a tree, fruit that made you happy, the iron rod and a great and spacious building.

    And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

    And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit. And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.

    And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

    And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. In her book she recounts the dream her husband experienced that was so profound he had to share it with his family. Soon after arriving here, my husband [Joseph Smith Sr.

    As I was thus traveling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing, before I went any further. This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream I could see neither the source nor yet the termination; but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope running along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree such as I had never seen before.

    It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or, if possible whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness.

    I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed. Learn how to practice mindfulness in such a way that you can create moments of happiness and joy for your own nourishment. Then you have something to offer the other person. You are her and she is you. Your suffering is her suffering. Your understanding of your own suffering helps your loved one to suffer less.

    Suffering and happiness are no longer individual matters. What happens to your loved one happens to you. What happens to you happens to your loved one. His happiness is your happiness. Your suffering is his suffering. When you love someone, you have to have trust and confidence. Love without trust is not yet love. Of course, first you have to have trust, respect, and confidence in yourself.

    Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature. You are part of the universe; you are made of stars. When you look at your loved one, you see that he is also made of stars and carries eternity inside. Looking in this way, we naturally feel reverence. True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person. And yet when Nhat Hanh reframes this obvious insight with the gentle elegance of his poetics, it somehow bypasses the rational cynicism of the jaded modern mind and registers directly in the soul:.

    To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen. When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same. Echoing legendary Zen teacher D. This is because we are caught by the idea of self.

    We think we have a self. But there is no such thing as an individual separate self. A flower is made only of non-flower elements, such as chlorophyll, sunlight, and water.

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    If we were to remove all the non-flower elements from the flower, there would be no flower left. A flower cannot be by herself alone. A flower can only inter-be with all of us… Humans are like this too. We can only inter-be. I am made only of non-me elements, such as the Earth, the sun, parents, and ancestors. In a relationship, if you can see the nature of interbeing between you and the other person, you can see that his suffering is your own suffering, and your happiness is his own happiness.

    With this way of seeing, you speak and act differently. This in itself can relieve so much suffering. Suzuki on how Zen can help us cultivate our character.