Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What The Bible Says About Mormons -- Part Four

Read What The Bible Says About Mormons revised and in its entirety here.  

Smith’s twenty first year brought several major life events.  He had returned to the hill Cumorah once every year, and on the fifth visit, when he was twenty one, he was able to take the plates away with him.


Also that same year, Smith was brought to court.  Treasure divining and money digging were illegal activities, and Smith had hired himself out to a man named Josiah Stoal, also of New York, to find the location of a silver mine in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.   The charge was brought by Stoal’s relatives, who wanted to prevent their kinsman from wasting any more money on Smith.  The charge was classified a misdemeanor, and at least twelve witnesses were issued subpoenas. There are varying accounts of the outcome.  In some, Smith was acquitted by Josiah Stoal’s testimony; in others, he either escaped or was convicted and left town.


And also that same twenty first year, he married Emma Hale, who he had met while searching for the silver mine in Susquehanna.  Following the trial Joseph and Emma left New York for Pennsylvania, to translate the golden plates.  Their trip was financed by a prosperous local farmer named Martin Harris, who had heard of the plates and taken great interest.  Smith had worked for Harris in the past; Harris gave the couple fifty dollars for their trip then followed them shortly thereafter.


The translation of the plates was a process of dictation from Smith to his wife or Harris.  Smith positioned himself behind a curtain, then upturned his hat, placed the seer stones therein, then thrust his face into the darkness of the hat, making a point to exclude all light, before 'reading' The Book of Mormon aloud. 


Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you.  Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.  John 12:35


In a series of revelations over the course of the months of the translation, Joseph received the account of the ancient peoples of the Americas.  Their history begins with that of the Hebrews.  Around 600 BC, at the time Israel was being carried into its captivity in Babylon, a prophet Lehi and his family were divinely inspired to leave Jerusalem just before the conquest and journey to the Indian Ocean.  There they built boats and sailed to the west coast of the Americas and resettled. They spent the ensuing centuries—when not engaged in war with one another--building elaborate cities and temples.  Conflict eventually divided them into two tribes, the Nephites and the Lamanites. 


The Nephites were descended from Nephi, a son of Lehi.  They were at first a righteous people. The Lamanites descended from Laman and Lemuel, Nephi’s rebellious brothers.  They are described as cursed by God with a skin of blackness for their wickedness and corruption.  Immediately after the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to both tribes to announce that he was come to organize his church.  For two centuries the two tribes co-existed in peace; then strife arose, and they warred until the fifth century, when the Lamanites destroyed the backsliding Nephites—Moroni's tribe.


The Book of Mormon asserts that the Lamanites were the ancestors of the Native American peoples.  Notwithstanding that archaeologists have found no shred of evidence that the Nephites and Lamanites ever existed, and that scientists have genetically determined that Native Americans are primarily descended from northeast Asians, and Polynesian people descended from southeast Asians.  But the Book of Mormon asserts many things that simply are not true; it is a work of FICTION.


And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
  2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

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