For mature audiences only
At the end of part 2 of our series we discussed the Mormon connection/similarity that is implied by Mormon intellectuals between the Mormon god and a pagan Egyptian god in Facsimile No.2, Figure 7. Since Joseph Smith took it upon himself to draw in the missing parts incorrectly, it is up to the Mormon apologists to come up with something—even if it’s laughable to non-Mormon Egyptologists and blasphemous to true Christian believers. Why would Joseph Smith do this? Why would he put the head of a dove on a human male’s body that has the tail of a hawk with an erect penis and call that God?
Joseph Smith didn’t know what he was doing. He was wingin’ it. He made it up as he went along. Joseph Smith had become a master of taking advantage of people. He got whatever he wanted because the people believed he was a prophet. They paid $2,400 for the mummies and the parchments all on the word of Joseph Smith. And who was there to refute him? Who at the time in that area or all of America for that matter knew anything about Egyptian writings? Joseph Smith could say whatever he wanted about any of this and the people would believe it. It’s really amazing and very cunning—not to mention sinister—how people were duped and taken advantage of in so many ways.
Joseph Smith’s scam went without serious challenge at time. But now with the evidence and the “jury” in, the verdict is clear: Joseph Smith was a fraud and wasn’t even close in any of his renditions in the facsimiles. He was no prophet of God, but a false prophet. He received no divine revelation in any of this. God doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t get it wrong. When a true prophet speaks or writes anything that is coming from God it will be truth (Deuteronomy 18:18-22).
Should we look the other way and now apply Moroni 10:3-5 to the Book of Abraham? An LDS Church manual essentially says, “yes”:
“The Prophet Joseph Smith never communicated his method of translating these records. As with all other scriptures, a testimony of the truthfulness of these writings is primarily a matter of faith. The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the Book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its contents and power.” (The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual – Religion 327, 2000, p. 28)
Isaiah saw “the Lord sitting upon a throne” (Isaiah 6:1), “and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Take your pick of pagan Egyptian gods. None of them are anything near what Isaiah had envisioned. God makes it very clear in referencing the pagan gods of Egypt that “the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence” (Isaiah 19:1). These gods will be burned in fire (Jeremiah 43:12). God gets very angry and His wrath will be poured out on these gods (Jeremiah 44:8). The punishment is going to be very severe for the people who worship these false gods of Egypt (Jeremiah 46:25). People that recognize these false gods as their real god are an abomination in the real God’s sight and God is going to pour out his fury on them (Ezekiel 20:7-8). This is exactly what Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians 8:5 where he mentions “gods many and lords many”. That’s right – idols. This is the context of this passage as stated in 1 Corinthians 8:4. For Christians, there is only one true God – one God by nature (Galatians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 8:6). These false gods will perish (Jeremiah 10:10-11). They are “dumb idols” (1 Corinthians 12:2). God asks in Isaiah 40:25, “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him?”
What is so puzzling and ironic to me is that in the very book that these facsimiles are displayed in (The Book of Abraham) these Egyptian false gods are condemned as well. See Abraham 1:6, 9, 13, 20; 2:13. They are “dumb idols” (Abraham 1:7) and are “strange gods” (Abraham 1:8).
Ever since Egyptologists have deciphered the parchments that Joseph Smith purchased from Michael Chandler, the Mormon Church has been doing “damage control”. The silence of LDS Church authorities on the issue, which encourages BYU professors to do the explaining, is amazing. Joseph Smith must be defended at all costs. They know what is on the line:
“CHURCH STANDS OR FALLS WITH JOSEPH SMITH. Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an imposter cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards and measurement, the scriptures.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th LDS President, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p. 188).
In our final part we will examine what is at stake if the Mormon Church doesn’t reject the use of Egyptian paganism. I will also offer some solutions for getting out of this predicament.