Daniel Peterson affirms that Smith obtained the plates on September 22nd, the autumnal equinox

On an earlier thread I had written,

“If I’m reading the snippets correctly from Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon, and Planets, the Autumnal equinox would actually have been on the 23rd for all the years in question (1823-1828). But this is irrelevant, because Smith would have gone off the local almanacs of his time. According to what I read, September 22nd was listed as the equinox for 1823 in local almanacs.”

GB, rejected my claim, asking, “What is wrong with using scientific calculations to determine facts in the absence of historical documents?” I responded,

“It’s wrong when you use a 20th or 21st century modern scientific formula anachronistically in a 19th century context. GB, it seems we are at an impasse. I am appealing to Quinn, someone who has immersed himself in the historical documents, while you are appealing to something anachronistic. I’d be glad to dig deeper to find something perhaps more compelling for you.”

At a recent address Daniel Peterson said,

“Joseph Smith obtained the plates of the Book of Mormon from the angel Moroni on the 22nd of September, 1827, which was not only the autumnal equinox, but Jewish new year’s day, Rosh Hashanah, the so-called birthday of the world.” (Daniel Peterson, “Eyewitnesses and Ancient Paralles: The Revelations of Joseph Smith”, 2008 BYU Education Week address)

An interesting little tidbit given the previous kvetching over the date. I wonder if GB will be sending a corrective e-mail to Daniel Peterson?

Discuss! Although, it’s probably a good idea to read through the earlier discussion first.

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40 Responses to Daniel Peterson affirms that Smith obtained the plates on September 22nd, the autumnal equinox

  1. faithoffathers says:

    I think somebody should investigate and find any corporations, businesses, community groups, or religions that hold annual meetings or conferences in any form on the week of Sept. 22nd. They can clearly be identified and labelled as cultists and worshipping satan. Such is the logic of your argument, Aaron. You simply have no evidence that this was anything more than a coincidence in dates. Any similar claim to this type of “evidence” would be dismissed with laughter in any scientific or legal setting.



  2. Ralph says:

    I agree with Fof,

    You have no evidence that the date was coincidental or purposeful. Even if it were on purpose there is still no evidence that it had something to do with the occult. As Daniel Peterson said, “…which was not only the autumnal equinox, but Jewish new year’s day, Rosh Hashanah, the so-called birthday of the world.” If the latter part is true then maybe it’s God doing an anniversary bash of and for His creation.

    But because of lack of any evidence for or against coincidence and/or purpose, you can make your own conjectures about the whys.

  3. Michael P says:

    No, maybe there is little evidence, but there is one compelling fact: the Smith’s were supposedly very spiritual and engaged in various sorts of, for lack of a better term, “black magic” (the use of divining rod, for instance, or the seer stones). Why is this compelling? It suggests he may well have believed that there may will be something spritual about that date.

    Does that prove anything? Not at all, as far as I am concerned, but it does bring up questions about the insistence of that date, and remember,it was not a one time thing… he had to return more than once, on or around that specific day.

  4. mrgermit says:

    To All:
    if it were JUST the date thing….then I’d say “no big deal…” but as it is, there is ample reason to believe that JS had a life long fascination with the occult. Or objects and practices that are considered occult by large groups of people ….

    I’m not that interested in this date, by itself. But the idea that maybe what JS was REALLy after was a revisiting a Jewish holiday is kind of funny….what next, earlocks and the kaballah ???

    have a great weekend ya’ll


  5. Aaron says:


    We’ve already gone over this in the previous thread on the Autumnal equinox. It has to do with the significance of the event for those immersed in folk magic. Even the new book out by LDS historians affirms the Smith’s involvement in folk magic:

    “In their search for contact with the divine, the Smiths were susceptible to the folk magic still flourishing in rural America in the early nineteenth century. Harboring the perpetual hope of the poor for quick riches, Joseph Smith Sr. searched for lost treasure, often with the help of Joseph Jr. Like many of their neighbors, the family combined the use of divining rods and seer stones with conventional forms of Christian worship. In his early twenties, Joseph Jr. had to extricate himself from the local band of treasure seekers before he could focus on his calling to translate the Book of Mormon” (The Joseph Smith Papers, p.xix).

    This has to do with the pattern of folk magic in Smith’s early life. The autumnal equinox fits the pattern quite well.

  6. falcon says:

    This is probably one of my all time favorite subjects and I love the way our TBM friends can spin, embrace, confuse and otherwise excuse Joseph Smith and his occult connection. This is important because our faithful LDS friends claim spiritual experiences and phenomenon and cling to manifestations as a proof of Joseph Smith’s credibility and prophet worthiness. I would suggest that they go the whole way and get their own scrying rocks and really delve into spiritism maybe even start holding seances. Maybe they could conjure old Joe himself to report as to what’s going on in the Celestial Kingdom as he rock and rolls with his multiple babes. It’s the total lack of discernment that leads the LDS faithful into all sorts of nefarious journeys into the world of spiritism. As the regulars here know, I’m especially impressed by the Saints who like to get their full mojo working in the temples so they can see the spirits of the dead they’re being baptized for. Unbelievable. Mormons trade the God of the universe who provides legitimate spiritual experiences for His people, for a spirit that comes directly out of the realm of the enemy. I know, how can it be wrong when it feels so right? I’m sorry but I really lose patients with people who can’t see what they’re into. Mormonism is inhabited by a powerful spirit of deception. This is some real strong dope!

  7. faithoffathers says:

    There are a number of early Christian and Jewish researchers who have outined arguments supporting the idea that Christ was into magic and the occult. They are convinced they are correct with evidence to support their position. Interesting.

    Around 550 B.C. Nephi said “And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.”

    I again allude to the fact that so few LDS critics here have even read the Book of Mormon cover to cover once- the greatest proof of Joseph Smith’s calling. (Yes I know you have read it Berean!). How many times have you read it falcon? Aaron? Others? Yet ya’ll are somehow the experts and tell others who have read it 80 times we don’t understand and that we don’t look at the evidence that stares us in the face.

    It is hard for me not to keep going back to this idea when we keep dealing with theories and stories supported only by secondary and tertiary sources or no sources at all. This article will automatically be accepted as gospel by the same people who rip on LDS for not being more exacting with historical and physical evidences. Yet the greatest evidence of Joseph’s mission is COMPLETELY neglected. I refer again to the words of Nephi.


  8. Michael P says:

    “There are a number of early Christian and Jewish researchers who have outined arguments supporting the idea that Christ was into magic and the occult. They are convinced they are correct with evidence to support their position. Interesting.”

    Do tell.

    “Yet the greatest evidence of Joseph’s mission is COMPLETELY neglected.”

    I don’t see how reading it provides evidence of its truthfulness.

    The topic at hand is not dispositive. It does not prove anything, nor do I think it is intended to. But it does raise a question you seem hesitatnt to address: JS’s potential involvement in the occult.

    As you quote Nephi, I ask you to consider how those words apply to the evidence in front of us that we see so clearly.

  9. Ralph says:


    God called a number of people out of the world from things that were not ordained of Him and they were then called by Him to do His work. Paul, for example, went around murdering Christians, but then he was called and became a great tool in the hand of God. Yes, you will say that he gave up the killing, whereas it appears that JS did not give up the ‘magic’. But the next question is, what if the things that JS did after his call were ordained from God – ie using the Urim and Thummim to translate the BoM, talking with resurrected people or spirits of dead prophets, etc?

    We know Satan can mimic many of God’s ways to confuse people. So why shouldn’t things like what JS did after his first vision be from God instead of Satan as you keep implying? Satan has through the centuries built up many things that look like God but are not by using God’s handiwork or doing something that looks very close to it. For example Christianity! 🙂

  10. Berean says:

    In a previous thread I outlined 20 reasons why I don’t trust Joseph Smith. I will elaborate on one of them since it is appropriate for this thread. One of the biggest problems I have with Joseph Smith is his involvement in folk magic. I’m not talking about card tricks and pulling bunnies out of hats. I’m talking about the seer stone he put in his hat and read words through the darkness inside of the hat that were written down to bring forth the Book of Mormon. This is not of God. Ironically, the Book of Mormon condmens this very thing in 2 Nephi 26:23.

    The evidence wouldn’t be so damning if I hadn’t of read it from Mormon sources – credible ones at that! I was astonished at Bushman’s honesty in his book “Rough Stone Rolling” where he states repeatedly in chapters 2 & 3 of Joseph Smith’s involvement with what would appear to be occultic magic. Bushman states:

    “The Smiths were as susceptible as their neighbors to treasure-seeking folklore. In addition to rod and stone divining, the Smiths probably believed in the rudimentary astrology found in the ubiquitous almanacs. Magical parchments handed down in the Hyrum Smith family may have originally belonged to Joseph Sr.” (page 50)

    “Lucy’s point was that the Smiths were not lazy – they had not stopped their labor to practice magic – but she showed her knowledge of formulas and rituals and associated them with ‘the welfare of our souls.’ Magic and religion melded in Smith family culture.” (page 50-51)

    “Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture STAYED WITH HIM TO THE END.” [emphasis mine] (page 51)

    “Joseph looked backward toward folk beliefs in divine power communicated through stones, visions, dreams, and angels.” (page 57)

    “Practice with his scrying stones carried over to translation of the gold plates. In fact, as work on the Book of Mormon proceeded, a seer-stone took the place of the Urim and Thummim as an aid in the work, BLENDING MAGIC WITH INSPIRED TRANSLATION.” [emphasis mine] (page 131).

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is not of God because He says it is not in Deuteronomy 18:10-12. Divination (magic practicioners) are an abomination in His sight. Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. It’s really that simple.

  11. Enki says:

    There are some aspects to Joseph smiths experience with Moroni that are kind of strange to me. Firstly moroni appeared at night, and repeatedly appearing throughout the whole night. It seems something akin to psychological brainwashing to keep someone up like that while telling them that they have a special work to do. He stated in Joseph Smith history:

    ” After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced;…”

    He called his experience ‘strange’. I suppose its unusual to experience anything supernatural, but why call it strange? The other thing is that he totally expected to recieve a manifestation, and asked for one. Is there any examples of this sort of thing anywhere else?

    “I betook myself to aprayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full bconfidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one. ”

    I believe this was the first time that these messangers asked Joseph to actively do something for them, maybe this is a contributing reason for calling the experience ‘strange’. I’ve personally become very interested in reading about christianity, religion, and spirituality. There is a wide variety of religions out there, and spirits/god(s) associated with them. All of them expect something from the humans that follow them. For some reason this really disturbs me. I don’t mean to single out the LDS faith, but it makes me wonder if Joseph was feeling uneasy about what was expected out of him, be it good or bad. I could be totally projecting my own feelings about this.

  12. falcon says:

    The question for me is whether Joseph Smith “saw” his spirit friendlies through second sight vision or if some spirits were conjured by him and thus appeared. Whatever the case, the fact is that Joseph Smith was up to his eyeballs in the occult world. Knowledgable Mormons are very comfortable, it would seem, with Joseph Smith’s occult practices. It all fits together. The Mormon god with whom Joseph Smith replaces “God”. The promise that mortals will become gods themselves. All of the temple hocus pocus, magic underwear, and ritualistic dress-up. The Masonic connection with its oaths and rituals and finally the constant cover-up of the true history, character and practices of Smith and the continual excusing of his seduction and I would say rape of women who he conned into believing that they were his wives. Really, having been exposed to the truth of this, Mormons are without excuse and will have no excuse on the day of judgement.

  13. mrgermit says:

    Michael wrote

    As you quote Nephi, I ask you to consider how those words apply to the evidence in front of us that we see so clearly.

    the deal seems to be: suspend judgment on what you see and know (or THINK you see and know) until you’ve read the BofM and prayed (sincerely, humbly, and with right intentions and motives….) and then GOD will show you what (and WHOM ) is true

    is that a fair recap ???

    I won’t rehash my arguments about this, other than to say that GERMIT doesn’t care for an “either OR ” approach…..prayer and reading alleged scripture is great…..so is keeping the eyes and brain working ……..after the morning’s coffee….of course..

    Drink COFFEE: do MORE stupid things FASTER……


    PS; great post Berean….per usual: liked this
    Magic and religion melded in Smith family culture.” (page 50-51)

    yeah, that kind of sums it up….and what can’t be explained away or denied is just ………melded……

  14. Michael P says:


    I took the Nephi quote to show he had a hard time seeing how people could reject the message he so clearly saw.

    I use it to suggest that we view the evidence as so clear that it is hard to believe others cannot see it.

    Maybe my interp of the quote was wrong. If so, please let me know.

    And I was certainly low on coffee when I wrote that.

  15. David says:

    I am wondering to myself how Mormonism, especially early Mormonism, could be any more occultic. Many Mormons challenge occult allegations in that they challenge truthfulness of the 19th century non-Mormons who made them, mostly people who lived in the Smith family’s vicinity. Joseph Smith using dosing rods and a talisman are alleged. I think that most Mormons will acknowledge that Smith used a seer stone.

    This type of thing was common in that time and locality. It is alleged that Brigham Young carried (at times) a bloodstone around his neck and Oliver Cowdery used a divining rod.

    Pentagrams were found on the temple in Nauvoo (I am told they are on the rebuilt temple too). I know a pentagram is found on the history & art museum across from the temple in Salt Lake. I once had a Mormon and a Pagan tell me (only yards away from that pentagram) that the pentagram is an early Christian symbol. Moonstones, sunstones, and the all-seeing eye are found on the Salt Lake Temple. The offering of Cain used to be in the North Visitor’s Center in Temple Square. A downward pointing, five-sided star is found on that huge arch (Eagle Gate) at the entrance to Temple Square.

    The Masonic influence in Mormonism is obvious. This is ironic as the Book of Mormon says bad things about “secret combinations”. The sign of the compass and the square are found on LDS temple garments. Also, when the temples used to do live reenactments Lucifer would reference his apron as a sign of his “power and priesthood” . On it were the signs of the compass and the square. That should scare any and every one!

    And by the way, the alleged golden plates for translating the Book of Mormon were recovered on the Autumnal Equinox.

  16. falcon says:

    It’s all pretty simple. Just ask the question “Who/what is the spirit of Mormonism?” Who would have a stake in getting men to believe that God is an exahlted man and that men can become gods? On which side of the spirit world does scrying, divination and second sight vision come from? Who would want to convince men that they are to take on more women as wives even those as young as fourteen or those married to other men. Who would want people to deny the Cross and downgrade the Bible as scripture and introduce other new and improved scriptures. It’s obvious where all of this comes from and Satan is clever enough to get these folks to base their faith on a special feeling that they get from the Mormon god/spirit. The Word says that some will be given over to a deluding spirit. If given all this information, Mormons continue in this deception, they have only themselves to blame.

  17. falcon says:

    This really isn’t all that complex, really. There’s only one question that needs to be answered. That question is: “Is the Spirit of the God of Biblical Christianity, the God that Biblical Christians acknowledge and worship, is this the same Spirit as that of Mormonism?”

  18. Ralph says:

    Shall we look at Deut 18:10-12?

    ”There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”

    From this I assume you are saying that those who say they can tell the future (divination, tells fortunes, interprets omens) those who can do some ‘tricks’ that cannot be explained properly (sorcerer) and those who say that they can talk to people who are dead (medium, necromancer, inquires of the dead) are condemned of God?

    The definition of divination is –
    1. the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.
    2. augury; prophecy: The divination of the high priest was fulfilled.
    3. perception by intuition; instinctive foresight.

    NOTE number 2 – PROPHECY!

    Daniel from the OT interpreted a dream of Pharaoh’s. It was considered to be an omen foretelling the future – thus Daniel was a reader of omens.

    Many of the OT prophets prophesied the future – ie the destruction of Jerusalem, the return of the Jews, the coming of Jesus. thus they were diviners and fortune tellers.

    Jesus foretold the future of Peter twice – the rooster crowing and his denial of Christ, and when He tole Peter that people will bind him and take him to where he doesn’t want to go. Again making Jesus a diviner and fortune teller.

    Jesus spoke with Moses on the Mount of transfiguration – making Him a necromancer and one who inquires of the dead.

    John the revelator prophesied of the future in revelations – making him a diviner and fortune teller.

    Many prophets, Jesus and His apostles did many miracles, tricks that could not be explained – like making an axe head float on water; getting water from stone; etc. This makes them sorcerers.

    As far as the ‘scrying’ goes, we have the Urim and Thummim used for judgment purposes and I don’t think it was a heads or tails flip that they were used for.

    So using the Deuteronomy verse out of context as you have, has condemned many of God’s prophets AND Jesus Himself, and makes the whole Bible and Christianity defunct.

    In context, it is only those who do not have the permission/authority from God who do these things who will be condemned.

    As far as JS goes, I believe in him and that he was called of God because God has told me.

  19. falcon says:

    Of what spirit are you? Name your spirit. Are you of the Spirit of the God that we Biblical Christians acknowledge and worship or are you of the spirit of Mormonism. I’d appreciate a straight forward answer and not Mormon equivocation and sideways explanations.
    If you are using the Bible as a reference in your above statements, you are talking about the living God, acknowledged by and worshipped by Biblical Christians. So that is the Spirit of the living God. Joseph Smith was not operating by the power of the Spirit of the living God. He was operating under the spirit of a god that he (Smith) said used to be a man. Is that the spirit that you are led by? I think it’s only fair that you acknowledge of what spirit you are of.

  20. Gundeck says:


    Yes let us look closely at Deuteronomy 18:10. Paying particular attention to the word divination.

    The Hebrew word for “divination” used in Deut 18:10 is “qesem” (קֶסֶם [qecem /keh·sem/] (Strong’s 7081)). It is used in the bible 11 times (Numbers 22:7; 23:23; Deuteronomy 18:10; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 17:17; Proverbs 16:10; Jeremiah 14:14; Ezekiel 13:6, 23; 21:26). It is translated in the AV as “divination” nine times, “witchcraft” once, and “divine sentence” once. At no time is it used in relation to righteous prophesy by a prophet. The DBL defines the word as, “the pagan state or process of stating or determining the future (or hidden knowledge) through signs, omens, and supernatural powers.”

    You are incorrectly trying to connect divination to “prophecy”. Its Hebrew word for prophesy is “nebuah” ( נְבוּאָה [nâbuw’ah /neb·oo·aw/](Strong’s 5016)). It is used in the Old Testament 3 times (2 Chronicles 9:29; 15:8; Nehemiah 6:12) and is always translated prophesy. It also always has a connection with the words of a prophet of God. The DBL defines the word as “the word of the prophet, i.e., a communication (written or verbal) to a prophet from a deity, with a focus on the content of the message.”

    Due to your incorrect translation you have made false (some might say blasphemous) accusations against God’s Prophets, Apostles and Jesus Christ himself. Careful reading and study of the Scripture is required, not just bold assumptions.

  21. SteveH says:


    It is too shocking to believe but Aaron Shafovaloff participates in pagan winter solstice festivities by decorating a live fir tree in his home!

    It has been noted that the said Shafovaloff has actively engaged in worshipping the undead every October 31!

    It has also been reported that this individual worships the pagan fertility bunny every spring equinox!

    Almost too incredible to believe Mr. Shafovaloff practices the ritual cannibalism wherein he symbolically eats the flesh and drinks the blood of his god!

    Stay tuned for more shocking revelations!

    Sounds pretty funny doesn’t it! It all depends on the “spin” that is used to misconstrue the facts.

  22. Ralph says:


    When it comes down to it, I believe (and have my proof for that belief no matter what you try to say) in the God of the Bible and you do not. You are the one that believes in a false god. Does that answer your question?


    Divination is the fore telling of the future regardless of which language it comes from – and as I showed it does mean ‘prophecy’ in English as I got that definition out of a dictionary, not my head. Prophecy is also fore telling of the future. Yes I agree, one is from God and the other is not. I just disagree with your point of view about JS and the LDS church (or isn’t it obvious?). But still, if one takes that Deut reference out of context (which I specified explicitly in my last post) then we can condemn the whole bible and its prophets/writers.

  23. Ralph says:


    I just had another thought – let’s look at Jesus in comparison to the Jews at His time. Because they did not believe in Him as the Son of God, to them He would have been a fortune teller and given to divination. So who would be correct (ie from God) – Him or them? Of course it was/is Jesus, but the Jews still do not believe in Him.

    The same goes for His apostles who prophesied about things.

    So to the ‘outside’ world Christianity can be classed as supernatural and mystical and magical, etc.

  24. David says:


    I can agree to an extent with your point but the The Law, The Writings, and the Prophets were written long before an English dictionary definition of “divination” was given (the OT was not written in English either). The Hebrew word does not have the semantic range you give it. I think that was Gundeck’s point. “Divination is the fore telling of the future regardless of which language it comes from”. No its not. If the Hebrew word for prophecy is different then the Hebrews would not have used that same word. They would have recognized the difference and labeled the difference by use of a different word. This is not just true for biblical exegesis. When one is going from one language to another there is a semantic range a word has that overlaps with, but does not completely correlate to a word in another language.

    Prophecy and miracles are legit and there are indeed spiritual counterfeits. However, there are certain spiritual mechanisms that are not congruent with any Biblicaly based religion. I can tell you that God is not going to speak to you via shaking chicken bones in a pan and then throwing them to the ground. There are other Pagan based mechanisms that may get spirits to speak to you but it will not be the Holy Spirit. Yes, God speaks and does miracles but the ways in which these things come about are indicative of the source.

    Necromancy is forbidden in The Law and there is never an example of a positive use of it in scripture. This is a certain activity that Joseph Smith engaged in. You are never going to get anything good talking to dead people.

    The mechanism matters. If you presented me with two miracles that seemingly invalidated the others message, and you told me one of those miracles was done because someone ritualistically dismembered a doll, I can tell you which one of those miracles I am disinclined to view as authentic. If your view was taken to its logical conclusion then any mechanism could be given the OK because God could potentially use it to show his power. Seriously, if there were teenagers in your ward that believed they were communicating with the original apostles and with God via Ouija boards and casting auguries I think members of your ward would not give the OK that you seem to give here. If “It all depends on the “spin” that is used to misconstrue the facts” (yes, I know this is not your quote) then could not any mechanism or ritual be considered OK?

    It should also be noted that elsewhere in Deuteronomy it mentions that a given prophecy must come true for a prophet to be true and of God. Suffice it to state, that many people that frequent Mormon Coffee do not think that all of Joseph Smith’s prophecies came to pass.

    When you use the word “context hat do you mean? The immediate grammatical context of the passage? The cultural context the passage was delivered in? I get the suspicion that what you would call “context” many would call “systematic theology”. The view some take on a given passage contradicts your view so you bring in other biblical passages to support your case. However, this does not necessarily shape your view but rather it can just be a restatement of your view. If your theology is not determined “from the ground up” then a given scripture can merely be pressed into service to support your view, but it does not establish your view.

    “As far as JS goes, I believe in him and that he was called of God because God has told me.”

    I do not believe in Joseph Smith. God has told me the opposite of what you think God has told you. I doubt you accept my testimony so why do you think that I will accept yours? That is why myself, and many others, would rather deal with “evidence” and ”reasoning” which are transferable verses testimonies/experiences that are not.

  25. falcon says:

    This is a red letter day for the falcon. Over the past year Ralph has admitted he would kill or steal for the Mormon prophet and he has now allowed us to see of what spirit he is. He has called the God that Biblical Christians worship, a false god. This ladies and gentlemen is a religion (Mormonism) that has to claim Satan as a spirit brother. I wonder how many Mormons know these little fun facts. Outstanding work, by the way, for the Christians posting here. There really is only one issue when it comes to Mormonism. Who is their god? Their god is an exalted man who was once a sinner and progressed to becoming a god, a hope they share. And our Mormon friends have the audacity to say that this is the God of the Bible. The Mormon spirit brother, Satan, has done his work well with his followers.
    In Acts 19:18-19 we read “Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
    Now if Joseph Smith and his early followers had followed the path of these early believers, they would have tossed their seer stones, divination rods and given up the practice of second sight vision and repented before God. Then we would be free of this religion (Mormonism) and its blashemous beliefs and practices. We now, at least, have had confirmed by one of our Mormon posters that which we have already known; Mormonism isn’t just another run-of-the-mill false religion and cult.

  26. mrgermit says:

    Ralph: I just want to comment on one thing…..g’day, by the way

    if the Jewish leaders even had the slightest suspicion that Jesus was into divination , wouldn’t HE have been under a pile of rocks faster than anyone could say “finally”. These guys DESPERATELY wanted to catch HIM in sin, ANY sin……. Jesus was the thorn in their flesh, a pain in the you-know-where……. even a hint of what you are talking about, and they would have been looking for rocks faster than the mortgage bankers are looking for bailout pork….

    have a great weekend


  27. Gundeck says:


    Let’s continue to look at the language used in Deuteronomy 18:10 and hopefully you will better understand the point that I am trying to make.

    After divination the next condemned practice is, “an observer of times” in the AV. The Hebrew word for “an observer of times” is “anan” ( עָנַן, עָנַן [`anan /aw•nan/] (Strong’s 6049). “anan” is used 11 times in the OT and the AV translates it as “observer of times” five times, “soothsayer” twice, “bring” once, “sorceress” once, and “enchanter” once. Again the Hebrew word shows a connection to sinful practices and not to the inspired work of a prophet.

    Next we have an “enchanter” at least that is the word used in the AV. In the NASB95 for instance the Hebrew word in question, “nachash ” (נָחַשׁ [nachash /naw•khash/] (Strong’s 5172)) is rendered “interprets omens”. The DBL defines this as, “practice divination, i.e., interpret omens and signs, as a way to learn the will of God, or the gods, known for future contingencies.” Once again this word is not used in connection with the righteous act of a prophet. In fact most uses of this word are direct quotations of Deuteronomy 18:10-12, condemning the act.

    I hope that there can be no question to the sinfulness of being a “witch”, or in the Hebrew “kashaph” (כָּשַׁף (kā∙šǎp̄) (Strong’s 4175). The AV translates this word as “sorcerers” three times, “witch” twice, and “witchcraft” once. The importance of this word used in this context is that it continues, without question, a list of forbidden activities.

    The OT was originally written in Hebrew and has been, “translated in to the vulgar language of every nation” (WCF 1:8). In order to better understand the meaning of a particular text we should, to the best of our ability, try to understand the grammar and meaning of the words used in the original Hebrew. Hebrew is a rich language and the words used in Deuteronomy 18:10 have meanings that may not be carried over in the translation. One way to better understand the meaning of the Hebrew word is to look at how these words are used throughout the OT. We have looked at “qesem” (divination), “anan” (an observer of times), “nachash ” (enchanter), and “kashaph” (witch), and seen that they do not have any connection with the inspired work of God’s prophet anywhere in the Old Testament. To imply a similarity between these forbidden practices and the works of God’s prophets, apostles or Jesus Christ is to ignore the meaning of the Hebrew language used.

  28. Gundeck says:


    Where is your contention the Jewish leaders would have believed Jesus Christ to have been a “fortune teller and given to divination” supported by the Gospels? We see many confrontations between Christ and various Jewish authorities the point of the accusations against Christ was that he violated ceremonial laws, associated with sinners, and committed blasphemy by forging sin and claiming to be the Christ. I would be interested in looking at the text that you believe supports your position. For that matter I have to question what your point is, I hope that you are not trying to insinuate a link between Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ

    John Calvin in his commentary on the Harmony of the Law tells us that in Deuteronomy 18:10, “Moses then enumerates the various kinds of divination to which the heathen nations were addicted, in order to satisfy their foolish desire to know more than was lawful.” John Owen warns us of the danger of such superstitions, “As of old this power of his lay at the bottom of all the abominations wherewith men provoked God when they thought to atone him, as by burning their children in the fire, and the like, Micah 6:6-7 so at present is it the principle of all that superstitious will-worship and religious drudgery which is spread over the anti-Christian world.” The Westminster Larger Catechism (113) counsels that these practices violate the 3rd commandment (Exodus 20:7).

    Deuteronomy 18:9-12 is clearly a command to not follow the practices of the pagans that surround Israel in trying to know the will of God. Israel was given a prophet and was commanded not to use magic, superstitious incantations, the practice of interpreting natural events, speaking to the dead by various means, and soothsaying. A person who would use these practices is denying the sovereignty of God by trying to control the future and failing to trust in the wisdom of God’s providence. Finally it should be pointed out that people who practice these abominations, even with what they consider to be a good intent, open themselves to the powers of Satan by denying God.

    Berean is correct with the conclusion that these practices are not of God, and there is no way that you can redefine the clear intent of this passage to draw a parallel between to opposition to Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith.

  29. mrgermit says:

    Gundeck: as I read your last two posts, I was thinking of the question…..

    Do you see a man skilled in his work……?

    and the answer…..well,, as a matter of fact I do…..

    nice work


    PS; it’s a ‘push’ to me, knowing we are both going to give an accounting….

  30. Ralph says:


    When I said ‘context’ I meant whether it is authorised of God or not. I know that divination is not of God but prophecy is. My point was that I believe that JS was a prophet of God and that he prophecied many things. Whereas you do not so you put his prophecies down as divination. Similarly I would put any prophecies that some one from your church gave down as divination whereas you would not.

    About necromancy – The Bible states quite clearly that Moses died (Deut 34:5) but we see Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration speaking to Moses. That is a definite example of someone talking with the dead is it not? Yes I know, the LDS teach that Moses was translated and did not die, but you get your ‘knowledge’ about Biblical things from no other source than the Bible, so you have to acknowledge that Moses was dead, unless you can show me otherwise.

    The example you gave of 2 miracles being performed but one included the dismemberment of a doll does show a very different mechanism between the two which can be used to determine which is from God and which isn’t. What about this scenario – A ‘church’ tent meeting where after the sermons all who are ‘sick and afflicted’ are told to come to the front and be preyed (oops sorry prayed) over to be healed. The Spirit of God is asked to come and heal and the preacher touches the person’s head and they fall over overcome by the Spirit and then get up and pronounce that they are healed. Compare it to the LDS protocol where the priesthood take the person to a private room, anoint their head with oil, place their hands on the person’s head and give them a blessing as the Holy Spirit directs them. After which the person states that they are fully healed. Which one appears to be more inline with the Bible’s teachings? Which seems more from God? In both the person says that they are fully healed, but there is no dismemberment of dolls in either and both are done by claiming the name and authority of Jesus.


    The Pharisees said at one stage that Jesus healed using the power of the Devil (Matt 12:24). Why they didn’t stone Him then I do not know, but they did claim Him to not be of God.

    Falcon, falcon, falcon,

    What more can I say than no one and I mean no one has shown me that the trinity is the god of the Bible. They have shown me how they came to their conclusion, but not that it is in the Bible. I also know that the opinion of one of the world’s largest and most prestigious Bible study groups state the same thing, even though their major membership is Christian based. That is why I say that you believe in a false god.


    I m an observer of the times, I keep reading Revelations and watching for the signs given in there. Does this make me a soothsayer? Especially if I suggest (not prophesy) that because of what I have read in Revelations that I can say the earth is nearing the end and the Second Coming is nigh? Do you do the same – ie read the Bible and watch for the signs of the times? Does that make you a soothsayer? Again it comes down to which source we are following.

  31. mrgermit says:

    Ralph: yes, the account you refer to is in Luke 11, but yours is an apples and oranges comparison. There was nothing smacking of the occult in casting out a demon from someone….hardly, it was really the OPPOSITE, which made the claim that HE was using the devil’s power to cast out the devil rather ridiculous….which HE tried to point out…. the fact that NONE of HIS accusers acted on the charge , or held to it AFTER being challenged by Jesus shows how half-hearted and mealy mouthed they were…..it’s like they were just babbling, WISHING that Jesus had done something improper. What I’m saying is that even the APPEARANCE of driving this demon out of a man was above board….even though some foolishly babbled on about it…..nothing suggesting dark magic or the occult here….

    nice try though

  32. gundeck says:


    Your last comment confuses me, I am not sure what you point is. Are you suggesting that the commands of Deut 18:9-12 are no longer relevant and that any power used to know the future is righteous? It appears that instead of presenting evidence that your prophets did not take part in occult practices you have decided to focus on the relevance of Deut 18:9-12.

    If you are asking me if I use the front page of the news paper for a commentary on the Book of Revelation, then no I don’t do that.

  33. David says:


    I am assuming from your response that we agree that certain “mechanisms” are off limits for true whorshippers of the True God? However, this does seem to be at odds with your previous post where Pagan ANE practices were likened unto legitimate supernatural outpourings from God:

    “In context, it is only those who do not have the permission/authority from God who do these things who will be condemned.”

    In the scripture you cite these practices are lumped in with child sacrifice. I think we can agree that practice is not OK ever. As such it seems that something more than the mere source of authority is being described. Point of fact, nowhere in the immediate, grammatical context of the passage you cited is authority or permission referenced. What you would call “context” I would call “view“.

    The Bible does lift up prophecy as good and even something that is to be sought after. However, where in the Bible are God’s people instructed to converse with the dead? God by his very nature is “allowed” to converse with the dead. He is not sinning when he does so, in fact as I write this he is probably communicating with some dead person in heaven. Just as God is allowed to take life without it being murder or killing so too he can talk to the dead. I would say that this extends to the God-man Jesus; I think I am not out of line to put Jesus in a separate category than you or myself. Jesus probably conversed with dead souls while his body was in the tomb but that is not necromancy. Notice that at the Transfiguration even the disciples do not converse with Moses. Ralph, if necromancy is OK, then is any conversing with the dead off limits? If I talk to the apostle Thomas is that OK? Is asking my dead great-grandfather for wisdom OK? Can any ritual/practice be justified because God might be able to use it (dismembered dolls, chicken bones, etc.)? BTW, I have given my Catholic sister a hard time on this issue as well.

    Your appeal to the laying on of hands and anointing is off topic. I did not go there because I do not need to. Joseph Smith, at times, engaged in the type of practices that are more of the rattling bones variety verses the praying variety. The lucky charms that all over the temples were never apart of Hebrew worship or the worship practices of the primitive church. Joseph Smith’s world view and practices are very much congruent with the folk magic that permeated his time and locality. This is why the autumnal equinox as the date for finding the BoM fits. I would be willing to chock up the date to coincidence if it were not for Smith’s magical background.

    Smith’s adoption of Masonic symbols and practices was a great fit to his world view. I challenge you Ralph, and anyone else reading, to compare and contrast the religion of the Latter-day Saints to that of Gnosticism. From where I am standing, Mormonism seems to have more in common with ancient Gnosticism (and Masonry) than it does with primitive Christianity. A key part of Mormonism is gaining knowledge, oftentimes secret knowledge, in order to attain a higher level in this life or beyond.

  34. mrgermit says:

    DAVE wrote:

    From where I am standing, Mormonism seems to have more in common with ancient Gnosticism (and Masonry) than it does with primitive Christianity. A key part of Mormonism is gaining knowledge, oftentimes secret knowledge, in order to attain a higher level in this life or beyond.

    esp. the whole notion of “milk before meat” and the secrecy the surrounds the temple and its rituals…..to me, this is the gnostic handprint

    this would be worth studying out

    nice work DAVE

  35. falcon says:

    Ralph, Ralph, Ralph, Ralph

    See here’s the deal, I prayed about the doctrine of the Trinity and I got a burning in the bosom so I don’t need any evidence………..that feeling proves that it’s true…….in fact, anytime I have a spiritual question and pray about it and if I get a burning in the bosom, I know it’s true……no evidence is necessary……….

    If you want to dual over the doctrine of the Trinity, I’m sure we could but it’s not the subject of this thread.

    I do fear for you, however, and your rejection of God.

  36. Enki says:

    Hello All,
    Are you sure there isn’t something positive to think about autumnal equinox? Its a time of the harvest in north america for a lot of crops, and its probably the time that thanksgiving should actually be. Canadians probably have this more correct than Americans, its the second monday in october.

    Day and night are equal at this time, both being about 12 hours. So this is a time for balance and reflection. Do a little research about fall equinox, there are alot of traditions around the world which celebrate positive things during this time period. Most express gratitiude and give thanks during this time period. Other traditions reflect on friends, family and the bounty of the year. I thought that christianity sought out to affirm the positive. If you see only the negative you are superstitious.

  37. falcon says:

    Here’s the deal; it’s called “intent”. Joseph Smith was a known occultist and nacromancer. The meaning of the equinox would have had significance for him in regards to his beliefs and practices in the magic arts. If someone has a fall festival celebrating the harvest or some such thing, that’s a whole different intent than someone who would dress-up in a Druid costume, for example, and dance to the spirits of Mother Earth by the light of the moon. It’s all about intent, beliefs and practices. In the case of Joseph Smith, the magic arts were a part of his life. He mixed it with traditional Christianity at first and then took a turn where the occult engulfed him. He used second sight vision and scrying with seer stones in his practices. When he and his cronies claimed to have “seen” spirits or burried treasure or whatever, they were crossing over into practices forbidden by the Bible. Joseph Smith’s whole religion was based on the occult with a little pinch of Christianity thrown in. He acknowledged a different god, a different Jesus and a different spirit. He denegrated the Bible and wrote his own forms of scripture. None-of-this seems to penetrate the understanding of his followers, who have given themselves over to a spirit of deception. The fact that they can’t be persuaded despite the evidence, supports the deluding effect of this spirit.

  38. falcon says:

    What needs to be carefully delineated is what God it is that Mormons follow. That’s why I’ve pushed at least one of the Mormon posters hard on acknowledging the spirit he is of. What do I mean by that? Joseph Smith choose a different path from Biblical Christianity. He used occult practices such as devination, scrying and second sight vision to ellicit spiritual experiences and phenomenon. Out of these practices emerged a “new” god, “new”scripture, and religious rituals that have there foundation in the occult. He also provided for himself the satisfaction of the spirit of lust by defrauding others of their wives and engaging in sexual promiscuity, basically declaring it “holy” and the pathway to becoming a god. At every turn, Joseph Smith came against God’s Word, declaring his own revelations as a new order. This is all very plain.
    In the NT Book of Acts the Ephesians get rid of all of their objects of occult magic and confess the practices they were engaged in turning again to the living God. In Genesis 35 vss 2-4 we read: “So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments; and let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me wherever I have gone.’ So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem.” Who were these foreign gods? Nothing more then the expression of the occult.
    Mormons need to give up their foreign god who has led them on a path to spiritual distruction. In Romans Paul writes “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” The Mormons have choosen to ignore God instead substituting a god that Joseph Smith created. They have choosen to worship a glorified man instead of the living and only God of the universe. This is where Joseph Smith’s foray into the occult has led them.

  39. falcon says:

    When examining Joseph Smith and the occult connection, it’s important for the reader to understand that out there in the spirit world we are dealing with two separate entities. We are dealing with the God of the universe on the one hand and the spiritual forces that oppose God on the other. What Joseph Smith tapped into with his practice of the magic arts, was the spiritual forces that oppose God. That’s why Joseph Smith attacked the nature and person of the living God and replaced Him with “a god” that was nothing more than a glorified human being. Joseph Smith attacked the Bible, down gradiing it, as Mormons continue to do today, and developing his own “revealed” scriptures. Joseph Smith took the path, like so many cult leaders do, and gave himself over to his lustful passions, claiming if he didn’t do so an angel with a sword (which he claimed appeared to him) would kill him. He took it one step further by saying that in order to become a god and reside in the highest realm of the Celestial Kingdom, men needed to practice this “principle”. This all came out of the spirit which he gave himself over to. It’s real easy for someone who is born again and has the Spirit of the living unchangeabile, omipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God, to see through the Mormon ruse. Mormons cannot unless the Spirit of God draws them out of this spiritual counterfiet they have given themselves over to.
    Actually, if you want to see a reflection of Mormonism in it’s earlier form, take a look at the website of the Community of Christ Mormon sect. My reading of history tells me that this group is a more accurate form of Mormonism as it was originally constituted. In addition to this, Joseph Smith’s son and Joseph Smith’s wife Emma belonged to this group and not the Brigham Young Utah LDS religion.

  40. historylover says:

    Joseph Smith was only 17 when the Angel Moroni first visited him. Being in a poor family he was forced to work and work hard for his daily sustenance. He didn’t pick the date for it’s power. Why God picked the date, I’m not sure. You can ask Him. Another thing, Rosh Hashanah fell on September 6 in 1823, not September 22. (http://jewishholidaysonline.com/1823)

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