Courage to View the Gold Plates

Pomeroy Tucker was a contemporary of Joseph Smith. Living in Palmyra, New York, he knew the Smith family, counted Martin Harris among his friends, and was actively engaged in the 1830 printing process of the Book of Mormon.

In 1867 Pomeroy Tucker published a book about Mormonism titled, Origin, rise, and progress of Mormonism: Biography of its founders and history of its church.” The book is highly critical of Joseph Smith and the religion he founded, and is itself criticized for Mr. Tucker’s lack of careful and new research. However, according to Mormon historian Richard L. Anderson, “Tucker does relate much valuable information concerning the period of the publication of the Book of Mormon…Most of Tucker’s unattributed particulars of the Smiths’ early Palmyra life are probably based on his observation” (quoted in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, 3:87).

Pomeroy Tucker’s book relates an unusual story concerning the gold plates that purportedly contained the text for the Book of Mormon. What follows is from “Origin, rise, and progress of Mormonism,” pages 30-33.

“[Joseph] Smith told a frightful story of the display of celestial pyrotechnics on the exposure to his view of the sacred book—the angel who had led him to the discovery again appearing as his guide and protector, and confronting ten thousand devils gathered there, with their menacing sulphureous flame and smoke, to deter him from his purpose! This story was repeated and magnified by the believers, and no doubt aided the experiment upon superstitious minds which eventuated so successfully.

“Mr. Willard Chase, a carpenter and joiner, was called upon by Smith and requested to make a strong chest in which to keep the golden book under lock and key, in order to prevent the awful calamity that would follow against the person other than himself who should behold it with his natural eyes. He could not pay a shilling for the work, and therefore proposed to make Mr. Chase a sharer in the profits ultimately anticipated in some manner not definitely stated; but the proposition was rejected—the work was refused on the terms offered. It was understood, however, that the custodian of the precious treasure afterward in some way procured a chest for his purpose, which, with its sacred deposit, was kept in a dark garret of his father’s house, where the translations were subsequently made, as will be explained.

“An anecdote touching this subject used to be related by William T. Hussey and Azel Vandruver. They were notorious wags [jokers], and were intimately acquainted with Smith. They called as his friends at his residence, and strongly importuned him for an inspection of the ‘golden book,’ offering to take upon themselves the risk of the death-penalty denounced. Of course, the request could not be complied with; but they were permitted to go to the chest with its owner, and see where the thing was, and observe its shape and size, concealed under a piece of thick canvas. Smith, with his accustomed solemnity of demeanor, positively persisting in his refusal to uncover it, Hussey became impetuous, and (suiting his action to his word) ejaculated, ‘Egad! I’ll see the critter, live or die!’ And stripping off the cover, a large tile-brick was exhibited. But Smith’s fertile imagination was equal to the emergency. He claimed that his friends had been sold by a trick of his; and ‘treating’ with the customary whiskey hospitalities, the affair ended in good-nature.”

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Book of Mormon, Mormon History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Courage to View the Gold Plates

  1. helenlouissmith says:

    Just two words, “unattributed” and “probably”. Most tabloid news makers are akin to these two words.

  2. falcon says:

    Smith was the consummate flim flam man. That’s what these rock gazing, folk magic practicing hicks were all about. But there’s a sucker born everyday as P.T. Barnum said. Anyone who buys Smith’s spirit guide stories may as well sign up for the next seance they can find. It’s this divination, lies and confidence schemes that demonstrate exactly what spirit Smith was operating under.
    Martin Harris was famous for his “visions” and unstable character. These guys were all into second sight vision and what they “saw” wasn’t reality but either a figment of their own imagination or a trip sponsored by a spirit from the dark side.
    Mormonism was founded in the occult and the influence of the demonic has left its fingerprints all over the religion. Using no spiritual discernment what-so-ever, Mormons buy into this counterfeit.

  3. Mike R says:

    Helen, are you saying that Mormon historian Richard L. Anderson
    is a tabloid journalist of sorts ? Just curious as to what you meant .


  4. falcon says:

    There’s two levels to view the Joseph Smith story. One is the rational and the other is the spiritual. I remember the first time a Mormon told me the gold plate story and in his version there were a pair of magic glasses that were used to interpret the gold plates. Later my wife and I were like, “YOU”VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME”. It sounded like a bad joke yet he was willing to embrace the tale.
    The other part of this is the spiritual. When looking at the story of the gold plates and the angel it’s important to ask, “What kind of a spirit are we talking about here?” It seems to me that Mormons have never met a spirit they didn’t like. It doesn’t matter if it’s Smith’s familiar spirit or one of the spooks that show-up in the temple during the dead dunking ritual, Mormons dig it!
    Back to the rational. The alibis and fantastic explanations that Mormons have to come up with to justify and support what they’ve bought into emotionally is embarrassing.

  5. helenlouissmith says:

    Mike R. that would be Pomeroy Tucker. The OP touched upon the merits of the Book.
    “unattributed” and “probably” were the Red Flags going off and when I see this type of journalism I just chuck it off as another story and in this case admitted to being unattributed and probably.

    We are suppose to “maybe” believe he is a first hand witness in some of these tails. Silly stuff.

  6. 4fivesolas says:

    Helen/Louis, In a sense I have to agree. The amount of silly unbelievable stuff that swirled around Joseph Smith is something to behold. As they say, where there’s smoke….

  7. falcon says:

    Ah Helen,
    The silly stuff is the BoM which is a fraud from beginning to end. The golden plates and the silly tales surrounding them provide enough evidence in and of themselves to prove it’s all a fraud.
    Let’s accept the account above on faith and claim “revelation” for it. All the author needs is a magic rock and a hat to put it in and then I guess Mormons will understand the validity of his claims. You see we know the man’s account is true because when we prayed about it we got a good feeling and that’s all it takes to prove truth.
    I’m wondering why the Mormon church doesn’t excavate the hill Cumorah in NY and find all of the other artifacts from the great battles that supposedly took place their along with the huge room with all of the other gold plates that are buried there?
    I think you should go on MRM and access some of the videos Bill McKeever has done on the topic…..when you’re ready to face it that is.

  8. Rick B says:

    Falcon, Lets be fair here to Helen and the LDS church, Wait, Fair only comes once a year and in August. So lets be honest, The LDS church has the Charlie brown and Lucy football syndrom.

    Just as lucy keeps pulling back the football, the Mormon church keeps moving the massive battle at the Hill Cumorh. Since nothing has been found, you simply move the battle field. Then keep moving it until people get tired and stop talking about it.

  9. falcon says:

    None of that matters anyway because it’s all about “revelation”. I’ve learned that it’s useless to talk about actual physical evidence, DNA or linguistics. It’s even useless to talk about the Bible. So it’s “revelation” that’s the key with the hard-core TBMs. The Mormon folks who are on their way out the door “get it” when it comes to actual evidence. A TBM is locked into a form of thinking that doesn’t allow for a thought that Mormonism isn’t true. That’s why it’s a losing game to feed them actual evidence. They just come-up with whatever fantastic explanation is necessary to retain their faith in Mormonism.
    So it has been revealed to me that Joseph Smith is not a prophet, that the BoM is not true, that the LDS church is a false religious cult claiming to be a restoration of “original” Christianity, and the current Mormon prophet is merely a man who ascended to his current post in the LDS church because he happens to be better at church politics than his rivals. It has further been revealed to me that the “Jesus” that Mormons speak about is not the qualified Savior revealed in the Bible.
    The TBM has their mind bent to a degree that up is down, black is white, yesterday is really today. So appealing to common sense, reason, logic or evidence is not something that they appreciate or can mentally process in light of their current mind-set.

  10. CD-Host says:

    You see we know the man’s account is true because when we prayed about it we got a good feeling and that’s all it takes to prove truth.

    As I was commenting on the other friend. I agree, I can’t imagine what sort of fool would say something like, “the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God, yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts” right Falcon?

    I’m wondering why the Mormon church doesn’t excavate the hill Cumorah in NY and find all of the other artifacts from the great battles that supposedly took place their along with the huge room with all of the other gold plates that are buried there?

    The same reason your church doesn’t do excavations around Jerusalem to find any evidence of a Davidic Kingdom, or excavations in Egypt to find any evidence that at any point in history there ever was a Hebrew speaking population that lived there.

    You sure you want to play the history game? At least native Americans did in fact exist during the period the BoM describes its events. She’s got you stone cold beat there.

  11. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon overstates, “So it has been revealed to me that Joseph Smith is not a prophet, that the BoM is not true, that the LDS church is a false religious cult claiming to be a restoration of “original” Christianity, and the current Mormon prophet is merely a man who ascended to his current post in the LDS church because he happens to be better at church politics than his rivals. It has further been revealed to me that the “Jesus” that Mormons speak about is not the qualified Savior revealed in the Bible.”

    Now how is that possible? — of course our friend does not describe how it has been revealed, dare I say anymore?

    Most LDS have given testimony after testimony of experiences that describe clearly how they received revelation stating that the Book of Mormon is true.

    Here is how I have seen Evangelicals describe there testimonies —- I was led to the Word of God, I opened the Bible and He revealed by His words the truth of all things.

    Never do they mention, I studied, I pondered, I prayed. Never do they declare a still small voice spoke to them, never do they proclaim they had a dream or vision. But we do see them over and over tell us they know because its in the Bible, yikes. So we see our good friend Falcon most likely got his answers about the Book of Mormon right out of the most recent and freshly printed version of the Bible, I wonder what version he uses so we can all be enlighten as which one is the most correct.

  12. Kate says:

    “You sure you want to play the history game? At least native Americans did in fact exist during the period the BoM describes its events. She’s got you stone cold beat there.”

    Really? I always say that hindsight is 20/20. Joseph knew Indians existed didn’t he? Where’s the steel, horses, wheat, barley, coins etc…that Joseph wrote about in the BoM? Where are the bones or artifacts left from a massive battle near the hill comorah in New York? Oh that’s right, now there is more than one hill comorah because they have found nothing there. Where are the remains of the those civilizations who numbered in the millions? I was just in Rome and saw the great Roman ruins of the Roman Forum. Nothing has EVER been found in any part of the Americas that match the BoM peoples. What is so disturbing to me is the way the LDS church just swoops in and tries to take away the unique history of the people of Central America. How arrogant. I wouldn’t say Helen has stone cold beat anyone, but then again, it isn’t about winning. It’s about truth.

  13. Sandi B. says:

    Are you kidding me CD? There is not only archelogical evidence as to the places and events described in the Bible, but their is abundent manuscript evidence of the Bible itself. Show me one iota of archelogical evidence is to any of the events or places in the Book of Mormon (you can’t because there is none) or on shred of manuscrip evidence for the Book of Mormon, itself, oh again you can’t because after Joseph Smith and his cronies “translated the plates” they were than buried or lost.
    I am still having trouble figuring out what your real agenda is on this site.

  14. Rick B says:

    I think a lot of people are still questioning you agenda here.
    Now that aside, Their is no such thing as reformed egyption langauge. Not one mormon has ever been able to bring any evidence for it forth, yet that is what the BoM was translated from. If you can prove it exists you would make history and be a second saviour as it were to the LDS.

    Archeology in the Middle East consistently confirms the history of the Jews in Israel, for better or for worse. The following archeological sites are offering more information about the history of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, including more confirmations of the history found in the Bible.

    Solomon’s Wall:
    A 70-meter-long, 6-meter-high wall constructed during the time of King Solomon has been opened to the public just outside the Old City in Jerusalem. The Ophel Wall offers archeologists artifacts that date clear back to 1000 years before Christ, during the time that Solomon was doing expansion work. Visitors can now walk through and touch these walls.

    The entire site includes what is thought to be a gate house, a royal edifice, a section of a tower and the 70-meter long wall. Archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar finished exposing the Ophel site in Jerusalem, and the Israel Antiquities Authority Conservation Department did the conservation work necessary to open the site to the public.

    Mazar believes the complex forms part of the fortifications that King Solomon had built in Jerusalem according to 1 Kings 3:1: “…until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.”

    The plan of the gate house is similar to other gate houses from the First Temple Period found at Megiddo, Beersheba and Ashdod, and Mazar suggests that

  15. Rick B says:

    house might be the “water gate” mentioned in Nehemiah 3:26: “Moreover the Nethinims [temple servants] dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.”

    This find is incredibly important in offering evidence of the Bible and the reality of Jerusalem as a place of importance to the Jews 1000 years before Christ.

    Bathing Pool:
    According to history, after the Roman Tenth Legion destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70 they plowed under portions of Jerusalem so that it could not even be recognized as once inhabited. Later, in AD 130, Emperor Hadrian decided to build the Roman city Aelia Capitolina on top. That, along with his prohibiting Jews from entering the city and his banning of circumcision eventually led to the Bar Kochba revolt. After the revolt, the province was renamed Syria Palaestina – named after Israel’s enemies the Philistines as a supreme insult to the Jews.

    The Romans specifically singled out Jerusalem for this treatment because it rebelled against the Empire.
    No Roman buildings had been found in excavations in the Jewish Quarter, and archeologists had concluded that Aelia Capitolina was very small in area. However a Roman bathing pool has been uncovered in Jerusalem, demonstrating that the scope of Aelia Capitolina was larger than previously thought.

    “This discovery continues to prove that Israel is unlike any other place on earth; every stone in Israel tells a story,” said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner of Tourism, North and South America. “We encourage you to visit for yourself, because once you visit Israel- you’ll never be the same.”

    These ancient Roman bathhouse remains will be integrated into the ritual bath that is to be built in the Jewish Quarter.

  16. Rick B says:

    The prophet Micah declared that Zion would be one day plowed, saying, “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps…” (Micah 3:1).

    Later, Jesus himself foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, explaining it was because they didn’t recognize that the Messiah had already visited:

    “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation,” (Luke 19:43-44).

    Digging Up Gath:
    David famously killed Goliath, who came from the city of Gath on the frontier between Israel and the Philistine territory on the Mediterranean coast. Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University has been digging on a site at Gath since 1996, and every year volunteers swarm in to dig at Gath to help excavate a wealth of artifacts.

    Recently, several 3000-year-old Philistine jugs were found with art that showed hints of the Philistines’ Greek history in the Aegean. Gath is an important site for revealing information about the Philistines, especially during the 10th and 9th centuries BC, the time that David and Solomon were ruling. Other Philistine sites give information about earlier and later periods, but Gath is useful for that particular history slot.

    There’s evidence of Gath’s destruction in the 800s BC, which corresponds with Hazael, king of Syria’s destruction of the city in 830 BC (2 Kings 12:17).

    “Gath fills a very important gap in our understanding of Philistine history,”
    said Seymour Gitin, director of the W.F. Albright Institute
    of Archaeological Research

  17. Rick B says:

    in Jerusalem and an expert on the Philistines.

    Nebuchadnezzar invaded Gath in 604 BC and the city shows no history of ancient habitation after that.

    Maeir noted that the story of David and Goliath does give an accurate portrayal of the geopolitical temper during that time period. There was intense fighting between the Philistines of Gath and the Israelites of Jerusalem on the other side of the frontier.

    “It doesn’t mean that we’re one day going to find a skull with a hole in its head from the stone that David slung at him, but it nevertheless tells that this reflects a cultural milieu that was actually there at the time,” Maeir said.

    Guess what CD, Their is tons more evidence for the Bible, Zero for the BoM, And I am going to Israel this November for 10 days. Have Mormons tell you which lands in the BoM they went and visted latly, what BoM cites they walked around in or visted? Guess what, they did not because these places dont exist. Yet you in your secert agenda will find a way to dismiss all of this. By the way I am still waiting for your home address so I can come renounce God to your face, Then start up with my old former life by starting with you.

    Funny How Athiests want God to not exist, until some one wants to cause Bodily harm to them, then they want them to follow what God said and do no harm. You simply cannot have it both way, Expexct me to live a moral life according to how you want me to live, and claim God cannot exist. I was fine living my life how I wanted, until Christ set me free and showed me I was wrong.

  18. Sandi B. says:

    Thank you Rick for your posts that back up the point I was making. Also, blessings on your trip to Israel. I was there myself in 2007 for 14 days with my church. It was wonderful, amazing and life changing. I would go again a million times over.

  19. falcon says:

    Rick, Kate and Sandi,
    You’ve done a wonderful job here but it doesn’t make any difference to our TBM posters. This is what is known in LDS circles as “the evidence of men” and Mormons reject it. I remember the first time I had that card played on me by a Mormon on this forum a few years back. I was new to this then and went ballistic not realizing that this is part of the Mormon game.
    The evidence spins all of the tumblers into place for those Mormons who have had an inkling that Mormonism is a trip through fantasy-land. Suddenly their suspicions are verified by the evidence and they knock the dunce hat off their heads and exclaim, “How could I have been so stupid?” Until a Mormon has the “Bonk-I should have had a V-8 moment” nothing can penetrate the protective shield that the cult puts around their minds. It’s spiritual as well as psychological.
    For Mormons revelation is any ambient noise that flows through their head. As long as it makes them feel good, it’s golden.
    I remember telling a Mormon one time that God had said to me, “Why read the BoM when you already know it’s false?” The Mormon backed right down pronto! I knew at that moment saying those words had more impact on this TBM then all of the evidence I could present. BTW, what I told the Mormon was true regarding God’s message to me.
    So knowing the type of Mormon you’re dealing with is important and understanding the games they play is essential. At-the-end-of-the-day however, it’s more important to know the Word of God and how to rightly divide it. It’s the sword of the Spirit and BTW the only offensive weapon for spiritual warfare mentioned in the full armor of God.

  20. helenlouissmith says:

    Again we see the same repeat, ““Why read the BoM when you already know it’s false?” The Mormon backed right down pronto! I knew at that moment saying those words had more impact on this TBM then all of the evidence I could present. BTW, what I told the Mormon was true regarding God’s message to me.”

    If I had been that LDS Saint, I would have asked “how” did you receive that revelation? waiting for the deer in the headlights blank stare as He/she tries to explain that it’s revealed to me in the Scriptures.

    Hello, where?

  21. CD-Host says:

    Sandi —

    but their is abundent manuscript evidence of the Bible itself

    Now you are hitting an area I know very well. Go ahead lets talk manuscripts. I’m game for that. Be careful about dates here. A quote from 180 proves nothing about 120.

    Give me your evidence for a first century Luke/Acts.
    Give me your evidence for the pastorals being 1st century i.e. of Pauline authorship. Why is it that prior to the 2nd century Christians have never heard of them?
    Give me one bible ever published prior to the 16th century with your Protestant canon being the canon used.
    Give me one author or bible prior to the 383 with the Catholic Canon.
    Give me any hint of canonical Galatians prior to Marcion’s version.

    And since I started with questions. You go. You give me any book what-so-ever that you think is a great example of being widely / universally accepted Christian literature provably written in the 1st century other than Revelations, Hebrews and Mark.


    Rick —

    1) Don’t be a mock psychopath. “I’ll come to your house and kill you” Atheists are perfectly moral people. You aren’t moral because of your imaginary friend, and frankly I don’t think you are all that moral.

    2) I find it interesting you pick a 2010 find which hasn’t been explored yet. All the last 300 years of finds having similar announcements and then once the fanfare dying down turning out not to prove much of anything I think proves the likely fate of this wall. You might want to look at what happened to all those finds from the 1960s for which similar claims were made.

  22. Sandi B. says:

    Helen, you seem to want to forget that most of the Christian posters on here, were once mormons and have read the book of mormon. The reason we are here is to give input on a religion that we were once a part of, thankfully were saved out of and we care enough about mormon people to speak out against this false religion. I have never met a moromon person that I didn’t like and I have no beef against them as people. I have a beef against the mormon releigious system which is false, is bought wholesale by people who have not been told the truth and are on the road to Hell because of it,
    As for the BofM, it was well said by the representative of The Gideons who came to my church once, when he said when asked if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and he responded, “no, I don;t read fiction.”

  23. Sandi B. says:

    I am not “playing” CD and this is not a “game.” I have already outlined why am on this website, peoples eternal lives are at stake. If you want to come on here as come sort of “Atheist fan of Mormonism” than you are free to do so. If you are correct all that will happen to me is that I won’t exist any more after this life is over. If I am correct you will die in your sins and go to Hell. I hope you will repent and turn to Jesus, however if you choose not, its your choice and yours alone.

  24. falcon says:

    all someone has to tell me is who their God is and based on that I’ll make a decision as to whether or not I’ll read their holy book or scripture. I have a standard by which I judge whether or not a religion reflects the Spirit of God or some other spirit. Why in the world would I immerse myself in a book that’s been channeled from a familiar spirit through a false prophet? And the Mormon test for truth? It’s a joke. It’s for fools. It’s psychological manipulation at the least and opening one’s self up to a demonic spirit at the worst.
    Joseph Smith was an occult bindging seer who engaged in second sight vision and devination which is condemned by the Bible. If he did contact a spirit being it came from the dark side of the spirit world; the world in which he trafficed.
    Now the fact that some people can’t figure that out speaks to the depth of their spiritual delusion and blindness. Mormon temple rituals for the dead are nothing more than a carnaval for demons; a seance for the naive.
    Counterfeit religions like Mormonism, through in just enough Christianity for cover. There’s a market niche of people who will rush head long into these types of deception to their own spiritual destruction.

  25. 4fivesolas says:

    CD – If you really want to see some interesting archeological evidence for the Bible, when you’re in London, go to the British Museum. It’s very similar in stature to the Smithsonian in the U.S. Ancient artifact finds supporting the Scriptures are in abundance at the musuem – and they are quite fascinating. In particular I found the war artifacts of the Assyrian attacks on Lachish, and the ancient Assyrian cuneiform inscription detailing King Hezekiah’s tribute that he had to pay for Israel fascinating. These and other finds support the Biblical narrative.

    In addition, there is a credible archeological discovery that is quite possibly King David’s Palace:

  26. Mike R says:

    CD, you,ve tried very subtly to get the conversation over to what you really are
    here for– an audience to hear of your “research” on how the Bible can’t be trusted.
    After all , it talks about a Creator, God, and you don’t believe in God. I mentioned
    to you a week ago that this ministry is here to try to reach the Mormon people with
    the Gospel, and our concern for them since we feel that in their following a prophet
    that this prophet has in fact misled them . We can start a dialogue with Mormons
    because , as I mentioned to you, we both have in common the belief in God. This
    God has revealed Himself , in one way , thru scripture. We both carry a Bible and
    can proceed from there to commence a dialogue utilizing it . As I pointed out to
    you concerning these points, that as an Atheist you do not bring anything to the
    table respecting these points. You agreed with this and said to me : ” Mike R— Fair
    enough, this will be my last. You all have fun.” I respected that. Apparently however
    your word does’nt mean much as you were back in a couple of days. I seems that the alibi
    used for your return was to help Helen, to coach her in how to handle those “anti’s”
    since she was supposedly “outnumbered” . You need to realize that your diatribe against
    what you call ” protestantism “, as well as the Bible, is full of half truths and assumptions.
    There are ministries that can respond to these assumptions . Lastly, Helen is well aware of
    her prophet’s position on the Bible, he carries one to Church. She understands ,do you?

  27. falcon says:

    Mike R,
    Very well written post; measured, calm and accurate.
    You are right. We are here to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons who are seeking Him.
    This isn’t a forum for atheists. I’m sure somewhere out there in cyber space there are a lot of sites available for folks who want to dump the load they are carrying regarding their opposition to the Bible, Christianity and religion in general. I think what we are seeing here is a good deal of look-at-me behavior.
    As for the TBMs that show-up here, it isn’t my goal to change their mind. It isn’t even to debate them. They provide useful foils that allow us to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons at various stages of leaving the LDS church.
    Mike, you are a lot more patient than me!

  28. CD-Host says:

    Mike I responded to this but accidentally in the Getting the facts thread. First post in moderation jail other 2 went through.

    Sandi —

    The claim you were making was you had some strong evidence to support your faith that Helen didn’t have. Let me remind you:

    their is abundent manuscript evidence of the Bible itself. Show me… or on shred of manuscrip evidence for the Book of Mormon.

    The reality is you don’t have abundant evidence for the authenticity of your book. While she can trace her book back with perfect accuracy to its creation. Worse, what the manuscript evidence actually shows is that your New Testament went through a period of rapid change and extensive revision during the late first to mid 2nd century, and nothing like your canon was used by anyone until the 4th century.

    Further the manuscript evidence proves 4 major theological changes: adoptionism (that Jesus was infused with Christ at his baptism), seperationism (that Christ existed separately from Jesus), Docetic (Jesus was not fully human), patripassionism (Jesus is just another mode of the father) were present in the early church and later excised from scripture. The very evidence you would want to authenticate your religion’s historicity would refute major portions of your doctrines. The “original autographs” of your scriptures, which are virtually worshipped are inconsistent with your christology. But you haven’t looked at the manuscript evidence, you were just told there was lots of it and then “Praise Jesus.” Oh and if you are in a stricter sect you probably were warned off from studying it.

  29. CD-Host says:

    You are right. We are here to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons who are seeking Him.

    No Falcon you are here to enjoy the vicious thrill of hitting people who won’t hit back. Should I remind you of how you started this thread to share the gospel, “Smith was the consummate flim flam man. That’s what these rock gazing, folk magic practicing hicks were all about. But there’s a sucker born everyday as P.T. Barnum said.” Or maybe your very next comment, “ I remember the first time a Mormon told me the gold plate story and in his version there were a pair of magic glasses that were used to interpret the gold plates. Later my wife and I were like, “YOU”VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME”. It sounded like a bad joke yet he was willing to embrace the tale.

    That not sharing the gospel that’s vomiting your bile up. Calvin was a guy who tried to frame his sister in law for a capital crime so he could steal her dowry. Joseph Smith at his worst never did anything remotely like that (more). I get you find it fun to “share the gospel” by digging into the mud. Helen and other Mormons are too classy to “share the gospel” I guess. “A bad joke” this coming from a guy who believes in a God who has to murder his own Son so as to appease his anger at unrelated third parties, and her religion is a bad joke?

    Her doctrines doesn’t require you to believe the incoherent.


    Kate —
    I had a response but its over the word / post limit for today. Sorry but I wanted to answer this bile today. If you post on my blog I’ll reply, else tomorrow.

  30. falcon says:

    Well I see how you are now trying to promote yourself as the defender of the down-trodden, helpless followers of Joseph Smith who are unable to defend their religion. Puff yourself up much? And their you go with an attack on Calvin. What’s that about? I think you can apply the ‘vicious thrill of hitting someone” and “the vomiting your bile up” to yourself.
    Your style is to viciously and personally attack the Christian posters here. If you notice, that’s something that the Christian posters don’t do. Go after Mormonism yes. Go after the false prophet Smith yes. Go after the Mormons personally no.

  31. falcon says:

    I think this is a good time and place to post this link to a presentation that Bill McKeever did at the 2011 Capstone Conference. It’s well worth the fifty-eight minutes and five seconds that it takes to watch it. The information is pertinent to our discussion here.

  32. Rick B says:

    CD said

    You are right. We are here to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons who are seeking Him.

    No Falcon you are here to enjoy the vicious thrill of hitting people who won’t hit back.

    CD, you could not be further from the truth.
    Since you seem to know so much about what mormons believe and say, then answer this? Why can and did the Mormon Prophets teach, say and write this stuff if we cannot do it?

    “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”
    -Brigham Young, 1873

    Read pg 188 of Doct of Salvation vol 1.

    Joseph F Smith. 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. Their 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.

    D and C 71:5-11 98:14,23-26 it says meet your enemy in public. If I am your enemy which I don’t feel I am but if I am it says meet me in public to talk about this stuff. Jesus said love your enemy.

    D and C 66:7 68:1,9 go into the church’s public or private to discuss this stuff.

    D and C 6:9-11 say convince us of our error if we have any.

    Orsan Pratt the seer pg 15. we ask from you the same generosity–protect us in the exercise of our religious rights

  33. Rick B says:


    –CONVINCE US of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of god, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds.

    So CD, The LDS prophets taught this and said this, yet when we do what they say, You and LDS cry and tell us what were doing is wrong. Why not go talk to the LDS prophets and ask them why they said this and then expect people to act as if the did not.

  34. Rick B says:

    CD said,

    Atheists are perfectly moral people. You aren’t moral because of your imaginary friend,

    Really, One thing I find funny is you claim to be a moral person, yet you have an agenda here and why do many Atheists spend their lives trying to tell Christians God is not real? If you dont believe He exists, then why watse your life trying to tell me He is not real? I dont see atheists writing blogs telling people that Santa, or the Eater bunny is not real.

    Then you can say I am a Mock, Psyco path, but I believe in your heart you believe what I said since you wont give up your home address, But then no atheists ever has taken me up on my offer.

    One thing no atheists has ever been able to answer is the question of Original sin and Morals? Where do Morals come from? If the earth started with two people, No matter how they got here, then the question is, who decides what is right and wrong? You cannot base the question upon the masses because many people feel Crime, lying cheating, stealing, Rape and Murder are OK.

    We read daily in the newspaper about all the evil in the world, so where are the Moral people? The government is so corrupt it’s not funny. Have you ever seen the TV show Kid Nation?
    Modern day psychologists were going crazy to get that show on TV since they felt that they could prove that kids are good in nature.

    The show was a major embarrassment because it exposed the Psyc as the frauds they are. The last episode of the show showed the kids looting the town and burning it down. Now it’s next to impossible to find that last episode on

  35. Rick B says:


    the internet anyplace because it was such a huge failure.

    Funny how we do not need to teach little children to lie, or say the word No, it comes naturally, why is that? Why do we need to teach them to say Yes, and tell the truth if they come naturally good? We dont and you and no one can answer the question of why Kids lie by nature and dont simply tell the truth. I have three kids, You can catch them red handed and they will lie and say, It was not me.

  36. CD-Host says:

    Rick —

    I don’t disagree with those quotes. But those require actually knowing what Mormons teach and for that matter what the bible teaches. Helen, quite rightly made her case from scripture. You all claimed there was nothing pre-existent, Protestantism’s postion. She pointed to Moses 2-3 to prove there was something. You all then mistranslated the verse Gen 1:2. She didn’t catch you.

    Your bible, is quite explicit Gen 1:2, theum, deep salty water, pre-exists creation, this likely is in your bible as “the deep”. He passes over the fresh drinkable water on the surface (mim). Gen 1:3 he becomes light, sees the light says light is good. good and separates it from the darkness. Then Gen 1:4 he separates light from darkness. Gen 1:5 he names stuff, and Gen 1:6-10 he puts a barrier (raqia translated as firmament in the KJV) splitting the preexistent waters. He gathers the lower waters together. So now you have an upper layer of drinkable water, an atmosphere, a rock layer with a sea on it and then a layer of deep water below the rock (the ocean). Then Gen 1:11-13 life starts. Gen 1:14-18 God then attaches the sun, moon and stars to the firmament (atmosphere) below the upper waters (rain water) so the earth can have light.

    The bible is crystal clear. That’s organization of pre-existant matter, that’s not creation of matter. Light is from him, everything else is simply organized. Your bible absolutely, positively support’s Mormon materialism that matter is pre-existent. Helen was right.

    When she tried to present this simple truth you called her a liar (see Falcon) and focused on an entirely different work from (by my belief 6-7 centuries later, from yours 16 centuries later).

  37. CD-Host says:

    Kate — first of about 4 posts in response to your comment:

    I always say that hindsight is 20/20. Joseph knew Indians existed didn’t he?

    Yep and the authors of the first third of your bible could see ruins. The BoM is fully consistent with what uneducated Americans thought about native Americans in the 1820s. And if the first third of the bible (FTOB from here on) were written during the times it claims to have been it would exhibit similar characteristics of cultural consistency. The language in BoM is the sort of imitation high church style common to American revivals, and that is excellent outside confirmation of Joseph’s authorship. I have good reason to believe Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon and did so in the late 1820s. And because all of those things are missing, I have lots of reasons to doubt FTOB was written anywhere near the time it claims to have been written, but rather put it more around 600 BCE. That is I have lots of reason to believe there was no Moses, and that no one around his time wrote the first 5 books, there was no Joshua to write Joshua and it wasn’t constructed anywhere near the time of the Joshua story…. And even if you want to push it back a level, because after all I also believe that UBS wrote the MT that Zondervan used for their translation; then the best I can say is I disbelieve equally in Moses and Moroni. And that’s a key difference right there I know who wrote the BoM.

  38. CD-Host says:

    (replay Kate: 2 of 4)

    Both the first third of the bible (FTOB) and the Book of Mormon make ridiculous claims about prior civilizations. There is no evidence of a Hebrew population in Egypt ever existing and we have great records from them. When the Egyptians make contact with various groups in Canaan they see natives. The only mention of Israelis is a small tribe they wipe out around 1100 BCE. There is no evidence for large scale human habitation (i.e. 40 years with 2.5-3m people or even 1% of that) in the Sinai anywhere around the Moses period.

    And when I consider more detailed examples the bible is equally wanting. Joshua 8:26-28 has Joshua destroying the city of Ai. And it was destroyed, but destroyed in 2400 BCE about a 1000 years before the events in the book of Joshua took place. It remained uninhabited 1500-1200 BCE. That’s the sort of error that someone writing many centuries after would make. Which contradicts Joshua 24:26, that Joshua wrote the book or even contradicts anyone around that time writing the book. What it is consistent with is people observe those ruins and incorporating them into their story, about an “invasion”. And BTW if you read the writings of Christians from the late 1830s through the 1860s Ai was a major proof for the bible. Once it became clear that dating could not be matched then suddenly, the site was Et-Tell, it was just a Canaanite city. That is among liberal Christians, evangelicals happily use it today, Josh McDowell’s Evidence that demands a verdict page vol 2: 78, 338. Now mind you Josh McDowell did enough research to know those were, well lies.

  39. 4fivesolas says:

    CD – One quick note, I can assure you that most Christian’s who post here would agree somewhat with you when you say that Joseph Smith wrote the BOM – if by that you mean he cobbled together lifted passages from the King James Bible (ab0ut 1/3 of the text), put it together with ideas prevelant in the North American culture in the early 1800s (Hebrew origin for Native Americans), and used his fertile imagination to fill in the rest. Sure, we absolutely agree with that and the origin can be traced precisely where you indicate. However, that is not the claim of the BOM itself, Joseph Smith, the Mormon Church, or Mormon believers. Early 1800s origin for the BOM would make it a complete fraud.
    Did you see my article links above for palace ruins from the time of the Davidic Kingdom??
    Past claims that were said to disprove the Bible, and were later disproven themselves:
    1) Moses could not have written the Bible because writing did not exist – Elba tablet discovered, writing existed a thousand years before Moses. Huge oral period on which critics hang their hat – completely unnecessary (1964)
    2) King David never existed – Tell Dan Archeologists discover find tablet referring to King David, specifically King Hadad and the soldiers of the King of the House of David (1993)
    3) Sodom and Gomorrah are moral fables – Discovered walled city and temple under ash/sulphur balls, thousands of skeletons (1960s&70s)
    4) Skeptics claimed Hittites (referenced throughout Scripture) did not exist – late 1800s Hittite ruins found
    5) Pontius Pilate did not exist- Inscription referring to Governor found (Turkey,1961)
    6) Babylonian Captivity a myth – Hebrew writings found in Lachish substanting Babylonian siege (1930s)
    Can the BOM even be examined in such a fashion?? No.

  40. Jared says:

    1. First off, it’s been AWFUL trying to post on this board ever since the comment format changed. Try as I might, I could not log in. It used to be very easy. = (

    2. If anyone remembers me (formerly Dale)..

    3. Some of the comments are laughable. I cannot believe anyone would say that because the Native Americans were around in pre-Columbian times, that is evidence for the BOM. You have GOT to be kidding me. “View of The Hebrews” must also be true!

    Like many have said, I want to know why the church hasn’t dug up the Hill Cumorah in NY. CD, let’s say for an instant that there is no evidence for the Bible, what difference would it make? This is a place to discuss the validity of Mormonism. Anyone with a passing interest in the subject wants to know why NO artifacts have been found. It’s a legitimate question. Why hasn’t the Hill Cumorah been excavated?

    Imagine if the LDS Church excavated it and found some physical evidence. That would surely add to their credibility; but like it or not–whether it’s fair or not–the BOM is under the burden of proving itself true–to a much greater extant than the Bible.

    4. That said, all this archeological talk is grossly misplaced in this topic. Sharon Lindbloom brought up a very interesting subject–a contemporary of Joseph Smith–who knew Smith–recalling how he tried to fool neighbors in a similar manner to the story of the gold plates. At the very least, it’s circumstantial evidence that goes with Smith’s drinking habit.

  41. falcon says:

    In an interview with John Dehlin on “Mormon Stories” Grant Palmer (An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins) answered the question from John about where he thought the BoM came from. Mr. Palmer answered by saying “……25% from the Bible, 25% from evangelical Christian revivalism of the time, 25% from things that ‘were in the air’ at the time, and 25% from Smith’s own creativity”. Mark Twain called the BoM “chloroform in print”. He also had a comment about the “…..and it came to pass” that dominates the tome but I can’t remember what it was.
    I’ve mentioned several times that in my opinion the Community of Christ Mormon sect has thrown in the towel on the BoM and give their members the option of seeing it as an actual historical document or a “spiritual” book.
    For those of us who see through Joseph Smith’s con, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would take the guy seriously. But that’s the nature of “spiritual” things. There’s always someone who will buy a program, the daffier it appears the better. It’s all about the desire to believe it. Once someone is emotionally hooked, then they chase about attempting to find some rational explanation for what they believe.
    Actually it’s the same with atheists. They have their own dogma for their religion and an arrogance and self-aggrandizement that is driven by pure ego.

  42. Rick B says:

    CD said

    When she tried to present this simple truth you called her a liar

    CD, Let me fill you in on a few things.
    1. Dont sit here and try telling me I called Helen a liar with out cause. You should just go away as you said you would. Helen I assume is a big girl and does not need an atheist defending her and more than Paul needed a demon possesed girl telling the Gospel.

    I have been on this blog since day one when the blog got started. If you going to get into a debate over me calling some one a liar then you better have all your facts before opening your mouth, and you dont.

    You laid out a case and had some wrong facts here. First off when I asked Helen for info on the pre-existence, you claim she quoted from the Book of Moses to support her facts. The FACT is, I asked for evidence from the Bible ALONE. So By you butting in you missed that and that was not what I asked for. Then when I asked her to support her view from the Bible, I was clear I want the entire story so to speak, I want to see in the Bible where it says, Some people sat on the side lines and simply watched the battle, and as a result of them being less than valiant they were cursed with black skin, and how we pass through the veil of forgetfulness and things along this line. Helen said these things were taught By Jesus and the apostles, they were not. Then when I asked where they were she could not show me.

  43. Rick B says:

    Then later she denied this debate ever happened, Instead she said I asked her were the PRINCIPLES OF MORMONISM were taught in scripture, That was not what I said and not what information I asked for. So she lied and I called her on it. Now when people lie to me I dont simply say to them, Hey, your a liar and leave it at that. I give great details of what they lied about, how and why. So don t sit here and tell me I dont know what I am talking about. All you have done and can do is attack the Bible and tell us we believe things we dont. So you said you were leaving, show us your the Moral person you claim you are, keep your word and leave. I promise I wont miss you when you leave.

  44. falcon says:

    In the video I linked to above, Bill McKeever gives a great overview, with details, of the fantastic story told by Smith regarding the “recovery” of the golden plates and how Mormons are now stuck with trying to come up with equally fantastic explanations for Smith’s account.
    I especially like how Smith was accosted by a man when he was on the way home with the golden plates and had to tuck them into his coat and run with them. Let’s face it, if Joseph Smith didn’t invent the habit of some folks to exaggerate the size of a fish they caught, he took “fish story” to new levels.
    As Bill points out, the golden plates as described by Smith, would have weighed 200 pounds. Try to tuck 200 pounds under your arm and run with it. I’m waiting for Mormons to say that Joseph Smith actually morphed into the Incredible Hulk when the highwayman hit him with a gun.
    Actually that would fit in well with Smith’s account of the finding of the golden plates.
    Bill also goes into detail discussing how the “witnesses” to the golden plates never said they saw them with their physical eyes. What they describe is seeing them through the “eyes of faith”.
    Smith, the practitioner of folk magic, would know very well how to manifest this parlor trick with some guys susceptible to his power of suggestion. It’s really not that hard to pull off such a scam as mediums do it all the time and Smith was a medium on steroids.

  45. Brian says:

    Dear Helen,

    If I could, I would like to comment on some observations you have made:

    “Here is how I have seen Evangelicals describe there testimonies —- I was led to the Word of God, I opened the Bible and He revealed by His words the truth of all things. Never do they mention, I studied, I pondered, I prayed.”

    Before I became a Christian, I had spoken with Christians and listened for a considerable time. What made an impression on me was the peace and assurance they had. They claimed to know they had been forgiven. Forever. They claimed to have eternal life. (How amazing is that, Helen?) And their confidence in the Bible. By which they claimed to know what God is like, what he’s promised, and why he is faithful to keep his promises.

    I certainly didn’t have that. I was a pretty self-righteous person, actually. And I understood what I had heard about the cross, about God’s grace. Implicit in the cross is this message: I am not good. I didn’t like that message. Certainly not.

    “Never do they mention, I studied, I pondered, I prayed.”

    And then, I finally decided to do some study on my own.


  46. Brian says:


    I began with the book of Romans. And there, systematically presented, was every major subject I had discussed with my Christian friend. And I began to understand.

    The Bible tells us to meditate upon the word of God. That is, ponder it. This I did as well. And I saw the sufficiency of God. And his provision to make me righteous in his sight. And I also saw that I had been wrong.

    It was not many weeks later that I prayed. I prayed to my Lord. I told him that I was giving up with myself. I was separated from God by my sins. I knew I could do nothing to remove my sins. Or merit heaven … or God’s favor … or his blessings. I asked Jesus Christ to, in effect, be my sin. And to be my righteousness. And he transformed me into a new person.

    And just yesterday, as I was reading the Bible, I am still in awe of all this.

  47. helenlouissmith says:

    Brian, congratulations. There are many Christians that do study, ponder and pray. Since being here and other Christian Forums the usual mocking of our testimonies by the burning in the heart, or still small voice, or dreams and visions has pretty much been poo- pooed or put down.

    My personal feelings are that God can reach those who leave them selves open to revelation. Thanks for your testimony, it was meaningful too me.

  48. Kate says:

    “So we see our good friend Falcon most likely got his answers about the Book of Mormon right out of the most recent and freshly printed version of the Bible, I wonder what version he uses so we can all be enlighten as which one is the most correct.”

    One could ask you which version of the Book of Mormon you are using. Is it the original ? Or one of the others that have been changed and “updated” over the years? That works both ways. You aren’t using the original Book of Mormon. I also wonder why you use a Bible at all. You have absolutely no problem disrespecting it.

  49. falcon says:

    Did I say I got my answer regarding the BoM from the Bible?
    This recent batch of Mormons who have shown up here seem to have a very bad habit of creating their own reality regarding what we Christians post.
    Rick, has been railing against this propensity of these folks for making it up as they go along.
    Two thoughts here.
    First of all, way back when, we had a Mormon show-up and asked that we Christians give our testimonies. So several of us did. As it turned out it was one of those nasty little Mormon traps because this Mormon wasn’t at all interested in learning about the hope the lies within us. This Mormon poster merely wanted to impugn, malign and make fun of our sincere efforts to explain how we came to Christ; from sinner to saved.
    So I’m not real interested in sharing my testimony any more with the type of Mormon who show-up here and post.
    Secondly, I really don’t get this idea of “what version” of the Bible do I or any Christian read. The point of that is what? That’s a comment made out of sheer ignorance. It’s another one of those little mottos that Mormon entertain themselves with down at the wards.
    BTW, what God told me about the BoM came by way of revelation. Therefore a Mormon cannot question it.

  50. falcon says:

    Here’s something else that I know. The Bible wasn’t written as a result of a spirit guide appearing to someone and leading them to dig up some gold plates and translate them by use of a magic rock. It’s amazing that Mormons put more faith and confidence in a guy putting a magic rock in his hat, shoving his face in the hat and declaring that he had translated some golden plates. BTW this methodology precluded the possessor of the magic rock and hat from actually considering the golden plates which he says he dug up. Now that’s a real magic trick!

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