The Transfiguration of Brigham Young

When Joseph Smith died in June of 1844, the Mormon Church faced a succession crisis. Mormon historian Richard S. Van Wagoner explained,

“Despite frequent kidnaping and assassination attempts, Joseph Smith established no firm policies regarding presidential succession in the event of his death. The resulting confusion threw the prophetic transition into turmoil. He simply had not expected to die at thirty-eight. Never given to full disclosure to any man or woman, the prophet’s public and private statements between 1834-44 suggested at least eight different methods for succession, each pointing to different successors with some claims to validity.” (“The Making of a Mormon Myth: The 1844 Transfiguration of Brigham Young,” Dialog, Vol. 28, No. 4, Winter 1995, 4, pdf)

Many people vied for the office of President of the Church left vacant at Smith’s death. The two main contenders, however, were Sidney Rigdon (First Counselor in the First Presidency) and Brigham Young (President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles). Church members were divided and argued over the identity of Smith’s successor. A special meeting was called in Nauvoo for August 8, 1844 to decide who would lead the floundering church. Sidney Rigdon spoke and made a case for his ascension to the office of President. Then Brigham Young spoke in behalf of The Twelve. It was then that the miracle occurred.

“If Joseph had risen from the dead and again spoken in their hearing, the effect could not have been more startling than it was to many present at that meeting, it was the voice of Joseph himself; and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard, but it seemed in the eyes of the people as if it were the very person of Joseph which stood before them. A more wonderful and miraculous event than was wrought that day in the presence of that congregation, we never heard of. The Lord gave His people a testimony that left no room for doubt as to who was the man chosen to lead them. They both saw and heard with their natural eyes and ears, and the words which were uttered came, accompanied by the convincing power of God, to their hearts, and they were filled with the Spirit and with great joy. There had been gloom, and in some hearts, probably, doubt and uncertainty, but now it was plain to all that here was the man upon whom the Lord had bestowed the necessary authority to act in their midst in Joseph’s stead. On that occasion Brigham Young seemed to be transformed, and a change such as that we read of in the scriptures as happening to the Prophet Elisha, when Elijah was translated in his presence, seemed to have taken place with him. The mantle of the Prophet Joseph had been left for Brigham. … The people said one to another: ‘The spirit of Joseph rests on Brigham’: they knew that he was the man chosen to lead them and they honored him accordingly.” (George Q. Cannon, circa 1864, quoted in Van Wagoner, 14-15)

Except that they didn’t.

As Mr. Van Wagoner points out, on August 8, 1844 the Latter-day Saints chose a group of men, not one man, to lead the church when they voted in favor of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles as their leading authority. Brigham Young was not sustained as the President of the Church until December 1847, and this was not without opposition and argument. The historical facts actually suggest that Brigham Young was not chosen to lead the church that day, for one week later, on August 15, the Twelve published an epistle that said,

“You are now without a prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you. … Let no man presume for a moment that [Joseph Smith’s] place will be filled by another; for, remember he stands in his own place, and always will.” (Times and Seasons 5 (15 Aug. 1844): 618, quoted in Van Wagoner, 14)

Furthermore, history also suggests that there was no transfiguration on August 8 to guide the people toward God’s will in the matter. According to Mr. Van Wagoner, “no known contemporary record supports a supernatural occurrence” at either the morning or afternoon August 8 meetings, but there are plenty of accounts from later years that mention Brigham Young’s transfiguration.

“The earliest detailed accounts of a purported transfiguration did not begin to surface until long after the Saints were settled in the Great Basin. The fact that no account was included in ‘Joseph Smith’s History,’ completed in August 1856, or in The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, completed before his 1857 death, suggests that the myth was not fully developed by this period. The first public reference to a ‘transfiguration’ may have been a 19 July 1857 statement by Albert Carrington before a huge gathering of Saints that ‘he could not tell [Brigham Young] from Joseph Smith’ when Young ‘was speaking in the stand in Nauvoo’ during the 8 August 1844 convocation…

“Retrospective retellings of a ‘transfiguration,’ in a variety of forms, can be found in dozens of sources, yet no two seem to agree on precise details.” (16-17)

Some who later claimed to have witnessed the transfiguration were not actually in Nauvoo on August 8, 1844. John D. Lee said he saw and heard a strong resemblance in Brigham Young to Joseph Smith “at that time,” but he did not arrive in Nauvoo until August 20. In 1869 Orson Hyde, an apostle of the Mormon Church, described the famous August 8 meeting and his participation in it. He said,

“We went among the congregation…he [Brigham] spoke, and his words went through me like electricity…This is my testimony; it was not only the voice of Joseph, but there were the features, the gestures and even the stature of Joseph before us in the person of Brigham.” (Journal of Discourse 13:181)

Mr. Hyde’s testimony is astonishing – because he was not in Nauvoo on August 8, but rather arrived in the city five days later.

One contemporary account of the transfiguration of Brigham Young was found in the diary of Mormon George Laub, thought to have been written in 1846. Mr. Van Wagoner explains, “This small tan-colored leather diary, which has misled many scholars, has now been determined to be a copy of the original by Laub himself, with additions.” The original diary has also been discovered, and it contains no reference to Brigham Young’s transfiguration.

Mr. Van Wagoner sums up,

“Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, and Wilford Woodruff, all of whom made 8 August 1844 entries in their diaries, make no reference to an epiphany. Such an event, had it truly transpired, would have stood at the apogee of world history, a physical metamorphosis unsurpassed except for the transfiguration and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet neither the Times and Seasons nor the Nauvoo Neighbor, local newspapers owned by the church, mention such a wonder. Neither do the 1844 and 1845 accounts of Jedediah Grant and Orson Hyde, specifically written to refute Sidney Rigdon’s robust challenge to the Quorum of Twelve’s succession claims.” (22)

The transfiguration of Brigham Young is but another Mormon myth used to undergird the validity of a church that has no solid foundation. Mormons, consider the words of Seventy B.H. Roberts:

“…since these things are myth and our Church has permitted them to be perpetuated … might not the other fundamentals to the actual story of the Church, the things in which it had its origin, might they not all be lies and nothing but lies.” (quoted in Van Wagoner, 24)

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 Brigham Young, Mormon Leaders and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to The Transfiguration of Brigham Young

  1. SR says:

    Sharon, apologies for not speaking specifically on the topic on hand, though it does relate — I read your article in the latest MRM newsletter, about the validity or invalidity of the three witnesses’ testimonies of the golden plates.

    I’ve noticed time and again on this site and in personal experience with Mormons, that anytime we (as non-Mormons) bring up quotations or cite journals, diaries, or news articles, if the person defames or contradicts what a Mormon believes, then it is “unreliable”. I’ve seen this done recently here, with conversations in particular about Joseph Smith’s early court trials and deceptions. And yet here, both in the latest MRM mailing and this entry, we’ve seen it happen again. A Mormon will only believe something that furthers their beliefs and doctrine. It’s the same with the Bible.

    It deeply, deeply saddens me that Mormons are blind to the truth and refuse anything that is not “faith-promoting.” It is folly to believe something not rooted in fact. God created us with intelligence, in His likeness. He does not want us “believe every spirit” as the Devil is the prince of lies. Romans 10:17 says: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

    Mormons have ignored the foundation of Christ’s gospel and instead believe anything and everything a Mormon leader says, no matter the contradictions, no matter the opposing facts and, most importantly, the teachings and Gospel of Christ Himself.

  2. helenlouissmith says:

    Small correction, Sharon claims the following: “The transfiguration of Brigham Young is but another Mormon myth used to undergird the validity of a church that has no solid foundation. Mormons, consider the words of Seventy B.H. Roberts. She uses B.H. Roberts as a reference for disclaiming the Transfiguration of BY. when in fact the full quote shows something of a bit different slant, he does not specifically claim anything true or false about the transfiguration. We are left to judge for ourselves wether this event took place or not, but not based on some assumption that B.H. Roberts puts any mark of disapproval on it. This type of journalism is used solely to connect dots in a way that seems to suggest one thing when in fact it suggest nothing of the kind.

    B.H. Roberts full quote:
    Suppose your youth receive their impressions of church history from “pictures and
    stories” and build their faith upon these alleged miracles [and] shall someday come face
    to face with the fact that their belief rests on falsehoods, what then will be the result? Will
    they not say that since these things are myth and our Church has permitted them to be
    perpetuated …might not the other fundamentals to the actual story of the Church, the
    things in which it had its origin, might they not all be lies and nothing but lies? … [Some
    say that] because one repudiates the false he stands in danger of weakening, perhaps
    losing the truth. I have no fear of such results. I find my own heart strengthened in the
    truth by getting rid of the untruth, the spectacular, the bizarre, as soon as I learn that it is
    based upon worthless testimony. (Defender of the Faith: The B. H. Roberts Story, p. 363)

  3. falcon says:

    There’s a lot of myth making in Mormonism. In fact it’s called Mormon Folklore and there is a BYU professor who has studied it and has a website dedicated to it. There’s also this tendency in these myths to try and apply something from the Bible and say, “See it’s just like that” among Mormons. This is curious since they seem to impugn the validity and reliability of the Bible when it doesn’t support Mormon doctrine.
    In a way this is really a creepy account. We got Brigham Young channeling Joseph Smith. Sounds like a giant seance to me. But this would also support all of the folk magic voodoo that went on with Smith and his followers. I think most of it was amateur night but the kind of spirits these folks were cavorting with were perfectly capable of entertaining them.
    This is another one of those incidences where Mormons are trying to find some sort of supernatural support for their aberrant religious beliefs. They get hours of entertainment by retelling these fables.

  4. Mike R says:

    Two sentences in the above article stuck out for me. The first one was
    in the statement by Mormon leader George Q. Cannon where he said,
    ” The Lord gave His people a testimony that left no room for doubt….”
    Mormons have had a testimony that the above story was true. Non -LDS
    [ those who Mormon leaders say are in false churches believing false
    fundamental doctrines ] , do not have a testimony of this story being true,
    but simply believe that this story , and what it is attempting to claim,
    i.e. the need for following this man, a prophet , the mouthpiece of God, is
    simply not necessary for a gaining a right relationship with God and eternal
    life. The choice seems clear: either follow a ordinary man who claims to be
    a prophet and claims to be the mouthpiece of the Savior, or choose the Savior
    Himself who claimed to THE prophet and what comes from His mouth.
    The other sentence was from B.H. Roberts, ” ….since these things are myth and
    our Church has permitted them to be perpetuated….” By “our Church ,” he means
    of course, his leaders. His leaders are who recommend teachings that are true.
    This is their duty as spiritual guides whose counsel is claimed to be trustworthy .
    What spiritual truths have been taught by Mormon prophets and apostles since
    this event supposedly took place. What did prophet Young teach from the pulpit?
    Do we really need to ” follow the prophet” , in order to be right with God unto
    eternal life, as is claimed today by LDS ? The Mormon people are good people
    who have simply been detoured by their prophets from finding the whole truth
    about gaining a right relationship with God unto eternal life.

  5. SR says:

    Falcon, you said something very interesting. You said:
    There’s also this tendency in these myths to try and apply something from the Bible and say, “See it’s just like that” among Mormons.

    I see this time and again but the most recent piece of evidence for this came when I went to a church (not my home church, I was out of state) and the message was about King David. I couldn’t help but see the similarities between what King David did with Bathsheba and what Joseph Smith did with his plural wives! The biggest difference is this:

    The Bible says in 2 Samuel 11: 27: But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

    Mormons claim that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that taking plural wives was a command from God. In fact, the D&C says this:
    Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—

    Yet they completely ignore that the hugest point of David’s story is that what he had done displeased the Lord.

    They twist anything they want in order to deny fault in their false teachings.

  6. Rick B says:

    Mike said

    The Mormon people are good people
    who have simply been detoured by their prophets from finding the whole truth
    about gaining a right relationship with God unto eternal life.

    I dont entirely agree here. Many Mormons are good people, I agree their, I have been friends with some, But also from Talking with MM’s all the way up to stake presidents in person, I notice they will try and take me away from others hearing what we are talking about. They are not open to letting others, be it their missionary partner or people in a crowd like when I toured the SLC temple. They would take me away so people in ear shot could not hear. They willing refuse to hear the truth, it’s not that they were derailed, they were in part, but they also choose to deny the truth, so to some degree they need to be held in account, and sadly they will when they stand before God. They simply cannot make excuses and say, I never knew. God will remind them people like me and others tried telling them the truth and they rejected it.

  7. A commenter wrote,

    “’Mormons, consider the words of Seventy B.H. Roberts.’ She uses B.H. Roberts as a reference for disclaiming the Transfiguration of BY. when in fact the full quote shows something of a bit different slant…”

    My intentions in closing with the B.H. Roberts quote have been misunderstood. I did not include it in order to suggest that B.H. Roberts had a particular position on the supposed Transfiguration, but rather to pose the question to Mormons:

    “…since these things are myth and our Church has permitted them to be perpetuated … might not the other fundamentals to the actual story of the Church, the things in which it had its origin, might they not all be lies and nothing but lies.”

    B.H. Roberts was warning church leadership of problems that could come from allowing (and perpetuating) fables upon which Mormons hang their faith. Van Wagoner, my source, used the Roberts quote in the same way, prefacing the quote with, “In religious matters, however, folk tales equated with reality can ultimately destroy conviction when unmasked.”

    I suggest that if this Transfiguration story is nothing but a myth promoted by the LDS Church for the purpose of securing the faith of those who know no better, Mormons should consider the possibility (as articulated by B.H. Roberts): “might they not all be lies and nothing but lies.”

  8. Mike R says:

    Rick, I think it goes without saying that not 100% of Mormons are good
    people , my position is that the vast majority of them are good decent
    people striving to serve God, but they have been convinced that they
    need a living prophet to follow in order to learn the truths necessary to
    gain eternal life with God. The Mormon people have actually been told
    that it is incumbent upon them once they’ve joined the Church to find
    out what their new found prophet(s) teaches on important doctrines. This
    means that individual Mormons have ultimately no excuse to plead
    ignorant , Matt.15:14 ; Isa.9:16 portray this scenario I believe.
    My heart aches for these people. They deserve our prayers.

  9. Rick B says:

    Mike I agree, I do care about the Mormons and pray for them daily. If I did not care I would not be here and done all that I have. I was simply saying that even if they were derailed as you said, they are still without excuse.

  10. falcon says:

    It’s incumbent upon religious people to sort out fact from fiction. What’s interesting is that there are spiritual Urban Legends that get passed around among all sorts of religious groups.
    Some guys decide to rob a young couple. They approach them in a menacing matter but suddenly stop, begin trembling and run away. The young people some how encounter these robbers later and ask why they ran away. The reply, “We weren’t going to mess with you with those two big guys standing behind you.” The implication was of course that the two big guys were angels.
    A favorite from the 60s.
    A couple pick up a hitch-hiker in California. The guy is sitting in the back seat and out of the clear blue says, “Jesus is coming!” The couple is more than a little disturbed by this nutcase they had picked up. The man repeats the phrase a second time. More consternation on the part of the couple. Finally the guy says “Jesus is coming soon!” and when the couple turns around the hitch-hiker had disappeared.
    There’s a big revival going on in an auditorium in Kansas City. All of a sudden sirens are going off and emergency lights are flashing and firemen rush into the building. The fireman report that there was a sudden surge of electricity at dangerous levels through the grid and it was traced to that building. I think at times the story is told but electricity is replaced with some sort of “fire”.
    I remember my first grade nun telling a story of when John the Baptist and Jesus were little boys they were playing together in the mud making clay models of birds. Jesus would cause his birds to come to life and they would fly away.
    I have more!

  11. Brian says:

    Thanks for this interesting survey, Sharon. It looks like Richard van Wagoner has done his homework. Good for him.

    There are many striking points you feature from his book. One which stood out to me was Orson Hyde. It looks like about a year after the August 8 meeting, he wrote an account to refute Sidney Rigdon’s succession challenge. If Brigham Young was transfigured into Joseph Smith, this would certainly be central in Orson Hyde’s account. It receives no mention. Then, 24 years later, Orson provides his first-hand account of the transfiguration. But apparently he was not in Nauvoo at the time of the August 8 meeting.

    For sake of argument, let’s say that I could travel back in time to this meeting, and witnessed Brigham Young’s transfiguration. Would this change my perception of him? No, it would not. Why? Because I believe that Brigham Young has already revealed himself in his teachings. Teachings relating to the Virgin Birth, monogamy, Adam (Brigham’s god), and many other things.

  12. Ralph says:


    You are giving that verse out of context. If you read what God gave David in the next chapter it states –

    2 Samuel 12:7-9 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, … Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    God gave David Saul’s wives as his own wives. So why did David taking Bathsheba to wife displease the Lord in the verse you cited? The answer is given above – David slept with Uriah’s wife, she fell pregnant, to cover it up David tried to have Uriah sleep with her to make it look like the child was his. When Uriah didn’t sleep with his wife, David had him killed to cover up the fact that he and Bathsheba had an affair, then married Bathsheba. All of the wives David had were given to him by God except Bathsheba – he got her through murder and deceit. That is what displeased the Lord.

    Now you can say what you like about JS and polygamy, but what David did was different and what you are trying to say from the verse you cited – ie that polygamy displeases the Lord – does not fit in with the whole context of David and his wives if you read through the rest of David’s story.

  13. falcon says:

    We’ve been down this road with you before.
    Joseph Smith and David weren’t into the same thing and that’s not excusing David’s sin.
    Joseph Smith was manipulating teenage girls and married women into having sex with them. It’s not an uncommon road for cult leaders to go down. There was nothing spiritual about it in Smith’s case.
    Joseph Smith was a lying, manipulating misogamist. The fact that he tried to spiritualize his sin and use his position as a religious leader of this sect to seduce the girls and married women and the single adult women, makes it even worse.
    Were the Jews at the time of Jesus practicing polygamy? Did Jesus and his disciples and the early believers practice polygamy? Did Jesus teach the apostles that they would become gods and that the road to godhood was through polygamy?
    Ralph, Joseph Smith made it up! He did it to serve his own ego and sexual lust. He sold it to his leadership team who feigned resistance but were more than happy to take on more women under the guise of transforming themselves into gods.
    It just frustrates me to no end that you can’t see through it. This isn’t faith. The spirit that whispers in your ear and provides you with what you interpret as spiritual experiences, isn’t the Holy Spirit.

  14. Mike R says:

    Helen, if B.H. Roberts was’nt going to take a stand on this issue one way
    another, what about the information that Mr. Wagoner shares on this?
    WE have Mormons testifying on this being true . What’s’ your testimony ?
    Care to share ?

  15. helenlouissmith says:

    My testimony? Yes I wish to share:

    22 Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.

    23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

    24 And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned. (D&C 107:22–24).

    B.H. Roberts Is someone I also agree with, many times super natural events happened, I was not there so I don’t give merit to anything other then my own actual spiritual feelings, hearing and dreams.

    Brigham Young’s transfiguration?

    As far as unique and super natural events, all Religions are guilty of portraying that which is witnessed by a few and enhancing these events to promote their various faiths. We see this almost everyday in the newspapers, someone either sees Christ in the clouds, billboards, various photos etc, etc.
    I have never given personal pause to such witnessing and feel that the individual will sort these miraculous events accordingly, some will travel great distances to verify, some will believe and others will kiss it off as sensational.

  16. falcon says:

    What you’ve given is a testimony of the Mormon religion which is fine as far as it goes and quite frankly it goes no where.
    There’s not a shred of support for Mormonism either in the Bible or the history and tradition of the Christian Church.
    The foundation of Mormonism is built upon the revelations of a man with a magic rock, who had a propensity to tell tall tales.
    So if you want to participate in his made up religion and claim a testimony for it fine but you may as well be dancing around a totem pole for all the good that religion will do for you in obtaining eternal life.
    The Mormon Melchizedek priesthood is an example of Smith’s inventiveness. How, by the way, did he receive the Melchizedek priesthood? It’s an interesting tale right up their with BY being transfigured and channeling Joseph Smith’s voice.
    Christ is the High Priest, period. I’d tell you to read the Book of Hebrews but you’ve demonstrated time and again that you have no clue how to properly interpret Biblical text. You’d see UFOs in the Bible if told they were there.
    The twelve traveling counselors? Big deal. The Christ they testify to isn’t the Christ revealed in the Bible. It’s a different gospel with a different Christ.
    The quorum? Who cares?
    What you’ve basically told us is that you have a testimony of a bogus priesthood and a form of church governance. I think you better study the history of Mormonism and see what some of Smith’s earliest followers thought of his new and improved invention when he dumped the original Book of Commandments for the D&C.
    For all the good Mormonism will do you Helen, you may as well have a testimony of Free Masonry.

  17. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon, I was asked to explain by Mike R. the following, “WE have Mormons testifying on this being true . What’s’ your testimony ?
    Care to share ?

    I shared the fact that since I did not see the Transformation or how the Apostles handled the death of JS, I answered the only way I knew how, my personal belief and faith in Jesus Christ and His promise to reveal all truths. James 1:5. I worry not about JS and BY’s transformation. It could be true or it could be hyped up and spiritually enhanced. Does this bother me, not not any more then what the ADAM God theory truly revealed about BY’s sermons or why Blacks could not hold the Priesthood.
    Do men make mistakes, yes take a good look at Christianity and the many good leaders who failed for various reasons of moral breakdown. Do I condemn them, no, because I need to worry about myself first and my own repentance from sin.

    Free Masonry? I support the Masons, my Father was a Mason, and we still don’t understand where the many wonderful Mason ordinances came from, for now just speculation. So why worry over obvious speculation like so many deniers of Mormonism do? If there was any absolute evidence that the Book of Mormon is fictions, I would be willing to make that journey into researching it for myself, so far I have researched everything thrown at its conception and found it sooooo lacking in accuracy or hard evidence that its anything other then what it claims, a second witness that Jesus is the Christ.

  18. Kate says:

    So let me get this straight….Sidney Rigdon was the first counselor in the first presidency….Isn’t this how the LDS prophet succession goes? That the first counselor moves up and is the prophet? Now I know this wasn’t set up when Joseph Smith died, but couldn’t the president of the quorum today just have a “transfiguration” and claim to be the prophet? How would the LDS feel about that? I’ll tell you how, they would feel he was lying because that is not the order of things. So in my mind, Sidney Rigdon should have become the new Mormon prophet. What does all of this say for Brigham Young?

  19. Mike R says:

    Helen, thanks for your reply. I asked for your testimony concerning
    the transformation of Brigham Young specifically . Do you believe it
    happened ? Thanks.

  20. Kate, the precedent for the LDS Presidency succession is that when the sitting President dies, the First Presidency is automatically dissolved and the Counselors go back to their places in the Quorum of the Twelve. Then, at a later date, the President of the Twelve (the one with the highest seniority) becomes the new President of the Church, chooses his Counselors, and the new First Presidency is organized. The President of the Quorum of the Twelve has often served as the previous First Counselor, but that is not always the case.

  21. Mike R says:

    Helen, I don’t follow your reasoning concerning : where you stated that
    because you were’nt physically there at the time this alleged transformation
    occurred that this means you have no testimony of it being true or not etc.
    You were’nt present when the BM was being translated yet you appealed to
    James 1:5 for and answer from God. Might you consider doing the same for
    an answer to the question I asked you ? I don’t think moral perfection by
    your leaders is the question here, I see that as not central to the question
    I posed to you. If this transformation did not happen would it be right to
    continue to teach it to LDS today ? That is what I would like know. Thanks.

  22. The current LDS manual, The Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual Religion 333, says on page 32,

    “The Lord Confirmed to the Saints That Brigham Young Was Joseph Smith’s Successor.”

    Then follow four quotes from Church leaders testifying of the supposed Transfiguration of Brigham Young plus the manual’s own statement,

    “Hundreds of Saints were present when Brigham Young appeared to be Joseph Smith. This manifestation clearly signaled that Brigham Young had the priesthood keys to lead the Church.” (page 33)

    So what is a Mormon supposed to do with this? The Church claims it happened and presents it, not as just a nice story, but as a revelation God provided to confirm who was supposed to succeed Joseph Smith — and how the whole succession thing was supposed to work in the future. Did the Church make a mistake regarding the successor to Joseph Smith? Did the men who manufactured their alleged eye-witness accounts of the Transfiguration make a mistake? Does the Church continue to make the same mistake today? Is it a mistake to question the Church’s continued use of the Transfiguration myth? I think it’s a mistake to say it doesn’t matter and look the other way.

  23. Mike R says:

    Sharon, thanks for the documentation . You rightly brought out the fact of
    how those who follow false prophets can rationalize the testimony/teachings
    of these spiritual leaders by using the word “mistake” instead of ” false teaching.”
    We are told that we can trust Mormon prophets and apostles spiritual guidance.
    What does the following promise have to do with this whole episode :
    ” From the beginning of its history the Church has opposed unsupported beliefs.
    It has fought half- truth and untruth. ”
    [ Salt Lake Messenger # 66, quoting Mormon Apostle John Widtsoe’s Evidences
    and Recociliations, p.226 single volume edition ]

    This error in leadership by Mormon authorities is not an isolated one. It becomes
    one more reason why the Mormon people can see the value in dismissing their
    leaders claimed authority in their lives. These men simply are’nt needed for a
    person to experience a complete relationship with God and eternal life.

  24. Sandi B. says:

    Maybe I am being simplistic, but I just see this as another example of the Mormon chruch’s attempts at deifying Joseph Smith. Why don’t they just be honest, admit Joespeh Smith is their center and stop using the name Jesus Chirst. It is the chruch of Joseph Smith pure and simple!

  25. falcon says:

    So Helen,
    You’re telling us that you’ve researched the BoM thoroughly and found it to be true and historically accurate? That’s really fascinating since there’s no evidence that it’s a historically accurate document. If you want to say that you read it and it made you feel good, I can buy that. But you’re making a claim that can’t be substantiated as to it’s historical accuracy. Like I’ve mentioned before, the Community of Christ appears to have figured it out and give their members the option of seeing the BoM as a “spiritual” or “historical” book. I would say they’re about one generation away from seeing it as a “spiritual” book.
    So you’re into the priesthood. Now where did the priesthood come from? Well as the tale goes, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829 and Oliver baptized Joe and vice versa. Now Helen, since you weren’t there are you going to believe that this happened? My understanding is that this is all recorded in another one of Joseph Smith’s fabulous literary works, “The Pearl of Great Price”. I guess the way the story goes Peter, James and John sent John the Baptist to confer the “Aaronic Priesthood” on Joe and Ollie. Again, since you weren’t there you have no way of knowing if it actually happened but so what?
    You’re sure cutting your Mormon leaders a lot of slack. On the one hand these guys are perfect in their articulation of Mormon doctrine and practice and on the other hand, are just flawed men. I don’t think you can have it both ways Helen. The prophet is suppose to be hearing from God. Now either the Mormon god changes his mind a lot or these prophets are more than just flawed men.

  26. falcon says:

    It fits perfectly that you’re grooving on Free Masonry. Isn’t it just wonderful how Free Masonry and Mormonism fit together just like hand in glove? And the rituals are so wonderful. I especially like the throat cutting and bowel dissection part of the rituals not to mention the secret handshakes. You know this is all Biblical of course and was practiced by the first century Christians in their Masonic like temples, right?
    I guess they also have secret passwords but I’m not sure about the decoder rings.
    Joseph Smith did a wonderful job of discovering these ancient truths and making them apart of his Mormon religion.
    Do the Masons have a form of communion where they drink wine out of a skull? That might be just made up to defame this organization.
    It all fits together so well; Mormonism, Free Masonry, and the occult folk magic of Smith. We get the added bonus of magic seer stones and occult symbols plastered all over the Mormon temples and the sacred underwear, not to mention Joseph’s Jupiter Talisman that he liked to wear.
    It’s a glorious religion Mormonism. And what’s so cool is that it combines all of these rich ancient wisdom, truths and rituals.
    Helen, will you be buying a Ouija board?

  27. Ralph says:

    Thanks or the reference to the Institute manual Sharon. In reading that page I now understand how this story could be embellished by those who were both present and those who later heard the story. In the 3 eye-witnesses accounts they didn’t say that BY looked like JS or seemed to transform into him, but that they noticed that JS’s ‘mantle’ was upon BY. Now in using the word ‘mantle’ they could mean that BY did look like JS. However, the other use in the LDS church is the mantle of the office/calling. They did say that BY voice and mannerisms reflected that of JS but they only said that JS mantle seemed to be upon BY. So maybe there was something about the office/calling of a prophet that these people recognised that BY displayed that the other speakers didn’t, and it is in reference to this that the eyewitnesses were talking about. Later, others that heard the story embellished it a bit more or misunderstood the use of the word ‘mantle’ and made the story sound as if BY looked like JS.

    Due to space restrictions, here is one of the eyewitnesses accounts from the same manual and page you referred to, you can look the other 2 on online in the manual. Clearly in this she is talking about the calling/office of a prophet, not the visage of JS.

    Drusilla Dorris Hendricks also recorded her experience: “Pres. Brigham Young began to speak. I jumped up to look and see if it was not Brother Joseph for surely it was his voice and gestures. Every Latter Day Saint could easily see upon whom the priesthood descended for Brigham Young held the keys”

  28. Ralph, thanks for your perspective on the Institute manual’s accounts of Brigham Young’s transformation. While you believe “In the 3 eye-witnesses accounts they didn’t say that BY looked like JS or seemed to transform into him, but that they noticed that JS’s ‘mantle’ was upon BY,” I read it differently. Here are the three additional quotes included in the manual (in addition to the one you provided in your comment). I’ve bolded some text for clarity as I continue my comment below:

    “If Joseph had risen from the dead and again spoken in their hearing, the effect could not have been more startling than it was to many present at that meeting. It was the voice of Joseph himself; and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard; but it seemed in the eyes of the people as though it was the very person of Joseph which stood before them.” George Q. Cannon

    “Brigham Young began to speak and at that time I sat with my back towards the stand as did many others. And when Brigham spoke he spoke with the voice of Joseph and we turned around to see Brigham speaking in Joseph’s voice and behold Joseph’s mantle had fallen upon him.” Zera Pulsipher

    “I can testify that the mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham that day as that of Elijah did fall upon Elisha [see 1 Kings 19:19; 2 Kings 2:11–15], for it seemed that his voice, his gestures, and all were Joseph. It seemed that we had him again with us. He was sustained by the voice of the people to be the prophet, seer, and revelator” Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy

    Also consider the words imposed by the manual itself:

    “Hundreds of the Saints were present when Brigham Young appeared to be Joseph Smith.”

    The language I bolded above indicates to me that this was not just seen as a passing of Joseph’s mantle, though I agree that the mantle idea was certainly included. Brigham spoke in the voice of Joseph. He seemed to be the very person of Joseph. It seemed that Joseph, though dead, was now with the Saints once again. Brigham Young appeared to be Joseph Smith himself. I think the idea of Brigham Young looking like Joseph Smith is clearly present in these statements, and it is no stretch whatsoever to get the idea of a transformation as well. If this is not the impression the Church wants the students to take away, it certainly could put the persistent myth to rest here in the manual – but it doesn’t.

  29. falcon says:

    This is pure Mormonism as it functioned in those early years. My guess is that the Mormonism you’re involved in “down-under” bears not even a faint resemblance to what these early Mormons were into. But you’ve bought into some hybrid model that maintains a major remnant of early Mormonism with updates as needed.
    I’ve often referenced the book “Temple Manifestations” written by a Mormon that chronicles all sorts of things similar to the channeling of JS by BY. We even read about one prophet having the signers of the Declaration of Independence appearing to him demanding that temple work be done (for them).
    I know you’re deep into the Mormon delusion Ralph so I’m not anticipating that any of this will shake you loose, but for those Mormons that come here and read who are working their way out, the information provided here is critical.

  30. Mike R says:

    Ralph, I’m glad you could admit that much of this “faith building story”in
    Mormon history was,in your words, ” embellished by those who were both
    present and those who later heard the story.” Some of “those” would have been
    Mormon authorities right? They undoubtedly would testify because of a
    spiritual confirmation ,a personal revelation , that what was said to have
    happened at this event did in fact happen. Was there any counsel by these
    spiritual guides to tell the whole truth about this event ? LDS are taught
    that their leaders are trustworthy guides, that there is safety in following
    the prophets teachings [ ” You can always trust the living prophets”. Church
    manual, True To The Faith, p.129 ] . This scenario is similar to another episode
    in Mormon history as examined on this blog, see the 6-21-2010 thread ” Beloved
    Rescue Story, Say It Aint So ” . It’s important to note at this point that Mormon
    leaders claiming to be watchmen on the wall who watch for any spiritual
    deception that might influence their faithful followers, have at one time issued
    some very pertinent counsel : Brigham Young and the F.P. were disciplining
    Apostle Orson Pratt for his spreading his personal speculations as being
    authoritative church doctrine. Prophet Young said this, ” We do not wish
    incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity under the
    sanction of great names, to be received and valued by future generations as
    authentic and reliable, creating labor and difficulties for our successors to
    perform and contend with, which we ought not to transmit to them…..”
    Seems like great advice . Does this not speak of what we’re talking about
    here ?

  31. Mike R says:

    I think this whole episode is small potatoes compared with the huge question
    it raises . Just like the tip of a iceberg is small, it’s what lies under the surface
    of the water that needs to be taken very seriously. In like manner the big
    question the Mormon people need to ask themselves is , can they trust their
    leaders’ testimony and counsel concerning spiritual matters ? Perhaps these
    men have embellished the truth of God’s Word on important doctrine. LDS
    are taught that they can trust the insight from these men concerning proper
    scriptural interpretation. Can They? This whole scenario starts with and ends
    with Mormon leaders since they allowed this “story” to be passed down . My hope
    is that this would start the Mormon people into stepping back a bit and asking
    themselves how much can they trust their leaders. Jesus said to Beware of
    false prophets.This is good counsel for all of us, but especially those who follow
    a prophet–1 Jn.4:1;

  32. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon is back to assuming incorrectly: “You’re telling us that you’ve researched the BoM thoroughly and found it to be true and historically accurate?”

    I did what? and where did I say this? You assumed as usual with out really comprehending what I actually stated — ” If there was any absolute evidence that the Book of Mormon is fictions, I would be willing to make that journey into researching it for myself”. So far Falcon, not one critic has ever produced on piece of evidence showing it is not what it states to be, A Second Witness That Jesus Is The Christ.

    Then you also assume or pointedly proclaim, ” If you want to say that you read it and it made you feel good, I can buy that. ” Of course you never asked and since you seem to want to assume I had a feel good experience we will just leave it at that so as not to rock your fantasy of Mormons getting all these warm fuzzy feelings. When you’re truly interested in some light and knowledge about personal revelation, just ask, this could make for some productive back and forth comparisons of how you and I both know that Jesus is the Christ or Lord and Savior.

    Talking about Prophets, we have Abraham and who he became, a man of righteousness. Articulate in the Doctrine of Christ yet a flawed man, he committed the heinous sin of marrying more then one wife. Now Falcon, we can’t have it both ways now can we? Now Abraham heard from God yet showed to you Christians he was a flawed man. Most amazing wouldn’t you say?

  33. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon mocks, “I guess they also have secret passwords but I’m not sure about the decoder rings.”

    Falcon I guess you have already given your self over to the dark side of ridiculing and mocking, something Sharon has warned us about and you even admitted too ascribing to being more Christian in debating civilly. What happened, did you so soon forget your own admittance to a more kinder and Christian back and forth with those who you come to convert back to your faith and show the us how we have strayed from the Gospel of Christ.

  34. falcon says:

    I think that you should also consider that Mormons, until most recently, grew-up with the idea that the men who hold the top slots in the organization have had Jesus appear to them individually. That’s a pretty big claim. I don’t know if these men would stand-up at conference and give a detailed description of this, but none-the-less the rank and file assumed that these guys have actually seen Jesus. They’ve now changed the mind-set on this to the guys having a “witness” of Jesus. That’s quite a down-grade to an actual appearance.
    I’ve talked in the past about how Oral Roberts claimed a 50 or 100 foot or whatever giant size Jesus appeared to him. Oral’s followers of course believed Oral had actually “seen” Jesus. Years later I read a report that Oral had refined the story and that he explained that he had seen Jesus in his “mind’s eye”. Did Oral see Jesus in a vision or did he get a picture of Jesus in his mind?
    Joseph Smith had the ability to get people to “see” things. Couple this with his working knowledge and penchant for folk magic along with his story telling ability and I think we can understand where these appearances come from.
    It’s necessary for people to build their faith on a solid foundation which is the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Mormons have built their faith on the myth telling of Joseph Smith. Time and again it has been demonstrated that his visions, prophecies, and written work are pure fantasy. But it’s not even these things that put Mormons in spiritual darkness. It was Smith’s cornerstone doctrine that there are millions and billions of gods and that men can become gods that have doomed many a sincere Mormon.

  35. falcon says:

    Helen, come on girl. Take a breath!
    So you haven’t studied the BoM? Is that what you’re telling me? Where did you get the line that not one critic has been able to prove that the BoM is not a witness of Jesus Christ? That sounds like something someone told you down at your ward and now you repeat it. It’s kind of like the Mormon line, “Mormon scholars answered all of those questions years ago.” All better now!
    So Helen the BoM testifies to Jesus Christ. There are lots of fictional books that testify that Jesus is the Christ. Do you follow the God revealed in the BoM or do you follow the god revealed in the King Follett discourse? They’re not the same God Helen.
    It seems to me like you’re pulling one of your little fast ones that you have come to be known for here on MC. Are you saying that the BoM testifies to Jesus or are you saying that the BoM is a historically accurate account of a lost tribe of Jews who floated over to the Americas on some specially designed boats? Because what I’m reading from you is that the BoM is a testimony of Jesus….period.
    Helen I get all kinds of personal revelation. Do you want to play a game of “can you top that”? All sorts of people of various religious stripes get personal revelation. That’s why as a Christian, I go back to the Word of God and also apply spiritual discernment to determine if the “revelation” is true.
    Hay Helen, I came to Jesus in faith in April 1972. I can give you all of the details if you’d like. Here’s the problem Helen. I came to Jesus. You profess faith in a different Jesus.

  36. falcon says:

    Oh Helen so now it’s the old “mocking” charge; another Mormon favorite, a derivative of the persecution charge. Helen it’s the sting of it where the truth lies. I would suggest you be honest enough about it and admit it to yourself. I see you’re copying my charge about the “dark side” of Mormonism by trying to attach it to what I write. Helen, there’s a way of getting at the truth with a little humor. I’d suggest you lighten up.
    Helen, in order to get converted “back” to the faith, you have to once been there.
    Oh, I forgot.
    Abraham’s “wives”. Have you read the account in the Bible. Did Abraham “marry” Hagar?
    God had promised Abraham “seed”. There was a problem however. Abraham and Sarah were old. So Sarah decided to help God out so she gave her servant girl Hagar to Abraham to conceive a child. The Bible recounts how Sarah’s lack of faith and the offspring produced by that act, caused all sorts of problems. This whole deal was not God approved.
    Abraham wasn’t taking on a bunch of wives so that he could become a god of his own planetary system as Joseph Smith taught.
    The God of Abraham wasn’t one of millions or perhaps billions of gods who lives on or near the planet Kolob where he procreates spirit children with his cadre of wives.
    BTW Helen,
    If the BoM is a historically true and accurate account of a people, why does someone need to pray in order to get a sign that it’s true? If it where true it would be obvious by evidence. Colleges would be using it in anthropology, geography and history classes. The DNA of the American Indians, their language and artifacts from archeological digs would be in some big museum.

  37. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    If there was any absolute evidence that the Book of Mormon is fictions, I would be willing to make that journey into researching it for myself”

    Give me a break Helen, No matter what we say, you LDS deny it and excuse the fact their is zero evidnce. I pointed out before that the reformed egyption language does not exist, you said it has not been found yet, so that is not evidnece it does not exist. That is straight up stupid.

    Then no lands in the BoM have ever been found, I will be going to Israel this November, I will not be going to visit any lands mentioned in the BoM. The Battle of Hill Cumoruh, nothing has ever been found to prove it happened, so now they need to keep moving the land where the battle took place.

    JS said no man can see God without the priesthood and live, Yet he saw God with out the priesthood and lived, JS had nine first vison accounts, no all can be true, yet LDS cannot decide which first vison accout really happened. So you take all this on faith and dont care about the lack of evidence. Then you say, well these things are not proof the BoM is fiction since the First vison is not about the BoM, of JS having the first vision, you will say, well that again is not about the BoM. No matter what we say, you guys have excuses. So dont sit here and try playing stupid, I know better.

  38. Mike R says:

    Helen, Falcon, Rick, respectively , but how did we get onto the Book of
    Mormon ? I’m still waiting for Helen to answer the question I posed to
    her concerning what Sharon has posted on this thread. Helen, if I’m
    reading you correctly it seems that you want to file this thread topic
    under, “who cares”. Would you please take a moment and consider why
    this event in Mormon history was important enough to your prophet
    and apostles that they allowed it to be placed in a Church teaching
    manual ? They feel it is important. If they care about it why don’t you?
    You’ve had a couple of days to pray over this, what did the Holy Ghost
    confirm to you? I won’t ask you anymore concerning this, but it would
    be nice if you could see that IF this event was latent with lies then that
    might cause anyone to be gun-shy about joining a church that has leaders
    who have’nt been trustworthy in passing down accurate spiritual truths to
    their followers. Thank you.

  39. Rick B says:

    Mike said

    Helen, Falcon, Rick, respectively , but how did we get onto the Book of
    Mormon ?

    Mike, I’m sure you know this already but incase you dont, sometimes side question arise in asking questions. This was a question that arose from Falcon, and Helen replied, so I then asked a question.

    Also Mike, In case you missed it, a long time back when Helen came here, she basicly stated she is not here to answer questions, and she avoided many questions, she claimed something like, we wont believe her or wont care or something to that effect. I said it was more like she cannot answer them, she knows she has zero evidence and wants to believe what she wants to believe. So Helen said she is only here to correct mistakes. Also she has a short memory and I busted her for…

    Lets just say, not getting her facts straight. So since she cannot recall exactly what she said, it is in her best intrest not to answer questions, in case she forgets what she said, she does not want me pointing she got things wrong. So Mike, honestly dont expect an answer from her on the question you asked.

  40. falcon says:

    Mike and Rick,
    See the problem with Mormons like Helen is that they have these pat little answers that they’ve been taught or can access when needs be and anything beyond that is an intellectual no-mans land for them. I can understand your question Mike and what you are getting at but the Mormon Helens can’t get to that level of questioning.
    I’m not saying this to be condescending. It’s just a fact and is part of Mormonism. So when Helen comes on here in order to “correct” things, she has to consult the Mormon Q&A lamented card so-to-speak. There’s no investigation that goes beyond a FAIR or FARMS website.
    These counterfeit religions do a good job of intellectually dummy-ing down the members because that’s how they keep them under control.

  41. Actually, Rick B, the introduction of the Book of Mormon on this thread came from Helen, not Falcon. I believe what Mike R is getting at is that Helen is attempting to hijack the thread and turn the discussion from the topic of the Church’s perpetuation of myth as truth, to a topic she feels more comfortable with. If Helen succeeds, she is naturally excused from answering Mike R’s question and will not have to take a stand on the Church’s duplicity. By accommodating Helen’s change of topic we unwittingly contribute to the pattern of questions going unanswered.

  42. Rick B says:

    Hello Sharon,
    Well Sorry about that, sometimes I am gone for a while and when I come back their are 10 or more posts that I need to read and catch up on, and get information overload.

    But that still does not change my postion on Helen, She knows I dont trust her, she knows why, she does not care, but she has given no reason to believe she is really a very honest, moral, Christ following person. The evidence leads to she is a follower of her true father, the devil.

  43. helenlouissmith says:

    Sharon, I have no problem talking about such topics such as the supposed comment and belief that some think it was a transfiguration some believe it was more the Mantle of God; showing that it rested on BY.
    I personally feel, since I don’t know, that it was the Priesthood of God (mantel), the Keys of the Apostles and the authority combined with them as a united group of men who preached that Jesus is the Christ, Lord and Savior to all. Some claim that since I believe in revelation this should be a no brainer either way. I personally don’t think God acts in this way in revealing every little detail, but is mighty in Revealing the truthfulness of His Doctrine which saves lives. My pointing to the Book of Mormon was only a tool used to convey that this (Transfiguration of BY), is peripheral in nature and has little to do with the more important aspect of Mormonism, the Keystone of our Religion the Book of Mormon. I expressed my opinion that proving the Transfiguration is not something that will convince me either way that something is amiss which would destroy my already strong testimony concerning the Book of Mormon.

  44. falcon says:

    You’ve sort of switched gears here just lately talking more about Jesus as Lord and Savior. The supposed transfiguration of BY channeling JS is not something you want to focus on. I’m sorry but the sudden (in my opinion) emphasis on Jesus is a way of avoiding inevitable questions that will arise if you start asking questions regarding things such as the supposed transfiguration of BY.
    Just for fun I decided to do a little search on Oral Roberts because I have referenced Oral’s claim that he saw a gigantic Jesus. As it turned out, the Jesus Oral says he saw was actually 900 feet tall. Oral also added that he had talked to a young construction worker at that time and later felt that this young man could have been an angel. I had forgotten that some time later Oral needed to raise 8 million dollars for his medical school. He told his followers that God had told him that if he didn’t raise the money God “would take him home”.
    Now why do I go through all of this. Well Oral Roberts’ theology was probably 100% orthodox as far as the very basics of Christianity goes. But he got off into these wild and wholly areas that put him in a totally different venue of Christianity. Anyone can claim anything regarding the supernatural. I never got into Oral’s program because, while I believe he preached Christ and Him crucified and probably was an instrument God used to bring many to Christ, I just couldn’t buy Oral’s claims of the supernatural. But at least Oral had the basics of doctrine right.
    The Mormon church doesn’t. Folks like yourself are depending on the Mormon church to make you gods. It’s won’t happen Helen. You need to find the real Jesus.

  45. falcon says:

    When JS wrote the BoM he had a fairly orthodox view of who God is. As I mentioned in my above post, just recently you seem to want to focus on the BoM as it is a testimony of Jesus Christ. I don’t doubt that it probably appears to be such since JS was privy to evangelical revivalism of the Methodist church. Grant Palmer says that the eight preachers in the BoM bear a very strong resemblance to the revivalist preacher types of the 19th century. I don’t doubt that you would react positively to what is conveyed by these characters in the BoM.
    Here’s the problem Helen. While Joseph Smith started out fairly conventional in his beliefs, he wandered far from what is conveyed by the BoM and certainly the Bible. You can’t have the BoM beliefs and the later beliefs of JS. You’re attempting to hold two opposing beliefs at the same time.
    If you really love Jesus and want to embrace Him as He is, you are going to need to spend some time considering where Joseph Smith started and where he ended up and whether or not this latter belief system will bring you eternal life.
    You wonder why we Christian hold so closely to the Bible and are wary of the revelations of men calling themselves prophets? It’s because when you place your faith in what men say God revealed to them, you better have a standard by which to compare it to. Joseph Smith’s latter revelations don’t even meet the standard of the BoM.
    Helen if you’re serious about knowing Jesus as He is, you need to get into His revealed Word the Bible. You need to take a fresh look at the Scriptures for yourself without wearing your religious glasses.
    I challenge you to do this.

  46. helenlouissmith says:

    My gosh Falcon, the last thing on my mind is thinking about becoming a God. My soul direction for this earth life, at least, is just passing the course and achieving the highest degree of Glory, that being Eternal Life. I can’t do it alone and trust in my Savior, so maybe you can kind of understand that first and foremost is my strength in Him. If people want to believe in Super Natural Events, wether real or imagined and it works for them is fine by me, as for me I know what Revelation I received and will not ever deny that God spoke to me and could care less if anyone else cares to know. It amazes me that so many Christians believe in the Bible but can’t articulate how that Faith is arrived at. You may be the first one who even comes close to saying God reveals truth to you, but you don’t say how. We know that it’s not a warm fuzz feeling since you ridicule that notion. Then you kind of hint at discernment which does not really answer the question of what that means. You state that the Book of Mormon has been revealed to you as fake or a fraud without even having to read it. You never mention studying and pondering the things in the scripture or even kneeling and praying to know the truth of those scriptures so I guess it must mean the spirit within you helps to discern spiritually this or that. I wonder why Jesus stated that Peter received his knowledge from His Father in Heaven. How do you suppose God revealed that testimony? Discernment?

  47. helenlouissmith says:

    Falcon stated, “While Joseph Smith started out fairly conventional in his beliefs, he wandered far from what is conveyed by the BoM and certainly the Bible. You can’t have the BoM beliefs and the later beliefs of JS. You’re attempting to hold two opposing beliefs at the same time.”

    This all very nice, but your stating something about the Book of Mormon while admitting you never read it. It’s one thing to actually know and understand the subject and another to just arrive at it by
    some kind of osmosis, you see Falcon, I did read the Book of Mormon and find your comment lacking in fact and evidence that JS preached something other then Grant Palmer’s take.

    More on Grant Palmer if you really care to understand the man you quote:
    Prying into Palmer
    Louis Midgley
    FARMS Review: Volume – 15, Issue – 2, Pages: 365-410
    A review of “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins” by Grant H. Palmer
    Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 2003

  48. falcon says:

    Mormons who want to ignore the transfiguration of BY into JS are really between a rock and a hard place. This event has become dogma in the LDS church. The event has been institutionalized so to speak. It’s not a take it or leave it type of Urban Legend. The problem is Mormons are in a world of hurt if they continue to question events such as these that are more than Mormon folklore. The mantel of JS being placed on BY through a supposed miraculous event is real nitty gritty stuff. If these miraculous supernatural events that are promoted as some sort of proof of the truth of Mormonism are not as advertised than what about Mormonism itself?
    As Sandra Tanner pointed out in the extended video on another thread, there are those, especially in the LDS historical community, that basically stay in Mormonism because of family and job considerations and can do so because in their minds, the LDS church does a lot of good. They’ve concluded that events such as the BY transfiguration didn’t happen.
    Unfortunately, staying in a religion because it does a lot of good isn’t going to get someone saved.

  49. falcon says:

    I know what the BoM is about. I just won’t play your Mormon game and that’s what’s got your sacred underwear in a bunch.

    So you run off to your favorite Mormon website to see if you can find some character assassination on Grant Palmer. Sorry Helen I pass. Mormons are known for attacking with a vengeance, exMormons, especially those who write books about Mormonism. Helen, Mormonism can’t stand up to scrutiny.
    While you’re at it, see what they have to say about Michael Quinn, Fawn Brodie, and Sandra Tanner.
    You still haven’t answered my question, as you avoid most of what’s asked of you on this forum, as to whether or not the BoM is a historically accurate account or if it’s a testimony of Jesus. You also avoid the question regarding Joseph Smith’s view of the nature of God in the BoM and his vastly different views later.
    You can’t hold two contradictory views at the same time Helen and say they are both true.
    You also avoid any and all statements regarding the transfiguration of BY as being established dogma in the LDS church. You can’t ignore and say it isn’t important when the LDS church publishes it as true blue.
    Helen you’re just skimming around on the surface. Your faith in Mormonism couldn’t hold up if you got serious and weren’t so naive.

  50. Brian says:

    Greetings, Helen.

    I have read your recent postings for this subject. Earlier, you told us, “My soul direction for this earth life, at least, is just passing the course and achieving the highest degree of Glory, that being Eternal Life.”

    It looks like you think of life as a school course. And it’s important to pass the course. And the better your grade, the better will be the next life. Am I understanding your perspective? If it’s all right, I have a few questions for you:

    1. For this course, do all grades qualify as passing? Are there any failing grades?

    2. If you were to evaluate your performance in the course so far, what grade do you think you’ve earned?

    3. Is the grading system based upon a curve? Or is it based upon an absolute standard?

    Thanks, Helen.

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