Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mormonism Madness and Money

They are easy to dismiss, easy to ignore, easy that is, until you see them in action. And having seen them in action, having bore witness to the words fell from the lips of its leaders, that, "We know the voice of the Lord" it becomes increasingly harder, if not impossible, to dismiss them as just another crackpot cult. Which of course is just what they are, a crackpot cult. A crackpot cult, running only a close second to the epitome of crackpot cults, the Scientologists. Neither can however, nor should they ever be, dismissed as harmless crackpot cults.

I think by now, unless you have been living in some strange place, some place not within the confines of the Galactic Federation for example, are fully conversant with the cult of cults, so I shall leave the Scientologists out of this and concentrate my focus on the Mormons and the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Being the more easy of the two to dismiss, though that not always being the case, the Mormons having been the focus of much scrutiny in the past. But much of that scrutiny being transferred when, God in his infinite wisdom, gifted the Mormons the presence of L Ron Hubbard and the even more bizarre, Church of Scientology. A church, must be said, that attracts its very own type of crackpot. Seat belt essential. Five point harness essential.

Your knowledge of the LDS might be somewhat limited, to include only, that of those two clean cut young men who knock on your door at an inconvenient time, and in general, make a nuisance of themselves. And of course, everybody knows that they shun tea and coffee, as equally, everybody has heard of the Osmonds. Discounting of course residents outside the GF. (Galactic Federation)

Before featuring that which caused my resurgence of interest in the Mormon cult, the watching of the documentary, 8 The Mormon Proposition. A documentary that highlights much about Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, none of it pleasant, much of it sinister, and not least, revealing greatly, the near totalitarian control the LDS Church holds over its parishioners. But before we take a look at that control, and among other things, a look at a black day in Mormon history, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a couple of things you should know. Seat belts advised.

In the Beginning

According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the Garden of Eden in which God placed Adam and Eve is located in Jackson County, Missouri, near the town of Independence.

Circa 600 B.C.
According to Mormon belief, an Israelite named Lehi journeys with his family from the Middle East to the Americas. Lehi's descendants divide into two tribes, the Nephites and the Lamanites, named after two of Lehi's sons. The Nephites, initially more prosperous and religious, become corrupt over time and are locked into centuries of warfare with the nomadic Lamanites, whom Mormons consider the ancestors of Native Americans.

33 A.D.
After his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ appears in the Americas and preaches to the Nephites. Christ's appearance inaugurates a period of harmony with the Lamanites that lasts 200 years, but eventually the tribes fall into conflict again.

385 A.D.
A Nephite prophet named Mormon has been writing the story of his people. On the eve of a climatic battle with the Lamanites, Mormon turns over the core of what will become known as the Book of Mormon, transcribed on gold plates, to his son Moroni. Mormon is mortally wounded in the battle at a place called Cumorah, and the Nephites are nearly obliterated, but Moroni survives another 36 years and adds material to the Book of Mormon before sealing up the plates in 421.

Joseph Smith, now 14, has become increasingly troubled by denominational differences among local Christians, but remains unsure which church is the right one to follow. One spring morning, he goes into the woods and witnesses a pillar of light descending from heaven, followed by an image of God and Jesus Christ (who are perceived by Joseph as separate "personages") forgiving his sins and warning Smith that all denominations have strayed from the truth and he should not join any of them. This event, known to Mormons as the First Vision, does not dramatically change Smith's life. He continues to work the farm and treasure hunt with his father, and when he mentions the vision to a local minister, he is scorned. Smith will not give his followers a detailed description of this vision until 1839.

September 21: Fearing that he has fallen off the right path, Smith prays forgiveness for all his "sins and follies" and receives a vision of the angel named Moroni, who speaks of a book written on gold plates and buried in a nearby hillside. According to Moroni, the book describes the people who used to inhabit America and contains "the fullness of the everlasting Gospel."

September 22: Guided by his vision, Smith locates the book in a box in the Hill Cumorah, just three miles from the Smith farm, but is told by Moroni that he cannot take the gold plates yet; instead he must return on September 22 for each of the next four years and be instructed on the mission God has in store for him. When Smith attempts to touch the box anyway, he receives a shock and is thrown to the ground.

September 22: Now that four years have passed, Smith successfully digs up the gold plates. Warned by Moroni not to let anyone else see them, he does show his mother an unusual pair of spectacles with precious stones where the eyepieces would normally be. These stones are to help Smith translate the book from the "reformed Egyptian" in which it is written. But rumors of a golden Bible have begun to circulate in the neighborhood, so Joseph and Emma Smith must flee potential thieves. Financially assisted by a local farmer named Martin Harris, the couple sets out for Harmony, hiding the gold plates in a barrel of beans.

December: Emma's father allows the couple to stay in a small house on his property, and Joseph begins the task of translating the writing of the gold book, using his interpretation device and dictating the results to Emma.

April: Harris, who has followed Joseph Smith to Harmony, takes up work on the book, writing down Smith's dictation. Over the next two months, they produce 116 pages of text, but then Harris takes it back to Palmyra to show his doubting wife and loses the only copy.

June 15: Emma gives birth to a child, Alvin, who dies that same day (only five of the couple's 11 children will live beyond infancy). When weeks pass with no word from Harris, Joseph heads back to Palmyra and discovers the loss. Begging for forgiveness, he is visited by an angel who takes the gold plates for a time as punishment for Smith's indiscretion.

September 22: Smith gets the gold plates and interpretation device back.

April 5: Young schoolteacher Oliver Cowdery arrives in Harmony and becomes a scribe for Smith as he resumes the translation of the gold plates. The two men finish work in June.

May 15: In the midst of their translation, Cowdery and Smith take to the woods to pray and are visited by John the Baptist, who confers the Aaronic priesthood upon them. This is a critically important event in the history of the church since it precedes the restoration of the church. John the Baptist also tells the two young men that the Melchizedek Priesthood will also be restored and that when it is restored, it will give them power to "lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." Then, in anticipation of the organization of the "Church of Christ," John the Baptist announces that Smith will be "the first Elder of the Church" and Cowdery the second. The two men then baptize each other in the Susquehanna River.

June: Smith, who has completed the translation at Peter Whitmer's farm in Fayette, New York, receives a copyright for The Book of Mormon. Eleven witnesses will later sign statements that they have seen the gold plates from which The Book of Mormon was translated; three of them, including Harris and Cowdery, further assert that they saw an angel bearing the plates.

August: Smith locates a publisher for the Book of Mormon in Palmyra and typesetting begins. The 5,000 copy initial print run is financed by a $3,000 mortgage on Harris' farm.

August 6: Non-Mormons attempt to prevent church members from voting, leading to a bloody melee. In the charged aftermath of the violence, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs orders all Mormons to either be driven from the state or wiped out.

October 30: Stirred up by the governor's decree, an anti-Mormon mob massacres church members at Haun's Mill, killing 17, including unarmed children. Opposition to the Mormons rages. Smith is arrested, charged with treason, and sentenced to death, his life only spared when the officer ordered to carry out the execution refuses. Smith instead will spend the next five months in jail.

Smith declares that he will run for president of the United States, announces in a sermon that those who obey God's commands can become gods themselves, and orders the destruction of an opposition newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor. The ensuing outcry leads to criminal charges, and after starting to flee, Smith changes his mind and surrenders to state authorities.

June 27: While in jail, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum are shot and killed by members of a mob. No one will ever be convicted of the crime.

Brigham Young, who is head of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a church leadership body, directs the exodus. Their winter departure causes great hardship, but in four months the Mormons will travel more than 300 miles to temporary quarters along the Missouri River where it divides Iowa and Nebraska. There they will wait out the winter of 1846-47 before beginning their westward trek again.

April: The Mormon pioneer company led by Young leave their winter quarters in western Iowa and head west. Young has been plagued by self-doubt, but a February vision of Smith renews his confidence.

July 24: A Mormon advance party including Young reaches the valley of the Great Salt Lake, and Brigham, who will be made church president later in the year, confirms that this is where the Mormons will settle, beyond the boundaries of the United States. His followers promptly mark off an acre that will be reserved for a temple and then begin laying out city streets and setting up irrigation systems.

March 10: Congress approves the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which cedes much of Mexico's western territory, including Utah, to the United States.

Beginning in 1848, thousands of Mormons make the trek from Winter Quarters to the Great Salt Lake Valley. In the first months they suffer terribly, but they begin to create a "kingdom in the tops of the mountains." Young sends groups of Mormons to settle in various parts of the intermountain west.

Brigham Young is appointed governor of the Utah territory.

President James Buchanan, reacting to reports that Young is ruling Utah as a personal theocracy, declares the territory in rebellion and sends 2,500 soldiers west from Kansas. While offering no armed resistance, the Mormons harass the military's supply trains.

September: Mormon militia led by John Lee and acting in tandem with a group of Native Americans attack a wagon train of settlers from Arkansas, slaughtering 120 men, women, and children in what becomes known as the Mountain Meadows massacre. Only 17 children under the age of eight are spared. Young's possible role in authorizing the atrocity will be hotly debated over the years, but the evidence suggests that at the very least, he covered up the truth of the crimes committed.

The complete and unabridged Mormon timeline available here.

End of part one.

L Ron, eat yer heart out man.


Anonymous said...

Be ready for some views from 'Salt Lake City'

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the comments section.

Himself said...

Be ready for some views from 'Salt Lake City'

I haven't started yet!

Have you not noticed how low key I kept it.

Himself said...

I've registered, let us see.

Anonymous said...

Video shooting under Utah law....

Anonymous said...

I thought you were kidding me mind is now boggling about Ms.Smart and her four times a day rapes...Poor old Mitchell must have been worn out having to keep removing these LOL

Anonymous said...

I am trying really hard to think of a 'majical' moment while one would be wearing these....I am still boggling..If this is the standrad variety I wonder what else is on offer ?

Anonymous said...

Obamas mother baptized by Mormons

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

The Genealogical Society of Utah, founded in 1894, later became the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The department's research facility, the Family History Library, which has developed the most extensive genealogical record-gathering program in the world,[citation needed] was established to assist in tracing family lineages for special religious ceremonies that Mormons believe will seal family units together for eternity. Mormons believe that this fulfilled a biblical prophecy stating that the prophet Elijah would return to 'turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.'[3]

A funny lot, the Mormons.

jack kass said...

Morons I mean Mormons have got to be the dumbest cult around as most of the cultists don't even know their history or at least the nasty parts, they must be exsisted out of their history books. I find it hard to believe in this age of science that morons can believe wearing magic underwear will get them a planet to be a god on. All religions are full of crap BS some just have more. MORONS for president Since religious belief has bothing to do with running I wonder how many votes the party of satan would get, other than Levey or whatever his handle is. CRACKPOT IS AS CRACKPOT BELIEVES