Joseph Smith

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

For the Source for Much of the Information, please click the photo.

Records show Joseph Smith was born December 23, 1805 in Vermont to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. According to Mormon history, the family’s money problems improved under the management of its oldest son Alvin. Alvin was able to organize family finances, and labor while making annual mortgage payments. But in 1823 Alvin died leaving the financial security of the farm in Joseph’s hands. Instead of continuing with the hard labor of frontier farming, Joe was drawn like his father into “magical arts.” Historical documents show an early evidence that he began offering his services to local people as a "seer." He began to advertise himself as being able to locate hidden things in the ground from water to "buried treasure!"

4 years before Joseph Smith (who liked to be called, "Joe") organized the Church, he was arrested for practicing witchcraft in New York for having a fraudulent "seer" business. He was brought to trial, found guilty, and asked to pay a fine. He was also sued by a former employer for his "seer" services when he told the man by looking at a seer stone that he could find a trunk filled with riches buried in this hillside. After much digging, nothing was found. Joe was arrested again, and forced to pay yet another fine.

Joseph Smith claims to have received visions of the angel Moroni in 1823 (there are many versions of the first vision, this is the official story taught by the Church). Moroni told Joseph Smith that he should join no other church, because none of them were true. Moroni supposedly gave Joseph Smith the location of the Golden Plates buried in a hill on
September 23, 1827, four years later. (Buried in a hill... sound familiar?)

How the Book of Mormon was really created.

Joseph found these plates, and with the use of his seer stone, the same one he had been fined for using earlier, translated these plates into what is now the Book of Mormon. He put the seer stone into a top hat, covered the rim of the hat with his hands, and spoke the words for the translator. The plates were nowhere in sight when the translation was made. This is not the story the church teaches, but it is historical fact. The Mormon Church shows pictures like this when teaching the story to converts or young children learning about the church:

This is how the Church portrays the translation of the Golden Plates

In this photo, the plates are there for everyone to see... but in reality, no one saw these plates. Joseph Smith told people that if they saw the plates something horrible would happen. Here is a paragraph from Jerry Stokes' site about witnesses to the Book of Mormon plates:

Emma told her son that she “ touched the plates” under a thick linen table cloth. “They seemed pliable like thick paper.” Three early Mormon leaders called the three witnesses signed a sworn affidavit that stated they had seen the plates, but also claimed to have seen an angel. Dr. Bushman says all three later left the church. ibid. Also in June 1829 another eight leaders called the eight witnesses swore that they viewed the gold plates. In the later years most of these men recanted their testimonies, and were excommunicated from the Mormon church. Brigham Young said, “Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates, and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel.

Why does the Church feel the need to change the history? Is it because they know their history doesn't show that Joseph Smith is everything they claim him to be? If Joseph Smith was lying, the whole Church is a fraud, and this has been stated by the Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley.

Joe was nothing more than a con artist, and the Church is covering up that fact as best they can, but they can only do so much. The time will come for them to realize that they have to tell the truth about the past, and when that happens many people will leave the church.