Those who have been reading the blog a long time might remember a post I made in February of 2009 about two funny Book of Mormon reviews written on Amazon.com.
I found them hilarious and I remember laughing REALLY hard when I read them. It was funny, and most of the people who left comments and emailed me about that particular post really enjoyed it.
Well, for the past couple days I have been getting comments on the article from TBMs... the first comment is from a ten year old... or someone who CLAIMS to be a ten year old. There is no way of knowing who anyone is online, and I usually take comments written by children with a grain of salt. If a kid reads this website and gets upset, I do feel kind of bad... but that is free speech for you, isn't it? When I get comments like this I usually never respond because I don't want to antagonize a child. I don't want to hurt a child.
Anyway... here is what 10 year old (again, maybe) anonymous had to say:
Im only ten. I dont know everything (trust me i dont think i do...) But i do know is that while reading this, i could only get through the first couple of paragraphs, before i started crying. I felt like i wanted to vomit ( im not trying to sound mean or anything but thats the way i felt) after reading this. I was making a schedual of things i had to do before i went to bed and one is read the scriptures. I was look ing for pictures when i stumbled across this, i though it was a normal pic then doubble clicked and got this. It hurt. I dont know what made you drop out of the church but i guess you have your reasons. I know i wasnt forsed to read this so im not holding anything against you or anything im just stating what im feeling. When i was eight, well two years ago i mean, my dad died. My family, we were nothing. I could bacically hear my mothers heart ripping inside her chest and i didnt know what was going on, When we got the news i felt like crawling into a ball and dieing myself. But i had to stay strong for my mom, so i just went up into mmy room. I kept thinking why me? What could i have done to deserve this? But i pushed those thoughts aside and did the thing me and my dad loved doing the most, reading my new scriptures. (he died a couple moths afer he baptised me) And i didnt stop reading. even when i didnt understand it, i kept reading and, i felt the spirit so strong, i didnt even feel like crying, all i could do was smile. Cause i could feel my daddy right there next to me, hugging me. I havent missed a day reading the scriptures once since then. I think ive been the the strong one carrying my family ever since. I think i have a stronger testamonly then every teenager out there, because even though, reading things like this thingy you wrote, things like that, dont even phase me. So thank you for making me express my feelings and with your attemt to have me questoning, made me even closer with my Heavenly Father. Thank you and good luck with your life i hope it brings you happiness and love. C:Dearest Anonymous,
I am sorry if a comedy bit written by two people (neither of which were me) about the Book of Mormon made you cry within the first couple of paragraphs and then you felt you wanted to vomit. I completely understand that feeling because thats how I felt after learning the truth about the church. It's not fun. It's not easy... but I am better off for it now.
So, you were making a list of the things you had to do before you went to bed and one of those things was read the scriptures? Cool. Go for it. Read, read and read again... just like I did. Nothing wrong with it. As a matter of fact, reading the Book of Mormon and really absorbing what is in it might really help you in the future one way or another.
I lost my Dad, too. It wasn't easy and I loved him very, very much. He was a good father and he taught me soooo much. I am sorry you lost your Dad, I really mean that.
If you take comfort in the Book of Mormon that is great. Some people take comfort in religion, some take comfort in remembering the person they lost, some people even take comfort in the thought that they have tons of wonderful memories with the person they lost.
Again, I didn't write these two funny reviews, I just shared them. What is funny to one person isn't funny to everyone else.
This is a blog about my exit from the Mormon Church. It says so right on the page. I did what was right for me. You do what is right for you.
You are ten. Be a kid. Go out and have fun with your friends. Get good grades. Learn learn learn... PLEASE learn. I am not talking about religion either. Learn about the world, learn about other cultures, learn about science, learn about the earth, and learn about how you can help save it. You seem like a bright kid, and while you are welcome to the blog at any time, please remember that this is a place for ME to share what I think and that you are more than able to create a blog and do the same thing (please get your Mom's permission before doing so).
Good luck you to,
Again, I don't really like replying to kids. I don't want to turn a child's life upside down or make a kid cry. Not my goal. This is a place for free thought and conversation about Mormonism and life in general. There is no way for me to block children from accessing WindySydney without marking the blog "adult content" which it is *NOT*.
Here is a comment from Joseph. I will be tackling this one a little different because... well... because I want to.
Hey, I don't mean to offend you in any way, I'd just like to let you know that for one who claims to have read the BoM close to 20 times, you really don't appear to have gotten much out of it.
Hey there Joe.
When people begin a comment with "I'm not trying to offend you, BUT" you know that you are likely going to offend someone. Right? Why else say that? Don't worry, I didn't take offense to your comment. I just wanted to take the time and make a proper reply.
Guess what? I got tons out of the Book of Mormon. Did you read the entire blog or just this particular post (that I didn't write, just shared)?
It's hilarious when people think they can judge what I know and what I don't know by reading one post on WindySydney. Here are some of the things I got out of the Book of Mormon (only a very small sample from 1 Nephi, go here for TONS of examples):
- The Native Americans are the decedents of those "who dwindled in unbelief." As a punishment for their disbelief, their skin was darkened and they became "a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations." 12:22-23
- The Nephites were "white and exceedingly fair." 13:15
- You must do whatever the prophet (Jesus or Joseph Smith) says. Those who don't will be cut off. 22:20
- Soon all the churches of the devil (non-Mormon churches) will be destroyed. 22:23
- "I make a record in the language of my father ... the language of the Egyptians." That's a strange language an Israelite around 600 BCE to write in! 1:2
- It only took Nephi and his family three days to travel from Jerusalem to the Red Sea. (A distance of 250 miles) 2:6
- Nephi breaks his bow, "which was made of fine steel." But the technology for making steel did not exist in 600 BCE. 16:18
- Nephi says that whatever he wrote on the plates was sacred. But he admits that he might make some mistakes, just like they (the guys who wrote the bible?) did. Not that he's making any excuses, of course. 19:6
- How could Nephi, supposedly writing this around 590 BCE, quote words from the book of Malachi, which was not yet written? 22:15
I'm not talking about a spiritual witness or anything, because I'm sure you DID receive that, but have since lost it for one reason or another. I'm talking about factual accuracy.Again, if you had taken the time to read the blog and not just assume things about me from an article that I didn't write you might understand more about me. You know nothing about me, you only know that I thought a spoof of a Book of Mormon review was funny. Wanna talk facts? I am ALL FOR IT!!
Please, lets talk facts.
With a cherry on top???
Get back to me, leave a message here and we can have conversations about the facts in the Book of Mormon. I welcome it, I encourage it and I hope you follow through.
Maybe your memory isn't what it used to be, but you seem to be doing a very poor job separating the rumors from the facts, specifically having to do with the events occurring in the BoM (but, I'm sure, pervading to other aspects of your representation of Members of The Church).
I have a pretty good memory.
It's really funny that you think I am the one with the facts wrong. Please, again, get back to me about the things I listed above and we can talk about my poor job of distinguishing facts from rumors. Bring it. :)
Or, maybe you are intentionally misrepresenting the book and its means of being written? Your motives are beyond me, but I think it should be made known that your version of events is by no means accepted by the majority of those who know absolutely anything about this religion.For the 5,000,000,000th time, I didn't write the reviews you have a hard time with. I just copied and pasted them for fellow ex-Mormons to enjoy.
Thank you for your opinion, though I must disagree.
I am not misrepresenting the Book, nor its means of being written. I have the actual facts, and you have what the church has spoon fed you. Learning about the "translation" of the Book of Mormon was one of the major things that made me realize the church was a bunch of crap.
Joseph Smith used a seer stone that he had been previously convicted of fraud with to translate the golden plates into what you now call the Book of Mormon. He put the stone in a hat, put his face in the hat, covered the light and claimed words glowed from the mystery rock.
It's not just something South Park made up. It's what really happened:
"In writing for your father I frequently wrote day after day, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us." -Emma Smith
"I, as well as all of my father's family, Smith's wife, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, were present during the translation... . He [Joseph Smith] did not use the plates in translation"5 -David Whitmer"
The manner in which he pretended to read and interpret, was the same as when he looked for the money-diggers, with a stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the woods." -Issac Hale
"When Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon [I] had occasion more than once to go into his immediate presence, and saw him engaged at his work of translation. The mode of procedure consisted in Joseph's placing the Seer Stone in the crown of a hat, then putting his face into the hat, so as to entirely cover his face, resting his elbows upon his knees, and then dictating word after word, while the scribes - Emma, John Whitmer, O. Cowdery, or some other wrote it down. -Michael Morse (Emma's Brother-in-law)There are plenty more quotes, but I didn't add them. I have the link if you want it.
This is a timeline of the events:
- 1822 - Joseph Smith finds a seer stone while digging a well by his farmhouse
- Sept 1823 - Joseph Says he sees Moroni in a vision in his room and is allowed to see the plates but not take them.
- Sept 1824 - Joseph visits the plates again, but is not allowed to take them
- Sept 1825 - Joseph visits the plates yet again.
- March 1826 - Joseph is arrested for "glass looking" with the seer stone to find buried treasure
- Sept 1826 - Joseph visits the plates
- Sept 1827 - Joseph finally takes possession of the plates
- April 1828 - Joseph begins translation of Book of Lehi with Martin Harris as scribe
- June 1828 - Manuscripts for Book of Lehi are lost
- July 1828 - Joseph receives revelation telling him his gift of translating is taken away for a season
- Sept 1828 - Joseph starts re-translation of Book of Mormon without any instructions from God or any kind of revelation. He just does it on his own, the really odd thing is he doesn't attempt to re-translate the Book of Lehi, and skips 1Nephi, 2Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni and Words of Mormon. He continues where he left off chronologically at the end of the Book of Lehi, or the beginning of Mosiah. His wife Emma served as scribe.
- April 1829 - Joseph begins the "rapid-fire" translation now with Oliver Cowdery as scribe
- April 1829 - Oliver Cowdery wants to translate with the magic rock in the hat, is granted the ability, then God changed his mind because Oliver isn't patient enough.
- May 1829 - Joseph receives revelation not to re-translate Book of Lehi and to replace it with Books of Nephi. The Lord also tells Joseph that "NOW" his gift of translating is "restored" hmm...
- June 1829 - Transcript is finished, witnesses "see" the plates and Joseph gives them back to Moroni.
They didn't see the golden plates with their eyes.
They saw the plates with their "spiritual eyes."
They saw the plates in their heads, my friend. NO ONE SAW THE PLATES. Probably because they never existed. Here are some things you might not know about the witnesses:
- The witnesses' experiences may have only been visionary in nature. There are many statements given by the witnesses that indicate they only saw the angel and the plates in a visionary experience. Why would people need to see real, physical plates in a vision or a real angel that was physically on the earth? There are also several statements saying that the only time they saw the plates was when the plates were covered in a cloth or tow frock.
- The witnesses did not all see the plates or angel at the same time. The plates were seen in two groups of four not all eight together as popularized in church paintings. Only David Whitmer and perhaps Oliver Cowdery saw the angel together. Martin Harris removed himself from the group and did not see the angel until perhaps three days later (Anthony Metcalf, Ten Years Before the Mast, n.d., microfilm copy, p. 70-71). Why is this significant? Any magician will tell you that it is easier to deceive people in smaller groups.
- David Whitmer said "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, so should it be done unto them." So which statement was David Whitmer lying about or had been mistaken about? Either way he doesn't sound like a completely trustworthy witness. Note: LDS apologist rebuttal to this issue here and a critic's response here.
- All the witnesses had close ties to Joseph and his family. Some like Martin Harris had a substantial financial investment in the success of the Book of Mormon.
- These men lived in the early 1800s and believed in magical things like many people did during that time period such as divining rods, second sight, seer stones, etc. Some of the witnesses, especially Martin Harris, were easily swayed by tales of the supernatural, especially in a religious context.
- Many of the witnesses ended up leaving the church and following other leaders and religions such as Jesse Strang, the Shakers, Methodists, etc. By 1847 not a single one of the surviving eleven witnesses was part of the LDS Church.
- Of the witnesses that left the church, most believed that Joseph was at best a fallen prophet, the church changed its doctrines in error and changed revelations against God's will.
- The witnesses, who have been heralded as good, honest, Abe Lincoln-type of men were later called liars, counterfeiters, thieves, etc. by Joseph Smith himself.
- The "testimony of the witnesses" is similar to testimonials which were commonly included in books etc. in those days to help spur sales. And of course, the BOM's producers originally intended to sell copies for $1.75.
- All three witnesses believed that God Himself had told them (through Joseph Smith) that they had been specially chosen to testify to the world that they had seen the angel and the plates –– if they had enough faith. Martin Harris was even told the exact words he must use: Joseph Smith said he had a revelation in which the Lord commanded Harris to say, “I have seen the things which the Lord hath shown unto Joseph Smith Jun., and I know of a surety that they are true, for I have seen them.” And just to clinch the command, God threatened Martin Harris, saying, “But if he deny this he will break the covenant which he has before covenanted with me, and behold, he is condemned.” A personal promise (and a threat of condemnation) coming directly from God is bound to have a powerful influence on a person’s thinking!
Maybe, just maybe, I know what I am talking about. Maybe that is why so many people leave the church? We can't all have been sinners who just wanted to go around eating babies and murdering people in their beds without guilt!
It's clear you don't have any idea about the truth of the church. I was there once. I was once just like you... taking offense to things people said without having attended church, knowing the people in it, feeling the spirit... you name it. I was there.
If you want to have an open debate on the blog I welcome you with open arms. Maybe you will learn something. Maybe I will learn something.
I like to learn.
So there you have it folks. It only took a month for someone to tell me I had no idea what I was talking about. I knew they would come back!!