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Joseph Smith On Ancient Aliens


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#1 Olavarria

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:37 AM



Fast Forward to 5:30min.

Edited by Pedro A. Olavarria, 29 July 2011 - 08:38 AM.

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#2 Ron Beron

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:43 AM

I just finished watching this and what a hoot. To summarize, Mormons believe that Joseph...
  • Spoke with a celestial being known as Moroni who told Joseph he came from the Pleiades!
  • Mormons believe that God lives on a distant planet.
  • The hill Cumorah is actually an Indian mound that is a monument of some kind to ancient astronauts.
  • I have heard lots of garbage before, but this takes first place in the stink division.
Excuse me, but I have to go and communicate with my home teacher, Space Commander Zorg.
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#3 volgadon

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:03 AM

Reminds me of an "investigator" from Southern Russia. He combined space age ideas with McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" and the Qur'an. Adam and the sons of God were displaced from the earth by the sons of man, who came from the moon (or it could be the other way round), and that true believers are bionic, having the word Allah imprinted in Arabic on their heart-valves.
He also considered himself the angel Gabriel and composed tone-deaf death metal hymns to God.

Edited by volgadon, 29 July 2011 - 09:03 AM.

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I assure you that it is you that is ignorant of ancient Judaism. Read the Bible instead of listening to your teachers who appose [sic] the bible. -Echo

i REALLY NEVER NEW YOU WAS A UNLEARNED PERSON. -Lucy Ann Harmon, a facebook anti-Mormon

#4 scooby

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:28 AM

Pleiades used to be a Jehovah's Witness thing, just in case anyone is wondering. The guy just got confused.

Edited by scooby, 29 July 2011 - 09:29 AM.

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#5 JeremyOrbe-Smith

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 10:17 AM

Haha, good stuff. :D

However! At risk of sounding looney and discrediting myself forever ... I have to say, if we're honest, it's not an entirely inappropriate comparison. Certainly the anti-Mormons love to point out similarities between us and, like, the Erich von Däniken-type conspiracy theories. Secret combinations indeed.

Now, true, there are very significant differences; we're not saddled with secret brotherhoods of Reptilians, etc. We haven't attempted much in the way of theorizing about the actual physics of the glowing bodies of the personages who appeared to Joseph, and far from being Roswell aliens, they were quite explicitly human. So I'm personally very wary of people who seem to be desperate to believe in the New Age mix of myth and modern technology (cf, the Urantia Book), when people take the ancient astronauts theories too far, too seriously, beyond what the evidence allows.

At the same time, however, I'm also somewhat incredulous when people refuse to see any similarities. The thing is, as a big science fiction fan, I've read enough to realize that Nibley is largely correct in his evaluation of the genre: ( http://maxwellinstit...103&chapid=1158 ) All the powerful themes dealt with in science fiction are, in fact, merely updates of ancient stories, slathered with a thin coating of vaguely-feasible contemporary technology to make the romantic tales palatable to a self-consciously sophisticated modern audience.

For example, I was reading through 2 Esdras this morning, and if that had been written after Spielberg's time, it would surely have been seen as a "UFO religion". All the Ascension literature, really - the books of Enoch talk about being taken up to see the world in a "house" carried on flames, fer cryin' out loud!

There is an emotional need that these types of theories fill; there is a reason why the History Channel indulges in such sensationalistic programming, and that is the unarticulated desire within many people for the physicality, the potential reality of a larger context, a larger drama of which this entire world is a part of. While the unjustified speculative leaps made by the conspiracy theorists are simply not trustworthy, as they misinterpret the Hebrew and assume that every ceremonial headdress is a memory of an astronaut's helmet, they do point out something that has been lost in most religions today.

That is, in "spiritualizing" and "allegorizing" and "deeschatologizing" the plain meaning of ancient sources, most religions tinged with Neoplatonic or transcendental philosophy have lost a very important aspect of what made the stories worthwhile. If God is transcendent and bodiless and outside of time and space and incomprehensible to the human mind and disdainful of matter and cannot be detected by any human measurement at all, then we've effectively consigned Him to nonexistence.

We reject that concept of God as being a product of the Apostasy. "When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves. And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy. John 14:23 - The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false. In answer to the question - Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside? I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it. The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth, but they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s." (D&C 130)

I think this move towards concreteness is a trend we're going to see more and more as scholarship progresses - see, for instance, Wesley Williams, who has a great paper on the "Sapphiric God: Esoteric Speculation of the Body Divine in Biblical and Post-Biblical Jewish Tradition" ( http://drwesleywilli...rt_I.471537.pdf )

Isn't our entire tradition, in fact, essentially a repudiation of those philosophies which refuse to grant a tangible reality to the "other worlds"? Instead of residing in an abstract unreachable metaphor of heaven, Christ says merely that he is not of this world, that he has to "go up" to the Father, a separate being residing in a place which the wisdom of the first century world could not find.

They, of course, had never seen NASA launch a space shuttle.

Is it inherently ludicrous to believe, as some abstract religions would tell us, that there is something far-fetched and science-fictional about saying that a higher being really does live in a separate part of the universe, near a star? We live on a planet orbiting a star; we have technologies now that can cause plagues and change the weather. In the billions of years the universe has existed, is it impossible to imagine that there are others like us out there? Isn't the Book of Abraham pretty explicit on this theme?

This is where the danger lies: in wanting to distance ourselves from the more extreme and laughable crackpot theories, we might go too far and end up denying a very important aspect of the Restoration. Speaking as a former atheist, it's already seen as crackpot fringe nonsense to believe in a God at all, so anyone who thinks we're really gaining anything by refusing to even acknowledge the obvious parallels is being amusingly quaint by imagining that belief in the Judeo-Christian God is somehow more "respectable" than the Nibiru stuff, at least in the eyes of outsiders.


For instance (snipping a blog post I wrote awhile back): I'll admit that I'm a big fan of William Irwin Thompson. Some of his stuff is pretty dated at this point, and a lot of it is deeply partisan, but I can't help but be impressed with the pains he takes to at least attempt to weave the innumerable cultural strands he sees from Mesopotamia to Disneyland into some sort of coherent narrative. So I laughed in embarrassed chagrin when I read:

"The career choice one makes says much about one's unconscious agenda. The autodidact, the lonely person in the library compulsively constructing a revisioning of human history, figures himself against the stars as a solitary and misunderstood genius. He alone has discovered the secret that connects everything together. He can show how the DNA code, the hexagrams of the I Ching, the molecular structure of mushrooms, and the geomantic lattice of the power-points in the Earth's crust are all part of a grand puzzle that proves that the gods are out there. The grand paranoid cosmic synthesis is always a fascinating narrative of occult connections, and this mad compulsion to find the single code that explains everything does not necessarily invalidate the entire narrative of the work, but it does render a darkness visible."

This is exactly what he does, as he admits a moment later, and it's probably part of the reason I'm a history major and have always been interested in every genre of fiction and nonfiction under the sun, including the bizarre conspiracy theories and New Age nonsense and mad scientist stuff. I'm not a very good student, and I'm not a fast reader; I simply don't have the intellectual stamina to be a really good scholar, and I admit it. But darnit, I'm also so interested in the stories people tell about why they live their lives the way they do that I'm hoping I can eventually make up for it through sheer persistence. I'ma find that paranoid secret code, Willy, don't you tell me I ain't! *grin*

I was further amused when later, after a discussion of the implausibility of the Alien Astronaut theories and Steiner's claims of being able to access the akashic record of the past, he writes:

"I don't think that one should take a clairvoyant's reading of the akashic record as gospel truth. Steiner himself admits that "reading" the akashic record is a very difficult and complex act -- that it is not like the Mormon leader Joseph Smith finding a piece of angelic script engraved on metal and buried in the hill of Comora. The literalism of the Mormons, or of Zecharia Sitchin, comes about precisely because they do not understand the nature of psyche and the imagination and always seek to literalize, to concretize in simple and idolatrous fundamentalism."

Now, I find Sitchin to be pretty fascinatingly bizarre myself. I actually have a pretty deep fondness for the cranks, since my hometown growing up in Hawaii was filled with 'em and I know that they're at least sincere most of the time with their (usually) harmless Time Cube theories. Obviously I'm a member of a religion which is seen by outsiders as amazingly weird as well; it's a lot harder to be irritably judgmental about other people's stories about the Hollow Earth, Atlantis, and the Indigo Children of 2012 when you believe in unproven histories of ancient Mesoamerica. But this is also a revealing quote because Thompson, even as he unwittingly exposes his deep ignorance of Mormon history, simultaneously implies that "imagination" is a more valuable tool than empirical observation, no matter how biased:

"The imagination is an intermediate realm between the ego in its perceptual body of senses and the intuition of higher, multidimensional states of consciousness. Information moves in both directions."

I think this sentiment itself is a product of Thompson's own deeply ingrained syncretistic religion based on an interestingly idiosyncratic combination of Neoplatonic Western theories and Eastern nonmaterialism, along with a slathering of Jungian quadripartite psychoanalysis for fun. In this view of the world, it's actually considered a drawback when Smith claims to have found physical records and been touched by a physical angel, because such things are really meant to be taken as metaphorical by Serious People. When Smith preaches that immaterial material is a contradiction in terms, that all Spirit is merely Matter we don't have the capability to see yet, he is guilty of contradicting the establishment view of "spirituality" as being on an ephemeral "higher plane". Which is of course why I love Smith's view of life as a beautifully physical, essentially scientific and experimental experience.

I love this world. I love the feel of the elements on my skin, the solidity and mass of the Earth and the people on it. I want to use my imagination to help me get closer to understanding reality, not some poetic fiction. So I'll take a God I hope to shake hands with one day over a philosophical abstraction.

But I'll also still have fun reading the work of people who disagree. :)
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#6 cinepro

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:36 PM

Can anyone tell me a definition for "alien" (in the "other-worldly" sense, not the political sense) that the beings Joseph Smith saw wouldn't qualify for?
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#7 Kenngo1969

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:47 PM

Reminds me of an "investigator" from Southern Russia. He combined space age ideas with McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" and the Qur'an. Adam and the sons of God were displaced from the earth by the sons of man, who came from the moon (or it could be the other way round), and that true believers are bionic, having the word Allah imprinted in Arabic on their heart-valves.
He also considered himself the angel Gabriel and composed tone-deaf death metal hymns to God.


Gosh, I'll bet you had a fun mission! :rofl:
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#8 LeSellers

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:00 PM

Can anyone tell me a definition for "alien" (in the "other-worldly" sense, not the political sense) that the beings Joseph Smith saw wouldn't qualify for?

With the exception of God, the Father, all the beings Joseph saw were from Earth.

It reminds me of Kirk's statement: "I'm from Kansas (or was it Iowa?), I only work in space."

Lehi
P.S.: It was Iowa.

Edited by LeSellers, 29 July 2011 - 02:10 PM.

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#9 JeremyOrbe-Smith

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:02 PM

There really isn't a good one.

A member friend of mine tells a story of how, as a kid, she was terribly concerned with the idea, since she had seen alien abduction movies and Close Encounters and whatnot. She asked her mother if God was an extraterrestrial, and her mom cheerfully said something like, "Of course he is. He certainly doesn't live on earth!"



It only sounds weird and sci-fi when we assume that the space program starting in the sixties was an utterly unique event in the billions of years of the history of all the planets in the universe, which, while a rather aggrandizing thought for America and Russia, seems pretty specious to me.

(This can be a disturbing thought for some, but far from freaking me out, I actually find it much more comforting than the usual interpretations of God, since this view of our Father as, essentially, a loving traveling scientist, is so much more sensible an explanation than the torturous logical contortions which traditional Christianity has defended to the bloody death.)
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#10 JeremyOrbe-Smith

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:04 PM

I was replying to cinepro, if that wasn't clear. Apparently I'm still too much of a newbie to be given the privilege of editing my posts. *grin*
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#11 kolipoki09

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:39 PM

I just finished watching this and what a hoot. To summarize, Mormons believe that Joseph...

  • Spoke with a celestial being known as Moroni who told Joseph he came from the Pleiades!
  • Mormons believe that God lives on a distant planet.
  • The hill Cumorah is actually an Indian mound that is a monument of some kind to ancient astronauts.
Excuse me, but I have to go and communicate with my home teacher, Space Commander Zorg.


Ron: Calling Star Base Kolob, do you read?

Space Commander Zorg: Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen.

If Logan Hawkes is being interviewed as a credible scholar on early Mormon History, I'm Fawn Brodie's posthumous sock-puppet.

Edited by kolipoki09, 29 July 2011 - 05:28 PM.

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#12 kolipoki09

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:40 PM

Double Post

Edited by kolipoki09, 29 July 2011 - 05:27 PM.

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#13 ozpoof

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:02 AM

Mormons don't believe God lived on a planet near a distant star?????
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#14 JeremyOrbe-Smith

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:57 AM

There are different opinions. Personally, I think it makes sense for God, as an exalted man taking part in a Divine Council of Gods, to live somewhere in the universe. We live on a planet orbiting a star ourselves, so that shouldn't be too odd a thought. The New Testament is pretty explicit about Christ going "up" to a place where His followers could not find Him, ascending to His Father, who was a separate being. On a nice night, the stars and planets are "up".
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#15 altersteve

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:50 AM

Mormons don't believe God lived on a planet near a distant star?????

Some do, but I believe that Kolob being near the throne of God is a metaphor, that it, next to God, is the most powerful governing body in the universe. I don't think God lives in this universe. He lived "somewhere" before the universe was created, so I'm sure He lives in that same place, wherever it is.

Edited by altersteve, 15 August 2011 - 06:51 AM.

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#16 BCSpace

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:18 AM

With the exception of God, the Father, all the beings Joseph saw were from Earth.


And even then, God the Father is from another earth and is the same species we are.
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#17 K-2

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:22 AM

History Channel ought not to be so irresponsible in the way they represent people's religious beliefs. No wonder people think we're weird.
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#18 thesometimesaint

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 07:38 AM

All religions sound "science fictiony" when told in the abstract.
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#19 JeremyOrbe-Smith

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:18 PM

Heck, we are weird. Nothing wrong with that. I kinda like it. :)

(But yes, I agree, the specific weirdnesses should be more accurately represented. *grin*)

altersteve: the word "universe" is never used in scripture. Though God is the great Governor, we simply don't know if He created it or not. I personally lean towards "no". We have records that He organized many "heavens" and many "earths", and that the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time are all according to the planet on which they reside. The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth; but they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. This is why I'm leery of theorizing extra universes, etc - it's skirting the edges of the philosophy which condemns God to live outside space and time merely because we don't understand Him, which I think contributed to the Great Apostasy.
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#20 KevinG

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:20 PM

I used to home teach a guy who mixed up "A Current Affair" with the Book of Mormon on Tape. His mind was fried from a lot of drug abuse in his younger years. While he was a guileless spirit his damaged perceptions of the world made for some interesting discussions.
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