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The Shiftless, Lazy, Lying Smith Family


Daniel Peterson

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rabanes:

Lets stick to the question at hand. Individual beliefs are irrelevant Wicca, Druid, Muslims, Christian, or Jew or whatever. It is that you refuse to apply the same standard to yourself as you do to others.

Other than that I wish long life, and prosperity to you and yours. :P

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Rabanes:

I don't know you tell me how many Americans at some point in their life haven't had a "Lucky" rock, piece of clothing, rabbits foot. Or believe in some sort "Lucky" set of words or phrases. Riddle me that.

This is not how I would expect a "prophet" of the Most High God to live.

"be ye NOT conformed to the world"...

How many times have I heard , "Well they do it too" as if that magically makes it alright to do something wrong?

Does that really make it alright to do?

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P: brazenly counterfactual assertions

RA: Oh, brazenly, even. Cool.

P: To say that some person P was "convicted" of some offense O ....

RA: Oh, is that all? Awesome. Okay, here......Smith was never "convicted" in the technical sense of the word,

Or in any other. There is simply no sense of the word "convicted," however loosely constructed, that is synonymous with "acquitted." The two terms are always antonyms, and it is simply dishonest to substitute one for the other.

but was arraigned for glass-looking and through that "examination" was shown to be a glass-looker by the testimony of even friendly witnesses. However, in lenincy, the judge gave 20-year-old Smith leg bail and told him to get out of town, after which time he continued to practice the occult, magick, glass-looking, treasure hunting, and founded a religion closely connected to such practices and drew occult followers who also practed such things for decades thereafter......

Better? Now, deal with these facts

And while we are on the subject, "facts" is not a synonym for "spin," either.

(see the elephant yet?).

Why yes. I can just make it out, hiding behind a large wooden stake that has been erected in the middle of the town square, with firewood arranged around the base of it.

It must be terribly frustrating to be a witch-hunter in the 21st century. What's a demagogue to do?

Incidentally, as an informed, believing, practicing Latter-day Saint, I happen to know that my religion is in no wise "closely connected to such practices," and I cannot be deceived by any cheap religious showman into believing that it is or ever was.

Snip half-successful attempts at wit.

P: [ongoing rant]

RA: Dear P, calm yourself. It's not good for the old ticker.

Clever attempt at a dodge. But as you perfectly well know, what you attempted to dismiss as a "rant" was in fact a series of rather telling blows against your argument from your own silly superstitions. Thus, it bears repeating:

1) Are there any non-partisan authorities who can support your claim that "madgjickk," or whatever your pretentious, pseudoscholarly misspelling is these days, actually defines anything at all?

2) Can you even attempt to show that "madgjickkle" practices of any kind were more common among Latter-day Saints than among socioeconomically similar groupings of their non-LDS contemporaries, including Bayaptiyusts? And I mean, ever?

3) Have you made any effort to show that the biblical prooftexts you have dredged up in your witch-hunting zealotry actually contemplate any folk superstitions that Joseph or any of his contemporaries may have been familiar with?

As Phinehas has quite unintentionally--and therefore all the more tellingly--demonstrated, your argument is really nothing more than an appeal to religious snobbery. Joseph the 19th century man does not conform to what Phinny would "expect" of a prophet. This reaction is rather similar to that which Jesus himself experienced; "What good thing cometh out of Nazareth" and "a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country" are manifested in the attitudes of "respectable main-stream" religionists such as yourselves, who are of course the proper successors of the "respectable main-stream" religionists of His day.

(Oh, and to anticipate: please spare us the standard red herring about "comparing Joseph to Jesus." I am doing no such thing, and to claim that I am would be as countefactual as anything else here seen.)

Regards,

Pahoran

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Phinehas:

There is no evidence that JS as a Prophet used peep stones, etc., etc.. What is undeniable is that throughout the Bible Prophets did use a variety of objects, and phrases(some might call it magic) to further their missions.

IF we can accept as Prophets of God as presented in the Bible using such, it is a blatant Double Standard for rejecting JS as a Prophet simply for doing the same.

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There is no evidence that JS as a Prophet used peep stones, etc., etc.

Wait, you can't be serious. Are you serious? ;) All kidding aside. Are you serious when you say, "There is no evidence that JS as a Prophet used peep stones, etc., etc."? :P

RA

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Dear Pahoran,

The answers you seek are easily found. Given your mindset, nothing I say will matter, so I'm not going to go on and on and on. If you are at the point where you really want these answers, you'll find them. Enough information is out there. You're not alone. Many Mormons have seen the truth and left the church -- some notable, some not so notable. There is enough information out there for you to see the truth about Smith, the BOM, and the origins of the so-called "Restored Church." But just very quickly:

1) Are there any non-partisan authorities who can support your claim that "madgjickk," or whatever your pretentious, pseudoscholarly misspelling is these days, actually defines anything at all?

"Magick" is a term popularized by one of the most renowned occult practitioners of all time: Aleister Crowley. And he defined Magick as: â??[T]he Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.â? This is the most basic, foundational, simple definition that exists. But it's a start. For a more relevant and detailed definition, I suggest you read Quinn's discussion of it in Early Mormonism and the Magic Worldview, p. xxiii. I think he uses the Webster's Third New International Dictionary.

2) Can you even attempt to show that "madgjickkle" practices of any kind were more common among Latter-day Saints than among socioeconomically similar groupings of their non-LDS contemporaries, including Bayaptiyusts? And I mean, ever?

First, are you making an appeal to popularity? Are you saying, "Oh, it doesn't matter what Joseph and the early Mormons did or what they believed because that was all just their socio-economic way of doing things"? God would certainly not care about numbers if he were calling a new prophet and a restored church. What would God care about what the other sinners of the day were doing?

Second, the Bible reads now just as it read in 1830 (which is something that can't be said about the BOM, as you well know), which means the occult and magick was just as prohibited then as it is now -- no matter who was doing it (e.g., the Smith's or any so-called Bayaptiyusts). So, I'm not sure what your point is. Those in the occult, no matter what they call themselves, should not be involved in the occult if they are following the one true God.

But back to your main question, no, I have no hard numbers for you. It'd be an interesting study, but to be honest, fairly meaningless. It would only mean that either: a ) the Smiths had a lot of company; or b ) they were part of a small money-digging, magick-based sub-group-like community.

What we do know is that the use of occult ritual among early Mormons was the norm, rather than the exception. I suggest you read the paperback version of my book, One Nation Under Gods, pp. 87-90, along with the endnotes. "The truth is out there (The X-Files). Stop by my web site to read up on it, including some excerpts, synopsis, and reviews, if you'd like.

3) Have you made any effort to show that the biblical prooftexts you have dredged up in your witch-hunting zealotry actually contemplate any folk superstitions that Joseph or any of his contemporaries may have been familiar with?

"witch-hunting zealotry" ..... :P now, P, that wasn't nice. Ever see me protesting outside the temple? Ever see me holding up sacred undergarments on a pole? C'mon, P, let's keep this in perspective, shall we? The folk superstitions held by the Smiths involved all kinds of things condemned in the Bible, including divination, talismans, charms, generalized occult activity collectively known as witchcraft and/or magick.

Now, there is plenty of information right there for you to move forward. I pray that you do so. ;)

RA

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That's my claim show your evidence that as Prophet he did.

I notice your interesting qualifying words "as Prophet." What year are you talking about? (I almost forgot how slippery some of you can be -- notice I said, "some of you," that's not a broad brush).

And just out of curiosity, exactly why would Joseph need to use a peep stone in later years if he was no longer in the business of treasure hunting for a living. I mean, he had pretty much, all the wealth and women he wanted. So, why bother with peep stones?

What we see is a movement by Smith from primitive magickal ritual and necessary work as a money-digger, into a completely authoritarian role as prophet -- a prophet, btw, who never spoke out against magick, peep stones, seer stones, magick parchments, or occult rituals. Such things continued to exist, as I have already pointed out, well into the late 1800s! And as late as 1841, we have testimony from Brigham Young about Smith condoning and recommending peep stones to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see Post#60).

I would probably think off the top of my head that you are correct in saying that we have no post-1830 remark that states: "And it came to pass, Lo, the Prophet of God went forth unto the hills beyond Nauvoo in the year 1841, and yea, verily, he gazed into his seer stone, and saw where God had deposited gold for the temple furnishings." (Although, for all we know, that was somewhere in some long lost copy of the Book of Commandments, or the BOM, and it was deleted, maybe we can get a copy of that sold to the church by another Hoffman-like character -- perhaps a letter written by Joseph to Martin Harris about a new addition that God told him by revelation to add at the end of something). But needing a statement like this is begging the question about as dramatically as a question can be begged.

As a final thought, some other instances of possible note are vaguely in the back of my mind, but I'd have pour through my books to find them. You might want to read yourself my main text and endnotes on the issue in my One Nation Under Gods, or go get Quinn's book on Early Mormonism (might be some references in there that are relevant to the discussion).

R.A.

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Rabanes:

JS was not proclaimed as Prophet until the formation of the Church in 1830. So it makes no difference if he used them before that date. But you still have to account for the Prophets of the Bible using them after being proclaimed as Prophets. You are still using the same tired Double Standard to exclude JS as a Prophet.

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You are still using the same tired Double Standard to exclude JS as a Prophet.

1. I thought I gave a link already as a STARTING point about the Bible issues (Does the Bible teach Occultism?). Casting lots, for example, is not considered or defined as magick or occult anywhere from what I've read. It was a means of opening up to whatever God allowed to come to pass under certain circumstances. Basically, it was the old way of flipping a coin. 2. The occult thing is NOT the only issue with Smith. That is only one of MANY reasons why Smith should be rejected as a true prophet of God. Goodness, you could completely delete the whole occult thing, and he'd still come up short -- by far -- of being any kind of prophet of God.

RA

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On a rather venomous evangelical "countercult" discussion board that I look in on every few weeks, one of the posters declares that Mormonism can be explained as part of an effort by the Smith family to evade work.

Members of venomous evangelical "countercult" discussion boards will make all kinds of stupid statements, Daniel... statements which are devoid of intelligence, or light and truth, to some extent... so the idea one of those people said something as stupid as that doesn't strike me as strange in the least from those people. It's on par for their course.

Apparently both dishonesty and sloth ran in the Smith family's veins (in Emma's too, which is something of a genetic miracle).

Nothing of the sort. Apparently some people claim both dishonesty and sloth ran in the Smith family's veins, and perhaps even Emma's too, but that claim is as stupid as the people who make that claim and not worth the time it takes to hear it, or read it.

I immediately thought of an article that I wrote quite some time ago: â??Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family Be Trusted?â? Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, September 1993 Update. Reprinted in John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, eds., Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s (Provo: FARMS, 1999), 285-288.

When I hear people make stupid statements, I also tend to fall back on what I know to be true, myself.

... so apparently you and I aren't really so different, in that way.

:P

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This is not how I would expect a "prophet" of the Most High God to live.

"be ye NOT conformed to the world"...

How many times have I heard , "Well they do it too" as if that magically makes it alright to do something wrong?

Does that really make it alright to do?

I hope you're ready to reject Noah (for his drunken celebration) and Jonah (for running away from God) on the same basis. Otherwise, that old double-standard thing starts to creep in.

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rabanes:

If "Casting of Lots" is the only magic you can come up with, your argument is incredibly weak. No LDS has ever said that JS was perfect. All I am doing is asking you to use the same standards for Prophets of the Bible that you use against JS and the Mormons.

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Wow.

Rich Abanes is taking a break from his countercult crusade to stop by MAD and denounce Joseph Smith's wizardry - while at this very moment a certain mormon occult vampire movie is opening in theaters.

Marshal the Christian soldiers - the End Times are here!

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Goodness, you could completely delete the whole occult thing, and he'd still come up short -- by far -- of being any kind of prophet of God.

Not that you are saying he is a prophet, but is Rick Warren a little closer to the expectation you have in mind?

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I hope you're ready to reject Noah (for his drunken celebration) and Jonah (for running away from God) on the same basis. Otherwise, that old double-standard thing starts to creep in.

No one is saying that a prophet of God, or a pastor/teacher, or heck, even basic Christian needs to be: 1) perfect; 2) sinless; or 3) free of all unbiblical actions now and again in life. I mean, that would pretty much discount the entire Bible. Right? So, please, I ask that you take a moment to think before you try to make an assertion about someone's view that would be a fairly stupid view to hold. The issue surrounding Joseph is not some once-in-a-while, here and there stumbling into this and that, while seeking to live for God and obey truth. In the case of Smith, we have an extensive and extended life marred by all kinds of unsavory activities and teachings: beginning with his deep occultism (never repudiated, condemned, or prohibited for others), to his early tall tales about all kinds of spirits and such, to his money-banking scam, to lying about polygamy existing within the fold (most rank-and-file Mormons didn't even know about it), to his militaristic pronouncements, to.....well, you get the idea. As I noted, you can throw out the whole occult issue, and still have a mountain of evidence showing that Smith was no prophet o

What are the criteria for being a Prophet of God?

How about having the right "God." That's a good start. JS said Christendom had the wrong God. Christendom said Joseph had the wrong God. So, basically, make your choice. I choose the God of the Bible. :P My opinion. Sorry, that's my opinion.

If "Casting of Lots" is the only magic you can come up with, your argument is incredibly weak. No LDS has ever said that JS was perfect. All I am doing is asking you to use the same standards for Prophets of the Bible that you use against JS and the Mormons.

I'm not sure you read my post correctly. I offered a link that dealt superficially with the issue of so-called magick and occultism being allegedly practiced by various saints, and simply noted the issue of casting lots as one example of many. And I do use the same standard for JS that I use for characters in the Bible.

Rich Abanes is taking a break from his countercult crusade to stop by MAD...

You apparently don't know very much about my work. I am not a counter-cult anything. Unlike true counter-cult folks, I don't write exclusively on cults, nor in the case of some, only write on one particular group. So, please, do a little research. TY.

Ah, the return of Richard Abanes, whose ego knows no bounds. . .except when he facing a law suit, then he come crawling to the Mormons for advice.Typical.

So sad.

RA

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[...] I choose the God of the Bible. :P [...]

If I ever get around to choosing a G-d, it will probably be the G-d of the Universe.

<---- Knows how to talk trash on the basketball court... sort of.

On an entirely unrelated note, Mr. Abanes, if a feller were to get a wild hair and want to drop a few pence on one of your books, what one book would you recommend above the others (please donâ??t feel that you must limit your response to your books on those kooky Marmensâ?¦ unless you feel one of those is your magnum opus).

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On an entirely unrelated note, Mr. Abanes, if a feller were to get a wild hair and want to drop a few pence on one of your books, what one book would you recommend above the others (please don't feel that you must limit your response to your books on those kooky Marmensâ?¦ unless you feel one of those is your magnum opus).

Hmmm, I guess it depends on your interests. Hmmmm, look here and ask me about which ones might interest you. You know, it's kind of like, if you like video games, get the one on video games for parents (that is, if you have kids), or if you want to understand about the ideology behind "Christian Identity" racism, get my out of print book on that issue (much heavier reading than about video games). So, if you have any questions just ask, you can email me if you want.

RA

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If I ever get around to choosing a G-d, it will probably be the G-d of the Universe.

<---- Knows how to talk trash on the basketball court... sort of.

On an entirely unrelated note, Mr. Abanes, if a feller were to get a wild hair and want to drop a few pence on one of your books, what one book would you recommend above the others (please don't feel that you must limit your response to your books on those kooky Marmensâ?¦ unless you feel one of those is your magnum opus).

LOL. Seems to me the Bible has all kinds of Gods in it. Which one would you choose exacly?

Im with the good Dr. I would choose the God of all... not just the God of a single human tribe.

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Rabanes:

JS did nothing that the Prophets of the Bible did not do, and in some cases a heck of a lot less. You are still running on that old tired Double Standard routine. If you want to exclude JS from being a Prophet of God simply because of what he did. Then you must, by necessity, exclude every other Prophet in the Bible.

But keep on using the Double Standard ploy. Your hypocrisy is showing.

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