Documentation for the comic book "The Enchanter"
The Mormon religion is engaged in a massive public-relations campaign to present itself as a Christian Church. But a close look at their doctrines and their history will show that they are anything but Christian. The Enchanter states many shocking things about the history of Joseph Smith and the doctrines of the "Latter-day Saints." Of course, Mormon leadership will deny much of this. So we have put the proof at your fingertips.
The story of Joseph Smith and of the founding of Mormonism is based on over 175 years of combined research. In the following documentation we have provided, wherever possible, links to sources that will further answer your questions about Mormon history and belief.
If you have a question about a particular page of the book, select your page here:
20-22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 30 | 32
INSIDE FRONT COVER
The Physical Appearance of Joseph Smith:
This description comes from Fawn M. Brodie's book, No Man Knows My History, p. 32:
He was big, powerful, and by ordinary standards very handsome, except for his nose, which was aquiline and prominent. His large blue eyes were fringed by fantastically long lashes which made his gaze seem veiled and slightly mysterious. Emma was probably quick to notice what many of his followers later believed had a supernatural cause, that when he was speaking with intense feeling the blood drained from his face, leaving a frightening, almost luminous pallor. However she may have disapproved of his money-digging, she must have had faith in his insight into mysteries that common folk could not fathom; she needed no one to tell her that here was no ordinary man.
The death mask pictured was made right after Smith was shot.
The Fictitious Story Line
The story on pages 1-7 and the conversation scattered throughout the comic book is purely fictitious. It does not, nor is it intended to refer to any individual, whether living or dead. It is simply a story to engage the reader. As it says on the inside cover:
No similarity between any of the names, character, persons and/or institutions in this magazine with those of any living or dead person or institution is intended, and any such similarity which may exist is purely coincidental, with the exception of references to God or the Lord Jesus Christ or direct quotes from God's word, the Bible, or references to historical persons or institutions used for documentation purposes.
PAGE 9, panel #1
Joseph Smith's Family Background
Joseph Smith Sr. was born July 12, 1771 in Topsfield, MA.
Joseph Smith Jr. was born on December 23, 1805 in the village of Sharon in Windsor County, Vermont. This date is beyond dispute. According to Mormon apostle James E. Talmage:
Joseph the Prophet was the third son and fourth child of Joseph and Lucy (Mack) Smith; he was born at Sharon, Vermont, December 23d, 1805.1
By 1811 Joseph Sr. and Lucy (Mack) Smith had seven children, but one died in infancy, leaving five boys and one girl. Two more children were born in 1816 and 1821. The first seven of the children of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith are verified by genealogical records and census data.
Joseph Smith's family was "deeply involved in witchcraft and magic"
Joseph Smith Sr. was "a strong Mason"
Joseph Smith Sr. opened a "cake and beer shop"
See H. Michael Marquardt's work, Early Life of Joseph Smith in New York (2000).12 His footnotes cite these sources:
See also the newspaper, The Fairport Herald (Fairport, NY) for January 24, 1917.13 Its article, entitled "When Joe Smith hatched Mormonism," cites a History of Wayne County (New York), by Prof. W. H. McIntosh. It says in part:
Arrived at Palmyra the elder Smith opened a "cake and beer shop," as his sign indicated, and the profits of the shop, combined with occasional earnings by himself and eldest sons at harvesting, well-digging and other common employments, enabled him to provide an honest living for the family.
William Alexander Linn gave this description in The Story of the Mormons: from the Date of Their Origin to the Year 1901:
The Smiths' first residence in New York State was in the village of Palmyra. There the father displayed a sign, "Cake and Beer Shop," selling "gingerbread, pies, boiled eggs, root beer, and other like notions," and he and his sons did odd jobs, gardening, harvesting, and well-digging, when they could get them.14
Ellen E. Dickinson (ca. 1840-after 1890) wrote a series of articles in Scribner's Monthly (around 1880) about Mormonism. She compiled them into her 1885 book, New Light on Mormonism. In Letter No. 9, written from Palmyra, New York, she wrote:
Here the Smiths lived for twelve years, making baskets and brooms, and raising vegetables, when they were not peddling beer and gingerbread at general trainings, or robbing hen-roosts or clothes-lines, or engaged in some other nocturnal calling.
For another take from the point of view of a historian who is himself a Mormon, see Chapter 1 of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (2005) by Richard Lyman Bushman. He went to great length, describing the enterprises that Joseph Sr. attempted, the money he had lost and the poverty into which the family fell. After disastrous weather in Vermont the family finally moved to Palmyra, NY during the winter of 1816-17. He stated:
Since selling their property in 1803, they had rented land and supplemented farming by hiring out their labor and engaging in small enterprises. In Palmyra they lived by their labor alone. Lucy painted oilcloth table coverings, and the family sold refreshments from a small shop. On public occasions, they peddled the goods from a cart. Joseph Sr. and the older sons hired out for haying and harvesting in the peak seasons when every farmer needed extra hands, and took on odd jobs like gardening and digging wells.... The contributions of Alvin and Hyrum made a big addition to the family income....
1 The Articles of Faith (1890, 1961) by James E Talmage, p. 458.
2 See Lucy Mack Smith's autobiography, Joseph Smith, The Prophet And His Progenitors For Many Generations (1853, 1878), Chapter 9, which lists an entire family genealogy and Chapter 34, which notes that Don Carlos was 14 at the founding of the Mormon church in 1830. Available online at http://www.centerplace.org/history/misc/jsp.htm. See also Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, by Richard Lyman Bushman (2005), p. 27.
3 See Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 42.
5 See 7th generation Mormon and former professor and director of the graduate history program at Brigham Young University (BYU), D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Revised and Enlarged, 1998), p. 32.
6 Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1998), p. 68. Spelling is Lucy Smith's. Bold emphasis is mine.
7 Early Mormonism, p. 68.
8 See Mormon D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p. 36.
9 See Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, figures 43-45 for photos and descriptions.
10 Jupiter was the ruling planet of Joseph Jr.'s birth year. Many things Joseph Smith did in his life were done on favorable astrological dates. April 6 was supposed to be an "auspicious day" for important business, such as the founding of the Mormon church on April 6, 1830. (See the original 1987 printing of Early Mormonism, p. 169, footnote 5.) The cornerstones for the Nauvoo Temple were laid on April 6, 1841. (See "Important Events in Church History" from the Appendix to The Story of the Church (1934) by RLDS researcher Inez Smith Davis, found at http://www.centerplace.org/history/misc/soc/index.htm.
11 This information is verified by Freemason Terry Chateau in "The Mormon Church and Freemasonry," California Freemason On-Line, May/June 2001, found at http://www.freemason.org/cfo/may_june_2001/mormon.htm.
13 Available online at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYS4.htm#012417.
14 See The Story of the Mormons: from the Date of their Origin to the Year 1901 by William Alexander Linn (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1902), p. 23. Available as a free download from www.books.google.com.
15 Scribner's Monthly, XX:4 (August 1880).See New Light on Mormonism (New York, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1885), Appendix, pp. 246-247. Available to read online at http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs2/1885DicE.htm.
16 Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 2005), Chapter 2, pp. 31-32.
PAGE 9, panel #2
Many of the neighbors of the Smith family had "seer stones"
See Mormon researcher D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1998), p. 41.
Seer stones were used for treasure digging, finding lost objects or communicating with spirits.
See D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1998), pp. 40-43.
PAGE 9, panels #3-4
It was believed that buried treasures were guarded by spirit beings which had to be appeased.
All of the occult paraphernalia necessary for contacting spirits and obtaining treasure were in the Smith family's possession.
A quote from D. Michael Quinn will sum up this point. At the end of Chapter 4, "Magic Parchments and Occult Mentors," he states:
The "magic milieu" of the Smith family included seer stones, astrology, a talisman, a dagger for drawing magic circles of treasure-digging and spirit invocation, as well as magic parchments for purification, protection, and conjuring a spirit.19
17 See D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1998), p. 46.
18 See Quinn, Early Mormonism, Chapter 5, especially pp. 142-158.
19 See Quinn, Early Mormonism, pp. 134-135.
PAGE 9, panel #3
Joseph Jr. always wore his silver Jupiter talisman for protection.
See Quinn, Early Mormonism (1998) chapter 3, especially pp. 83-90. See also note 2, p. 407. See also the Presidential address of Dr. Reed C. Durham Jr., Past President of the Mormon History Association: "Is There No Help for the Widow's Son?"20 (In that speech he also discussed the influence of Masonry on Mormonism.)
Occultic symbols were on the dagger of Joseph Smith Jr.
It bore the astrological signs of his father, Joseph Smith Sr. So the dagger must have originally belonged to him. (It's inscribed to be a talisman of Mars, the astrological "governing planet" of Joseph Sr.'s birth year. But according to the astrological charts of his day, the "governing planet" of Joseph Jr.'s birth year was Jupiter, not Mars.)21
21 See Quinn, Early Mormonism, pp. 70-72, 104. See Figures 43-44 for actual photos of the dagger.
PAGE 9, panel #4
Joseph Smith Jr. offered a black animal in sacrifice to the spirit guarding the treasure.
There are many testimonies on this account. See, for instance, the Wayne Democratic Press, June 2, 1858, "The Mormon Imposture – The Mormon Aborigines" by fellow Mormon and Palmyra resident Pomeroy Tucker. Here is an excerpt from that article:
A single instance of the many anecdotes remembered, in connection with Joe's magic pretensions and undertaking, will sufficiently illustrate his unprincipled cunning, and the strange infatuation of his dupes. Assuming his accustomed air of mystery, on one occasion, he pretended to know exactly where the sought-for iron chest of gold was deposited in the earth; and in order to the glittering prize, means must be contributed to pay for digging, and a black sheep would also be required for a sacrifice before engaging in the labors of the necromantic enterprise.22
Others also report black sheep being sacrificed by "Joe Smith," to appease the spirits – but most always using the meat for his family. For instance, see Moore's Rural New Yorker, Vol. XX No. 1, January 2, 1869:
He then declared that a sacrifice would be necessary to drive away the infernal powers, whose malicious wrath knew no bounds in prospect of a new religion so much superior to all the old religions of all past ages, and so much more damaging to the kingdom of Satan. A sacrifice was offered; a fine, fat, black sheep was contributed by a farmer, and yet the digging was unsuccessful, although the Smith family shared the greater part of the fat mutton for their own table.23
The following are from affidavits given by witnesses to the Smiths' activities.
Testimony of William Stafford, December 8, 1833:
Also see "A Necromatic Incident" by Guinn Williams (1988) for more information.26
22 This article is available at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYS3.htm#060258.
23 See the article at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/miscNYS3.htm#010269.
25 Available online at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/CA/NAtruths.htm.
26 Available online at http://www.Saintsalive.com/mormonism/necromantic.html.
PAGE 10, panels #1-3
Joseph Smith's bedside dream: visited by a man, a spirit or an angel?
The official story is in panel #1, that a bright angel, "Moroni," appeared to Joseph in a dream. It is found in any copy of the Book of Mormon. But here is how Joseph Sr. told his son's story of the dream in an 1830 interview, according to Fayette Lapham:27
After this [that is, after 14-year-old Joseph found his first peep-stone], Joseph spent about two years looking into this stone, telling fortunes, where to find lost things, and where to dig for money and other hidden treasure. About this time he became concerned as to his future state of existence, and was baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church. Soon after joining the Church, he had a very singular dream; but he did not tell his father of his dream, until about a year afterwards. He then told his father that, in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it.28
D. Michael Quinn, in Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pp. 136-142, gives a number of convincing proofs and testimonies. These said it was a spirit that appeared in a dream, not an "angel" in a "vision." In addition, the stories of this "treasure dream" were according to a format used by many people engaged in folk magic in New England, and written about in publications available in Palmyra, where Joseph resided. They spoke of a spirit or being of light appearing at night, who told the person three times about buried treasure. As stated in Washington Irving's popular Tales of a Traveller (on sale in Palmyra), "A dream three times repeated was never known to lie." In Joseph's story, the midnight visitor also spoke to him a total of three times.
27 See "Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, Forty Years Ago: His Account of Finding of the Sacred Plates," Historical Magazine [second series] 7 (May 1870), p. 306. Available online at http://www.signaturebooks.com/excerpts/doc1.htm, published as part of Early Mormon Documents, Vol. 1, edited by Dan Vogel.
28 Brackets and bold print emphasis are mine.
PAGE 10, panels #3-4
The angel at Joseph's bedside dream: Nephi or Moroni?
Joseph Smith himself published, in Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 753, under "The History of Joseph Smith," these words:
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.29
Joseph Smith's mother also knew of the midnight visitor as "Nephi." The identical words to the Times and Seasons article above are printed in her 1853 book, Biographical sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet (1853), p. 84.30 Incidentally, Brigham Young considered this book so dangerous that he attempted to have every copy destroyed.31
But in any copy of the Pearl of Great Price printed after 1877, under Joseph Smith – History 1:33, are published these words:
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni;
Surely Joseph Smith would know who was supposed to have appeared to him. And clearly, the "history" as stated by Joseph Smith was changed by Mormon authorities.
D. Michael Quinn has another explanation for the interchanging of Nephi (the first character in the Book of Mormon) with Moroni (the last character in the Book of Mormon): that the ancient meanings of both ultimately referred to supernatural beings and/or spirits of the dead, both part of Joseph's magic worldview.32
While some sources say that Joseph Smith used one name first and the other later, other research seems to indicate that Joseph Smith switched back and forth between "Nephi" and "Moroni," not settling on a name for his visitor in his lifetime. As Jerald and Sandra Tanner wrote, "It is much easier [looking at the historical evidence] to simply believe that Joseph Smith told contradictory stories."33
29 See The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), pp. 408-410. As irrefutable proof of this, they provided a photograph of the page in question! I have copied the words verbatim off of the photo. Bold emphasis in these quotes is mine. In the above reference, the Tanners go further to show that the name was not changed to Moroni until after Joseph Smith's death.
30 This book is available Joseph Smith, The Prophet And His Progenitors For Many Generations (1853, 1878), available online at http://www.centerplace.org/history/misc/jsp.htm. In addition, at this time www.books.google.com has a "limited preview" of the scanned book online. If you open the book and click "search," then type "Nephi" (no quotation marks), you will be able to see p. 84 for yourself. At the bottom of the page you will see a note from O.P. (Orson Pratt, the publisher) wanting to correct it to Moroni, not Nephi, as the being who appeared to Joseph.
31 Found in the Latter-Day Saint's Millennial Star, Vol. 27 (1865), pp. 657-658. See The Changing World of Mormonism (1980) by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, p. 34. Available online at http://www.utlm.org/navonlinebooks.htm.
32 See Early Mormonism, pp. 155-156 and 198-199.
PAGE 11, panels #1-5
The conversation of Joseph Smith Sr. and Willard Chase is based on the interview of Joseph Smith Sr. with Fayette Lapham, as well as the written testimony of Willard Chase himself. It also correlates with other interviews with and testimonies of neighbors to the Smith family, who heard the earliest forms of the stories about the "gold Bible." While the two testimonies are quite similar, they are not exactly the same. See for yourself. Here are some excerpts, for instance, from Joseph Smith Sr.'s interview with Fayette Lapham in 1830 and the testimony of Willard Chase, that correspond to the narration on page 11 of The Enchanter:34
34 All bold print emphasis is mine.
PAGE 11, panel #1
Joseph told about buried golden plates
Actually, according to Lapham, at first it was "buried treasure," but later in the interview he spoke about golden plates:
And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it.
Later in the interview Joseph Sr. made this clarification to Lapham:
In answer to our question, as to what it was that Joseph had thus obtained, he said it consisted of a set of gold plates, about six inches wide, and nine or ten inches long. They were in the form of a book, half an inch thick, but were not bound at the back, like our books, but were held together by several gold rings, in such a way that the plates could be opened similar to a book. Under the first plate, or lid, he found a pair of spectacles, about one and a half inches longer than those used at the present day, the eyes not of glass, but of diamond. On the next page were representations of all the masonic implements, as used by masons at the present day. The remaining pages were closely written over in characters of some unknown tongue, the last containing the alphabet of this unknown language.
Willard Chase said it this way:
In the month of June, 1827, Joseph Smith, Sen., related to me the following story: That some years ago, a spirit had appeared to Joseph his son, in a vision, and informed him that in a certain place there was a record on plates of gold....
PAGE 11, panel #2
Joseph had to dress in black and ride a black horse
According to Joseph Smith Sr.'s 1830 interview, the color was not specified:
He then said to him, that he would have to get a certain coverlid, which he described, and an old-fashioned suit of clothes, of the same color, and a napkin to put the treasure in; and go to a certain tree, not far distant, and when there, he would see other objects that he would take or keep in range and follow, until he was directed to stop, and there he would find the treasure that he was in pursuit of; and when he had obtained it, he must not lay it down until he placed it in the napkin.
But Willard Chase himself had this to say:
...and that he was the person that must obtain them, and this he must do in the following manner: On the 22d of September, he must repair to the place where was deposited this manuscript, dressed in black clothes, and riding a black horse with a switch tail, and demand the book in a certain name, and after obtaining it, he must go directly away, and neither lay it down nor look behind him. They accordingly fitted out Joseph with a suit of black clothes and borrowed a black horse.35
PAGE 11, panel #3
Joseph laid the plates on the ground
According to the 1830 interview, the plates had to be put in a napkin, not on the ground. He had to:
...go to a certain tree, not far distant, and when there, he would see other objects that he would take or keep in range and follow, until he was directed to stop, and there he would find the treasure that he was in pursuit of; and when he had obtained it, he must not lay it down until he placed it in the napkin.
But he didn't follow directions. According to the interview with Smith Sr.:
Taking up the first article, he saw others below; laying down the first, he endeavored to secure the others; but, before he could get hold of them, the one he had taken up slid back to the place he had taken it from, and, to his great surprize [sic] and terror, the rock immediately fell back to its former place, nearly crushing him in its descent. His first thought was that he had not properly secured the rock when it was turned up, and accordingly he again tried to lift it, but now in vain; he next tried with the aid of levers, but still without success.
Willard Chase later said it this way:
He repaired to the place of deposit and demanded the book, which was in a stone box, unsealed, and so near the top of the ground that he could see one end of it, and raising it up, took out the book of gold; but fearing someone might discover where he got it, he laid it down to place back the top stone, as he found it; and turning round, to his surprise there was no book in sight. He again opened the box, and in it saw the book, and attempted to take it out, but was hindered.
PAGE 11, panels #4-5
Joseph was rebuked and told to bring Alvin in one year; but Alvin died two months later.
Willard Chase continued his testimony:
...he again stooped down and strove to take the book, when the spirit struck him again, and knocked him three or four rods, and hurt him prodigiously. After recovering from his fright, he enquired why he could not obtain the plates; to which the spirit made reply, because you have not obeyed your orders. He then enquired when he could have them, and was answered thus: come one year from this day, and bring with you your oldest brother, and you shall have them. This spirit, he said was the spirit of the prophet who wrote this book, and who was sent to Joseph Smith, to make known these things to him. Before the expiration of the year, his oldest brother died; which the old man said was an accidental providence!"
But here's how Joseph Smith Sr. said it happened:
...he felt something strike him on the breast, which was repeated the third time, always with increased force, the last such as to lay him upon his back. As he lay there, he looked up and saw the same large man that had appeared in his dream, dressed in the same clothes. … He said to him that he had not followed his directions; and, in consequence of laying the article down before putting it in the napkin, he could not have the article now; but that if he would come again, one year from that time, he could then have them…. [A full year passed with no result. Then] Joseph asked when he could have them; and the answer was, "Come in one year from this time, and bring your oldest brother with you; then you may have them." During that year, it so happened that his oldest brother died; but, at the end of the year, Joseph repaired to the place again, and was told by the man who still guarded the treasure, that, inasmuch as he could not bring his oldest brother, he could not have the treasure yet….
For more on Alvin's death, see No Man Knows My History (1945, 1971) by Fawn M. Brodie, pp. 27-28.
PAGE 11, panel #6 – PAGE 12, panel #1
Joseph opened Alvin's grave and took a part of his months-decayed body for a magic talisman. This might have been his hand.
This is a complex argument from the facts, but two writings have managed to prove just that. See "A Necromantic Incident" (1988) by Guinn Williams, as well as Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1998) by D. Michael Quinn, pp. 158-61 &168.
PAGE 12, panel #1
The five magic books used by Joseph Smith, Jr.
These were proven, by careful examination of evidence by D. Michael Quinn, to be the exact books that Joseph Smith and his family used to manufacture occultic talismans, parchments and other artifacts, as well as to conjure up spirits and find buried treasure:
Joseph Jr. went back to Hill Cumorah each September 22nd for four years, but was rejected by the being.
This is attested by all kinds of sources, both non-Mormon and Mormon. Even in the vastly-modified story told by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage in his well-known book, The Articles of Faith, the four years of visitation are clearly mentioned:
The messenger again stood beside him, and forbade the removal of the contents at that time, saying that four years were to elapse before the plates would be committed to his care, and that it would be his duty to visit the spot at yearly intervals. On the occasion of each of these visits the angel instructed the young man more fully regarding the great work awaiting him. 36
36 See A Study of the Articles of Faith: Being a Consideration of the Principal Doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1890, 1913, 1924 & 1961, 1967 printing, p. 14. Bold emphasis is mine.
PAGE 12, panel #2
Joseph Smith was tried for money-digging with his peep-stone in March of 1826.
The bill Joseph received was found and has been preserved. It reads in part:
Joseph was "allowed" to escape jail.
The argument of Jerald and Sandra Tanner makes the most sense of the evidence:
This seems to be like the "preliminary hearing" we have today where the accused is bound over for trial at a later date. …since Justice Neely found Joseph Smith "guilty" of being a "disorderly person" he could have immediately sentenced him to "sixty days" in the "bridewell or house of correction, at hard labor," but instead he bound him over to be tried by three justices at a later date. These justices could have ordered "him to be detained at hard labor, for any future time not exceeding six months, and during his confinement to be corrected by whipping, according to the nature of the offense, as they shall think fit." (A New Conductor Generalis.)
37 For more information and a photograph of the bill, see The Changing World of Mormonism, Chapter 4. Available online at http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech4.htm. See also The Salt Lake City Messenger #68, July 1988, available online at http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no68.htm. See also No Man Knows My History: the Life of Joseph Smith (1945, 1971) by Fawn M. Brody, Appendix A, pp. 427-429 and Bibliography, II (Court Records), pp. 491-492.
PAGE 12, panel #3
Joseph's Involvement with Isaac Hale and His Daughter Emma
See No Man Knows My History by Fawn M. Brodie (1945,1971), pp. 29-32, 438-440.
Joseph Smith's Wives
See the note for page 24, panel #2.
PAGE 12, panel #4
The "borrowed" horse and wagon
According to Joseph Smith Sr.'s 1830 interview with Fayette Lapham, Joseph seems to have bought the horse:
...at the expiration of the year, he procured a horse and light wagon, with a small chest and a pillow-case, and proceeded, punctually, with his wife, to find the hidden treasure. When they had gone as far as they could with the wagon, Joseph took the pillow-case and started for the rock…. [After Joseph found the articles he sought,] Joseph then turned the rock back, took the article in the pillow-case, and returned to the wagon….
It seems everyone who knew Joseph had a different story. According to Joseph's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, it was Joseph Knight's horse and wagon that were "borrowed," while the two treasure-diggers not against Joseph Smith, namely Josiah Stowell and Mr. Knight,40 were staying over at the Smiths' house:
On the twentieth of September, Mr. Knight and his friend Stoal came to see how we were managing matters with Stoddard and Company; and they tarried with us until the twenty-second. On the night of the twenty-first, I sat up very late, as my work rather pressed upon my hands. I did not retire until after twelve o'clock at night. About twelve o'clock, Joseph came to me, and asked me if I had a chest with a lock and key. I knew in an instant what he wanted it for, and not having one, I was greatly alarmed, as I thought it might be a matter of considerable moment. But Joseph, discovering my anxiety, said, "Never mind, I can do very well for the present without it--be calm--all is right."
Where Joseph "hid" the imaginary plates
According to Martin Harris in his 1859 Tiffany's interview above, Joseph:
... then took the plates and hid them in an old black oak tree top which was hollow.
But Lucy Mack Smith told the story completely differently:
The plates were secreted about three miles from home, in the following manner. Finding an old birch log much decayed, excepting the bark, which was in a measure sound, he took his pocket-knife and cut the bark with some care, then turned it back, and make a hole of sufficient size to receive the plates, and laying them in the cavity thus formed, he replaced the bark; after which he laid across the log, in several places, some old stuff that happened to lay near, in order to conceal, as much as possible, the place in which they were deposited.
39 See the August, 1859 edition of Tiffany's Monthly, "Mormonism – No. II." (Vol. V., No. IV.), pp. 163-170, found at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/ harrisinterviewtiffanysmonthly.htm
40 See Early Mormonism, p. 166.
PAGE 13, Panels #1-2
About the attempt to grab the plates from Joseph
Here's how Lucy Mack Smith recorded the story:
Joseph, on coming to [the plates], took them from their secret place, and, wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home.
According to general estimates, that size of golden plates would have weighed easily 200 lbs. Yet the "witnesses" all said they weighed only 30-40 lbs. Regardless, had these been real plates, it would have been an amazing feat to fight off three attackers, jump over a fence and run full-speed for three miles with 200 lbs of golden plates weighing him down!41
41 For more on the size and weight of the plates, see The Salt Lake City Messenger #105 (November, 2005), "Book of Mormon Plates: Artifact, Vision or Hoax?" Available at http://utlm.org/newsletters/no105.htm.
PAGE 13, panel #3 – PAGE 14, Panel #3
The "Viewing" of the Golden Plates and the Testimony of the Witnesses
Who saw the golden plates – and how did they "see" them? The following testimonies are very telling:
Mrs. Peter Whitmer
Fawn M. Brodie, in No Man Knows My History, tells it this way:
Mrs. Whitmer, already burdened with many children, was the only person who resented Joseph's coming. As the days went by she grew more weary and more bewildered. Then one morning she came in from the milking trembling with excitement. On her way to the barn in the mist of the early dawn she had been confronted by an old man with a white beard. "You have been faithful and diligent in your labors," he had said, "but you are tired because of the increase in your toil; it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness that your faith might be strengthened." Whereupon he had showed her the golden plates.42
>Unlike Biblical manuscripts, which are handled, deciphered, photographed and stored in safe places all over the world, she only saw these in a "vision." It is interesting to note 1) that this vision took Joseph by surprise, and 2) that Joseph never recorded this testimony in his own journals, though it was recorded both by David Whitmer (along with other Whitmer visions) and by Lucy Smith.43
The Three Witnesses
Joseph prophesied in the Lord's name that:
You must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim … and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them….44
With three men chosen, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, they knelt in the woods and prayed – but received no answer. Harris got discouraged and left. But after this Joseph recorded this event:
…we knelt down again, and had not been many minutes engaged in prayer, when presently we beheld a light above us in the air, of exceeding brightness; and behold, an angel stood before us. In his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of. He turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings whereon distinctly. He then addressed himself to David Whitmer … immediately afterwards, we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying, "These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear."
Joseph found Harris and prayed with him, and according to Joseph, the vision came again. "'Tis enough; ‘tis enough; mine eyes have beheld; mine eyes have beheld; Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed be the Lord," he cried. After that they wrote the Testimony of Three Witnesses you find in every copy of the Book of Mormon.45 But again, note that they didn't see a physical book. They just "saw" it in a vision – and note that Joseph was with them when they saw it. Yet The Palmyra Reflector of March 19, 1831 showed the three "witnesses" each telling a different story, which to her "makes it all the more likely that the men were not conspirators but victims of Joseph's unconscious but positive talent at hypnosis."46
Martin Harris's own words
In 1859 Martin Harris was interviewed by Joel Tiffany of Tiffany's Monthly,47 and they obtained these words from his own lips:
--Here we inquired of Mr. Harris-- How did the Lord show you these things?
But the man who type-set the Book of Mormon gave this testimony:
Memorandum, made by John H. Gilbert, Esq.,
No one working with a New or Old Testament manuscript, papyrus, parchment or codex would say he saw them with a "spiritual eye." He would say clearly, not only that he saw them with his naked eye, but that so did everyone else, from the day of its discovery to the present time!
Finally, a lawyer in Palmyra (no doubt used to finding the truth through direct enquiry) confronted Martin Harris face to face:
"Did you see those plates?" Harris replied, he did. "Did you see the plates, and the engravings on them with your bodily eyes?" Harris replied, "Yes, I saw them with my eyes,–they were shown unto me by the power of God and not of man." "But did you see them with your natural,–your bodily eyes, just as you see the pencil-case in my hand? Now say no or yes to this." Harris replied,–"Why I did not see them as I do that pencil-case, yet I saw them with the eye of faith; I saw them just as distinctly as I see anything around me,–though at the time they were covered with a cloth."50
It cannot be any clearer than that. They did not physically see them, just as every artifact in the biblical world has been proven to exist. The golden plates only existed in their minds.
The Eight Witnesses
According to Fawn Brodie's research, this is how the so-called "Eight Witnesses" saw the golden plates, reproduced in its entirety:
One of the most plausible descriptions of the manner in which Joseph Smith obtained these eight signatures was written by Thomas Ford, Governor of Illinois, who knew intimately several of Joseph's key men after they became disaffected and left the church. They told Ford that the witnesses were "set to continual prayer, and other spiritual exercises." Then at last "he assembled them in a room, and produced a box, which he said contained the precious treasure. The lid was opened; the witnesses peeped into it but making no discovery, for the box was empty, they said, ‘Brother Joseph, we do not see the plates.' The prophet answered them, ‘O ye of little faith! How long will God bear with this wicked and perverse generation? Down on your knees, brethren, every one of you, and pray God for the forgiveness of your sins, and for a holy and living faith which cometh down from heaven.' The disciples dropped to their knees, and began to pray in the fervency of their spirit, supplicating God for more than two hours with fanatical earnestness; at the end of which time, looking again into the box, they were now persuaded that they saw the plates."51
In Governor Thomas Ford's 1854 book, A History of Illinois, from its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847 p. 257, he prefaced the above testimony with these words:
It is related that the prophet's early followers were anxious to see the plates; the prophet had always given out that they could not be seen by the carnal eye, but must be spiritually discerned; that the power to see them depended upon faith, and was the gift of God, to be obtained by fasting, prayer, mortification of the flesh, and exercises of the spirit; that so soon as he could see the evidences of a strong and lively faith by means of which the hidden things of God could be spiritually discerned; and at last, when he could delay them no longer, he assembled them in a room, and produced a box, which he said contained the precious treasure….
Every time we come to the fact of the matter, these supposedly physical and literal plates are only said to be "spiritually discerned" or seen with a "spiritual eye," not a physical eye at all! Can anyone tell this by reading the "Testimony of Three Witnesses" and "Testimony of Eight Witnesses" at face value? The "handling of the plates" is a lie, no matter how much the "witnesses" may insist their vision is true. But it doesn't mean they physically saw a thing. The box was empty. Like the child's fairy tale, "the emperor has no clothes!"52
42 See No Man Knows My History (1945, 1971), p. 75.
43 See No Man Knows My History, p. 75, footnote.
44 See Doctrine & Covenants, Section 17 and No Man Knows My History, p. 76.
45See No Man Knows My History, pp. 76-77.
46 See the Palmyra Reflector for March 19, 1831, excerpted at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/wayn1830.htm#031931. See also No Man Know My History, p. 77.
47 See the August, 1859 edition of Tiffany's Monthly, "Mormonism – No. II." (Vol. V., No. IV.), pp. 163-170, found at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/ harrisinterviewtiffanysmonthly.htm.
48 This is telling, since many have estimated the weight of that amount of gold at 200 lbs, whereas a bag of mere rocks would weigh 40-60 pounds in a box of the size that contained the "plates."
49 See http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/bom_early_problems/ memorandumjohhgilbert.htm. Bold print emphasis is mine.
51 See No Man Knows My History, pp. 79-80. For the original quote, see A History of Illinois, from its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847 by Governor Thomas Ford (New York: S. C. Griggs & Co, 1854), p. 257. Available as a free download from www.books.google.com.
52 For more on who saw the plates and how, see The Salt Lake City Messenger #105 (November, 2005), "Book of Mormon Plates: Artifact, Vision or Hoax?" Available at http://utlm.org/newsletters/no105.htm.
PAGE 14, panel #4 – PAGE 15, panel #2
The Scandal about Captain William Morgan
See No Man Knows My History (1945, 1971) by Fawn M. Brodie, pp. 63-64. Many papers of the day carried the story. For instance, see article in the Republican Advocate, Batavia, IL of Friday, September 22, 1826, (Vol. 15, No. 763).53
More about this and early Mormons' connections with masonry are found in the Mormon History Association president Dr. Reed C. Durham's Presidential Address, "Is There No Help for the Widow's Son?"54
Even more information is available in the excerpt from the book The MormonKingdom, Volume 1, entitled, "Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence on Mormonism.55
Captain Morgan's book, Exposition of Freemasonry (published posthumously in 1827) is available online, as well.56
One website lists possible connections between Captain Morgan Oliver Cowdery's family in the form of a family chronology.57
The Massive Masonic Defection
As a result of the William Morgan scandal tens of thousands left Masonry, which forced 2,000 lodges to close. According to Harmon Taylor, a former Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New York (1983-1984):
...following that incident, 45,000 of the 50,000 Masons in this country left their lodges, when the facts became known, to enter it no more.58
According to the research of Whitney R. Cross:
...the Antimasonic excitement . . . may well have been the most comprehensive single force to strike the 'infected district' during an entire generation. Charles Finney later estimated that two thousand lodges and forty-five thousand members in the United States suspended fraternal activity. Most of the groups in western New York must have done so.59
58 See "Mixing Oil with Water" by Harmon Taylor at http://www.saintsalive.com/freemasonry/mixingoilwater.html.
59 See The Burned-Over District by Whitney R. Cross. (New York, 1965), p. 120. Cited in Jerald and Sandra Tanner's excerpt from the book The Mormon Kingdom, Volume 1, entitled, "Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence on Mormonism," available online at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/mormonkingdomvol1ch13masonicinfluence.htm.
PAGE 15, panel #3
William Morgan as the first "baptism of the dead"
See the article of The Philalethes Society (the Masonic Research Society), "The Mormon Baptism of William Morgan" by John E. Thompson (June, 1983).60
PAGE 15, panel #4
Hyrum Smith joined the Lodge in 1827, despite the Morgan controversy and massive defection from Masonic lodges
According to Freemason Terry Chateau:
An older son, Hyrum Smith, was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112, Palmyra New York.61
And D. Michael Quinn tells about something listed (and later missing) from Hyrum Smith's estate inventory:
...1 Masonic apron–surrounded with blue, center made of silk with pictures printed on it." Conferred on Hyrum Smith at his 1827 initiation into Freemasonry ….62
61 This information is verified by Freemason Terry Chateau in "The Mormon Church and Freemasonry," California Freemason On-Line, May/June 2001, found at http://www.freemason.org/cfo/may_june_2001/mormon.htm.
62 See Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (1998), p. 104.
PAGE 16, panels #1-2
Joseph Smith's "translation" of the golden plates
Stories differ as to how Joseph Smith "translated" the golden plates. According to Fawn M. Brodie, it wasn't until 1838 that Smith started to write the "official" history of the beginnings of the Mormon church. In Joseph's own words:
...also that there were two stones in silver bows – and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim – deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted "Seers" in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.63
Lucy Mack Smith's autobiography gave even more details. Brodie sites Lucy's autobiography about what Joseph showed her the morning after the fateful night of April 21-22, 1827 (when he returned the "borrowed" horse and wagon):
Joseph showed her the magic spectacles, which she described as "two smooth three-cornered diamonds set in glass and the glasses set in silver bows.
Martin Harris described them differently in his Tiffany's interview, however:
… The two stones set in a bow of silver were about two inches in diameter, perfectly round, and about five-eighths of an inch thick at the centre; but not so thick at the edges where they came into the bow. They were joined by a round bar of silver, about three-eighths of an inch in diameter, and about four inches long, which, with the two stones, would make eight inches. The stones were white, like polished marble, with a few gray streaks.64
In an 1885 interview David Whitmer stated that after the loss of the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon (a long story: search www.utlm.org for more information), Moroni allowed Joseph to use his old "seer stone" to translate:
Moroni never returned to Smith the original Urim and Thummin found with the plates, but allowed him to translate with the seer stone he already possessed. However, Whitmer described it as if this seer stone were a new gift … Under the mistaken impression that this was Joseph's first use of the brown stone, Whitmer wrote: "By fervent prayer and by otherwise humbling himself, the prophet however, again found favor, and was presented with a strange, oval-shaped, chocolate-colored stone, about the size of an egg, only more flat, which, it was promised would serve the same purpose as the missing urim and thummim. ... With this stone all of the present Book of Mormon was translated." 65
63 No Man Knows My History (1945, 1971) by Fawn M. Brodie, p. 39.
64 See Tiffany's Monthly, "Mormonism – No. II." (Vol. V., No. IV.), August, 1859, pp. 165-166, found at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/ harrisinterviewtiffanysmonthly.htm.
65 See Early Mormonism , pp. 171-172. See also No Man Knows My History, p. 39 (footnote) and p. 61.
PAGE 16, panel #3
3,913 changes in the Book of Mormon
There are excellent articles on this available online.66
66 See the online introduction to 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon at http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm. See also "Significant Changes in the Book of Mormon" at http://www.saintsalive.com/mormonism/bomchanges.htm.
PAGE 16, panel #4 – PAGE 17, panel #1
The Mormon books accepted above the word of God
Though Mormon apologists continually say otherwise, the newer books always supersede the old, the LDS prophets are taken above them, and the living prophet is believed above all the rest, including the previous prophets.
W.W. Phelps wrote this confession of faith in September, 1835:
I am willing to acknowledge myself indebted to the revelations of God, contained in the bible, the book of Mormon, the book of commandments and all other good books, which alike have come and will come unto the world, by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. I glory in revelations from the Lord, and think when the prophecy of good old Jeremiah is fulfilled, the earth will be filled with knowledge which will be revealed.67
In 1842, "at the request of Hon. John Wentworth, of Chicago. Illinois, editor and proprietor of the Chicago Democrat, Joseph Smith wrote a sketch of the rise and progress of the church, which sketch was published soon after in that paper. This production closed with a plain and comprehensive epitome of the faith and doctrine of the church."Joseph Smith presented these as 13 Articles of Faith68, which were soon codified in the Pearl of Great Price. This is the 8th Article of Faith:
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
Note that though there have been 3,913 changes in the Book of Mormon, there is no condition that it be "translated correctly." This places the Book of Mormon above the Bible. But Joseph wrote other books, first the "Book of Commandments" first in 1833, then the vastly modified and renamed "Doctrine and Covenants" in 1835 (with various sections added to and removed since that date), and then the "Pearl of Great Price," first published posthumously in 1851, then canonized in 1880. Each presents doctrines foreign to the book that came before. That means, to a Mormon, each newer book supersedes the previous one.
PAGE 17, panel #3
Joseph Smith, a "black hole" of information
There are many whole books that discuss the manner in which Joseph incorporated stories, legends, etc., into his writings. Go to www.utlm.org for articles and books on Joseph as a writer.
PAGES 20-22, panel #1
Mormons in Kirtland, Ohio
For a vivid retelling of the story, see No Man Knows My History by Fawn M. Brodie, Chapters 7-14.
The tiny frontier town of Independence, Missouri
See No Man Knows My History, pp. 109, 113 and 114.
The treatment of Bishop Edward Partridge
See No Man Knows My History, pp.129 and 133-134.
The plea of the Mormons to Joseph, his response and the horrific results
See No Man Knows My History, pp. 133-139.
PAGE 22, panel #2
Joseph's vision of an army of saints
This is Joseph's fuller response of February, 1834, which was later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 103:
Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be let out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
PAGES 22, panel #3 – PAGE 23, panel #2
Sampson Avard and the Danites
A quick summary can be found in No Man Knows My History, pp. 213-216.
PAGE 23, panel #3
Joseph's "Second Muhammad" speech
On October 14, 1838, Joseph Smith called himself a "second Muhammad" as he was concluding a speech in the public square at Far West, Missouri. Those words have been verified by affidavits from Thomas B. Marsh,69 Orson Hyde (from Joseph's Quorum of the Twelve), George M. Hinkle, John Corrill, W.W. Phelps (a major leader in the Mormon church), Samson Avard (founder of the Danites), and Reed Peck.70
69For the full affidavit of Thomas B. Marsh, see The Rocky Mountain Saints by T. B. H. Stenhouse (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1873), pp. 89-90. Available as a free download from www.books.google.com.
PAGE 23, panel #3 – 24, panel #5
Joseph Smith Compared with Muhammad ("Mahomet")71
From The Vermont Gazette, Vol. XLIX, No. 2510, Tuesday, September 13th, 1831 (NS Vol. 2 No. 37), in the article "Mormon Religion:"
It is probable that Joe Smith is well acquainted with the trick, but Harris the farmer and the recent converts, are true believers. Harris was the first man who gave credit to the story of Smith and the ex-preacher. He was their maiden convert -- the Ali of the Ontario Mahomet, who believed without a reason and without a murmur.
From The New York Evangelist (Vol. VI, No. 15) of New York City, April 9, 1836:
For the New-York Evangelist.
From the New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, Concord, Monday, June 13th, 1836 (NS Vol. VIII), in the article "The Mormons:"
A gentleman living in Loraine County, Ohio, writes that a more extraordinary sect has not sprung up since the days of Mahomet....
From the New YorkSun, August 5, 1842 in the article "The Mormon Revelations." This falsely supposed that the opposition of John C. Bennett would put an end to Mormonism:
We have now an exponent of the modern philosophy of religious fanaticism; the rise of Mahomet is no longer a problem; his effigy of the nineteenth century has been destroyed.72
From the Buffalo Commercial Advisor, Vol. X, No. 3009, dated June 24, 1844 (three days before Joseph Smith was shot to death), in the article "Affairs at Nauvoo:"
…. -- Joe Smith, ignorant as he is, has unbounded ambition. He exercises supreme control over his deluded followers, and has already succeeded in gathering more to his standard than Mahomet did in a like number of years. He boasts that he can control more than five thousand votes, and the boast is probably true. It is certain that he holds in his hands the balance of political power in Illinois -- This fact gives him impunity. He brooks no opposition nor questioning of his pretensions, and any one hardy enough to attempt either, as we have seen. is not safe in person or property….
See Jerold and Sandra Tanner's article, "Satanic Verses and Mormonism" for even more information.73
71 Bold print emphasis in the following quotes is mine.
PAGE 24, Panel #2
Joseph Smith's Wives
Mormon Church historian Andrew Jensen catalogued 27 wives taken by Joseph Smith. Orson F. Whitney added four more to that list. Lucinda Morgan, widow of Captain William Morgan (see p. 15), was the third wife, according to both lists, married to Joseph Smith about 1838. Below is a short summary, based on detailed charts:74
74 This information is documented in No Man Knows My History: the Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie (1945), Chapter 21 and Appendix C. See also http://www.xmission.com/~plporter/lds/jswives/jswives.htm
75 Joseph Smith was shot to death at the Carthage jail on June 27, 1844. After his death, other women were "sealed for eternity" to Joseph Smith. But since he did not marry them while he was alive, they will not be listed here.
PAGE 25, panel #2 – PAGE 26, panel #1
For Joseph as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, see No Man Knows My History, Chapter 25.
For Joseph's secret ordination and coronation as "King of the Kingdom of God" on April 11, 1844, see No Man Knows My History, pp. 356-360. The journal entry of William Clayton reads as follows:
"Pres. J[oseph]. was voted our P[rophet]. P[riest]. & K[ing]. with loud Hosannas."77
77 William Clayton Journal, April 11, 1844, typescript. See also the entry of 1 January 1845. The original is kept in the LDS First Presidency Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. See copied entries made by L. John Nuttall, Brigham Young University Studies 20 (Spring 1980):267-68.
PAGE 26, panels #2-4
Joseph Smith and Masonry in Illinois
See No Man Knows My History, pp. 276-283.
PAGE 27, panels #1-2
Joseph Smith and William Law's wealth – and wife
See No Man Knows My History, pp. 368-370.
PAGE 27, panel #3
Joseph's sermon against the "apostates" of May 26, 1844
In History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409, Joseph spoke these words:
"If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of the mountain and crow like a rooster. I shall always beat them.... I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet."78
78 See History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409. This quote is available online as part of the tract, "Jesus and Joseph, at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/jesusandjosephsmith.htm. Emphasis is from Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
PAGE 28, panel #1
The soft-spoken articles in the Nauvoo Expositor and the destruction of the press
See No Man Knows My History, pp. 374-379. Joseph got louder in his denials that he was a polygamist. The cities around Nauvoo were outraged that Joseph had ordered the destruction of a free press. You will not believe what happened next! Joseph called on his people in a fit of rage, as Fawn M. Brody narrated:
"Will you stand by me to the death?"
79 See No Man Knows My History, p. 379. Bold emphasis is mine.
PAGE 28, panel #2 – PAGE 29, panel #3
The often-contradictory testimonies surrounding Joseph Smith's death are presented extremely well on Sandra Tanner's Utah Lighthouse Ministry website.80
See also No Man Knows My History, pp. 387-394.
80 See "Joseph Smith's Death," found at http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/josephsmithsdeath.htm.
PAGE 30, panel #2
Jesuit Priest Pierre-Jean De Smet and Brigham Young
Here are some references to Jesuit priest Pierre-Jean De Smet and his contact with Brigham Young before he decided upon the Great Salt Lake.81
From George Bishop's 2003 book, Black Robe and Tomahawk:
On 18 November 1846 De Smet was within sight of Council Bluffs, which he had visited in 1842. Not far from there, in the territory of the Omahas, he met Mr. Brigham Young and his Mormons who were encamped on a vast and beautiful area, having been driven out from the city of Nauvoo on the Mississippi. There were more than 10,000 Mormons there. He became well acquainted with Brigham Young. In his letter to the Provincial (1 January 1847) Father De Smet wrote:
From Robert C. Carriker's 1995 work, Father Peter John De Smet: Jesuit in the West:
"In 1846, Council Bluffs existed pretty much as ‘a temporary establishment of the Mormons, driven out from their city of Nauvoo on the Mississippi; there are more than 10,000 of them here.' At the request of Brigham Young, De Smet described in close detail the topography of the western lands beyond the Rocky Mountains, answering ‘a thousand questions about the regions I had explored.' The Saints subsequently chose the Salt Lake Valley for their new Zion, and historical legend attributes the choice to De Smet's advice."83
From E. Laveille S.J.'s Life of Father De Smet, S.J. (1801-1873), p. 269:
Before going to Oregon, Father De Smet accompanied a Government expedition against the Mormons. Driven first from Illinois, then from Missouri, because of their low morals, the Latter Day Saints retired in 1847 to Salt Lake, a town situated west of the Rocky Mountains.*
From the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907-1914) on Utah:
Even in a Mormon publication one can find reference to Jesuit De Smet. This comes from Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer (University of Illinois Press, 1986) by Stanley B. Kimball, p.146:84
In Winter Quarters Heber and Brigham received some unexpected and welcome information regarding the Mountain West. That November the famous Jesuit, Father Pierre Jean de Smet, stopped and visited with the Mormons. He was en route to St. Louis after spending five years in the mountains preaching to the Flathead Indians and was one of the few white men who had visited the Great Salt Lake. Taking full advantage of this good luck, the Mormons asked him every question they could think of. De Smet took it good-naturedly and some years later wrote a brief account of this meeting.
81 All bold type emphasis is mine.
82 See Black Robe & Tomahawk: The Life and Travels of Fr Pierre-Jean De Smet, SJ (1801-1873) by George Bishop (Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing, 2003), p. 143.
84 This reference was graciously supplied by Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministries.
PAGE 30, PANELS #3-4
What are the "14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet"
Ezra Taft Benson made a now-famous speech on February 26, 1980. The following are the unedited "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," in his restatement at the conclusion of his speech (my comments are in footnotes):
In conclusion, let us summarize this grand key, these "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," for our salvation hangs on them.
I testify that these fourteen fundamentals in following the living prophet are true. if we want to know how well we stand with the Lord, then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain. How closely do our lives harmonize with the words of the Lord's anointed--the living prophet, the President of the Church, and with the Quorum of the First Presidency?
This is one of the scariest speeches a Mormon leader has ever made.
85 This means the "living prophet" literally speaks for their god.
86 This means the "living prophet" is more important to a Mormon than the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price!
87 This means that what the "living prophet" says is more important than anything a prophet said who has died. So the "living prophet" doesn't have to speak or act in accordance with any previous doctrine or action of a "dead prophet." There is absolutely no accountability!
88 Remember cult leaders like Jim Jones when you read that.
89 Believe it or not, this is more "say" than even the Roman Catholic pope claims for himself.
90 So the "living prophet" may be speaking "scripture" every waking hour – you have no way of knowing which is which.
91 In other words, the "living prophet" doesn't have to make any sense at all.
92 This means that whoever doesn't obey the "living prophet" can be branded, not a "thinking person," but rather the "proud who are learned" or the "proud who are rich." Mormons must believe and obey the "living prophet" or else you he or she is proud. Period.
93 Another name to brand those Mormons who disagree with the "living prophet:" the "worldly."
94 Note that Benson doesn't say how or how much a Mormon will "suffer" if he or she rejects the "living prophet." But he does say that rejection means suffering.
PAGE 32, panel #3
The "consent and passport" of Joseph Smith Jr.
These words were spoken by Brigham Young:
Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians … something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them— namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. … every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are—I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation—the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim— "Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true. 96
This documentation was provided to help the reader of The Enchanter know and understand that what was written in the comic book was true, and yet it was only the tip of the iceberg. Mormonism is not Christian. The precious Mormons are deceived and unsaved. They are headed for hell, unless God moves us who know the truth to take a risk and reach out to them in love, to bring them to the truth of the Gospel as found clearly stated in the King James Bible.
The Book of Mormon is make-believe. The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are false prophecies, false visions and false translations. The prophets of the Mormon religion are false prophets. And the Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the pages of the Holy Bible is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
I plead with the Bible-believing reader to endeavor to reach the lost. I plead with people in religion and without religion – all non-Christians – to trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which paid for sin once for all.
God bless you as He leads you into all truth, all who seek Him diligently with their whole heart. –David W. Daniels
96 See Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, pp. 288-289. Bold emphasis is mine.