Comments about ‘'Bizarre' British summons roundly criticized by legal experts, religious freedom advocates’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 7:15 p.m. MST

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Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


I hope you are wrong.

Conroe, TX

What am I supposed to think? You say that the Book of Abraham is not a direct translation of the papyri that the church has in its possession. You claim that the papyri were destroyed in the Great Chicago fire. I did a lot of reading about that fire, but the church put out pictures of the papyri, and made the claim that they were the ones that Joseph translated. They look exactly like the pics that are represented in the Book of Abraham. It stands to reason that these were indeed the papyri that Joseph claimed to translate. The problem is that these are funerary texts from ancient Egypt and not from the hand of Abraham. In fact they are way younger than Abraham. I am confused.

Provo, UT

Someone once said:

"It is easier to fool a man than to convince a man he has been fooled."

Many have been fooled to be sure, but convincing them they have is fruitless. They have to see it themselves.

Conroe, TX

You can't un teach what the church taught. It taught, and is also backed up in previous versions of the BOM, that the Lamenites were the principle ancestors of native American tribes. In addition, in Second Nephi Ch1 vs8-9 it says "8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be akept as yet from the knowledge of other bnations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.

9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a apromise, that binasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall cprosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall dkeep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their einheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever."

How is this not stating clearly that the land was preserved for Lehi, and that no one else was there?

Potsdam, 00


There is no such thing as any original script from the BM or Abraham.
If Joseph Sm. would live today still, he could reproduce any scripture of ancient time by means of the Urim and Thummim. Why ? Because everything that was recorded by Prophets on earth would have been recorded in heaven as well.

If you have taken care of receiving a faithful testimony regarding the words of Moroni or Abraham then you may be sure in having received the priviledge of knowing that such records are kept in heaven.

After that we may find small beams of light in research that assures us, we are on the right track.

It does not say the Land was preserved exclusively for Lehi, it says , if it so be that they shall keep his commandments.

All Holy Books, such as Abraham or Book of Lehi are sacred to the reader, they are kept within the laws and bounderies of faith to benefit those of faith only.
If you seek no faithful road toward your Redeemer, it will be kept from you on purpose.

Gilbert, AZ

I would love for President Monson to attend.

I would love to know where President Monson said those 'exact words'. A lot of these aren't even LDS actual beliefs. Especially the part about the BOA and literal translations.

I understand this man was hurt, he was summarily dismissed as State President, his wife divorced him and his children have distance themselves from him. He is left with nothing but his anger and regrets.
The LDS Church needs to do a better job with their leadership. They need to get them counseling when they are released from high governing callings. They need to help smoother their transition, so they don't have to fill the "power void" with dark hobbies. They need to be taught that simply because everyone doesn't hang on their every word anymore, that doesn't mean they are of no worth.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

@ Fuzz - Springville, UT - "This is not Satan. Satan cannot issue a summons. Satan can't do anything. He does not have a body or power over anything."

No, it isn't "Satan" hiself that filed the paperwork that got this lawsuit/summons rolling, but he surely is the impetus/driving force behind it all.

On a different note, all I had to read was "former (LDS) member" and I saw all I needed to know.

It is no coincidence that the Book of Mormon has a passage of scripture in it which describes how a group of people, after having received the light of Christ and then having decided to leave the gospel of Jesus Christ, that when later on shown the error of their choice, that only ONE returned.

To those who know, that is a warning of massive, massive proportions.

G Blake
West Jordan, UT

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." - Matthew 7:20
That scripture alone exonerates the leadership of the LDS church, the church itself, and it's teachings, in my opinion. I'm pleased to see the general consensus is that this charge should never have even seen the light of day, since this is plainly a false charge from a disaffected ex-LDS fellow with an axe to grind; but at some point such a ludicrous charge might manage to gain political momentum somewhere.
Ideally, God's children wouldn't allow themselves to become so prideful, rebellious, and hard-hearted, but the scriptures show us that it has happened repeatedly in every civilization. If the secular anti-religionists do reach such a critical mass that they could force such an action through a court, I'm grateful to know that no court or law anywhere would be able to find sufficient evidence to give credence to such charges.
But that would be no victory. The only sinless one to ever walk this earth was convicted in such a way.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

@ BCA - Murrieta, CA "Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon."

Uh, you might want to read the article again:

Article quote: "The allegations were made by a former Mormon, Thomas Phillips,..."

You're welcome.

Kirkland, WA

So many of these comments assert knowledge of fact by means of belief. You can't make something true by believing it. You can testify that you believe it is true, but when facts contradict your inner conviction, I cannot believe that some part of you recognizes that you've lied to yourself in order to avoid facing what could be a hard truth to swallow.

Fact does not need equivocation nor does it need a backstory or context. When a church has to say "this doesn't prove or disprove" or "these quotes are taken out of context" it's to protect a narrative that they do not want questioned.

"Science is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

Dan Maloy
Enid, OK

@ Northern Lights - Arco, ID "Sharrona, yes, here we go again.......anyone who argues your particular point has probably stopped on page 483 of the record of the Smooth hearings without proceeding on to page 484 where President Smith stated that he has had "impressions of the spirit" upon his mind "very frequently." To many LDS, that is a common form of revelation. I don't expect he could have expanded on that thought given the hostile nature of the hearing."

Thank you for posting this. I distinctly remember a former missionary comnpanion telling me this "I have never received a revelation" claim. He loved trying to rile me and would tell me stuff like this all the time. Sadly (but not much of a surprise, looking back on it) he was later excommunicated.

My testimony?

Still here and growing stronger.

Thanks again for refuting this falsehood about Pres. Smith.

Dan Maloy
Enid, OK

@ sharrona - layton, UT
RE: Northern Lights, yes, here we go again.

"(Reed Smoot)After years of hearings, the remaining charges of the opposition included:
That church leaders were still practicing(illegally) plural marriage. Apostles John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley were still performing plural marriages in Mexico and Canada, though Taylor was later excommunicated for the practice.

That the church was exerting too much influence on Utah politics.
That members were required to take oaths in the temples to seek revenge on the United States. (See: oath of vengeance)"

You DO realize that you did NOT address the main point that 'Northern Lights' refuted, right?

You said that Pres. Smith claimed to receive no "revelation".

Yet 'Northern Lights' clearly pointed out that was taken out of context and even provided you the page number of the document that proved Pres. Smith did in fact believe he had received "revelation".

And yet you did not acknowledge that refutation.

Why not?

Romford, Essex

We've got some weird old magistrates in this country. The only people who will benefit from this farce will, as usual, be the lawyers. Send Jeffrey R Holland!! He'll sort them out!! :)


@origami. I have read the Book of Abraham and I have felt the spirit testify to me that it is true. So I don't care if the source of that book is a common funerary text as the anti-Mormoms say, or translated from the scrolls as Joseph Smith says in the introduction. If it makes me feel a burning in the bosom it is a true book and of God. Scientific evidence cannot be used to prove whether something comes from God, only the spirit can do that. So they should leave President Monson alone.

Russell Spencer
Boise, ID


Verse9 relates an if-then promise. If righteous, then keep the land/dwell in safety forever. The Book of Mormon makes clear the people didn't keep their "if" portion of that promise.

You equate "this land" with the whole American continent. That seems simplistic. Lehi's party arrived roughly contemporaneously with Mulek's, who arrived in time to meet Coriantumr, a Jaredite (another nation) whose people had dwelt *somewhere* in the Americas.

I read the passage in context. Lehi was from Canaan, a land roughly the size of New Jersey, which had been overrun by many nations--Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.--depriving Israel of an inheritance. "This land" need not be continental for Lehi's children to preserve an inheritance.

Your opinions of "what the Church taught" are just that. Quotes since the 1830s state that the Book of Mormon gives an account of the ancient inhabitants of this land. It does. Many in the 1830s thought those "inhabitants" referred to the mound-builders; maybe they did. But certainly no one thought the mound-builders were the Americas' ONLY ancient inhabitants. I know of no teaching that Lehi was the ONLY ancestor of the Native Americans.

Clearfield, UT

Religion cannot be proven or disproven in a court of law. Neither can evolution, creationism or many other controversial topics.

Spanish Fork, UT

A wise man once said "The disturbance caused by "The BOA" papyrus has more or less subsided. Dr. Nibley effectively deflected the criticism at its height, time has done the rest. His Improvement Era articles satisfied the unsophisticated minds of the general church population; the faux pas was laid to rest. Those who remember the controversy will choose never to speak of it again. History will be whitewashed, new generations of Mormons will never become aware of it. Eventually it will be forgotten, just like Brigham's Adam God Theory.

The church has learned that if issues such as "The BOA" or Lamanites are allowed to quietly retire, they gradually sort themselves out, dissipate. The less the leaders say about these controversies, the easier the transition. They have an enormous base of believers. If an uncomfortable issue arises, there is no end of fanatical believers willing to step forward and defend god or do anything to support his kingdom. They believe their stalwart defense will be counted to them as righteousness. It is always better for the "spin" to originate with them; then if it turns out to be stupid, it cannot be laid at the feet of the leadership."

Jaime Lee Bonberger
Houston, TX

To ThinksIThink, oragami, and others

Please see the post of Cats at that sheds light on the Book of Abraham. John Gee in A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri also does a good job of clarifying.

There were actually 4 sets of papyri and, it appears, only one was used for the Book of Abraham. This papyri roll was preserved by Joseph Smith, while some of the rest were cut up and displayed in frames. It is these cut pieces that the Church recovered from the New York Museum. The contemporary (1840s) physical description of the papyri of the Book of Abraham differs sharply from these recovered cutouts.

After the death of Joseph Smith, the whole collection was split up with the majority, most likely including the Abraham scroll, going to a museum in Chicago that was burned down in the great Chicago fire. It is presumed that the rest of the collection is what we have recovered today. Only one of the original three facsimiles is in that collection.

Also interesting is that many of the previously unknown details about the traditions of Abraham revealed in the Book of Abraham have since been confirmed by subsequently discovered ancient texts.

Murrieta, CA

"@ BCA - Murrieta, CA "Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon."
Uh, you might want to read the article again:
Article quote: "The allegations were made by a former Mormon, Thomas Phillips,..."
You're welcome."

Thanks for the attempted clarification. However, the reason I wrote that Tom Phillips is not an ex-Mormon is because the article has it wrong and I was trying to clarify. I follow Tom's internet postings and have listened to podcasts. He is currently still a member. No matter what the article says.

Jaime Lee Bonberger
Houston, TX

Already there were the preceding Jaredites that occupied the land. And the unknown but nearby Mulekites were contemporaries to Lehi.

Lehi's posterity would be protected from the knowledge of other nations. This could only happen if a party arrived from a foreign nation, and then returned home to report to its leaders who could then send more and more settlers, armies, etc, but history records no such interchange that would represent coming to this 'knowledge of other nations'.

The Book of Mormon doesn't even call the Nephites or Lamanites 'nations' but 'people'. Only at the end in Moroni 8 are the Nephites referred to as a nation, then again as a people as if to clarify.

A good read on this topic comes from John L. Sorensen: When Lehi's Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?

And the old introduction says 'principal' ancestors. The first definition of the adjective 'principal' in Websters is 'most important'. It says nothing about numerical representation. The new wording 'among' could mean 99% or 1%, which is all you can really draw from the text of the Book of Mormon.

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