Monday, August 18, 2008

What Do Anti-Mormons Read to Lose Braincells

I am a zombie. I have no original thoughts. My mind is filled only with LDS propaganda. I will tell lies if my faith is threatened.

OK, not really.

But I am regularly accused of such things. Just last Tuesday night my anti-Mormon friend Robert Verdin said he thought I probably lie to support my beliefs.

This after he acknowledged after 30 years of evangelizing the Mormons, he had never read the Book of Mormon. On Tuesday he acknowledged that he had not even bothered to look at, let alone read, the 40+ pages I provided him in support of the Book of Abraham, responding directly to attacks he had made.

He is sure the Book of Abraham is false, he said, because Joseph Smith was such a bad guy, it could not possibly be true.

I suppose they said the same things about Elisha after the she-bears tore dozens of children to shreds in the Bible. I am pretty sure personal habits are not reflective of truth claims of a prophet's mission.

But let's exam a couple of claims Anti-Mormons make which require one to actually ignore facts.

Bill McKeever calls me a deceiver because I point out that he ignores the eyewitness accounts concerning the nature of the Gold Plates and their weight. All the witnesses said they weighed 40-60 pounds. Additionally we have statements by his wife, family members and other observers who handled and carried the plates. These included his young sisters, neighbors and friends carrying the plates. This is in addition to the 8 witnesses who testified of the plates dozens of times. Martin Harris held them for over an hour on his lap; Joseph's brother William Smith said they weighed 40-60 pounds, and Joseph is quoted as saying they weighed 40-60 pounds. William Smith also said they were composed of copper and gold. Gold was their color, not their assayed composition. An 8 karat gold ring is a gold alloy and also the color "gold". We know that there is an alloy, Tumbaga, made of Gold and Copper, found in Central America, which is a perfect candidate for the material the Gold Plates were made from.

How much does Bill say they weighed? Somewhere between 100-240 pounds. And his source?

He has none. He has calculated this, or he accepts other people's calculations. But when I point that out, he says I am a deceiver! That makes sense.

Robert Verdin says the figures in Facsimile #1 of the Book of Abraham, showing a man holding a knife attempting to kill the man on the lion couch, is proof, says Robert, that Joseph Smith was a fraud. Why? Because some Egyptologists have asserted that it should be a picture of a man with a jackal's head with a bird flying over him.

The problem: There are three witnesses who saw the original scroll from which facsimile #1 is made, one of which was a non-LDS minister and critic, who noted there was a man holding a knife. And further, Kerry Shirts has provided references to similar looking artifacts.

As noted above, Robert's response is to refuse to read the material, and instead asserted that NO LDS SCHOLAR CAN BE TRUSTED! Even the other non-LDS folks sitting at the table protested how indefensible such a statement is.

Lastly, I spent three hours talking with a youth group two weeks ago, and two of their pastors. We spent more than two hours discussing the winter 1830 mission to Canada by Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page, and two additional companions, to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. You can read the entire story here. Suffice it to say at the time we both did not understand the issues involved. They argued Joseph Smith was a false prophet based on David Whitmer's erroneous account, and I acknowledged that they were correct, based on Whitmer's account. But I said I did not think it was the correct story. That was true. Sadly, we wasted most of our time discussing something which was false, instead of the Gospel. The sad part is they think they know what Mormonism believes. They don't. They know a distortion provided them by someone who doesn't know what they are talking about.

I discovered today that Rob Sivulka, someone whom I have never thought was much of a scholar because of his sloppy research, now has the Canadian mission on his website as one of the "false prophecies" of Joseph Smith. Oh that he would someday do a little of his own research before he launched on the Mormons. Those actually involved in the Mission believed the revelation received by Joseph Smith was actually correctly fulfilled.

So do Anti-Mormons actually lose brain cells? Of course not. But they do tend to be unbelievably hypocritical in their attacks on LDS gullibility when they typically have their laundry list of false issues they preach. Gullibility is not a disease related to California Seagulls eating Utah Crickets.

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