Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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On May 5, 1834, the Zion's Camp group left Kirtland, Ohio. They traveled south and then west out of Ohio, into Indiana, passing through Indianapolis. Continuing westward, the traveled into Illinois, passing through Springfield and westward further. On June 3, 1834, Joseph Smith proclaimed the skeleton found in a Havana Hopewell culture mound in Pike County, Illinois, to be that of Zelph, a white Lamanite. (Outside of Mormon circles, the mound is identified as the "Naples Mound 8", "Naples-Russel Mound 8" or "Illinois Archaeological Survey #PK 335.")

In History of the Church, Vol. 2, pp. 79–80, it is explained that (emphases added):
During our travels we visited several of the mounds which had been thrown up by the ancient inhabitants of this country--Nephites, Lamanites, etc., and this morning I went up on a high mound, near the river, accompanied by the brethren. * * *

On the top of the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three altars having been erected one above the other, according to the ancient order; and the remains of bones were strewn over the surface of the ground. The brethren procured a shovel and a hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot, discovered the skeleton of a man, almost entire, and
between his ribs the stone point of a Lamanitish arrow
, which evidently produced his death. Elder Burr Riggs retained the arrow. The contemplation of the scenery around us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms: and subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large, thick-set man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea to the Rocky mountains. The curse was taken from Zelph, or, at least, in part--one of his thigh bones was broken by a stone flung from a sling, while in battle, years before his death. He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites.
The next day (June 4, 1834), Joseph Smith in a letter to his wife, Emma, wrote (emphases added):
The whole of our journey, in the midst of so large a company of social honest men and sincere men, wandering over the plains of the Nephites, recounting occasionaly the history of the Book of Mormon, roving over the mounds of that once beloved people of the Lord, picking up their skulls & their bones, as a proof of its divine authenticity, and gazing upon a country the fertility, the splendour and the goodness so indescribable, ... .
https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper ... une-1834/2

How do Mormon apologists deal with these statements about the midwest of the United States being part of the Book of Mormon geography? The LGT does not accommodate these statements by Joseph Smith who claimed "visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty'. Why are they so hostile to the Heartlanders?

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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I don't get this either, HG. Somehow Mormons manage to simultaneously take Joseph ultra literally on some things, but conveniently ignore him on others.

I ask: who is the greater prophet?
* The guy who claimed to be a prophet and said things with the voice of prophecy
* The person later who deigns to select which of the above prophet's sayings was genuine revelation

???

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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Here is a site that is continually adding to reasons why christianity is false. http://www.kyroot.com

Perhaps a list should be started for Mormonism? Discounting what past "prophets" have said should be on the list. Also, the deliberate clouding today of what prophecy and/or inspiration is should be another addition to the list of why Mormonism is false. I bet there are literally thousands of reasons.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by I have a question »

I think the reason that apologists throw Joseph Smith under the bus on some topics, such as the Supposed location of Book Of Mormon events, is because what Jospeh asserted on those topics can now be easily and unequivocally demonstrated to be untrue. However, they will phrase this dismissal of Joseph Smith as simply accepting that he was speaking as a man when he made those claims. It seems you can only tell Joseph Smith was speaking as a man when it later becomes untenable to portray what he said as Prophetic. For instance, ask members to give some examples of things Mr Nelson has said that they consider are him mistakenly speaking as a prophet but in reality what he said was simply him speaking as a man.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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Holy Ghost
The LGT does not accommodate these statements by Joseph Smith who claimed "visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty'. Why are they so hostile to the Heartlanders?
Because a Ph.d is vastly superior to a mere boy prophet with a doubtful and squirrelish education in red neck America of the early 1800's. Ph.d's just know more and know better, and it is better to place faith in their theories than with what Joseph Smith said. Isn't that right Dr. Peterson and Dr. Midgley?

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by moksha »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:03 pm
Isn't that right Dr. Peterson and Dr. Midgley?
You would imagine that they would find these truths to be Zelph evident.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Philo Sofee »

moksha wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 7:48 pm
Philo Sofee wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:03 pm
Isn't that right Dr. Peterson and Dr. Midgley?
You would imagine that they would find these truths to be Zelph evident.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Imagine how stupid Midgley will look when he doesn't see your stellar humor here...... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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Philo Sofee wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:03 pm
Because a Ph.d is vastly superior to a mere boy prophet with a doubtful and squirrelish education in red neck America of the early 1800's. Ph.d's just know more and know better, and it is better to place faith in their theories than with what Joseph Smith said. Isn't that right Dr. Peterson and Dr. Midgley?
For the apologists the geography of the Mormon book is not important for "spiritual growth" (whatever that means). So in the mind of an apologist you just created a straw man.
Last edited by DoubtingThomas on Wed May 20, 2020 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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I have a question wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:32 pm
It seems you can only tell Joseph Smith was speaking as a man when it later becomes untenable to portray what he said as Prophetic.
That is not the case. A lot of Mormons don't believe in the King Follett and other horse crap teachings that can't be disproved. To criticize Mormonism you have to think like a Mormon first or play devil's advocate.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

DoubtingThomas wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:25 pm
I have a question wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:32 pm
It seems you can only tell Joseph Smith was speaking as a man when it later becomes untenable to portray what he said as Prophetic.
That is not the case. A lot of Mormons don't believe in the King Follett and other horse crap teachings that can't be disproved. To criticize Mormonism you have to think like a Mormon first or play devil's advocate.
If a teaching can't be disproved, such as the King Follett doctrine or other "horse crap teachings," why are they not accepted by that "lot of Mormons"? Do those Mormons just pick and choose, willy nilly per each's own inclinations, which teachings they will and will not believe? Wouldn't they be the quintessential "cafeteria Mormons"?

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

I have a question wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:32 pm
I think the reason that apologists throw Joseph Smith under the bus on some topics, such as the Supposed location of Book Of Mormon events, is because what Jospeh asserted on those topics can now be easily and unequivocally demonstrated to be untrue. However, they will phrase this dismissal of Joseph Smith as simply accepting that he was speaking as a man when he made those claims. It seems you can only tell Joseph Smith was speaking as a man when it later becomes untenable to portray what he said as Prophetic. For instance, ask members to give some examples of things Mr Nelson has said that they consider are him mistakenly speaking as a prophet but in reality what he said was simply him speaking as a man.
How do they relegate "the visions of the past being opened to my [Joseph Smith's] understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty" as speaking as a man, just his own opinions?

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

DoubtingThomas wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:18 pm
Philo Sofee wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 6:03 pm
Because a Ph.d is vastly superior to a mere boy prophet with a doubtful and squirrelish education in red neck America of the early 1800's. Ph.d's just know more and know better, and it is better to place faith in their theories than with what Joseph Smith said. Isn't that right Dr. Peterson and Dr. Midgley?
For the apologists the geography of the Mormon book is not important for "spiritual growth" (whatever that means). So in the mind of an apologist you just created a straw man.
Why then cannot the entirety of the Book of Mormon, including its existence, be tossed as not important for "spiritual growth" (whatever that means)?

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by I have a question »

Holy Ghost wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:51 am
I have a question wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:32 pm
I think the reason that apologists throw Joseph Smith under the bus on some topics, such as the Supposed location of Book Of Mormon events, is because what Jospeh asserted on those topics can now be easily and unequivocally demonstrated to be untrue. However, they will phrase this dismissal of Joseph Smith as simply accepting that he was speaking as a man when he made those claims. It seems you can only tell Joseph Smith was speaking as a man when it later becomes untenable to portray what he said as Prophetic. For instance, ask members to give some examples of things Mr Nelson has said that they consider are him mistakenly speaking as a prophet but in reality what he said was simply him speaking as a man.
How do they relegate "the visions of the past being opened to my [Joseph Smith's] understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty" as speaking as a man, just his own opinions?
It seems to me that it would take a large measure of wilful self delusion, or a lack of intellectual honesty (perhaps they amount to the same thing).

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Philo Sofee »

Holy Ghost
How do they relegate "the visions of the past being opened to my [Joseph Smith's] understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty" as speaking as a man, just his own opinions?
Because today's Ph.d wielding apologists actually know better than Joseph Smith did when he spoke as a mere man and when he actually experienced the Spirit as revelation. If there are things he said that today's apologists don't believe, then he is even speaking as a mere man when he believed the Spirit was revealing to the Prophet. It wasn't really as today's apologists know. Beware of the Prophet who contradicts today's Ph.d wielding apologists. The former cannot be accepted by the latter. Ph.dhood is a far far greater mantle than prophethood.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

Dr Exiled wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:41 am
Here is a site that is continually adding to reasons why christianity is false. http://www.kyroot.com

Perhaps a list should be started for Mormonism? Discounting what past "prophets" have said should be on the list. Also, the deliberate clouding today of what prophecy and/or inspiration is should be another addition to the list of why Mormonism is false. I bet there are literally thousands of reasons.
I think that would be a marvelous work and a wonder!

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by DoubtingThomas »

Holy Ghost wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:52 am
Why then cannot the entirety of the Book of Mormon, including its existence, be tossed as not important for "spiritual growth" (whatever that means)?
The geography of the Mormon book is not important for the 21st church.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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HG wrote:How do Mormon apologists deal with these statements about the midwest of the United States being part of the Book of Mormon geography?
Simple. They think Joseph Smith was up in the night. Joseph Smith didn't know. This is one of my arguments for the ultimate triumph of the Inspired Fiction Theory that the apologists hate so much: If Joseph Smith could be allowed by God to believe all kinds of false scenarios about the Book of Mormon, then it's that much more reasonable that he could be deceived into believing it was historical. You know the whole line about God speaking to man in his time and place? Perhap's Joseph Smith needed to believe it was historical in order to perform his work, and in particular, he needed to feel personally connected to it. Nowadays, and in the future, perhaps it's "Childhoods End" in that regard, and we're ready to accept the Book of Mormon as a storybook.

by the way, is that Behemoth in your AV? They are the only black metal group I can listen too; well, there is one other. Anyway, they sold out just enough to do quality recordings which goes a long way. Darski is a good guy. I wish I had an hour with him though to try and influence his intellectual pursuits a little.

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

DoubtingThomas wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:29 pm
Holy Ghost wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:52 am
Why then cannot the entirety of the Book of Mormon, including its existence, be tossed as not important for "spiritual growth" (whatever that means)?
The geography of the Mormon book is not important for the 21st church.
I guess the Supreme Mormon, even Russell M. Nelson, didn't get the memo. In closing General Conference last month, Supreme Leader said
"We further witness that Joseph Smith was given the gift and power of God to translate an ancient record: the Book of Mormon—Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Pages of this sacred text include an account of the personal ministry of Jesus Christ among people in the Western Hemisphere soon after His Resurrection."

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Holy Ghost »

Gadianton wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:47 pm
HG wrote:How do Mormon apologists deal with these statements about the midwest of the United States being part of the Book of Mormon geography?
Simple. They think Joseph Smith was up in the night. Joseph Smith didn't know. This is one of my arguments for the ultimate triumph of the Inspired Fiction Theory that the apologists hate so much: If Joseph Smith could be allowed by God to believe all kinds of false scenarios about the Book of Mormon, then it's that much more reasonable that he could be deceived into believing it was historical. You know the whole line about God speaking to man in his time and place? Perhap's Joseph Smith needed to believe it was historical in order to perform his work, and in particular, he needed to feel personally connected to it. Nowadays, and in the future, perhaps it's "Childhoods End" in that regard, and we're ready to accept the Book of Mormon as a storybook.

by the way, is that Behemoth in your AV? They are the only black metal group I can listen too; well, there is one other. Anyway, they sold out just enough to do quality recordings which goes a long way. Darski is a good guy. I wish I had an hour with him though to try and influence his intellectual pursuits a little.
It would be refreshing if the Mormon Church would acknowledge what is by now painfully obvious, that there were no Nephites, Lamanites, etc.

My avatar is of a Swedish rock band called Ghost (sometimes, Ghost B.C.).

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

Post by Philo Sofee »

Gadianton
Simple. They think Joseph Smith was up in the night. Joseph Smith didn't know. This is one of my arguments for the ultimate triumph of the Inspired Fiction Theory that the apologists hate so much: If Joseph Smith could be allowed by God to believe all kinds of false scenarios about the Book of Mormon, then it's that much more reasonable that he could be deceived into believing it was historical. You know the whole line about God speaking to man in his time and place? Perhap's Joseph Smith needed to believe it was historical in order to perform his work, and in particular, he needed to feel personally connected to it. Nowadays, and in the future, perhaps it's "Childhoods End" in that regard, and we're ready to accept the Book of Mormon as a storybook.
Heh.....so many unknowns even by those who have special access to "knowledge" from a dude in the universe who is the ultimate intellect... you make some excellent points Gad. The church has tried to align Joseph Smith's misses with as much modern theory and knowledge as they can get away with, but in the process demonstrate that Smith may actually not have had any "hits" with much of anything! A remarkable position to attempt to defend which has already been defeated, but that part sails over their heads on a daily basis as they fast and pray for miracles which don't exist, so they have to invent them to justify their beliefs.....

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Re: Why don't Mormons believe Joseph Smith on Book of Mormon geography?

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Joe said that Zelph was known from the East to the Rockies
He must have had a plane to fly all the way down to Belize
'Cause now we know from those apologists who say
It happened there in Mesoamerica back in the day

Zelph, he was a man who traveled wide
With the prophet Onendagus by his side
On tapirs, into battle they would ride
Now, indeed, you see, Zelph is he

https://weirdalma.bandcamp.com/track/zelph

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