Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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Kishkumen
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Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Kishkumen »

On the advice of Dean Robbers, I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon. Now, this theory really isn't all mine. I admit up front that I am providing my own amalgamation, a secular one, of things that Don Bradley and Cheryl Bruno, as active, believing members, have already worked out. I claim some ownership of these things, too, as I have been in conversation with Don Bradley for many years about these topics. When I say I claim some ownership, I mean that I talked about them with Don for a long time, and many of those ideas emerged in the conversation between us. He, however, deserves the lion's share of the credit, since he put them together by doing the hard research, thinking, and writing to arrive at his own conclusions.

In the "Spiritual Knowledge" thread, I wrote the following:
So, on the one hand, there are the very problematic statements of the Book of Mormon witnesses, and on the other there is the invitation to get good feelings after praying about the truth of the Book of Mormon. My opinion is that the experiences the witnesses actually had were much closer to the experiences "Moroni" invites his reader to have. It was Joseph Smith who deliberately constructed the plates and their story in such a way that it would appear to belong to the realm of hard reality.

My hypothesis for his motivation is that it was less religious than it was mercenary. Joseph Smith was seeking to create a tourist destination for travelers taking trips down the Erie Canal. One of the primary goals of this hoax, which would have been an obvious hoax to this target audience, was to draw the interest of Freemasons. It could be that Smith was originally making a bid to make Palmyra the western center of New York Freemasonry. Unfortunately, however, by the time his plan came to fruition, he had to abandon his original Masonic project and replace it with a church project. The kidnapping of Morgan and the subsequent anti-Masonic hysteria scotched the original plan.

So, the hoax was no longer a hoax with winking approval from Freemasons. Now it was something else entirely. And yet I think something of the original plan survived in the insistence on the hard materiality of the plates themselves. At some point, however, Joseph decided he would not be able to use his fabricated plates in the way he hoped, and so he had to get rid of them. No two bits a gander after all. That would have to wait until Joseph's young church purchased the mummies and papyri. Then people actually were charged two bits a gander to see the artifacts. I see no reason to think that the Book of Mormon wasn't originally intended to be a similar thing.

The complications started to arise when Joseph was unable to create something that met his own requirements for a credible fake. Then he had to use some object as a stand in that no one would really be able to examine. And the danger of having someone discover that what was lugged around like plates was not actually gold plates with ancient writing on them at all was too great to let them hang around.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Kishkumen
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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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This was followed up by the following exchange, in which I provided a reference and quotation of a podcast Don appeared on:
Dr Exiled wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:19 pm
Kishkumen says:

My hypothesis for his motivation is that it was less religious than it was mercenary. Joseph Smith was seeking to create a tourist destination for travelers taking trips down the Erie Canal. One of the primary goals of this hoax, which would have been an obvious hoax to this target audience, was to draw the interest of Freemasons. It could be that Smith was originally making a bid to make Palmyra the western center of New York Freemasonry. Unfortunately, however, by the time his plan came to fruition, he had to abandon his original Masonic project and replace it with a church project. The kidnapping of Morgan and the subsequent anti-Masonic hysteria scotched the original plan.
Interesting hypothesis. What sources do you have to shed a little more light on this? I know that Hyrum was a freemason in the Palmyra days and the Smiths had a roadside stand where they would sell various items and so having an attraction for the new Erie Canal would fall along those lines. What do you think the hoax would have been to attract visitors and the freemasons? Why do you think Smith may have wanted to make Palmyra a center for freemasonry?
See:
https://gospeltangents.com/2020/01/maso ... es-temple/
Don: Joseph, Sr. tells this guy [non-Mormon named Fayette Lapham] about the plates. He tells him that on the top plate there were the implements of masonry, as used by Masons of the present day. So I found this really interesting. Wow, Masonic stuff way back at the beginning of Mormonism.

...

In every single masonic lodge in the world, one of the things that they have in common is that there’s an altar. On that altar, there’s a sacred book, usually the Bible, and in Muslim countries/Islamic countries, it can be the Quran, and so on. There’s a sacred book. Do you know what’s on top of that book? A compass and square. You set a compass and the square on top of that sacred book.



Joseph, Sr. was very steeped in, at the very least, Masonic lore, but he is apparently also a member of a Masonic Lodge, apparently a Mason. He’s saying, based on Joseph, Jr.’s descriptions of the plates, and by this time he would have seen them himself, actually, as one of the eight witnesses, he’s saying, the basic Masonic implements, which at minimum, are going to be compass and square, were on the top of the Sacred Book. That’s how it is in masonic lodges. So, the specific Masonic implements that are on top of sacred books in the lodge are compass and square. So of course these are significant symbols for more than just Freemasons. They’re already showing up. Joseph Smith first goes to the hill, first sees the plates, first describes the plates to his father in 1823. Joseph Smith becomes a Freemason in 1842, when he’s 36. Almost 20 years before Joseph becomes a Freemason, he’s already describing the sacred relics of the Nephites in Masonic terms that have extra-Masonic/more than Masonic relevance for Latter-day Saints of sacred symbols. So again, why is it that it seems that Latter-day Saints would, post-Nauvoo, really recognize as part of our faith? He’s already there in the 1820s. Everything that I’ve talked about, where these Masonic or Nauvoo temple elements are popping up: First Vision, Joseph Smith’s first encounter with the plates in 1823, Joseph Smith’s translation of the lost pages in 1828, Joseph Smith’s translation of the extant Book of Mormon text–book of Ether, 1829. That’s all 1829, so far, before he, himself, becomes a Freemason, and already you’ve got loads of symbolic and structural content elements of the Nauvoo endowment. There’s something going on. Nauvoo endowment isn’t just Nauvoo. In fact, Nauvoo Mormonism is not really just Nauvoo. It’s already there, since you have Nauvoo elements in the stories of the brother of Jared, and Mosiah. [With] the Nauvoo temple, what Joseph is about is trying to bring people into the presence of God. This is what he says in his sermons. So you’re trying to give them keys. You can go talk to God yourself. You can stand in God’s presence.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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Another important work to consult here comes from Cheryl Bruno.

See: https://www.academia.edu/14586250/The_B ... _of_Mormon
Masonic scholars appropriated the Christian tradition of five holy items which were kept in the Sanctum Sanctorum, recasting them in a symbolic and particularly Masonic framework. The first was the Ark of the Covenant; the other four were supposed to have been enclosed in it. In the reenactment in the Lodge, the High Priest opens a replica of the Ark, to show the contents to the Candidates. He ceremoniously removes “a very ancient-looking book,” reading the first and last words in the volume. The Principals then simultaneously exclaim: “This is the book of the Law, long lost, now found; Holiness to the Lord.” …Next the High Priest brings out of the Ark a little pot with manna, Aaron’s Rod, and the “Key to the ineffable characters of the Degree”—by which adepts could obtain the hidden meaning of every passage.

1. the Ark (stone box)
2. the Book of the Law (gold plates/book of Mormon)
3. the Pot of Manna (Liahona)
4. Aaron’s rod (sword of Laban)
5. The Key (Urim and Thummim)
In ancient Craft Masonry, especially its fourth and culminating degree, the Royal Arch, several traditions of loss and recovery coexist. In the first, the Biblical prophet Enoch inscribes a Sacred Word in mystical characters on a golden plate. He hides it beneath Mount Moriah in the Ark of the Covenant. It is to be discovered at a future time, by the will of God. A second legend tells how King Solomon recovers the Word—a sacred Name which can only be shared in the company of three Royal Companions. When one of the three dies, the Word is lost. Finally, in an American Royal Arch version of the story, three companions are set to work on the restoration of Solomon’s temple after the Babylonian captivity. During their labors, they discover Solomon’s secret chamber and recover Enoch’s plate of gold together with another treasure: the Book of the Law, which was the means by which the entire Jewish nation was restored to its understanding of its covenant with God. The story closely parallels the Biblical account of King Josiah’s restoration of the temple, when the High Priest Hilkiah discovered the lost book of the Law. These Masonic legends imply an established pattern of loss and recovery; apostasy and restoration. By recovering the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith literalized what in Masonry is symbolic and allegorical.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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From Robert Freke Gould, A Library of Freemasonry: Comprising Its History, Antiquities, Symbols, Constitutions, Customs, Etc., and Concordant Orders of Royal Arch, Knights Templar, A. A. S. Rite, Mystic Shrine, with Other Important Masonic Information of Value to the Fraternity Derived from Official and Standard Sources Throughout the World from the Earliest Period to the Present Time (John C. Yorston, 1906), p. 406-408:
As already stated, there was a jealously on the part of the country Lodges towards the city Lodges, which were accused of controlling the Grand Lodge in their own interests and laying heavy burdens on the country Lodges: there was a feeling that the system of visitation by "Grand Visitors" was oppressive, and especially that the limitations upon representation by proxy were so effective as really to deprive many of the country Lodges of any representation. A convention of the Lodges in the western part of the State was held at Canandaigua, January 10, 1821, and amendments to the constitution proposed.
There was a project also for the Grand Lodge to build a "Grand Masonic Hall" in the City, and this undoubtedly had its effect. At the annual session in 1821, the representatives of the country Lodges were in the majority and amended the rules materially, reducing dues, allowing one proxy to represent five Lodges and a Past Master to be represented by another Past Master as his proxy . . . .
At the session in 1822 the representation was very large, and of course the country Lodges again in the ascendant. Tompkins declined a re-election and Joseph Enos was unanimously elected Grand Master, the city Lodges making no contest, but Richard Hatfield, Elias Hicks and Cornelius Bogert of the city party were elected respectively Junior Grand Warden, Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer; the election of these was detrimental to the interests of the country part, as the even proved.
Just before the Grand Lodge was closed, an amendment to the constitution was presented to be acted upon at the next session, providing for two Grand Lodges--one having jurisdiction over the city Lodges and such country Lodges as should choose to adhere to it, and the other having jurisdiction over the remaining Lodges: the brother presenting this belonged to the city party, which now saw that they were liable to have cause of grievance, instead of the other party.
At the next annual session in 1823 there was full attendance. . . . [p. 407] Grand officers were elected, and the amendment to the constitution, providing for two Grand Lodges, unanimously adopted . . . . The old Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer were again summoned to show cause why they should not be dealt with for contempt of the Grand Lodge, and not responding were suspended for ten years. Authority was given to the new officers to take the necessary legal proceedings to recover the books and property of the Grand Lodge. The City Grand Lodge immediately issued a circular giving a history of the proceedings, their reasons for their action, and a proposition for a settlement, but the formation of the District of Grand Lodges . . .
In 1825, the Country Grand Lodge proposed to have two Grand Lodges in the State and divide the territory, giving the City Grand Lodge only New York, Long Island, Richmond, and Westchester Counties; the City Grand Lodge rejected the proposition on account of the small territory proposed for it.The Country Grand Lodge met annually: it chartered very many Lodges, thirty in one year and over forty in the next. At the installation of its Grand Officers in 1825, DeWitt Clinton delivered an address, in which, while taking part with neither side, he urged with great force the duty of accomplishing a reunion. In 1826 a report on the subject of secession of the city Lodges made and printed, was ordered to be suppressed, and members, who had received copies, were requested to return them to the Grand Secretary.
. . . . [A] few days before the session of 1827 a meeting of members of the country Lodges was held and a committee appointed, which met the committee for the other body and agreed upon terms of union. The material ones were, that there should be one Grand Lodge located in New York City and to be deemed a continuation of the old Grand Lodge . . . . these articles, in practice, remain law to the present day. The articles were ratified by both Grand Lodges; and they met together the same evening at Tammany Hall, elected Grand Officers, adopted a new constitution, and fully completed the union.
But the Grand Lodge, at the very moment when it seemed to secure in its position of great influence, growth and usefulness, [p. 408] met a disaster as destructive in its effects, as it was sudden and unforeseen in its origins. The State was the birth-place of the Anti-Masonic excitement, and nowhere else did it rage with such unprecedented and bitter fury.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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Alexander Emmerich, John Jacob Astor and the First Great American Fortune, p. 57-58:
After Astor had attended some public events held by New York's Freemasons in 1790, he became more interested in this secret society. Only months later he was officially accepted as member of Holland Lodge No. 8 that belonged to the Grand Lodge of the State of New York.
Other notable early members included future New York City Mayor and New York State Governor DeWitt Clinton. He went on to have as distinguished a career in Masonry as he did in public office, rising to become Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, among other high offices in related bodies.
[p. 58] Seven years later, Astor became Senior Warden and later ended his career among the Freemasons as a Master of the Holland Lodge. Since both were Freemasons, Astor must have met DeWitt Clinton at some Freemasonry meetings. DeWitt Clinton, once in as governor, initiated the building of the Erie Canal.
There were rumors that Gouverneur Morris, DeWitt Clinton, and Astor had lined up to make their move before President Jefferson could buy the vast territory that stretched from the Mississippi Delta to the Rocky Mountains from the French for $15 million. The three New Yorkers are said to have planned to buy the territory and sell it to the president themselves and make a decent profit in the resale.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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Fascinating theory, Reverend. I look forward to reading the materials.

Very few startups succeed on the original vision. The ability to learn from failure and pivot to a new vision with greater clarity is one common theme I hear from most great entrepreneurs.

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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The two sets of quotations above are offered to provide some context for the composition of the Book of Mormon that is not often considered. If, as Bradley and Bruno argue, the artifacts of the Book of Mormon plates, the stone box, the sword of Laban, etc., are Freemasonic in nature, then the question of what that means in the state of New York in the 1820s arises.

The Gould book documents a Masonic schism between country Lodges and city Lodges in the 1820s. A meeting at Canandaigua (14 miles from Palmyra; 9 miles from Hill Cumorah) in 1821, roughly the time of Joseph Smith's First Vision, seems to have exacerbated the tension between the two sides. A couple of interesting issues emerge from that meeting and meetings in the subsequent years. One is the building of a Grand Masonic Hall. Another is the formation of another Grand Lodge. Notice that in the resolution, or reunion of the two split lodges, the issue of where the unified Grand Lodge should be located comes up, and the decision is that it should be located in New York City. These facts suggest that there may have been some jockeying for the location of Grand Lodges in this period, and the miraculous discovery of Masonic artifacts, ahem, might have helped to decide that issue.

The Emmerich book helps us understand who some of the players in this Masonic drama were and the level at which they were dealing and scheming. DeWitt Clinton was a very powerful man in early 19th century New York. He has Astor (iconic of American wealth) belonged to the same Masonic Lodge. Remember that DeWitt Clinton is the one urging reunification of the Grand Lodge in the Gould book. The same DeWitt Clinton, as governor, initiated the building of the Erie Canal.

One might ask how it is the Joseph Smith got such big ideas as to try to position himself and his friends to take advantage of such high-level wheeling and dealing, and the answer is pretty simple: his uncle Stephen Mack.

Stephen Mack, the brother of Lucy Mack Smith, was a captain in the War of 1812. He became a trustee of the village of Detroit (yes, that Detroit) in 1812 and then a director and shareholder of the Bank of Michigan (hmmm, who else tried to start a bank?). He became a member of the Pontiac Company and helped found Pontiac, Michigan in 1818. He formed a partnership with two other men and entered into the fur trade, until the company was bought out by the American Fur Company in 1821. Mack died in 1826 of some illness.

I think it is reasonable to infer based on the evidence we have that Joseph Smith and his friends schemed to exploit business opportunities along the Erie Canal, as well as developments in the Freemasonic community of the state, in order to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and make himself into a big deal. His subsequent activities of founding cities and being involved in the creation of the Kirtland Safety Society show the extent to which he did succeed at emulating his maternal uncle. I propose that we assume that Joseph was already well aware of his uncle's accomplishments and already interested in following his uncle's example in his Gold Bible Company scheme, which was to be the man to put Palmyra on the map as a major attraction on the Erie Canal and a new center for Freemasonry in New York. To be the home for a new Grand Lodge would have meant a heckuva lot of business.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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Dr Moore wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:54 am
Fascinating theory, Reverend. I look forward to reading the materials.

Very few startups succeed on the original vision. The ability to learn from failure and pivot to a new vision with greater clarity is one common theme I hear from most great entrepreneurs.
Thank you, Dr. Moore. Joseph was a very creative fellow, and his plans and ideas definitely evolved as circumstances changes, some efforts failed, and he learned new things.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Kishkumen »

One of the other great influences on the Book of Mormon was the proto-Zionist project of Mordecai Manuel Noah, a prominent Jewish businessman and statesman. Noah briefly served as the American consul to the Kingdom of Tunis under James Madison. In the 1820s he struck upon the idea of buying Grand Island on the Niagra River and settling the Jewish people there. Having succeeded in making the purchase, he held his inaugural ceremonies in September of 1825. He piloted a replica of the Ark of Noah down the Erie Canal and landed at Buffalo, where New York Freemasons joined him in a ceremony to kick off the new settlement, named Ararat. Unfortunately, it was a bust. He never set foot on Grand Island.

Those interested in learning more about Mordecai Manuel Noah can read about him in Don Bradley's MA thesis.

Here is an interesting snippet about the ceremony from J. Nordstrom's "Strange Times to be a Jew" in the book Race and Utopian Desire in American Literature and Society, edited by Patricia Ventura and Edward K. Chan, p. 85:
On September 15, 1825, Noah staged a majestic ceremony in which a gigantic cornerstone was brought to upstate New York, symbolizing the building of a Jewish society which Noah hoped would flock to his utopia. This even was awash in pageantry and Noah's characteristic flair for the dramatic. The ceremony opened with an elaborate procession of military officers, musicians, clergy, masons, and stewards, bearing corn, wine, and oil. Proclaiming himself "Judge of Israel," Noah arrived at the ceremony dressed in a Richard III costume and gold medallion, both borrowed from a New York City theater. Ironically, Noah's ceremony, meant to celebrate the founding of a strictly Jewish community in the American interior, was held at Episcopal Church in Buffalo . . . and Noah himself was the only Jew in the ceremony' procession.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

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More interesting information about Joseph Smith's uncle, Stephen Mack.

One of the questions I have yet to find an answer for is that of Stephen Mack's possible Masonic affiliation. Masonry was already present in Michigan before the end of the 18th century. Mack arrived in Detroit in the earliest years of the 19th century. At that time, Masonic Lodges in Michigan fell under the jurisdiction of New York's Grand Lodge. On September 3, 1806, either after or shortly before Mack moved to Detroit, DeWitt Clinton authorized a charter for Lodge No. 1 at Detroit on behalf of the Grand Lodge of New York. Mack's house was two doors down from the stone Indian Council House in Detroit. The same Indian Council House would serve as a meeting place for Freemasons.

Mack's company of Mack, Conant & Sibley would be sold to John Jacob Astor's American Fur in 1821. You will recall from an earlier post that Astor was a prominent Freemason as well as the richest man in North America. He was also an associate of DeWitt Clinton. Mack settled in Pontiac, Michigan, the town he helped to found in late 1818, in the year 1822. In March of the same year, the Grand Lodge of New York extended authority to hold a Lodge in the town of Pontiac to John S. Davis, Amasa Bagley, S. W. (Senior Warden), and Oliver Williams, J. W. (Junior Warden), as Oakland Lodge No. 343.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Gadianton »

I propose that we assume that Joseph was already well aware of his uncle's accomplishments and already interested in following his uncle's example in his Gold Bible Company scheme, which was to be the man to put Palmyra on the map as a major attraction on the Erie Canal and a new center for Freemasonry in New York. To be the home for a new Grand Lodge would have meant a heckuva lot of business.
Wow.

Also, I found the interpretation of the artifacts interesting. What is the connection between pot with manna and Lihona? Wait: prior to producing the Book of Mormon text, the "Liahona" could have been something other than what the Book of Mormon describes.

Was his intent to create all these artifacts? any details on his plans for doing so?
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

mentalgymnast
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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by mentalgymnast »

Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Shulem »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.

Regards,
MG
What's the king's name in Facsimile No. 3?

I'm waiting for that name, MG. Then, maybe, we can discuss the Book of Mormon.

Come before me, ye little ole thing. I await thee.

Otherwise, shut the hell up.

:twisted:

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by mentalgymnast »

Shulem wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:48 pm
mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:42 pm


Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.

Regards,
MG
shut the hell up.
Hit a nerve? I asked an honest question.

Friday night. Drinking much? Impulse control lacking?

Cool your jets man.

Regards,
MG

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Shulem »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:06 pm
Hit a nerve? I asked an honest question.

Friday night. Drinking much? Impulse control lacking?

Cool your jets man.

Regards,
MG
No, you didn't hit a nerve. However, I hit your nerve, did I not?

What's the king's name, MG? You dirty little son of a . . . .

How many years do I have to keep asking you?

:mad:

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by mentalgymnast »

Shulem wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:08 pm

What's the king's name, MG? You dirty little son of a . . . .
Somewhere along line I’ve responded to this question, you dirty old man.

Care to respond to the question that I asked?

One track pony, meh...

You’ve moved us into a derail. I would prefer not to go there.

Thanks?
MG

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Shulem »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:16 pm
Shulem wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:08 pm

What's the king's name, MG? You dirty little son of a . . . .
Somewhere along line I’ve responded to this question, you dirty old man.

Care to respond to the question that I asked?

One track pony, meh...

You’ve moved us into a derail. I would prefer not to go there.

Thanks?
MG
Yeah, I'm one tracked and I'm dirty minded. Yes I am.

What's the king's name?

:mad:

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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by mentalgymnast »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.

Regards,
MG
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Chap
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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Chap »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.
What was it about the Reverend's proposal that made you feel justified in thinking that it only accounted for 'bits and pieces'?

The question to be answered was basically "What personal or economic benefit might have motivated Smith to compose this elaborate (even if rather tedious) Biblical pastiche?". And the answer suggested is:
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
So, on the one hand, there are the very problematic statements of the Book of Mormon witnesses, and on the other there is the invitation to get good feelings after praying about the truth of the Book of Mormon. My opinion is that the experiences the witnesses actually had were much closer to the experiences "Moroni" invites his reader to have. It was Joseph Smith who deliberately constructed the plates and their story in such a way that it would appear to belong to the realm of hard reality.

My hypothesis for his motivation is that it was less religious than it was mercenary. Joseph Smith was seeking to create a tourist destination for travelers taking trips down the Erie Canal. One of the primary goals of this hoax, which would have been an obvious hoax to this target audience, was to draw the interest of Freemasons. It could be that Smith was originally making a bid to make Palmyra the western center of New York Freemasonry. Unfortunately, however, by the time his plan came to fruition, he had to abandon his original Masonic project and replace it with a church project. The kidnapping of Morgan and the subsequent anti-Masonic hysteria scotched the original plan.

So, the hoax was no longer a hoax with winking approval from Freemasons. Now it was something else entirely. And yet I think something of the original plan survived in the insistence on the hard materiality of the plates themselves. At some point, however, Joseph decided he would not be able to use his fabricated plates in the way he hoped, and so he had to get rid of them. No two bits a gander after all. That would have to wait until Joseph's young church purchased the mummies and papyri. Then people actually were charged two bits a gander to see the artifacts. I see no reason to think that the Book of Mormon wasn't originally intended to be a similar thing.
That is certainly a motivation for the entire writing project, stated in the outline form which is all one can do on a discussion board like this.
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Kishkumen
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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Kishkumen »

Gadianton wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:25 pm
Wow.

Also, I found the interpretation of the artifacts interesting. What is the connection between pot with manna and Lihona? Wait: prior to producing the Book of Mormon text, the "Liahona" could have been something other than what the Book of Mormon describes.

Was his intent to create all these artifacts? any details on his plans for doing so?
Thank you for these questions, Dean Robbers.

The pot of manna is a token of the miraculous nourishment God provided during the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Liahona was a divinatory instrument used to guide the family of Lehi to nourishment during their exodus from Judaea to the new Promised Land.

And, yes, I think the intention at one time was to place the relics of Lehi in the “restored“ Masonic Temple of Nephi in Palmyra.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Kishkumen
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Re: Plan A for the Book of Mormon

Post by Kishkumen »

mentalgymnast wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:35 am
I have started a new thread about my theory regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.
Does your theory account for the actual text of the Book of Mormon? The complete narrative, not just bits and pieces.

Regards,
MG
Quite deliberately not, MG. I am talking about Plan A for the Book of Mormon, whereas your religious interest is squarely identified with Plans B/C. Plan A is the plates as a Masonic hoax to pitch Palmyra as the location of a new Grand Lodge for New York. The Morgan Affair in 1826 set off an anti-Masonic hysteria that made the topic too hot to handle. The re-unification of the two Grand Lodges of New York as a single Grand Lodge with a clear center in New York City meant there was no need for Smith’s plan at all. For my purposes, the Book of Mormon narrative is beside the point. I am accounting for the importance of physical plates from the beginning. This was a Masonic treasure designed to attract Masonic attention. By the time the translation of the lost manuscript started in 1828, Joseph had already moved on to a new plan (Plan B). That does not mean, however, that Freemasonry is not still present in the Book of Mormon as the text eventually came to be (Plan C). It is.
“God came to me in a dream last night and showed me the future. He took me to heaven and I saw Donald Trump seated at the right hand of our Lord.” ~ Pat Robertson
“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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