Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moriant Post: Documenting D&C Changes, Were The Revelations Changed?


Sadly as a result of some internet hacks I have lost most of the necessary documentation for this blog. I have some of the items but they are so small as to likely be worthless to the naked eye.

Should the original author (who has now pretty much gone underground as a result of publishing further and important LDS family ties) decide to provide them once again, I will repost the higher quality images. For now, you will have to trust me that I have actually seen with my own eyes the documents to which he discusses in the blog. NT

One of the things that was very important to me during my research, was to do the best I could at locating and finding the source documents and references many LDS church historians and other authors often cite inside their books.

I did so because I wanted to be sure I could see for myself with as little Bias as possible and then come to my own conclusions without trusting anyone for or against the church. In so doing one of the things I remembered reading about was some of the claims David Whitmer said about some of the reasons why he left. So I put on my researcher hat and tracked down a copy of the book David Whitmer wrote, called "An Address to all Believers in Christ." (See Image Below)

As you can see one of the reasons why David Whitmer was so upset and left the church was not only because, "They changed the revelations", BUT that the changes gave Joseph far greater power than what the revelations had originally stated. Granting Joseph greater power through "keys" which were non existent in the original revelations. So I decided to "test" Whitmer's claims to see if they were indeed true.

By this time I had tracked down several editions of the early Doctrine and Covenants including the 1833 Book of Commandments, but even with all these early scripture editions, I still couldn't thoroughly test Whitmer claims until I had bought, a book that I think any serious LDS researcher should own, Joseph Smith Papers (facsimile edition). This is an unbelievable resource and an excellent tool. In essence it provides full sized in color facsimile scans of the handwritten original revelations of the church. While the book is costly it is well worth purchasing. Now I had all the information at hand and I could finally test Whitmer's claims. The following are just a fraction of some of the things I discovered over weeks of doing side by side comparisons.

Book of Commandments Section 4

What I did to make it easier to create a side by side comparison of the two revelations was to splice them into one document as they were published. Each of these images are the actual photocopies of the early revelations as published. Thanks to scans and some photo shop work, I could place them side by side making it easier to see and compare.

There is more to this section of the D&C but this page alone does illustrates the main changes and problems. First I want to point out that yes it is true many of the changes or tweaks inside the D&C versions will be grammatical in nature and I have highlighted those here so you can see, BUT I am not interested in talking about grammatical issues.

In the original 1833 version, the Lord clearly says that the ONLY gift he has given, or will ever give, Joseph is the gift of translation. Specifically, the Lord says: "I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift." What is interesting is that somewhere between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed from what the Lord supposedly told him in March of 1829. These changes are significant. Now Joseph will be allowed to receive other gifts after the work of translating the Book of Mormon, and specifically says that Joseph "shall be ordained".

Now the standard Apologetic response will revolve around the idea that we have progressive revelation, and so changes are not that big of a deal. But who decided that? Did God come back a few years after 1829 and say, wait a minute we need to change this, I didn't mean what I said? Or did Joseph decide to make the change? You see one of the main things we forget was that God basically dictated the early revelations. So who decides to edit what God had already previously said? Simply stated by 1835 Joseph had much bigger grandeur views for the church, the church was now in Kirtland, Sidney Rigdon was on the scene and there were also internal leadership issues brewing. So Joseph simply needed more gifts to bolster his authority, and very soon the idea of Priesthood authority would be introduced to the church, which previously did not exist.

Book of Commandments Section 6

The Book of Commandments Section 6 or D&C 7 apparently clarifies what Jesus said to Peter about John the Apostle. Joseph translated this revelation through a "visionary" parchment not an actual manuscript and so the actual parchment is unavailable for investigation.(See Below)

Again, what I have done here to make it easy to understand is to do a direct side by side comparison of these 2 revelations and compare the differences, between them. What I found absolutely became very interesting indeed. There are over 100+ words that have been added to this revelation alone! Note, in the original 1833 version, Jesus never says anything to Peter about any "keys" for Peter, James, and John, and never says that John will be a "ministering angel." Rather, in the original 1833 version of the revelation, Jesus simply tells Peter that his apostle John will be allowed to "tarry". BUT, sometime between 1833 and 1835 the revelation was changed and now John will be a "ministering angel" that will not taste of death and Peter, James, and John will be given "keys" by Jesus. Keys that Joseph would later say were restored to him.

The other interesting side idea is the clarification or change to what "tarry" means. Many General Authorities within the church have explained that John was "translated" and so he can come and go to perform his mission on the earth as he or the Lord sees fit. This is because John by 1835 is linked to the "Restoration" as being one of the Angels or translated beings along with Peter and James in restoring the "keys" or Priesthood which in the original revelation did not exist. However the NT does clarify what Jesus did say to Peter.

John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

John 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Note the clarification in Verse 23..Jesus didn't say that John wouldn't die, instead it's an IF statement directed towards Peter, and also note there is nothing here to indicate any "keys".

Besides all this we come to the Original handwritten version of this revelation

As you can see there are absolutely NOTHING that indicates that this revelation should read in the way we currently have it in our D&C. Rather instead it matches WORD for WORD the 1833 version. There are no editorial remarks or revisions, no margins nothing to indicate why there is a need to add over 100+ words into the revelation. There is nothing to indicate any keys for Peter and James or that John should be a "ministering angel".

D&C Section 13

The revelation concerning the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration. Completely missing, not only inside the 1833 Book of Commandments but also missing in the 1835 D&C. In other words in the early days of the church there is nothing to indicate John the Baptist ordained Joseph and Oliver with Aaronic priesthood keys.

Now Apologists will argue this was never recorded because of persecution or Joseph was often on the run. On the surface that sounds like a legitimate explanation. But further examination reveals this to be problematic. First off they started recording revelations as early as 1828, so why not record something as critical and important as Priesthood authority? Instead the whole thing is just plain missing period. Yes there are a few pages missing inside Revelation Book 1, but nothing suggests the reasoning to delay the idea of Priesthood authority. Secondly, why hide it from the faithful, even if you were on the run? Instead there is NO diary record, NO church minutes, NOTHING to suggest any kind of "Priesthood authority even existed" until after.

D&C Section 2

Another simple example of a revelation gone AWOL. Yes it is true and in fairness I will grant that they didn't start recording revelations until 1828, but I have to ask why include this SO late? Why create such a late revision to the Moroni story? Again let's ask ourselves what is missing, and what is not. Immediately we can see what is added to the Moroni story is the idea that Elijah will shortly come and reveal the "Priesthood" and restore even more "keys". What is missing is that for the early church the concept of authority and keys just plain didn't exist and wasn't even in the minds of the members prior to a brief mention inside the Times and Seasons in 1834. Instead what we can see is Joseph backdated the story of Priesthood restoration.

Book of Commandments Section 24

A small interesting change but I think showcases the power of changing 1 simply word. I am not so much interested in all the GREEN additions as I am to the changes inside verse 9. Emma was concerned at this point in how were they going to take care of their family. After all Joseph was a farmer, not a schooled preacher and now he has taken up a profession unfamiliar to himself, so how are they going to pay their bills?

Note the subtle yet powerful change 1 word makes. Thy husband shall support thee from the church OR Thy Husband shall support thee in the church. Two completely different implications.

Instead Emma need not worry Joseph will take on the full mantle of leadership, and Joseph will care for Emma and their family through the financial benefit of being "Prophet, Seer and Revelator."

So in conclusion to all this research I had to ask myself the following questions. Was David Whitmer wrong? Did the church change the revelations? Were the revelations changed in such a way as to grant Joseph more authority and keys which previously in the original revelations did not exist? I think the answer to both of those questions in simply yes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

'MY NAME IS MORIANTON'.......The 'Secret Author' Begins His Journey.

I would like to introduce myself on this blog as Morianton. Who is Morianton you ask? Well he was one of the leaders of the dissenters inside the Book of Mormon (Alma 50), and in many ways I have become him although many Mormons would most likely refer to me as, “Apostate”.

You see my story began several years when I struggled through a spiritual crisis but not a faith crisis. I maintained an active status within the church yet I was hurt by local leadership. But somehow through it all I held on to the idea that though locally the church may not be true, somehow the higher ups knew what they were doing and all is well. Until one day during quiet personal introspection while sitting in Sunday school I thought perhaps the problem was me. Perhaps it was I who needed to repent and re find the testimony that once burned so brightly. This is precisely what I resolved to do. Being someone who thoroughly enjoyed research and study I resolved to understand church history like never before. I would tackle the hard questions and develop a stronger testimony then I ever had before, but ultimately this would never happen.

Why do I choose to write behind a name such as this and not my real name? Well the answer is easy. I still have many good friends, family members, associates and acquaintances inside the church. So even though I am no longer a member, I fear not only for what could impact my own relationships, but also for those whom I love. For anyone who has had a crisis of faith you understand what I mean. The glaring stares, the out of the corner of your mouth comments and whispers. Not only towards myself but also towards even those whom I love. That old saying is so very true, within the fringes of Mormonism, “Guilty by association.”

The question as to the motive behind my posts will invariably be asked, “Why bring to light things that are not faith promoting?” “What do you possibly have to gain?” some might even go so far as to say, “See you can leave, but you just can’t leave it alone.”

I think the best way to answer those questions, is to ponder one in return, “What is the cost of silence?” What is the cost to maintain the current status quo in the LDS church? I believe that cost is numbered in souls. People who are made to feel unworthy because they do not measure up, women who continually get oppressed by bad leaders and gays who feel marginalized to the point of suicide and all for what? Truth they say, the one and only true church. “Protect the good name of the church.” At all costs is often the motto. Oh, how dangerous and narrow minded, to bury down and marginalize and oppress all those who struggle to live and maintain a faith inside a manufactured reality. Who wins within this continued silence and pretence that all is well in Zion? Sure, the good name of the church, but is that worth the cost?

It could be you one day, when you discover the truth as you have been taught is not what it claims to be. It could be your son or daughter that one day says, “Mom Dad I am Gay.” It could be your wife who quietly obeys without knowing the freedom to live with equality and voice. But whatever the cost you have to decide within yourself, “Is it worth it?”

I am reminded of a very popular LDS song called choose the right. How do the words go? Oh yes,

“Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o'er you,
When in the right your heart confides.
Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.”

What do I ultimately hope to gain by presenting documents and source material that could potentially change someone’s perspective towards the church? Is it notoriety? Fame? Or just to be able to point a finger and say, “I told you so, na na na na na!” No, rather it is my hope to create an open sense for truth and discussion. To help those who struggle, question or sit in the fears of silence to understand it’s OK. That it’s OK to be different, it’s OK to question, and that it’s OK to stand up for oneself in the face of adversity without retribution. That it’s OK to stand up for others, it’s OK to face legalism, injustice and self-righteousness even when it seems all you can do is, “kick against the pricks.” To do nothing means nothing will change, when change is inevitable.

My idea is not to tear down but to raise up one’s understanding to a level that creates an open sense of what is truly true across both sides of the equation, relationship.
There will be those who will disagree with what I will post. There will be those who will brand me an enemy of truth, and a swine not worthy to even wallow in the mire of the light of the restoration. For all those people who may view me in this light may I remind you that Jesus said, “Love one another.”

I think if Jesus were to return today, it would probably be a safe bet to say that he would blow off Sacrament meeting, Sunday school and even Priesthood class. You won’t catch him dozing off inside the temple sessions nor giving high five’s to all the brethren for showing up at the stake high council meeting on time. Instead, he probably would be downtown with the homeless, working in the soup kitchens, extending love and kindness towards the drug addicts and the prostitutes. In short, “Lifting the heads that hang down and strengthening the feeble knees.”

If truth is to stand as noble as a sword why do we continue to sheath it with unrighteous judgment and pride for the sake of bolstering the Ninety and Nine at the cost of the One?

So all I ask in the upcoming posts on this blog is for you to just have an open heart, an open mind and one willing to do what the song truly says, “choose the right let the consequences follow.”

Norms comment:

I am honored to have 'Morianton' join me on my blog. His first release of documentation and commentary regarding the issues that surround it, will likely be released within the next week.

Please feel free to use the Facebook link on the right side of this page to link to your profile if you are comfortable and wish to help spread the word.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sssshhhhh.....Dont tell anyone! (just kidding) Really, really big NEWS

Alright some very exciting things are about to happen on my blog. I am hopeful that all of my regular readers will support me when 'it' happens. That they will post links on their Facebook and help me get the word out.

I am going to have a secret, guest author add some content, commentary, and documentation on my blog.

Why my blog? Well because although small and relatively new I already have a regular audience and I am allowing him to keep his anonymity. for familial reasons which I will not get into here, this individual has chosen to keep his identity a secret. What he decides to share about his story is his choice but I will state that we have connected because of similar experiences in the church.

My experience with LDS people since we departed the faith shows that they feel that they MUST believe that an ex-Mormon was offended, or committed serious sins to decide to leave the LDS church. They cannot accept that these things seldom have much to do with anything about that at all. Especially when one determines or says that simple study and reasoning.....are indeed the reason for departure!

This individual (my soon to be guest author) sought the background and source information of Mormon History to prove to himself it's authenticity, to validate its claims in a hope that he could strengthen his testimony and once again become a more faithful and believing LDS. Because his past experiential life in the Mormon church and culture had shown him many things that caused him concern and problems.

He is a researcher of sorts by trade and knew how to locate the actual documents better than the rest of us.

The documents speak for themselves, some you have seen or heard of them before, however he presents them in their chronological order in a manner that raises many problems for LDS apologists and faithful members to defend.

I won't say too much more, I will allow the documents to speak for themselves, and have him add his commentary.

What is my purpose in doing so.

Recently, some so-called 'friends' have complained that I am questioning their beliefs. They are not happy with some of the things I post on my Facebook page which they deem derogatory towards the LDS faith.

Now to be fair, having been a former LDS member and serving in Leadership, my focus has been on the financial and cultural issues as I see them within the LDS organization and community. I guess they don't like the fact that I ask some pretty tough questions and they likely feel 'offended'.

I do not believe that the LDS church is acting as a religion......I believe it is simply acting as a business and I feel that I can rightly predict how the LDS org. will act in just about any situation, simply by using a financial model as my 'looking glass'.or 'seer stone'.

I have not as of yet discussed much of the historical, doctrinal or documentation issues that really were the major items that got me really thinking about the authentic history of the LDS Church verses the obvious sensitization that has transpired over the years since Joseph received his *third* vision (LOL).

Authors like Palmer, Brodie, Vogel, Whitefield all present a case for Mormonism's authentic historical and doctrinal problems. However, they often do not show the actual textual material side by side in chronological order. This is preciously the direction my guest author took during his discovery and research into early Mormon history. Rather then simply trusting in authors like Palmer and Brodie, his question was always, ok you make an interesting point, now let's see your backup!

For 'some people' (using one of my 'friends' exact words) any type of questioning is far too difficult to accept. I do not see it that way, and neither do many former LDS leaders (H.B.Brown's famous statement that LDS people members need not be afraid to have people question and that they themselves should indeed question in the "marketplace of idea's").

However its fair to state that current LDS leadership have changed their minds on people actually 'studying' anything but approved LDS created material. (isn't LDS material from early church history still approved LDS material?)

Why? Why do they no longer encourage the members to review both sides of the debate?

Due to the Internet, so much accurate, historical information has surfaced that create many valid questions regarding the LDS church's beginnings and authenticity that it is quite likely that 'faith' could possibly be destroyed with truth, in the way I see things. Otherwise, why be so afraid to actually 'look', at their own honest history?

Growing up in the LDS Church, I remember the saying "If you have the truth on your side, you have no fear".
It would seem that this has changed dramatically in the LDS organization over the past several years since the Internet.

Is it possibly fair to state that for some, often multi-generational LDS members who are educated, that Truth may indeed be destroying Faith?

I think it is possible that this is transpiring. The enemies of the church it was said are whom? (women, gays and intellectuals, see Packer).

I like the comment by Duwayne Anderson in the Huffington Post (

"Today, Gays and Feminists are under attack from the church -- both members and non-member­s. But the LDS Church also targets intellectu­als who don't support the party line and disagree with the "Brethren" on matters of science and history. Few religions are as inconsiste­nt with science as Mormonism, which teaches that the ancient Americans were Hebrews, domesticat­ed horses, and fought massive Roman-styl­e wars with steel swords".

Duwayne Anderson
Author of "Farewell to Eden: Coming to terms with Mormonism and science"

What most members do not know is that this goes on behind closed doors where truth, integrity and honesty are not always part of interviews where leaders care about one thing, and one thing only., that is specifically 'protect the image of the LDS church at all costs". There is no higher calling in the church, no greater priority for the brethren, no more prevalent written or unwritten rule than this one.

Truth goes out the door, integrity is meaningless, kindness is simply not an issue and honesty is seen as apostasy in these meetings where leaders care about one thing only......."Can this information do harm to the Church"? If it can.....WATCH OUT! Your membership is likely over!

One such incident occurred recently in the area in which I live. Someone who I vaguely knew, had started to research the source material information within LDS history in order to 'improve his back-row testimony', or to make a more valiant effort than he had done in the past to align himself with traditional LDS values and doctrines.

He has a special 'skill' for finding information difficult to find in the online world, and so he began his honest and sincere search for documents unwilling to accept others interpretations of such source information.

It was all going just fine, until he put some of the information side by side in a chronological order. (something many researchers and authors have not yet published). Once he did all fell apart very quickly as it became apparent that early LDS leaders simply added and manufactured information when needed.

He will be a guest blogger if you will, on my blog......very, very soon!

I can assure you......its worth your time to have a read. It will be very interesting to see how many of you on both sides of the LDS issue, view this information.

Now I wish to make clear. Anyone who does not appreciate my blog, or who does not agree with my viewpoints, or my guest author, should feel at liberty to say so. They should have the right to stand up and make comment.

As long as it is not personally disrespectful I always publish the comments whether I agree or not. However any personal attacks will be moderated, unless their name is added.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Profit or Prophet? (City Creek Mall). Which one matter's more to the LDS Church?

I have been thinking again, and counting. In 2005 it was only supposed to reach 500 million but obviously over budget and wanting more of the really cool construction things, the LDS Church keeps funneling money to the downtown rejuvenation/shopping mall project. Recent church owned media outlets are quoting the cost now of over 3 Billion 'tithing free' dollars (see note below). The pedestrian Skybridge alone is worth over one billion dollars alone. Imagine the good works and service to the planet that could performed if the LDS church were to call and pay for 300,000 "Service Missionaries" to be called at no cost or burden to their families. This is how many service missionaries could 'flood the entire planet' and serve mankind, were the LDS church to invest in more appropriate causes than giving the good people of Salt Lake City another place to purchase more things they likely cannot afford and do not need.
Imagine the good image this would have given the LDS church in the world, imagine the help to the poor and the needy and the care for humanity that would and could be provided. Wouldn't this have been a more appropriate cause for an organization that calls itself a religious institution then another massive business for profit investment. Which drives the LDS church more? Profit or Prophet? NOTE: Although the 'Prophet' has stated that no tithing funds are used, the LDS Church accounting department does not consider any monies to be tithing once it has sat for a period of more than 24 months. Strange accounting, but technically sound.
Construction Analysis.
 Mohammed Bin Zayed City: $7.1 Billion or $132/sq. foot Sears Tower: $105 Million or $142/sq. foot ... Petronas Twin Towers $1.6 Billion or $367/sq. foot Taipei 101 Tower: $1.8 Billion or $405/sq. foot Burj Khalifa Tower: $1.5 Billion or $450/sq. foot City Center Las Vegas: $11 Billion or $655/sq. foot City Creek Center, Salt Lake: ~$6 Billion or ~$3000/sq. foot