ESSAYS – Deception in the Mormon Church


Recently the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints scripted carefully crafted messages which they call “Gospel Topics Essays,” published on their official website at or soon to be known as In these essays, the LDS Church seeks to inoculate its members against “anti-Mormon” information by offering several excuses for its incredibly deceptive doctrine and history.

Upon examination of these Essays, we find discussions of the church’s early history of civil disobedience as it related to polygamy and scandalous behavior on the part of Joseph Smith’s taking wives married to other men and girls as young as 14. These essays also mention Joseph Smith’s fraudulent translation activity with the Book of Abraham and his use of a “seer stone” to translate the Book of Mormon.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who try to excuse this information with the claim that they’ve never heard of this information before would do well to consider their words of their own Scriptures that state at Doctrine and Covenants 131:6: “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.”  Therefore accurate knowledge of Church history is important, for it reveals the facts that demonstrate that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God. Remember that according to Isaiah 9:16, those who are led of false prophets are “destroyed.” (See also Deuteronomy 18:20-22.) This is why Christians are commanded to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)


Are Mormons Christian? November 20, 2013

  • “Latter-day Saints do not accept the creeds.”  (NOTE: If the LDS Church does not accept the “creeds,” that is, the beliefs of Christianity, why should this church be called Christian?)

First Vision Accounts November 20, 2013

  • “Joseph shared and documented the First Vision, as it came to be known, on multiple occasions; he wrote or assigned scribes to write four different accounts of the vision. … Besides these accounts from Joseph Smith himself, five accounts were written by contemporaries who heard Joseph Smith speak about the vision.” (These statements admit there are a total of 9 different accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision.)
  • “The earliest known account of the First Vision, the only account written in Joseph Smith’s own hand, is found in a short, unpublished autobiography Joseph Smith produced in the second half of 1832.”  (This statement admits that Joseph Smith waited 12 years before he wrote down his experience.)

Race and the Priesthood December 6, 2013

  • “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse … Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.” (NOTE: The Church still publishes racist statements in its Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price “Scriptures.”)

Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah December 16, 2013

  • “Believing these laws to be unjust, Latter-day Saints engaged in civil disobedience by continuing to practice plural marriage and by attempting to avoid arrest.”
  • The LDS Church blames God for polygamy: “Latter-day Saints do  not understand all of God’s purposes for instituting … the practice of plural marriage during the 19th century. The Book of Mormon identifies one reason for God to command it.”

Book of Mormon Translation December 30, 2013

  • “Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was ‘the most correct of any Book on earth & the keystone of our religion & a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other Book.’” (If the Book is so correct, why have so many changes been made to it?)
  • “Joseph placed either the interpreters or the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument. … Emma … described Joseph ‘sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.’ According to Emma, the plates ‘often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen table cloth.’”
  • “‘Was not Jo Smith a money digger,’ one question read. ‘Yes,’ Joseph answered.” (Money digging used the occult to supposedly locate buried treasure in the ground.)

Book of Mormon and DNA Studies January 31, 2014

  • “The evidence assembled to date suggests that the majority of Native Americans carry largely Asian DNA. Scientists theorize that in an era that predated Book of Mormon accounts, a relatively small group of people migrated from northeast Asia to the Americas by way of a land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska. These people, scientists say, spread rapidly to fill North and South America and were likely the primary ancestors of modern American Indians.”
  • “The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied. In fact, cultural and demographic clues in its text hint at the presence of other groups.” (Not True! The Book of Mormon  states at 2 Nephi 1:8: “And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations.”)

Becoming Like God February 24, 2014

  • “Lorenzo Snow, the Church’s fifth President, coined a well-known couplet: ‘As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.’”
  • “While few Latter-day Saints would identify with caricatures of having their own planet, most would agree that the awe inspired by creation hints at our creative potential in the eternities.”
  • “The teaching that men and women have the potential to be exalted to a state of godliness clearly expands beyond what is understood by most contemporary Christian churches.”

Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints May 13, 2014

  • “Some sins were so serious that the perpetrator’s blood would have to be shed in order to receive forgiveness.”
  • Footnote 36: “This concept, which came to be known as blood atonement … it is likely that in at least one instance, a few Latter-day Saints acted on this rhetoric.”
  • “At the Latter-day Saint settlement of Far West, some leaders and members organized a paramilitary group known as the Danites, whose objective was to defend the community against dissident and excommunicated Latter-day Saints.”
  • “At times, however, Church members clashed violently with Indians … Governor Young authorized a campaign against the Utes. … some Latter-day Saints committed excessive violence against native peoples.”
  • “Mormon militiamen planned and carried out a deliberate massacre. They lured the emigrants from their circled wagons with a false flag of truce and, aided by Paiute Indians they had recruited, slaughtered them. Between the first attack and the final slaughter, the massacre destroyed the lives of 120 men, women, and children in a valley known as Mountain Meadows.”

Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham July 8, 2014

  • “None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham, though there is not unanimity, even among non-Mormon scholars, about the proper interpretation of the vignettes on these fragments. Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.”
  • “Some evidence suggests that Joseph studied the characters on  the Egyptian papyri and attempted to learn the Egyptian language. His history reports that, in July 1835, he was ‘continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients.’ This ‘grammar,’ as it was called, consisted of columns of hieroglyphic characters followed by English translations recorded in a large notebook by Joseph’s scribe, William W. Phelps. Another manuscript, written by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, has Egyptian characters followed by explanations.”
  • “We do know some things about the translation process. The word translation typically assumes an expert knowledge of multiple languages. Joseph Smith claimed no expertise in any language … Speaking of the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Lord said, ‘You cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.’ The same principle can be applied to the book of Abraham. The Lord did not require Joseph Smith to have knowledge of Egyptian. By the gift and power of God, Joseph received knowledge about the life and teachings of Abraham.”
  • “The relationship of these documents to the book of Abraham is not fully understood. Neither the rules nor the translations in the grammar book correspond to those recognized by Egyptologists today. Whatever the role of the grammar book, it appears that Joseph Smith began translating portions of the book of Abraham almost immediately after the purchase of the papyri. Phelps apparently viewed Joseph Smith as uniquely capable of understanding the Egyptian characters: ‘As no one could translate these writings,’ he told his wife, ‘they were presented to President Smith. He soon knew what they were.’”
  • “The book of Abraham clarifies several teachings that are obscure in the Bible. Life did not begin at birth, as is commonly believed. Prior to coming to earth, individuals existed as spirits. In a vision, Abraham saw that one of the spirits was “like unto God.” This divine being, Jesus Christ, led other spirits in organizing the earth out of “materials” or preexisting matter, not ex nihilo or out of nothing … Nowhere in the Bible is the purpose and potential of earth life stated so clearly as in the book of Abraham.”

Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo October 22, 2014

  • “Sealings for time and eternity included commitments … including the possibility of sexual relations. … Evidence indicates that Joseph Smith participated in both types of sealings.”
  • How many wives was Joseph Smith married to? Footnote 24: “Careful estimates put the number between 30 and 40.”
  • Joseph Smith’s youngest wife was “sealed to Joseph Smith several months before her 15th birthday.”
  • How many wives did Joseph Smith take from living husbands? Footnote 29 states: “Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14.”
  • “Emma approved, at least for a time, of four of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages in Nauvoo. … But Emma likely did not know about all of Joseph’s sealings.”
  • “Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him … commanded him to proceed with plural marriage … threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.”
  • “Rumors prompted members and leaders to issue carefully worded denials that denounced … polygamy but were silent about what Joseph Smith and others saw as divinely mandated ‘celestial’ plural marriage.’”
  • Regarding the devaluing of women, Zina Huntington, who married Joseph Smith only a few months after she married her first husband, said: “I made a greater sacrifice than to give my life … for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honorable woman.”

The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage October 22, 2014

  • The 1890 “Manifesto was carefully worded to address the immediate conflict with the US government … it had not, up to this time, prohibited individuals from continuing to practice or perform plural marriage as a matter of conscience.”
  • In 1904, “The Second Manifesto was a watershed event. For the first time, Church members were put on notice that new plural marriages stood unapproved by God and the Church.”

Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women October 23, 2015

  • Although the priesthood blessings of healing the sick are currently reserved for male members of the Mormon Church, this essay admits that Joseph Smith and early Mormon leaders allowed women to hold these blessings. The essay states: “During the 19th century … many women received priesthood blessings promising that they would have the gift of healing.”

Mother in Heaven October 23, 2015

  • “The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints. … While there is no record of a formal revelation to Joseph Smith on this doctrine, some early Latter-day Saint women recalled that he personally taught them about a Mother in Heaven. … The most notable expression of the idea is found in a poem by Eliza R. Snow.”
  • “Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them.” (NOTE: This foundational doctrine of Mormonism hinges on a poem, not on Scripture or a revelation from God.)


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