Trimble, you sly dog. In my first post I suggested that people would probably be inclined to respond with a list of 51 questions that would cause someone to leave Mormonism. Sure enough, Runtu put together such a list. You won’t want to click on it though because it’s much better than your list (and I don’t say that not because he’s no longer a Mormon).
But then I found something. A list of 50 questions for Mormons that dates back to 2001. You cranked a prankster. You wrote your list of questions in response to THAT list. And then you added one more so that a web search for your list wouldn’t bring up that original list. [stands up and claps] I haven’t learned anything new about Mormonism, but I am learning somethings about you. You’re crazy like a fox.
I think I’m ready for Part 4. But are you?
Some quick caveats for those that missed my first post.. These answers will be short and to the point. I’m not trying give a complete answer, nor am I trying to convert anyone out of Mormonism. If I throw in a joke or two it’s to keep things interesting and not a personal attack on Trimble or an attempt to disrespect the Mormon faith.
31. The Jews prepare for Elijah’s return every year during passover. On April 3, 1836 Elijah returned to the earth and appeared in the Kirtland temple on the exact day that Jews around the world had prepared an empty chair for Elijah at their Passover meal? Is that a coincidence? [More]
No, of course it wasn’t a coincidence. It’s not like Joseph Smith knew nothing about modern Judaism. Less than a month beforehand Joseph and a number of his followers had just wrapped up 7 weeks of Hebrew lessons from a Jewish professor they had hired. In the “if he were making all of this up” line of questioning is it possible that Joseph was quite intentional about what day Elijah appeared? Of course it is.
What’s NOT a coincidence is that both Elias AND Elijah showed up on at the same time. That’s freakin’ unbelievable. (for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Elias is just another way to say Elijah). And by unbelievable, I mean I don’t believe it. Like literally. I literally don’t believe it. And not in the figurative way people use the word literally these days. I mean I actually don’t believe it.
32. Why was there a sudden global interest in genealogical research and why were these genealogical societies formed immediately following Elijah’s appearance in the temple in 1836?
Seriously, help me out. What. the. heck. are you talking about? I did a quick Google search and don’t see anything corresponding to this claim. Who did you hear this from; the Three Nephites, Bigfoot or someone selling stakes in the Dream Mine?
I’ll play along and assume this is true in anticipation of someone giving me a reference. Hopefully that someone’s name rhymes with “peg thimble”. Genealogy probably became popular at that time because record keeping had advanced to a point where it could support the practice. The question could easily be turned around to ask “Is it a coincidence that Mormons found a religious reason to practice genealogy at the same time it became popular in mainstream society?” Ditto for the Word of Wisdom copying the format of contemporary health food fads. It seems the Mormon interest in the practice might be easier to trace than “global interest.”
33. The New Testament apostles had the ability to bind and seal on earth and in heaven. Who today claims the ability to bind and seal things on earth and in heaven?
Christians (but to be fair, we don’t say it like that).
34. Will we know our family and friends in the afterlife or do we lose our identities?
Yes! We will know our family members, all of them and then some. The intimacy we share with our families will be shared between all believers. We don’t just get to be with our families, we get to be with every believer who has ever lived (regardless of where they are on the righteousness scale). Imagine the things we’ll get to talk about with the heroes of the faith. Imagine the things they’ll ask us about. I’m for sure getting St. Patrick’s recipe for haggis.
35. Joseph Smith “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter” according to his wife and many others. Could he have written the Book of Mormon?
I don’t think Joseph Smith is by any means the ONLY possible contemporary author of the Book of Mormon. We don’t need to know who wrote it to know that it doesn’t add up to what it claims to be.
AND don’t sell Joseph so short. He lacked education but dude was a genius. Any Mormon who fails to recognize his brilliance is REALLY misunderstanding him.
36. If he did write the Book of Mormon, where or how did he accumulate so much wisdom in under 22 years of life?
Like I said, dude was a genius. Like literally a genius, and not in the figurative sense of the words “literally a genius.”
But there’s no reason to assume that he MUST be the writer. If there was reason to think Sidney Rigdon was the author would we have any problem with the idea that Rigdon possessed the education and wisdom to write what we find there? (also a genius)
37. Could Joseph Smith have been capable of plagiarizing from other books to write the Book of Mormon?
Yes. And this isn’t even all the controversial. Huge portions of the Book of Mormon are word for word in line with the copy of the KJV Bible the Smith family owned (translation errors and all). In addition there are quotes from other popular sources throughout the Book of Mormon including a speech by George Washington.
Looking at what came after the Book of Mormon within Mormonism, Joseph clearly knew how to steal like an artist. Dude took inspiration from anywhere and everywhere and wove it into this fascinating tapestry. As I recall, that’s a major premise of the LDS Church sanctioned biography “Rough Stone Rolling“.
Again, there’s no reason to assume that Joseph Smith is the source for the Book of Mormon but whoever compiled it was clearly capable of plagiarizing because the book has big time plagiarizing throughout.
38. If you say he plagiarized from a book that was popular and well known in his area, then how come no one called him out on it when he released the Book of Mormon?
They did. You think Anti-Mormon pamphlets didn’t get started until around the time Al Gore invented the internet? PUH-lease. Come on Patrick, criticizing the Book of Mormon is as old as a transoceanic wooden submarines. People have been criticizing the Book of Mormon since before they started hooking wheeless chariots up to tapirs.
Speaking of Al Gore, did you hear why he converted to Mormonism? After learning about the Nephite people he said “any society that can disappear without leaving behind a footprint is one that our lives must be patterned after.”
39. Every scribe for Joseph Smith said he used no other manuscript or third party source material. Do you think Joseph Smith could have curated, memorized, and dictated Jacob 5 “The Allegory of the Olive Tree”, let alone the entire Book of Mormon?
They also said that he sat on the other side of a cloth that blocked their view and that he wouldn’t let them see what he was reading off of.
Sorry, that sentence ended with a preposition. Let’s try that again.
They also said that he sat on the other side of a cloth that blocked their view and that he wouldn’t let them see of what he was reading off.
Let’s also not forget that the Book of Mormon underwent significant edits as it was being prepared for printing. We have almost no idea what he actually dictated to his scribes.
40. Eleven plus people testified that they saw or handled the Book of Mormon plates. Many of these people became mad at Joseph Smith. Is it feasible that none of them would have “spilled the beans” if it was a calculated fraud in order to destroy Joseph Smith?
Many of them did tell us that they didn’t literally see the plates with their physical eyes. It was a spiritual experience for all of them. Anyone who said they “hefted” the plates did so with them inside a sack where they couldn’t see what they were lifting.
Did you know that eight of the witnesses had their names signed to the testimony for them by Oliver Cowdery? It isn’t even their own handwriting. If the evidence of these ancient golden plates was so convincing, then why did most of the witnesses leave the LDS church?
Hey I didn’t use the words “context” or “proof-text” once in this set. Nice! Proud of you.