As incredible as it may seem, LDS publications bear testimony that Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, and Brigham Young, second Prophet of the Church, taught the moon was inhabited.
In an 1892 LDS publication under the heading "THE INHABITANTS OF THE MOON," this interesting information is given by Oliver B. Huntington:
"Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.
"As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do -- that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years.
"He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.
"In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes." (The Young Woman's Journal, published by the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol. 3, pp. 263-64)
Below is a photograph from the LDS publication, The Young Woman's Journal, p. 263. Notice that O.B. Huntington stated he knew Joseph Smith said the moon was inhabited.
President Brigham Young not only taught the moon was inhabited, but the SUN as well. In a sermon delivered in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, President Young made these unbelievable statements:
"Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?...when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 271)
The following is a photograph from the LDS publication, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 271 confirming the fact that Mormon Prophet Brigham Young taught the moon was inhabited as well as the sun. This sermon was given by Brigham Young in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on July 24, 1870.
It is doubtful that many Mormons today would attempt to defend their prophets teaching about the "inhabitants of the moon" especially since modern man has now walked on the moon. Yet these men are still herald as prophets of God.
Not only did Joseph Smith say the "moon is inhabited,'' but he claimed a personal visitation by God the Father and Jesus Christ, Peter, James, John, and numerous other "glorious personages" from heaven.
Latter-day Saints believe he produced 3 new volumes of scripture plus a revision of the Bible totaling over 800 pages given by direct revelation or translated by the gift and power of God! (see Deseret News, Church Section, July 18, 1970, p. 14)
Mormon scripture boasts:
"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it..." (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3)
Either Joseph Smith was the greatest prophet who ever lived, or he had a tremendous imagination and was a deceiver from the beginning.
Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, gives some insight into Joseph's imagination even before he supposedly received the "gold plates":
"During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of travelling, and their animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them." History of Joseph Smith by his Mother, 1954 edition, p. 83)
Although Joseph Smith made some fantastic claims during his lifetime, there is much evidence besides his claim about the inhabitants of the moon to support the fact that he had a vivid imagination and deliberately attempted to deceive the people.
THE 1826 COURT TRIAL
For years Mormon scholars have criticized the account of an 1826 court trial held in Brainbridge, New York where Joseph Smith was arrested, tried, and found guilty of using a magical stone for the purpose of finding hidden treasure buried in the earth. This account was published in Frazer's Magazine in 1873. The following information is quoted from that publication under the heading "STATE OF NEW YORK v. JOSEPH SMITH":
"Prisoner [Joseph Smith] brought before Court March 20, 1826. Prisoner examined: says that he .... had a certain stone which he had occasionally looked at to determine where hidden treasures in the bowels of the earth were; that he professed to tell in this manner where gold mines were a distance under ground .... he had occasionally been in the habit of looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but of !ate had pretty much given it up on account of its injuring his health, especially his eyes making them sore;...
"And therefore the Court find[s] the Defendant guilty. Costs: Warrant, 19c. Complaint upon oath, 25½c. Seven witnesses, 87½ c. Recognisances, 25c. Mittimus, 19c. Recognisances of witnesses, 75c. Suboena, 18c -$2.68." (Frazer's Magazine, February, 1873, pp. 229-30)
Until 1971 LDS scholars believed that there was no proof to prove the account given in Frazer's Magazine. They were so sure of the innocence of Joseph Smith that some Mormon apologists admitted if the court record could be found it would prove Joseph Smith a fraud. Dr. Francis W. Kirkham stated:
"If any evidence had been in existence that Joseph Smith had used a seer stone for fraud and deception, and especially had he made this confession in a court of law as early as 1826, or four years before the Book of Mormon was printed, and this confession was in a court record, it would have been impossible for him to have organized the restored Church." (A New Witness For Christ In America, vol. 1, pp. 385-87)
Then in 1971 in the basement of the County Jail in Norwich, New York, Wesley Walters discovered the original 1826 Court record which gives the costs involved in the trial and proves the account given in Frazer's Magazine. Not only is this one of the most devastating pieces of evidence against the divine mission of Joseph Smith, but this discovery proves Smith was heavily involved in the occult during the time he was supposed to be preparing himself for receiving the "gold plates"!
Below is a photograph of the newly discovered document which proves that Joseph Smith was arrested, tried, and found guilty as a "glass looker" in 1826. To the left is a typed transcript of the portion of the document that deals with Joseph Smith. Notice that when the letter "S" was repeated it appears as a "P" (see the word "Assault" in items 1, 4, 7, and 9).
THE KINDERHOOK PLATES
In 1843, 6 brass, bell shaped plates were found in a mound in Kinderhook, Illinois and given to Joseph Smith.
According to the History of the Church, Joseph Smith claimed to translate a portion of them:
"1 have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth. (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 372)
W. Fugate later admitted that the plates were forgeries made by himself and two other men to trick Joseph Smith. (see Fugate's letter printed in the LDS publication, Improvement Era, Sept. 1962)
For many years all 6 plates had been lost. Then in 1962 the official Mormon publication, the Improvement Era, announced that one of the original Kinderhook plates had been rediscovered.
Welby W. Ricks, who was President of the BYU Archaeological Society, had this to say:
"A recent rediscovery of one of the Kinderhook plates which was examined by Joseph Smith, Jun., reaffirms his prophetic calling ....
"This much remains. Joseph Smith, Jun., stands as a true prophet and translator of ancient records by divine means and all the world is invited to investigate the truth which has sprung out of the earth not only of the Kinderhook plates, but of the Book of Mormon as well."
(Improvement Era, Sept. 1962)
Unfortunately for the Mormon position, the plate was proven a fraud. In 1980, permission was granted to make some very sophisticated, analytical destructive tests of the Kinderhook plate. The results were printed in the official Church publication, The Ensign, August 1981:
"A recent electronic and chemical analysis of a metal plate (one of six original plates) brought in 1843 to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, appears to solve a previously unanswered question in Church history, helping to further evidence that the plate is what its producers later said it was -- a nineteenth century attempt to lure Joseph Smith into making a translation of ancient-looking characters that had been etched into the plates ....
"The conclusion, therefore, is that the Chicago plate is indeed one of the original Kinderhook plates, which now fairly well evidences them to be faked antiquities." (pp. 66 and 70)
The following is a photograph of one of the Kinderhook plates. Compare with the facsimiles in the History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 376.
Since the Kinderhook plate proves Joseph Smith a fraud and demonstrates his willful desire to deceive his people, Mormon apologist have reverted to attacking the accuracy of the History of the Church rather than admit Joseph Smith a fraud.
Although the History of the Church is considered "the most accurate history in all the world" (see Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, page 199), the source for the entry in Joseph Smith's History concerning the translation of a portion of the plates, was not written by Joseph Smith, but rather comes from William Clayton's personal diary which has been changed to read as if Joseph Smith actually wrote it.
Since William Clayton was Joseph Smith's personal scribe and in constant contact with him, he would certainly have known what Smith believed about the Kinderhook plates.
This evidence not only demonstrates Joseph Smith translated "bogus plates," but the Church's own History (supposedly written by Joseph Smith) is proven fraudulent.
THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM
In 1835 Joseph Smith obtained some Egyptian papyri along with several mummies. From these Egyptian writings Smith claimed to translate what is now considered as scripture by Mormons, the Book of Abraham. Since the whole method of translating Egyptian was still in its infant stages, Smith obviously felt safe in making the fantastic claim that this papyri contained the "writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus." (see introduction to The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price)
Mormons believed that this translation would completely vindicate Joseph's claims about the Book of Mormon and his divine ability to translate unknown languages, especially since the Book of Mormon is supposed to be translated from "Reformed Egyptian."
Although the original Egyptian text was lost for many years, its rediscovery was announced in the Mormon owned newspaper, the Deseret News on Nov. 27, 1967:
"NEW YORK -- A collection of pa[p]yrus manuscripts, long believed to have been destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871 was presented to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here Monday by the Metropolitan Museum of Art..." (page 1)
Shortly after receiving the papryi some of the top Egyptologists in the world (men like Dr. Klaus Baer of the University of Chicago and Professor Richard Parker, Chairman of the department of Egyptology at Brown University) examined these documents and confirmed the fact that the papyri is common Egyptian funeral literature having nothing to do with Abraham or his religion!
This Egyptian "Book of the Dead," known also as the "Book of Breathings," is totally pagan in nature. It includes spells and incantations believed by the Egyptians to help the deceased through his perilious journey in the after life.
One of the fragments given the Church in 1967 contains the very portion of the text that Joseph Smith used as a basis for his translation of the Book of Abraham. The identification of this fragment is brought about by the handwritten manuscript located in the Church Archives which includes the Egyptian characters copied from this fragment in a column on the left and on the right is the translation.
Egyptologists have translated the text which Smith thought was the Book of Abraham and find it doesn't contain any information about Abraham or his religion, but rather it identifies the name of the corpse and his mother as well as directions for burying the Sensen text with the mummy. (For Professor Richard Parker's translation see Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, p. 98)
Truly Joseph Smith had no idea what the Egyptian said which casts serious doubt upon the Book of Mormon as well as Smith's claim to be a prophet of God.
An example of Joseph's tremendous imagination and total ignorance of the Egyptian language can be demonstrated by his translation of part of an Egyptian word meaning "lake" or "pool." This Egyptian character resembles a capital "E" facing backwards. From this single character Joseph Smith translated 76 words which include 7 personal names!
The following is a reduced photocopy of this portion of a restricted Church document which is the handwritten manuscript for Abraham 1:13-14. Notice the Egyptian character on the left with Joseph Smith's translation on the right.
Not only does the evidence presented demonstrate that Joseph Smith "wilfully attempted to mislead the people," but in the case of the Book of Abraham; Abraham receives the blame for Smith's own distorted theology on the false teaching of the plurality of Gods. (see LDS scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham chapters 4 & 5)
The Bible describes a false prophet and leaders who teach lies and the danger in following them:
"... the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed." (Isaiah 9:15, 16)
Fortunately we do have a faithful, trustworthy record of God's dealing with man and His desire for our lives. This record is called the Bible.
Even in Old Testament times we see God's prophets proclaiming the coming of the Messiah who would take upon Himself our sins:
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.., and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5, 6)
The New Testament reveals the Messiah and demonstrates the love of God towards us:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Many well meaning people believe that Jesus came to SHOW us the way, but the truth is: Jesus came to BE the way. Jesus Himself said, "1 AM THE WAY, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to become a child of God TODAY by receiving the "real Jesus" as Savior and Lord of your life. (see John 1:12)
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