For decades, and heavily over the past ten years, Mormon historians, podcasters, and critics have been urging the LDS Church to be more open and honest about Joseph Smith’s use of folk magic and a peep stone/hat in his production of the Book of Mormon text.

On August 4th, 2015 the LDS Church released the third volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which includes the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It also released photos of the seer stone that Joseph Smith used as a scryer to search for buried treasure, and that he also placed in a hat to produce the text for the Book of Mormon.  (for detailed discussions of Joseph’s use of a seer stone in the Book of Mormon’s creation, see CES Letter, Mormon Think, or D. Michael Quinn’s “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.”

An October 2015 Ensign article is set to appear called “Joseph the Seer” which attempts to explain Joseph’s practice of using a seer stone.

In this episode John Hamer, J. Seawright, Micah Nickolaisen, Jamie Hanis Handy, and Jonathan Streeter join us to analyze these events.



  1. Bob August 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    I read the Church announcement and watched the video. I noticed that the stone is buried behind the showing of the manuscript with the Community of Christ representative and there’s little mention about it. Of course, no one is asking the relevant questions such as “What was the point of securing brass plates if all Joseph Smith needed to do was look into a hat with a stone to come up with the Book of Mormon?” And if he was being directed by God to reveal the Book of Mormon, why do 17th century biblical errors appear the Book of Mormon?” Seems like if God was dictating the text of the BoM, he’d get it right. And what does that say about the Urim and Thummim, breast plate and that painting in the visitors center of Joseph thoughtfully scanning over the plates and “translating” from some reformed Egyptian that Lehi, Nephi, Mormon et al who were all jews (if I’m not mistaken)would never have used. As for Bushman and his “scholarly” approach, I wonder if realizes how ridiculous this all makes the Church seem. As Joseph Campbell talked about, The Power of Myth.

    • McGyver September 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      This might be a good forum to learn what the most accepted alternative explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon currently is? Can someone clue me in?

      • JT September 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

        Search on the following

        “A current secular debate over Book of Mormon (BoM) authorship pits Joseph Smith as the sole author (JSA) against a complex multiple-author theory (MAT) being developed by Stanford engineering professor Craig Criddle.”

        This blog post summarizes a year or examining the matter the best I could. Hope it helps.

    • William Covington September 29, 2015 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Exactly right. You think the same way as I think with regard to the Book of Mormon translation process and the Book of Abraham translation process.

  2. Anthony August 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Could someone please tell me where I can find that Joseph Fielding Smith said there was no evidence that Joseph Smith used a stone to translate the BOM? Thanks in advance!

    • Hal August 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:225–26:

      While the statement has been made by some writers that the Prophet Joseph Smith used a seer stone part of the time in his translating of the record, and information points to the fact that he did have in his possession such a stone, yet there is no authentic statement in the history of the Church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose. The reason I give for this conclusion is found in the statement of the Lord to the Brother of Jared as recorded in Ether 3:22–24. These stones, the Urim and Thummim which were given to the Brother of Jared, were preserved for this very purpose of translating the record, both of the Jaredites and the Nephites. Then again the Prophet was impressed by Moroni with the fact that these stones were given for that very purpose. It hardly seems reasonable to suppose that the Prophet would substitute something evidently inferior under these circumstances. It may have been so, but it is so easy for a story of this kind to be circulated due to the fact that the Prophet did possess a seer stone, which he may have used for some other purposes.

      • JT August 9, 2015 at 7:52 am - Reply

        This is quite an argument. JFS is using a passage that Joseph Smith “translated” with a seer stone as evidence that he didn’t use a seer stone.

        Is circular argumentation is the “one eternal round” of Mormonism?

        • Panacea August 10, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

          Isn’t what people should be looking for is where it shows that JFS demonstrably knew there was a seer stone and then knowingly lied about it? Why is it sufficient to have him say, “…The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose. ” The excluded middle is that as knowledgeable as he was, he can’t know everything, so it is possible that he didn’t know at the time and finding out was not as simple as we might presume it is, or is everyone so incensed or ready to cast out the idea that he was a good person that this observation eludes them? For those determined to vilify JFS, he still has plausible deniability unless you can show that he 1. knew previously and that he 2. knowingly led a deception, with 3. nefarious intentions. Once you have all 3, then you have my attention, until then all you have is your spin.

          • JT August 14, 2015 at 9:24 am

            Point taken. Perhaps better characterized as simply ironic. Thanks.

    • Xine Stone August 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

      “Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1956), 3:225. J.F. Smith attempts to downplay the idea that Joseph Smith actually used the seer stone to produce the Book of Mormon. However, he does not identify the sources for the idea, nor does he offer alternative testimony, but instead asserts that all such information is “hearsay.” ”

      • Anthony August 8, 2015 at 5:46 pm - Reply


  3. Jim August 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I am consistently surprised that the disillusionment in conversations in these podcasts tends toward small “wild stories” such as those about the seer stones, rather than to the larger myth about golden plates or the mere acceptance that Mormonism exists as mythology in its entirety, as is Christianity, Judaisim, and every other faith. When your guest refers to the South Park episodes portrayal of facts, it is in amazement that they were correct about the seer stone, rather than amazement about the whole mythology of Mormonism itself.

    This said, the South Park episode (“All About Mormons”, 2003) doesn’t ultimately ridicule faith, it honors it with Gary’s final comments (below). One can easily make sense of every action of the leaders of the church once one accepts that their goal is to maintain a mythology (born in patriarchy) in which they believe as a blueprint for organizing their thoughts and lives. Once you accept that, you can disagree with their actions, but can’t say that their motivation makes no sense.

    Here’s what the new Mormon kid on the block, Gary, says on South Park.

    “Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you’re so high and mighty you couldn’t look past my religion and just be my friend back. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do, buddy.”(South Park, “All About Mormons”, 2003)

    • G.R. August 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Jim, buddy calm down and take it easy. Just a bit of advice this may not be the place for you. You seem very upset and over critical in you evaluation. I suggest you try the many pro lds podcasts that are out there. I think they did a great job in just hashing it out and expressing thier unique perspectives on the topic. Understand that many were taught to believe in the myth in a very literal way and just might of experienced a wide range of hurtful emotions when they were confronted with the many contradictory facts. They might feel lied to, betrayed, cheated and defrauded. So with that in mind show the values you stated you learned love, being nice,. You can disagree that’s okay but that was far from nice. Be cool take it easy and relax if you need a friend I’ll be your friend.

      • Jim August 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

        Sorry if you don’t like my opinion. I am not one to patronize or to fear that other adults will be wounded by thoughts or opinions of others. I will leave it to others to preach to the choir if they like.

    • Rude Dog August 9, 2015 at 3:38 am - Reply

      So Jim you’re telling me we have 80,000 missionaries out pushing the first vision and Book of Mormon just to help people “love their families and be nice to people”?

      • Jim August 9, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

        No, that’s how the fictitious character Gary describes his faith. My point is that, if you’re going to choose to live your life guided by lessons from mythology, it is helpful to first understand and accept that it is, in fact, mythology and who is writing or pushing it. Once you realize that it is mythology born out of patriarchy, then what has transpired over 180 years makes a lot more sense. All the second guessing about each little event, twist, and turn is in the perspective that it served either the myth or the patriarchy. My point about the Gary character’s comment is that, living by lessons from mythology is not necessarily a bad thing. Not understanding that it’s mythology is the damaging part.

        • John S August 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

          I agree. I think that mythology can play a vital role in being a guide to living a positive and meaningful life (not a requirement though). I don’t think the church nor the majority of its members welcome their dogma being portrayed as mythology and not literal. They thrive on labeling all of their doctrine and teachings as “truth.”

          Principles (forgiveness, love, self-esteem, family, service) can be taught through myth. When the principles put into action work and are valuable in life, people assume that the myths are true. Wouldn’t you agree?

          How many churches are welcome to the idea that their dogma is just a myth?

          • Jim August 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm

            Any gathering of humans that becomes centered on power (usually by perpetuating a patriarchy and mixing in the instrument of money) will defend its doctrine and dogma as a given truth. If it works for the founders, they will indoctrinate their children and others to perpetuate what they may sincerely and earnestly believe is a good thing. The myth becomes the truth. It’s entirely human. It’s happened for millennia.

            Santa Claus refers back to a human Nicholas in Greece who existed in the historical record. Around him was constructed a myth that, even in its form today, brings lots of people joy. The damage comes when people don’t understand that the Santa Claus known in the U.S. today is entirely myth, with a heavy dose of Victorian culture then 19th and 20th century advertising. Most adults can’t recite a fact about Nicholas born out of the historical record let alone refrain from teaching their children that Santa Claus is a real person.

          • Jim August 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm

            For those who haven’t seen the South Park episode referred to in the podcast…


      • Coriantumr August 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm - Reply

        And like the missionaries that converted me they may still be using the Lamanite bit down south. :-)

    • William Covington September 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      If you don’t care as to the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, why not base your life on HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHERS STONE?

      • St. Ralph September 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

        That’s exactly what I did and now I’m living in Aruba with a net worth of over 300,000,000 Euros commenting on podcasts for giggles. Try it!

    • Highfastflyer October 6, 2015 at 5:34 am - Reply

      This is a HUGE nail in the coffin for a literal Book Of Mormon and the Gold Plates story. Joseph Smith has lost all credibility as a convicted criminal using a Peep stone to find buried treasure in 1826. He uses the same stone he was convicted of fraud for “Scrying” a practice in the early 1820s and then later uses this same Peep stone buried in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. Anybody who believes the story is now truly burying their head in the sand. The whole Book of Mormon story, Gold plates, Temple story, First Vision, Priesthood Restoration, Book of Abraham and the restoration of the Church are just a big Mythology. There is no easy way to put it. The whole thing is just a big Whopper Ole Joe hoodwinked us all.

  4. Charles August 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I would have like to see Sandra Tanner invited to the table. And where in the discussion was the hat?! In all of this the hat is being overlooked. How many inches was the rock from Joseph’s eyes? Inquiring minds want to know. Or at least hear it discussed. Good insight that for years the most accurate portrayal was on South Park!

  5. D August 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I view this as a bit of a win for Mormon Stories, who shared with church leadership its study on why people leave the church accounting for the many people who leave due to being blindsided by church history. I shudder to think the seer stone story will be normalized to the current generation of young kids growing up in the church, further encouraging magical, noncritical thinking. I get that some people are okay with that, but I think it does people a disservice and leaves them vulnerable as they attempt to navigate their way through life. I hope at some point in the very near future, it is taught as Mormon myth rather than reality, because… there just aren’t magic rocks guys.

  6. Josh August 8, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    There were references to in the podcast to a reddit list of previous denials of the seer stone and an argument by Hugh Nibley about Fawn Brodie’s discussion of the stone. Anyone have any links?

  7. J. Reuben Clerk August 8, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I think the iPhone analogy works great for people with a magical world view. Jamie noted that the stone isn’t an iPhone. Sure. And clear stones in spectacles aren’t Google Glass either. And clear molten stones aren’t lanterns for submarines. But that’s just because we don’t have a magical world view. For believers, the iPhone analogy works great as a reason to explain why Joseph didn’t need to look at the plates, but the plates were still needed. The iPhone still needs a remote server to store the information that is displayed by the iPhone. No one would say that the server “isn’t used” just because an iPhone user didn’t look at the server or scan the ones and zeros on the server.

    The iPhone analogy, however, fails to address (1) the church’s failure to effectively teach the stone/hat translation process, (2) the particular stone’s shady history used in treasure digging, and (3) why the plates needed to be retrieved from the Hill Cumorah, given Joseph apparently could read a John the Beloved scroll from around the world.

    The new Ensign article will satisfy the church’s duty of transparency for most true believing members. Unfortunately, it didn’t come clean about how the same stone and same hat method was used in failed treasure digging.

  8. St. Ralph August 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Very good podcast, guys. I loved Jamie’s opening comments about why the facade of the plates and such if this seer stone stuff was always true which it pretty much has to have always been. Good point.

    I never had much skin in the Mormon game. I WAS born into a Mormon family of handcart pioneer and English immigrant stock IN Salt Lake City, but . . .
    I left the Church at the age of eight because I couldn’t commit to the baptism belief requirements. And nobody stopped me.

    However, I always identified myself as a Mormon from Utah. As an adult I used to amuse myself by listening to evangelical colleagues who had no idea that a) I was technically a Mormon and b) I didn’t believe a word of any of it, run down Mormonism about how weird their beliefs and practices were. I would let them go on and on and then announce that I grew up a Mormon in Salt Lake and I had no idea what they were talking about; I had grown up in a church-going temple-attending family and never heard anything about these weird beliefs. They couldn’t refute my refutations because they had no real information to go on, everything they thought they knew about Mormons was all hearsay from people at their church, so they just turned red and twitched, much to my delight.

    When Uncle Mitt was nominated by the Repubs in 2012 and I decided to actually Google “magic underpants,” imagine my chagrin to find out that the hearsay and gossip repeated by my evangelical acquaintances was mostly true. Truth be known, because I had so little invested in my Mormonism, I just laughed and laughed. I laughed at myself and laughed at the Church. The irony—that these malicious lying detractors of the Church were actually right! And the more that came out about the history of the church, the righter they turned out to have been.

    The train wreck that is Brighamite Mormonism is a story that I can’t look away from. It’s fascinating. Some friends and relatives ask me why I care. I don’t. I care about Mormonism in the same way that I care about the “Dune” chronicles—it’s a great story. That’s not entirely true . . . I do care about people, especially kids, who’ve been turned out of their homes because of their lack of belief or their sexuality or whatever. It’s very, very sad that crap like that has to happen. Maybe as the Church cops to more of the truth about itself, people will take it less and less seriously and its potential for harm will diminish.

  9. Jason P. August 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    The one published by the church is not even as sexy and mesmerizing as the Belcher/ Dibble Stone seen here: I always thought that the Church should go full-on with magical mystical side of Joseph. We should all be speaking in tongues and gazing into seer stones to take the sacrament or at least perform the True Order of Prayer. No seriously…that would be AWESOME!

  10. G.R. August 8, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    John, first let me congratulate you for successfully completing your PHD. That is a huge accomplishment. Congrates and good for you! Im sure with your ability and skills you’ll bring peace and solutions to countless people. Utah is lucky and proud to have you.
    I really enjoyed the episode. I liked the different emotions, perspectives, idea’s, were expressed during in the discussion. You also did a great job in filling the role as monitor and contributer. As far as the emotion. I understand very well that for some raised in the lds org they were taught to believe it in a very literal and very real way. No one even questioned that back in the day, rather they testified to it in the most literal way, that archaeological evidence would prove its truthfulness. Some of those people out of this group are being, or have been confronted with very contradictory evidence and facts in the last decade. Sometimes after a year’s or a lifetime of participating in church service that robbed them from valuable time with family and friends. Leave some filling betrayed, lied to, used, defrauded, sad , ect. The episode was authentic and I’m really excited to hear the announcement of weekly podcasts. Many are confronted and know nothing of this rock and are in shock. Keep up he good work.

  11. J. Reuben Clerk August 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Like Jamie, I saw radio silence from my TBM friends on facebook regarding the seer stone. I personally posted a link to the Tribune article on the seer stone. No likes. Only one comment from an exmo friend of mine. I did, however, see someone posting a Terryl Givens “choose to believe” comment without any context.

  12. Matt August 8, 2015 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    As far as the art goes, I really enjoyed this essay/appendix ( that discusses the contrasts of art and history. The bulk of it is discussing how to create a piece of art that gets close to historically accurate with regards to the translation process. Fascinating.
    Props to Ben S. at Times and Seasons for the reference (

  13. Sarah August 9, 2015 at 12:05 am - Reply

    I’m so glad you mentioned the “gaslighting” the may occur when an individual or organization omits past referential experience. As a therapist I also refer to this as “crazy making behavior”. This effect is ubiquitous in the transitioning and ex-mormon communities. This explains one of the reasons why some of “can’t seem to leave the church alone”.
    I have done significant work with victims of domestic abuse. It’s a similar dynamic. I’m not saying it’s the same kind of abuse, of course, but the “post trauma” or “pathology” share some of the same symptoms. Like an abused woman who need validation, “You saw the bruises, right?”Members troubled by church history, will continue to seek out similarly situated and like-minded voices for reassurance and support. I believe the way the church approaches issues, sans apology, will lead to higher rates of disaffection in the membership. It’s amazing to watch as the church seemingly inadvertently, (I guess), drives folks into the arms of apostates who can validate their truth and reassure them , “no you’re not the crazy one!”

  14. Ashley August 9, 2015 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Sorry to ask, but can someone point me to the source? I tried to find it at and am not having any luck. Thank you.

  15. JT August 9, 2015 at 8:23 am - Reply

    In preview article of the October 2015 edition of the Ensign, Assistant Church Historian Richard Turley delivers a strategic follow-up to this official seer stone unveiling. Among other things, he attempts to accomplish a distancing of the church leadership from its history of denial or obfuscation regarding the seer stone by laying responsibility on artists. He writes:

    “Over the years, artists have sought to portray the Book of Mormon
    translation, showing the participants in many settings and poses with
    different material objects. Each artistic interpretation is based upon
    its artist’s own views, research, and imagination, sometimes aided by
    input and direction from others. Here are a few scenes produced
    throughout the years.” (see

    Perhaps his passive-voice acknowledgement, “sometimes aided by the input and direction of others,” is Turley’s attempt to technically escape self-indictment for disingenuity. If posted comments were permitted, I’d ask him to be a little more specific about who the “others” were who “aided” the artists with “input and direction”?

    • JC August 10, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Really gets under my skin that they cannot own to misleading others to SAVE their life. Man, just grow a pair and say that you were sorry for hiding this for so long but here it is now and those of you who don’t mind being in a folk magical church, see you Sunday at church!

  16. Rio August 9, 2015 at 10:48 am - Reply

    The idea that “seer” means someone who “sees things at a distance” has its contemporary version in the notion of “remote viewing,” which was used by the Heaven’s Gate folks to “see” an alien space craft trailing in the wake of the Hale-Bopp comet back in the 1990s. As you many know, this led to the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate community in 1997 in order to join with the mother ship. Not to imply a connection, of course. Just sayin’…

  17. G- August 9, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Thank you for this podcast. Yes, an admission from the church that is decades overdue.

    I grew up in Canada, in a Province with few Mormons. Having attended religious private schools (late 80’s), the ‘seer stone’/JS hat subject was often a topic I was bombarded with and left to defend as I tried so hard to ‘stand as a witness of God at all times/places’.

    I recently threw away a pamphlet I found which I had been given by the pastor of my best friend 25 years ago. He was taking missionary discussions. In this ‘anti-Mormon’ pamphlet was an image of Joseph Smith with his head in a hat, comments regarding 30+ wives JS married while alive, and how Brigham Young would have certain individuals killed etc.

    How awful these accusations were and how dare this pastor hand this to me as a young girl! (So I thought at the time) As I grew older as a young woman, these ‘accusations’ became more constant as I continued to tell others I was LDS. I eventually went on a mission to ‘really’ defend my beliefs and this ‘anti-Mormon’ propaganda continued to be given to me by many I would meet.

    How I resented these false accusations! But wait – they were not false, look we now have the ‘stone’ to prove it! What a marvelous gift we have! A ‘modern-day IPod! In fact I am sure that some faithful saint is out there now engraving the word ‘FAITH’ on similar looking stones to be sold in Deseret Books. Oh that each bookshelf of a true LDS should have one!

    Joseph’s polygamy? – yes, look, we have an essay now to admit this too, how wonderful!

    Spiritual abuse? Yes, we have this too!

    This is not okay! The years of emotional pain, social isolation because of my beliefs, the mental anguish I would feel because of the ‘anti-Mormon’ literature I was bombarded with, the endless nights I would stay up with friends/roommates defending ‘truth’…

    My head hurts beyond what I can write. Perhaps there are those that can rationalize and put up with the ‘gas-lighting’ (love the explanation in the podcast) but MY mental health has paid a high price and I am going to defend that now.

    I don’t believe God has asked me to sacrifice my sanity to ‘build-up’ His kingdom, yet there will be members who would argue ‘but that’s why God invented anti-depressants’ (yes, sadly, I have heard this rational in Relief Society).

    This may work for a new and upcoming generation, but for me, well there is little ‘truth’ left in this ‘true’ church.

    They can have their rock.

  18. tropical animal August 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    John, congratulations on your PhD. Too bad the church lost your leadership skills.

    Changing the subject.

    When Joseph puts his seer stone in his hat, pulls the hat up over his face, so as to exclude the light, then relaxes, supporting his elbows on his knees, NEVER looking at the “plates,” (whatever the plates are). . .

    What is he doing? (The entire foundation of the church rests on what is happening during this stone and hat process.)

    Joseph is NOT translating. Joseph does not translate anything.

    Joseph is entering a self-induced trance experience. How do I know this?

    I have spent a lifetime studying trance state experiences and their induction techniques.

    Thus as B.H. Roberts, apostle and church historian, says, Joseph Smith produces the Book of Mormon with his own imagination from material
    in his own cultural background. And I will add, with the help of the
    super imagination and memory that occurs during a self-induced trance state.

    This mental process is not magical, unusual or divine. There are thousands of cases such as this. In fact, the Whitmer cabin, where Joseph dictates most of the Book of Mormon, is a haven for people with seer stones, which includes Hiram Page, Laura Hubble and the Whitmers.

    In fact, I have demonstrated this process myself.

    So just displaying the stone does not provide the complete answer.

    Love you all.

    • Pergamino August 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Please publish your book tittle, I have enjoyed reading the BoM most of my life and am ready for more!

      • tropical animal August 10, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

        Dear Pergamino,

        Thank you for your response. You are a very thoughtful person.
        I am writing a book. However, it will not begin with “Thus saith the Lord.” Although that might be a good beginning. It would
        get more readers.

        In answer to your question I would suggest you read the Book of Abraham, also by Joseph Smith, using the same mental process.
        Be sure to note what Egyptian language experts think of Joseph’s translation of the facsimiles. Also check out the Kinderhook plates. Also another writer, Ellen White, wrote many books during the trance state process. She is considered a prophetess and was instrumental in founding the Adventist movement.

        Yes, if any of you want to be a prophet, I can help. Also, if you didn’t get that “burning in your chest” don’t worry, I can help you with that, too.

        Now taking applications for prophet. hehehe.

        But really, any takers? Its a good, well paying job.

        But you must be able to shift quickly and deeply into the trance state. Hyper-sexed? Though you might need to lie a little bit.

        Seriously, it is good that the church is opening up. This is no easy task for the church. But if they do, and allow for open dialogue, it will be a new beginning for the church. And the church, I think, will go viral. Membership will explode.

        Love you my friend.
        Love you all.

      • Rob Hastings September 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

        Enjoy your BoM, Dan

    • J August 9, 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Joe’s hat was white and a bit worn out, right? A little thread bare perhaps? Letting a little light through even?

      Perhaps the stone was just a paper-weight preventing slips of paper he was reading from from blowing out (a lot of hot air going down, if you know what I mean).

      You know,Joe had to be grabbing that stone pretty regular-like, stick’n it in, pull’n it out and all. Easy for him to palm a slip of paper along with it.

      Hey, this is more plausible than the damn thing glowing out lines of letters like a CRT display circa 1979! (Which is perhaps his best prophecy!)

    • St. Ralph August 12, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Do we think this process has anything to do with hypoxia? Like breathing into a paper bag to relieve hyperventilation? Is that what the deal was? There was never anything ELSE in the hat was there? I think I’d probably better not suggest Joseph was sniffing glue—so I won’t. But this is an angle that had never occurred to me: That the process might involve a physically facilitated trance. I’m thinking not. I’m thinking it wasn’t necessary.

  19. Richard August 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    How does a seer stone work for a believer? Check out this video to hear how one man explains it (min 4:45)

    Sometimes it takes looking at fundamentalist to understand the practices during the early days of the church.

  20. Steve August 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    I was disappointed that the members of the panel all seemed to have a negative view of the LDS church and its history. It did not seem balanced in its views. John Hamer was the only panelist who seemed to look at it from an objective manner.

    To me it would have been interesting to compare the evolution in the early Roman Christian Church’s bible and the evolution of the bible manuscripts. Is this any different than the evolution of the book of Mormon manuscript? Both were modified extensively to support the beliefs of the person’s making the modifications. Both books are believed to be divine by many people in their final significantly modified forms.

    With respect to the Seer Stone, the focus on an object such has the cross or statues of the Virgin Mary have helped early and current Christians to focus on their faith. How does this differ from the Seer stone?

    I would love to see more balance in the members of the panels and I would enjoy some historical comparison between the historical issues that seem to be intolerable to the panel and the similar historical issues in the history of other religions.

    It seems to me the changes in the LDS church are simply part of its growth and evolution.

    I stopped attending church 30 years ago, but I am impressed with the changes which have occurred in its willingness to address difficult historical issues. I believe these changes deserve accolades even if they are motivated by retention of questioning members rather than a need to point out the historical warts of our history.

    Do any churches focus on pointing out the faults of the early or present leaders?

    • G.R. August 9, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      That’s so sad you were disappointed in the guests and the you feel they shared negative onesided views. Listening through all the Intolerable expressions must have been so hard on you,poor thing! Then after making it through all that you felt a requested was in order. A historical biblical and other church comparison. I thought to myself where could you find this view you requested. Because lets be real your requesting a point a view not a comparison. Then Boom ! I got it!. Just go find your local lds ward and attend. You will get a great historical comparison that is very positive and great. It goes like this, we are so blessed to have the fullest bestest greatest most wonderful full more sure knowledge of truth and the bible is great when it agrees with us then if not that’s just lost in translation part, no blaming here just lost! Um O’ and the early Christian church didn’t failed it was not bad it was good it just ya know kinda life got busy and shut happens, no blaming actually it’s a blessing, hello! Now we can be saviors for all those who had only the little bitty bite sized truths. They aren’t bad just less blessed than use we were chosen in the pre life because valor , no words no words valor humble! Okay try that!. In the meantine If you didn’t like it, turn it off, WTF! Go so listen to some other podcast that fits your view anda beers with YOU! Because You and all your John hamer fans that have been complaining and whimpering and bitching about the guest isn’t going to change the episode. most enjoyed it and have the curiosity to shut the F up ic they dint like it . Your not a paying customer that can bitch about your order missing it’s fries after going through drive through. Just because John was on you guys have been pushing your agenda crying moaning guest this guest that, I want this I want that. Do you donate? Didn’t think so, you leech in for free, then bitch about your free service like you have been misrepresented. Most who listen to this podcast can see the first timers, like you and the rest of you guys who are bitching about how the guests other than hamer. Freaking annoying as hell, Get lost. No one cares please censor yourself for the rest of us who enjoy the views guests and podcast.

  21. Jonathan Streeter August 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    There are a couple of things I mentioned in the course of my comments that I want to provide some background info on:

    1. Regarding the Salem, MA treasure hunt which resulted in D&C 111: I don’t see it as proof of Joseph’s belief in the seer stone, but rather it supports the accusation that Joseph was motivated by the “treasure hunting” mindset and used religious trappings to sublimate it to something pious. This is covered here:

    2. I incorrectly name John *Lee* and Edward Kelley a few times. The actual man was John Dee. (John D Lee was the guy who took the fall for the Mountain Meadow Massacre – I got the names jumbled in my head) Fascinating documentary about them here:

    3. I am not quite a full-on quack conspiracy theorist. The issue of honesty and transparency and the British fraud law was explored here:

    4. Regarding the brass serpent of Moses …

    • J.Reuben Clerk August 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      The essays and the new seer stone Ensign article might help with the British fraud liability. But, from my interpretation of what was said during the Swedish rescue audio, I think they were working on efforts like this way back then, well before Tom Phillips filed his case. I think this is about retaining members, not reducing a litigation risk.

  22. Erick Kuhni August 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    As I listened to this podcast I kept listening to John Dehlin’s point about “okay you liberal Mormons, you keep saying you want the Church to come clean and then when they do you still aren’t happy about it”. From there the conversation was about being validated by the Church somehow, or that the Church needs to own up to its dishonesty. I’m stumped by this attitude. I think the point of the stone is that it’s a dumb rock that was in the ground that has no more properties than any other rock in the ground. But more importantly that it is the best symbol of Mormonism, a whole lot of nothing getting way too much attention. The Church claims it’s authority from that rock, who seriously needs to be validated by such an organization. Geeze I hope the suits in SLC who believe in a magic rock would be willing to validate my concerns over not believing in the rock. My suggestion would be that as the Church is taking its new direction towards “openness” that we take a new direction of cutting the cords of dependency on the Church. We don’t need to be understood by them.

  23. johnny bocchetti August 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I attended BYU during the 1970’s my room mate was a Nibley, son of Hugh. The Egyptian endowment seemed to underpin all this fixation on the Kingdom of the Nile.
    The Mormon scholars all firmly believed that relics were a part of the Catholic Church, note the absence of a cross and other symbols used in Liturgy in all religions, now it appears that Mormon do indeed have one. Will it be hoisted and housed where devotees of Smith can visit their shrine of him. “Praise to the Man.” Resigned Jet eye Knight and light saber 1994..

  24. Coriantumr August 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    And like the missionaries that converted me they may still be using the Lamanite bit down south. :-)

  25. Pergamino August 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    I am sorry for those caught off guard by this declaration from the church on historical facts not oft mentioned. But you were warned repeatedly not to live on borrowed light. For those of us who forged ahead against the common church council to “not delve into mysteries”, there has been nothing of recent declaration that we have not heard or read before! We were vetted by going it alone and withstanding the disbelief and ostracism of devout members who are currently doubling down to endure to the end.
    For those of you in the spacious building having a field day, please continue, you have your mission to perform.
    Not seeing too much scholarship here, I would like to refer you to a book published forty years ago by Hugh Nibley in 1976 called “The message of the Joseph Smith Papyri”, on p.51:

    I frequently wrote day after day, E.W. Tullidge recalls, often sitting at the table close by him, he sitting with his face buried in his hat, with a stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us….He used neither manuscript nor book to read from…the plates often lay on the table without any attempt at concealment, wrapped in a small linen cloth.

    So what are these items: stones, Urim and Thumin, plates, papyri, serpent on a stick, 10 plagues in Egypt, Book of Mormon, etc. I’m reminded of the movie “Dumbo” and the little black feather that could make him fly! It really wasn’t a magic feather, but it was enough to make Dumbo attempt the impossible. That is the intent of religion today in its pure form. To give us the information upon which to build our faith at the same time knowing there are no absolutes. And to eventually know better than to say we “know beyond a shadow of a doubt”. But rather to say that we believe and hope we are holding onto the iron rod leading us to God.

  26. Steve in Millcreek August 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    I ask a Geologist to comment. – By my casual observation of the photograph, the seerstone is a metamorphic rock, moved by natural forces (gravity, wind, and water) over time; and finally settling in upstate New York, 24 feet deep and found by random placement of a shovel to dig a well. It is “polished” because water and tumbling naturally do that; but to a 19th century person, it may appear to be manmade, or more, God-made.

    To All: What type of rock is it? Is that type common in that region? Will the Church allow chemical analysis?

    • Trevor August 12, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      It’s hard to say without seeing the minerals in the rock. It looks metamorphic based on the banding but probably has a sedimentary protolith. Yes, an isotope analysis could be used to determine the rock’s origin. I didn’t dig very deep but I couldn’t find where Joseph Smith obtained this particular stone. It would be interesting if it were from Jerusalem but younger than the tectonic separation between continents.

    • Chelsea August 17, 2015 at 11:56 pm - Reply

      I had a friend tell me it was a Strombolite, they come in different colors. When I googled it, you can find images similar to that of the one the church revealed.

    • Rob Hastings September 4, 2015 at 11:18 pm - Reply

      Gaslight much, Dan?

  27. Erin August 9, 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Jamie — you said you wanted to see statistics for Google searches about the seer stone. Google Trends tracks some of that data. I’m still trying to figure out how to read this but it shows Utah and Idaho doing lots of searching the phrase “seer stone” this week and then divides it up by metro region.

    If someone can make heads or tails of this information, I’d love to understand it better.

    Great discussion, all. I really enjoyed it! Thank you!!

  28. Mark S. August 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    How many members will now realize that the foundation of the Church was in the occult?

  29. jklotr August 10, 2015 at 2:29 am - Reply

    How crazy and awesome is this world, that 6 intelligent people have gathered together to discuss a mere rock?

    • Jay August 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Isn’t that the truth. Scholars, archeologjsts, philosophers, professors, a University, 70,000 missionaries, untold number of apologists, endless scrutinizing “scripture”, seer stones . . . . hope beyond hope that somehow something can be made out of the pile of nonsense. I imagine what all that time and energy could have accomplished on the planet.

  30. JC August 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    Excellent podcast as always. I was hearing Hammer’s comment on whether the announcement of the rock might have overshadowed the publication of the BOM transcript. I was honestly wondering if they put these two together to have the exact opposite effect (the transcript overshadow the rock?). Also wondered if the church would have had the courage to only publish the photo of the rock without piggyback riding on the Community of Christ transcript or something/someone else. Wonder if this was an attempt at looking collaborative and “open” by holding hands with CoC while subtly sliding the rock out in the open.

    Last, I wonder if a picture of the rock will make it to the Ensign, Deseret News or any other faithful publication?

  31. JT August 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    “The internet melted down with the news.” Meanwhile, not a single ripple of this was visible in church on Sunday. Funny, that.

    If I’ve learned one thing in life, it is this: Doubt the truth of anything ever said by Brigham Young. Including the tale about this rock.

    Brigham Young claims he got the rock from his brother Phineas. Phineas was given the stone by Elizabeth, Oliver Cowdery’s widow and David Whitmer’s sister. (Swearsies. Brigham and Phineas would never lead us astray. Never.) Elizabeth felt so kindly towards the Youngs that she just gifted them the stone. David Whitmer probably also felt happy to see Elizabeth give them the very stone that was used to translate the Book of Mormon. (David had no interest in seer stones anyway, probably.) Oliver received the stone from Joseph after he finished using it to translate the Book of Mormon. But neither Joseph nor Oliver themselves ever mentioned using it for translation purposes.

    Whatever. I’d want to see the provenance established a little better before I bid any money for it. I seriously doubt Joseph ever placed this particular rock in his hat.

  32. 2Fast4U August 11, 2015 at 11:36 am - Reply

    I am absolutely taken back by the following quote from the Church’s article “Joseph the Seer”. Talking about the visual aides that I grew up with that were always used in Sunday School, Primary, Young Men and Young Women, Seminary, Missions, Gospel Doctrine classes, when talking about the translation of the BoM. They said this in the article “Over the years, artists have sought to portray the Book of Mormon translation, showing the participants in many settings and poses with different material objects. Each artistic interpretation is based upon its artist’s own views, research, and imagination, sometimes aided by input and direction from others.” Nice try – but every single tid-bit of material provided by the Church for use in teaching is APPROVED by the brethren… they just don’t let material go to the masses that are others views, interpretations or imaginations. How stupid do they think we are? I am furious as to how the leadership “SPINS” the truth and puts vague statements like this out so as to shift the focus from their obvious lies and misrepresentations. Sickening!!!!

  33. Amy Rossi August 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    One of your panelists, made a comment in this episode about the church releasing (a few days after this stone announcement) a document on the Joseph smith papers site of JS’s official case where he was brought to court for defrauding people using the same seer stone that was used to translate the BOm. He was saying how that was more damning than the pictures of the stone. That they released that right after, so as to just in a way, slip it by us all.

    Anyway, I can’t find any links or anything about this. Can anyone else? What was your guest referring to specifically? Did the church release this official document or not?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me.

  34. Ephima Morphew August 11, 2015 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    More Evidence builds to verify the Restoration.

    Recent disclosure of the Seer Stone builds credibility to the faith.
    Mormon Seer Stone or gastrolith, Urim thummim or coprolite?
    Seems additional forensic inquiry will disclose the source of this divining tool. With additional inspection the Mormon magic stone will disclose this magic stone to be fossilized feces form some ancient tribals living in the Burned Over District. My father found similar gastroliths in the same region twenty years ago. My father, Gus O. Kahan dated the human coprolite to be between 11 thousand to 14 thousand years old predating the book of Mormon and Joseph smith. This unique specimen needs additional certification.
    With additional research this magic tool can reveal the source of mormon faith.
    Caca Divination is not new, dating back to the earlying stirrings of Neolithic Human Myth Making.
    To be sorted out in the end.

    Ephima Morphew

  35. J August 12, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I just listened to Doug Fabrizio’s interview of Matthew Bowman and Benjamin Park on “Seer Stones.” In my opinion a fair and forthcoming assessment of the situation – for instance explaining Joseph’s using the term urim and thummin to stamp the stone with Biblical legitimacy – and his reluctance to discuss its use knowing it was a disreputable practice in the eyes of higher class people.

    The soft apologetic arguments that seem to be shaping up include:

    (1) Joseph gave up the stone as he spiritually “matured.” (A Dumbo’s feather argument?)

    (2) We need to discount our modern cultural bias (An appeal to cultural relativism? Will future Mormons find our current practices strange?)

    (3) Using physical objects to support efforts to make contact with the divine is common practice (It’s no worse – and no better – than Catholic relics?)

    Of course, none of these downplaying-arguments address the issue of the authenticity of Joseph’s revelations – which for Mormonism relates to extraordinary claims about ancient American history. Further, there are good reasons such practices are worthy of embarrassment. Ephima Morphew’s point about gastroliths and coprolites hits the mark. There are other forms of Old Testament divination that a “restored” Church could restore – and believers have no reason NOT to accept them if they were.

    I for one would like to see Mormons embrace the stone – love the stone – testify of the stone throughout the world.

    • johnny bocchetti August 12, 2015 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Magical thinking according to the DSMV is found co-morbid in many mental illness category including Schizophrenia. The age in which Mr. Smith founded the Mormon Church little was known about mental maladies and magical thinking was common. After many years of study both the Christian Orthodox faith and Mormonism, I concluded Mr. Smith pulled a fast one, borrowing heavily from legend and lore and copious copying of the KJV of the Holy Bible and Ethan Smith and Solomon Spaulding. He did so in an age where critical comparison was not possible by lay people. The broad stroke of Mormons today have been fed a constant stream of commentaries derived from their own made up minds on the subject. While attending BYU in the 1970’s I had one of the sons of Hugh Nibley as a room mate, I read his works. Although brilliant I can see that the LDS community is housed in a complete bubble of rubbish and send thousands of young men and women into the “mission field” to propagate what amounts to heavy brainwashing. The leaders refer to them as elite, in what sense? A fable built on the flimsy contrived myths surround Mr. Smith, you can ride that carnival all you want but it amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking. The real reason behind the Church is a corporate entity profiting handsomely on a fraud prop up by self deceived people.

      • JT August 14, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

        Perhaps I need to find a way to communicate when my concluding remarks are intended as facetious – assuming you thought I was riding riding that “carnival.” Does ;) work?

        I agree with you generally, but hold off on drawing confident conclusions about the nature of this pious/impious fraud/delusion, both with respect to Joseph Smith or the Church’s modern leadership. It seems that groundless religious ideology held with sincere conviction can justify just about any behavior, with that behavior being otherwise rationally executed, such as generating commercial profits.

  36. mike August 14, 2015 at 12:12 am - Reply

    So if Joseph Smith dictated this entire book from a dark hat, how did he keep the story and all of the names and everything straight without being able to see notes? How did he recite so much of Isaiah so accurately in the dark?

  37. mike August 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    How do you suppose he kept everything straight if he was dictating right in front of them with his face in a dark hat. I never thought the BOM was so incredibly impressive that it wasn’t possible for a man to write, but dictating it all from a hat, no notes, no story line in front of you. I have to say, that is pretty impressive if that is really how it went down. Very very strange, but also impressive.

    • johnny bocchetti August 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      The Mormon church has kept the true history from the members of their sole corporation, protecting it at all costs. I read the Book of Mormon while in my twenties, it rang false. Anybody that thinks the book is impressive is quite naive, given their no plausible evidence of a historical basis. Borrowed is a kind way of saying copied from Isaiah and works by Ethan Smith and Solomon Spaulding. In Helaman 12:15 it states that we know that the earth rotates around the sun, which is a reference contemporary with the work. And there are countless times that the work confesses fraud by not just the over used phrase “and it came to pass.” Fiction in this case is the basis of the Mormon religion, if not outright fraud. BYU77

    • ray September 7, 2015 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      I haven’t seen any reference to the fact that it is commonly held by Mormons that 2/3 of the BoM is sealed and the current narration is only 1/3 of the available record. It would be interesting to hear an explanation of how this sealing of the text was accomplished since large portions were dictated without the actual use of the plates.

  38. MikeC August 18, 2015 at 11:50 am - Reply

    There are certain versus in the BOM that prove that JS was reciting to Cowdry from his imagination. JS would make mistakes and would correct himself in mid sentence. Remember, Cowdry was writing down everything JS was saying. Here are some examples:

    Mosiah 7:8: “they were again brought before the king….and were permitted or rather commanded that they should answer the questions…” Now if this was a direct revelation from God, why would he first say ‘permitted’ then change and say ‘commanded’?

    Alma 10:5
    “I have never known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things, but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and marvelous power…” So he totally changes his mind in the very thing he was saying. This wouldn’t happen from the plates or from God’s words on a rock.

    Anyway, there are several more of these proofs that he was narrating from notes or an outline possibly.

    On another note, can any one tell me why JS joined a Methodist church AFTER God told him not to join any of the religions in his ‘first vision’? And why did Emma not leave the Presbyterian after his vision? Could it be that there was never a vision at all?

    • McGyver August 18, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      ” Now if this was a direct revelation from God, why would he first say ‘permitted’ then change and say ‘commanded’? You err in stating it was a revelation from God! Joseph translated by the gift and power of God, therefore you would need to pose that question to the original author of the text and not the translator. Many of the authors of the original text of the plates acknowledged there would be errors and deficiencies in what they were writing and it would be incumbent on the reader to understand by the power of the Holy Ghost. Maybe the original author of this and other seeming discrepancies could not figure out how to erase from engraved metal so they corrected their inscribing error by incorporating text that would flow and make sense? Because you cannot understand something in a context of your experience and learning does not make it untrue, I simply means you are not at a level to comprehend it yet.

      • Jay August 28, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

        “Because you cannot understand something in a context of your experience and learning does not make it untrue, [it]I simply means you are not at a level to comprehend it yet.”

        Or you can’t comprehend it because it doesn’t make any sense.

        Now, how does one comprehend nonsense? At first blush, it seems that one can’t comprehend nonsense. However, you can tell yourself that (1) it seems to be nonsense, and (2) but it might simply be beyond your ability to understand, and then (3) conclude that it is, therefore, true. Well, that’s one way to embrace complete silliness and feel good about it.

        But you have to keep reminding yourself “I can’t understand, so it’s true.”

    • Jim September 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      To me–that is, I am about to express a personal opinion–it is futile to try and reconcile faith with science. Said another way, it is a fool’s errand to for the faithful to fret about the historicity of the Book of Mormon. The faithful cannot explain away doubts with simple belief; and the scientist cannot accept faith as evidence.

      If one thinks one will become a god of one’s own planet by good works &c during one’s lifetime, then it certainly isn’t going to be productive to engage in a discussion of more trivial matters such as the likelihood that Joseph could carrying with 200 lbs. of gold plates, the date of origin of ring binders, or the means by which Joseph authored the text of the Book of Mormon.

      “It’s an idea, a metaphor.” as they say in The Book of Mormon (the musical, that is). To me, it is a waste of good energy to attempt to parse a metaphor into facts.

  39. Ephima Morphew August 24, 2015 at 12:20 am - Reply

    The Mormon Moment continues to be upon us, a gift that keeps on giving. The Mormon Moment goes on and on for the Baggage to be aired.
    Once more the Mormons have run the table and scooped the field with the Mormon Coprolite Lingam Seer Stone a new benchmark for faith.
    The keys and rituals are now safe for Mormon Exceptionalism to flourish.

    • johnny bocchetti August 24, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

      The blunting of cognitive function was on display by Mitt Romney’s runm for POTUS. When any person is subjected to overt manipulation for many years, isolating them from information that counter the stream of propaganda, that person lacks the ability to function normally and process reality. Reality has been determined for them already. The constant flip flopping caused by Romney indicated that outside his Mormon cosmology the world stops. Although quite able to do deals in the financial world, outside of that expertise he’s blunted at held at a stupor, which caused him to reveal that his core had been vacated and replaced by the Mormon workings of church doctrine. Reinforced over the years it appears in any person as a deep chasm of denial when challenged. Such as the patriarchal blessing revealing that the person is of Hebrew lineage..This has become more than just a simple fraud, it’s torture!

      • St. Ralph August 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        You’re right, I hadn’t thought about his disconnection being due to his Mormonism, but it’s very, very likely. There is, however, also a disconnection that results simply from extreme wealth, as in the case of George H W Bush going into some retail outlet on a campaign stop and being amazed at the use of bar code scanners that had been commonplace for 20 years by that time—he’d never seen one. People like him and Romney don’t even buy anything. They have people for that. That’s not the world that 99.9% of folks live in.

        • johnny bocchetti August 25, 2015 at 6:13 am - Reply

          True, any exclusivity that borders on elitism splits the mind into them and us. With Mormonism all people outside them are called “non-members” in every way talked about in a manner of outside their sphere. Professionals who specialize often are an examples, lawyers are a good example. On the Mormon side of this a meme is created into a specialized world of characters in the Book of Mormon, that narrative becomes an all controlling experience isolating their world view. In my native San Francisco in the 1970’s I became a member of this view, I was impressed that little children had this “testmony” and when it was reinforced by adults constantly that “they knew the church was true,” often surrounded by great emotional fervor. Later I learned that the effected solidified the bicameral nature of the “us and them,” essential for controlling the narrative. Back to Mitt. He clearly demonstrated that he had no stake in the normal world outside of his church’s narrative, the world on his terms. If he had to put up a stream of views, he quickly changed cause he wanted to appear relevant desperately. When a Mormon is challenged as opposed to proselyting, they quickly become very agitated and defensive, denying the counter argument. Their comfort zone is when everybody has a testimony that soothes the reinforcement of the Gospel according to the church. When your held to an elite standard of conduct, anything outside of that system allows your superiority to justify you actions. Everybody is “fair game” as Scientology teaches it’s members. Hence Mormonism complete within the world with it’s temples, ordinances, rules, commandments, becomes a world within the natural world displacing the need for that world. Mormons are obedient people viewed by “non members,” appearing wholesome and genuine until they are challenged then the monster arises and their confusion by the rejection causes them to run back and report their experience in fast and testimony meeting. They’ve done battle with the naysayers and everybody concurs. This “rock” business hidden for all these years indicates that the so called “members” of the sole corporation cannot handle the meat before milk of reality that a fraud is a fraud, no matter how many temples are built or baptisms for the dead are performed, or a claim to a Hebrew lineage and priesthood by white people To quote Hugh Nibley, “That ain’t history Joe.”

          • Ephima Morphew August 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

            The Neophyte Problem:
            With The Restoration Mormons know that Jews are just proto-Mormons with quaint quirks, evolved from the testimony of Joseph Smith the Prophet/Seer/Revelator, a title given to none other on the frontier of Jacksonian America. Lactose intolerance is a problem when caring for and feeding neopytes.

        • Jim August 31, 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

          Just to interject some fact checking, I am not a fan of any of the Bushes, but the grocery scanner story is as much a myth as the golden plates. The president was looking at a new generation of technology, not the scanning technology that has been around for years. Just thought it important to clarify.

  40. Fanny's dad August 26, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

    The problem John with “milk before meat” is that a lot of people are lactose intolerant.

    • johnny bocchetti August 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      Quite amazing that Mormons know nothing about “British Israelism,” that the Anglo Saxons were the descendants of the lost ten tribes. This transfer of the Abraham blessing is also done by many other religions and cultures. Long before Joseph Smith’s application of the doctrine. That the principal makeup of early Mormon converts where from England and Sweden, they had not the remotest chance of having Semitic blood lines. Quite astonishing that a religion built on such contrived legends continue to thrust their perverted and fraudulent information on young missionaries who parade around with such naive activities for a sole corporation worth billions. They’ve also infected the internet with every attempt on family history and even the 1940 census. Mormonism presents a clear and present danger of disinformation and when challenged they grab for their holsters in an very non-christian manner…

      • mike August 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

        “That the principal makeup of early Mormon converts where from England and Sweden, they had not the remotest chance of having Semitic blood lines.”
        so is this guys point completely invalid?

        • johnny bocchetti August 26, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

          Your wrong if you read the rebuttal. Your math is as deluded as your thinking on the subject of DNA. Recent DNA studies of the native population of the America’s connected to Asia. The postulate that they came from the middle east has been proven to be incorrect and false. Yet Mormons are convinced the origin of the so called “Lamanite” people are Hebrew, is a joke. Although the idea that native Americans were a remnant of the lost ten tribes was popularized in many fictional works, including the Book of Mormon, a work that copies much of it from the King James Version of the Bible. Yet LDS people are desperate to continue the charade, it makes billions for the sole corporation.

          • Mike August 26, 2015 at 7:16 pm

            the rebuttal said that 16 generations wouldn’t be enough to have everyone related if there is isolation. We are talking about at least 40 generations though since the later scattering of israel in a population that has not been isolated in any significant way. You think it is inconceivable that a European would have even one ancestor from at least one of the scattered tribes?

            I am all for pointing out contradictions in religious thought where contradictions exist. The concept that a modern mormon could be related to one of the 10 tribes is not far fetched at all though. The concept of determining that ancestry by the laying on of hands doesn’t make any scientific sense, but the idea of having an ancestor from ancient Israel is probable. it’s been a long time and there has been a lot of baby making since they were scattered :) Likewise if a family migrated from Israel and wasn’t completely isolated from the rest of the natives on the Americas like the BoM would suggest, the probability of most natives being in one way or another a descendant of at least one person in that group after more than 2000 years is much more probable than them not being in any way related due to how family trees branch out exponentially ever generation that you go back.

          • johnny bocchetti August 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

            The elasticity of truth? Stretching it to fit the Mormon narrative is quite apparent and ridiculous. The DNA very distinct, population are very isolated, they don’t mix geographically like your bogus claims. The mtDNA is maternal, Y chromosome get passed from father to son. Your suggestion that Semitic peoples mating at a distant is absurd, just to support your position. Distinct group of ethnic groups still exist. The Mormons claims through fraudulent means that in your patriarchal blessing your of the lineage of one of the tribes, it’s a delusional stretch, using your method I’d be Irish too. Mitt Romney is no more of an Israelite than I am an African American.

          • johnny bocchetti August 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

            Technical DNA studies for populations in European stocks reveal distinct groupings that continue in their discrete population today. As an Italian/Slavic Y chromosome and mtDNA recipient there’s no chance that I have the Cohen Priesthood gene, yet Mormons recklessly include in a wishful manner.
            Assuming the genetic history of a people is an upsetting example of fraud. You can’t have it both ways, cherry picking studies are not technical at best and lead to false conclusions. I graduated from BYU, 1977. Back then all sort of claims were circulated and all of them have proven to be false.

          • Mike August 30, 2015 at 4:13 pm

            The idea that to be a descendent of a group you must carry genetic markers of said group is a mistake, especially when we have so many generations involved. i am not getting is stuff from lds apologists its just how the math works with populations and genetics. “Indeed, since humans have 2^32 base pairs in their genomes, and only about half of a person’s genes are passed on in reproduction, this means that a person’s genes will be more or less completely flushed out of his descendants’ genomes after 32 generations…or just about 1,000 years. So the fact that some geneticists believe we’re all at least 50th cousins to everyone else on this planet thankfully doesn’t mean we’ve completely corrupted our gene pool. Quite the opposite in fact.”

            The real determining factor in whether or not the natives are descendent of Lehi is whether or not Lehi actually existed, and if he did exist, how isolated did his tribe keep themselves from others. If he was real and if he wasn’t completely isolated, it is very likely a true statement in most cases that the natives are his descendants. There is no reason to suppose that he would play a significant role in their genetic make up, because he would have been a mere drop in the genetic pool that already existed at the time and that has mixed in since, but he would be in their family tree. The same holds true for Israelites that were scattered throughout the old world. Most if not all of us today are going to have at least one, if not many of them in our family tree regardless of the genetic markers we carry. Remember your family tree doubles in width every generation. It spreads out far and wide extremely quickly. It contains lots of duplicates, but unless an ancient group was completely physically or culturally isolated you will find it in your family tree if it is old enough.

  41. Mohammad Belitz August 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Oliver, who was outside the Church for a decade until being rebaptized in 1848, planned to go west to be with the Saints in Utah, but he died in 1850 in Richmond, Missouri, before making the trip. Phineas Young, who had helped bring Oliver Cowdery back into the Church, obtained the seer stone from Oliver’s widow, who was David Whitmer’s sister, Elizabeth Ann Whitmer Cowdery.

  42. Tertman September 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I am not a Mormon. I don’t have anyone who is or was connected to the church in what so ever ways. I did listened to this podcast all the way through and I also felt the negative tone by the panelist.

    The negative tone is not about the Church or Joseph Smith but rather about Magic.
    Magic is NOT bad.
    In one comment (and I’m paraphrasing here so please correct me if I misunderstood) one panelist says that Joseph Smith in using folk magic is akin to a ‘charlatan’ like John Dee. John Dee is not a charlatan.
    If one doesn’t understand esotericism then it will be confusing and get the wrong idea about magic and other stuffs.
    One must get away from the Protestant (evangelical) notion of magic. Both the “orthodox” Mormons and secular people at large adhere to this notion and that is the problem.

  43. The Mormon Hoax | The Autarkist April 9, 2018 at 8:34 am - Reply

    […] There are many shady, bizarre and funny stories related to how this new religious movement came to be and the beliefs it holds. Some include falsified translation of supposed Egyptian scrolls into documents that are today considered scripture by Mormons, but whose content in the (now desciphered) Kemetic language had nothing to do with Mormon legends. Mormon theology teaches that God is a human male of white complexion who rules over planet Kolob, and has many wives. One of the most interesting oddities is the seer stone that the Mormon “prophet” used to either receive the transmission of revelation, or translate it. He would peer into this stone, which he kept inside a hat, and produce the divinely inspired content. You may find more on the Seer Stone on Wikipedia and on […]

  44. Francis October 22, 2020 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Has an interview been done with Chris Johnson? In 2013 he made a presentation at the exmormon foundation titled how the BOM destroyed Mormonism?

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