Friday, December 23, 2016

December 23

Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805. This was the day after the winter solstice that year; i.e., Joseph was born on the day after the shortest, and darkest, day of the year. 

Beautiful symbolism for the light he helped bring to the Earth and all of humanity.

It's up to each one of us to help bring light to the Earth through the our actions and words. 

I hope we each take a moment today to think about whether we're adding light or extinguishing it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mesomania video on

An alert reader pointed me to an awesome example of mesomania, right on

The video is a response to the Book of Mormon musical. It "gives a short but poignant view of The Book of Mormon and it's relevance to each of us." It's fast-paced and fun. Undoubtedly effective. So I get the artistic idea, but it summarizes the entire Book of Mormon history with a backdrop of Mayan temples!

Check it out:

This is yet another demonstration of the subliminal influence of the Arnold Friberg painting of Christ descending to the Nephites next to a massive Mayan stepped pyramid with a temple on top and a steep staircase up the center.

I get it. The style of the video compares New York with this Mayan city, and it's merely an artistic representation of the Americas that people can quickly identify.

But look at the message. The narration says: "Where's the setting? The Americas."

Which is illustrated by these Mayan temples.

The Church media department is telling the world the Book of Mormon took place in Central America. 


Which, in turn, means the two-Cumorahs theory and all that entails.

If this video motivates people to request a copy of the Book of Mormon, they'll get the blue book that includes even more illustrations from Mesoamerica.

But when they read the book, they won't find a single mention of jungles, pyramids, Mayans, and the rest.

No wonder so many people are confused and disturbed in their faith.

This would all be so easy to correct if we as a people would simply heed what Joseph and Oliver told us about Cumorah way back in 1835.

Look how the entire narrative of the Book of Mormon plays out against the backdrop of Mayan pyramids:


You can watch it here.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thinking past the sale

People wonder how a small group of LDS scholars were able to persuade most of the Church to repudiate the prophets and apostles and embrace a limited geography in Mesoamerica. The KnoWhy about stone thrones that I discussed today made me think of this. I'm going to show you not only how they did it originally, but how they've been able to keep the scam going.

Think about what we're really dealing with here. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were the founding apostles of the restoration. They were the first two Apostles and Elders of this dispensation (D&C 20:2-3). Together, they translated the Book of Mormon, received the keys of the Priesthood (Aaronic and Melchizedek), the keys of the gathering (D&C 110), etc. Together, they wrote the history letters, including Letter VII, which specifically identifies the New York hill as the Mormon 6:6 Cumorah.

Yet LDS scholars and educators specifically and adamantly repudiate what Joseph and Oliver wrote and endorsed on multiple occasions.

Not even gullible, naive BYU students who adore their professors would accept this if it was taught openly.

So instead, these scholars and educators use a technique commonly called "thinking past the sale."

Here's how it works. Let's say you want to persuade someone to do something they probably wouldn't do if they consciously thought about it. You manipulate them into thinking about choices they would make "past the sale," meaning taking the sale as already done.

Apologies to Bernie, but it was too perfect an image not to use.
The car dealer doesn't try to get you to buy a car. If you're interested, he'll start talking about all the wonderful options, so you're focused on those enticing alternatives, with the mutual unstated assumption you're going to buy the car.

You hardly think about the purchase because now you're focused on whether or not to get the Nav system or the upgraded audio.

Donald Trump did that recently when he said millions of illegals voted. He forced the media and the public to think past the sale (the idea that non-citizens voted) and focus on "how many voted?" Now it is widely accepted that non-citizens voted and people are arguing about how many of them did.

Another great example is the character who assures us that he has said nothing about Father.

Now, look how the Mesoamerican proponents have framed the debate.

Like car dealers and the other examples, they've got you thinking about the options, gliding right past their repudiation of Joseph and Oliver.

Look at all these shiny options. They have a great variety of uniformly Mesoamerican artwork, starting with Friberg and incorporated into their logos, their publications, and their web pages. They've developed a lively charade of scholarship by engaging for decades in debates about which river in Mesoamerica is the Sidon, which Mayan or Olmec site relates to which named city in the Book of Mormon, etc. They give speeches and write papers about how the "narrow neck" fits in Central America. They generate all kinds of illusory "correspondences" between the text and Mayan/Olmec culture.

But these scholars and educators don't tell you that all of these debates, papers, books and presentations are based on their premise that Joseph and Oliver were confused speculators who deceived the Church for a hundred years.

Instead, they've done everything possible to suppress Letter VII.

One of my favorite examples is the book In Search of Cumorah by David Palmer. This is a 254-page book that makes the case for the "two-Cumorahs" theory. Far from quoting and discussing Letter VII--far from even mentioning it--he writes merely "We have only the scantiest of inferences that Joseph Smith ever called the hill 'Cumorah.' (D&C 128:20). However, he does not appear to have corrected Oliver Cowdery, who may have been the one to first name the New York hill 'Cumorah.' (Cowdery, 1835)." Then his reference is "1835, Messenger and Advocate, July, pp. 158-159."

That's as close to a whitewash as possible. Then, Brother Palmer wrote the entry "Cumorah" in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

This annual pageant has reinforced the common assumption that Moroni buried the plates of Mormon in the same hill where his father had buried the other plates, thus equating this New York hill with the Book of Mormon Cumorah. Because the New York site does not readily fit the Book of Mormon description of Book of Mormon geography, some Latter-day Saints have looked for other possible explanations and locations, including Mesoamerica. Although some have identified possible sites that may seem to fit better (Palmer), there are no conclusive connections between the Book of Mormon text and any specific site that has been suggested.

This is the passage that was plagiarized by the secretary in the office of the First Presidency on the infamous fax she sent to FARMS, which they have used ever since as evidence to support their theories.

This book is cited all the time, and that's as far as any of these Mesoamerican proponents have discussed Letter VII until this year (2016).

And it has worked quite well. The "thinking past the sale" technique usually works, as my three examples show.

The question is, does it work when someone points out that the sale hasn't been made?

Are you going to buy that car because your mind was lured into thinking about the options, or are you going to step back and say, "Wait a minute. I never agreed to buy this car in the first place?"

Thousands of Church members have read Letter VII during 2016. Probably the most who have read it since it was published in the Improvement Era in 1889.

But it's not enough.

I think every member of the Church needs to read Letter VII, and next year is the ideal time because we're going to be studying Church history. I'll have an announcement about that soon.

If you haven't read it, do it now. If you have, share it with someone else. You can start at this link:


If you're at the car dealer and you stop the discussion of the options and say, "I haven't decided to buy this car in the first place," what does he/she do?

First, you'll hear about how amazing the options are. Everyone's getting them. The new air bags are safer. You get better mileage. The hands-free driving is required by law, etc. You'll hear about how easy it is to buy, how low the payments are, how great a deal you're getting on the trade-in. Everyone is buying this car because it's so popular.

Maybe you'll hear about how bad the car you have now is.

But you can still walk away.

And that's what I encourage you to do whenever these Mesoamerican scholars and educators try to get you to join them in repudiating Joseph and Oliver.


Lately BMAF and Book of Mormon Central are trying to get people to look past the sale by claiming Joseph and Oliver never claimed revelation, so they were only ignorantly deceiving their readers. Maybe that's supposed to be easier for us to accept; i.e., they were just young lads, naive, innocently doing the best they could, well-meaning, etc. But it still boils down to deception on the part of Joseph and Oliver, because they said it was a fact that the final battles took place at that hill in New York.

So maybe this latest argument means we're supposed to repudiate Joseph and Oliver because, unlike the Mesoamerican scholars, the first two apostles of this dispensation just lacked a formal education.

I leave it to you to reflect on the implications of that.