ESPN had a fun show called Numbers Never Lie. Here is my version.

0= The number of archaeological digs that have corroborated the Book of Mormon.

0= The number of children Joseph Smith was sealed to before his death.

0= The number of times Joseph Smith quoted the Book of Mormon.

1= The number of newspapers Joseph Smith was responsible for destroying. The Nauvoo Expositor printed one issue on June 7,1844 and did the one thing the Mormon Church hates above all else-to be criticized. The paper’s criticism of Smith was focused on three main things: (1) the opinion that Smith had once been a true prophet, but had become a fallen prophet because of his introduction of plural marriage and other controversial doctrines; (2) the opinion that as church president and Nauvoo mayor, Smith held too much power and was creating a theocracy; and (3) that Joseph Smith was practicing polygamy. Joe and the  city council voted on June 10, 1844 to declare the paper a public nuisance, and ordered the paper’s printing press destroyed. The town marshal carried out the order that evening. Even though Joe and the boys had been denying polygamy, the newspaper was correct in the assertion.

1=The number of Gods that Joseph Smith claimed  appeared to him in the first vision in his 1832 account.

2= Six years later in 1838, Joseph had recovered memories about the first vision and now said it was two Gods who appeared to him and added all sorts of astonishing details that he could not remember 6 years earlier.

2= The number of apostles who used the word “nigger” in General Conference. I am sure the argument is that Heber J. Grant and Reed Smoot were just men of their time.

3= This was the volume of Times and Seasons that named the angel who appeared to Joseph Smith at his bedside as Nephi, not Moroni. “He called me by name and said…that his name was Nephi” (Times and Seasons, vol. 3, p. 753).  Joseph lived for two years after the publication and never said it was a mistake. The book Falsification of Joseph Smith’s History, page 13, authors showed  this change was made after Joseph Smith’s death. An examination of the duplicate copy of the handwritten manuscript, Book A-2, provides additional evidence that the change was not made during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. This manuscript was not begun until about a year after Smith’s death. Like the other manuscript (Book A-1), it has the name “Nephi” with the name “Moroni” interpolated above the line.

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi and Moroni are distinct people who lived a thousand years apart. The confusion over the name may seem trivial to an outsider, but to members this angel is a real historical person of great importance, there should be no confusion as to which one appeared to Joseph Smith.

Side note to this is the angel was not given a name until 1835.

6= The September Six were six members of The Church  who were excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the church in September 1993, for  publishing scholarly work against Mormon doctrine and/or correlated history and speaking with clear voices in a call for more open and honest discussion on current topics. The action showed a top down approach to censorship.

8= Proposition 8, known informally as Prop 8, was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections. The proposition was created by opponents of same-sex marriage in advance of the California Supreme Court’s May 2008 appeal ruling. Prop 8 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court  in 2010, although the court decision did not go into effect until June 26, 2013, following the conclusion of proponents’ appeals.

Despite a lot of doublespeak by Church spokespeople, church members were encouraged to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time”. The church produced and broadcast to its members a program describing the support of the Proposition. Local church leaders set organizational and monetary goals for their membership—sometimes quite specific—to fulfill this call. The response of church members to their leadership’s appeals to donate money and volunteer time was very supportive, such that Mormons provided a significant source for financial donations in support of the proposition, both inside and outside the State of California.

10= The number of different versions of the first vision. My question-why couldn’t Joseph keep his story straight?

11= The number of women who were currently married to other men when Joseph took them as a plural wives.

11= The eleventh Prophet Harold B. Lee had this to say, “The privilege of obtaining a mortal body on this earth is seemingly so priceless that those in the spirit world, even though unfaithful or not valiant, [some] were undoubtedly permitted to take mortal bodies although under penalty of racial or physical or nationalistic limitations.”

(Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, 1973, Chapter 19)

12= The number of years between when the first vision was supposed to have taken place and Joseph wrote a record of it. How long would it have taken you, if you saw the heavens opened and had God and Jesus visit you?

12= The age at which boys receive the priesthood and hold more authority than grown women.

14= The age of Joseph Smith’s youngest plural wife.

16= The age of Sara Minnie Ephramina when she married Lorenzo Snow. as one of his polygamous wives. He was 57 at the time.

17= The price in thousands the Church spends on rugs for temples. What happened to “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon..?”

24= The number of women Joseph Smith was sealed to before Emma.

26= The U.S. Census reported in 1850 there were 26 black slaves in Utah Territory. Here is what Brigham Young had to say,”You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind . . . Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).
“In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the “servant of servants,” and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

40=  Forty percent of the current group of apostles did not serve a full time mission.

50=Like many in the mid-19th century,  Mormons believed that the second coming of Jesus was imminent, and would be attended by great destruction. After this destruction occurred, some structure would be necessary to politically organize the survivors. Joseph Smith said he received a revelation on April 7, 1842 calling for the establishment of an organization called the Living Constitution, or later the Council of Fifty. This would serve as the foundation for the establishment of Christ’s Millennial government.

This group engaged in some interesting activities. They declared Joseph to be a “King,” and when he died Brigham became the new King, followed by John Taylor after Brigham died. They were involved in the excommunication of several members and even thought they had power  to deliver  William and Wilson Law, R.D. Foster and others  up to the buffetings of Satan.

They even engaged in trying to deceive the United States Government to get statehood by retroactively making up official meetings. This practice also took place with many scriptures.

100= 100 years after Joseph Smith started his own Church, the United States was a few months into a devastating depression that lasted a good 10 years. Utah was a state that was impacted worse than many. Neither the current prophet at the time or any that preceded him knew it was coming and took steps to prepare the people for this event. Where are the tangible fruits of following the prophet?

1894– Jane Manning  was one of the first recorded African-American women to enter Utah. She  asked Church leaders that she and her family be given the ordinance of adoption so that they could be sealed together forever. Her justification for asking to be the exception to the church’s rule of no Black members entering the Temple was Emma Smith’s offer in 1844 to have her sealed to the Smith family as a child. James was now reconsidering her decision, and asked to be sealed to the Smiths. Her requests were refused until 1894. The stipulation was that she was allowed in the temple to be sealed to Joseph Smith as a servant in his household throughout all eternity.

1937= On July 8, 1937, the Mormon Prophet, Heber J. Grant stood in front of a large Nazi Swastika in Germany and and encouraged the members of that country to obey the law and stay in their homeland to build up the Kingdom of God. What does this say about the value of prophetic insight?

The Mormon periodical, Der Stern ran an article written by current Apostle and former U.S. Senator, Reed Smoot. It included this anti-semetic quote from him, “Unremitting and energetic{work} for the freeing of Germany from the unjust demands of the Versailles Treaty..France was acting like the Jew, shylock, in demanding the last pound of flesh..of Germany.”  The article was written after Hitler made an order barring Jewish people from civil service jobs. Did no one ever inform this man that Christ was Jewish?

In the years preceding WW2, Germany was allowing Jewish people to leave the Country. The leadership of the Church could have stepped in with prophetic insight and compassion to assist in this matter. J.Reuben Clark was an accomplished attorney with contacts in Germany. Most pleas for help to Mormon leadership involved no money or special intervention. The only thing required was a legal document attesting to the moral character and financial wherewithal of the person wanting to leave. “Leaders approached this challenge, neither with the wisdom of Solomon nor the charity of Jesus Christ. Instead,the Mormon tactic resembled that of Pontius Pilate. When presented with this moral dilemma, the Mormon hierarchy washed its hands of the matter.”(Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany,2015)

1960= Future Prophet Spencer Kimball had this to say, “The day of the Lamanites in nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome… The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation…There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. ” The Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, p. 923). So much for the Book of Mormon verses about skin color being symbolic.

1967=In the October 1967 General Conference Apostle Ezra Benson declared “There is no doubt that the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is used as a Communist program for revolution in America” and that it was led by mostly white male Communists who want to “destroy America by spilling Negro blood”. He also stated that accusing law enforcement of “police brutality” against black people should be recognized as attempts to discredit and discourage law enforcement. His talk was re-published the next year by the church’s Deseret Book as a pamphlet titled “Civil Rights: Tool of Communist Deception”.

1969= The Mormon Church’s attitude toward Blacks affected Brigham Young University and its mission. Because of the limited number of Blacks attending BYU in the 1960s, the school was perceived as perpetuating segregation. Blacks around the WAC began to examine BYU and Mormon Church policies. Because of the emphasis that BYU placed on its intercollegiate athletic programs, Black student groups and athletes strategically targeted intercollegiate athletic contests with BYU.

In April, 1969, Black track team members from the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) planned a boycott.The Black track team members refused to participate in a meet at Provo. The UTEP protest resulted in the dismissal of eight Black athletes, and put the Church’s policies of racial discrimination on the national stage.

Later that same year,the University of Wyoming entered the picture.Wyoming also had a  sizable Mormon population of its own.

On October 15, 1969, the newly-formed Black Student Alliance of the University of Wyoming, led by Willie Black, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics, delivered a letter to university officials. The letter referred to the racial policies of the Mormon Church and BYU. Included was a suggestion that players and students protest against BYU during the game scheduled in Wyoming on October 18, 1969.

On the eve of the game, Fourteen Wyoming football players, all African-Americans, were kicked off the team by the coach  for threatening to wear black armbands to draw attention to the fact that the Mormon Church did not allow black males to hold its priesthood.

The list could continue.

What do you think? Is it more likely this is an organization started by God and run by direct revelation to a prophet or a man made organization?

 

 

 

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