Episode 24 – Joe's New Sidekick
On this episode, we cover a lot of ground. We start out in late October 1830, and follow the missionary force from Fayette, New York, to Jackson County, Missouri. They make one meaningful stop along the way, and set in motion the mechanism to keep the church alive. Of course, Joe stayed plenty busy on his own in New York. He even makes a new friend, or connects with an old one, and everything gets thrown into high gear. The episode ends with trying to figure out some Mormon doctrine from the Pearl of Great Price. TLDR: God is a stupid dick, and Enoch was the best magician in the world.
Outro music used with permission
Painsville Telegraph article:
Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses chapter 7
Amateur Skeptics Episode 136
Welcome to Episode 24 of the Naked Mormonism Podcast, my name is Bryce Blankenagel, and thank you for joining me.
Last episode was a little bit of a treat. I interviewed Kaitlyn McKenna who was recently kicked out of her house for various reason, the primary of which seemed to be disbelief in the Church. Her gofundme page is doing fantastic in comparison to her initial goal, and I have a feeling that she is going to do just fine with the safety net that the secular community has woven for her to fall into. On behalf of myself, and a few people that have emailed me concerning the interview, we all wish you the best of luck with constructing your new life, and repairing the relationship between you and your parents. Thank you again for coming on the show to share your story.
As for the last historical episode, we advanced the storyline a fair amount. We went from mid September 1830, all the way to the beginning of 1831 with our focus on the first westbound missionary force of the church. Before getting to this missionary force, and talking about P-cubed Parley Parker Pratt, Orson Brain-Power Pratt, and Dick Zyban Peterson, we started off the episode with a revelation that Joe gave, effectively excusing the church from a huge recurring expense. It was the revelation that you can use anything liquid to symbolize the blood of Jesus during the sacrament ritual, it doesn't have to be wine. If this revelation didn't exist, the church would necessarily have to buy barrels of wine to give to the congregants for every sacrament ceremony. Now, they just use tap water, and wonder bread, no wine and wafers like the great abominable church.
After we talked about this revelation, we talked about Joe being persecuted in Harmony, persecution that was probably at the behest of the same methodist minister that would have counselled Joe and Emma, once their first child died a few days after birth. This minister didn't like Joe, nor did he like Joe coming out with these new claims about Jesus and another new testament of Jesus in America. So, the minister turned everybody in town, including Isaac Hale, Joe's father in law, against Joe and the whole Mormon company that was running with him. Joe and co. Were effectively kicked out of Harmony, and Joe had to go to Colesville to petition the help of an old friend, Joseph Knight Sr.
After this brief visit, Joe Knight came to Harmony with his wagon, and moved Joe and friends from Harmony, PA to Fayette, N.Y. When Joe arrived, the Fayette congregation was in complete disarray, with Ollie Cowdung Allover Cowdery running the shitshow, Hiram Page giving inferior revelations about the location of Zion with an inferior stone and hat, and the entire Whitmer family, once again, turned against Joe, calling him a false profit. Shit was officially pear shaped, and Joe had to act fast, to put out these fires, or be consumed by them.
The way He put out these fires, was to quell each fire individually, using Joe's all powerful, fire-quenching revelation. The second piece of the solution was removing the fire starter, Ollie. Fayette was the new official home base of the church until they would move out to Kirland, OH., in early 1831, so Joe was pretty intent on getting it back under his control. I posited the hypothetical that maybe Joe and Ollie were in on the con together the whole time, and this was Joe's way of changing things from a partnership, to sole proprietorship. He effectively cut Ollie out of leadership, and sent him over a thousand miles away on a mission, so Joe could wrangle the church back into his control, without Ollie there, trying to constantly undermine the empire Joe was constructing. In this hypothetical, Ollie would feel squashed, and back-stabbed, and pushed around like just another one of Joe's bitches, and Joe probably would have felt like he couldn't trust Ollie to do his bidding anymore. Joe was the worst business partner of all time, while Ollie was a scheming snake in the grass that was trying to fuck Joe right out of the church, before Joe could fuck him. Well, we know how that played out, and the aftereffect of this powerstruggle leaves us calling Joseph Smith the prophet of the church, as opposed to Oliver Cowdery, which isn't so much the case for the RLDS church.
Alright, that's enough roundup for today, let's get into the topic of this episode. We're going to spend most of this episode focusing on the difference in character between Hingepin Sidney Rigdon, and Joseph Smith. We've properly introduced Hingepin Rigdon in Episode 14, and discussed the Solomon Spalding "Manuscript Found" authorship theory, so if you want a refresher that will help with the content in this episode, I would recommend going back and listening to those episodes 14&15, before diving into this episode. That being said, let's talk about these two charisma seeping fine young men.
We're slowly coming to know the personality behind Joe. This portrait we're painting of him sets him up as an energetic, polarizing, outgoing, artistic dreamer type, with a tendency to lie pathologically, and deceive people out of their hard earned money, for his own living wage. Joe could tell a story, and if he caught you alone, he would be able to make you believe everything he said, or make you dislike his very nature as a habitual liar. This personality type has it's place in building a cult, but it doesn't have all the necessary pieces.
I've previously made the argument that, in order to start up a cult or religious following, you need an idea man, that was Joe, and you need a business man to help build the structure to perpetuate the idea that the dreamer had. Well, that role fell on Brigham Young, but he hasn't come up in our timeline yet, so we can ignore that for now.
The third piece that Joe was in need of, in order to construct the Church of Christ, was a get-shit-done-r. I flip flop on the idea of whether this person was Ollie Cowdung, or Hingepin Rigdon, but seeing all the underhanded shit that Ollie was trying to pull on Joe, I'm beginning to lean more toward Rigdon being this magic third piece to the puzzle.
Sidney Rigdon was a bit of a straight-laced, good-guy preacher, that had a tendency to fall in and out of revelatory trances, possibly a product of a head injury as a young boy. Rigdon was one of the most vicious opposers to polygamy in the church when it was running rampant, and he would eventually struggle with this ethical conviction most, when Joe tried to seduce his 19 year old daughter, Nancy Rigdon. Hingepin Rigdon was different than Joe in a couple of striking ways. For one, Joe liked to party, while Rigdon was a bit more reserved. Joe had the ability to engage people one-on-one, and was very persuasive in doing so, whereas Rigdon was a fantastic public speaker, and the masses unequivically loved him. Joe didn't mind speaking for god as his mouthpiece, and really, neither did Rigdon. But, Rigdon did seem to have his eye on the long term goal, while Joe was more of an eat, drink, and be merry type of guy.
These differences were oddly complimentary, especially in early 1831, which is where we're slowly moving. Like I said earlier, Joe needed a get-shit-done-r, and Rigdon had done a lot of work before reportedly meeting Joe, that would set himself up to fill this role very well.
What's more than the role Rigdon filled, was the massive second wind he gave the burgeoning church. Let's face it, the church, for the six months leading up to late 1830, had been an out-of-control fucking trainwreck. Joe was barely able to plug all the holes in the damn, and put out all the fires that kept spawning each other. Joe was trying to run 3 different congregations, spread out over a 200 mile radius, with nothing but trouble from his second in command. Joe didn't have the infrastructure, or the membership to continue doing this for much longer, which was one of the primary reasons he commissioned Zyban, P-Cubed, Ollie, and Peter Whitmer Jr., to spread the word, and bring in new converts, and consequently, more tithing to build the empire with. The church would either spread out, and consume more area and resources, or be completely snuffed out by this feudal attempt to invade new territory.
Well, the gamble worked, and this is where we start to run into a bit of conjecture and speculation. We have two competing theories to discuss here, and the problem is that both are completely plausible to explain the evidence. The first theory is that of complete ignorance of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, from Hingepin Sidney Rigdon's perspective, until the missionary force made it to his house in late 1830.
The opposing theory posits that Joe and Rigdon had been in contact long before this, and that Rigdon had some hand in authoring the Book of Mormon, using a manuscript that he found in his local printing press, that was written by a man who had died nearly a decade before Rigdon found it. If you follow along with this show, and the evidence that's been presented thus far, it's not hard to buy the latter theory, even though most scholars, believers, and non-believers alike, tend to dismiss it for lack of evidence.
Putting these theories aside, it doesn't really have a lot of bearing on the history itself. If Joe and Rigdon did know each other before, then the only detail that is added was the possibility that the church moving out to Ohio in 1831 was planned a long time before the missionary team got there, and Rigdon was in on the con from the beginning.
The reported history states that Rigdon was completely ignorant of Joe and the Mormons until the missionary force got to him. This has absolutely zero bearing on whether or not the Book of Mormon is legitimate, or if Joe was scamming people to believe in his book or not. We don't need the manuscript that Rigdon allegedly stole, in order to posit a possible source text for the Book of Mormon, plenty of those exist outside of Solomon Spaulding. So it's completely possible that Joseph Smith, and Sindey Rigdon, did not know each other until late 1830, after the book was written. We don't need Rigdon to have colluded with Joe to get the church started, because Rigdon merely replaced Ollie as the get-shit-done-r when Ollie became too cancerous to keep around.
Simply put, the church could have easily been started, and the Book of Mormon could have easily been written, without the help of Hingepin Rigdon, so I think the detail of them knowing each other before 1830, doesn't too much matter. I'm not just saying that to alleviate any scholarly responsibility, I'm merely pointing out that it doesn't tend to have much of an effect on how true Mormonism is. It doesn't really matter if the Spalding manuscript was used to author the Book of Mormon, the book is still false without being plagerized. And of course, the book and religion have perpetuated, because bad ideas tend to spread better than good ideas, and lies are sometimes more convenient than truth.
So, let's just talk about what happened next. We need to keep the competing theories in mind when discussing how it all went down, but we're going to read an excerpt from History of the Church, vol 1., starting on page 120. I'm going to read a fairly large portion and give my commentary on it all along the way, so strap in for a long haul.
"Immediately on receiving this revelation, preparations were made for the journey of the brethren therein designated, to the borders of the Lamanites and a copy of the revelation was given them. They bade adieu to their brethren and friends, and commenced their journey, preaching by the way, and leaving a sealing testimony behind them, lifting up their voice like a trump in the different villages through which they passed. They continued their journey until they came to Kirtland, Ohio, where they tarried some time, there being quite a number in that place and vicinity who believed their testimony, and came forward and obeyed the Gospel. Among the number was Mr. Sidney Rigdon, and a large portion of the church over which he presided."
Alrighty. So, the troop of mishies basically made a beeline from Fayette N.Y., to Kirtland, OH., where Hingepin Sidney Rigdon lived and preached Campbellite Christianity. According to the footnotes in the version of the history I'm reading, He had a few other congregations aside from the Kirtland gathering. One of these congregations was in Mentor, OH. When we did our Rigourous Rigdon examination, we found out that he was running the preaching circuit through Ohio, N.Y., PA, and anywhere else that would take him, and this tends to show a bit of a dichotomy between Rigdon's, and Joe's personalities. Reportedly, the people that followed Rigdon, absolutely loved him. He had the charisma and extroversion that drew people in to be mezmerized by his preaching antics. He was energetic, and probably quite loud, and could easily rile up a crowd much like some preachers today that we might consider completely batshit by skeptical standards. So, he was the perfect person to randomly join the fold of Mormonism. Or, by the competing theory, this was the perfect time for Joe and Rigdon to implement their plan that they'd been hatching for quite some time. Let's continue on in the history of the church for a minute here.
"Previous to this, Elder Parley P. Pratt had been a preacher in the same church with Mr. Rigdon, and resided in the town of Amherst, Loraine county, in Ohio, and had been sent into the state of New York on a mission, where he became acquainted with the circumstances of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and was introduced to Joseph Smith, Jun., and other members of the Church. The belief that there were many in the church with which he had formerly been united, who were honest seekers after truth, induced Elder Pratt, while on his journey to the west, to call upon his friends, and make known the great things which the Lord had brought to pass."
So P-cubed was actually a member of Rigdon's Campbellite congregation in Mentor, or he might have even been in the leadership there, and Rigdon sent him on a mission to New York. During this mission, we found out, from the autobiography of P-cubed, that Pratt magically felt inclined to disembark in Rochester, and head down to Palmyra where he met up with Hyrum Smith, Joe's older brother. According to the aforementioned autobiography, nothing but the spirit inclined P-cubed to do this. In fact, according to his own account, he wasn't even on a mission from Rigdon, he was merely on his way through New York to go visit some family. But, the history of the church said in the last paragraph that Rigdon had sent P-cubed on a mission, and he happened to run into the Book of Mormon by happen chance. What an odd coincidence....
OOOOoooorrr... We could consider the claims of the opposing theory. If Rigdon and Joe had been planning something all along, P-cubed could have been working as a messenger in this capacity. Rigdon could have sent him to meet up with Joe by any means necessary, to find out what the BoM was all about, knowing that P-cubed would bring back a copy and try to convert Rigdon. Then Rigdon would appear to sincerely convert, and would convert his entire congregation to Mormonism, and therefore establish the groundwork that the church desperately needed to flourish. If Rigdon and Joe were planning this the whole time, P-cubed could have just been a tool in the situation, or he could have been on the inside, relaying messages between Rigdon and Joe, under the guise of missionary work. We'll dive deeper into the details of that once we finish the reading from History of the Church.
"The first house at which they called in the vicinity of Kirtland, was Mr. Rigdon's, and after the usual salutations, they presented him with the Book of Mormon, stating that it was a revelation from God. This being the first time he had ever heard of, or seen, the Book of Mormon, he felt very much surprised at the assertion, and replied that he had the Bible which he believed was a revelation from God, and with which he pretended to have some acquaintance; but with respect of the book they had presented him, he must say that he had considerable doubt. Upon this, they expressed a desire to investigate the subject, and argue the matter. But he replied, "No, young gentleman, you must not argue with me on the subject; but I will read your book, and see what claims it has upon my faith, and will endeavor to ascertain whether it be a revelation from God or not."
After some further conversation they expressed a desire to lay the subject before the people, and requested the privilege of preaching in Mr. Rigdon's chapel, to which he readily consented. The appointment was accordingly published, and a large and respectable congregation assembled. Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt severally addressed the meeting. At the conclusion, Mr. Rigdon arose, and stated to the congregation that the information they had that evening received was of an extraordinary character, and certainly demanded their most serious consideration; and as the Apostle advised his brethren to "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good," so he would exhort his brethren to do likewise, and give the matter a careful investigation, and not turn against it without being fully convinced of its being an imposition, lest they should, possibly, resist the truth."
If we place the theories of how the missionaries met Rigdon momentarily aside, this was extremely convenient for the missionaries. They went to Rigdon's house, gave him a Book of Mormon, asked if they could preach in his congregation, and then did so successfully under Rigdon's consent. You may wonder why Rigdon would allow such a stunt, well, I don't know, but it's worth examining. Let's finish up this passage from History of the church and we'll try to tackle everything.
"A few miles from Mr. Rigdon's home in Mentor, at the town of Kirtland, lived a number of the members of his church. They lived together and had all things common— from which circumstance has risen the idea that this was the case with the Church of Jesus Christ. To that place the Elders immediately repaired, and proclaimed the Gospel unto them, with considerable success; for their testimony was received by many of the people, and seventeen came forward in obedience to the Gospel. While thus engaged, they visited Mr. Rigdon occasionally, and found him very earnestly reading the Book of Mormon,— praying to the Lord for direction, and meditating on the things he heard and read; and after a fortnight from the time the book was put into his hands, he was fully convinced of the truth of the work, by a revelation from Jesus Christ, which was made known to him in a remarkable manner, so that he could exclaim "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto me, but my father which is in heaven." Accordingly he and his wife were both baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ; and, together with those who had been previously admitted to baptism, made a little branch of the Church, in this section of Ohio, of about twenty members. This much accomplished, the brethren bound for the borders of the Lamanites, bade an affectionate farewell to the Saints in Kirtland and vicinity; and, after adding one of their new converts to their number— Dr. Frederick G. Williams-they went on their way rejoicing."
Alright, that's the end of this passage. The rest of the missionaries' journey isn't quite as impactful or memorable as this few week long period in Ohio and New York with Joe and Rigdon, so let's focus on the more interesting stuff.
Let's address the competing theories here. Like I said before reading this passage, it doesn't really have any sort of impact on the truthfulness of the Mormon religion whether or not Rigdon and Joe were in cahoots before the Book of Mormon was published. But, it might be worth the thought experiment, to see which of the competing theories explains the evidence best.
First off, we have the theory posited historically from the Mormon side, which is pretty open and shut. From this theory's perspective, Joe and Rigdon didn't know each other until late 1830, and Rigdon was completely oblivious about the burgeoning religion, and the Book of Mormon, until October of 1830. His friend, Parley P. Pratt, brought the book, and a missionary force to Kirtland Ohio to proselyte to Rigdon, and Rigdon, along with his entire congregation of followers were converted to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and the reality that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Like I said, pretty open and shut from that perspective, and it does serve to explain the present evidence, and it's the official story represented in the History of the Church, and it's what the church teaches today.
Now that that theory is out of the way, let's examine the competing theory, and see how it stacks up against the claimed Mormon theory, in respect to explaining the available evidence. Keep in mind for this examination, this theory proposal has absolutely nothing to do with how accurate the church or the Book of Mormon is. It is merely an argument positing that Joe and Rigdon knew each other long before the Book of Mormon was published.
Let's take a dive into hypothetical land for a minute. Put yourself there, and consider the human element. Follow me through this thought process, and judge for yourself if it explains the available evidence.
Sometime around 1818 Rigdon steals "Manuscript Found" from the Patterson and Lambdin printing press in Conneaut, Ohio. He works on the manuscript with various tweaks and things to make in unique, but most importantly he keeps it concealed until 1823. In fall of 1823 Rigdon is working the preaching circuit, going to any church that will have him in the Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania area, and attending, or preaching at, many religious revivals in those states during that 5 year period. Joe and Rigdon meet sometime in 1823 when Rigdon is preaching at a revival in Rochester New York, a mere 33 miles, or one and a half day's journey from Joe's hometown, Palmyra. They instantly click with each other and become friends. Joe may or may not have heard about Rigdon and his Campbellite preaching before this, so he might revere him as a holy man preacher, or they might be total strangers upon meeting, it doesn't really matter. They get to know each other through various correspondence, and devise a plan to start a new zionist religion. Both of them are quite familiar with the various versions of Christianity that are being preached around the burned over district during this time. One of these versions is a restorationist, or zionist sect, which both of them tend to latch on to the tenants of. Rigdon begins to trust Joe enough to share the only copy of Manuscript Found that exists, and it's in Rigdon's possession. Joe borrows the manuscript that Rigdon has been working on for 5 years, and gets ahold of a copy of the Late War Between the United States and Britain thanks to his buddy, and 3rd cousin Ollie Cowdung, and proceeds to smash the manuscripts together, adding his own theological convictions and ideals in the mix.
Meanwhile, the whole time Joe is in Palmyra, Harmony, or Fayette working on the transcript for the Book of Mormon, Rigdon is tasked with setting up a congregation that would be primed to accepting the Book of Mormon, and Mormonism as a whole. Joe holds up his end of the bargain by swindling Not-So-Smarty-Marty Harris to fund his little project, and gets the Book of Mormon published, and Rigdon holds up his end of the bargain, and creates a huge foundation of followers that would agree with anything he said, in multiple cities in Ohio. Once 1831 comes along, it's time to implement the plan they've been working on this whole time. Rigdon and Joe connect by way of sending P-cubed Parley P. Pratt on missions, and then they record their own histories, as if they've never met before 1830.
For this hypothetical, P-cubed could know about the plan behind the scene, or not, it doesn't too much matter, regardless, he was a fuckin tool of Joe and Hingepin Rigdon. Anyway, Joe and Rigdon connect through P-cubed, Ollie, Dick Zyban, and Peter Whitmer, and put their plan into action. Rigdon allows the missionary force to preach a sermon or two during one of his many Ohio congregation gatherings, and everybody in the congregation converts, because their leader, Hingepin Sidney Rigdon, converted to this new theology. Overnight, the membership numbers, of the Church of Christ, more than double. The plan came to frution, and everything worked as planned.
Think about it, excusing some very minor details, which of these two theories tends to explain the evidence best? Do you think that Sidney Rigdon really had never heard of Joseph Smith before he was confronted with the Book of Mormon in 1830? Or, do you think that Joe, and Hingepin Rigdon had planned it all along, and it was finally time to put the plan into action? What explains the evidence best?
I understand that I didn't allow an equal amount of time to each of the theories, but that's because the church reported theory is so simple, and doesn't require much time to explain. If you use Occams razor, the church reported version is simpler and substantially explains the evidence. But, much like the genesis of planet earth, the claim that "god did it" may be simpler than the scientific explanation, and therefore would be selected by Occams razor, but it's still incorrect. The actual scientific explanation is still inconclusive as a definite explanation for the creation of the Earth, or should I say accretion, but it's the best we have, and it's exponentially more complicated than just saying God spoke it into existence. This shows that Occams razor is not always the best way to attain the truth.
Well, I think the same goes for the competing theories of the early Mormon church that we're discussing. Positing a conspiracy theory does usually require much more evidence to gain traction, and the relationship that Joe and Rigdon shared is no different. But, when we posit the theory that they conspired together to create a megachurch, it seems to explain the evidence way better than just saying "god did it", or the missionaries did it with persuasive arguments, even though this directly violates Occams razor.
All I ask is that you evaluate the evidence and consider both sides. Try to judge which theory explains all of the evidence. Did Sidney Rigdon become convinced of the truth of the Book of Mormon after a couple weeks of studying, while previously being completely ignorant of it, and it's author Joseph Smith? Or, conversely, do you think Hingepin Rigdon, and Joe had been planning to create a megachurch all along, and this was merely the point in time where they chose to put this phase of their plan into action? You be the judge.
Let's move on. The last line that we read out of the History of the Church told us about a man named Dr. Frederick G. Williams. For obvious, and simple reasons, we'll come to know him as Freddy G. Willey! This guy had a bit of a turbulent membership in the church. Freddy G. Willey was born in Suffield, Connecticut on October 28, 1787, and was therefore 43 years old when he joined up with the missionary troop on their way out to Missouri. Before he joined up with them, he was practicing medicine, but that didn't have as much prestige back then, as it tends to now. Basically, if somebody wanted to be a doctor, or practice medicine back then, they just shadowed somebody else that was practicing medicine for a year or two, and then they became a doctor as well. Medicine back then was just fucked up beyond all understanding of what we call medicine now. Freddy Willey was 12 years old when Dr.s Craik, Rawlins, and Brown basically killed off George Washington. Washington got a little cold, and then these three Dr.s were called to his home. All three of them collectively bloodlet 80 ounces, which made up 40 percent of Washington's total blood volume, over a single 12 hour period. One of the doctors even used a venemous insect known as the Spanish Fly to blister Washington's neck to try and draw out the obstruction in his windpipe. Modern day physicians have retroactively diagnosed him with Strep throat, or acute pneumonia, or a myraid other illnesses that weren't really helped by removing almost half of the blood in his body. That's the state medicine was in at the time Freddy Willey would have been learning about it. Maybe it was better that he abandoned the profession of medical doctor, for a life of following Joe and the Mormon church.
First president of our nation aside, let's talk about the missionaries, and their mission specificially for a minute. If we recall the point of the mission, as stated in the various revelations that Joe gave to the missionaries, it was to proselyte to the Lamanites (Native Americans), and bring them to the word of God, or get them to join the fold. Well, the missionaries basically had one successful stop during the entire trip, and that was in the Kirtland/Mentor Ohio area. The rest of the mission was a trainwreck. Let's review some of their stops and mishaps. Before getting to Kirtland, they stopped near Buffalo N.Y., to tarry a few hours with a Native American tribe that P-Cubed called the Cattaraugus Indians. They apparently left two copies of the Book of Mormon, but weren't welcomed to stay long, and continued their journey after a few hours rest. After that, they headed directly to Mentor, where they stayed for a couple weeks and converted a bunch of people, including Hingepin Sidney Rigdon.
After they had concluded their business there, and Freddy G. Willey hitched his wagon to their missionary train, they headed out, aiming themselves toward Jackson County Missouri.
We have a newspaper article from the Painsville Telegraph that was published November 16, 1830, and it seems to incapsulate the attitude of the mission, and how it was percieved by the locals while it was happening. I'll just read it in it's entirety, as it has a few buzz words that I want to discuss, without taking anything out of context.
"The Golden Bible" Painesville Telegraph (Ohio) (16 November 1830) and I pulled it from the online byu library which has a photocopy, and a transcript of the article. There will be a link to the article in the show notes.
"Some two or three years since, an account was given in the papers, of a book purporting to contain new revelations from Heaven, having been dug out of the ground, in Manchester in Ontario Co. N.Y. The book, it seems, has made its appearance in this vicinity.–It contains about 600 octavo pages, which is said to be translated from Egyptian Hieroglyphics, on metal plates, by one Smith, who was enabled to read the characters by instruction from Angels. About two weeks since some persons came along here with the book, one of whom pretends to have seen Angels, and assisted in translating the plates. He proclaims destruction upon the world within a few years,–holds forth that the ordinances of the gospel, have not been regularly administered since the days of the Apostles, till the said Smith and himself commenced the work–and many other marvellous things too numerous to mention. In the neighboring township of Kirtland, we understand that twenty or thirty have been immersed into the new order of things; many of whom had been previously baptised.–The name of the person here, who pretends to have a divine mission, and to have seen and conversed with Angels, is Cowdray. We understand that he is bound for the regions beyond the Mississippi, where he contemplates founding a “City of Refuge” for his followers, and converting the Indians, under his prophetic authority."
Alright, so what were these buzz words that I mentioned earlier? Well, keep in mind the idea that I've proposed that Joe and Ollie were working on creating this church as a 50-50 split partnership while reviewing these buzz words. First off, consider the wording in the phrase " He proclaims destruction upon the world within a few years,–holds forth that the ordinances of the gospel, have not been regularly administered since the days of the Apostles, till the said Smith and himself commenced the work". Think about this for a minute. If Joe were really the one true prophet, and Ollie was indeed following his words like they were scripture, do you think that Ollie would have included himself in the work. If he is preaching the words of a prophet, he would probably say something along the lines of "Our holy latter day prophet, Joseph Smith, proclaims that the end is near. He translated an ancient account of Jesus in the Americas, written in Egyptian Hieroglyphics, into a book that restores the ordinances of the one true gospel, which haven't been practiced since the days of the Apostles." The article simply doesn't read that way. The way that it talks about Ollie seeing angels, and commencing the work alongside Joe, seems to imply the perspective of an even partnership between them, which is possibly the perspective that Ollie was preaching and working from. Keeping that phrasing in mind, let's talk about the next phrase with a similar catch word in it.
"The name of the person here, who pretends to have a divine mission, and to have seen and conversed with Angels, is Cowdray."
(blues brothers "We're on a mission from god")
So the article tells us all about Ollie pretending to have a divine mission, and to have personally conversed with angels. It doesn't say one word about Joseph Smith being the prophet, or about him being the one that converses with angels, the focus is on Cowdery, and Cowdery alone. That seems odd if Joe really was the one that the whole church was focused on, and centered around. But that isn't even the most telling of all the phrases in this article.
Consider this sentence. "We understand that he is bound for the regions beyond the Mississippi, where he contemplates founding a “City of Refuge” for his followers, and converting the Indians, under his prophetic authority." A city of Refuge? Like a Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Marshall Applewhite city of refuge? I'll come back to that fucked up clue in a minute, but for now look at that phrasing "under his prophetic authority". The article didn't change the person it was talking about from Ollie to Joe at any point. The article is implying that the city of refuge would be led by Ollie's prophetic authority, with no mention of Joseph Smith. Keep in mind, this wasn't written by Ollie or Joe themselves, but it was a local newspaper article, which tends to capture the prevailing mood around the local area it publishes to best. If a lot of people there thought that Ollie was the guy talking to the angel Moroni, and would be the leader of the city of refuge in the land beyond the Mississippi, then it would make sense that a newspaper article would read this way. If the missionaries were there talking non-stop about how awesome Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are, then the article probably would have focused on those things a bit more.
So.... let's go back and talk about this phrase "City of Refuge". A telltale sign of a cult is it's pattern of growth and development amidst persecution. A religious cult needs a certain level of persecution in order to attract followers. Mormonism had just about the perfect level to thrive given the society it flourished in. Well, one main thing that a cult needs to do during its early development, is find a place in which it can thrive. This often requires a mass exodus from one region to another. The Manson family, People's Temple, and Heaven's Gate all experienced this same phenomenon. The cult tries to grow, gains a few members, and then comes against enough persecution that it begins to lose followers. Then it has to either move to a new place to consume new resources and souls, or it will be extinguished by the persecution. If I'm not mistaken, Jonestown was moved to 2 new locations before the mass suicide in 1978, and the Manson Family had to move 3 times before they could try and instate Helter Skelter with their own version of a Beatles mix album. It's worth pointing out that Mormonism was no different than these cults. Mormonism is further removed from today, and we don't have any photographs of Joseph Smith himself, but if we follow that same pattern, the genesis of every religious cult seems to conform to it.
Well, the mission that these guys were headed out on, was to scout where Zion the new Jerusalem would be restored on the American continent. That's because the church was being snuffed out in New York by all the persecution. So, an exodus had to be performed out of desperation. So while these missionaries finished their mission out to Independence, Jackson Co., MO., Hingepin Sidney Rigdon decided to make a trip to Fayette, where Joe was residing, to meet with him, and offer a landing pad for the impending exodus. We'll talk about this meetup in a second, but let's finish talking about the missionaries, and their failed mission after visiting Kirtland Ohio.
They next went to the Wyandot Indians in Sandusky, Ohio, and from there continued on to Cincinnati. After unsuccessful proselyting there, they moved on to St. Louis, MO., and finally made it to Independence Missouri, the last American civilization before the Lamanite territory.
Given the missionaries' timeline, and everything they had, and hadn't, accomplished up to this point, they would probably just call it a day, and turn around and go back to Fayette. Well, this isn't what happened. This was written by Peter Whitmer Jr about their arrival in Jackson County MO. There is a dating error here, because we know from P-Cubed, and Ollie that they arrived in January of 1831, whereas Peter Whitmer records it as happeneing in December of 1830. I pulled this from The Rise of Mormonism by H. Michael Marquardt page 256, and he originally pulled it from the Statement of Peter Whitmer Jr., held in the LDS church archives.
"[W]e came to independance on the twelfth month on the 13 d[ay] of the month[.] On the 14 day of the month[,] I began to labour with mine own hands[.] Brother Oliver & Parl[e]y and Frederick started to see the Deleware tribe[.] In a few dayes they came to see me & Brother Ziba and they declared that the Lamanites received them with great joy[.] My brethren started againe to the deleweres- and also [to] the Shayneye [Shawnee]"
So Dick Zyban Petersen, and Peter Whitmer made camp in Independence and started working as tailors. The whole time they were working and making money, Ollie, P-Cubed, and Freddy Willey, went to the various Indian reservations, that were outside of Independence, to preach the word of Joseph. They were visiting various tribes of Shawnee, and Delaware Native Americans, but they soon were kicked off the reservations because they didn't have a permit to be on that land from the American government.
I often say that there are a few things in American history that you need to know about, in order to understand the current demographics, and general socio-economic trends. The civil war is a great place to start. Lewis and Clark's expedition to the Indian tribes is another great one. The movement of Mormonism under Brigham Young is another massive piece of the puzzle. The rapid expansion of California during the gold rush explains a lot about California's current racial, and ethnic diversity. Well, this is one point in Mormon history where those seemigly seperate topics, momentarily converge.
The American government was run by nothing but rich white guys, so when one of these rich white guys would do something that was progressive for the expansion of the country, that guy would usually be put in charge of whatever part of the government that he was responsible for, in affecting the progression. Well, in order to gain permits to enter the Native American reservations, the missionaries needed to contact the man that was in charge of Indian Affairs, residing in St. Louis. This man, was none other than General William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and who better to be head of such a government agency? P-cubed, Ollie, and the guy who threw them off the reservation, Richard Cummins, all wrote letters to general Clark to apply for permits to enter the reservations, to teach the Indians all about Joseph's Jesus coming to America.
This is an excerpt from Ollie's letter to General Clark pulled from the original William Clark Papers held by Kansas State Historical Society, in Topeka Kansas. I pulled this specifically from The Rise of Mormonism by H. Michael Marquardt page 258. Remember, it was written by Ollie Cowdung, Oliver Cowdery, himself.
"As I have been appointed by a society of Christians in the State of New York to superintend the establishing Missions among the Indians[,] I doubt not but I shall have the approbation of your honour and a permit for myself and all who may be recommended to me by that Society to have free intercourse with the several tribes in establishing schools for the instruction of their children[,] and also teaching them the Christian religion without intruding or interfering with any other Mission now established"
The guy mentioned earlier that threw them out of the Indian reservations, Richard Cummins, also wrote to General Clark, and that letter is also extant, ibidem, or in the same place, as the previous quote was taken from.
"A few days agoe[,] three men all strangers to me went among the Indians Shawanees & Delawares, they say for the purpose of preaching to and instructing them in religious matters, they say they are sent by God and must proceed, they have a new revelation with them, as there [their] guide in teaching the Indians which they say was shown to one of their sects in a miraculous way, and that an angel from heaven appeared to one of their men and two others of their sect, and shewed them that the work was from god and much more &c. I have refused to let them stay or, go among the Indians unless they first obtain permission from you or, some of the officers of the Genl. Government who I am bound to obey. I am informed that they intend to apply to you for permission to go among the Indians, if you refuse, then they will go to the Rocky Mountains."
Alright, that last line was crazy fuckin intense, and almost prophetic. This guy was writing this 16 years before Brigham Young would take the pioneers across the plains to settle near the Rocky Mountains. This constitutes the first evidence we have of the ultimate grand scheme that Joe and Ollie were working on. The Mormons didn't settle in the Utah territory because Brigham Young was leading the handcart company and just felt compelled by the spirit of God that the Northern Utah valley was "The right place". Utah was a fall back that Joe, and the leaders of the church had been talking about since as early as February 1831, which is when this letter was written to General Clark by Cummins. It's pretty easy to see that the early Mormon church, or at least it's first long distance missionary force in Independence, was experiencing what they would call more persecution.
Due to this, and possibly some other factors, General Clark never gave the missionaries the clearance to enter the Native American reservations for the purpose of proselyting, and that was the end of their mission. But, they hadn't been twiddling their thumbs while these letter exchanges were happening, in fact they had been busy with proselyting to the people of Independence, and working for a living wage, all in an effort to establish Zion on the border of the Lamanites. Well, according to their own reports, they say that many have come forward and been baptized and converted, however, we have absolutely zero evidence of anybody converting to early Mormonism in Independence, nor evidence of them getting baptized, confirmed, practicing, or even of a congregation starting there. I would assume that the missionaries were probably just saving a little bit of face when writing letters back to headquarters in Fayette, by saying they had converted a few people. All in all, the mission was a failure. The only benefit for the church that arose from this mission, was the successful contact of Sidney Rigdon, and conversion of himself, and his congregations, to Mormonism.
Like I've argued before, it can be posited that this was the plan all along in Joe and Rigdon's minds, so by that standard, this mission can be considered a complete waste of time and resources. Or was it?
Think about it this way. Last episode we talked about how many fires Ollie was setting, and how fucked up the church was in Joe's absence. Hiram page came up with his own revelation about where Zion would be, the Whitmers, and a large number of the congregation didn't believe Joe any longer, cats were eating dogs, the whole place had gone to shit, and Ollie was responsible for a lot of it. Well, Joe had just sent his anarchist little recreant , Ollie, on a mission for almost 7 months. This afforded a major opportunity for Joe to knead this Fayette congregation, into the church he had always wanted. He was capable of preaching to this captive audience, with no outside voices to call him out on his premium grade bullshit. He could feed his flock whatever he wanted to, and they would either submit and swallow it, or leave and be called dissenters and outsiders by everybody still in the church.
This little time period also gave some time for Joe and Rigdon to get to know each other better, and become pretty good friends in absentia of Ollie to be the third wheel. While everything that we've talked about concerning the Missionaries was happening, Joe and Rigdon were planning out the church's first official exodus from New York, to Kirtland, Ohio. This was a massive move, including somewhere around 70 believing members to be relocated.
Think about that for a minute.... Joe and his version of Christianity were powerful enough to convince something like 25 families to completely uproot their entire life, and move to a whole new state, all on the promise of a more fulfilling life, following the one true prophet of God, Joseph Smith. Some travelled as far as 350 miles with nothing but their family, and the clothes on their back..... You can insert any of the other cult leaders names where I said Joseph Smith, and it would invariably describe what happened with that cult at some point in its life.
So let's talk about the logistics of this exodus that the church was about to undergo. First off, according to the recorded history in the History of the Church, Hingepin Rigdon had to go up to Fayette to visit Joe, and inquire about the book and his theological convictions, before he was completely convinced of the truth of the church. Well, Joe and Rigdon clicked, and the exodus happened fast.
This is quoting from History of the Church vol. 1 page 128 written from Joseph's perspective.
"In December Sidney Rigdon came to inquire of the Lord, and with him came Edward Partridge; the latter was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord's great men. Shortly after the arrival of these two brethren, thus spake the Lord:"
Here, we have a very monumental shift in Mormon history. It was like a match made in heaven. This whole time that Joe had been trying to start up the church, and fighting Ollie, Joe didn't realize the solution to the problem until it fixed itself. From this moment on, Hingepin Sidney Rigdon would become Joe's new favorite right hand man, taking a special place in Joe's heart and showing Joe, just how hard it had really been, the whole time he was with Ollie. It took separation of more than a thousand miles to clear the fog from before Joe's eyes. He could finally see clearly. Hingepin Rigdon officially became the single point in space that the success of the entire church hinged upon, and he was just what Joe needed to keep the church alive. Once these guys hooked up, there was truly no stopping them, and the church could be taken to all new heights. The glass ceiling that was emplaced by the constant struggle for power between Joe and Ollie, had finally shattered. Things really start to happen now. The entire timeline has been in place for this monumental shift, and now that we're here, we can reap the rewards of this epic change in the power dynamic. No longer would revelations given by Joe be so mundane and utilitarian. The revelations cranked out from here on, will have a very special addition to them. The writing style changes a little bit, and things become much more intense and brimestoney. Everything will sound much more urgent with lots of "The end is near", and "I am the one true God" preaching.
This is the first few verses of the first revelation that Joe and Sidney produced together. It's in the Book of Commandments chapter 37
"Revelation to Joseph, and Sidney, given in Fayette, New - York, December, 1830.
"LISTEN to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday and forever. 2 I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one; 3 Behold, verily, -verily I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. 4 I have heard thy prayers and prepared thee for a greater work. 5 Thou art blessed for thou shalt do great things. 6 Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knew it not."
This is the caliber of revelations that we'll be getting most of the time now. Buckle the fuck in, cuz we're swinging on the Sidney Rigdon Hingepin, and it's gunna be a batshit crazy ride from now on.
"8 And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest, in the eyes of all people: 9 For I am God and mine arm is not shortened and I will show miracles, signs and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name. 10 And whoso shall ask it in my name, in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk : 11 And the time speedily cometh, that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men : 12 But without faith shall not any thing be shown forth except desolations upon Babylon, the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
Do you see it? Can't you almost taste the difference between the dreamer with delusions of grandeur, and the fire and brimstone crazy preacher guy? This was a sign of the turning point in the church. I don't think Joe knew what he was getting into when he first teamed up with Hingepin Rigdon, but he's going to find out, just like all of us will be finding out. First things very first. They needed to move the followers out to Kirtland in the church's first of several exoduses.
This is the revelation that was given to Joe and Rigdon, and it's found in the Book of Commandments Chapter 39.
"Revelation to Joseph and Sidney, given in Canandaigua, New- York, December, 1830 BEHOLD I say unto you, that it is not expedient in me that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to the Ohio; and this because of the enemy and for your sakes. 2 And again, I say unto you, that ye shall not go until ye have preached my gospel in those parts and have strengthened up the church whithersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville ; 3 For behold they pray unto me in much faith. 4 And again a commandment I give unto the church, that it is expedient in me that they should assemble together at the Ohio, against the time that my servant Oliver shall return unto them. 5 Behold here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself until I come ; even so. Amen."
That was it. That was the revelation commanding people to assemble in Ohio, and it closed with a phrase that essentially said, "This is the truth, you guys can either believe me or not, your call. You're the ones that are gunna burn when Jesus comes back, so I don't care if you follow my commandment or not". Well, quite a few families heeded the call, but judging from the phrasing of this revelation, and it's focus on Colesville, I bet that the congregation out there was a little less willing to move, so they would need extra special attention to get them totally convinced to make the move.
Let's rewind for just a second, because this was merely the final revelation that Sidney and Joe came up with until they moved out to Kirtland, where things really started to get rolling. The Book of Commandments chapter 39 started off by saying they wouldn't have any more revelations until they made the move, so this means that there were some crazy revelations happening up to this point. Let's talk about them, and remember that all of these happen in about 2 weeks worth of time during December 1830.
Well, first they came up with another chapter that would later be inserted into the Pearl of Great Price, and it was the story of Enoch. This constitutes chapter 7 of the Book of Moses in the Pricey Pearl, and it's a complete doozy. We'll finish out this episode with reading excerpts from it and discussing the way the doctrine extracted from that chapter, is taught nowadays. But, that won't come up for a while, because we still have a lot more to cover.
Not-So-Smarty-Marty Harris was known to be a rather wealthy farmer in Palmyra. That's the main reason that Joe seemed to gravitate towards him, much like Bossman Josiah Stowell, Sir Joseph Knight Sr., and plenty of other rich folk that he swindled out of a living wage. Well, NSSM had put his farm in hock to finance publishing the Book of Mormon, and they had officially defaulted on the loan. Lucy Harris, NSSM's wife had divorced him and taken part of the farm as her own during the divorce proceedings. So, NSSM was basically unsolvent, and headed for bankruptcy, because Joe had sucked him dry. Well, Joe and the church couldn't survive much longer without another bank-roller to feed off of, until there were enough members to sustain Joe through tithing. Well, Joe had his eye on two different targets. One of these targets was the person that Hingepin Rigdon brought with him to Fayette to meet Joe, and the other was a resident of Kirtland that Joe would set his sights on, upon arrival.
Edward Partridge would be Joe's first target. Partridge was the grandson of Massachusettes Congressman Oliver Partridge. Back then anybody that was in the government tended to be a member of the upper crust, so Edward came from a rich family. Not only that, but he also owned a hat-making factory in Painesville, which was quite successful, and made Edward one of the more affluent people in town. Well, the people of Painesville, no doubt spurred by Rigdon as well, asked Edward Partridge to go with Rigdon to investigate Joe and the Book of Mormon, and he became convinced. In fact, so righteous of a man was he, that Joe and Rigdon thought it necessary to give him his own personal revelation upon meeting him, which constitues the Book of Commandments, chapter 38. This is the first three verses to hopefully get an idea of what was going on.
"THUS saith the Lord God, the mighty One of Israel, behold I say unto you, my servant Ed- ward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel as with the voice of a trump ; and I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom: 2 And you shall declare it with a loud voice saying, Hosanna, blessed be the name of the most high God. 3 And now this calling and commandment give I unto all men, that as many as shall come before my servant Sidney and Joseph, embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations, crying repentance, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted with the flesh."
Doesn't that just sound like a salesman tactic? I picture Edward walking in to a used horse shop wearing a polo and Joe the salesman comes walking up to him and says something like "Heeeyy there buddy, you been working out? Nice shirt! Did you get those awesome shoes from the guy down the street? It looks like they were just tanned yesterday! Hey Eddy the Party-Boy Partridge, you know that your sins are forgiven you, right? Yeah! Totally brother!!! Jesus loves you, your sins are forgiven, and you're totally blessed bro! Man I gotta tell ya, I can totally see you preaching the one true gospel. I'm not just saying that, I promise. It's a job that's only cut out for the best and most righteous of Jesus' followers, and I think you're just right for the job. Now, let's go over and talk about how you're going to support the church, once you become a missionary. I'm sorry, but we don't take Visa, Mastercard, or personal check, we need your soul, and all your possessions.... Yeah, no, like all your possessions. Like every single one of them..... and your soul too, because we're the one true Church of Christ, while all the other ones are wrong. NO YOU CAN'T SHOP AROUND! What does this look like, a ponzi scheme or something!? This is the one true church of god and you can take it, or you can go fuck yourself! Now just sign on the dotted line there..... And we're all set. Get ready for mountains of blessings, all headed straight for you my brother.
Well, that may be stretching reality a little bit, but it's essentially what happened. Eddy Party-Boy Partridge was a rich business owner, and his family had ties with political, and military figures. This guy was used to rubbing elbows with the upper crust type people, a 19th century studio 54 goer, and Joe planned on exploiting that as much as possible.
This was pretty much the last revelation that came to Joe and Rigdon while they were still in Fayette. Soon after giving this revelation, they came up with the one we talked about earlier that said they wouldn't receive any more revelations until they made the move to Ohio.
BUT, there was one more tiny little revelation that was given. This was given at the January 2, 1831 conference of the church, and it makes up the Book of Commandments, chapter 40, we'll just read a few pertinent verses.
"26 But if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear, 27 And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless: 28 Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment, that ye should go to the Ohio : and there I will give unto you my law, and there you shall be endowed with power from on high, and from thence, whomsoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do, for I have a great work laid up in store : 29 For Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand 30 And now I give unto the church in these ports, a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church ; and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church. And they that have farms that can not be sold, let them be left or rented as seemeth them good. 31 See that all things are preserved, and when men are endowed with power from on high, and are sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church. 32 And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity : 33 And it must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give."
So, a lot happened in those few verses. Basically, Joe gave the commandment to the rest of the church that they should make the move to Ohio, and his justification is, so they can escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me, a righteous people. Earlier we talked about other cult leaders, and their necessity to move from their founding location, because people knew what was going on, and the locals would "persecute" them. Well, this was Joe's version of telling the people to make like a tree, and get the fuck out of there, just so they wouldn't succumb to the reasoning of the other non-Mormon locals in New York.
The other important detail we can't just gloss over, is the early groundwork that Joe and Rigdon were setting out for the communistic structure that the church would later embrace. Just look at the phrasing in these few verses. "And now I give unto the church in these ports, a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church ; and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church. And they that have farms that can not be sold, let them be left or rented as seemeth them good. 31 See that all things are preserved, and when men are endowed with power from on high, and are sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church."
Look at that, Joe came up with revelations that told people that they would essentially have to give support to the poor and needy. That sounds pretty great, doesn't it? Then it takes a little turn when it says that these people will be appointed to govern the property of the church, and that will be their work. So basically, the church is going to ask people to take care of the property related affairs of the church, and won't give them a wage of any sort for doing so. Then, the revelation goes as far as telling the people that have farms that can't be sold, that they should just leave them behind, or try to rent them out, because the church is moving to Ohio, whether they're going with it, or not.
Then, the revelation really takes a turn when it says that when men are endowed with power from on high, these things (meaning the property) shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church", meaning that the church will come into possession of all the property that these people are in charge of, with no regard to who actually ownes the property. Then, the revelation really fuckin turns dark when it says, " And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity : 33 And it must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give."
Basically, it says that the people that follow this church, will have their earthly riches taken away from them, and be given riches of eternity instead, and that final verse is the most chilling of all. "It must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give." So, Joe will be the one responsible for distributing the riches of the earth, because those riches are his to give. Well, he was speaking as the mouthpiece of god at this time, but by this point, god, the church, and Joseph Smith are all one fuckin entity.
Don't get me wrong, this was not the formation of the bishops storehouse, but it was one small part that set out the foundation for the commune like quasi-facist, yet socialist structure that the church would soon be operating on.
Well, that pretty much does it for Joe and Rigdon's time in New York. He was basically ready to say sionara bitches, mic drop, and bail outta New York like a mutherfucker. So, the time had come. Joe would be waving good riddance to all the troubles and frustrations that he had been fighting constantly since day one. All of the persecution from the money diggers, all of the problems with the locals of Palmyra that knew Joe was a fraud, all the problems in Fayette, all the frustrations that came out of Colesville and his two trials there, all of it would soon be forgotten, and Joe would never turn back. He was done with New York, and he had his eye on the next prize, Kirtland, Ohio.
I've said a few times that Joe, like these other cult leaders, had to spread to a new area, to consume new resources, and acquire new souls. Well, Kirtland was the greenest pasture that he could access, and it was good and ripe for harvesting. Things are about to get crazy in our timeline, as if they haven't already been crazy enough. The first few things that Joe does once he gets to Kirtland, seem to be almost a Harbinger of what the rest of his reign would look like.
This is reading from the History of the Church vol 1 page 145.
"The latter part of January, in company with Brothers Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge, I started with my wife for Kirland, Ohio, where we arrived about the first of February, and were kindly received and welcomed into the house of Brother Newel K. Whitney. My wife and I lived in the family of Brother Whitney several weeks, and received every kindness and attention which could be expected, and especially from Sister Whitney."
Here, we have Joe's second rich target for exploitation. While Eddy Party-Boy Partridge was a good guy to have around, he kind of abandoned his wealth, and liquidated his assets, in order to become the first bishop of the church in Kirtland. Joe needed an active business to leech off of, in order to stay alive. While those one-time donations are nice to run on for a little while, they just aren't sustainable in the way recurring smaller donations are. So, Joe decided to parasitically latch on to the Whitney family, and move into the upstairs apartment above Newell Whitney's merchandise shop. The History of the church recounts how Joe and Newell Whitney met in the footnotes, and it seems to be a pretty typical meeting scenario, if you're an all knowing prophet of god.
This footnote starts on page 145 of History of the Church Vol 1, and it describes the Whitneys story, and their initiation into the church.
"When Oliver Cowdery and his fellow missionaries came to Kirtland, en route to Missouri, the Whitneys were Campbellites, members of Sidney Rigdon's flock, but upon hearing the fulness of the Gospel as preached by those Elders, they embraced it. In the Whitney family folk lore the incident of the Prophet's arrival at Kirtland is thus related: "About the first of February, 1831, a sleigh containing four persons drove through the streets of Kirtland and drew up in front of the store of Gilbert and Whitney. One of the men, a young and stalwart personage alighted, and springing up the steps walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing. 'Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man! He exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquanitance. 'You have the advantage of me,' replied the merchant, as he mechanically took the proffered hand, 'I could not call you by name as you have me.' 'I am Joseph the Prophet,' said the stranger smiling. 'You've prayed me here, now what do you want of me?'"
That's the Whitney family folklore, whether or not it actually happened like that isn't verifiable. But that's not the point. The point is that Joe had his newest wealthy target honed in, and he was set to leech the Whitneys for everything they had, just like he had done to NSSM, and was in the process of doing to Eddy Party-Boy Partridge. The local trading hub in Kirtland known as N. K. Whitney & Co., would soon become the very first bishop's storehouse for the church, and the place where Joe and Emma would live for over 2 years. The next few lines in the footnotes here really help to sum up the story, and make Joe the perfect fit for the Whitneys, making it an almost sickly symbiotic relationship between them, in which the parasite definitely got the better end of the deal.
"The prophet, it is said, while in the East had seen the Whitneys, in vision, praying for his coming to Kirtland."
Fuckin really? That's the line Joe fed them? That's a pretty cheap salesman tactic... "I saw you driving this horse in my dreams last night, that means God wants you to buy it!"
It continues, "'Mother Whitney' also tells how on a certain night prior to the advent of Elder Cowdery and his companions, while she and her husband were praying to the Lord to know how they might obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost, which of all things they desired, they saw a vision as of a cloud of glory resting upon their house, and heard a voice from heaven saying, "Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming." Shortly afterwards Oliver Cowdery and his associates came with the Book of Mormon, and with the message of the restored Gosepl. Moreover, in further fulfilment of this vision, under the rooftree of the Whitneys the Prophet received a number of the revelations contained in this volume."
When it says "Mother Whitney" that's referring to Newell K. Whitney's wife, Elizabeth Ann Whitney. She was so hospitable and providing, that Joe would call her Mother Whitney. This conveniently gave us our names for Father Newell K., and Mother Elizabeth Ann Whitney. Newell was also called as a bishop in 1832, so calling him Father Whitney has a little double ended action there.
So, Father and Mother Whitney take in Joe, and six month pregnant with twins Emma Smith, and pretty much put them up until the church was big enough to support them. Reported in the church history, it's said that the Whitneys had been praying to the Lord to give them a sign, and a few months later, Oliver Cowdery and company came by, and preached the word of Joseph to them, which was something that probably happened pretty frequently, especially being so close to the burned over district. But, this sign, and these missionaries were special for some reason. Maybe that reason was because Rigdon knew they were coming, and had prepped the Whitneys for Joe's arrival, maybe not, we don't know for sure because we don't have their own commentary through journal entries or interviews.
Anyway, moving on from the Whitney's specifically, let's talk about what happened once Joe arrived to finally lead these hungry souls to the everlasting feast that was the doctrine of Joe's Mormonism. The History of the Church vol 1 continues on page 146.
"The branch of the Church in this part of the Lord's vineyard, which had increased to nearly one hundred members, were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it, though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them. With a little caution and some wisdom, I soon assisted the brethren and sisters to overcome them. The plan of "Common Stock", which had existed in what was called "The Family," whose members generally had embraced the everlasting Gospel, was readily abandoned for the more perfect law of the Lord; and the false spirits were easily discerned and rejected by the light of revelation."
So that started off by telling us that this church had grown to almost one and a half the size of the 3 congregations in New York combined, all in Joe's absence. Next it went on to talk about something that it called "The Family". Now, when you hear catchphrases like this in the subject matter of religious communes, it becomes very hard to distinguish it apart from a crazy religious cult. That's because it is a crazy religious cult, living in a small demographic area, all following the rule of one primary cult leader. When it referrs to "The Family" that's talking about the commodities structure that this town devised and lived with. It was a predecessor to the communistic bishops storehouse, just a Rigdon-Campbellite version of it. These people would give a large percentage of their belongings to the family, and then the religious leader, Rigdon at the time, would divey out the possessions as he saw fit. Well, apparently when Joe rolled, or sleighed into town, he saw the structure, and said you're doing it all wrong, it's supposed to be called the Bishops Storehouse. So, the people adopted that name instead, and slapped it onto the front of the N. K. Whitney & Co. General Store, and everybody was happy.... Except for Joe of course.
Joe was basically made king shit of town upon his arrival, all the towns commodities were transferred over to him to decide who would receive what, the missionary force for the church was running smoothly with new people headed to new places constantly. The people in the town liked Joe for the most part, and the ones that didn't were effectively ostracized from their community. The early church was beginning to operate like a well oiled machine for the first time since its inception, but king Joseph wasn't satisfied. 3 days after he arrived to Kirtland, he gave this asshole revelation which is found in chapter 43 of the Book of Commandments.
"3 Hearken, O ye elders of my church whom I have called ; 4 Behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word, and by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern thy church, and have all things right before me. 5 And I will be your Ruler when I come: and behold, I come quickly; and ye shall see that my law is kept. 6 He that receiveth my law and doeth it the same is my disciple. 7 And he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you . 8 For it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom, should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. 9 And again, it is meet that my servant Joseph should have a house built, in which to live and translate."
Yeah, after this town had basically given everything it had to Joseph Smith, he came out with this revelation saying that anybody that follows him is a disciple of Jesus, and anybody that doesn't is a muddy fucking dog, and then he tops it all off with a commandment for everybody to build him a house, because the apartment above the bishops storehouse just wasn't good enough for him to live with. Too bad that it took the town 3 years to follow this commandment, because Joe and Emma wouldn't move out of that apartment until 1834. But still, what a narcissistic fuckwad, right? As we'll come to see, Joe is never quite satisfied, with the size and amenities of his kingdom. He's always trying to expand, improve, and consume more souls during his entire tenure as prophet of the church. There are a lot of times when the church expands and contracts based on what was going on, and Joe's reaction to those events, but all in all, Joe was officially riding the gravy train, and nothing was gunna derail this bitch for another 13 and a half years.
The final thing that happened during this transition period was Ollie, and the other missionaries, coming back into town. It had been arranged, at some point, that they would make their way out to Jackson County, MO, and while they were there, the church would move from New York, to Ohio, and then the missionaries would just come back to Ohio, and live there from then on. This happened in the beginning of March 1831. So, come springtime 1831, the church was beginning to expand at an alarming rate, making headlines all over, attracting more followers, and even more persecutors, and things were just as Joe wanted them. But, this expansion wasn't without a hiccup or two in the form of false prophets, or in this case a prophetess.
What I'm referring to is a woman recorded as Mrs. Hubble, I couldn't find her first name anywhere. Well, she was a member of the church in Kirtland, and she came forward saying that she had the power of prophesy, to rival Joe's power. How dare a woman say that she has powers that are reserved only for the priesthood, and the prophet himself? Well, let's see how Joe handled it. Unfortunately, we don't have the revelations that Mrs. Hubble was giving, as far as my research told me, no copy of these prophecies is extant, but we can always read the revelation that Joe gave in response to her revelation, and try to tease out what her revelations were about.
This is from the Book of Commandments Chapter 45. We aren't going to read the whole thing because there's a lot of usual Joe and Rigdon come to Jesus fluff in there, but there are some operative verses in the chapter that are worth pointing out. There are even some tenants of Mormonism that Joe had to reiterate, that the people didn't seem to be following, or else he wouldn't have to point them out again. Let just take a few verses selected out of this Chapter 45.
"O HEARKEN, ye elders of my church, and give ear to the words which I shall speak unto you : 2 For behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you, to receive commandments and revelations from my hand. 3 And this ye shall know assuredly, that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. 4 But verily, verily I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him, for if it be taken from him he shall not have power, except to appoint another in his stead; 5 And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; 6 And this I give unto you, that you may not be deceived ; that you may know they are not of me."
So that was 6 verses worth of Joe screaming at everybody to listen to him, and ignore anybody that claims to be giving divine revelation from god, because he's the only one ever that can do that ever EVER!! It's like at the end of the epistles in the New Testament that claim to be written by Paul multiple times in the text, and we know that they're fraudulent letters. Well, the same is happening here. Joe is claiming multiple times in the same chapter that he is the only one that can give divine revelations, and anybody else that claims to have those powers is obviously lying, or decieved by Satan. It's not the fact that he wrote this that shows he was covering his own ass. It's the fact that he wrote it sooooooo many times, in reaction to what other people must have been saying about him, that shows he was covering his lying ass. But, in this same chapter, he didn't skip an opportunity to tell the people to provide for him. This seems to be a recurring theme. Joe starts a revelation with emphatically stating that he is speaking as god's mouthpiece, then it moves into the meat of the revelation, which is usually a sermon of some kind, then there are some operative verses couched in between all the Jesus talk shit. Then, Joe usually closes with saying that he totally is speaking for the one true god of everything ever, and nobody can refute him, and if they do, they're deceived by Satan, and then he says Amen to finish each revelation. Well, like I said, Joe didn't pass up any opportunity to throw in a couple of operative phrases that talked about the church supporting him, so he didn't have to actually work. Here they are in the same revelation he was using to chastize Mrs. Hubble, and anybody who might believe her revelations, or believe that revelations can even come through a woman to begin with.
"11 Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctifiy yourselves before me and if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith. 12 And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work, wherewith I have commanded him : 13 And if ye do it not, he shall remain unto them that have received him, that I may reserve unto myself a pure people before me, 14 Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church whom I have appointed;"
Yeah, so we've established this multiple times now, but Joe was a lazy fuck. He just gave commandments to his followers to build a home for him, and support him with donations whether they be money, or actual commodities. Then, he made it a point in almost every one of his early revelations that he was the only person that can receive genuine revelations from god, and anybody else that did, was only pretending to, and was misled by Satan. You really wonder how these people saw him as the one true prophet of god. With so many dissenting opinions, and other people coming up with revelations using their own means, or seer stones like Joe, Joe had to constantly keep a lid on all of them to keep his followers in line. It's fucking crazy! Why did they follow this man? What did he have that made him the be-all end-all of prophets, that convinced these people that he was spouting truth, when so many of these revelations were given solely to lift Joe up out of his own poverty, that he created out of his own apathy towards manual labor.
But, when you consider the possible motivations for starting up a religious cult like Joe did, he was sitting in heaven. Yes he did deal with persecution, but this was 19th century American persecution. He was taken into court a few times, got the shit kicked out of him for trying to steal other men's wives, was tarred and feathered for skirting the law too many times, and eventually was shot after declaring himself king of the world, and blowing up a printing press. If Joe would have lived 600 years earlier during the crusades, he would have been hung, or decrapitated without any trial. If he would have been living in Rome or Jerusalem 1800 years before, he could have been crucified like 10's of thousands of other blaspheming Jews. If he were living anywhere in Asia during the mid 1200's, he would have raised his small army up against Temujin Genkis Kahn, and would have been slaughtered like the millions of other people that opposed the Kahns.
Historically speaking, Joe had a pretty easy run in with so called 'Persecution'. It's a good thing he was living in early America with its godless constitution, because if he were doing any of this in countries that are inherently thoecratic, he wouldn't have made it to 100 followers before he had a very public execution. But, let's be fair, Joe brought this upon himself. There were plenty of other religious groups starting up that didn't experience the same kind of persecution that Joe had to deal with, and that was all because the people that started those groups didn't have the baggage of their past life, like Joe did. People hated Joe because he was a habitually lying fraud. He would take people for all they were worth, and tell them that it was all in the name of finding treasure. Then he changed that narrative to it being all in the name of the one true religion, once he had his book available for people to read, and proselyte from. He was rightfully hated for his deceptive ways. Once the people he had burned in the past saw that he was doing the same old tricks with a new prop, they were sick of the bullshit, no matter how polished it was. That's why they tried to take him to trial, and get him convicted of disorderly conduct, or fraud, or adultery, or anything they possibly could, to make him go away. When these convictions fell through on bullshit technicalities, the people took matters into their own hands by forming mobs to either chase Joe out of town, or just kick the shit out of him.
Joe wasn't unique in his ideas or timeline. While the specifics of what he preached may have been unique, the timeline he followed was not. Joe is absolutely no different from the other three cult leaders that were brought up in this episode. Joe just made one false step, and had his life terminated. If he hadn't blown up the printing press, or had, but refused to turn himself in at the behest of his closest friends and wife, there's really no telling what new heights he would have taken the church to, and who the fuck knows where it would be today. But, I guess that's all up to conjecture, and ad-hoc speculation.
Before finishing up the history of this episode, I said that we would talk about the book of Enoch, contained in the Pearl of Great Price, and try to address the doctrines that are practiced in today's Mormonism, that all rose from this book.
To start us off, we need to understand who Enoch was from a biblical perspective. For some reason, when it comes to the bible prophets, the earlier in history we get, as in, the least removed from Adam we get, the more authentic it is? (higher voice inflection) Well, Enoch was Noah's great grandfather, and he lived 365 years before God took him back up to heaven. Joe, and Rigdon apparently had a fascination with the old fucker prophets, just like Moses, Noah, Adam, and of course, Enoch, which was motivation to translate/reveal this book we're about to talk about. The book tells about Enoch's personal interaction with God, speaking with him face to face like God did with Moses. Apparently, this is pretty antithetical to the bible in general, because in Exodus 33:20, and in the New Testament John 1:18, it states clearly that no man can see the face of God and live. Apparently Enoch didn't give a fuck about what other people said about God, and passed this revelation down to Joe and Rigdon, just to enlighten us on the Church's eschatology a little bit.
The Chapter starts out from Enoch's perspective, and he tells us that he is going to teach us something, as it has been taught from the days of Adam. Then, in verse 4 it goes into this:
"And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face; and he said unto me: Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations."
And that's pretty much what happens. Enoch goes on the hardest DMT trip that anybody has ever experienced, and sees the world through past and future generations, and then talks to God about what is happening with each vision. It's like the most epic Ebenezer Scrooge saga, only the ghosts are God showing Enoch how shitty the world's going to get.
Now enters the racism in the Pearl of Great Price. Verse 6 tells about Enoch forseeing the destruction of the Canaanites at the hands of the Isrealites, which this book calls the people of Shum for some reason. Then in verse 8 it says
"For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people."
Isn't that so nice? Anybody that has blackness come upon them is despised among all people... Just such a heart-warming tenant to include in this horrible goddamn book, isn't it? It doesn't even stop there. Because after this, God commands Enoch to go preaching the gospel to everybody in a bunch of lands that it lists off, that obviously came out of Joe's mind. And then, God tells him to preach baptism and repentance to all of those lands. But, of course, one land is excluded.... The land of the Canaanites. God explicitly command Enoch to preach in all the lands, except for where the Canaanites dwell. If this is indeed god's plan, he's kind of a dick here. First he condemns these people because Canaan tried to cover his dad's nakedness when he was passed out drunk after the great flood, and now God is just setting them up to fail forever because he's commanding his prophet to avoid that land completely when he goes out to proselyte the gospel.
Also, one small detail here, God commands Enoch in this dream-like trance to not proselyte to the Canaanites, when they wouldn't even be a thing for 4 more generations. Enoch's great-grandson was Noah, and Canaan was Noah's son. So before the Canaanites were even a thing, god had cursed them with a skin of blackness, and told the prophets to avoid the Canaanites, and withhold teaching them the gospel. What the fuck kind of dickhead god is this, that would set out his ultimate plan to play out like this? Seriously, what the actual fuck Yahweh? Why you mad bro?
After this non-sensical racist screed is complete, the revelation goes into even crazier shit. According to verse 13, Enoch was a great battle commander, and used the power of god to crush his enemies.
"And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him."
Apparently, God gave a language to Enoch that made him powerful enough to change the course of rivers, amplify roars of lions to scare everybody, make nations tremble and fear greatly, and make fucking mountains run away! I don't give a fuck how great it is to be a level 85 undead mage running around Ogrimmar, no spell is as cool as the spell that makes a fucking mountain run away in fear! The sheer logistics of that are mind boggling. How would it even look?! And that's not even the craziest part. Verse 14 says:
"There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea!"
Enoch is such a badass, that he can scare mountains away, command rivers to change their path, and raise muthafuckin Atlantis! I'm not making up one word of this shit, it's all in the current day Pearl of Great Price Moses Chapter 7. Check out My Book of Mormon Episode 86 to hear it in all its crazy glory from a voice that might make you orgasm all over yourself, the same way the brown note makes you shit your pants. It's involuntary, but totally worth it.
So let's move on in this insane fuckin screed of historical inaccuracies, and fantasy world of racism, sentient land masses, and mythical creatures. We're trying to get current Mormon teachings out of this, and so far it's just been scattywampus batshit ranting.
From verse 18-21, it just talks about Enoch creating a great city named Zion, and leading them in righteousness. Apparently there wasn't a single poor among them, and everybody was super dee duper righteous, and it was basically the perfect town for anybody to live in... including god himself. Verse 21 tells us the first tenant of doctrine that we're going to try and extract out of this, because this involves the eschatology of Mormonism. Just as a heads up, eschatology means the church's perspective, or study of the end times, like the book of Revelation is to most Christians.
"And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in the process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever"
Yes, this means that Zion, the one truly perfect city was on earth at some point, and God said "I want this place for myself" and took it up into heaven until the right time. Instead of leaving it on Earth to be an example of the perfect city throughout all time and antiquity, wouldn't that be convenient? God must have decided he had one success story in his long line of fuck ups, and he was gunna hold it all for himself. That is a dick god! According to this chapter it's all part of the grand plan that God's cooked up, but as we sit right now, we could sure use a model society that is truly the one perfect society, to base the world off of, but no! God wants to keep it in heaven for himself, and make his will vaguely known through crazy men that call themselves prophets, and ridiculous books like the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price. It's hard to even tease this out of it, because next it goes into another racist screed. Verse 22 reads as follows:
"and Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam, save it were the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them."
It's so offensive standalone that I'm not even going to talk about it. That verse can speak for itself. Next, this chapter goes into describing the power of Satan, and tells about him holding a chain so great that it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness. Then Satan maniacally laughs as his angels rejoice.
Then, it tells us about the first resurrection. It isn't explicitly called the first resurrection, but it happens during the earth being under the control of Satan. Verse 27 tells us what happens and how.
"And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and the Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion."
So these righteous people will be the first wave of people resurrected during the last days, and angels will literally come down from the sky, and rapture these people up into Zion, which is somewhere in the clouds or something. Once this first resurrection happens, Satan has complete reign over the earth because everybody that's left, is evil enough to burn, or suffer the wrath of Satan's fiery reign. The next few verses go into a very weird situation. God is pretty much inconsolably crying for the people left on earth to burn. Enoch asks the most logical question possible, "You're muthafuckin god, why are you crying like a little bitch for your own goddamned mess?" Verse 31 reads:
"And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and nought but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?"
Enoch was like, God, you're fucking God. You did all of this, and you exist from all eternity, to all eternity, you control the entire universe, and you can hold every one of your creations in the palm of your hand, and you are the one crying because this is so fucked up? God's reply to Enoch is the most petulant and unreasonable temper tantrum I've ever seen attributed to somebody, let alone the god of the universe, but I'm not going into it now. I'll just recommend that you read the Pearl of Great Price Moses Chapter 7 to get all the pathetic, childish details of God's reply. You can find the entire text on lds.org, the church's own website. For now, we're on a mission to try and get Mormon doctrine from this stupid fuckin book of Enoch.
Next it talks about Enoch seeing Noah building the ark and the floods rushing in and killing every single thing on the entire planet. Verse 44 reads:
"And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart and be glad; and look."
Enoch is a great fuckin guy, and God is the asshole in this situation. God shows Enoch a vision that the entire planet, and every living thing on it, will be swallowed up by floods, and Enoch weeps uncontrollably. God tells him to chill out, and Enoch says "I refuse to be comforted". Understandably so! Enoch just watched every single animal, bird, puppy dog, kitten, and human being alike get swept away in the most horrible of all tragedies, and God was like calm your tits bro, it's no big deal. Fuck that God! If all Satan wants to do is convince me he doesn't exist, and this god doesn't think twice about killing every single thing on the planet, I think we're better off following Satan, and telling that God to go fuck himself! Wow, I keep getting lost in how fucking stupid this chapter is, without actually getting down to the doctrine that we're trying to tease out of the text. Let's continue on.
Verses 47-55 talk about Enoch's vision of Jesus coming, and apparently it made him rejoice? Nothing brings up your mood from seeing the entire world destroyed, like watching a man be tortured and killed on a fuckin cross. Then, God shows Enoch the actual crucifiction, and shit goes down.
Verse 56 and 57 read: "and he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory; 57 And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God; and the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day."
So that was the biblical resurrection when Jesus was resurrected, and it comes from Matthew 27:52-53. Apparently, all those zombies that were walking around Israel at the time of the resurrection have ascended to heaven, and sit at the right hand of God, with crowns of glory. So maybe this is the first resurrection, even though it's not called that in Mormon teaching.
Enoch saw the few that were resurrected, and the rest of the people that were "reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day", and asked god the only logical question that a person could ask such a malicious and heartless being in this situation.
Verse 58 reads: "And again Enoch wept and cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the earth rest?"
That seems logical right? He's just seen what has happened in the 2000 years since Adam until Jesus was born and crucified, and he is disgusted, and asks a question that any moral being would, why the fuck is this happening, and when will the madness stop? God doesn't give any sort of reasonable or definite answer to this completely reasonable question, but rather he says it'll happen for a while, and then I'll come back in the last days when wickedness and vengeance rule the world. Then God says that everything will be chaos and reach a breaking point, and then God will bring about his great plan.
Verse 62 reads: "And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem."
So that's God's great plan. When the world reaches a single point of chaos and disparity, God will send forth righteousness and truth like a flood to gather his elect and bring them to Zion, which is a physical place on earth that God will sanction just for his elect. That is Jackson County Missouri, which is why the church owns more of the state of Missouri, than Missouri does, because they are buying the New Jerusalem.
The next verse is something that every single Mormon looks forward to, and it's talking about Zion, the New Jerusalem being built upon the American continent, so that the earth can be renewed, and receive its paradisiacal glory.
Verse 64: "And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest."
This is an important thousand years in the Mormon timeline. They believe that all the baptisms for the dead, and geneaology that can't be done before the rapture, will all be completed once this happens. They believe that the world will be wiped clean from people that won't accept Mormonism, so that the only people left, will be people that accept the gospel, and all that needs to be done, is their earthly covenants, which are baptism, confirmation, and getting their endowments. Well, it's going to be a lot easier to do all of that during this 1000 years, because the billions of people that have died before this time, will all be in Jackson County Missouri, in their resurrected form, to tell the still living members of the church their name, so all the posthumous work can be done for them, and they can enter the highest levels of the celestial kingdom. So this 1000 years of paradise, will basically be nothing but a millenium of paperwork for everybody that's ever lived on the planet. Doesn't that sound great?!?! A millenium of geneaology paperwork, dunking people, and going through the temple hundreds of times per day. Personally, I can't think of a worse hell, here, or in another dimension. A millenium of temple sessions!? Fuck, just annihilate me God, I don't want to deal with this repetitive, mind-numbing bullshit.
So that pretty much sums up the Mormon idea of eschatology, and other end times bullshit. You may ask, what happens after that 1000 years of paradise is up. I've heard that there is a final battle between Jesus and Satan, and Satan will be destroyed, and goodness will finally prevail forever, but, I don't know where they pull that teaching from. I'm pretty sure that'll come up sometime, but it didn't show up in this chapter for whatever reason.
One of the favorite sayings by believers is milk before meat, or don't cast pearls before swine. This is why. You have to undergo a lot of indoctrination, and shutting off your skeptical, or critical thinking side, in order for this gobbledy gook, non-sensical bullshit to make sense. The teachings in the church are plain and simply fucking crazy, and that's even if you don't know how impractical it is that Joseph Smith had some kind of connection to channel the prophets of old. This is by no means one of the crazier teachings of the church, mind you. This was just the first piece of doctrine that Joe and Hingepin Rigdon came up with, once they officially teamed up. Some of the teachings that we'll get into will seem WAAAAAY crazier, especially once we start in on the Brigham Young years. But, who knows how long that will take at this rate. I know that the suspense is killer here, and I appreciate you guys being so patient with the pace of the timeline. Just keep in mind, the wait will be worth it. Joe is building his house of cards here, and we can't just jump into watching the whole thing crash down, without all of the cards being in their proper place.
Randy is a long time, well experienced pilot, with a decorated air force record. He's been in active combat many times, usually in hostile air space. He's been caught in unexpected ambushes dozens of times, and escaped every one without losing a single plane. When it comes to pilots, few are greater than O-5 Lieutenant Colonel Randy. He knows every in and out of every widely used plane by the airforce, and knows how each of them feel with every minor twitch on the controls.
When a company releases a new aircraft, they have to do extensive testing on the unit, long before it can ever be accepted into mass production for the air force. Well, the newest prototype is up for testing, and the General can think of no other better pilot to perform the test flights. Randy suits up and briefs for the mission. It will be a simple demonstration of the aircraft capabilities, with a couple of stress tests for structural integrity evaluation. Randy leaves the briefing room (walking down hallway) and heads toward the runway to take a look at the new design before jumping in the cockpit. The pictures didn't seem right in the briefing room, there's no way that this plane could look so experimental and still function. Randy steps out of the hanger, and sees it for the first time.
It didn't look real. Maybe it was something taken out of a comic book, or Michael Bay movie, not sitting in front of him on the runway. It was an engineers nightmare, and an architects dream. Every angle was so sharp and acute. The wings were paper thin, and they connected seamlessly to a thin, sleek fuselage. The cockpit looked smaller than any Randy had ever seen before, but it was a perfect fit for the slimness of the rest of the aircraft. The body seemed to wrap around what looked like one massive turbine that seemed to stretch the limits of reality, when compared with the rest of the plane. It looked like a robot snake had eaten the largest robot egg it could find. The rear wing was spread out well beyond the width of the cartoonishly large engine, and seemed almost as wide as the front wings. The one single question on Randy's mind was "Where do they keep the fuel?". It dawned on him as soon as he had the thought. This was an electric plane prototype that had been printed on a carbon fiber 3d printer. He'd only heard rumors of their existence, until this one was sitting on the runway, inviting him to take a ride.
Randy grins in anticipation, throws on his helmet, and scales the ladder (steps up ladder) leading up to the cockpit. He stops to admire all the controls and workmanship. Much like many of the planes that Randy's tested in the past, this prototype was still a work in progress. The controls all seemed to be present, but they weren't set in a full dash yet, just mounted with brackets sticking up out of the floor. There were wiring harnesses running all over, and most they didn't even bother to cover with plastic. Needless to say, the plane had curb appeal, but once he really got a solid look, he wasn't quite as confident. Oh well, he's flown much worse before without any issues, and this flight shouldn't be any different. Randy jumps in the seat, and does the entire pre-flight checklist. Everything checks out, and the tower clears him for systems check.
It seems so strange to not have an engine idling behind Randy, but he knows that the power is there when he asks for it. He starts the turbine spinning, (powerup) and caps it at 10% thrust with the wheels firmly braked on the ground. All systems are checking out. He pumps it up to 25% thrust, and the wheels begin to bark with the added power (tires barking). The turbine is spinning at an unbelievable rate, right behind his head. He gets cleared to launch, and lets off the parking brake. He hits it with 100% throttle, and the paper light carbon fiber aircraft takes off like a paper airplane (takeoff) with a JATO strapped to it. Randy has never experienced this kind of response before in all his years as a pilot. It's so light and agile. Every little twitch on the joystick sends the plane into a bank hard enough to feel like he's hit a wall in mid air, and yet it's so smooth. With jet engines, you have a bit of lag to deal with, and everything is so bulky and cumbersome. This was a whole new animal, and the possibilities of military uses for the plane started poring through Randy's mind. They wouldn't know he was coming. He gets the order to fly danger low, to see if it can skirt below radar coverage. Randy drops the plane down to a mere 50 feet above the desert plateau, and hugs the ground over a 5 mile stretch. Every change in the terrain presented a difficulty with most aircraft, but this one handled every litte tug on the stick, and seemed to do exactly what Randy asked of it. He received confirmation that he stayed out of radar coverage for the entire stretch, and it made him a bit more confident of the plane's abilities. He couldn't wait to really put it through it's paces. He got the order to do the stress tests he was so excited about. Muliple consecutive barrel rolls, check. G force test, higher than any plane he's ever rated. Top speed test, mach Jesus. Weaving runs, roller coaster from hell. Approaching Mmo, not even a bit of aileron flutter. Machtuck, unable to find even at max power. Every single test he performed, the plane aced without breaking a sweat.
One final test, and it's Randy's favorite, the danger close divebomb. This is an excercise that starts at 35,000 foot altitude, and involves just that, a divebomb, only Randy has to wait until he's danger close before turning away from target, which is usually about 500 feet above it. Randy climbs to the top of the 35,000 feet, and aims the nose of the craft straight at the ground, initiating the most epic divebomb test in the history of the airforce. He gives her full throttle (throttle up) to see how fast this little lithium powered demon could go. He gains speed way faster than he anticipated. Randy snaps out of the sound barrier (sound barrier) within seconds of starting the dive, and he's screaming down the sky, pushing the aircraft harder than it's ever been pushed before. The plane is aimed right at the Generals bunker so he can see just how close the plane can get, and still make a successful turn out of the nosedive. The craft gets up to the highest point of atmospheric pressure, and speed it was engineered for, but that's all part of the test. The ground is getting closer and closer, and Randy sees a warning light illuminate (mayday sound), but because there's no dash mounted, the warning light doesn't have a label. Randy rips the plane out of the nosedive before anything bad could happen. He lands the plane, and disembarks puzzled, but euphoric with the overall success of the test flight. He told the head engineer that a warning light came on, but upon going back to look at the computer data, the engineer couldn't find a single fault, or any sign that a warning code even occured. The plane was officially ready for show.
That night, Randy got home, and thoughts of the plane were racing through his mind. He thinks of how many times he's been caught in dog fights that this plane could have gotten him out of without taking a single hit. What else could the plane be used for? Stealth operations, no doubt, and high profile targets with no warning. The possibilities were piling up in his mind. Then he thought, what about the civilian application for this technology. How about personal aircraft that could use this ultra-efficient, electric turbine sytem to get everybody around faster. Or maybe it could be used as a medical transport when precious seconds are the difference between life and death, and a helicopter just isn't fast enough. Randy went to bed, but wouldn't be able to sleep thinking about everything the plane could be used for, good or bad.
The next day, Randy gets a phone call from the general that was observing the tests. The general wants him to debut the new aircraft, and make a demonstration at the public air show the following weekend. The general even said that the interior of the aircraft would be a little more professional looking by that time as well. With that cherry on top of the deal, Randy excitedly agrees to perform for the crowd. The week passes faster than usual, and Saturday morning rolls around.
Randy makes his way to the base in the morning amidst all the civilian spectators that were pouring in to the base for the show. He walks around the airshow in uniform, and meets and greets a bunch of civilians, and everybody wants selfies with him. After doing this, and walking around the show for a while, it's finally time for the final show. Randy puts on his pilot gear, and makes his way to the tarmac where the sleek plane sits, polished and ready for action. He hops into the cockpit, and sees that the dash is mounted, and all the exposed wires are well concealed behind panels. The plane looks ready for war, and Randy's ready to take it there, even if this was just a demonstration for civilians in bleachers.
Randy takes of at lightning quick speed (takeoff), and the crowd gasps with surprise at the agility of the plane. He does a few passes way over their heads, and brings the plane in for some lower passes. He flies a mere 250 feet above the crowd (loud flyover), and people jump from the high pitch whirring that the turbine generates. He does some barrel rolls to please the crowd, and even pops some smoke (smoke bomb pop) tracers on the end of each wing, to make the aerobatics even more exciting to watch.
It's finally time for the best part of the demonstration, the divebomb to scare the crowd. Randy is smart though, he's not going to max out the plane just for a simple public demonstration, so he climbs to an easy 20,000 feet, and aims the nose of the plane straight down at the crowd. He slams it into full throttle (throttle up) to make the most out of every one of those 19,500 feet before he would turn up at the last second. The ground is approaching faster and faster, and Randy can begin to see a small speck on the ground that made up the bleachers the spectators were sitting on. The nose is aimed right at them, because this is going to be the best divebomb scare Randy has ever done in all his days. He looks down at his controls, and sees the altimeter hit 10,000 feet, a little over half way there. The plane keeps gaining more and more speed, and everything feels just like the first time he blasted straight towards the ground at face-numbing speeds, earlier that week. 7,500 feet, and a red warning (mayday) light appears on the dash again, only this time it's mounted where it's supposed to be, and it's labeled with an indicator of Battery Temp. The gauge next to it doesn't read anything out of the normal, so Randy continues his dive.
What he doesn't understand is that these battery packs are the one thing that make the plane more dangerous than any jet. Yes, jet fuel burns hot, not that hot, but hot. But when Lithium Ion batteries short out, they spontaneously ignite, and heat up to 3,500 degrees instantly, burning through anything they touch. The engineers thought that the battery pack could hold up to the abuse, but they made a minor miscalculation, and it turned this fun family day trip, into a nightmare waiting to happen. Battery number 66 in the line of 100 battery cells, shorts out from the excessive draw of power, and ignites.(ignite) The explosion from the chemicals combining, burns through the protective layers surrounding the other batteries, and they all quickly ignite turning from bad, into worse.
(alarms)Every gauge, every warning light, every possible thing in the cockpit flashes and makes noises to warn of the failure, but it was all too late. The back half of the plane ignites (ignite) into a fireball, and all electrical operations cut out. The only thing Randy can do now, is fly the plane deadstick to it's final resting place. The crowd sees the explosion over their heads aimed straight for them, and the bleachers erupt in screams of terror. Randy knows that the plane will hit the bleachers, and annihilate anybody that happens to be nearby, but he can still sluggishly control the plane, that was now effectively an airborne fireball. He pulls back on the joystick as hard as possible to try and bring the plane down in the field behind the bleachers. Randy's adrenal gland dumps all it has into his blood stream, and time slows to almost a complete stop. Randy looks at the bleachers in front of him. If everything had been going well, this is precisely when he would steer out of the dive, but that wouldn't be happening today. The hard pull on the joystick successfully aims the condemned aircraft into the vacant field behind the bleachers, and Randy realizes he's just saved every single spectator, at the cost of his own life. Fire (fire) engulfs the cockpit, and Randy knows that everything will be okay. He thinks, maybe this is for the best. Maybe the military will realize that it's too dangerous to take this aircraft into active combat, but it could be a great plane to help everybody else in the world. That's when it occured to Him. That's what's important in life. Helping other people. Or sacrificing yourself, for the benefit of other humans, not the ability to efficiently kill other humans.
JMS has seen enough! This man was made for Outer Darkness, and didn't deserve to die in such a horrible way. JMS places Randy's translation talisman in the cockpit, and Randy is captivated by the sight of it. He's able to ignore the pain of the fire engulfing him. He has no interest in the finality of his own life, because he knew he wouldn't survive this crash. All he can focus on, is the glowing talisman, floating in front of his face. Just as the nose of the plane touches the ground, Randy reaches out and grabs the talisman (translation), and there's (translation) nothing but silence...
The plane impacts the ground and explodes (big explosion) into a huge lithium fueled, ball of fire. The crowd falls completely silent, knowing that nobody could possibly survive the crash they just witnessed. But, no body would be recovered from the plane crash that day.
Welcome to NaMo Outer Darkness as our newest Demon Randy. Thank you for the support, and thanks again for the Corona.
Next episode is going to be a special edition episode, and it will hopefully be a discussion with a listener and supporter of the show. Luckily, this will give me some extra time to compile the anniversary episode. I'll just tell you guys right now, that episode is gunna be a fucking doozey. I've been working on it for a little while now, and it's nowhere near ready to go. Taking a month to get it perfected and polished will be a huge help.
Copyright Ground Gnomes LLC subject to fair use. Citation example: "Naked Mormonism Podcast (or NMP), Ep #, original air date 10/15/2015"