A few weeks ago, there was an article in Slate that (no surprise) attempts to paint Mormonism as started by a fraud. It’s breathtaking in it’s inaccuracies and downright obvious bias.
Here are my thoughts (I highlighted only some of the things I found ridiculous):
- He mentions a prophet in the Book of Mormon named Lephi. Okay, there’s Nephi and there’s Lehi. The FIRST PAGE of the Book of Mormon makes this clear. Strong evidence of thorough research.
- He claims Joseph Smith refused to show the plates to anybody. Unfortunately for Mr. Hitchens, the testimony of the 3 and 8 witnesses printed in the front of every Book of Mormon out there proves this to be completely untrue.
- He also claims that Joseph Smith was illiterate. Wow, he must have had a tough time writing letters from Liberty Jail, becoming an expert in Hebrew and writing the Doctrine & Covenants without the ability to read or write.
- Right after claiming Joseph Smith is illiterate, Hitchens then accuses Joseph of plagiarizing. How is an illiterate person going to A) Know from what source to plagiarize and B) Know what to plagiarize from that source?
- He additionally claims that we defend his actions as not being fraudulent because a poor and illiterate man couldn’t have committed such complicated fraud. Again, no Mormon claims Joseph Smith is illiterate. In fact, I believe he’s probably one of the most intelligent men who ever lived.
- Then he mentions Joseph’s violent end without mentioning that it was done by a mob in complete violation of his civil rights, due process and pretty much every principle the nation was founded on.
- He calls Martin Harris, a wealthy farmer and landowner, luckless.
- Finally, he claims, and I must quote this:
“Every week, at special ceremonies in Mormon temples, the congregations meet and are given a certain quota of names of the departed to “pray in” to their church”.
I’m not lying when I say this is his description of baptisms of the dead. I struggle to think of a more perverted description of a sacred ordinance than that.
I know Slate has never been renown for more than being entertainment, as opposed to a source of real news, but this excerpt descends below entertainment into thoughtless name calling and rumor-mongering. Perhaps they’ll be excerpting the National Enquirer next.