Saturday, May 31, 2014

Words that mean everything and nothing

Mormons believe that essentially everyone will make it to heaven, but heaven is not created equally. In fact, there isn't just one heaven, there are three, each with its own degree of glory. The highest heaven is the Celestial Kingdom, which is typically compared to the glory of the Sun; the middle kingdom is the Terrestrial Kingdom, which is typically compared to the glory of the moon; and the lowest glory, compared to the brilliance of the stars, is the Telestial Kingdom.

Let's not get too caught up with the fact that this sun, moon, stars hierarchy does not reflect the actual height or distance of these heavenly bodies from the earth (otherwise the stars like Kolob would be our heavenly goal and the moon would be the lowliest of all glories), the comparison relies more on the amount of light given off with respect to our position. Fine.

What's most bizarre and most doubt-inducing for me is the etymology of the kingdoms' names. Calling something celestial means that thing is either like or somehow pertaining to the sky. That works great for the Celestial Kingdom as long as you still believe in the idea of the Firmament and God living in the clouds, otherwise you get stuck trying to reconcile the description of Kolob with current science.

The moon, as it turns out, is a horrible symbol for a place called the Terrestrial Kingdom. Terra means earth in Latin. If you want the moon, call it the Lunar Kingdom. Anyway, just how exactly is the Terrestrial Kingdom supposed to be like or pertaining to the earth? I thought even the lowest degree of glory was supposed to blow our puny earthing minds.

The least glorious heavenly realm is special enough to get a made up name. Telestial, like curelom and cumom, didn't exist as a word until Joseph Smith revealed it to us. The word seems to come from tele-, which is a Greek prefix for distant or far away, but it could also be going back farther to the root teleos, which means the end goal of a completed cycle, so basically the idea of perfecting a circle. If we go with the first possibility we get the notion that the Telestial Kingdom is the "Far Away Kingdom." Far from what? God? Hopefully not too far. If we go with the latter option, the Telestial Kingdom would seem to mean it's the designated end of the Plan of Salvation, but we all know that's not the case - the Celestial Kingdom is where we want to be. Maybe God should have given us his divine Adamic names for these places instead of misleading us with Latin and Greek.

It's pretty confusing. The meanings and explanations of these kingdoms come across as poorly thought out. And don't go to the temple hoping to sort things out. Take the rooms of the Salt Lake temple for example. You have the Creation [of the earth] Room, Garden [of Eden, which is on Earth] Room, World [a.k.a. Earth] Room, Terrestrial [= of the earth] Room, and the Celestial [heavens/sky/clouds] room. Why are there so many rooms for the same place? Why is there no discussion of the Telestial and Terrestrial Kingdoms in the temple, just a quick entrance through the veil into the Celestial realm? I thought the temple was where we go to learn the details of The Plan, but we're only given a partial view. So much for further light and knowledge!

Sun miracles

God's awesomest miracles happen in the sky. According to scripture the Sun, err... Shinehah miraculously did not set because Joshua prayed that it wouldn't. That's pretty amazing. We all know that the setting sun is really just the Sun fading from our view as the earth spins away from facing it, so saying the Sun stood still actually means the earth stopped spinning, and we know that if the earth were to suddenly stop spinning (coming to a halt in less than 24 hours is extremely sudden for a massive object like the earth to stop spinning at it usual speed of 1038 mi/hr along the equator if you're American or 2670 km/hr if you're not) anything that isn't bedrock would keep spinning around. think about what would happens inside a snowglobe when you stop shaking it - the internal atmosphere keeps shaking and splashing around for a while. We're talking about massive tsunamis and land upheavals that would trash the world worse than the Flood. And yet the holy word of God cannot be wrong! (For anyone tempted to play the "symbolic language" card, please explain how a symbolic reading is supposed to fit the context of this miracle.)

"C'mon, God! Please? We're not done killing people yet."

Then there was that time in 3 Nephi when the Sun set but it was still as bright as noon day. The star of Bethlehem hadn't even shown up yet to help illuminate the earth and some how no darkness fell at all that night. Amazing! What on earth or in heaven could equal the brightness of another star that's only 8 light minutes away from the earth? Don't worry about the science, just believe.

Plains Indians go to Mesoamerica to venerate the cross with the Nephites.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Shinehah, Olea, and Kokaubeam

We learn in The Book of Abraham God's name for the Sun, the moon, and the stars: Shinehah, Olea, Kokaubeam. Jah-oh-eh turns out to be God's word for the earth. Good to know, right? One might think that knowing these divinely appointed names would result in their adoption into the common Mormon lexicon. I mean, once it was revealed that God's name is Elohim and that Jesus is Jehovah, the LDS Church really latched onto that and takes care to reenforce this knowledge, and yet when you go to church and listen to your lessons or to the temple and watch the Creation film you won't hear the Sun, the moon, the stars, or the earth referred to by their true names even once! Why is that? 

It's also a little strange that God hasn't been very consistent or insistent with these names when speaking to his prophets. The scriptures are full of references to the heavens and their various features and yet they contain God's preferred names only once, in Abraham 3! The closest you get to seeing these names in other scripture is in the Old Testament where the ancient Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ (she-mesh) at least starts with the same consonant as Shi-ne-hah and is followed by a similar vowel,  יָרֵחַ (ya-rey-ahh) sounds quite a bit like O-le-a, and the Hebrew for star כּוֹכָב (ko-khav) is almost identical to the pluralized Ko-bau-beam (-im is a Hebrew plural noun ending). I guess Hebrew really is closest to Adamic after all! God must have been revealing bits and pieces of his native tongue to Joseph, like the whole "Pay-lay-ale!" thing. 

But I still have a nagging doubt about these divine names found in Abraham 3. Didn't Joseph start learning Hebrew just after he purchased The Book of Abraham? Oh, really? Less than a year later? And when was the translation finally finished? Not before 1838? Hm... When was the translation finally published? 1842! So Joseph had about six years to dapple in Hebrew before going public with this thing. Do you think it might be possible that he was trying to show off his newly acquired Hebrew translating skills?

Not a smart move for an abecedarian. He's left too obvious a trail.

Of course, if Joseph's freestyling Hebrew isn't goofball enough, you can still relish in the other blunderful names found in the papyri translations (Elkenah, Enish-go-on-dosh, Kolob, Korash, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Oliblish, Olimlah, Raukeeyang, Shaumau, Shulem). Hebrew rip offs, pseudo-Egyptian, and a touch of fantasy make having faith in The Book of Abraham very problematic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I know the LDS Church doesn't like to emphasis this bit of doctrine and generally members don't feel much of a need to bear personal testimony of it, but that's no excuse for not acknowledging one of the most absurd aspects of Mormonism: Kolob, the star or planet nearest God's throne.

 God is no longer hiding among the clouds, but somewhere out beyond the nebulae of space! And yet Abraham and Methuselah saw this place thanks to the Urim and Thummim. So spare me all this modern science mumbo jumbo.

Oh yes, we also know that the Sun gets its light from Kolob, not from nuclear fusion. Thank God for modern revelation.

Sure, we haven't found God yet, but we can at least say we know what we're looking for.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Abraham and Sir Isaac

If Abraham really wrote the Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith translated into The Book of Abraham, how the hell did Newtonian ideas end up in there? Were Abraham and Sir Isaac on the same wavelength? Did Joseph maybe sneak a little something into his translation that wasn't exactly in the words of Abraham but more in his thoughts? Or was it all made up post-Newton and have absolutely nothing to do with Abraham at all?

Whatever the case, whoever let Isaac into The Book of Abraham should have passed him up for a German fellow named Albert.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Uchtdorf vs. Russell

Could Bertrand be right? Do wiser people doubt?

More than a question of wisdom, I think it's an issue of honesty.

A little cash on the side

Why did the Smith family turn the whole Egyptian mummies and papyri purchase into a money making endeavor? Why in the tours offered by the Smith family did they say so many things about the artifacts that were horribly false? And why didn't they at least stick with the same false information instead of making up new bullshit from time to time? I thought this stuff was supposed to be ancient and sacred.

The leg of Pharaoh's daughter? The one who found Moses? Um... OK, Lucy. Sounds totally legit...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sacrificing Abraham

For many doubters the smokiest of Mormon guns is The Book of Abraham. At this point I would imagine that most Mormons are aware of the fact that there are a few problems with Joseph Smith's translation of the scrolls. If you are unaware, you absolutely must watch this video:

I've been waiting for the Church to release a more in depth defense of The Book of Abraham like it has recently done for several other sticky issues, but obviously the folks over in the PR department are taking their time with this one.

How can they possibly set this mess straight? We can only wonder. Can Mormonism simply throw Abraham to the dogs?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's in a name?

"C'mon, guys, stop screwing around with these non-Jesus temples."

"Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel." (3 Nephi 27:7-8)

It's so obvious to members of the LDS Church that the true church of Jesus would bear his sacred name, which is why the Church likes to be known as the LDS Church. LDS stands for Latter-day Saints. Wait, what? No Jesus in there? Oh, well that's because the official name of the Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We've totally got some sweet Jesus action going on there now, right? Don't ask me why the LDS Church doesn't prefer to be called the CJCLDS, or the C of J, or LDC of C, or any acronym that would keep a J or a C or both in the mix.

"...but if later on we change it, Jesus won't care."

In 1830 the Church began as the Church of Christ. What an excellent name for Jesus' church and how very fitting with Jesus' instructions in 3 Nephi. But four years later, in direct opposition to the words of Jesus, the name was changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. They gave up Jesus... but only briefly! In 1838, the Mormons reclaimed JC as the central figure of the Church, which adopted the name Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So that was only four years of not being Jesus' church which isn't so long in the grand scheme of things.

Oh ya! Sometimes the LDS Church likes to put "Mormons" in parenthesis after LDS. It's very important to the Church's PR department that the whole "Mormon" thing not get out of hand either. Don't ask me why.

The end of LDS sexism

Good news, everyone! Sexism in the Church is gone. Women have finally made it onto the Ensign centerfold! Look!

Wiminz! Church wins! Complainers lose!

Full of what?

The Book of Mormon supposedly contains the "fulness of the Gospel," but what exactly does that mean? For apologists it tends to mean "the good tidings of Jesus' suffering for our sins and his conquering of death" (as though the Creator of the Universe hadn't already proven his power to give life!),  but I would argue that the term as it is actually used in the LDS Church means something more like "everything we need to know and do to reach the Celestial Kingdom where we will be with Heavenly Father and our eternal families." The second definition is encouraged every time the general Church authorities speak of "living the Gospel" and include a number of other doctrines, rites, and behaviors that have nothing to do with faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost. Besides, faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost are just the first four principles and ordinances, not the complete list.

Mormons know that living the Gospel fully means regular Church attendance, fulfilling service callings in the Church, paying tithing, and doing everything required in the temple, which just happens to include marriage sealings. The Family proclamation states that "Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan" which sounds a lot like the way we talk about faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost - the are essential. Not only that, having children and continued posterity, as it turns out, is definitely considered a key component to living the fullness of the Gospel. The Mormon Gospel is not merely that Christ made restitution and resurrection possible for all of us mortal sinners, it's the promise of eternal families who will progress together to godhood. This is the "good news" of Christ that the Church is selling.

Of course, you have to get this from the missionaries and other members exclusively because relying solely on The Book of Mormon will leave the Gospel of Mormonism feeling dated and void.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The missing links

Let's go back to my favorite childhood depiction of a scene from The Book of Mormon: Arnold Friberg's Abinadai and King Noah. It just so happens that my favorite part of that painting - the jaguars chained up at Noah's feet - cannot be found anywhere in The Book of Mormon. Neither can any of the other distinctly New World animals you would expect the Jaredites and Lehites to run into and describe. (As a quick note, The Book of Mormon does use lions in a few similes which might suggest they were calling jaguars or pumas "lions" out of ignorance, an ignorance God perpetuates in the translation he gives to Joseph Smith, but isn't it just as likely that Joseph included only Old World animals because those are the ones found in and copied from the Bible?)

Regardless of where in the New World you think the events of The Book of Mormon took place, there are a number of animals you would expect to see showing up in the text under a more specific term than "beasts." Where are the pumas, the deer, the alligators, the foxes, the wolves, the coyotes, the racoons, the peccaries, the bison, the elk, the moose, the beaver, the turkeys, the manatees, the dolphins, the skunks, the antelope, the bears, the squirrels, the otters, the porcupine?

Or the jaguars, the monkeys, the parrots, the opossums, the sloths, the armadillos, the ocelots, coati, the tapirs, the iguanas, the geckos, the egrets?

Or the llamas, the toucans, the capybaras, the giant tortoises, the river dolphins, the giant constrictors, the anteaters, the howler monkeys, the tamarin, the spider monkeys, the uakari, the chinchillas, the jaguarundis? Including a few of these animals in text would have really helped link it to reality.

What about flora? Where are the New World crops? Maize, potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco, cacao, vanilla, squash, sweet potatoes, peanuts, pineapple, avacado, peppers, agave, beans, strawberries, amaranth, papaya? An occasional description of some new and exciting crop would make a lot of sense in The Book of Mormon, and yet there's nothing mentioned other than Old World grains that have no evidence of cultivation in the New World. Now that's a gigantic hole!

What about other culturally significant information like how homes were built? What materials were used? How big were they typically? Who lived in a single house? What were families like? What were neighborhoods like? How were cities laid out? Where did people recreate? Did they make sports a priority at all? Why are we making assumptions that things looked like this?

Or this?

If I had to guess, I'd say Joseph Smith thought they were living in something like this:

But for all The Book of Mormon tells us, the Nephites' prosperity looked just like this:

I'm curious, if you were going to write an adventure story set in a the Pre-Columbian Americas, what sorts of details would you rely on to paint the scene for your readers? How would you describe a flourishing, prosperous people living in that context? Would you rely heavily on sheep, cattle, and horses to represent wealth? Would you talk a lot about finding gold in abundance and wearing fine linen? What does your Nephite society look like?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Way ahead of the times

Cowboys only wish they'd invented the sport.

The Book of Mormon is full of hipster, I-was-doing-that-before-it-was-cool types. Today you might run into folks who flaunt their early adoption of quinoa and kale, but the characters of The Book of Mormon predated certain trends by hundreds, if not thousands of years. Take the Jaredites for example. They were keeping honey bees in the New World thousands of years before the European honey bee ever existed there! That's very impressive. They also kept cattle and sheep thousands of years before domesticated livestock like that had even set hoof on the American continents.

The point is, when considering evidence for The Book of Mormon, we can talk about what's not been found, but we also need to recognize what shouldn't logically be included in the text. There are a number of physical anachronisms in The Book of Mormon that should definitely cause every believing Mormon more than a few minutes of doubt.

Why do we have Nephites working all manner of precious ore of every kind, including steel? Why are they riding chariots and horses into battle? Why are they working silk and all manner of fine cloth? Mormon apologists have their answers, which always involve pipe dreams and defiance of known research coupled with an active imagination.

And somehow those apologetic tactics are supposed to fit the text and squelch our doubts even though things end up looking rather ridiculous. Could this be the true interpretation of Mormon scripture?

Or maybe this?

What's that? They didn't have missiles back then, you say? No, no they didn't...

I wonder why God couldn't give Joseph a more believable translation.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

In college and doubting?

BYU Magazine has joined the fray when it comes to offering advice on tackling doubts.

Unlike the advice recently offered for teens, this one's actually not all bad. It encourages parents to embrace the doubter, engage in respectful conversation, avoid shutdown language, get educated on the issues causing doubt and admit when they don't know something.

Maybe ignorance on these topics is why parents - and Mormons at large - have developed such strong negative responses to doubting and questioning which has in turn created a culture in which members with doubts often feel isolated.

Professor Rachel Cope (cited in the article) rightly points out that “If parents are fearful of the questions, that could feed the crisis because it implies something’s wrong. If they can’t even go there, their children will assume there must be a real issue. There needs to be less fear and more willingness to talk.”

I'm not going to say there aren't real issues in the LDS Church and its doctrine, but I wholeheartedly agree that "there needs to be less fear and more willingness to talk."

Friday, May 16, 2014

All manner of manners of every kind

So The Book of Mormon sucks shit to read. I'm sorry, but it does. The hero prophet stories get old fast, the wars drag on and on, it repeats the Bible ad nauseam, and it makes poor excuses for poor writing. If you have any other book on your reading list, read that one first. Or if you just have to read The Book of Mormon, try this version, at least it has some character.

One of my personal favorite literary tactics in The Book of Mormon is repetition. It's about as amusing as watching a dog chase its tail for 500 pages. The tiring use of "and it came to pass" (occurring 1404 times) is the most famous example of why The Book of Mormon is considered chloroform in print, but there are plenty of other repetitions. The author(s) uses "all manner of" and "of every kind" in attempt to abreviate the cataloging of artifacts, activities, behaviors, and beliefs, which IS USED A LOT, is another way the author(s) fills up pages without saying much. It's an attempt to sound smart and biblical (the KJT rarely uses "all manner of" more than once or twice per book) but that instead creates redundancy and vagueness. I mean, how are we supposed to know what all the manners and kinds are unless they tell us what those manners are explicitly? I guess in a way that vagueness makes The Book of Mormon a work designed to trigger the apologist imagination. And yet the book itself is very limited in its imagery and narrative. You might say that the record of the Nephites and Jaredites plays in a manner like unto a broken record.

I don't blame the ancient writers for the overkill of "all manner of" and "of every kind," I blame the translator who should have known how to better render Ancient New World Hebrew into English.

Here are the 200+ "manner of"s and "of every kind"s you'll find in the text. They're not all egregiously awful, but most are. I've organized them in a handful of imperfect categories.


"after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father" (1 Nephi 5:3)

"it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine" (1 Nephi 8:27)

"I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof" (1 Nephi 12:4)

"after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations" (1 Nephi 12:23)

"I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots" (1 Nephi 13:7)

"after this manner did my brother Laman stir up their hearts to anger" (1 Nephi 16:38)

"after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain" (1 Nephi 17:22)

"all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity" (1 Nephi 22:23)

"the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner" (2 Nephi 8:6)

"that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness" (2 Nephi 9:9

"as his rod was upon the sea so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt" (2 Nephi 20:26)

"Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews [...] I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations" (2 Nephi 25:1-2)

"they shall be visited with thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquakes, and all manner of destructions" (2 Nephi 26:6)

"they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations" (2 Nephi 27:1)

"I, Jacob, spake many more things unto the people of Nephi, warning them against fornication and lasciviousness, and every kind of sin, telling them the awful consequences of them" (Jacob 3:12)

"there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things—stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them." (Enos 1:23)

"nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness" (Mosiah 2:13)

"the Lamanites began to increase in riches, and began to trade one with another and wax great, and began to be a cunning and a wise people, as to the wisdom of the world, yea, a very cunning people, delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder, except it were among their own brethren." (Mosiah 24:7) This sounds like Mormons today (e.g. Mitt Romney)!

"there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity" (Mosiah 29:14)

"all his iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated" (Mosiah 29:30)

"they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness" (Mosiah 11:2)

"he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities" (Mosiah 27:8)

"he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching" (Alma 1:6)

"they did persecute them, and afflict them with all manner of words" (Alma 1:20)

"those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness" (Alma 1:32)

"the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel" (Alma 4:6)

"how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness?" (Alma 5:22)

"ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness" (Alma 5:23)

"they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness" (Alma 11:20)

"they were full of all manner of wickedness" (Alma 13:17)

"And many such things did they say unto them, gnashing their teeth upon them, and spitting upon them, and saying: How shall we look when we are damned? And many such things, yea, all manner of such things did they say unto them; and thus they did mock them for many days." (Alma 14:21-22)

"those priests who did go forth among the people did preach against all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and malice, and revilings, and stealing, robbing, plundering, murdering, committing adultery, and all manner of lasciviousness" (Alma 16:18)

"they ought not to murder, nor to plunder, nor to steal, nor to commit adultery, nor to commit any manner of wickedness" (Alma 23:3)

"he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad and slain" (Alma 25:12)

"we have suffered all manner of afflictions (Alma 26:30)

"after this manner did he preach" (Alma 30:12)

"this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor" (Alma 30:58)

"he did go on in the same manner as he did in the land of Gideon; yea, he went on to blaspheme" (Alma 30:30)

"they did worship after a manner which Alma and his brethren had never beheld" (Alma 31:12)

"he saw that their hearts were set upon gold, and upon silver, and upon all manner of fine goods" (Alma 31:24)

"because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities" (Alma 45:12)

"not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness" (Alma 47:36)

"the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land" (Alma 51:5)

"Kishkumen and his band, who had covenanted with him, did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could not be found" (Helaman 1:12)

"they might murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God" (Helaman 6:23)

"ye have set your hearts upon the riches and the vain things of this world, for the which ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear false witness against your neighbor, and do all manner of iniquity" (Helaman 7:21)

"we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One" (Helaman 12:2)

"except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him" (Helaman 12:3)

"how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity" (Helaman 12:5)

"your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities" (Helaman 13:22)

"ye do cast out the prophets, and do mock them, and cast stones at them, and do slay them, and do all manner of iniquity unto them" (Helaman 13:24)

"if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him" (Helaman 13:26)

"they were girded about after the manner of robbers" (3 Nephi 4:7)

"Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world. And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity" (3 Nephi 6:15-16)

"men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake" (3 Nephi 12:11)

"shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations" (3 Nephi 16:10)

"there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world" (4 Nephi 1:24)

"there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness" (4 Nephi 1:27)

"the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity" (4 Nephi 1:34)

"gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance, and did traffic in all manner of traffic" (4 Nephi 1:46)

"there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations" (Mormon 8:31)

"there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities" (Mormon 8:36)

"they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms" (Ether 8:16)

"I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people" (Ether 8:20) And yet he includes extensive passages from the Bible, a book which is held among essentially all people.

"they had sworn unto him to do all manner of iniquity" (Ether 9:10)

"they adopted the old plans, and administered oaths after the manner of the ancients, and sought again to destroy the kingdom" (Ether 10:33)

"he did do all manner of iniquity in his days" (Ether 11:10)

"there were robbers, and in fine, all manner of wickedness upon all the face of the land" (Ether 13:26)

"after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one" (Moroni 7:17)

"Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent." (Moroni 8:16)


"we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind" (1 Nephi 8:1)

"we did take seed of every kind" (1 Nephi 16:11)

"there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men" (1 Nephi 18:25)

"the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses." (Enos 1:21)

"with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits" (Mosiah 9:9)

"all manner of grain and all manner of fruit of every kind" (Mosiah 10:4)

"gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families" (Ether 1:41)

"they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind" (Ether 2:3)


"after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled" (1 Nephi 1:15)

"he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches" (1 Nephi 3:16)

"I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits" (1 Nephi 11:41)

"we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind" (2 Nephi 5:11)

"we lived after the manner of happiness" (2 Nephi 5:27)

"there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews. But behold, I, Nephi, have not taught my children after the manner of the Jews" (2 Nephi 25:5-6)

"many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores" (Jacob 2:12)

"I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind" (Mosiah 2:11)

"I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you" (Mosiah 2:12)

"Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:19)

"we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us" (Mosiah 7:22)

"they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled" (Mosiah 8:8)

"they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth" (Alma 1:29)

"having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things" (Alma 9:22)

"A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain." (Alma 11:7)

"his wife, and his sons, and his daughters mourned over him, after the manner of the Lamanites, greatly lamenting his loss" (Alma 18:43)

"I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions" (Alma 36:27)

"myself, and also my men, and also Helaman and his men, have suffered exceedingly great sufferings; yea, even hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and all manner of afflictions of every kind" (Alma 60:3)

"all the prisoners of the Lamanites did join the people of Ammon, and did begin to labor exceedingly, tilling the ground, raising all manner of grain, and flocks and herds of every kind" (Alma 62:29)

"he had delivered them from death, and from bonds, and from prisons, and from all manner of afflictions, and he had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies" (Alma 62:50)

"there are many books and many records of every kind" (Helaman 3:15)

 "they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north" (Helaman 6:9)

"their women did toil and spin, and did make all manner of cloth, of fine-twined linen and cloth of every kind, to clothe their nakedness" (Helaman 6:13)

"they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions" (3 Nephi 6:2)

"they were not united as to their laws, and their manner of government" (3 Nephi 7:14)

"Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them" (3 Nephi 17:7)

"all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one" (3 Nephi 17:9)

"having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and even had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth his power unto them" (3 Nephi 25:16)

"there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men" (4 Nephi 1:5)

"there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness" (4 Nephi 1:16)

"Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things; And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man." (Ether 9:17-18)

"the Lord God would send or bring forth another people to possess the land, by his power, after the manner by which he brought their fathers" (Ether 11:21)

"after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men" (Moroni 7:32)

"after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren" (1 Nephi 3:21)

"after this manner of language did my father, Lehi, comfort my mother, Sariah" (1 Nephi 5:6)

"after this manner of language did she speak" (1 Nephi 5:8

"after this manner of language did my father prophesy and speak unto my brethren, and also many more things which I do not write in this book" (1 Nephi 10:15)

"after this manner has the prophet written" (1 Nephi 19:24)

"I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order" (2 Nephi 6:2)

"Then shall the lambs feed after their manner" (2 Nephi 15:17)

"after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men" (2 Nephi 31:3

"after this manner did they teach them" (Jarom 1:11

"after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers" (Omni 1:9)

"after this manner he did baptize every one" (Mosiah 18:6

"Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon" (Mosiah 25:18

"all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the church of God" (Mosiah 26:38

"he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage" (Mosiah 29:40)

"I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus" (Alma 5:44

"he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind" (Alma 7:11)
"these are the names of the different pieces of their gold, and of their silver, according to their value. And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews" (Alma 11:4)

"And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption." (Alma 13:2)

"this is the manner after which they were ordained" (Alma 13:3)

"they were ordained after this manner" (Alma 13:8)

"after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again to the holy stand, to offer up thanks after their manner." (Alma 31:23)

"let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words" (Alma 32:27)

"they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in one God, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith" (Alma 33:1)

"not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice" (Alma 34:10)

"I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions" (Alma 34:40)

"we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery" (Alma 40:17)

"the Lamanites did come down into the land of Zarahemla, and did declare unto the people of the Nephites the manner of their conversion" (Helaman 6:4

"some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions" (3 Nephi 6:13)

"after this manner shall ye baptize in my name" (3 Nephi 11:27)

"After this manner therefore pray ye" (3 Nephi 13:9)

"after this manner do they bear record" (3 Nephi 17:16)

"I began to be learned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people" (Mormon 1:2)

"these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob; and they are written after this manner, because it is known of God that wickedness will not bring them forth unto them" (Mormon 5:12)

"the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech" (Mormon 9:32)

"it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites" (Ether 3:17)

"he finished his record; (and the hundredth part I have not written) and he hid them in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them" (Ether 15:33)

"The manner which the disciples, who were called the elders of the church, ordained priests and teachers" (Moroni 3:1)

"after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers" (Moroni 3:4)

"The manner of administering the wine" (Moroni 5:1)

"their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 6:8)

"he spake concerning faith, hope, and charity; for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the synagogue" (Moroni 7:21)

"after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me" (Moroni 8:9)


"Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee" (1 Nephi 17:8)

"tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me" (1 Nephi 17:9)

"the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship. Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men" (1 Nephi 18:1-2) Here Nephi says essentially the same thing five different times but only in two different ways.

"we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper" (1 Nephi 18:25)

"I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance" (2 Nephi 5:15)

"I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine" (2 Nephi 5:16)

"I did cause that the women should spin, and toil, and work, and work all manner of fine linen, yea, and cloth of every kind, that we might clothe our nakedness" (Mosiah 10:5)

"he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass" (Mosiah 10:11)

"king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper" (Mosiah 11:8)

"whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times" (Mosiah 28:16)

"their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews" (Alma 16:13)

"there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship" (Alma 37:39)

"in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings" (Helaman 3:9)

"they did still continue to build up churches unto themselves, and adorn them with all manner of precious things" (4 Nephi 1:41)

"Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord" (Ether 2:16)

"they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish" (Ether 2:17)

"he did obtain all his fine work, yea, even his fine gold he did cause to be refined in prison; and all manner of fine workmanship he did cause to be wrought in prison" (Ether 10:7)

"And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work. And they did have silks, and fine-twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth, that they might clothe themselves from their nakedness. And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plow and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash. And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts. And they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship." (Ether 10:23-27)


"I beheld many generations pass away, after the manner of wars and contentions in the land" (1 Nephi 12:3)

"I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords" (2 Nephi 5:14)

"we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war" (Jarom 1:8)

"two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away—after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions" (Jarom 1:13)

"I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent" (Mosiah 9:16)

"I caused that there should be weapons of war made of every kind, that thereby I might have weapons for my people" (Mosiah 10:1)

"they went again even the third time, and suffered in the like manner" (Mosiah 21:12)

"they did arm themselves with swords, and with cimeters, and with bows, and with arrows, and with stones, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons of war, of every kind" (Alma 2:12)

"Amlici did arm his men with all manner of weapons of war of every kind" (Alma 2:14

"they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them" (Alma 27:29)

"his people were armed with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war" (Alma 43:18

"they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi. Now they were prepared for the Lamanites, to battle after the manner of the instructions of Moroni" (Alma 49:8)

"the Lamanites, or the Amalickiahites, were exceedingly astonished at their manner of preparation for war" (Alma 49:9)

"many cities [...] all of which were strongly fortified after the manner of the fortifications of Moroni" (Alma 51:27)

"Amalickiah did pitch his tents in the borders on the beach by the seashore, and after this manner were they driven" (Alma 51:32)

"they had suffered great afflictions of every kind" (Alma 56:16)

"notwithstanding the Lamanites being cut off from their support after this manner, they were still determined to maintain the city" (Alma 57:11)

"ye have been appointed to gather together men, and arm them with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war of every kind, and send forth against the Lamanites" (Alma 60:2)

"they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions" (Alma 60:17)

"the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with swords, and with cimeters and with bows, and with arrows, and with head-plates, and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind" (Helaman 1:14)

"in this manner they did fall upon them and cut them down to the earth" (Helaman 1:24)

"Gidgiddoni did cause that they should make weapons of war of every kind, and they should be strong with armor, and with shields, and with bucklers, after the manner of his instruction" (3 Nephi 3:26)

"the Nephites being in one body, and having so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses and cattle, and flocks of every kind, that they might subsist for the space of seven years, in the which time they did hope to destroy the robbers from off the face of the land" (3 Nephi 4:4)

"they did fall upon my people with the sword, and with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the ax, and with all manner of weapons of war" (Mormon 6:9)

"And they did make all manner of weapons of war." (Ether 10:27)

"when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and their children—both men, women and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breastplates, and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war—they did march forth one against another to battle" (Ether 15:15)

"they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death" (Moroni 9:10)

CONGRATULATIONS! You made it to the end of a long list of example of really bad writing and translating. How do you feel? Invigorated by the Spirit? If not, let me leave you with yet another choice verse after the manner of Book of Mormon manners:

"a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work" (Helaman 3:14)

Oh dear lord, The Book of Mormon could have been a hundred times more repetitive? Now that's not even funny.