After finishing the Book of Mormon, one of the great works of American fiction, I thought I would provide a quick summary:
Once upon a time, in the promised land of America* where New Jerusalem is to be found one day in the future, there was a colony called the Jaredites. In Babylon, in the days of the Tower of Babel dispersion, Jared’s brother spoke with “God” and “God” directed him as well as his brother and family away from Babylon and gave them directions to build relatively small submarine-type vessels for each member of Jared’s gang in order to cross the Atlantic for a 300 plus day journey. How they were able to bring enough food in those small submarines for a 300 plus day journey is not explained. One of the mysteries of Mormonism I guess. These watertight submarines had glowing stones** provided by “God” in order to have light inside these individual submarines because they did not have electricity yet. It was the pre-Abrahamic era after all. After the setting up of a civilization which had steel swords and historical records written on metallic plates in pre-Columbian America the descendants of Jared’s gang went bad big time and these descendants split up into two enemy camps. After a certain number of generations one final war in what is now modern upstate New York brought about the death of all members of the rival camps – we’re talking at least 2 million people per camp – save one Ether, a prophet, who recorded the history of the Jaredites on metallic plates and hid those plates in the ground where they would be found later by Israelites who came to pre-Columbian America. No steel swords from the Jaredite era have been discovered thus far in that part of New York not to mention all the other military equipment. Maybe it was biodegradable steel and military equipment? (Note : The account of the Jaredite history is found in the Book of Ether, near the end of the Book of Mormon.)
* or “Once upon a time, in the mind of Joseph Smith”
** maybe they were Yellow “submarines”?
Centuries elapsed after the “Jaredite massacre” and the Mormon “God” called a certain Lehi, a prophet of the tribe of Manasseh*** (who according to the Book of Mormon and not the Bible lived in the days of Jeremiah and who used the Egyptian language for some reason instead of Hebrew like all the other Israelites) and his family to leave Jerusalem because it was going to be judged by Babylon. Lehi had at least one righteous son, Nephi, and some wicked sons, Laman and Lemuel. Nephi had some revelations from God and Laman and Lemuel hated him. They persecuted their brother Nephi but Nephi was delivered at different times by “God”. Lehi’s family and some other refugees from Jerusalem who joined them hopped onto a boat, built with the help of “divine” instructions, for a one-way trip to the promised land of America. Because of their wickedness and rejection of “God’s” testimony, Laman and Lemuel’s descendants were cursed with dark skin (I’m not making this up!) and their descendants, the Lamanites, would be enemies to the descendants of Lehi’s righteous sons, called Nephites who were rather white-skinned and beautiful people. (Methinks I smell political incorrectness. I wonder if Joseph Hitler… ooops… Joseph SMITH ever received criticism for those “dark skin as a curse” passages in the Book of Mormon.)
*** a son of JOSEPH… the coming of the “prophet” JOSEPH Smith – without mentioning the family name – is “prophesied” of in the Book of Mormo… hmmm… how convenient for Joseph Smith!
Later on (many centuries later), through repentance and faith in the Mormon “God”, some Lamanites were freed from “the curse of dark skin” and became white-skinned and fair like the Nephites. (Awwww! Doesn’t that just warm your heart to know that it was a “blessing” of “God” that they became white?) Most of the rest of the Book of Mormon deals with the wars and conflicts between the Lamanites and Nephites. The Nephites built themselves many cities, cement houses, synagogues****, churches, highways and steel swords in places like the Land of Desolation (Delaware?) and the Land of Zarahemla (Alabama?). There was even a temple just like Solomon’s temple with animal sacrifices and a priesthood. These “American Israelite priests” were taken from the tribe of Manasseh, the ancestor of Lehi, and not from the tribe of Levi.
**** even though synagogues came into existence as a result of the Babylonian captivity which happened AFTER Lehi and his family would have left for America
In between many quotes from the King James Bible especially from the Book of Isaiah*, some pretty righteous kings reigned over the Nephites but since the Nephites were liberty-loving pre-Columbian Americans they desired to go back to the government of judges and no longer have a king over the land. (In other words it’s the reverse of Bible history). The last king, Mosiah, agreed. Why not? From kings to judges without a war or conflict. So for many centuries judges ruled over the Nephites who loved liberty though at times some wicked Nephites, using secret societies and deceit, tried to set up a king again.
* a 19th century man somehow “translated” reformed Egyptian into 16th century English which closely ressembled the King James translation… strange, eh?
Decades before the first coming of Christ, Nephites were called Christians and churches were established with Christian “priests”. People were called to repent and believe in Christ (though He had not come yet) and be baptized. In times of prosperity, the Nephite church had zealous Nephite missionaries who ventured to bring the Mormon “gospel” to the dark-skinned Lamanites who lived in ignorance and were cursed with dark skin as mentioned previously. Later many Lamanites came to the Christian faith (before Christ actually came) and consequently became white-skinned because of their repentance. The culmination of Mormon “history” was the Coming of the Mormon “Christ” to America to ordain 12 Nephite apostles. This tale is found in the Book of 3rd Nephi. After the Mormon “Christ” preached to the Nephites and ascended up to heaven the Nephites enjoyed many years of peace. Close to 200 years. It’s as if Satan had taken a vacation. Everything was working perfectly. No major problems but the Nephites after many years of prosperity grew wicked (just like the aforementioned Jaredites) so “God” sent prophets over the years giving many lengthy exhortations containing many Bible quotations sometimes “corrected” by the “inspired” translator of the Book of Mormon in order to promote Mormon doctrines because it is the Book of MORMON after all. The Nephites hardened themselves to the Mormon “Gospel” and they were subsequently judged by the Mormon “God”. All the Nephites were exterminated in a big war (at the same place the Jaredites were completely exterminated… in the state of New York… one could call New York the “Massacre State”, right?) save for Mormon, a righteous general who recorded the final events of Nephite history (about 400 AD) plus some distinctive Mormon doctrines (how convenient for Joseph Smith!) on metallic plates, and his son Moroni as well as 3 immortal Mormons who received the blessing from “God” to remain immortal until the Coming of Christ. (Where are those 3 immortal Mormons today? Hmmm…. Undercover in Mongolia? Mormon Witness Relocation Program? Hmmm…. I’ll have to ask some Mormons if they know where they are today.) The Nephite general Mormon hid the plates in the ground and close to 1400 years later Joseph Smith, receiving help from Moroni who had become an angel and not the “god” of his own planet, would supposedly discover them as well as the accompanying “divine” translation “goggles” allowing Joseph Smith to infallibly translate reformed Egyptian into King James English for 19th century America. The Lamanites survived and are according to the Book of Mormon and not the Bible the ancestors of today’s native Americans.
Because the Book of Mormon is very hard to believe as a whole the reader of the Book of Mormon is called to pray to “God” in order to know that the Book of Mormon is true (Moroni 10:3-5). It seems it takes a lot of “divine” help to make you believe the Book of Mormon is true. Oh well! Nobody is perfect. Starting a new religion is never easy even for an “inspired” translator-prophet… even one equipped with “translation goggles”.