Monday, April 23, 2018

Church History Department and Letter VII

Some people are uncomfortable with my observations about the way employees in Church departments (Correlation, Curriculum History and Missionary Departments) are promoting the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory (M2C).

I wish these employees were not promoting M2C. But we have to get real about this problem. The prophets (referring to all the prophets and apostles collectively) have consistently and repeatedly taught that Cumorah is in New York. No prophet has ever questioned or repudiated that teaching. But some LDS intellectuals have, and so have employees in these Church Departments.

The prophets always tell us to study the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets. They don't tell us to reject those teachings just because LDS scholars and Church employees do.

Just because CES and BYU reject what the prophets have taught doesn't mean we have to follow them instead of the prophets.

Today we'll look more closely at one example that I've briefly discussed before. The Church History Department doesn't want people to read Letter VII because the staff is promoting M2C. M2C influences everything they do, including the notes in the Joseph Smith Papers and the upcoming book titled Saints that has been excerpted in the Ensign.

This is a very serious issue because Saints will become the standard book on Church history for the entire world and it is misrepresenting Church history to promote M2C.

The April Ensign includes chapter 3 from the book. They can't censor Letter VII completely because it contains historical details available nowhere else, but they don't want anyone to know what Letter VII says about the Hill Cumorah. Consequently, they make it difficult to find.

Today's example is from the online version of Chapter 3. Go to this link and click on note 13:

Here is a screenshot of the page. The left column is a table of contents, the center column is the text, and the right column shows the footnotes. It's an excellent format:

Here is a close up that shows what they are doing.

Comment 1. You see how they cite Letter VII, but they give the reference only as the July 1835 Messenger and Advocate, with no hyperlink. As a reader of this blog, you know what the Messenger and Advocate is, but probably fewer than 5% of Church members have ever heard of it. No one knows how to find it.

Comment 2. Notice how they give references to the JSP for these two references, but they do not give the JSP reference for Letter VII. This is intentional. They could easily have referred to JSP, H1:72-79, where we can read Letter VII in Joseph's own history. But they don't want people to even know about that.

Comment 3. This is supposed to be Letter VII, but instead they label it as Letter IV again.

If you click on the link, it doesn't even go to Letter VII. Instead, it goes to the first page of the Messenger and Advocate on From there, you can navigate to p. 155, where Letter VII starts, but because of the way works, it shows up as page 160 in the scroll bar. Plus, on it is difficult to read, copy, etc.

Instead, the Church History Department could have given a link to the Joseph Smith Papers.
Letter VII is right here:

Why wouldn't the Church History Department give this obvious link to readers?

They could argue that the Messenger and Advocate was the first publication. That sounds like a legitimate argument, but note 113 at the top of Letter VII in the JSP already explains that it came from the Messenger and Advocate. (BTW, the JSP notes don't tell readers that Letter VII was also republished in the Times and Seasons, the Gospel Reflector, the Millennial Star, and the Prophet.)

The Church History Department knows full well that Joseph's history contains Letter VII, but they don't want Church members to know that because of what Letter VII says about the hill Cumorah in New York. (those passages begin here:

You will see in upcoming chapters that Saints never tells readers what Joseph and Oliver actually taught about the Hill Cumorah in New York.

In fact, Saints is already deliberately misleading readers about early Church history, as I'll explain in an upcoming post. They are doing this solely to promote M2C.

BTW, I've told the Church History Department about these errors, but they couldn't care less about what I say, so they haven't even corrected the obvious error of listing Letter IV twice.

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