Friday, December 15, 2023

Pre-Christmas Kindle sale - The Rational Restoration


When the first Kindle was released in 2007, I bought one right away. It was a little clunky, but it was better than other e-readers at the time.

I showed mine to some well-known authors who had yet to see one back then, including R.L. Stine, Lee Child, and several others, many of whom signed the back of my Kindle just for fun. 

Back then, the ability of the Kindle to download books over the Internet seemed amazing. We could use it for email as well. (One of our kids sent us email from North Korea on a Kindle, which the authorities had let him keep during a tour there because he said it was a translator, not a phone.)

Since then we've owned several Kindle devices, but now I hardly ever use them because the Kindle apps on our phones, tablets, and laptops are so much easier to use.

Which leads me to the Pre-Christmas Kindle sale.

We decided to put the Kindle version of The Rational Restoration on sale for the next 10 days for only $4.99.

[Note: anyone who bought a Kindle version in the last 30 days at the regular price can email me at for a free special .pdf]

You can see the Table of Contents here:

You can also download a sample of the book on Kindle, which includes the Table of Contents.

You don't need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can easily download the Kindle app on your PC, laptop, phone, or tablet. Then you can read your Kindle books anywhere. You can sync your devices so they keep you on the latest page you've been reading.

You can give Kindle copies as gifts. It's easy. Here are the instructions from the Amazon website:

Buy Kindle Books for Others

You can use your Amazon account to purchase Kindle books in bulk and distribute them to others.

Note: Kindle eBooks can only be redeemed by recipients in your same country. Recipients outside your country cannot redeem any Kindle eBooks sent to them. You can distribute any unredeemed copies to other recipients or request a refund.

To buy Kindle books for others:

  1. Go to the Kindle eBook's product detail page on Amazon.
  2. In the Buy for others box select the quantity you want to purchase.
  3. Select the Buy for others button and then enter the details for your gift recipients.

    You can specify recipient email addresses on the checkout page to send each recipient an email with the link to redeem the eBook. Any eBooks not sent are available, after completing your purchase, to be sent when you choose.

    If you didn't provide a recipient email address, instructions on how to manage your books are emailed to you after the order is complete. Go to Send Kindle Books to Individual Recipients for more information.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Ephesus, before and after excavation


2,300-year-old Grand Theatre of Ephesus, in Turkey, before and after excavation.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

"I am going to Cumorah"

On multiple occasions, David Whitmer described his experience with the messenger who took the abridged plates from Harmony to Cumorah. This account used to be in the Seminary and Institute manuals for the Book of Mormon, but is no longer taught. 

The Saints book, Volume 1, p. 69, inexplicably omitted this account from the narrative of David Whitmer taking Joseph and Oliver from Harmony to Fayette. Saints explains how David's fields were miraculously plowed so he could go to Harmony, as David explained to Joseph F. Smith and Orson Pratt in 1878.

Note 16 in the online edition of Saints links to the page of Joseph F. Smith's letter to John Taylor describing the trip to Fayette.

The very next page in that letter relates David Whitmer's account of Cumorah, but Saints omits that from the narrative. Here's the link to that page.

In another account, David explained that Joseph Smith said this messenger who had the plates was one of the Three Nephites. I'll post that account separately.


BTW, if you read Saints, page 70, you'll see the following dialog which combines what David actually related with a fictional identification. 

“My name is Moroni,” he said. “You have become pretty tired with all the extra work you have to do.” He swung the knapsack off his shoulder, and Mary watched as he started to untie it.19

“You have been very faithful and diligent in your labors,” he continued. “It is proper, therefore, that you should receive a witness that your faith may be strengthened.”20

The audacity of this fictional narrative is stunning. The editors of Saints adapted David's account of what the messenger told his mother, Mary Whitmer, which was fair enough. But they omitted David's account of meeting the messenger on the way to Fayette, which was how he knew it was the same messenger who met his mother.

Worse, they omit David's explanation that Joseph identified the messenger as one of the Three Nephites.

They also omit what Mary herself said; i.e., that the messenger identified himself as Brother Nephi. (We see from 3 Nephi 19:4 that Nephi was one of the twelve disciples, three of whom were allowed to tarry, as described in 3 Nephi 28.)

Instead, they insert the fictional dialog that the messenger said "My name is Moroni," which never happened. The origin of that identification is from Andrew Jenson, who assumed Mary was wrong because, in his opinion, it was Moroni who had charge of the plates.

It should be obvious to any reader familiar with Church history that David Whitmer conversed with both this messenger and Moroni. David knew they were two different individuals and he even explained that Joseph said the messenger was one of the Three Nephites. 

By creating a false narrative in Saints, the editors have not only misled generations of Latter-day Saints, but have generated confusion about the nature of resurrected beings. Now we are asked to believe that an old man, 5'8" or 5'9," heavy set with a white beard and hair, wearing a brown wool suit (which fits the description of the Three Nephites, assuming they were changed around the age of 72 as their fellow disciples were promised), is the same individual as the resurrected Moroni who was glorious, wearing a white seamless robe, and taller than the average men of the time. 

For a discussion, see

 The same person?

David Whitmer’s description

Oliver Cowdery’s description

We were suddenly approached by a very pleasant, nice looking old man… He was I should think about 5 ft 8 or 9 inches tall and heavy set, about such a man as James there, but heavier, his face was as large, he was dressed in a suit of brown woolen clothes his hair and beard were white like bro. Pratts, but his beard was not so heavy. I also remember that he had on his back a sort of knap sack, with something in shaped like a book. It was the messenger who had the plates.

The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in this age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam.