For example, let’s just look at some of the inexplicable inconsistencies in the Golden Plates tale.
On the one hand, Joe has to get his hands on the physical golden plates in order to translate the ancient text into English.
But on the other hand, he doesn’t really need the physical golden plates because he can just see the entire text through the brown rock he calls a seer stone or, alternatively, through the “Urim and Thummim” crystals that reportedly are mounted on a breastplate.
But then he also sometimes calls the brown rock the “Urim and Thummim” just to confuse things further.
Then there’s the problem of keeping the golden plates safe because they’re gold and precious and bad guys want to steal them.
But at the same time, it seems that the angel (or at least AN angel) always has them in his own custody, which is why the Three Witnesses (Witlesses) had to wait for an angel to bring the golden plates to them, so that they could do their big witnessing thing.
According to John Whitmer’s story about his Grandma Whitmer seeing the golden plates, Nephi (not Moroni) had the plates in a backpack and, after pulling them out and showing them to Grandma W., Nephi quickly stuffed them back in the backpack and immediately vanished. Chronologically, this would probably have been around the same time that Joe was going to great lengths to hide the plates here and there to protect them. Poor Joe going to all that trouble while the angel or angels were borrowing them anytime they pleased and schlepping them all over the place in backpacks.
According to other tall tales told by Joe and Ollie, the golden plates were managed by Moroni. So you’ve got at least two angels, Nephi and Moroni, who are running around with the golden plates. I wonder if they had angelic check-out cards (like in libraries), so that god could keep track of who had most recently checked out the golden plates.
So while the angels are obviously still managing security for the golden plates, we get strange scenarios where Joe, in one instance, has to run through the woods with these extremely heavy plates to keep them out of the hands of would-be thieves and, in another instance, supposedly has to hide them in a barrel of beans or something like that. So what was that all about? If some bad guys actually stole them, wouldn’t it just be easy as pie for Nephi and Moroni to zap the bad guys down and get their precious plates back? Were both Moroni and Nephi on vacation and they couldn’t keep the plates in the angelic vault where they usually had them?
Then there were other times where they were supposedly in a box or under a cloth.
The whole thing is such an obvious bullshit story that it is truly painful at times to see adult Mormons going along with it.
I’ve heard better bullshit stories from drunken ignoramuses in bars. At least the drunken ignoramuses could catch themselves in the middle of saying something that contradicted what they had said just a few minutes earlier.
I mean when I was younger I tried really hard to believe because I love my family and I respect my TBM parents for so many reasons. But by the time I got into my early twenties, after having served a mission, it was just so obvious that it was a bullshit story made up by a low-budget bullshit artist named Joe Smith. I couldn’t even try to believe anymore and I couldn’t pretend.
It’s like trying to believe in Santa Claus to make your parents and friends happy. But it’s even worse. In this story, there are real guys in business suits who try to tell you that Santa Claus want you to pay TO THEM 10% of your income. And then it’s even worse than worse when you find out that the guy who made up the original bullshit story made up similar bullshit stories so that he could get into the panties of underaged girls and married women.
I love my TBM friends and family members, but for the life of me I just don’t see how they continue believing these absurd bullshit stories. But, as Hinckley might say, that’s the miracle of it. It could be that this is the miracle that keeps Mormons going back for more. They tell themselves: “I can’t believe that I actually believe this @#$%&! There’s no reason for believing this @#$%&! It’s the craziest @#$%& I ever heard! It’s a miracle that I believe this @#$%&. That means it’s holy @#$%& and you have to believe holy @#$%&. [cue the melody] And that’s why I believe…”
BTW, pardon my French here. I don’t usually like to use the bullshit word without deleting a vowel or something. But there really doesn’t seem to be an adequate substitute adjective for describing the ridiculous lies made up by Joe Smith and his enablers.