Is the Doctrine of Atonement Unchangeable?
But I have yet another question for my Mormon friends. The question is on Brigham Young's doctrine of atonement. Brigham Young's doctrine of atonement said that the doctrine of atonement cannot be changed. Now don't get me wrong. I agree with mainstream Mormons that the fundamentalist Mormons, the Temple Lot Mormons and the other ones, are bizarre in what they believe and say and do. However, in reading the original writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, they do seem to be the true Mormons – the bigamists and the polygamists. They are actually doing what Brigham Young did. Brigham Young had 23 wives thereabout?
When I met these fundamental Mormons in Manti, Utah, one had 8 wives. He walked up the street with them – completely illegal in that state – and I wondered what kind of a woman would share her husband with 7 other women. I discovered what kind would: An underage women from a fundamentalist Mormon family herself. They were engaging in acts that were legally considered pedophilia by the mainstream Mormons. When they were challenged – not by me but by other Mormons, the other Mormons challenged them – they said, “What are we doing that Brigham Young didn’t do?” That was a fair question. But my concern was not their bigamy or their polygamy – some even had polyany, multiple husbands – my concern was the doctrine of atonement.
Bigamy and polygamy were outlawed after the leadership of the Church of Latter-day Saints said they had a new revelation and they shouldn't do it anymore at a time when the institution of bigamy and polygamy was preventing Utah from becoming a state in the United States. It’d only been a territory after it tried to become an independent republic and the military came and there was a war – a shoot-out. So all of the sudden now it became monogamous. In the 1960’s when the civil rights movement came along, all of a sudden black people could now be Mormon priests. Previously they couldn't. It seems they have a revelation at convenient times in history when the social pressures, or political ones – legal ones, demand it. But the doctrine of atonement was one that your Brigham Young said could not be changed.
Do you really believe as Mormonism teaches, that black people are the descendents of fallen angels cast out of heaven? And do you believe what Brigham Young said in the doctrine of atonement, that black people are ugly, mischievous, depraved, of low intelligence (and a number of other things too rude to mention), and that any Mormon who marries one must be killed, and this doctrine of atonement cannot be changed? Black people are ugly, mischievous, depraved, etc. and by “black” not only people of African descent, anybody that’s dark-skinned, and any Mormon who marries one must be killed. That is the Mormon doctrine of atonement. Brigham Young said it, you believe it, that settles it?
Do you really believe he was right? Do you believe black people are the descendants of angels cast out of heaven because they wouldn't choose between Christ and Satan? Do you really believe that there’s something wrong with them inherently, that they’re ugly, mischievous, depraved, and that if a Mormon marries one they should be killed? Brigham Young said this doctrine can never be changed. Well if he said it, that should settle it, you should believe it. Do you really believe it? Is that settled in your mind? And do you really think I should believe it? Do you really believe the doctrine of atonement and do you really think that I should believe it? That is my question. I think it's a fair one and a necessary one.
So far I’m asking you when mitochondrial DNA says “no Lamanites”, Middle Eastern Semitic or Jewish origin, rather the anthropological origins are from Siberia of North American and Central and South American Indians, and your own scientists admit it, if they don't believe then why should I and why should you? That's my first question.
My second question is reading things in The Journal of Discourses that I’ve only given you one example of something that seemed strange, do you really believe there’s Quakers on the moon and on the Sun, and do you really expect me to believe it? Do you really, really expect me to believe a funeral rite mistranslated into something else by Joseph Smith, that has no relation to what it actually says in the Bible. The Bible is specific about nations, kingdoms and when the archeologists have dug – and I’ve lived in Israel for a number of years – they have found these cities, many of them. They’ve found Meggido, they’ve found Timnah, they found Tel-Hazor where the Bible says they were, and they find coins. Where is one single coin from any of these ancient civilizations given the fact that the coins of these ancient American civilizations are named in the Book of Mormon; where are they? The pre-Columbian history department of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the national museum of the United States, says there is no, absolutely no, archaeological evidence for the claim of the Book of Mormon. But I’m expected to believe it. Please tell me why. The archeological record supports the Bible.
Now I know the Book of Mormon is written in the language of the King James Bible, only the King James Bible is a translation of Greek and Hebrew. In fact, it’s a translation of a translation. What language is the King James? It’s 17th Century English. It’s not the original. TheBook of Mormon is made to look like the King James and that kind of language. but where is the evidence?