More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Jaredite Barges

by steve benson Dec 2011

In an earlier act, FAIR's premier funny man, Michael R. Ash, entertained his RfM audience with non-stop laughs as he explained how Nephite warriors fought their enemies not from horse-drawn chariots (since horses and wheels weren't around during that New World era), but rather, from sleds pulled by deer.

For a replay of that drop-dead funny, non-stop-fact-free performance--one that really brought down the House of the Lord--see:,383579

Now, in Act 2, the Amazing Ash goes for more belly-busters as he explains how those Book of Mormon Jaredite submarine barges actually worked, as demonstrated by the rides at FAIR's Fantasy Faithland Amusement Park, in the heart of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Herrrrrrrrrrrrre's Michael!!:

--"Thank you. (applause) Thank you, thank you very much. (applause) I'll be here all week. (applause) At the FAIR Improv. (applause) Thank you. You guys are great. OK, here goes."--

"When the Lord told the Jaredites he would lead them to a new land (Ether 2:7), he also instructed them to build eight barges to traverse the waters to their new destination (v. 16).

"According to Ether, these barges, which were patterned after Noah's Ark (6:7), were 'tight like unto a dish,' peaked at both ends and had holes that could be unplugged to allow ventilation (2:17, 20).

"The story of Noah, or some equivalent figure, is found in a wide array of ancient non-biblical literature and could easily have been known to the ancient Jaredites. Some of these traditions about the Ark--or 'deluge boat'--contain details and oddities not found in the Bible.

"Dr. Hugh Nibley has shown that several of these non-biblical details and oddities are also found in the Jaredite account.

"Some of these ancient sources, for example, claim that the shape of the deluge boat resembled a crescent moon when viewed from the profile. Like the Jaredite barges, it would have been peaked on both ends. Artwork of actual sea-going vessels from the Tyrians and Sidonians show that some boats really had such a shape.

"Although the book of Ether never says that the Jaredite barges had sails, we are told . . . that the barges were driven by furious winds (Ether 6:5-9). While the Bible never mentions that wind was a factor in propelling the Ark, the deluge boat was supposedly sail-less but driven by ferocious winds.

"Just as the Jaredite barges were 'tight like unto a dish,' the deluge boat had a portal that could be shut during the storm flood. The word 'ark,' in fact, originally meant a 'box'--such as a chest or coffin--that was covered with a lid. And just as the barges had ventilation holes, the Ark had not only a door that could be shut but at least one nappashu, which is translated as 'air-hole' or 'window' but means 'breather' or 'ventilator' and was not an ordinary window. The Jaredite barges and the deluge boat both took on almost submarine-like natures, often being submerged in violent waves during their voyage.

"Concerned about the lack of light in the barges, the brother of Jared asked the Lord for some means of illumination. Glass would break, the Lord replied, and they couldn't light fires, so the Lord turned the problem back over to the brother of Jared. Having complete faith in the Lord's abilities, the brother of Jared climbed a mountain, 'did molten out of rock' 16 small transparent stones and asked the Lord to touch the stones so they would shine in

"While the tale of 'shining stones' has elicited the laughs of critics, we find that the story is perfectly at home in ancient lore. According to the ancient Palestine Talmud, for example, the Ark was illuminated with a miraculous light-giving stone. This precious stone supposedly glowed for 12 months inside the Ark and would dim during the day so that Noah knew if it was day or night outside.

"Such information was likely unavailable to Joseph Smith. As Dr. Nibley explains, of the four copies of the Palestine Talmud that mention the Ark's shining stones, two appeared 30 years after Joseph had already translated the Book of Mormon. When the Book of Mormon was published, there was not a single translation of the Palestine Talmud available in any modern language.

"As noted above, it was the brother of Jared, not the Lord, who suggested the idea of the shining stones. It seems reasonable to surmise that the brother of Jared was familiar with an ancient tradition of Noah and his illuminated stones. One of those ancient sources (unknown in 1830) relates the tradition of a gem that could be produced by subjecting certain stones to intense heat. The resulting gem would be a perfectly transparent crystal which shined as brightly as the sun (see the same elements in Ether 3:2, 4).

"The common name for this gem was 'Moonfriend,' or 'Jalakanta,' which interprets, 'that which causes the waters to part.' Thus the peculiar power of this shining gem enabled its possessor to pass through the depths of water unharmed.

"The Ark was also called a 'bright house' or moon-boat, not only 'because it was crescent-shaped and wandered through space for 12 months, but also because it was illuminated by a miraculous light.' While ancient Babylonian texts tell us that the deluge-boat had a 'window' or 'nappashu,' the 'window' in Genesis comes from the Hebrew 'tsohar,' which also translates as 'shiner' or 'illuminator.'

The Book of Mormon version, which is a fuller account than any "other, contains both ideas--that the barges had a ventilator as well as an illuminator."

(Michael R. Ash, "Ventilators and illuminators in Noah's Ark and Jaredite Barges," under "Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith," for "Deseret Newws," 18 October 2010, at:

(Prolonged loud laughter, light-mindedness, evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, cheering and foot-stomping )

Returning to the stage for an encore, Ash smiles, waves and takes a few questions from the audience:

--"You, over there, the one with your head on straight."--

"Chapter 2 [of the Book of Ether] starts out with a journey to the promised land on some little barges. Imagine a Princess Cruise where everybody brings their pets. American fish and birds are distinctly different than the Old World species. . . . If breathing was a human problem and only solved by holes in the barges (2:19), how did they keep various species of fish (2:2) alive for nearly a year (6:11)? I’m trying to picture the fish tanks."

{"The 95 Thesis At Temple Square." 31 October 2007, at:

(Long pause)

--"Thank you. Next question."--

Wait, Michael. You didn't answer the first question.

--"I said next question. You, over there. Go ahead, please."--

"The Lord directed the brother of Jared to build barges to take him and his family on a year-long voyage to America. They would also take aboard a variety of creatures (sound familiar?)—'their flocks,' 'fowls of the air,' 'fish of the waters,' and even 'swarms of bees.'

"The barges were to be 'small,' 'light,' and 'exceedingly tight…like unto a dish' (Ether 2:16-17). It was important for the barges to be watertight, because the Lord warned that they would often be “buried in the depths of the sea” (Ether 6:6). These Jaredite vessels, then, were effectively the first submersible vessels.

"The brother of Jared built the barges according to the Lord’s instructions, but they left much to be desired. He asked the Lord about some apparent architectural oversights:

“'And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.' (Ether 2:19)

"It’s odd that he didn’t raise those concerns before or during the barges’ construction. Lighting, steering, and airflow are not exactly trivial details in shipbuilding. In any case, the Lord had a plan to address these problems . . ."

--"Excuse me, do you have question?"--

"About oxygen: 'Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.' (Ether 2:20) . . ."

--" I said excuse me. Do you have a question?--

"Correct me if I’m wrong, but one hole wouldn’t have provided enough air for an entire barge. Closed spaces (such as watertight vessels) don’t draw in a lot of air, because they’re already full of it. And due to the body temperatures of the Jaredites and the animals, the barges would be full of high-pressure warm air trying to exit the hole such that fresh air could not enter.

"About light: 'What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire.' (Ether 2:23)

"The Lord instead provided the Jaredites with sixteen glowing 'white and clear, even as transparent glass' stones to light up the vessels (Ether 3:1).

"There are dozens of anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, but dashable windows and transparent glass are my personal favorites. Glass itself isn’t anything new. It naturally occurs from volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes, etc. And man-made glass was used for jewelry and pottery in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. But transparent window glass was a Roman invention circa 100 AD. It strains credulity to believe that the Jaredites beat the Romans to this technology by nearly three millenia.

"Lastly, about steering: 'And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.' (Ether 6:5)

"This is a rather lazy solution on the Lord’s part, as was his answer to the light problem. If you’re just going to give the Jaredites magically glowing stones, and then magically blow them toward America, why even bother with the two holes for air? Why not magically provide them with air, too? Better yet, why not spare them the hassle of building barges in the first place? Simply teleport them to America or something. That shouldn’t be too hard for a god to do.

"[These are only] a few of the reasons why the Jaredites’ voyage to America is unbelievable. One might also reasonably wonder, for example, whether these small barges could have held a years-worth of food for the Jaredites and their animals/birds/fish/bees."

(Long pause)

--"I didn't detect a question. Next. You over there, the one holding up the PhD that says, 'Dr. Kent Ponder.' Go ahead, please. What's your question?--

". . . LDS people . . . very often say that the Mormon faith is unusually reasonable and sensible. Is it?

"As a test, let's consider the Jaredites and their ocean-going barges, described in Ether of the Book of Mormon. If you've read it, did you do it with the 'eye of faith,' or with the 'eye of reason' (and common sense)? The LDS eye of faith normally reads this account unfazed. But what if we read it with the eye of reason and common sense? What if we read it as if we were jury members evaluating a witness's testimony? Shall we give it a try?

"First, calmly think about what your own planning would entail if you were told that you and some friends would have to hand-build small, submersible boats in which you and your family would be taking a year-long ocean voyage, accompanied by flocks and herds of animals. Would you want to be confined to the inside of a small submersible boat for a year without planning how to care for and live with flocks and herds of animals on board, and related supplies--for over 11 months?

"I don't know how acquainted you are with construction engineering, especially forms of shipbuilding. While I lived in Annapolis, Maryland (teaching at the US Naval Academy), I visited shipbuilding companies and studied the history of various historical shipbuilding techniques. I've also looked into Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki and Ra construction as well as whaling ships at Mystic Seaport, the ex-whaling town in Connecticut, and so on. Ocean-going craft must be carefully designed and strongly built.

"As we pay close attention to Ether 2 and 6 in the Book of Mormon, we need to keep in mind that the Jaredite ships are described as built following the direct personal instructions of God himself. The LDS church has always taught that the Lord of the Jaredites' Old Testament times was Jehovah, the same deity described as having created the earth and all of the plants and animals, employing all the intelligent planning and management that that necessarily implies.

"In Ether 2, note the order of procedure:

"FIRST, for a water voyage prior to the ocean crossing itself, the Lord had instructed Jared and his brother to build boats in which, according to the account, their families and friends 'did cross many waters,' (2:6) carrying with them 'seeds of every kind,' flocks ('male and female, of every kind'), 'fowls of the air,' 'swarms of bees,' and 'fish of the waters' (2:1-3). According to the account, this boat trip was accomplished successfully.

"NEXT, four years later, the Lord again ordered the men to build similar boats 'after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built' (2:16), this time for an ocean crossing of nearly one year's duration. These boats, similar to the ones built four years earlier, are described as 'small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water' (2:16), with structural integrity such that they were 'exceeding tight,' top and bottom, entirely leakproof and air-tight ('tight like unto a dish') (2:17) because they were going to be 'many times buried in the depths of the sea' (6:6) by 'mountain waves' (2:24) during many violent storms. To be both (a) light ('like a fowl upon the water'), and (b) able to carry flocks and herds with food supplies for a year, the construction would obviously have to be carefully planned and organized because of the known challenges of combining lightness with strength (which still applies: boats, airplanes, bicycles and helmets, race cars, even suitcases, etc.).

"Following the Lord's specifications, the workmen built each boat with just one tight-fitting door, and no window or other opening. Construction of all eight boats was completed, per the Lord's personal instructions ('I have made the barges according as thou [the Lord] hast directed me.' 2:18).

"NEXT, the Brother of Jared looked at the finished boats and wondered for the first time, Whoa! How will we breathe in these things? Specifically, quoting him: '. . . I have made the barges as thou hast directed me. And behold, O Lord, we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.'(2:19) It was only then, that is, that he noticed that the boats were air-tight. (He also noticed they were totally dark inside: 'O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer?' (2:19)

"Now let's pause to consider: How do the eyes of faith and reason interpret this account? The LDS eye of faith typically accepts the story unfazed. But consider the following 'Eye of Reason and Common Sense' questions:

"1. Is it reasonable that men smart enough to build such watertight and airtight boats, following divine instructions, would do all the planning, material gathering and construction, and finish all eight before the question of breathing and seeing occurred to any of them? At that time (Tower of Babel period), working with hand tools, such a large project would have required at least months of labor. How could they not have noticed this problem for months? Remember that these shipbuilders were experienced. They had already built very similar people/animal/cargo-carrying boats just four years earlier.

"2. Stated most succinctly, how could shipbuilders build eight air-tight boats without noticing that they were air-tight?
Visualize men walking around inside boats 'tight like unto a dish,' with only one door that was to be kept closed at sea. Can you imagine them finishing all of the inside walls on all eight boats before noticing that it's suffocating in there?

"3. And what about seeing? Is it sensible that the workmen could have finished all eight interiors without noticing that there was insufficient light to see -- no windows? How could they have worked inside without seeing?

"When asked about the light problem, note that the Lord answered with a question: 'What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces.' (2:23)

"4. 'Dashed in pieces?' Dashable (shatterable) windows were not invented until thousands of years later, by a different civilization. How would Jared's brother have been able to understand the Lord's reply? Why would a deity have said something that would have had no meaning for Jared's brother?

"5. How many boats would you have to finish before noticing no air and no light? Could you finish all eight boats before that dawned on you? Especially if you had built several similar boats and traveled in one of them four years earlier?

"6. Is it sensible to finish even one before noticing? Do you know any carpenter who would do that?

"7. Would the Lord himself not think of the need to breathe and to see, and then wait until the end to be asked about these life-or-death issues?

"8. Would a person of common sense build even a mountain cabin, finishing all walls inside and out, before thinking to make a window hole, without thinking about breathing and seeing inside?

"9. Is it sensible that all of these shipbuilders, described as previously experienced in carrying flocks and herds of animals inside of boats, waited until the end to realize, Oh, wait! We forgot that our animals will need to breathe in here. And we need to see in order to feed them and clean up.

"Despite the common-sense requirements of structural integrity of ships that will be on the ocean carrying flocks and herds of animals and their feed for a year, all boats are finished, and then, as an afterthought, holes are hacked into that finished structure, one in the top and one in the bottom (because when it flops upside down in stormy seas, the bottom becomes the top).(2:20)

"10. Wouldn't the Lord think that the sensible time to plan and build windows for air and light was during construction, not waiting to hack holes after finishing all boats, as a 'whoops!' reaction? Would a sensible deity or human do that?

"11. Is this not similar to teaching a work crew how to build automobiles for an extremely long trip without mentioning steering? Then, AFTER all the cars are built, the chief builder asks, 'We have built all of the cars exactly as you have directed, but how shall we steer, for the wheels and axles are built so that they do not turn?' And the master planner replies, 'Well, you can just make a hole in the dashboard and stick in a steering wheel. Then, when you need to steer, just turn the wheel.'

"12. Is it fair to ask how this differs from the following? Mormon elders, after following the Lord's exact instructions on building and painting the Celestial Room in the Salt Lake Temple, discovering that they've painted themselves into a remote corner, pray, 'We have done as thou hast instructed us, oh Lord, but thy instructions have resulted in our painting ourselves into a corner.' What would you think if the answer were, 'Behold, ye shall make a hole in the granite temple wall, and after ye have escaped, ye shall stop the hole.'

"Does the following improve the faith/reason problem, or worsen it?: 'When thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air.' (2:20)

"13. If you were taking your family on a car trip, would you tell them, 'Wait until you notice you're suffering for lack of air, THEN open the window.' Isn't it the case that people who need air often don't notice it until too late, because oxygen shortage has caused them to pass out? Don't we read that people who suffocate often don't know it's happening? Pilots at altitude undergoing oxygen deprivation experience the same hazard. Their awareness drops below the level needed to know they lack 'air.'

"14. How is the Jaredite level of planning and knowledge different from that of men described in current news articles, who carelessly suffocate illegal aliens by transporting them in unventilated trucks? (And that problem occurs in just a few days, not a year.)

"If we ask ourselves whether the following is sensibly reasonable, what is the answer?: 'They did lay snares and catch fowls of the air.' (Also see 6:4: 'fowl that they should carry with them') Birds are the first animals to die from inadequate oxygen, canaries in coal mines being a famous example.

"15. How were the birds to notify Jared that they 'suffered for air?'

"For the reasoning person, it gets worse.

"People and animals obviously keep breathing at night, while sleeping.

"16. What if they 'suffer for air' while everyone is asleep? Is that a good time to need to 'unstop the hole?'

"17. Did the Jaredites have 'Hole Unstoppers' on guard while everyone else slept? Did the unstopper continually check to be sure that sleeping people and animals, especially birds, were still breathing?

"How well does the eye of reason and common sense fare with the following problem?: ' . . . unstop the hole . . . ' Also, 'thou shalt make a hole in the top and also in the bottom.' (2:20) Note that it says the hole, that is, a hole, as in one hole. (The hole at the bottom clearly doesn't count except when the ship flops upside down in high seas.) Now picture in your mind traveling with flocks of flatulent sheep and herds of flatulent goats and cattle) in a boat with ONE functioning air hole.

"18. What about air movement for ventilation?

"19. How would air enter and exit the same single hole supplying the entire barge/boat?

"There's a related problem: Air doesn't readily enter a closed space. Why not? Because the space is already full of air -- In the Jaredites' case, warmer, body-heated air that exerts greater-than-outside pressure thus resisting incoming air. People taking car-trips with kids partially open at least two windows for air movement.

"20. In these Jaredite boats, reported as designed by the highest divine intelligence, why is there no cross ventilation for 344 days? The eye of reason tries to visualize people and animals struggling to vent their body gases and heat through just one hole.

"Now let's apply the eye of reason to general animal care:

"21. How much does even one goat, sheep or cow eat in a year?

"These are grazing animal, but they can't graze on the ocean; and they don't eat fish. Their grasses and grains have to be stored on board. A goat eats 2 - 3 pounds/day. Even a pony eats about 8 pounds/day. Let's sensibly use 3 pounds X 344 days. That's 1,032 pounds of feed per animal. That's a lot of bulky weight to lash down to prevent it crashing around when the ships roll, and even flip upside down.

"22. How do you fit 1,000 pounds of feed per animal in the small boats, along with people, flocks and herds of animals, and birds?

"23. And how about carrying a year's supply of drinking water for each person and animal? They couldn't drink ocean water, and in boats of the type described they couldn't gather significant rain water. How could they load and carry sufficient fresh water?

"Even the most illiterate people have learned how important ventilation is for food items, especially without refrigeration. People and animals exhale moisture with every breath. The numerous animals couldn't be taken outside to urinate and defecate. Such a year-long, high-moisture, low-ventilation environment breeds bacteria, yeast, fungus and molds, and rots food.

"24. So, what about food spoilage?

"Could it get worse?

"The voyagers are reported to have sung praises to the Lord day and night. (6:9)

"25. How likely does day-and-night singing and praising seem after months of close confinement in small boats with urinating, defecating, flatulent flocks, herds and fowls, with only one air hole per drum-tight boat?

"Could it get worse?

'Ether describes heavy seas (' . . . they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them' 6:6). So these boats were crashing around under water, occasionally flipping upside down (thus the need for a hole in the bottom which could be opened as an air hole when the boat flopped over).

"26. Can you visualize adults, children, flocks and herds, rocking, tossing and flipping over, traveling that way for a year? Could you ride for 344 days and nights with your children on a boat, repeatedly buried in the depths of the sea with flocks and herds crashing over each other, with urine-soaked 'litter box' material spilling into their food as the ship flopped upside down?

"27. How would you pour all the urine and feces out of one hole--for a year?

"Could reason and common sense be additionally battered?: ' . . . fierceness of the wind . . . the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.' (6:6 - 8) This testifies to three major factors: (a) wind force, (b) wind constancy, (c) wind direction. "And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water."

"28. If the wind was (a) constant, (b) strong, (c) always toward the promised land, how could this force require 344 days?

"But wait! Could the shape of the boats, the front and back "ends thereof were peaked" (2:17), have presented insufficient flat surface at the back for the wind to blow against, causing the trip to last longer?

"29. But then why would an intelligent divine designer choose such an inefficient shape?

"Could it get worse for the sensible eye of reason?: '. . . terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.' (6:6)

"30. Beyond the fact that a tempest is not caused by a fierce wind, but rather IS a fierce wind, why would an intelligent deity think that so much wrenchingly violent motion, even overturning stored goods, animals, their bedding and feed, be an intelligent thing to do?

"31. Wouldn't an exhorbitant amount of water in the flocks' and herds' drinking containers be lost as the boats pitched, rolled and flipped over?

"32. How did the Jaredites mop and dry this constant sloshing spillage for a year?

"33. How could they have carried enough fresh water to offset the constant sloshing spillage?

"34. Could you keep your family food and belongings together with that kind of flailing around?

"Were the people and animals secured by ropes (analogous to seatbelts)? Today, even seatbelted people in slow-speed vehicle rollovers are often seriously injured. But at least their vehicles then stop. Ocean storms, though, last for hours or days. The Jaredites and their animals would have been thrown around (a) many times longer and (b) in a vastly larger interior than in a car rollover. The sliding and falling collisions of people, animals, food and water supplies would often have gone on for hours or days at a time. And if tied down, in a rollover they'd have been left hanging from the ceiling.

"The food supplies, and especially the water supplies, would have had to be lashed down to prevent lethally crushing slides into people and animals.

"35. But then, when the boat turned upside down, how did the people access the food and water, which would now be secured to the ceiling?

"36. How would the Jaredites have been able to prevent or deal with orthopedic injuries and concussions as animals and people crashed into each other?

"37. When the boats were upside down, did the people and animals just walk around on what had been the ceiling, outside of pens? : 'And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water. And they did land upon the shore of the promised land.' (6:11,12) That is, the account directly implies that all the boats landed at approximately the same time.

"38. Is it sensible that after 344 days of such violent tossing and sloshing, the boats would have arrived on essentially the same day? How could eight ocean-going vessels tossed by violent storms maintain near-identical speeds, remaining near each other over such an extremely long time period?

"39. Would the 'eye of reason' perceive the ocean trip in Ether to be a fitting example of famed LDS general authority and historian Elder B.H. Roberts' notable assessment of the Book of Mormon 'as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency'? ('Studies of the Book of Mormon,' p. 251)

"The eye of faith apparently does not perceive the Jaredite ocean voyage to be a nutty fictitious story.

"40. How does the eye of sensible reason see it?

"It seems to me that all 40 of the above questions are honestly, fairly and sensibly stated."

("JAREDITE SHIP-BUILDING TECHNOLOGY." by Kent Ponder, Ph.D.. 2006, at:

(Long pause)

--"Um, thank you all for your questions. I will pray for each and every one of you and will do so, humbly, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Jeeeeezus Christ, Michael, baby! That was hilarious! Give the man a Standing O!!

(The curtain closes on another amazing act of Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician)

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
Very funny Steve. But, alas, not outside of the realm of possibility with mopologists and their - umm - creative arguments.

Dave the Atheist
The more fantastic the story is, the more mormons will believe it. 

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
That is hysterical.

I like Kerry Shirts.
he makes me laugh.

I can so see a Ash/Shirts comedy tour. Coming soon to a Caroline's near you.

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . . 

Also, lucky for them that nobody, or the animals, farted.
A very good explanation of this, story, Steve. Thank you.

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
And I thought Mr. Ash had retired from mormon stand-up comedy.
Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
Joe don't know basic physics.

The laws of physics prevent a boat with the load at the bottom on the floor from turning upside down. Unless there is a lot more weight on the top deck the bouyancy effect will not let it turn over.

If a ship was forced over/upsidedown and all the cargo was strapped to the floor and it was designed to stay upright (as all ships are) The center of gravity would imediately cause it to roll and upright itself. If all the cargo were not strapped down then it would be thrown all over the walls and shift forward or backwards and the jaradite banana boat would be left standing on one side or with the nose of the bannana in the air. The story is full of more bull manure than a ship with no deck for the passengers and no biffy for the 365 days of poop producing people and animals.

Joe didn't study physics and was winging it with this tall tell.

Picture of a Jaradite Submarine (modern day version)

US regulations concerning ships entering USwaters from a foreign port require the ship to empty their ballst water at sea and take in fresh ballast water. This is an attempt to not import foreign critters into our water. It was a simple mistake, the crew discharged the ballast tanks and didnt take in fresh ballast water so the ship became top heavy and rolled. It was full of new BMW's but luckily they were all chained down.

The reason a sub can remain upright is: It's center of gravity is below the center of volume. It's that simple. If they were to raise the center of gravity, it would turn upside down.

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
"I say, Joseph, is that one of those Jaradite barges? I hear they are tight like unto a dish"
"Oh you silly, Emma, that's just an Erie Canal barge, but it is tight like unto a dish, much like you..."

Oops, I killed my own joke, here's the pic

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
Waste and potable water might also be issues. How long was this voyage?

How many characters? So, so S...a....d....
but they even used "Talmud" in this explanation. Really?!?! We're ancient, we're 'Jews', and we are SO LEGITIMATE (Christian, Jewish, whatever we need to be....we MATTER! )I guess this is the legacy of Gordon Hinckley-aka the "Hinckster" who was a master liar and PR man for awhile...sigh....
Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
344 days (Ether 6:11).

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
I read somewhere that the ocean voyage had been calculated, and the 344 day length is damned near impossible, unless Jaredites used the Israelite tactic of wandering around in circles. Prevailing winds and currents would make the trip a LOT shorter.

But then, the Jaredites were early pioneers in the development of Mormon food storage practices. I'm sure the Jaredesses had plenty of hand crank mills to grind up their wheat so they could make lots of wholesome bread.


Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
Could it be that Joe didn't know @#$%& from shinola when it came to anything nautical?

The voyage could have been made in months not a year. Wouldn't it have been more impressive if god made them do it in record time about a week?

Don Bagley
Well done, Steve.
I have personally communicated with Mike Ash (My Cash) and found him to be quite the typist. It was my impression that his keyboard had been re-purposed by means of inserting it into his anti-sunshine place, but I guess he's been loosened for a little season. There's no use in his apologizing for his apologism, he knows, so he continues to support turtle-boat technology. When he says Chiasmus, we don't ask how high.
Fetal Deity
"Such information [on ancient lore regarding mystical, shining stones] was likely unavailable to Joseph Smith." WRONG, Michael! WRONG, Hugh!
When Mormon defenders of silliness make claims that Joseph Smith was unlikely to have had access to "information" (here, the term is used advisedly) included in the BoM, I wonder. Sometimes, debunking such an assertion can be exceptionally easy, and I'm left asking myself why our Mopologist friends haven't taken a modicum of caution to avoid the gaffe.

In October 2010, I posted the following regarding Michael Ash's failure to take a couple of minutes to update his and Nibley's allegations that the Ancient's belief in glowing rocks for illumination was unlikely known when the Book of Mormon was written:,17092,17092

In summary of the above link: I showed that taking just a few seconds on Google Books proves conclusively that the ancient notion of illumination by stone was well known by the early 18th century. A few representative references are listed below:

"The word Tzohar, which our translation renders a window, is by some rendered a precious stone, or some other marvelous matter, which at once illuminated, and afforded fresh air to every part of the ark ...."

(Brown, The Rev. John, "A Dictionary of the Holy Bible ...," p. 54, London, 1824, found at: )

"The Jewish Rabbies seem to have had some notion of the true meaning of the word under consideration, by supposing, that it denoted a large bright Carbuncle, or precious stone, which Noah hung up in the middle of the Ark, to give light all around ...."

(Catcott, Alexander, A.M., "A Treatise on the Deluge," p. 27, London, 1768, found at: )

However, the most interesting reference I found, may be this one made in 1811 by Adam Clarke, because Clarke was a METHODIST theologian (Joseph Smith having shown preference to that religion in his youth), whose Bible commentary was widely used by the Methodist church ( ).

"Jonathan ben Uzziel supposes that [the light source in the Ark] was a precious luminous stone, which Noah, by Divine command, brought from the river Pison."

(Clarke, Adam, LL.D., "The Holy Bible ... With a Commentary and Critical Notes ...," commentary/notes on Genesis, Chapter 6, Verse 16, 1811, New York, found at: )

My terse conclusion is that, far from being UNLIKELY, it is rather almost CERTAIN that Joseph Smith (and/or other authors of the Book of Mormon) knew of the legends regarding Noah's Ark being lighted within by magic stone, and that Michael Ash's failure to acknowledge this fact can be explained only by his negligence, incompetence or lack of ethics!

Thanks for all your great work, Steve! : )

Re: More Stand-Up Comedy from Michael R. Ash, FAIR's Mighty Mormon Magician, This Time on Those Fantaz-Mo-Goric Jaredite Barges . . .
They sure relied a lot on rocks back then. They were even a source of light and could turn off and on. How are dishes tight? Maybe he means like a pot with a lid. Why wouldn't the glass break? I guess even after it is described I can't imagine how it resembled a water craft.
All that's missing in his routine are the little drum rolls to alert you as to when to laugh.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"