Subject: Shhhh, Moroni. Can't you see my brothers are sleeping?
Date: Feb 24, 2006
Author: steve benson

Joseph Smith claims that when he was 17 years old, the angel Moroni repeatedly appeared to him one night in his small, upstairs, log cabin bedroom, keeping him up through the wee hours with his surprise drop-ins--during which time he bombarded the bewildered kid with directions to, and glorious information about, gold plates buried in a hill behind his house.

Yeah, right.

Joseph happened at the time to be sharing this bedroom of his (and the two beds in it) with [four or] five other brothers.

Wanna see how cramped the place was?

You couldn't move your foot or swing an elbow in your sleep without bumping into any angels or brothers who happened to be in that tiny room with you.

Take a look for yourself. Here's a photo:

Maybe that explains why Joe says Moroni stood at his beside, floating in the air--because there wasn't any room to sit on the bed.

But that doesn't make sense, either, because official Mormon propaganda paint-by-the-numbers art shows Joe sitting up in what looks like an uncrowded bed, where there seems to be plenty of room under the sheets--and where there's no sign of any of his five brothers:,16842,4218-1-4-116,00.html

But God has not forsaken us in our moment of perplexity. We have a faithful explanation here.

Well, OK, not really an explanation.

Just a typical TBM testimony that defies explanation.

What else do faithful Mormons need, sleep-walking as they do through life, never raising an eyebrow, responding to stimuli or entertaining a conscious thought?

Susan W. Tanner, Young Women's General President, in a BYU Women's Conference talk entitled "When the Light Had Departed, I Went Home," recounts how she's been in Joe's stuffy little bedroom (during a personal pilgrimage which she had earnestly prepared for by reading faith-promoting rumors from Joe's slightly-off-the-bubble mom, Lucy Mack Smith)--and talks about how Joes's bros, with their 50 twitching toes, all somehow managed to sleep through the Big Mo Show:

"As I entered that small, humble log home, I felt its holiness. I could envision Joseph leaning on the fireplace pondering his visit from Heavenly Father and His Son. . . ."

Hold on there, Sister.

Maybe he was leaning against the fireplace because Moroni kept waking him up and he couldn't go back to sleep.

Speaking of envisioning, did you try to envision Joseph and his brothers fighting, jockeying and squirming for the covers in two lumpy beds brimming with siblings?

Sister Tanner proceeds to answer that question:

"I also went to the upstairs bedroom, shared by six brothers, where the angel Moroni came to Joseph in response to his penitent prayer."

Hey, you didn't answer the question.

Answer this, then: What's with Joe's "penitent prayer?" What was he so intently, penitently praying about--where to find a good rock for his hat?

Sister Tanner, in yet another inspiring talk--this one entitled "Glad Tidings from Cumorah"--explains exactly what prompted the angel Moroni to come down through Joe's bedroom ceiling that night (without waking anyone but Joe, of course) in answer to prayer:

"When Joseph first met Moroni, he was just 17, the age of many of you young women."

Yes, Joe did like young women around that age--16-year-old Fanny Alger. Probably praying for more like her.

Helen Mar Kimball . . .

Wait, Helen was only 14. Sorry, I digress.

You were saying, Sister Tanner?

"We know the very time and place. It was on the night of September 21, 1823, in an upstairs bedroom while five of his brothers slept. Joseph prayed that he 'might know of [his] state and standing before [God]' (Joseph Smith—History 1:29).

"Joseph felt inadequate and unworthy before God. He said he had not been 'guilty of any great or malignant sins,' but had fallen into 'foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth' (Joseph Smith—History 1:28), so he prayed for reassurance.

"I can identify with young Joseph's feelings, as I know many of you can. How often have each of us fallen to our knees with such feelings of inadequacy and need for divine reassurance?"

Yeah, and how many of us are in the middle of being on our knees when a superhero angel pops in, gives out free advice on our guilt-trippin' youthful foolishness, but then makes us all feel better by handing us a map to buried treasure?

Geesh, Joe got all the luck . . .,4945,567-1-426-18,00.html

But back to rock-a-bye, brothers.

C'mon, Sister Tanner. You're a fully-functioning mother in Zion, aren't you?

Do you really believe Joe's snoring sibs managed to REM-sleep their way through Moroni's repeated shaft-of-light visits to their sardine-sandwiched bedroom that night--or were they up going to the bathroom or maybe downstairs throwing logs on the fire or maybe on their 1823 folk magic version of Playstation that Joe had discovered during his treasure hunting adventures--and just happened to miss all the heavenly fireworks upstairs?

Or maybe they really were up there, tucked into bed, all crammed next to each other, but in a catatonic Kolobian state of suspended animation.

"Hi, fellas. This is Moroni speaking. You are getting sleepy, sleeeeeeepy . . . "

Subject: Steve, Steve, Steve....
Date: Feb 24 04:16
Author: 3DGuy

...Up until now I've agreed with your posts. But you've obviously forgotten about the magical sleeping powder angels carry with them so that only the "right" people see them. This usually means the people making the claims. Heaven forbid that another person be present to verify a sighting. It was like the angels who came to bust jebus out of the tomb. They made the soldiers fall asleep. The last thing those angels wanted was to have a Roman soldier stab them with a pointy spear, so magic sleeping dust came to the rescue again. I hope I can catch an angel someday and swipe his powder. I can think of quite a few situations where it might be handy. Come to think of it, maybe there was an angel present every time I was in Sunday school. That would explain the sleeping.

Subject: Been There
Date: Feb 24 05:35
Author: The Doc

I have stood in that room several years ago. Now from all accounts Moroni was tall. I am tall, 6 foot. I had to bend over a bit. And I believe that it stated somewhere that Moroni did not stand on the floor. That's when I stated to really have problems with the story. Also with that much light in the room, everyone had to be awake. There was also a picture I say at that time that showed this visit with siblings sleeping. Does anyone know if its still around today.
I noticed in Feb Ensign Church like to distort history. We have picture of JS with Oliver translating plates on kitchen table. Same picture as in visitor center in temple square. No more curtains. If that was the case why the elaborate witness thing. JS was showing plates to everyone according to Church now.
Also picture of Pres. Woodruff's only wife!!!! Again this is the ENSIGN. A magazine to be light upon a hill.
I can't even sleep with sunlight coming in my room!!!
How does Church answer this question. Was it a dream? A vision? Not a visitation?
Steve's article explains very well how people can start to believe with faith and start to learn incorrect things in life. His article goes on further to show what happens when critical thinking skills are not applied and we give a person a position of authority. They become the expert and the masses listen without a question. So if they say that it must be true.
In my house my wife listens to this stuff on BYU TV via internet yet fails to ask me my opinion because she knows 1) I am wrong, 2) she does not what to have her ideas changed at all, 3) it brings in the spirit of contention, namely Satan because I am evil when it comes to telling her Church stuff, 4) she does not want to leave her comfort zone and 5) she feels good listening to this stuff and hence feels she had HG with her and church is true.
I have been to JS house and in that room. Would you not like to sit down with me and have a discussion aboutwhat transpired, using my background in hypnosis, psychology, group dynamics, church history, etc and just have an open discussion with no rights or wrongs. That would be a great teaching moment. Oh I forgot that is why I am disfellowshipped because I like open dialogue and getting people to think.
When I went to JS house it was just the begiining of finding info about church on internet. I do not think that Church ever though masses would be exposed to discussion about this visit that we have today. Otherwise they would have blocked off the room and kept people down stairs!!!

Subject: Tall tale, pale male makes sale.
Date: Feb 24 04:30
Author: Dagny

I've visited that house. That was my father's idea of a vacation.

I stood in that puny house and by god, there is no way a conversation and light IF THEY WERE REAL could have gone undetected by other people in the house. It definitely required magic BS like "spiritual eyes" or special divine intervention (rolling my eyes).

Imagine Moroni all dressed up in his fancy toga sheet talking in a quiet voice visiting a boy's bedroom. O-tay!

If JS did come up with that story as a kid, I'm guessing maybe he wanted an excuse to sleep in the next day. Farming was hard and he knew his dad would buy into that crap.

Subject: Moroni not only caused Joe's four brothers to into a deep sleep.....
Date: Feb 24 15:40
Author: Randy J.

.....he also cast a veil of forgetfulness over them, so that not one of them, for the rest of their lives, ever related that Joe had told them about Moroni's nocturnal visit to their tiny bedroom. You'd think that something that remarkable would have at least gotten a mention at the breakfast table the next morning.

But NNNOOOOooooo.......

Subject: I know it's tough keeping track of who's who and where in big Mormon families . . .
Date: Feb 24 17:37
Author: steve benson

My sister-in-law and her hubby, for example, once left one of their numerous kids behind at a bathroom stop while on vacation--and didn't notice the poor kid missing for quite some time.

(And once, when I was a kid, I got accidentally left behind at a grocery store on a bus trip vacation with my family. When I was discovered missing, the bus, full of lots of other vacationers as well, turned around and went back to the store--where I was still contentedly examining the merchandise in the toy aisle. Big families can be such a burden).

At any rate, how many bros did Joe have with him up in that bedroom at the time of the Mo Show: four or five?

Sister Tanner says five.

Randy J. says four.

Maybe Moroni can appear on this board and tell us how many he remembers seeing that night.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Subject: "Mormonism and the Magical World View" has some interesting insight into this.
Date: Feb 25 08:33
Author: Stray Mutt

September 21, 1823 was the autumnal equinox and an astrologically auspicious date for JS. If I remember correctly, it was also a full moon.

Also, it was a common belief at the time that if you dreamed the same dream three times in a row on the same night (particularly about something that is hidden), then it must be true.

So the story of the visit of Moroni fit hand-in-glove with the folk magic sensibilities of the day.


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