Subject: They stand at the pulpit to deceive (Holland's porkies)...
Date: Oct 06, 2009
Author: Danna

At General Conference, Elder Jeffery R. Holland told a moving story of how, before leaving for Carthage and eventual martyrdom, Hyrum Smith read from the Book of Mormon. This story is related in the D&C 135:4 & 5

With heavy emotion and, at times, tears in his eyes, Elder Holland related how Hyrum read from Ether,“words of comfort to the heart of his brother” before they departed. What does Holland mean by this? I, and everyone I know of assumed that Hyrum read to Joseph that morning. And Holland continued to support this quite logical inference through his speech. Ah ha. Are these weasely words, for when someone calls him out over his manipulative deception?

The apostle relates how the two men went to their martyrdom pondering the truths of the Book of Mormon. “In the hour they died”, Holland tells us, they were “quoting from and finding solace in” the Book of Mormon. How, asked Elder Holland, could anyone believe that Joseph wrote the book either himself or as part of a conspiracy to defraud, when he went to his death believing and acting upon the book? Would these “men BLASPHEME before God by continuing to fix their ...eternal salvation... on a book they fictitiously created out of whole cloth”.

Indeed we apostates are perverse to disbelieve, given the blood sacrifice of Joseph and Hyrum for the truth of the book. To make our exit from the church we must crawl over, under, or around the Book of Mormon.

Holland's premise is utterly false.

His implication that Hyrum read to Joseph, and his assertion that Joseph quoted, or pondered, or even mentioned in passing the Book of Mormon is deliberately deceptive.

There is nothing to indicate that Hyrum read the passage to Joseph, or that they were even together that morning before departure to Carthage, or that Joseph had any interest in the Book of Mormon at all during that period. The events leading down the road to Carthage had everything to do with concealing Joseph's (and others') illicit sexual relationships with multiple women.

In spite of his frequent pessimistic predictions of his impending martyrdom (the sort of statements he had made in many similar situations in the past), the weight of evidence indicates that Joseph expected rescue by the Nauvoo Legion. He and Hyrum were armed. The group drank wine, smoked tobacco, and sang songs to keep their spirits up. In no sense were Joseph's and Hyrum's deaths any sort of testament of the Book of Mormon. No current theory of the production of the Book of Mormon implicates Hyrum. Indeed the misbehavior for which Joseph was ultimately incarcerated is condemned by the Book of Mormon – had he actually followed it, he would not have found himself in that predicament.

Holland is myth-making in the tradition of Paul H. Dunn (as has been noted on another board). He even had the nerve to bolster his myth-making with false evidence:

The Book of Mormon read by Hyrum and mentioned in D&C 135 has been previously identified in the LDS Church news as belonging to Bathsheba Smith, the Wife of Geo. A. Smith.

The book has her name inscribed on the front, and Hyrum's dog-ear folds over about four lines of type:

Holland's copy has no inscription, and the dog-ear turns over about ten lines of text:
 (see photos below)

When an Apostle states: "I hold in my hand, that book!, the very copy from which Hyrum read. The same corner of the page, turned down, still visible!" Wouldn't you think he would be telling the truth? If he didn't want to risk the real book, why claim to be waving it around? Why the emotional weeping over the book?

I don't know which, if any, book has the genuine Hyrum Dog-Ear. Chances are the events related in D&C 135 are simply an earlier attempt at creating a faith-promoting myth – maybe several dozen books may exist with dog-ears at the end of Ether. But given the context of Holland's manipulative speech (and the lack of care with which he treated the supposed precious relic), I don't have any reason to believe anything he says.

This is a picture of apostle Holland holding a Book of Mormon at the October 2009 General Conference.

The actual book allegedly ready by Hyrum Smith is on the left based on an article in the official Church News.

This is one of the alleged books.

The book Holland used at conference does not have the inscription as shown on the left.

Note the dog ear on the book below This is apostle Holland again  below clearly demonstrating he was not truthful

The two photographs on the left are from the official church site:

Subject: Re: Anyone see elf??
Date: Oct 06 02:57
Author: awake now

They sit on a throne of LIES!" Thanks for the links.


Subject: Someone with a website or heavily-read blog needs to publish this WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHS. Devastating.
Date: Oct 06 03:42
Author: WOW!!


Subject: This should be published. Excellent, Danna
Date: Oct 06 06:52
Author: Jesus Smith

I went back to review Holland's talk. At points from about 5:30 to 6:30 is where he wags the book and they show the cutouts of someone opening and holding a dog-eared copy.

It's not clear that the video cutouts are the same book Holland has, but the one in his hand at the pulpit is missing the engraving on the front.

Holland was just caught in a potential lie or at least damaging mistake.

What a dumb ass.


Subject: Re: SWEARING!!!!!!
Date: Oct 06 08:14
Author: awake now

Okay I need to ask this ...this is maybe totally stupid but why the F*#. is that "humble" servant of the lord wearing g... cufflinks?? Why is his ass wearing a shirt that pricey? Why is he not wearing some DI used piece of know being unworldy and all? Now I know that you can get shirts like that at a reasonable price but we had a bishop once approach my husband and say "ooh cufflinks! I guess we can expect to see tithing from your family this month!" I seriously do not know why him wearing those pisses me off but it does! GRRRRRRRRR


Subject: Re: SWEARING!!!!!!
Date: Oct 06 08:20
Author: Searching27

Wow that was ballsy of the bishop! I could only watch about 7 minutes of his talk before I started to get pissed and seriously annoyed that my family members were eating it up. So I turned it off.


Subject: Re: They stand at the pulpit to deceive (Holland's porkies)...
Date: Oct 06 09:34
Author: rosered

This post made me laugh in unbelief... what a jerk! I can't believe he's trying to pass off the book he had as the actual one. Why wouldn't he just say that this is a copy of that book... what a jerk!!!


Subject: Re:The book kooked like Qoran to me
Date: Oct 06 09:42
Author: Quinlansolo

Great observation, thanks.


Subject: I thought Holland's talk was masterful . . .
Date: Oct 06 10:08
Author: robertb

as a piece of rhetoric and emotional manipulation. As reasoned discourse, it is nonsense--but reasoned discourse seldom rallies the troops,which seemed to be the purpose of the talk. As I watched the latter part of it, I couldn't help but wonder if Holland had borrowed some of Glen Beck's vapor rub.


Subject: Two books...
Date: Oct 06 18:01
Author: Closet Non-Mormon

There are indeed at least two books that claim to be the actual book that Hyrum allegedly read from. Here's a link to an image of the inside of the book Holland used:

The copy Holland used was owned by Joseph F. Smith, Hyrum's son. The one Danna references was owned by Bathsheba Smith, wife of George A. Smith. As Danna mentions, there quite possibly could be other books out there with the same claim.

That said, throwing all Holland's impassioned rhetoric aside, whether or not he lied about having the actual book is up for debate.


Subject: Re: They stand at the pulpit to deceive (Holland's porkies)...
Date: Oct 06 19:49
Author: Flecher

When you need a prop
you go to the prop closet.
Too bad they don't have 4' horse in there!


Subject: Re: They stand at the pulpit to deceive (Holland's porkies)...
Date: Oct 06 19:58
Author: Flecher

I thought he was going to throw that book out to the crowd.
Where it would have been torn to shreds by a frenzied congregation.

"Could the Saint with the page that mentions principle ancestors return it for shredding."


Subject: Update, Sorry for the length!
Date: Oct 06 20:14
Author: Danna

After some tooing and froing lately, confounded by my living around the world and upside down, I have an update::

First point - The two books are explained on MAaD thus:

Apparently Hyrum, having an idea of his impending martyrdom went around his family and dog-eared all their Books of Mormon at the same point. The book Holland was holding belonged to Joseph F. Smith (six at the time his father was martyred).

Through inspiration apparently, this book is the book designated as being the book mentioned in D&C 135. But his habit of visiting family and dog-earing their books of mormon kind of reduces the impact of his actions on the morning he went to Carthage.

Does YOUR book of Mormon have a Hyrum Dog-Ear tm?

Mine does (now)

Second point:

The Church History (but not other sources) does indeed contain some vague, brief, and context-free references to testimony-bearing by the two martyrs. If you read the surrounding chapters, which contain fine detail on timings and events, the faith-promoting paragraphs stand out like dog's bollocks. For example, if you look at the history of the last day:

After Joseph wrote a letter to Emma (time noted 8.20am), and Fuller returned to the Jail at 8.30am, Wheelock returned from his errands. Then Wheelock:

Took orders for the Nauvoo legion;
Listened to a lengthy and detailed oration by Joseph which included the statement: "Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies...";
Discussed and took down a list of witnesses to fetch from Nauvoo for the trial;
Listened to so many personal message to take to Nauvoo that Dr Richards thought he should write them down;
Listened to Joseph tell, in lengthy detail, of a dream he had earlier,
and then we find this - "Both Joseph and Hyrum bore a faithful testimony to the Latter-day work, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and prophesied of the triumph of the Gospel over all the earth, exhorting the brethren present to faithfulness and persevering diligence in proclaiming the Gospel, building up the Temple, and performing all the duties connected with our holy religion".
In contrast to the incredible detail accompanying the other activites, which consume a number of pages. The wee faith-promoting statement is vague and devoid of contextual detail.

All that took place before the return of the lawyers at about 9.40am which is the time on the P.S. on Joseph's letter to Emma which contains the information his lawyers brought to him.

As an example of the detail and context of other passages, the last few hours are detailed thus (all refs from Church History Vol 6):

3:15 P.M.The guard began to be more severe in their operations, threatening among themselves, and telling what they would do when the excitement was over.

Elder Taylor sang The Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. (p 614)

When he got through, Joseph requested him to sing it again, which he did.

Hyrum read extracts from Josephus.

4 P.M. The guard was again changed, only eight men being stationed at the jail, whilst the main body of the Carthage Greys were in camp about a quarter of a mile distant, on the public square. (p 615)

4:15 P.M. Joseph commenced conversing with the guard about Joseph H. Jackson, William and Wilson Law, and others of his persecutors.

Hyrum and Dr. Richards conversed together until quarter past five.

5 P.M. Jailor Stigall returned to the jail, and said that Stephen Markham had been surrounded by a mob, who had driven him out of Carthage, and he had gone to Nauvoo.

Shortly after the account continues with the men sharing a bottle of wine, and the attack by the mob. Just before Joseph was shot, Talyor's watch was struck and stopped at 5 o'clock, 16 minutes, and 26 seconds

So the context-devoid account of testimony bearing in the Church history is very unsatisfying from an evidentiary point of view. Read the account from the time of order to destrhy to Expositor and you should see what I mean.

Why waste so much paper on accounts of dreams and Joseph's analysis of the mistakes leading up to the incarceration, when surely the richer treasure was the testimonies of the martyrs?

Then, when switching back from the small vague faith-promoting paragraph to the detailed account, we find that Hyrum is now read reading from Josephus! With less than two hours to go before martyrdom!

So, no, I do not see an uncontextual and vague, three-line, unreferenced anecdote as convincing evidence of the events Elder Holland describes at Carthage.


Subject: So then which one is the unfaithful - the liar, or the unbeliever?...n/t


Subject: Re: more quotes
Date: Oct 06 21:05
Author: Surrogate

I found out about this talk from one of my cousins who is on a mission, because he said he agreed with everything in the talk and that it is a response to how the media has reacted to the Book of Mormon.

Great analysis. I was also wondering if there was proof to back up those statements from Hyrum and Joseph. Here are more quotes from the talk:

"These two men would enter the presence of their eternal judge quoting from and finding solace in...a book, which if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters or charlatans until the end of time."

"For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart, like perhaps no other book in modern religious history, perhaps like no other book in any religious history, and still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born, parroted, and died, from Ethan Smith, to Solomon Spalding, to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination, because there is no other answer, then the one Joseph gave as its young, unlearned translator."

"If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text, teeming with literary and semitic complexity, without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages somehow."

"And if they leave this church they must do so by crawling over, or under, or around the Book of Mormon to make their exit."

"Witnesses even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death, that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates."

I think this is a direct link:

Otherwise it is in the Sunday afternoon section. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, jump to about 7 mins in.

Here is a Christian website comparing the differences between the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants:


Subject: Whether Hyrum read from the BOM that day or not is moot.....
Date: Oct 06 21:41
Author: Randy J.

...because the Smiths had no intention of dying that day. Smith intended for the Nauvoo Legion to come and rescue them from Carthage Jail. Plus, they had two guns in the room which they used to try to repel their attackers. The reason Smith ran to the window and voiced the Masonic cry of distress was to try to save his life.

If Joseph Smith feared that he might be murdered in Carthage Jail, he would have never returned from hiding in Iowa and given himself up for arrest. His tactic was to argue his case before Governor Ford (which he did), and he expected to use his charm (a.k.a. bullshit artistry) to get exonerated on the riot and treason charges.

Thus, Holland's remarks about Hyrum reading from the BOM to comfort them in the face of their impending death don't comport with the historical record.


Subject: Holland gave the impression that Joseph and his brother chose to die rather than ...
Date: Oct 06 23:19
Author: Say What?

...deny the Book of Mormon.

But that choice was never offered to them by the mob! Yet Holland presents it as if it were like Jesus when he was given a chance to deny his divinity or otherwise to die.

Is it really true that all Smith had to do was deny the BoM and the mob would have set him free? Yet Holland left the impression that, as some proof of the book's authenticity, Smith refused to deny the book even in the face of death.

That never happened! That simply NEVER HAPPENED! So exactly what "proof" was Holland talking about?


Subject: Re: They stand at the pulpit to deceive (Holland's porkies)...
Date: Oct 07 12:37
Author: Equality

"There are indeed at least two books that claim to be the actual book that Hyrum allegedly read from. Here's a link to an image of the inside of the book Holland used:

The copy Holland used was owned by Joseph F. Smith, Hyrum's son. The one Danna references was owned by Bathsheba Smith, wife of George A. Smith. As Danna mentions, there quite possibly could be other books out there with the same claim.

That said, throwing all Holland's impassioned rhetoric aside, whether or not he lied about having the actual book is up for debate."

There are two books, only one of which could be the actual book that Hyrum had with him at Carthage. The Church News previously identified the book belonging to Bathsheba Bigler Smith as the one that Hyrum had in his possession, and showed pictures of the dog-eared page. Jeff Holland held up a different book, claiming IT was the one Hyrum had in his possession. Either the Church News was lying or Elder Holland was lying. They can't BOTH be telling the truth. Either way, someone at the COB is lying. Which, really, shouldn't surprise any of us here.



Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

Listing of additional short Topics  |  Main Page