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Posted by: NeverBeenaMormon ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:20AM

Normally I'd cry FPR but it looks pretty genuine and well documented. What do people think?

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:29AM

I think it was written by the Mormon PR department. Pure propaganda. As to truthfulness of the story-- i believe written by Mormon PR, therefore not truthful. For example--Joseph Smith's First Vision story as taught by Mormons is not truthful.

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Posted by: NeverBeenaMormon ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:32AM

Yeah, I know about the First Vision stuff, which is warped beyond belief. It just seems a lot harder to fake it when it is more recent, especially as the Methodist church have records of him being removed and TSCC has letters of his

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:38AM

I imagine there are truths and half-truths, it's just so LDS in its' tone, that's all. If there are any facts that detract from the intention of the listing by the PR department to have this in Wikipedia you can be sure it is not reference. Maybe he went inactive, maybe he converted to another faith, maybe they wouldn't baptize him in the 30's because he drank coffee and the told him stop and then we'll baptize you.

There are so many petty things that are Mormonism that could make for a complete story. The way it is told is just a Disney story.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:39AM

I have the DVD "How Rare a Possession" produced by LD$inc. In times past as a TBM I truly liked the story. Frankly, its a bit of a heart-tugger, but shows how this Italian man's journey of finding a BoM in the trash, reading it, teaching it, converting to the church, and getting baptized. At the end the movie camera pans the Switzerland Temple site showing how his "journey" of a lifetime was gloriously encapsulated in the sacred halls of the ivory tower.

Now, I could not watch the propaganda knowing JS didn't see the 2 guys at all in his grandiose 1820 bird tweeting, sunshine glowing, humbly kneeling epiphany. Like Grant Palmer says, that's the "rest of the story." BTW, I hope everyone on this board has taken the time to watch Grant Palmer's You Tube video: My Ah-Ha Moments While Researching Mormon History @

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Posted by: NeverBeenaMormon ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 11:53AM

Yeah it's all very upsetting, so sad to know if he was keen it was because he liked a book that was made up and was deceived by others telling him the 'history' around it. All that aside it is a pretty incredible (if 'adapted'!) story

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Posted by: lucky ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 06:11PM

thank you ( THANK YOU ) for the Grant Palmer link. I have not seen that one yet, and I ALREADY know its going to be really good.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: April 15, 2013 12:01PM

It is impossible to watch "How Rare a Possession" and not see it as propaganda.

Not that it is proof of anything except a lack of proof but the Wikipedia entry has four citations all of which are LDS propaganda publications.

There are several issues that I have with the story, none of these are obstacles for it being true but all of them are questionable enough that I scratch my head. First, a Methodist from Sicily, not that there aren't Methodists in Sicily, but it is surprising. Second, is the whole story about cleaning the pages of a burnt book with denatured alcohol, this is the stupidest part of the whole story. Third, the whole story about his attempts to be baptized. Several historical and silly inaccuracies abound in the story, including the part about the revolution in Sicily.

Lastly all of the story was only published after the guy died, I'd be willing to bet that he was baptized and went to the temple but the majority of the story seems to be a fabrication.

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Posted by: Xenu ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 04:18PM

My questions to the story of Vincenzo Di Francesca (and please excuse my bad english):

- if I would find a book that so much impresses me I would try to find out where it comes from. I would search encyclopedias for the names Alma, Nephi, Mormon and so on. The name "Mormon" was well known in 1910, also in Europe.

- if I would find the Church in 1930 and could contact it I would ask for adresses. There were already Churches in Germany, Austria and the Swiss. I would then travel to one location of the Church near by and would be baptised. Why was he waiting until someone visited him?

- he was getting an italian version of the Book of Mormon, but there were no Mormons in Italy?

- "to translate portions of Joseph Smith's autobiography into Italian and to have 1,000 copies published." (wikipedia). Aha, and who should read them? Neighbors? And why? To convert them? And if so - who should baptise them? He? Impossible - he was not a member of the Church. Or for other members of the Church in Italy? If so he could have contact them and be batised.

- he just knew the Book of Mormon. But this books lacks all fundamental doctrines of the LDS Church. Wasn't it strange for him to learn that God was just a man like us (not to forget the other weird stuff)?

Just my thoughts...


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Posted by: Xenu ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 04:36PM

PS: in may 1930 he wrote a letter to the president of the BYU and 2 (!!!) weeks later he was getting an answer? 2 weeks? Well, the post in 1930 was much faster than today.

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Posted by: happyhollyhomemaker ( )
Date: June 07, 2013 11:57AM

You're correct. Mormons were quite well known in Europe before the 1900s.
In fact, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, was well known all over Europe and while ficticious, it did a pretty good job of describing the actions and behaviors of Mormons during that time. Sherlock Holmes was very popular and his adventures were published in newspapers all across Europe. It would be difficult, particularly at that time, to not have at least heard of Mormons and heard some not very faith-promoting stories about them.

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Posted by: Xenu ( )
Date: June 08, 2013 08:48AM

I own a German dictionary from 1895 which mentions the terms "Mormone" and "Mormonentum".

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Posted by: Erick ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 04:54PM

I've got to imagine there is some truth here, but my gut tells me that embellishment and wishful thinking are heavy here.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 04:57PM

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is scripted by LDS Inc. Every story is designed for one thing only: faith promotion.

Every act of service, pageant, EFY dribble, or trek re-enactment of pioneer handcart companies is just for one purpose: faith promotion.

Yes, there is 100% evidence against LDS Inc.'s first vision account showing it is totally false on the historical merits. But that doesn't bother TSCC's agenda: faith promotion.

You can go down the list of all the topics discussed at and find there are massive problems with everything Joseph Smith Jr. touched. Everything!

The only way to make LDS Inc. work on TMB's is to put out as much faith promoting baloney through correlation, misrepresentation, deception, cover-ups and dis-association with accurate information. All that, and more, that is part of their agenda is only for faith promotion, and that includes films and its story lines straddled with orchestration to appease the "senses."

I’ve got to admit, the story of Vincenzo Di Francesca in “How Rare a Possession” is just such a mythical-tale for faith promotion.

If you can't trust LDS Inc. to get the First Vision right, then you can't trust them to get anything right or truthful.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2013 06:41PM by jiminycricket.

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Posted by: releve ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 05:01PM

Why would they have an Italian in Italy translate and try to publish there, when by 1870 there were plenty of Italians right here in Utah. Many of them having been converted to Mormonism. By post World War II there would have to have been someone at BYU who was fluent in Italian.

Big pieces of this story just don't make sense.

I think there was a guy named Vincenzo Di Francesca.

I think someone wrote a story about him.

I think they made the story into a movie.

Maybe Paul H Dunn wrote the screen play.

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Posted by: judyblue ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 05:45PM

Look at the references at the bottom of the page. A book published by Deseret Book. An Ensign article. Improvement Era. Deseret News. Another Ensign article.

That's it. No sources outside of LDS publications to verify a single word of this. No records from the committee of censure that supposedly stripped him of his post. No independent sources about his strange sermons. Nothing about the law suit. The only source is "a copy of the story" that Di Francesca wrote himself that someone else found and one letter sent to a GA.

Di Francesca was supposedly studying religion in New York - the "burned-over district" - shortly after the Second Great Awakening. The idea that he wouldn't have ever heard about the mormon church or its "new Bible" is suspect, but that no one on the religious censure committee knew about the mormons? Absurd.

This is pure fluff.

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Posted by: Infinite Dreams ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 06:07PM

I remember watching the movie about him when I was about 11/12 years old, & thinking what baloney it was. It was semi entertaining though, in certain scenes, & I did laugh.

Later on, I realized what crap it all was. Despite, not having a title page, there would have been page headers denoting what the name of the book was! There was Mormons in Italy at the time. He should have seen that name Moroni, & seen that it was a rip off of the surname Moroni (pronounced differently, & correctly, though).

Then I just looked at Wikipedia, & saw that he had lived in New York state. OK, he definitely would have known about Mormons.

I'm thinking the absolute whole story is a fabricated lie now.

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Posted by: lucky ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 06:35PM

If some one who claimed to be a gourmet chief and a well experienced top flight professional baker, and they made a very dark mud pie right out of the bank of the Mississippi river, baked it, cut it up, ate one the pieces, insisted that it was the greatest chocolate pastry / brownies ever made, wanted you to have one too, HOW credible would that person be with you?

The only difference in these stories is the central element. The Utter POS *scriptural* BOM is exchanged for the baked mud pie brownies. The relative quality of central object is the same, because CRAP IS CRAP and the Book of MORmON is CRAP.
My apologies to Mississippi mud.

LDS inc conned (I would normally say bribed but these two did not look smart enough to think about getting a bribe) a couple of Ivy League associated staff into commenting on the apparent *beauty* of MORmON doctrine of ordinances for the dead in a christian context. It was really much more of declaration that these two had lost their mental faculties. It was absolutely pathetic.

MORmONISM rabidly condemns traditional christianity as hopelessly apostate and then it rushes to get any possible acknowledgement from the same community that it has condemned.
ANY clergy who was attracted by the Book of MORmON has made a de facto declaration that they were not paying much attention to the central tenets of their faith, or that they had contempt for them, but operated as clergy anyway. ANy person who is genuinely attracted by the book of MORmON as anything other than a prime example of a shoddy fraud has a personality disorder. Even when I thought that I loved the church because I had been raised (INDOCTRINATED) to feel that way, I could never get very far reading the GARBAGE known as the Book of MORmON. I might be able to get a little further in it now, while inspecting if as a manifestation of psychopathy from the mind of VILE CRIMINAL PERVERT CON MAN Smith and his cohorts, but I have better things to do than eat mud.

and what does De Francesco's name translate to in reformed Egyptian?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2013 08:44PM by lucky.

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Posted by: karin ( )
Date: June 08, 2013 05:48PM

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Posted by: mindog ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 09:28PM

I knew someone who worked on the film. He told us that the part where he finds it in the trash burning had to do with some accident on set and they decided to go with it. He was given the book by another priest or something like that. I'm a little vague on the details, but that's what I was told. Apparently the part where he actually receives the book was cut because some jerk had painted "kosher pork" on a sign that was visible during the editing process in the background. I guess they couldn't go back and reshoot or something.

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Posted by: axeldc ( )
Date: June 06, 2013 09:36PM

This is your documentation:

1)Rector, Hartman; Rector, Connie (1971), No More Strangers, Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, pp. 83–85.
2)Di Francesca, Vincenzo (January 1988), "I Will Not Burn the Book!", Ensign: 18.
3)Improvement Era, May 1968: 4–7.
4)"Church Section", Deseret News, 28 February 1951: 12–13.

Is there one publication here that is not owned by LDS, Inc.?

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Posted by: judyblue ( )
Date: June 07, 2013 12:19PM

And all of those different publications come from the same source. There's only one original document, but four different works cited. Pure bull.

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Posted by: Saw his letters ( )
Date: June 07, 2013 06:04AM

During my mission in Switzerland I met an elderly couple that had corresponded with Vincenzo Di Francesca in French. If I remember right they had 5 to 15 letters from him. (Sorry for the imprecision, its been several decades now). They showed me two of the letters and I spent 2 to 5 minutes reading them. Di Francesca was very devoutly Mormon and also very, very anti-Catholic. I had not been expecting that because he was so nice in the movie. I suppose that is how one grew up and stayed Protestant in Italy that many years ago.

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Posted by: lucky ( )
Date: June 07, 2013 12:27PM

MORmONISM made a lot of head way in its start by bashing catholicism.

It was running in the wake of popular AMerican sentiment.

Now MORmONISM has become the Utah version of most everything that it condemned in catholicism.

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Posted by: NeverBeenaMormon ( )
Date: June 07, 2013 06:36PM

So this has come back! Interesting to hear he actually existed

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Posted by: Ihidmyself ( )
Date: June 08, 2013 04:28PM

If you assume the entire story is absolute truth then it is still a nothing story. Some gullible, lazy moron got sucked in by the BOM. Who cares? If someone doesn't have the work ethic to make even the slightest effort to honestly and objectively investigate the BofM then it's their own fault they got sucked in. If it wasn't the BofM then they would have got sucked in by something else.

Seriously, the first time I saw that video I thought Who the hell cares what this dweeb thinks? He's no authority on mormonism. Why should it matter what he believes or how strongly he believes it?

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Posted by: struffles ( )
Date: April 27, 2014 10:32AM

Yes, he did actually exist and I have a copy of a letter that he wrote to some young women at BYU around 1962. In the letter he tells his story from which the movie was made. It's true.

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Posted by: Not gullible ( )
Date: April 27, 2014 11:06AM

OK. Care to scan the letter and show us?

Of course, even if such a letter exists, that hardly makes the story true, or at least completely true. The Book of Mormon and the First Vision both exist, but are fiction.

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Posted by: notnewatthisanymore ( )
Date: April 27, 2014 05:14PM

I have a photograph of a teapot orbiting Jupiter, I took it myself. You should start sending a scientific teapot research organization I started 10% of your income in order to further the cause.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: October 03, 2016 10:49AM

struffles Wrote:
> Yes, he did actually exist and I have a copy of a
> letter that he wrote to some young women at BYU
> around 1962. In the letter he tells his story from
> which the movie was made. It's true.

Even if the guy existed, and told the story, that doesn't mean the story is true. It means there "truly" is a story. That's all.

The story could be true. It could be false. The only way to tell is by evidence one way or another, and there very likely isn't any. Which makes the story just another unverifiable anecdote...possibly heartwarming (to mormons), but that's it. Not "true."

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Posted by: foundoubt ( )
Date: April 27, 2014 05:22PM

Even if the story were 100 % true, so what? Seriously, it doesn't prove anything other than some man once had blind faith. What does that say for him? The story doesn't prove any scriptures are true, or that tscc has any meaning other than it takes faith to believe this crap.

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Posted by: Mathias ( )
Date: October 02, 2016 02:07PM

the story is true. He is a member of the Mormon church. my grandfather met him in Switzerland temple

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 02, 2016 06:23PM

> the story is true. He is a member of the Mormon
> church. my grandfather met him in Switzerland temple

Well, perhaps it should be amended to, "the story is truly told..." Meaning that the mormons who made up this drama are 100% sincere in their exaggerations.

Would Vincenzo have continued his blind belief if he were aware of the FACT that nothing in book of mormon has been successfully confirmed, while a lot of what it says has been proven false? Was he that blind?

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Posted by: Trails end ( )
Date: October 02, 2016 09:28PM

I used to read teachings of prophet joe...come to find out the dam editors were real creative with the rest of the story...used to quote that bit about gawd being more merciful and boundless yadada...then find out its the dam letter pedo joe sent to nancy rigdon after she rejected his work and wonder...stuff just takes on a whole new meaning with context...tscc really hates context...its just not faith promoting...then theres the one about the stone...started out as one sentence and the channeled it into almost a full page...well meaning morms im sure...just the facts jiminy stated almost everything is slanted

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: October 03, 2016 12:16AM

Another fool painted as a wise man.

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Posted by: daviddotflynn ( )
Date: February 02, 2017 04:24PM

My wife and I lived in southern Italy in 1965, just before Vincenzo Di Francesca died. We attended church in the Naples Branch, where Vincenzo came for conferences. He was known and loved by members of the church in that area. We never had the privilege of meeting him, but his story was well known.

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