Introduction

These ques­tions are designed to probe var­i­ous aspects of the LDS Church’s his­to­ry and truth-claims.1 The list was made for 1) inves­ti­ga­tors to ask the mis­sion­ar­ies, 2) active mem­bers to ask them­selves, or 3) those expe­ri­enc­ing a faith tran­si­tion to ask their par­ents or eccle­si­as­ti­cal lead­ers.

The major­i­ty of links pro­vid­ed are to LDS approved sources or to rel­a­tive­ly neu­tral infor­ma­tion repos­i­to­ries (such as wikipedia).

If any ques­tion con­tains incor­rect infor­ma­tion or is mis­lead­ing in any way, please con­tact me, and I will fix it.

Approaches to difficult questions

One gen­er­al way to deal with dif­fi­cult ques­tions is to sug­gest that God has been dis­pens­ing infor­ma­tion “line upon line, pre­cept upon pre­cept, here a lit­tle and there a lit­tle” (2 Nephi 28:30). On the oth­er hand, we expect to see con­sis­ten­cy in the unfold­ing of God’s hand­i­work because God “is the same yes­ter­day and today and for­ev­er” (1 Nephi 10:18), “truth is knowl­edge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (D&C 93:24), and his house “…is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of con­fu­sion.” (D&C 132:8).

Incon­sis­ten­cies and dif­fi­cul­ties may also be chalked up to the short­com­ings and mis­takes of men. On the one hand, the Lord (appar­ent­ly) declared, through Joseph Smith:

What I the Lord have spo­ken, I have spo­ken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heav­ens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be ful­filled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my ser­vants, it is the same.

Joseph Smith also empha­sized “there is no error in the rev­e­la­tions which I have taught.”2 On the oth­er hand, he remind­ed us “I nev­er told you I was per­fect” and “a prophet was a prophet only when he was act­ing as such.”3 With caveats in place (i.e., rev­e­la­tion from God is per­fect and all mis­takes are from men), it is triv­ial, then, to take any event, doc­trine, or teach­ing that is prob­lem­at­ic and attribute it to the fail­ures of men while attribut­ing every­thing faith-pro­mot­ing and won­der­ful to God’s divine influ­ence. This is a tremen­dous­ly pow­er­ful par­ti­tion­ing algo­rithm.4 Its only weak­ness may be that it is too powerful—such an algo­rithm seems capa­ble of diviniz­ing any orga­ni­za­tion or indi­vid­ual to which it may be applied.

Questions

Joseph Smith’s Polygamy

  1. If seal­ing is such an impor­tant prin­ci­ple,5 why did Joseph nev­er seal him­self to his par­ents or chil­dren dur­ing his life­time?6
  2. If seal­ing is such an impor­tant prin­ci­ple, why was Emma sealed to Joseph after so many oth­ers (more than 16 well doc­u­ment­ed seal­ings)?

  3. LDS His­to­ri­an Bri­an Hales wrote of Joseph’s rela­tion­ship with Fan­ny “it is obvi­ous Emma did not believe the cer­e­mo­ny was valid and con­clud­ed the rela­tion­ship was adul­ter­ous. Iron­i­cal­ly, Oliv­er Cow­dery, who Joseph sum­moned to dif­fuse the sit­u­a­tion, sided with Emma, dis­count­ing the valid­i­ty of the polyg­a­mous mar­riage.” Why did Joseph (appar­ent­ly) not get per­mis­sion for his rela­tion­ship with Fan­ny?

  4. For what pur­pose did Joseph Smith get sealed to oth­er right­eous men’s wives (e.g., Zina Hunt­ing­ton and Marin­da Nan­cy John­son Hyde)? In par­tic­u­lar, what jus­ti­fied Joseph’s mar­riage to Zina Hunt­ing­ton, a hap­pi­ly new­ly­wed, preg­nant moth­er?

  5. To whom was Zina Hunt­ing­ton mar­ried when her sec­ond child was born? Who fathered her third child? To whom will Zina Hunt­ing­ton’s chil­dren (those fathered by her first hus­band, Hen­ry Jacobs, and the one fathered by Brigham Young) belong in the eter­ni­ties?

  6. Why did Zina Hunt­ing­ton become Brigham Young’s wife after Joseph died and not Hen­ry Jacob’s wife (espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing that Hen­ry already had chil­dren with Zina)?

  7. Joseph Smith was sealed a sec­ond time to each of the Par­tridge sis­ters (Emi­ly and Eliza) in Emma’s pres­ence in order to hide the first sealings—which had occurred 3 months prior—from Emma. Accord­ing to Emi­ly, “To save the [Smith] fam­i­ly trou­ble Broth­er Joseph thought it best to have anoth­er cer­e­mo­ny per­formed.” Is that suf­fi­cient jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for duplic­i­ty? Did the con­ceal­ment save the fam­i­ly trou­ble?

  8. Joseph Smith direct­ly or implic­it­ly denied prac­tic­ing polygamy 5 times in his own words and was respon­si­ble for 3 addi­tion­al direct denials. What made it okay for Joseph Smith (and oth­er ear­ly lead­ers) to repeat­ed­ly lie about their prac­tice of polygamy?7

  9. What was the point of a union with 14 year old Helen Mar Kim­ball? Specif­i­cal­ly, if polyan­drous unions with Joseph were good enough for the Jacobs and Hyde fam­i­lies, why would a poten­tial polyan­drous union with Vilate be inad­e­quate for seal­ing to the Kim­ball fam­i­ly?

  10. Accord­ing to his daugh­ter Helen, Heber C. Kim­ball was instruct­ed by Joseph Smith not to tell his first wife, Vilate, when he mar­ried his first plur­al wife, Sarah Noon. Should Vilate have been con­sult­ed before Heber took a sec­ond wife?

  11. If Joseph was pres­sured into polygamy by an angel with a drawn sword, why did the angel not give suf­fi­cient instruc­tions to ensure that polygamy and/or seal­ings were done “cor­rect­ly” (for instance, con­sis­tent with the prin­ci­ples sug­gest­ed by D&C 132:61)?8

The Book of Abraham

In his trans­la­tion of the fac­sim­i­les, Joseph point­ed to spe­cif­ic char­ac­ters and gave a spe­cif­ic trans­la­tion. How­ev­er, the char­ac­ters on the fac­sim­i­les (not the vignettes, but the char­ac­ters describ­ing the vignettes) have been trans­lat­ed by both BYU and non-Mor­mon schol­ars. The Book of Abra­ham lds​.org essay con­cedes: “None of the char­ac­ters on the papyrus frag­ments men­tioned Abraham’s name or any of the events record­ed in the book of Abra­ham. Mor­mon and non-Mor­mon Egyp­tol­o­gists agree that the char­ac­ters on the frag­ments do not match the trans­la­tion giv­en in the book of Abra­ham…”

Why do the trans­la­tions of the fac­sim­i­le char­ac­ters not match up?9

The Book of Mormon

Richard Bush­man, a well-known Mor­mon his­to­ri­an, recent­ly stat­ed:

… there is phras­ing everywhere–long phras­es that if you google them you will find them in 19th cen­tu­ry writ­ings. The the­ol­o­gy of the Book of Mor­mon is very much 19th cen­tu­ry the­ol­o­gy, and it reads like a 19th cen­tu­ry under­stand­ing of the Hebrew Bible as an Old Tes­ta­ment …

The num­ber of sim­i­lar­i­ties with ear­ly 1800s thought is exten­sive.

  1. If the Book of Mor­mon is a his­tor­i­cal record, and if we accept as accu­rate the sto­ries of how it was trans­lat­ed (i.e., words appeared on the stone in a hat until they were writ­ten cor­rect­ly) why does it bear such a strong imprint of hav­ing been com­posed in the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry?
  2. Why are there errors in the Book of Mor­mon unique to the 1769 King James edi­tion of the Bible that Joseph Smith’s fam­i­ly owned?

  3. If the book is ancient in ori­gin, why did the author of the Book of Mor­mon quote or para­phrase New Tes­ta­ment scrip­ture more often than Old Tes­ta­ment scrip­ture, even before the New Tes­ta­ment was writ­ten?

Spiritual Confirmation and Priesthood Guidance

  1. Why do mem­bers of oth­er reli­gions receive strong spir­i­tu­al expe­ri­ences con­firm­ing to them that their reli­gion is the cor­rect reli­gion? (See Spir­i­tu­al Wit­ness­es and addi­tion­al dis­cus­sion in Tes­ti­mo­ny, Spir­i­tu­al Expe­ri­ences, and Truth: A Care­ful Exam­i­na­tion)

  2. Giv­en how mis­sion­ar­ies instruct mem­bers to pray about the Book of Mor­mon, in what fash­ion could a per­son arrive at the con­clu­sion that the Book of Mor­mon is not true? If a per­son per­sis­tent­ly fol­lowed Moroni’s promise with any suf­fi­cient­ly inspir­ing book, what would be the end result?

  3. Elder Hol­land shared “the mis­sion­ary speech of all time” at a New Mis­sion Pres­i­dent Sem­i­nar. It was shared by many oth­ers,10 who also found it to be very pow­er­ful. Ulti­mate­ly, key parts of the sto­ry were found to be in error, call­ing into ques­tion the valid­i­ty of the entire sto­ry. Why did peo­ple report feel­ing so touched (e.g., “the most pow­er­ful mes­sage to my heart…”) by a sto­ry that was deeply flawed fac­tu­al­ly? Is it pos­si­ble for a per­son to have received a sim­i­lar wit­ness of the “truth” of the Book of Mor­mon and for it to be fac­tu­al­ly flawed?

  4. Before the 1900s, over 60 indi­vid­u­als received patri­ar­chal bless­ings indi­cat­ing that they will “remain until the sec­ond com­ing” or “not taste of death.”11 Why should the prompt­ings of the Holy Ghost (which are con­sid­ered the inspi­ra­tion behind priest­hood and patri­ar­chal bless­ings) be con­sid­ered reli­able giv­en these prophet­ic fail­ures?

  5. Pres­i­dent George Albert Smith stat­ed in a 1949 First Pres­i­den­cy State­ment: “The atti­tude of the Church with ref­er­ence to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a mat­ter of the dec­la­ra­tion of a pol­i­cy but of direct com­mand­ment from the Lord…” The Lowry Nel­son let­ters and the Stew­art Udall let­ters fur­ther under­score the unwa­ver­ing con­fi­dence Church lead­ers of that time had in the divin­i­ty of the Black Priesthood/Temple ban and the doc­trines and teach­ings offer­ing it sup­port.12 Giv­en the lev­el of con­fi­dence lead­ers at that time had in the Priesthood/Temple ban, why should we have con­fi­dence in Church lead­ers’ posi­tion today on homo­sex­u­al­i­ty (i.e., that homo­sex­u­al same-sex mar­ried cou­ples are in “apos­ta­sy” and the chil­dren of homo­sex­u­als may not be bap­tized with­out 1st pres­i­den­cy approval)? Is it pos­si­ble that lead­ers today are “speak­ing as men” influ­enced by their upbring­ing and cul­ture?13

Joseph Smith and the Restoration

  1. The Joseph Smith Papers Project his­tor­i­cal intro­duc­tion to the 1832 First Vision states, “In the ear­ly 1830s, when this his­to­ry was writ­ten, it appears that Joseph Smith had not broad­cast the details of his first vision of Deity. The his­to­ry of the church, as it was then gen­er­al­ly under­stood, began with the gold plates.” Why does it appear that Joseph Smith did not tell any­one about the First Vision until well after the found­ing of the Church?

  2. Why does it appear that Joseph Smith did not tell any­one about the restora­tion of the Melchizedek Priest­hood for sev­er­al years? And why did Joseph Smith retro-fit Book of Com­mand­ment rev­e­la­tions with Priest­hood restora­tion sto­ries? (see full side-by-side BoC and D&C com­par­i­son)

  3. Giv­en their sep­a­ra­tion by 800 miles, the Saints in Kirt­land were unaware of events as they occurred in Jack­son Coun­ty Mis­souri. Giv­en his omni­science, how­ev­er, God should be aware of events as they occur. Unbe­knownst to the Saints in Kirt­land, the Saints in Mis­souri (aka ‘Zion’) had just had their busi­ness­es loot­ed, their print­ing press destroyed, their farms and hous­es burned, and had just been forced to sign an agree­ment to leave Jack­son Coun­ty when D&C 97 was revealed to Joseph Smith in Kirt­land. Why did God appear to be fair­ly unaware of the events that had just tran­spired in Jack­son Coun­ty as indi­cat­ed by the var­i­ous con­cerns dis­cussed in sec­tion 97?

Adam and Eve

The Church teach­es in 8 cur­rent man­u­als that Adam lived at approx­i­mate­ly 4000 BC; Joseph Smith claimed that Adam and Eve walked out of the Gar­den of Eden into Mis­souri, USA,14 and mod­ern lead­ers affirm the phys­i­cal, lit­er­al real­i­ty of Adam and Eve. In addi­tion, restored LDS scrip­ture describes Adam and Eve till­ing the ground imme­di­ate­ly upon their explu­sion from the Gar­den of Eden (see Moses 4:29). Giv­en that agri­cul­ture was not invent­ed until about 10,000 years ago, it appears that all accounts of Adam and Eve from LDS prophet­ic sources place them some­where between 4,000 BCE and 10,000 BCE (in Mis­souri, USA).

How­ev­er, many data points sup­port a migra­tion out of Africa begin­ning about 70,000 years ago. Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralians like­ly migrat­ed to Aus­tralia about 50,000 years ago, and exten­sive evi­dence shows migra­tions into the Pacif­ic islands around 20,000 years ago.15 In addi­tion, all human genet­ic sequence data and infer­ences about viable pop­u­la­tion size sug­gest that there was nev­er a time when there were only two humans on earth (exam­ple 1, exam­ple 2).

  1. In what fash­ion was Adam “the first man of all men” (Moses 1:34) and the “pri­mal par­ent of our race” (accord­ing to the 1909 First Pres­i­den­cy State­ment) respec­tive to the Aus­tralian Abo­rig­ines and Pacif­ic Islanders? Are those peo­ple descen­dants of Adam and Eve? If not, what makes Adam and Eve their “par­ent”?
  2. If Adam and Eve were lit­er­al peo­ple, what is one pos­si­ble time or place they could have lived that is also com­pat­i­ble with our under­stand­ing of the human migra­tion data?

  3. Fair­Mor­mon acknowl­edges that there was like­ly not a glob­al flood 4,400 years ago. If the Gar­den of Eden real­ly was in Mis­souri, how did Adam and Eve migrate to the Mid­dle East? If Adam nev­er actu­al­ly lived in Mis­souri, then what are we to make of Adam-ondi-Ahman?


  1. The LDS Church is capa­ble of answer­ing many ques­tions about its his­to­ry and truth-claims, and many of the answers cast the Church in a pos­i­tive light. Ques­tions that frame the Church in a pos­i­tive light are important—and mis­sion­ar­ies and eccle­si­as­ti­cal lead­ers will be quick to ask and answer those questions—but dif­fi­cult ques­tions are sim­i­lar­ly impor­tant for explor­ing the bound­aries and poten­tial con­tra­dic­tions found with­in LDS the­ol­o­gy, his­to­ry, and epis­te­mol­o­gy. In sci­ence, at least, it is the ques­tion that is not eas­i­ly answered that often moti­vates truth-seek­ers to find new—or refine existing—models describ­ing real­i­ty.

  2. The idea that there is no error in the rev­e­la­tions taught by a prophet or that we ought to fol­low what a prophet teach­es regard­less of its accu­ra­cy is sug­gest­ed fre­quent­ly in the LDS Church.

    • I have nev­er yet preached a ser­mon and sent it out to the chil­dren of men, that they may not call scrip­ture” (Brigham Young)
    • Some­times there are those who hag­gle over words. They might say the prophet gave us coun­sel but that we are not oblig­at­ed to fol­low it unless he says it is a com­mand­ment. But the Lord says of the Prophet Joseph, ‘Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and com­mand­ments which he shall give unto you’” (Ezra Taft Ben­son)
    • As an Apos­tle of the Lord Jesus Christ and as one who has seen first­hand the coun­cils and work­ings of this Church, I bear solemn wit­ness that no deci­sion of sig­nif­i­cance affect­ing this Church or its mem­bers is ever made with­out earnest­ly seek­ing the inspi­ra­tion, guid­ance, and appro­ba­tion of our Eter­nal Father. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. God will not allow His Church to drift from its appoint­ed course or fail to ful­fill its divine des­tiny.” (Dieter F. Ucht­dorf)
    • I do not acknowl­edge that I designed­ly lead this peo­ple astray one hair’s breadth from the truth, and I do not know­ing­ly do a wrong” (Brigham Young)
    • …We will not and … can­not lead you astray.” (M. Rus­sell Bal­lard)
    • There is no error in the rev­e­la­tions Joseph taught!” — Apos­tle Neal A. Maxwell, Ser­mons Not Spo­ken, p.6

  3. The idea that God’s lead­ers are fal­li­ble is occa­sion­al­ly empha­sized, par­tic­u­lar­ly when deal­ing with dif­fi­cult issues. Some exam­ples:
    • God is per­fect, and His doc­trine is pure. But He works through us—His imper­fect children—and imper­fect peo­ple make mis­takes.” (Dieter F. Ucht­dorf)
    • Can a Prophet or an Apos­tle be mis­tak­en? Do not ask me any such ques­tion, for I will acknowl­edge that all the time…” (Brigham Young)

  4. The algo­rithm mem­bers often use for deal­ing with dif­fi­cult prob­lems with his­to­ry or doc­trine is that every­thing good and won­der­ful done or said by lead­ers or mem­bers is moti­vat­ed by God and is evi­dence of the truth­ful­ness of the LDS Church while every­thing that falls short of the ide­al is con­sid­ered the fail­ings of man (e.g., “speak­ing as man” or “the church is per­fect but the peo­ple aren’t”). It’s an extreme­ly pow­er­ful par­ti­tion­ing algo­rithm. The LDS Church comes out look­ing divine—no mat­ter what dif­fi­cult his­to­ry a per­son may be exposed to—by algo­rith­mic def­i­n­i­tion.
    The prob­lem with this algo­rithm is that it may be too powerful—any insti­tu­tion to which we apply it will also sud­den­ly appear divine. A Jehovah’s Wit­ness defends their orga­ni­za­tion in sim­i­lar terms:

    Every per­son in this organization—every one of Jehovah’s Wit­ness­es includ­ing the gov­ern­ing body—we’re all imper­fect and thus we are sub­ject to mak­ing mis­takes. Which means that if you look hard enough, all you will see instead of see­ing these amaz­ing things that Jeho­vah is accom­plish­ing and our tremen­dous priv­i­lege of being part of it, all we are going to see is the errors of men. But when we focus on the good, on the guid­ance and lov­ing sup­port that we’ve received, aren’t we moved with appre­ci­a­tion to cleave to this body of fel­low wor­shipers. And just look at what Jeho­vah is accom­plish­ing by means of his imper­fect ser­vants. There is no oth­er orga­ni­za­tion on earth pro­vid­ing spir­i­tu­al food like the one that we belong to. When we look at all of this, how could we pos­si­bly let the fail­ings of just a few peo­ple under­mine this over­whelm­ing proof of Jehova’s back­ing? 2016 “remain loy­al to jeho­vah” region­al con­fer­ence

    And a Catholic speak­ing about her Bish­ops as she defends the Catholic doc­trine of for­bid­ding birth con­trol:

    Bish­ops are not CEO’s; they are stand-ins for Christ. The rela­tion of a bish­op to the peo­ple is not anal­o­gous to any ‘pow­er’ rela­tion­ships in the sec­u­lar world. They are human and prone to mis­takes, but they are also a way that God speaks to the world. Bish­ops serve lay Catholics by stand­ing up for our beliefs, as they are doing now. I am glad that when the world wants to know “what Catholics think” there is a clear way to find out. I am grate­ful for the lead­er­ship of our bish­ops in these recent weeks. source

  5. Lat­ter-day Saints view the tem­ple seal­ing cer­e­mo­ny as hav­ing the utmost sig­nif­i­cance. Here are some exam­ples: The seal­ing ordi­nance links fam­i­lies eter­nal­ly, Mar­riage in the Lord’s Way, “The Seal­ing Pow­er”).
  6. In a red­dit com­ment, Bri­an Hales, LDS His­to­ri­an (and like­ly pri­ma­ry author of the Nau­voo Polygamy lds​.org essay), stat­ed: “Keep in mind Joseph died with­out being sealed to his chil­dren or par­ents.”

  7. LDS apol­o­gist Bri­an Hales has attempt­ed to argue that Joseph Smith wasn’t lying about polygamy but using “care­ful­ly word­ed denials” instead (so he was “tech­ni­cal­ly” hon­est). I have exam­ined that argu­ment in great depth here.

  8. Joseph Smith appar­ent­ly received pre­cise dimen­sions for the con­struc­tion of, for exam­ple, a print­ing house (D&C 94:10–11):

    10 And again, ver­i­ly I say unto you, the sec­ond lot on the south shall be ded­i­cat­ed unto me for the build­ing of a house unto me, for the work of the print­ing of the trans­la­tion of my scrip­tures, and all things what­so­ev­er I shall com­mand you.

    11 And it shall be fifty-five by six­ty-five feet in the width there­of and the length there­of, in the inner court; and there shall be a low­er and a high­er court.

    The messi­ness of Joseph Smith’s polygamy con­trasts with such pre­cise instruc­tion. We might expect more detail to be giv­en for some­thing like polygamy—which had such a tremen­dous impact on all its participants—and per­haps less detail for print­ing build­ings.
    We can­not be cer­tain when the prin­ci­ples giv­en in D&C 132:61 were first revealed, but we know the full rev­e­la­tion was record­ed by July 7, 1843. If these prin­ci­ples were revealed late, we are left won­der­ing why these prin­ci­ples were not revealed ear­li­er. For instance, had the angel deliv­ered these prin­ci­ples at the same time as threats of death were he not to move ahead with polygamy, then per­haps Joseph would not have pres­sured Zina Hunt­ing­ton, the 7 month preg­nant new­lyewed, into being sealed to him. On the oth­er hand, if the D&C 132:61 prin­ci­ples were, in fact, revealed ear­li­er to Joseph, we are left won­der­ing why Joseph rarely, if ever, fol­lowed those prin­ci­ples. What would Joseph Smith’s polygamy have looked like had he fol­lowed the prin­ci­ples in D&C 132:61 from the begin­ning?

  9. Con­sid­er that God appar­ent­ly guid­ed prophets thou­sands of years in advance to pre­pare addi­tion­al records to go with the gold­en plates in order to pre­vent peo­ple from los­ing faith over minor trans­la­tion errors were Joseph to have re-trans­lat­ed the lost 116 pages and his ini­tial trans­la­tion were altered. D&C 10:31–33 makes this clear:

    31 For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pre­tend­ed to trans­late, but that you have con­tra­dict­ed your­self.

    32 And, behold, they will pub­lish this, and Satan will hard­en the hearts of the peo­ple to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words.

    33 Thus Satan thin­keth to over­pow­er your tes­ti­mo­ny in this gen­er­a­tion, that the work may not come forth in this gen­er­a­tion.

  10. Elder Holland’s sto­ry (also told by Kim B. Clark) was shared by many oth­ers (all last retrieved 2017-09-06): 1, 2, 3 4, 5, and 6. The sto­ry pro­found­ly influ­enced many hear­ers:
    • The most pow­er­ful mes­sage to my heart was a sto­ry from Elder Jef­frey R. Hol­land addressed to new mis­sion pres­i­dents and their wives.”
    • real­ly awe­some sto­ry”
    • then he end­ed with a pow­er­ful story…This was a pow­er­ful sto­ry for me. One about love and about how God shows his love. There are no lost caus­es, we are all of infi­nite worth to God and He will put us exact­ly where he needs us to be.”
    • I want to tell an amaz­ing sto­ry we were told at the devo­tion­al last night…HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! God sure works in mys­te­ri­ous and amaz­ing ways.”
    • How amaz­ing is that? Think about how many peo­ple had to be prompt­ed by the Holy Ghost for all of that to hap­pen! We are where we are for a rea­son!”

  11. All these indi­vid­u­als are now dead as far as I’m aware—these are all from patri­ar­chal bless­ings giv­en before the 1900s, and I’m assum­ing we would like­ly know if any of them had some­how escaped death.
  12. Con­fi­dence in the under­ly­ing teach­ing about the curse of Cain and “black” blood is also man­i­fest in the prac­tice of LDS hos­pi­tals seg­re­gat­ing “black” blood from “white” blood for many years.

  13. Addi­tion­al­ly, con­sid­er the argu­ments out­lined by Bryce Cook.

  14. The recent­ly leaked Guide­line Respons­es to Com­mon Ques­tions is giv­en to all Gen­er­al Author­i­ties upon accept­ing their assign­ment. It con­tains the fol­low­ing response to the ques­tion “Was the Gar­den of Eden in Mis­souri?”

    Strict­ly speak­ing, we do not know where the Gar­den of Eden was. Joseph Smith estab­lished a set­tle­ment called Adam-ondi-Ahman in Daviess Coun­ty, Mis­souri. While not an impor­tant or foun­da­tion­al doc­trine, Lat­ter-day Saints believe that Adam and Eve dwelt in that area after being expelled from the Gar­den of Eden. (empha­sis added)

  15. The var­i­ous meth­ods used to date these events are accept­ed as gen­er­al­ly accu­rate by every BYU sci­en­tist who oper­ates with­in these domains (for exam­ple). In part, that’s because these meth­ods are ver­i­fied and cal­i­brat­ed by high­ly orthog­o­nal mea­sures of the pas­sage of time (posi­tion of the stars rel­a­tive to stone­henge, varve lay­ers, speleothem depo­si­tion, tree-rings, etc).

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