Mosiah - Chapter 11 Critique


Setting: The record of Zeniff continues with the reign of the abominable Noah. Mormon date calculations are from 160 BCE until 150 BCE in America.


Verses 1-2: AND now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father. For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness.

Note: Joseph Smith walked after the desires of his own heart when the BOM was finished.

Kimball participated in the building of the Nauvoo Temple and received the temple ordinances. Joseph Smith taught him privately that God required him to enter into plural marriage. After initial resistance, Elder Kimball married Sarah Noon. His anguish at keeping this secret from Vilate ended when she told him that the Lord had shown her that plural marriage was right, and that she accepted his participation in it. Kimball married a total of forty-three women (in many cases a caretaking rather than an intimate relationship), and by seventeen of them he had sixty-five children. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992.


Verses 3-4: And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain. And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.

Note: Joseph Smith ordered the saints to support his family when the BOM was finished.

Two weeks later, on 25 October 1831, at another conference of the Church in Hiram, the Prophet again dwelt upon the need for temporal aid to enable him to do his work, specifically mentioning the translation of the scriptures. The minutes of the meeting include the following: "Brother Joseph Smith, Jr., said. . . . that the promise of God was that the greatest blessings which God had to bestow should be given to those who contributed to the support of his family while he was translating the fulness of the Scriptures. . . A Bible! A Bible! Salt Lake City, Utah: 1990.


Verses 5-6: For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts. Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.

Note: Joseph Smith proclaimed that God did not want him to work.

And in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling. Attend to thy calling and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine office, and to expound all scriptures, and continue in laying on of the hands and confirming the churches. Doctrines & Covenants 24:9


Verse 7: Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.

Note: Joseph Smith spoke vain and flattering words to the early Mormons.

And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time, and ye knew it not; But now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief; for verily some of you are guilty before me, but I will be merciful unto your weakness. Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours. Doctrines & Covenants 38:13-15


Verses 8-9: And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper; And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.

Note: Joseph Smith lived like a king in the city of Nauvoo.

Nauvoo continued to grow. The town plat was extended, and ten wards were formed. That summer Joseph and his family moved into the twenty-two-room Mansion House, part of which was soon opened as a hotel. Brigham Young: A Personal Portrait, 1996.


Verses 10-11: And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass. And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

Note: Joseph Smith has caused Mormons to build many elegant and spacious buildings.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that this Endowment was necessary to empower one "to overcome all things" (TPJS, p. 91). A veil symbolically divides the terrestrial room from the celestial room, which suggests through furnishings and decor the peace, beauty, and glory of the highest degree of heaven. Also in the temple are smaller sealing rooms, where temple marriages and sealings are solemnized for the living and vicariously for the dead. A temple may also have an upper room where solemn assemblies can be convened. Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1992.


Verses 12-13: And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about. And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people.

Note: Joseph Smith had an interest in towers.

Some hundred yards or more from the crest of the hill, was Lyman Wight's home, and on or near the top of the hill was the ruins of an ancient altar or tower, which the Prophet states was built by the Nephites. In later years this spot and the stones thereon have been looked upon as the place where Adam offered sacrifice, and that the stones were the remains of Adam's altar, but the Prophet said it was a Nephite altar or tower. Lyman Wight lived at this place which the Prophet named Adam-ondi-Ahman. Smith, Joseph Fielding. Church History and Modern Revelation. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Council of The Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1946


Verses 14-15: And it came to pass that he placed his heart upon his riches, and he spent his time in riotous living with his wives and his concubines; and so did also his priests spend their time with harlots. And it came to pass that he planted vineyards round about in the land; and he built wine-presses, and made wine in abundance; and therefore he became a wine-bibber, and also his people.

Note: Some of the Nauvoo "saints" were heavy drinkers and endorsed polygamy.

Poor Amos was always in trouble with either the law or the Church at his Nauvoo grogshop or out at "The Mount," a popular landmark on the prairie road between Nauvoo and Fort Madison. Davis was one of the first Saints to establish a business in Nauvoo in August 1839 when it was still an undistinguished hamlet known as Commerce. He kept an account book that reveals heavy purchases of liquor by the Saints along with their need for nails, buckshot, clothing, flour, raisins, coffee, tea, and tobacco. (The account book is now at the Department of Western Americana, University of Utah Library). One of Amos' most frequent customers was Samuel H. Smith, the Prophet's younger brother. Samuel's account No. 79 reveals steady purchases of liquor and cigars. Hearts Made Glad, 1975.


Verse 16: And it came to pass that the Lamanites began to come in upon his people, upon small numbers, and to slay them in their fields, and while they were tending their flocks.

Note: Missourians never trusted the early Mormons.

Armed bands of Missourians prowled about, firing haystacks and granaries, stealing horses and cattle, and whipping Mormon farmers. Daily it became clearer that in every county save Cauldwell the gentiles were hell-bent to drive the Mormons out. No Man Knows My History, Fawn Brodie, 1995.


Verse 17: And king Noah sent guards round about the land to keep them off; but he did not send a sufficient number, and the Lamanites came upon them and killed them, and drove many of their flocks out of the land; thus the Lamanites began to destroy them, and to exercise their hatred upon them.

Note: Joseph Smith had the Danites formed to keep order and revenge Mormon losses.

Know ye not, brethren, that it soon will be your privilege to take your respective companies and go out on a scout on the borders of the settlements, and take to yourselves spoils of the goods of the ungodly Gentiles? for it is written, the riches of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to my people, the house of Israel; and thus you will waste away the Gentiles by robbing and plundering them of their property; and in this way we will build up the kingdom of God, and roll forth the little stone that Daniel saw cut out of the mountain without hands, and roll forth until it filled the whole earth. For this is the very way that God destines to build up His kingdom in the last days. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. III, Chapter XIII.


Verses 18-19: And it came to pass that king Noah sent his armies against them, and they were driven back, or they drove them back for a time; therefore, they returned rejoicing in their spoil. And now, because of this great victory they were lifted up in the pride of their hearts; they did boast in their own strength, saying that their fifty could stand against thousands of the Lamanites; and thus they did boast, and did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren, and this because of the wickedness of their king and priests.

Note: The armies of Missouri drove out the Mormons despite Joseph Smith boastings.

Therefore let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged--Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me. And let all the churches send up wise men with their moneys, and purchase lands even as I have commanded them. And inasmuch as mine enemies come against you to drive you from my goodly land, which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion, even from your own lands after these testimonies, which ye have brought before me against them, ye shall curse them;25 And whomsoever ye curse, I will curse, and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies. And my presence shall be with you even in avenging me of mine enemies, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. Doctrines and Covenants 103:22-26.


Verse 20: And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy, saying: Behold, thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me, saying, Go forth, and say unto this people, thus saith the Lord--Wo be unto this people, for I have seen their abominations, and their wickedness, and their whoredoms; and except they repent I will visit them in mine anger.

Note: William Law established the Nauvoo Expositor that exposed Joseph Smith.

The rift between William Law and the prophet thus began in a fundamental divergence of economic attitudes. The final break in their friendship, however, came from a question, not of finance, but of fidelity. With sorrow and suspicion Law watched Joseph ever enlarging his circle of wives. Then the prophet tried to approach Law's own wife, Jane. No Man Knows My History, Fawn Brodie, 1995.


Verses 21-23: And except they repent and turn to the Lord their God, behold, I will deliver them into the hands of their enemies; yea, and they shall be brought into bondage; and they shall be afflicted by the hand of their enemies. And it shall come to pass that they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of my people. And it shall come to pass that except this people repent and turn unto the Lord their God, they shall be brought into bondage; and none shall deliver them, except it be the Lord the Almighty God.

Note: Joseph Smith brought into bondage many women who were new converts.

She is thunder-struck, faints, recovers, and refuses. The Prophet damns her if she resists. She thinks of the great sacrifice, and of the many thousand of miles she has traveled over sea and land, that she might save her soul from pending ruin, and replies, "God's will be done, and not mine." The Prophet and his devotees in this way are gratified. Nauvoo Expositor, June 7, 1844.


Verses 24-25: Yea, and it shall come to pass that when they shall cry unto me I will be slow to hear their cries; yea, and I will suffer them that they be smitten by their enemies. And except they repent in sackcloth and ashes, and cry mightily to the Lord their God, I will not hear their prayers, neither will I deliver them out of their afflictions; and thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me.

Note: Governor Ford ordered Joseph Smith to surrender to the Carthage constable.

"I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it." Letter from Governor Thomas Ford to Joseph Smith dated June 22, 1844.


Verses 26-28: Now it came to pass that when Abinadi had spoken these words unto them they were wroth with him, and sought to take away his life; but the Lord delivered him out of their hands. Now when king Noah had heard of the words which Abinadi had spoken unto the people, he was also wroth; and he said: Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction? I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.

Note: Joseph Smith unsuccessfully attacked all those opposed to his dictatorship.

Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days [p.409] of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. XI, Chapter XIX, 1951.


Verse 29: Now the eyes of the people were blinded; therefore they hardened their hearts against the words of Abinadi, and they sought from that time forward to take him. And king Noah hardened his heart against the word of the Lord, and he did not repent of his evil doings.

Note: The remaining Mormons were blinded to the sins of Joseph Smith.

Joseph then said to the company who were with him, "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me 'He was murdered in cold blood!'" He then said to Father Sherwood, "Go, and God bless you." Sherwood then rode as swiftly as he could to Nauvoo. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. XI, Chapter XIX, 1951.

Note: Joseph Smith never repented of his pride and numerous sins.