long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Even worse than I thought-SITH in the Church History Museum

People often ask me, what can we do about the ongoing corruption of Church history, including the aggressive promotion of the SITH narrative?

One thing you can do is visit the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Be sure to spend some time with this piece of work:

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

You can make comments on the visitors cards about how this display is misleading and contradicts what Joseph and Oliver specifically taught about the translation of the Book of Mormon.

The display is entirely gratuitous. 

The display has nothing to do with the objects the Church recently purchased from the Community of Christ. But the Church History Department used the acquisition of the "Caractors" document as a pretext to promote SITH (the stone-in-the-hat narrative) favored by certain historians.

Read the captions in the display. You will notice two things:

1. It never once quotes or cites what Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery said about the translation of the Book of Mormon; i.e., that Joseph translated the plates with the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates.

2. It states as factual the SITH narrative promoted by Jonathan Hadley, E.D. Howe, and other anti-Mormon critics who directly ridiculed and emphatically repudiated what Joseph and Oliver said about the translation of the Book of Mormon.

E.D. Howe would be proud of this exhibit. 

Howe was the nominal author of Mormonism Unvailed, the 1834 anti-Mormon book that Joseph Smith denounced, as I discussed here:


Howe incorporated the SITH narrative from Jonathan Hadley's 1829 article, as I discussed here:


And now the Church History Department has incorporated Howe's SITH narrative.

Furthermore, by omitting the explanations given by Joseph and Oliver, this display violates the basic ethical requirements set forth by the American Historical Association.

It's even worse than I thought when I commented on the new SITH display in the Church History Museum, here:


and here:


1 comment:

  1. Visited the Whitmer farm last summer, and the sister missionaries spent about 75% of the time in the Whitmer home talking about the stone in the hat as the main means of translation. I haven’t the slightest understanding of why this is pushed so hard at historic sites where (IMO) there are a lot more valuable things to talk about than a seer stone…