Stained Swords, False Prophecy, and Accurate History

Stained Swords, False Prophecy, and Accurate History December 30, 2022


1841 BofM Title Page
A copy of the 1841 (British) edition of the Book of Mormon, opened to the Title Page.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


The Interpreter Foundation has published its last articles for 2022; absolutely no more new 2022 articles will ever appear.  I expect, therefore, that some of the Foundation’s critics will stay up late tomorrow night, partying in celebration.  Here are the two articles that finish out the year:

“Stained Swords: A Psalm of Redemption,” written by Loren Blake Spendlove

Abstract: The author proposes a novel idea for understanding the stained swords of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies that involves repetition, parallelism, and metaphoric Hebrew wordplay.

“Interpreting Interpreter: Stained Swords,” written by Kyler Rasmussen

This post is a summary of the article “Stained Swords: A Psalm of Redemption” by Loren Blake Spendlove in Volume 54 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. An introduction to the Interpreting Interpreter series is available at

The Takeaway:  Spendlove writes short, accessible abstracts that you can read for yourself.  [But a short summary follows. -dcp]




Roughly nine years ago, a sublimely self-confident pseudonymous critic on a small, extraordinarily nasty, and mostly atheist ex-Mormon message board took it upon himself to prophesy:

“By Jan. 1, 2014 Interpreter will be dead. . . .  Either totally dead or down to token ‘blog’ style postings.” (Bond James Bond, 25 January 2013)

The Interpreter Foundation was about 5.5 months old when he pronounced his oracle.

I hope that “Mr. Bond” kept his day job.  (Actually, I didn’t see anything at all from him for several years.  Perhaps, I thought, he was totally dead.  At the best, he no longer seemed to be up to making even token “blog style” posts.  Lately, though, I think he may have resurfaced under a slightly altered pseudonym.)

The Interpreter Foundation was launched almost precisely 546 weeks ago.  Today marked the 545th consecutive week that it has published at least one article — which is not to mention its books, its blog, its scripture roundtables, its weekly radio programs, its film efforts, its conferences, and so forth.

That poor “Mr. Bond’s” prediction was proved wrong about eight years ago is entirely due to generous donations of time and labor and, yes, money from a great many people, to all of whom I’m deeply grateful.  Our operation is almost entirely volunteer.  We have no salaried employees.  Although our bylaws allow the Foundation’s top leadership to draw up to $500 annually for their services, none has ever taken any such compensation.  Nor are our authors paid. This is a labor of love, passion, and commitment.

If you need guidance on how to donate to the Interpreter Foundation, you can find such information here.  And please don’t overlook the brief discussion of AmazonSmile, which can painlessly permit you to enlist Amazon to support the Interpreter Foundation (or any other listed charity of your choice) with each book or other item that you purchase there.  In those cases, it’s that gives the money.  There is absolutely no cost to you.  (And, of course and for that very reason, no tax deduction.)

Please stay tuned.  Will the Interpreter Foundation survive past 1 January this time?  Will another article appear in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship next week?  The tension mounts!




I saw certain habitual critics of the Church take this story up several days ago, but I haven’t thus far said anything about it.  Happily, a reader of this blog who comments under the moniker of “The Last Danite” posted the following, which, with his kind permission, I now re-post here in the main body of this blog:

Fun side story: The failing SLTrib attempted to generate fake outrage over a painting of Mary that the awful prudish LDS Church Inc modified to make her more modest. The scandal was so horrifying they even had an opinion piece ready to go from resident hack Gordon Monson. However, a quick google search shows the claimed LDS censorship was actually a modification done in 1656 by the original arist. Why the reader should expect the SLTrib to do basic research is another question entirely. Don’t forget to give the SLtrib your money!

SLTrib outrage piece:…

Prepared opinion piece:…

Original work: https://www.museodelprado.e…

The Mormon church was stronger at four o’clock Sunday afternoon than it ever will again become; the remarkable will and organizing force of the dead leader [Brigham Young] departed with him, and have been transmitted to none other in his church; and we may now watch with complacency, if not with joy, the gradual disintegration of the whole Mormon fabric. – Salt Lake Tribune, 1877




“Most of All, I Am Offended as a Muslim: On Hamline University’s shocking imposition of narrow religious orthodoxy in the classroom”

I myself have used the very image discussed for my own lectures, accompanying it with precisely the same explanation about variety within Islam that was given by the Hamline professor (who has apparently now been fired).  This is a gross injustice.  The administration at Hamline University should be ashamed of itself.




In the current ideological climate, diversity is all important and it’s vital that college faculties and actors in television commercials and choirs and volleyball teams and presidential cabinets “look like America.”  So why are people upset that a complete poseur and utter fraud is about to be seated in the United States Congress?  He’ll be only one of 425 members in the House of Representatives — and surely at least 0.0025 percent of the American citizenry are liars, fakes, phonies, and/or scam artists.  Don’t they deserve representation, too?




And, finally, I share a trio of gratifyingly shudder-inducing links from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©:

“20,000 Handmade Christmas Ornaments Donated to Survivors of Natural Disasters:  A project reaching across the United States shows survivors they are not forgotten”

“South Africa joyfully opens a season of service for Light the World initiative: #LightTheWorld events in Johannesburg, South Africa, include the theme, ‘Come serve as He served’”

“Latter-day Saints in Central America #LightTheWorld through service, recognition: Efforts include service projects in Nicaragua, a dinner program in El Salvador and awards ceremonies in Honduras”

“Love Thine Enemies”

By the way, the painting to which I refer above actually appears in this very brief Church video, Love Thine Enemies, which is well worth watching in its own right.  It’s a good story from a time of terrible darkness.



Browse Our Archives