Slandering the Lord’s anointed

Slandering the Lord’s anointed January 24, 2023


Tissot, Jesus in a synagogue
James Jacques Tissot (d. 1902)

“Jésus enseigne dans les synagogues”/”Jesus Teaches in the Synagogues”


First, though:  The Interpreter Foundation continues to pour out materials that, we hope, are of benefit to those who follow what we do.  I’m grateful for the generosity of donors and volunteers, without which this would not be possible:


Interpreter Radio Show — January 8, 2023 — In this, the 8 January 2023 episode of the Interpreter Radio Show, Terry Hutchinson, John Gee, and Kevin Christensen discuss (1) claims that the Book of Mormon was plagiarized and (2) diversity and unity in the Church.

The New Testament in Context Lesson 6: “The Spirit of the Lord Is upon Me” — In the 8 January 2023 Come, Follow Me segment of the Interpreter Radio Show, Terry Hutchinson, John Gee, and Kevin Christensen discuss New Testament lesson 6, covering Matthew 4 and Luke 4–5, “The Spirit of the Lord Is upon Me.”

Interpreter Radio Show — January 15, 2023 — Bruce Webster, Kris Frederickson, and Martin Tanner are the discussants for the 15 January 2023 installment of the Interpreter Radio Show.  They focus on (1) the Restoration and Trinitarianism and (2) various translations of the New Testament.  The “New Testament in Context” portion of this show, for Come, Follow Me New Testament lesson 7, covering John 2–4, will be posted on Tuesday, 31 January.

The entire Interpreter Radio Show can be heard in all its glory, live and without a safety net, each and every Sunday evening from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640>. If, for some reason, that doesn’t work for you, you can listen live on the Internet at in the stead thereof.   And, obviously, you can listen to the Interpreter Radio Show at any convenient time for you by means of these archived recordings, which have been denuded of commercial and other extraneous interruptions for your pleasure and edification.

Also, though, don’t miss thisCome, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps: Lesson 6, January 30 — February 5: Matthew 4; Luke 4–5 — “The Spirit of the Lord Is upon Me” — As he regularly does, Jonn Claybaugh furnishes a concise set of notes for the benefit of teachers and students of the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” curriculum.


Orson Pratt, apostle
Elder Orson Pratt of the Council of the Twelve (ca. 1850)

Wikimedia Commons public domain image


Here’s a passage from Eugene England, Brother Brigham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), one of many passages in the book that I really like.  Gene has just been referring to a dam that the original pioneer company built almost immediately after their arrival in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in July 1847:

That dam symbolizes another powerful lesson the pioneers learned with and from their leaders because it reveals, in [William] Clayton’s matter-of-fact record of its construction the first day in the valley before Brother Brigham arrived, the characteristic Mormon sense of faith and works:

At the opening [of Orson Pratt’s dedicatory meeting], the brethren united in prayer and asked the Lord to send rain on the land, etc.  The brethren immediately rigged three plows and went to plowing a little northeast of the camp; another party went with spades, etc. to make a dam on one of the creeks so as to throw the water at pleasure on the field, designing to irrigate the land in case rain should not come sufficiently.  [page 140, Eugene England’s emphasis in the original]


The successor to Brigham Young
The English-born John Taylor served as the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1880-1888, having already presided over the Church in his capacity as President of the Quorum of the Twelve since the death of Brigham Young in 1877.


There is a genuinely contemptible and offensive conspiracy theory circulating out there that argues that Joseph and Hyrum Smith weren’t actually murdered by a mob in collusion with the Carthage Greys, the local Illinois militia, as everybody (including members of the mob and of the Carthage Greys) has always thought, but, instead, by their cellmates in Carthage Jail, Elders John Taylor and Willard Richards of the Council of the Twelve Apostles.  Perhaps at the instigation of Brigham Young, no less.  To the best of my knowledge, no serious historian supports this fantasy.  (Those to whom I’ve mentioned it, in fact, have snorted derisively.)  I hope that the nearly superhuman Robert Boylan won’t mind my borrowing something from his Facebook page that he recently posted in reaction to the claim:

Will just say this. The following is an uncanonised revelation to John Taylor, the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (who we are led to believe, alongside Willard Richards, murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage [!]), we read the following about the Prophet:

Behold, I raised up my servant Joseph Smith to introduce my Gospel, and to build up my Church and establish my Kingdom on the earth; and I gave unto him wisdom and knowledge and revelation, and intelligence pertaining to the past, the present, and the future, even to that extent which was not known among men; and I endowed him with power from on high, and conferred upon him the Priesthood of Aaron, and also the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which is after the order of the Son of God, even the holiest of all, and after the power of an endless life, and administered forever in this world and the world to come. He was called and ordained to this office before the world was. He was called by me, and empowered by me, and sustained by me to introduce and establish my Church and Kingdom upon the earth; and to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to my Church and Kingdom; and to be a King and Ruler over Israel.
Source: Revelation to John Taylor, June 27, 1882, John Taylor Papers, LDS Church Archives, cited by John A. Tvedtnes, Organize my Kingdom: A History of Restored Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Cornerstone, 2000), 13.
It’s probably worth mentioning that John Taylor’s revelation was received on the thirty-eighth anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  I’m not surprised to think that President Taylor might have been thinking back on that day in 1844, when he himself was grievously wounded by an anti-Mormon mob — or, if you agree with the fantasists, that he might have been chuckling with smug self-satisfaction about how he and his co-conspirators had successfully gotten away with a theatrical farce that concealed his commission of a double-homicide.


Our high rise HQ
No classified documents have yet been found at Interpreter Headquarters, shown here on a beautiful evening in the business district of Orem, Utah.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


On rather a different note:  In the initial days of this saga, a rather large number of classified documents were located the Mar-a-Lago estate of Mr. Donald J. Trump, in Florida.  Shortly after President Biden labeled their presence there “irresponsible,” though, classified documents began to be located at various Biden properties, dating back to his vice presidency.  Now, according to the New York Times, classified documents have been found at inappropriate locations connected with former vice president and presidential-election decider Mike Pence.  Since this is now a visibly bipartisan issue, I feel that I am not violating my “no politics” pledge here at Sic et Non by pursuing it just a tad further.  (Who knows?  We may eventually find the Ark of the Covenant!)  And I’ve determined to do so via the Babylon Bee, whose inspiring motto is “Fake news you can trust”:

“30 Other Things Investigators Found In Biden’s Garage”

“White House Proudly Hangs ‘1 Day Without Classified Documents Discovered At President’s House’ Sign”

“Batch Of Classified Documents Found On Walmart Clearance Shelf”

And, while I’m at it:  In other news,

“George Santos Signs Lucrative Endorsement Deal With Whoppers”

“‘Jesus Was All About Inclusion!’ Says Pastor Confusing Jesus With Satan”

And this, from National Review‘s Rob Long:  “George Santos’s LinkedIn”


Trash overflowing
This public found-object art installation, rumored to have been funded by a $73 million federal art grant, attempts to represent the overflowing richness of the Hitchens File©.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


Finally, here are some chilling links from the never-failing Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©:

“Church Funds Are Curbing Malnourishment for Mothers and Children in Kenya: Super cereal and other supplements are supplying a sensible boost to immune systems”

“Church Makes Donation to Reduce Infant Mortality in Mexico”

“Church Collaborates with Muslim Aid to Build 2,720 Greenhouses in Bosnia”

How long, O random and pointless universe, must we endure the provocations of these theists and of theism?  When will such offenses finally end?



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