Many of you have been to FAIR-LDS, which attempts to explain many of the “mysteries” of the gospel. No, not the mysteries like who’s God’s daddy, did the Liahona stop working because Nephi was on AT&T’s network, or was the method used by Shiz struggling for breath without a head the same as how the Jaredites breathed while in the dish-tight subs.
What I mean are the mysteries of why did Joseph Smith have so many “first visions”, why he married so many already-married women and did God change Lamanite DNA to keep us in faithful suspense.
FAIR is actually a great resource because not only do they utterly fail to provide adequate answers to these mysteries, they also validate that they are in fact mysteries that justly trouble many LDS. I remember many years ago when, as a TBM, I was researching the Book of Abraham and came across an “anti-mormon” website detailing how Joseph Smith completely failed, when they compared his translation to those of Egyptologists who’d studied the re-discovered papyri. When I first saw this, I thought: No, there are no papyri—they were lost in the Chicago fire! But I had to find out if someone had defended against this “bullcrap”. I searched and found that FAIR, a BYU related website, confirmed that in fact it was true. They had the papyri. FAIR argued that we probably don’t have all of the scrolls. But we do have the papyri with the facsimiles, even the one upon which Smith & colleagues had drawn a man’s head on Anubus. FAIR admitted that the translation of these and the characters all around them did not match Smith’s Abraham in the least. This admission extremely distressed me for a day or two.
Most of you already know this, and it is discussed very well at many sites, so you may wonder why I’m bringing it up. Why? Because of Pat.
I decided to send Pat two links: The first link to Mormon Info Graphics on the Book of Abraham, and a second one to FAIR’s explanation of one of the facsimiles. That way Pat would see the fully-exposed (Elohim’s "godhood" included) version and the “legitimate version” at FAIR. I sent it on Wednesday night, and heard back from Pat on Saturday morning. The response surprised me a little.
PAT: I have never seen this. I’ve been in dismay for the past couple of days. Based on your reaction at church I thought I might be able to help ease your doubts. Now I don’t know.
We’ve exchanged phone numbers and we’re talking about many other issues. Pat shared some of these with the spouse and now they might both be having serious doubts. I will have to be careful on Sunday not to give them or myself away.
There is also a possibility that the woman I talked with at the end of the meeting might be open to discussing some issues. How fast should I go with her? I can't recall the rules with LDS women...
One of the interesting conversations with Pat went like this:
PAT: Did you see the graphic on facsimile 2, where Joseph Smith translated part 7 as God sitting on his throne, but the Egyptologists translated it as one of the gods with an erection?
ME: Yes, and I've wondered if the drawings proportions are to scale, because if we're made in Elohim's image, then that dude is a hung brother!
(You can see the erection is almost as long as his thigh.)
The god "Min", an ithyphallic god; that is, a sexually aroused male deity.
PAT: Haha. What is he doing with an erection?
(Note this is one of the big gospel mysteries FAIR has yet to answer.)
ME: Maybe going number 3?
PAT: number...do I dare ask?
Me: Going number 3 is (mimic a closed-fist fast up/down motion with my hand) a very personal thing some guys do when they don't have to worry about bishop interviews.
PAT: uh, okay, changing the subject...