06 November 2013

On the road with the SAB: Palmyra, New York -- the birthplace of Mormonism

After Philip subbed for me at the Magnet Theater in New York City, we headed west toward Palmyra, New York -- the birthplace of Mormonism. We started with a guided tour of the Grandin Printing Shop, where the Book of Mormon was first printed in 1830. Then we toured the Smith family log home and visited the "sacred grove" where Jesus and his father first appeared to the 14-year old Joseph Smith. We finished up by climbing Hill Cumorah, where he dug up the golden plates.

Our tour guide was a nice young woman who tried her very best to convert us. She insisted that we give the Moroni challenge a try in the sacred grove. (This challenge is based on Moroni 10:4, which is the John 3:16 equivalent in Mormonism.) We agreed to do so if she would read Deuteronomy 13:6-10 and explain how a kind and loving God could inspire such a passage. She promised to read it and send us her explanation in an email. I'll let you how that turns out.

So Philip and I took the Moroni 10:4 challenge in the sacred grove.

And here's Philip at the Moroni monument on the top of Hill Cumorah.

Next stop: Mundelein, Illinois.


Stephen said...

Looks like I may get the chance to meet and break bread with the Wells team!

As for the "challenge", I sometimes tell proselytizers that when I pray for something, I never get it. They always say that it's because I am not a believer. So my challenge for them is this: "Since you *are* a believer, and presumably in the good graces of the deity, why don't you pray for ME to become a believer?"
Since all things are possible if they are sincerely prayed for, this should be a win-win for god. However, if it doesn't happen, there are several possibilities:
1) I am more powerful than god since I can resist his influence,
2) god just really wants me to burn, in which case he's a real dick,
3) the bible lies,
4) god doesn't exist.
I'll go with #4, since it's the most likely. :-)
Steve Weeks

Stephen said...

I often wonder if Joseph Smith was having a little joke on his followers with "Moroni"...
"Moron-I", sort of like Isaac Asimov's "Robot-I".
Steve Weeks

Stephen said...

My wife and I just spent an enjoyable hour or so with Steve Wells and his sons Philip and Dominic. How good it was to finally meet and find our common ground. Safe travels, Guys!
Steve Weeks

srizals said...


“The word of Mohammad is a voice direct from nature's own heart - all else is wind in comparison.”
― Thomas Carlyle

Steve Wells said...

Thanks for the Muhammad (pb&jbuh) spam, srizals. Here's one for you:

"The Prophet ... said, 'I have been preferred over my nation in four things – generosity, courage, abundance of sexual intercourse and great power.' The Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, was a modest person."

From the Ash-Shifa, page 56.

Stephen said...

Steve, I think you are doing a major dis-service to PB&J (may its good fat and tasty carbs ever prosper) here.
If the prophet was a modest person, then atheism is a religion! ;-)
Steve Weeks

srizals said...

Well, he is the messenger of God, Steve, how these, do you know about them too?

His forgiveness
Hadrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a Jewess came to Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) with poisoned mutton and he took of what had been brought to him. (When the effect of his poison were felt by him) he called for her and asked her about that, whereupon she said: I had determined to kill you. Thereupon he said: Allah will never give you the power to do it. He (the narrator) said that they (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: Should we not kill her? Thereupon he said: No. He (Anas) said: I felt (the effects of this poison) on the uvula of Allah's Messenger. (Muslim)

It has been narrated on the authority of Hadrat Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that eighty persons from the inhabitants of Makka swooped down upon Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) from the mountain of Tan'im. They were armed and wanted to attack the Holy Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) and his Companions unawares. He (the Holy Prophet) captured them but spared their lives. So, Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) revealed the verse: "And It is He Who restrained your hands from them and their hands from you in the valley of Makkah after He had given you a victory over them." (48:24) (Muslim)

His trust in Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted)
It has been narrated on the authority of Hadrat Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that, on the Day of Hunain, Umm Sulaim took out a dagger she had in her possession. Hadrat Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) saw her and said: Messenger of Allah, this is Umm Sulaim. She is holding a dagger. Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) asked (her): What for are you holding that dagger? She said: I took it up so that I may tear open the belly of a polytheist who comes near me. Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) began to smile (at those words). She said: Messenger of Allah, kill all those people-other than us- whom thou hast declared to be free (on the day of the Conquest of Makka). (They embraced Islam because) they were defeated at your hands (and as such their Islam is not dependable). Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said: Umm Sulaim, Allah is sufficient (against the mischief of the polytheists) and He will be kind to us (so you need not carry this dagger). (Muslim)


Would you have done the same? I mean with all the power and influence that he had.

By the way, it's on page 57, Steve.

srizals said...

What's your opinion on this one, Steve, could you share with us?

"The first story is set in the immediate aftermath of the surrender of Mecca to Muslim forces in 630 C.E. The Prophet had been born in Mecca in 570 C.E. and had received his first revelations from the Angel Gabriel at the age of 40, calling the Arabs to reject polytheism and embrace the One God of Abraham. His critique of the profitable religious cult in Mecca won him many followers from the poor and oppressed classes, and especially among women, who saw him as a champion of their rights in a word where pre-Islamic Arabs often buried infant girls alive. But his teachings earned him the enmity of the ruling class of Mecca, who showered insults and abuse on his followers for over a decade. Finally, in 622 C.E., the Prophet escaped an assassination attempt and was forced to flee to the oasis of Medina, where his followers survived years of military attacks from Mecca meant to annihilate their community.

And yet Islam continued to grow and spread, as it offered a better, more egalitarian way of life than the Meccan cult that served only the wealthy. Eight years after the Prophet fled his home, the beleaguered Meccans surrendered the city to the Muslims who were now the most powerful group in Arabia. The Prophet returned home as absolute ruler, with no fear of reprisal from any of his enemies. The Meccans feared that he would take vengeance on them for 20 years of vicious attacks. The Prophet certainly could have taken revenge; in the cruel world of desert warfare recorded in the books of Old Testament, no one would have been surprised if he killed all of his opponents. And yet he did something that left his enemies flabbergasted.

He forgave them.

The Prophet declared a general amnesty and offered the leaders of Mecca who had fought him positions of honor in the new Muslim community. And most remarkable of all was how he treated Hind, the cruel queen of Mecca who had desecrated the corpse of the Prophet's beloved uncle Hamza (she had cannibalized Hamza's liver, an act considered barbaric even by her own people). The Prophet forgave Hind and let her go."


Can you name any man you know, then and now with such character?

I know Marquis de Sade, and he was like you. Do you know him, Steve?

Steve Wells said...

"The Prophet ... would visit all of his wives in the same hour. ... In the matter of sexual intercourse, the Prophet was given the power of forty men. ... Prophet Solomon and David were endowed with the same ability. ... In the loins of Solomon there was the semen of one hundred men." Ash-shifa p.56

Stephen said...

It must be AWESOME to have such a stud as your fearless leader!
Steve Weeks

srizals said...

What are you getting at Steve? Is it deplorable and morally degrading to have sex with your wife? Is this the basis of morality of atheist? Are you a monk atheist priest wannabe or something? Don't you ever have sex with your wife? Do you have some inferiority regarding of manliness that you envied the duty of a successful man to his wife?

Then I have to wonder how did your parents brought you to this world. Were they not loving and morally upright husband and wife?

Stephen, it is not that awesome to have "half a man" to be anything. Ask the ladies, they know. As a matter a fact, ask your wife.

srizals said...

Atheists like to ask a lot don't they, but rarely answer. I wonder why? Lacking of peer reviewed research to help them think for themselves, I guess? Oh, well.

srizals said...

"Jeffrey Dahmer, an infamous serial killer and atheist sentenced to 900 years in prison, said “if a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges?”. He brutally killed seventeen men and boys, dismembering them, storing their parts and indulging in cannibalism and necrophilia. In 1991, he was caught by the police after one of his would-be victims escaped. Despite pleading not guilty on the basis on insanity, the court found him sane and fully accountable. He later expressed remorse."


Atheism is not the way, it lacks in responsibility, respect, love and wisdom. Pol Pot, Stalin, Luka Magnotta, Chin Peng, Mao, aborters of babies from 4 months onwards have something in common. They think they have the right to do anything and won't be accountable to God. Some said, it's political driven not because of atheism. Well, they can keep on fooling themselves. The little red book of Mao would shun anyone to be an atheist.

Or should atheists believed Richard Dawkins that theorised how the gay genes survived the caveman period by seducing their wives/women while the manly caveman went out hunting? Being not that manly, hey, Stephen?

Life is not a theory. It's made of dreams and hope, normal and the paranormal, seen and the unseen, honesty, courage, wisdom, sweat, sacrifices, humanity, practicality and wits, which Atheism is severely lacking.

Atheism is not going anywhere. It is full of baseless emotional "material logical" thinking and theories that cloud it's judgement. It is on a self destruct mode. It always have, it always does. The cult of death that tries to humour itself out of its true existence and meaning by vilifying others. Only those with eyes wide shut would choose to be a believer.


Steve is constantly referring to the book, As Shifa that was published in 2006 to debate me, instead of the Koran and the hadith books, where referencing would be much easier and direct for all of us. I wonder why?

srizals said...

Another theory, Steve. What's your say? Can you express yourself outside of your writing, Steve? Is Science and theory perfect to be a belief system replacing God?

"Dr Ellis says that while the planet meets humans’ needs for the most part, it does not perhaps serve the species’ interests as well as the aliens who dropped us off imagined.
In his book, HUMANS ARE NOT FROM EARTH: A SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION OF THE EVIDENCE, the ecologist writes the human race has defects that mark it of being ‘not of this world’.
‘Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth's environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more,’ he told Yahoo.
Dr Ellis says that humans might suffer from bad backs because they evolved on a world with lower gravity."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2507377/Humans-NOT-come-Earth--sunburn-bad-backs-pain-labour-prove-expert-claims.html#ixzz2kxtQA3lc
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Stephen said...

@srizals- Haha...I asked my wife. She said even if I *were* half a man she'd prefer me to someone who'd be sticking it in multiple women in an hour's time. That's a good way to catch a disease. And not much enjoyment for the women, though you might not know so much about that.
I'd ask how *your* wife feels, but that would be reaching below the belt.
Steve Weeks

srizals said...

@Stephen -"That's a good way to catch a disease", correct if multiple partners, men and women, both are involved. I've never heard any faithful husbands or wives caught any HPV or HIV before. Unless they went astray out of wedlock. Well, have you?

""But do you mean to tell me that the man who in the full flush of youthful vigour, a young man of four and twenty (24), married a woman much his senior, and remained faithful to her for six and twenty years (26), at fifty years of age when the passions are dying married for lust and sexual passion? Not thus are men's lives to be judged. And you look at the women whom he married, you will find that by every one of them an alliance was made for his people, or something was gained for his followers, or the woman was in sore need of protection."

Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, p. 4