Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:43 am

The Anabaptists: Reformation Men and Theology
Lesson 10 of 11
by Dr. Jack L. Arnold




The Anabaptists were separatists who rejected infant baptism and believed that the outward, external church should consist only of saved and baptized believers. They would rebaptize those who professed Christ who had previously been baptized as infants. The preposition ana means "again," thus Anabaptists were those who "baptized again."

Every person throughout the Territory was commanded to be rebaptized, even if their sins had not been very grave. It was commanded, too, that every person who had committed a theft should make good what he had taken; and I recollect a man returning some property to my father which he had taken from the family while my father was in England: some others confessed to having stolen the fence from the farm; so, it seems, we had suffered from the dishonesty of our before presumedly honest neighbors. Throughout the whole church there was a general time of accusation, confession, restitution, and re-baptism.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

When what we should term the historical age emerged from the twilight of tradition, the Ana were already established in different communities, and had attained to a degree of civilisation very analogous to that which the more advanced nations above the earth now enjoy. They were familiar with most of our mechanical inventions, including the application of steam as well as gas. The communities were in fierce competition with each other. They had their rich and their poor; they had orators and conquerors, they made war either for a domain or an idea. Though the various states acknowledged various forms of government, free institutions were beginning to preponderate; popular assemblies increased in power; republics soon became general; the democracy to which the most enlightened European politicians look forward as the extreme goal of political advancement, and which still prevailed among other subterranean races, whom they despised as barbarians, the loftier family of Ana, to which belonged the tribe I was visiting, looked back to as one of the crude and ignorant experiments which belong to the infancy of political science.

-- The Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Through us he becomes Ana


"God is the reconciliation of opposites" says the Sufi Karras ...

The name of Ibn Mansur Al Hallaj awakens a deep resonance in the heart of every Sufi, for his was the living example of the essential truth underlying Sufi doctrine. This "Qu'ranic Christ" as Professor Massignon has called him, was condemned for heresy, excommunicated, tortured and crucified for having publicly given voice to an expression which shocked the orthodox Moslems of his time ...

What then is that prodigious saying whose mere pronouncement set in motion the tremendous trial in Baghdad on a raised platform, somewhat resembling that of Joan of Arc? The trial lasted nine years. What was the human utterance that, owing to the importance of the doctrinal positions it opposed and the vehemence of the passions involved, almost split Islam and in fact dealt the Khalifat a blow from which it never recovered? It was nothing other than the Muslim Advaita ... The dangerous and fatal ejaculation of Al Hallaj -- "Ana'L Haq" (I am the truth)

Only One

That if God alone exists, all things, and man in particular, must necessarily exist in God; they are therefore in their essence God, or truth -- the Arabic name for truth being merely a privileged name for God. If Hallaj had said Allah Al Haz -- God (in his transcendental aspect) is the truth, or "Huwa al Haq" (He is the truth) it would have been a common statement. However Al Hallaj declared that God alone exists: therefore he is the one subject and thus he alone can witness his existence...

If there is no other I than God, then every realization and affirmation is made by God and the tongue that pronounced it is the tongue of God. Hence the logic of Al Hallaj who cried out "Ana'L Haq", for the only subject who can affirm a predicate is God.


Behind the scene of manifestation is a great drama, and the great battle is fought between the forces of light and darkness wherein the archangel Michael -- the angelus victor -- plays the leading role. Man also is involved in this battle and can be awarded a decoration for his gallantry in the form of a robe of light, the royal Xvarnah of the Zoroastrians, that is the aura. The battle for light is the exodus from exile in the Occident typified in the tradition by the flight from Egypt. It is the confinement in space that is exile. So space must be overcome by reaching the "place of nowhere" (Nakuja Abad) by reaching beyond the space limited by the categories of the body. This exile had its purpose, for it was here that light was able to burst out. Suhrawardi calls this "The Great Breakdown", referring no doubt to the tradition according to which the Prophet causes the moon to split on the sacred words "Ana al Shams" (I am the sun). The breaking of the receptacle of light is symbolical of the passage from the exterior (Zaqhir) to the interior (Batin) -- it is the freeing of light, reminiscent of the Ismailian tradition of the bursting of the column of light, or the trembling of the columns of the temple seen by Isaiah in his vision, or again the tearing of the veil in the sanctuary at the time of the crucifixion.

I want to be free

It is the mission of the prophets and magi to free the light imprisoned in men at their exile and to turn them towards the dawning light at its source. This mission started with Adam and is continued by those who work for the archangel of the human species, Gabriel, who inspired the prophets and sages -- "The guardians of the divine proofs upon the earth." "Deliver the people of light and lead light to the light" he exclaimed in prayer.

-- Toward the One, by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

The fundamental principle, is the reconciliation of the opposites. We cannot choose one opposite over another. We must experience the relationship between the two and reconcile them into a higher synthesis. This does not mean to be in the middle. For instance, the proper balance between wealth and poverty is not the mathematical average between $1,000,000 and $1, i.e. $500,000. There are people who are poor at $1,000,000, others who are rich at $1. Reconciling the opposites is not that simple. It would be a great help if someone who has gone before us would describe the experience. What would he say of himself if he had reconciled the opposites? I AM the bread of life (John 6:35); I AM the light of the world (John 8:12); I AM the door of the sheepfold (John 10:7); I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11); I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); I AM the way the truth and the life (John 14:6); I AM the true vine (John 15:1). "I AM" is the most powerful statement any person can make.

-- Reconciliation, Orientation and Unity, by Jack Courtis, Kabala Series, Rosicrucian Archive

[Gozer the Gozarian (The Traveller, the Destroyer, the Gatekeeper)] "Are you a God?"

-- Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver

The Yale English professor Harold Bloom has voiced the deep suspicion of Mormonism among establishment intellectuals. Mormons, he argued, are set apart from Christianity and Judaism by their system of many gods, known as polytheism, which is still kept as an esoteric or "shelf' doctrine: "The accurate critique of Mormonism is that Smith's religion is not even monotheistic, let alone democratic. Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer openly describes their innermost beliefs, they clearly hold on to the notion of a plurality of gods. Indeed, they themselves expect to become gods, following the path of Joseph Smith. There are other secrets also, not tellable by the Mormon Church to those it calls 'Gentiles,' oddly including Jews.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The Anabaptist movement officially began around 1522 in Zurich, Switzerland, when certain men wanted the Reformation to proceed more quickly and to be patterned more along New Testament lines than along those pursued by Ulrich Zwingli. Thus, there was a break between Zwingli and these more radical reformers.

It is very difficult to classify the Anabaptists as a single group, for there was wide diversity among them. Some were fanatics and heretics who brought great shame to the work of the Reformation, but others were not nearly so extreme and fanatical. Some were pantheistic, some extremely mystical, some anti-Trinitarian, some extreme millennialists, while others were quite biblical in most areas of their theology.

The Mormon apologist Edward Tullidge later touted this pronouncement, claiming that "When Brigham Young proclaimed to the nations that Adam was our Father and God, and Eve, his partner, the Mother of a world -- both in a mortal and celestial sense -- he made the most important revelation ever oracle to the race since the days of Adam himself." (Hirshson, p. 119)

A group of traveling notables came to Salt Lake City in that same year of 1852, and included the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Schuyler Colfax, and journalists Samuel Bowles of the Springfield Republican, and Albert D. Richardson of the New York Tribune. Before this august company, Brigham Young further embroidered his account, asserting that the Virgin Mary and Mother of God was also a wife of Adam: "That very babe that was cradled in the manger was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being. Do you inquire by whom? He was begotten by God our heavenly Father." The begetting was accomplished not by the miraculous action of the Holy Spirit, but materially, Brigham said, "by the process known to nature -- just as men now create children." Betraying the inherent materialism and anti-Trinitarianism of Mormon doctrine, Brigham Young also pointed out that the father and the son were identical in appearance, except that God the father looked older. (Hirshson, p. 119) It was a pagan caricature of the Scriptures.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

A good majority of the Anabaptists were spiritual people, dedicated to Christ. They were devoted students of the Bible who felt the Reformers were not purifying the church quickly enough or properly applying the principles taught in the New Testament. The original Anabaptists were called "Brethren" or "The Company of the Committed."

The Anabaptists were probably the least understood and most persecuted of all the groups of the early Reformation era. The Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists opposed them violently.


Introduction: As a whole, the Anabaptist movement centered around the common people who wanted the simplicity of New Testament Christianity. However, some outstanding, educated men were leaders among the Anabaptists.

Conrad Grebel: Grebel was a prominent member of the church in Zurich. He had been led to the evangelical faith by Zwingli, and heartily approved his work of reformation. But he soon became disappointed with Zwingli and Luther because he felt the church was not being reformed along New Testament lines. In January, 1525, a man named Blaurock asked Grebel to baptize him again, although he had been baptized in infancy. Grebel complied. Thereupon, Blaurock rebaptized others. Thus the Anabaptist movement had its beginnings with Conrad Grebel.

Balthasar Hubmaier: Hubmaier was one of the better educated men of his day, having received his doctorate in theology. He was a priest, and, during his pastorate in Walshut, a great change came over him as he studied the New Testament. He found many things he had been doing were not biblical, and he began to preach reform. Hubmaier's conscience began to bother him about the Bible's teachings about baptism, the purity of the church, the new birth, discipleship, and evangelism. Hubmaier rebaptized his entire congregation of 300, and the church renounced all fellowship with Rome. He believed in evangelistic preaching, and went into Moravia where thousands were saved. Hubmaier was probably one of the few Anabaptist leaders who believed in election and predestination. He died a martyr in 1527, and two years later his wife was strangled and thrown in a river.

Jacob Hutter: Hutter was a godly man who preached in Austria, Moravia, and Poland until his martyrdom in 1536. He founded a sect called the Hutterites,

Menno Simons: Simons was a humble man who lived a hard life. A priest of the Roman Catholic Church, he left by his own choice around 1536, believing he could no longer live with his conscience as a Roman Catholic, He felt that neither the Catholics nor the Reformed Church did much for the inner life of a man, that it was all externalism and hypocrisy. He opposed the fanaticism of his day, and could not understand why Christians persecuted one another. He had many struggles over discipleship and holy living, and truly believed that dedicated Christians would receive persecution from the world. Followers of Menno Simon's teachings came to be called Mennonites, and their work later spread to Russia, the United States and Canada. The Mennonites have always been pacifists, and are earnest, industrious Christians, who have often lived in communal settlements.


Introduction: On the basic issues of Christianity, most of the Anabaptists and Reformers were in total agreement. They held to the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the atonement, the authority of the Bible and the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Anabaptists were neither deep theologians nor interested in forming doctrinal creeds, although they did set forth their beliefs about the church in the Schleitheim Articles (1527).

Church and State: The Anabaptist movement was actually a reaction against the close ties between church and state in both Catholic and Protestant domains. In the Protestant churches great masses of people would come into the church when a city council or prince would join the Reformation. Because most of the citizens of the state were also members of the church, the bond between church and state was very great. In many cases, even though the Reformers took away the external aspects of Roman Church ritual, the personal lives of the people in the external church were not touched. Also, many used the teaching of justification by faith as a license to sin.

Mormonism, as the words "Latter-day" in its official title suggests, is a religion which expects the second coming of the Messiah and the end of the world as we have known it to occur soon. In other words, Mormons agree that we are currently living in the End Time. Any sect making this claim runs at least one obvious danger: antinomianism. In this context, antinomianism would be the belief that, since the second coming of the Savior is at hand, the moral law is suspended, at least for the elect (the "Saints"). Another path to antinomianism comes from the belief that the individual has a direct line to God by way of some sort of extra scriptural revelation, be this through mysticism, or because one has attained the status of a prophet, as Joseph Smith claimed he had. This belief has been observed frequently in Christianity, but it is by no means limited to this faith, since we have had examples of antinomianism in Judaism as well, to go no further than this.

The early phase of Quakerism displayed unmistakable antinomian tendencies. If an individual Quaker were told by his or her inner light that some activity was not a sin, then all the Law and the Prophets were rendered inoperative for that person. George Fox and other Quaker leaders took measures to subordinate the inner light for the "sense of the meeting," but -- in a tightly knit denomination like the Quakers -- examples of antinomianism have continued to occur centuries later. Richard Nixon and Lyndon LaRouche are examples, since both were raised as Quakers, and as leaders veered into antinomianism

In the case of Judaism, antinomianism is associated with false messiahs like Sabbatai Zevi (Shabtai Zvi) around 1666, and with the movement around Jacob Frank in the following century. If the Messiah had indeed returned, then the Mosaic Law was suspended, they argued.

The Mormons exhibit a very strong tendency towards antinomianism, first of all because of their core belief that the second coming of the Messiah is at hand, and secondly because they maintain that oracles, prophecies, and revelations have not ceased, but continue to be generated down to the present day, above all by the "Prophets" in command of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The Anabaptists demanded a strict separation of church and state, for the purity of the church and for the protection of the church from persecution by the state. This was carried to such an extreme that they were completely pacifistic, opposed to all military service, and took no oaths and held no government offices.

It was during this time that Brigham Young introduced the Mormon Oath of Vengeance against the United States of America into the Mormon Temple Endowment or ceremonial liturgy. The late Prophet Joseph Smith's son William, who was the leader of a Reorganite congregation in Covington, Kentucky, warned President Zachary Taylor and Congress about the activities of Brigham Young. William Smith compared Deseret to Sodom and Gomorrah, and told the US government that Deseret should not be admitted to the Union, because it was a theocracy. He accused Brigham Young of entertaining "treasonable designs against the liberties of American free born sons and daughters .... Their intention is to unite church and state, and whilst the political power of the Roman pontiff is passing away, this American tyrant is endeavoring to establish a new order of political popery in the recesses of the mountains of America." Raising the alarm against the Oath of Vengeance specifically, William Smith told President Taylor that "At Young's insistence fifteen hundred Saints had sworn to 'avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this nation,' to 'carry out hostilities against the nation, and to keep the same intent a profound secret, now and forever. '" (Hirshson, pp. 101-102)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Liberty of Conscience: The Anabaptists, because of their doctrine of separation of Church and State, stood for liberty of religion and for a "free church." They opposed the establishment of any faith by law, asserting freedom of religion, and believing that there should be no basis for persecution whatsoever. They taught that a man was free to believe according to the dictates of his conscience, even though he may be wrong. A person was free under the Reformers in their different domains only as long as he agreed with them. Simply put, there was little or no religious liberty under the Reformers.

The "Champion of Liberty," as Rigdon was called by his admirers, was more bombastic and more denunciatory than usual. He surpassed himself in invective, and maddened the already prejudiced Missourians, who were only waiting for some excuse to quarrel with their unwelcome neighbors. Among other absurd things, he said:

"We take God and all the holy angels to witness, that we warn all men to come on us no more for ever. The man or set of men that attempts it, does so at the expense of their lives. The mob that comes to disturb us we will follow until the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us. We will carry the war into their own homes and families. No man shall come into our streets to threaten us with mobs; if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place. We this day proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and determination that can never be broken. No, never! No, never!! No, never!!!"

This speech fired the excitable nature of the Saints, and they were aroused to a high pitch of warlike enthusiasm. Already, in imagination, they saw Missouri conquered, and the church in possession of the entire state. There could be no doubt of the final result, for this was the Promised Land into which they had been led by the hand of the Lord.

With the superstition which characterizes this people, they turned every accident or occurrence into some sign from Heaven, and it was always interpreted to promise success to them and confusion to their enemies. On this day of celebration the Mormons had erected a liberty-pole in honor of the occasion; in the afternoon it was struck by lightning, shivered to atoms, and fell, its flag trailing in the dust. There was rejoicing among the Mormons; that was certainly an omen of the speedy downfall of their enemies. It seems now as though if it must be considered an omen of anything that it was prophetic of the uprooting and scattering of this people, so soon was it followed by their expulsion from the state.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Purity of the Church: The Anabaptists believed that the external, visible church, as nearly as possible, should be made up of regenerate, baptized people. For them, the church was not an institution as the reformers held, but simply a local fellowship of believers. They believed in "voluntarism" — that a man comes into the church because he knows he is saved, and that he cannot be born into the church. Often, the Reformers thought that to renounce Rome was enough, but the Anabaptists demanded that a man know that he was saved before entering the external, local church.

Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promises of my Father which he made unto Abraham.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Anabaptists believed in the "ban," which gave the church the right to discipline its members. A Christian came into the church by his own choice and voluntarily placed himself under the government of the church.

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 King James Version (KJV) [THE "BAN"]

7 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;

2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.

More than half a century ago the Lord, through Joseph Smith, in speaking of the lost Ten Tribes, says: (Doc. and Cov., Revelation called the Appendix). "They who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear His voice, and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And they shall fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim."

-- Are We of Israel?, by Elder George Reynolds

Believer's Baptism: Anabaptists were inflexible on this point. They opposed infant baptism as unscriptural, and felt this was the basic reason that so many inside the Catholic and Reformed Churches were not really saved.

Immersion: The Anabaptists in their early days did not make any issue over the mode of baptism. We know that many practiced pouring for years before they came to the conviction that immersion was the mode of baptism in the New Testament. They also believed that any Christian could baptize another Christian, and that this was not the responsibility of ordained ministers only.

The ordinance of baptism, as administered by the Mormons, does not differ very materially from that of the Baptist churches. It is always by immersion. Nothing else is ever considered efficacious. It must be a literal "watery burial," and a resurrection therefrom. The officiating elder, with his candidate for the rite, repairs to some place which has been previously appointed, and where there is a sufficient quantity of water to immerse the entire person. Not the least portion of the body must be left above the purifying fluid, else it could not be termed a "perfect burial with Christ." In the early days it was necessary to perform this ordinance in the open air, in some river or pond; but lately fonts have been built in most ward meeting-houses, so that it can all be done under cover, and there is less danger of suffering ill results from exposure.

The elder officiating takes the candidate by the hand and leads him or her, -- as the case may be -- down into the water, until a sufficient depth is attained; he then raises his hand, and, calling the person by name, commences the ceremony as follows: "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen." He then plunges the candidate under the water, bringing him forth into the newness of life, and fully prepared to enter upon a series of ordinances, all of which are attended with covenants calculated to bind the person more strongly to the church.

Following the baptism comes the confirmation, or the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost....In the Church of Latter-Day Saints the "Melchisedec" and "Aaronic" priesthood are authorized to perform the ordinance of baptism, but the latter has no power to administer in spiritual things. Hence only a priest after the holy order of the Son of God, or the order of Melchisedec, can perform the ordinance of confirmation, or laying on of hands for imparting the Holy Ghost, which is to lead the newborn Saint into all truth, and teach him the things to come; thus protect him from all falsehood and imposition, and placing him in the most perfect state of progression which, if real, would be a state of the highest felicity and most assured salvation.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Millennialists: A great many of the Anabaptists believed in the premillennial return of Christ, in which Christ would establish a kingdom on this earth for 1,000 years. A few Anabaptists were fanatical about prophecy and brought a bad name on the Anabaptist movement as a whole. On this point, the Anabaptists opposed the Reformers who were held to a millennial theology. These Anabaptists may have been the only group in the Reformation that was looking far the imminent return of Christ.

Ernest R. Sandeen, in his 1970 Roots of Fundamentalism, places the Mormons in the millenarian (i.e. end time) tradition launched in Britain in the first half of the 19th century: "Joseph Smith taught an apocalyptic and pre-millennial eschatology; the Mormon periodical was entitled the Millennial Star; and as they gathered for worship, the Latter-day Saints could choose from dozens of hymns ... which focused their attention on the daunting glory and the imminent judgment ... as their headquarters moved from Ohio into Missouri and then Illinois, the Mormons began to concentrate more upon Zion as a place than upon 1843 or 1844 as a date [for the end of the world] .... Their expectations about the future, however, remained curiously mixed. The triumph of the Mormon cause was anticipated through a cataclysmic judgment rather than the gradual conversion of the world; and since natural calamities had been predicted as one of the indications of the nearness of this judgment, reports of fires, wars, and railroad and steamship disasters were regularly reported in the Millennial Star under the Heading "Signs of the Times" ... But while the Latter-day Saints waited anxiously for the fulfillment of these signs of the times (including the restoration of the Jews to Palestine), they were also laboring mightily to build the New Jerusalem in Utah."

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Separation: The Anabaptists stressed holiness of life and the need to keep unspotted from the world. Sometimes this bordered on legalism and caused isolation of certain groups, but they also opposed worldliness in the local church. They held to complete nonconformity to the customs, thought, lives, and habits of the world. Being a cultured Christian held no value for an Anabaptist.

I was taught from my earliest childhood that there was nothing good outside of the Mormon Church; that the Gentile men were bad to the core, possessing neither honor nor manly virtues of any kind, and that every Gentile woman was so vile as to be utterly unworthy of mention; that goodness was unknown among them, and that certain destruction awaited them and those who associated with them. My mother mourned over her friends and relatives outside of Mormonism as lost souls, and she prayed almost literally "without ceasing" that they might be shown the true way before it was too late. She could not govern her natural affection. She must love them; they were her very own, and were very dear to her; but I really think, especially in the days of the intense religious excitement, that she almost hated herself for loving them so truly and so well. She wrote them the most pathetic letters of entreaty, filled with alternate pleadings and arguments, begging them to come to Zion, and "make sure of their souls' salvation." They, in turn, pitied her delusion, but had no hope that she would ever escape from it; they little knew that the child, whose future they were deploring, would one day be the means of leading that mother out of the bondage in which she was held, through many tears and much tribulation, to the light of a brighter, more comforting faith.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Free Will Theology: Although it would be difficult to classify all the Anabaptists, the great majority of them probably held to some form of freewill theology, as opposed to the Reformers who strongly held to the sovereignty of God in election and predestination.

Mormonism tries to escape the troubling paradox of free will and divine predestination and the clash between Erasmus and Luther on that score through means which resemble the Pelagian heresy. As Bushman comments, Joseph Smith "made individual persons radically free .... Rather than God being the sovereign creator of all things from nothing, He was the most intelligent of the free intelligences. The universe is a school for these free, self-existing intelligences .... This discourse envisioned a far different universe than the God-created universe of traditional Christian theology. The universe was composed of a congeries of intelligences and self-existent matter that God organized rather than made. He was bringing order out of chaos rather than making something from nothing." (Bushman, p. 535-6) Here again, the freemasonic influence is evident.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The Lord's Table: Unlike the Reformers, Anabaptists saw the Lord's Table simply as a memorial in which Christ was in no way present in the elements.

At three he dines, and it is then that he meets his family for the first time in the day. Dinner is served at the Lion House, and the appearance of Brigham Young's family at dinner is very similar to that at a country boarding-house, when the gentlemen are all away at business in town, and the wives and children are left together. At a short table, running across the head of the long dining-room, Brigham sits with his favorite wife by his side. In the days when I first used to be at the Lion House, as a partial guest and partial resident, Emmeline Free occupied this place of honor; but after Amelia's advent, poor, loving Emmeline was thrust aside. When Brigham brings guests to dine with him, they have seats at this table also. At a long table, running lengthwise of the room, all the other wives are seated, each with her children about her. At the sound of the large dinner-bell, they all file in, seat themselves quietly, grace is said by the "presiding patriarch" from his table, and the meal goes on. The family table is plainly spread, and supplied with the very simplest fare, while the smaller one is laden with every delicacy that the markets will afford. These, however, are only for the President and his favorite wife, and the rest of the family must be satisfied merely to look at them, and enjoy the dainties by proxy.

A very amusing incident took place once at this family dinner. One of the wives, -- not usually considered among the most spirited ones, -- who, like all the rest, had submissively taken the food which had been set before her for years, was one day seized by the spirit of discontent. She had taken a fancy that she should like some of a particular dish which graced her husband's table. She did not express her wish, but quietly rising from her place, went straight to the other table, helped herself to the coveted article, and returning as quietly as she came, took her seat, and resumed her meal, amidst looks of consternation from the other wives, and of indignant amazement from her husband. Surprise made him absolutely speechless for the moment; but I fancy she was properly reproved in due time, for she never attempted a repetition of the act.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Evangelism: The Anabaptists zealously carried out the Great Commission and were missionary-minded.

Missionaries were sent to Europe, and converts flocked from thence to Zion. Never were missions crowned with greater success than those that were established in Europe by the Mormon Church. The elders went first to England, from there to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France, and they even attempted Italy, but with so little success that the mission there was speedily abandoned. Indeed, the southern countries of Europe did not seem to have taken kindly to the new doctrine of the Saints, and evinced but slight interest in the establishment of a "spiritual kingdom on the earth," and paid no heed whatever to Joseph's revelations. But hundreds of converts were made among the English and Scandinavian people, and they all evinced a strong desire to "gather to Zion," and considered no sacrifice too great to be made to facilitate their emigration.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Discipleship: Discipleship was a major tenet in the Anabaptist code of Christian ethics. They wanted to know how it was that many of the Reformers, who held such pious doctrine, lived such sorry lives.

Yates was a trader on Green River, and was accused by the Mormons of being a government spy. In those days, if no other charge could be brought against a person, he was called a "spy;" and this, of course, gave sufficient reason for putting him out of the way very summarily. The Mormons were also annoyed because, although among his stores he had a large quantity of ammunition, he would not sell it unless the purchasers bought other goods. They then accused him of supplying the army, and arresting him, carried him to Fort Bridger, while they took possession of his store, stock, &c.

Hickman was detailed to take the prisoner to the city, and Yates's money -- nine hundred dollars in gold -- was given him to carry to Brigham Young. His watch was "taken care of" by some one at Bridger. Hickman was accompanied by a brother of his, a Gentile, who was on a visit to him; Meacham, the one who was connected with him in the murder of Back; and a man of the name of Flack. On their way they were met by Joseph A. Young, who informed them that his father wanted Yates killed, and that he, Hickman, was to take him to Jones's camp, where he would receive further orders. The party arrived at camp that evening about sundown, and that night Yates was murdered as he lay asleep by the camp-fire.

Hickman and Flack carried the news and the money to Brigham. He was very affable until Hickman suggested that, as they had been to much expense, he thought part of the money ought to come to them. His manner changed at once; he reprimanded the men very severely, and told them that the money was needed for the church; it must go towards defraying the expenses of the war. Flack apostatized at once; renounced Mormonism on the spot; it evidently didn't "pay" well enough to suit him, and Hickman himself was disgusted with the meanness of his master. He said that Brigham never gave him one dollar for all the "dirty work" he had done for him; he never made him the slightest present. But he paid him, it is said, in wives. I think he had seventeen, and a large number of children.

It was a class of men like this that the Reformation brought to the surface, and capital tools they made for a corrupt and bloodthirsty priesthood. They were earnest disciples of the "Blood-Atonement," and could slay an apostate or a Gentile with no compunctions of conscience.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Pattern of Reform: The Anabaptists felt that it was impossible to reform the Roman Church, arguing that one could not put life into a spiritually dead organization. They wanted to start a new church based entirely on the New Testament.

Joseph Smith received decisive help from Brigham Young in convincing the Mormon Saints that polygamy was divinely ordained. Brigham Young asserted that Adam was Elohim, the Mormon Jehovah, and that humanity had been divinely commanded to live under seven dispensations or divine plans for human affairs. The final dispensation was the one borne by Joseph Smith. According to Brigham Young, Joseph Smith's publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 was a sign of the end time, in part because it came 1,260 years after the Roman Catholic Church had become degenerate in 570 AD. Mormons associate this state with the centralizing activity of St. Gregory the Great, who extended a church administration over much of Christendom. The Catholic Church, needless to say, Brigham reviled as the Whore of Babylon.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.


One of the most tragic episodes in the entire history of the Christian Church was the attempt of certain radicals to set up an Anabaptist kingdom at Munster in Westphalia, Germany.

Melchior Hofmann, a radical on prophecy, predicted that Christ would return to earth in 1533. Hofmann was bitterly opposed by the Reformers and the Swiss Anabaptists, but multitudes in the Netherlands followed his teaching, including Jan Matthys. Hofmann was imprisoned in Strassburg, and eventually died there.

Matthys declared that he was the prophet Enoch, whom Hofmann had said would appear just before the return of Christ. In 1533 the followers of Matthys made themselves masters of Munster, and Matthys soon took charge. He proclaimed that Munster was going to be the New Jerusalem with community of goods and without law.

By now he was calling himself "Joseph Smith The Prophet." In Kirtland, the Saints began practicing primitive communism, according to that passage of the Acts of the Apostles which specifies that the early Christians "had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need." The vehicle for this collectivism was called the United Order of Enoch, with center of gravity in Kirtland.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

These Anabaptists preached a wild millennialism, and insisted that God's day of wrath was about to break in which the saints would dominate the governments of the world.

"A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every specie [sic] of wickedness will be practiced in the land. Father will be against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of bloodshed, murder and rape that have ever been imagined or looked upon will take place. People will be taken from the earth and there will be peace and love only in the Rocky Mountains. This will cause many hundreds of thousands of the honest in heart of the world to gather there, not because they would be Saints, but for safety and because they will be so numerous that you will be in danger of famine, but not for want of seed, time and harvest, but because of so many to be fed. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities for there will be no escape except by escaping and fleeing to Zion. Those that come to you will try to keep the laws and be one with you for they will see your unity and the greatness of your organization."...

"England, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium have a considerable amount of the blood of Israel among the people which must be gathered out. Those nations will submit to the nations of God [the Mormon power].
England will be the last of the nations to surrender, but when she does she will do it as a whole in comparison as she threw off the Catholic power. The nobility knows that the gospel is true, but it has not pomp enough, and grandeur and influence for them to yet embrace it. They are proud and will not acknowledge the Kingdom of God or come into it until they see the power it will have."...

The coming of the Messiah among his people will be so natural that only those who see him will know that he has come, but he will come and give his laws on to Zion and minister unto his people.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Soon Munster was besieged by an army of Catholics and Lutherans. After granting a short period of grace in which to leave the city, the Munsterites killed without mercy all those they suspected of being unsympathetic to them. Matthys was killed in battle in April, 1534, after which John of Leyden took charge. He introduced the practice of polygamy, ...

Immediately on the arrival of the church in Utah, polygamy was urged upon the people. Having no fear of the outside world, since they were so far removed from it, they laid aside all caution, and preached and practiced it openly. The plural-wives taken in Nauvoo were acknowledged for the first time, and others were added. The men were constantly urged to "build up the kingdom," and in order to do that they were counselled to "take advantage of their privileges." If they did not hasten to obey counsel, they drew down Prophetic and Apostolic wrath onto their heads, and were accused of not "living up to the privileges."....

In Nauvoo it had been represented to those who had been told of the new doctrine that it was optional; that no one need enter the relation unless he chose; and, consequently, although they felt it was a cruel doctrine, yet most of the women flattered themselves that their husbands, while they might receive it as a religious truth, would never practice it. But when the church was located in Utah, away from everybody, where help could never reach the oppressed and miserable, and from whence there was no possibility of escape, then polygamy was no longer optional, but every man was compelled to enter it, under pain of Brigham's displeasure, and its results.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

and in the autumn of 1534 assumed the title of king.

On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty,... In short, Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as its King....

He then spoke of the standard & ensign that would be reared in Zion, to govern the Kingdom of God And the nations of the earth.
For every nation would bow the knee & every tongue confess that JESUS was the Christ. And this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God & his Laws & Judgment in {the [-] if [--] man Christ}. And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven so there would be an invitation to all Nations under heaven to come unto Zion. (5)...

Joseph established the Kingdom in secret and the business of the members was to remain so....Members included a wide demographic of Mormon hierarchy and non-Mormons. All members were chosen by the Prophet. ... Council members were organized into a hierarchy by age and Joseph was chairman and anointed Prophet, Priest and King over the Council and the world....

Joseph taught that his first-born son in the covenant, David Hyrum – born after Joseph's death, would be this latter-day King over Israel
, which teaching was widely recognized by 19th century church leaders.

-- Council of Fifty, by MormonThink

In the view of Hirshson, the Council of Fifty embodied "the earthly Kingdom of God, the organization destined to plan and control the westward migration ... the Kingdom was to prepare the world for the coming of God." As King of the Kingdom of God on Earth, Joseph Smith appointed fifty-three princes to assist him. "Unlike the Twelve and the Seventies, the Council of Fifty was an independent organization and theoretically had nothing to do with the Mormon hierarchy." But in reality, its leaders were the same people who controlled the church. The Council of Fifty became Smith's election committee for the 1844 presidential campaign, and also finished building the Nauvoo Temple. (Hirshson, pp. 79-80)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Munster lay under siege for more than a year while these radical Anabaptists held out with great courage. Their sufferings were indescribable. On June 24, 1535, the city was taken. A terrible massacre followed in which the leaders of Munster were maliciously tortured.

Munster is the "black spot" in Anabaptist history, but most of the Anabaptists were not so radical. Many were actually godly Christians.


While many of the persecutions were invited on the Anabaptists by their own fanatics, others who were sound in faith were persecuted for their convictions on the Bible. The doctrinal, political and social views of the Anabaptists were obnoxious to both the Catholics and the Lutherans.

It is impossible for me to say which party was the principal aggressor; probably there was equal blame on both sides; but I have been informed that Joseph taught his followers that it was right, and "commanded of the Lord," for them to take anything they could find which belonged to their enemies, in retaliation for the wrongs which they had suffered at their hands. I can the more easily believe this to be true, because the spirit of the Mormon Church has always been that of retaliation. The stern old Mosaic law, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is in full force among them, and is not only advised by the leaders, but insisted upon by them. Indeed, they have added to its severity, until now it stands, "A life for an offence, real or suspected, of any kind." In support of this they refer to the Israelites "borrowing" jewelry from the Egyptians before they took their flight from Egypt; and they quote, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof;" and as they claim to be the Lord's particularly favored children, -- in fact, his only acknowledged ones, they seem to consider this text peculiarly applicable to the situation, and all the excuse they need to give for any irregularities in the way of appropriating other people's property. They are merely coming into their inheritance.

At all events, the people were not slow to obey the command of the Lord and the counsel of Joseph, and they displayed their spirit of obedience by laying hold of every kind of property which came within their reach. In the midst of these troubles, Joseph came out to Daviess County to a town called "Adam-ondi-Ahman," named, of course, by revelation, and meaning, when translated, "The valley of God in which Adam blessed his children;" said to be the identical spot where Adam and Eve first sought refuge after their expulsion from Eden. Upon his arrival, he called the people together, and harangued them after this mild and conciliatory fashion: "Go ahead! Do all you can to harass the enemy. I never felt more of the spirit of God at any time than since we commenced this stealing and house-burning." My parents were living at Adam-ondi-Ahman at that time, and were present when Joseph delivered this peculiarly saint-like address.

About this time the Danite bands were first organized, for the purpose of plundering and harassing the people of the surrounding country. I have been told this by a person who heard the oaths administered at a meeting of the band in Daviess County. They were instructed to go out on the borders of the Settlements, and take the spoils from the "ungodly Gentiles;" for was it not written, "The riches of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to the people of the house of Israel?"

Joseph Smith always denied that he had in any way authorized the formation of the Danite bands; and, in fact, in public he repeatedly repudiated both them and their deeds of violence. At the time of which I speak, however, Thomas B. Marsh, who was then the president of the "twelve apostles," together with Orson Hyde, who now occupies that post, apostatized. Both subsequently returned to the bosom of the church, making the most abject submission....

While both Marsh and Hyde were separated from the church, they made solemn affidavits against Joseph and the Mormons in general, accusing them of the grossest crimes and outrages, as well as of abetting the Danites and their deeds. The cowardly Apostles afterwards declared that these affidavits were made under the influence of fear.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

Anabaptists were fined, drowned, burned at the stake, tortured, and persecuted in all the manners of the day for such crimes as refusal to pay tithes, refusal to attend church, refusal to refrain from Bible study groups in private homes, refusal to refrain from preaching, and other offences against the church-state. Thousands of Anabaptists were put to death.

These Anabaptists were most severely persecuted by the Roman Church. In fact, because many believed in immersion, many were put to death by drowning. The Lutherans also put many Anabaptists to death by one form of execution or another. Even John Calvin, though he did not persecute them, could see little good in them.


The Anabaptists stood for religious liberty at a time when neither Protestants nor Catholics fully appreciated the importance of freedom of conscience. The Anabaptists made their mark on the world for religious liberty that, indirectly through the Baptists, impacted even America.

Their emphasis on the purity of the external, outward, local church was also very important. Until the Anabaptists, almost every one accepted the idea that a local church should have many unsaved in it.

The Anabaptists had only an indirect influence upon the modern Baptist movement. Modern Baptists who want to place themselves in the Anabaptist tradition need to remember that comparatively few Anabaptists were truly biblical. Furthermore, many of them, while they insisted on water baptism after a conversion experience, did not baptize by immersion. Moreover, the doctrinal position of biblical Anabaptists is more closely related to the modern Mennonite viewpoint than to Baptist theology. Anabaptists were quite ascetic, tended to communism of goods, were pacifistic, opposed the use of oaths and capital punishment, and favored the free will of man as opposed to God's sovereign predestination.
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:33 am

The Munsterite Tragedy
by Constantine Prokhorov
Novosibirsk Baptist Theological Seminary, Russia
Original scientific paper
Received: September, 2013
Accepted: October, 2013




It is well known that the events at Munster in 1534-35 represent one of the basic reasons why evangelical historians are sometimes reluctant to trace their denominational origins from the Anabaptist (Radical Reformation) movement of the sixteenth century. The author of this article offers a new look at the unfortunately well-known events of the “Munsterite kingdom”, comparing them with analogous events in the Ancient Church and also in contemporary Anabaptist, Roman Catholic, and Protestant (Lutheran, Zwinglian) history. A comparative analysis shows that the situation in Munster applied to the radical wing of the Anabaptists only was, at the same time, not that far beyond the boundaries of religious practice common in Europe at the time. The moderate Anabaptist wing condemned the events at Munster, and future development of the movement, especially among the Mennonites, moved in the direction of absolute pacifism.

Introduction: The Events at Munster, 1534 – 1535

At the beginning of 1534, the tolerant German town of Munster in Westphalia embarked on an unusual type of Reformation. Radical Anabaptists and Evangelicals (Lutherans) united against the Catholic Bishop Francis Waldeck, and forced him to leave the city. The latter immediately called in troops and began a siege, but was not able to stop all traffic in and out of the city for a long time. Jan Matthijs, the leader of Munster’s Anabaptists, influenced by Melchior Hoffman’s eschatological views, announced on February 25, 1534 that all adult citizens who refused to be baptized “by faith” would be killed as “godless” and “wicked.”

Columba Graham Flegg, in a recent study of the Catholic Apostolic Church, includes the Mormons among various religious formations which the Irving tradition had helped to shape: "A further possible candidate for Catholic Apostolic influence might be the eschatology of the Mormons, who were also pre-millennialists and practicers of charismatic gifts ... [and] were prepared to publicize prophetic revelations widely in a way which the Catholic Apostolic apostles largely avoided .... Like the Catholic Apostolics, the Mormons believed in the gathering of Israel to 'Zion' (though locating this in the United States), in a personal return of Christ to reign on earth, and in the gathering together of an elect body in preparation for the Second Advent."

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

It was, I think, in January, 1855, that a Mormon, named Joseph Hovey, came to Payson to preach. He was a man of an excitable temperament, a fanatic in religion, and he succeeded in stirring the people up to a state of the most intense religious enthusiasm. He held a series of meetings, which were very largely attended, and such was his peculiar magnetism, that he swayed and held the multitudes who thronged to hear him, notwithstanding he was a man of unprepossessing manner, little education, and no culture. He commenced by accusing the people of all sorts of misdeeds and crimes, and he denounced them in the most scathing and the rudest fashion, and they trembled under his fierce denunciations, and cowered before him as before the face of an accusing angel. He accused them of theft, of licentiousness, of blackguardism, of lying, of swindling and cheating, of hypocrisy and lukewarmness in their religion, and of every other sin, of omission or commission, of which he could think. He represented himself as the Lord's messenger, called by Him, and sent to warn the people of Southern Utah of the horrors of their situation; their souls were in imminent peril, so weighted were they with a load of guilt. "Repent, confess, and be re-baptized," was his urgent call, "and all your sins shall be forgiven you; yea, verily, for so hath the Lord promised."

The excitement grew daily, and his work of "Reformation," as he styled it, went bravely on. Meetings were held, lasting all day and late into the night. It was religious madness run riot. There seemed to be a sort of competition as to who should confess the most and the oftenest. ....

The very next winter, 1856, Brigham and his counsellors instituted a similar reform throughout the entire territory.

This "Reformation" was more systematically conducted than Hovey's revival; a catechism was compiled by the leading spirits of the church, and printed by their order, and elders were appointed to go from house to house with a copy of it, questioning the people. ...

People were accused of sins which they never had committed, and yet they were afraid to deny them. Some of the elders were shocked beyond measure at the sickening details revealed, and begged that a stop be put to this mania for confession; but the poor fanatics were urged forward by their leaders, and they firmly believed that in the fullest and freest confession lay their only hope of salvation. They were goaded to the very verge of frenzy. Every person throughout the Territory was commanded to be rebaptized, even if their sins had not been very grave.... Throughout the whole church there was a general time of accusation, confession, restitution, and re-baptism.

There were many of the Mormon people who did not approve of all this unhealthy excitement, and who foresaw exactly what results would follow, yet not one of them dared venture a protest. It would have been at the risk of their lives, as it was publicly advised, not only by Hovey in Payson, but by men in much more prominent places, to punish such persons as ventured a disapproval by "cutting them off from the church, below their ears."

It was during this excitement that the terrible doctrine of the Blood-Atonement was first preached. So high did the feeling run that people who were guilty of certain crimes were counselled to shed their blood to save their souls. Said the arch-fanatic Jedediah M. Grant, in the Tabernacle, speaking of those who had apostatized or were in danger of apostasy,

"What ought this meek people, who keep the commandments of the Lord, to do unto them? 'Why,' says some one, 'they ought to pray to the Lord to kill them.' I want to know if you would wish the Lord to come down and do all your dirty work? Many of the Latter-Day Saints will pray, and petition, and supplicate the Lord to do a thousand things they themselves would be ashamed to do. When a man prays for a thing, he ought to be willing to perform it himself."

In the same sermon he said,

"What! do you believe that people would do right and keep the law of God by actually putting to death the transgressors? Putting to death the transgressors would exhibit the law of God, no matter by whom it was done. That is my opinion."

Following the expression of his belief, he uttered the following fervent wish:

"I wish we were in a situation favorable to our doing that which is justifiable before God, without any contaminating influence of Gentile amalgamation, laws, and traditions, that the people of God might lay the axe to the root of the tree, and that every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit might be hewn down." ...

Brigham Young, not to be behind his counsellor, assured the Saints that this doctrine of throat-cutting and blood-shedding was pleasing to the Lord, and that it was a glorious and soul-saving belief. He says,

"There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering on the altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb or calf, or of turtle-doves, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man."...

In a sermon preached from the text, the sweetest and tenderest of all the commandments given by Christ, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," Brigham Young put this peculiarly Christ-like construction on the words:

"When will we love our neighbor as ourselves? Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, should not be satisfied or rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind. Now, brethren and sisters, will you live your religion? How many hundreds of times have I asked that question? Will the Latter-Day Saints live their religion?"

He also asked in the same sermon,

"Will you love your brothers and sisters when they have a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or that woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus meant.

"The time will come when the law of God will be in full force. This is loving our neighbor as ourself: if he needs help, help him; if he wants salvation, and it is necessary to spill his blood upon the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it."

It is no wonder that such language as this, poured into the ears of the already half-crazed Saints, should incite them to deeds of violence. For a while bloodshed and murder were the order of the day. If any person or family were supposed to be lacking in the faith, and failing to exhibit the usual blind submission to the teachings of the priesthood, that person or family was sure to be visited by some disaster — whipped, mobbed, or murdered, and their property destroyed or confiscated to the use of the church. Some instances came under my own observation, and I tell the incidents from actual knowledge, and not from mere hearsay.

A merchant of Salt Lake City, an Englishman, named Jarvis, was suspected of being cool in the faith, and to have little or no sympathy with the fanatical proceedings which attended the Reformation and formed its chief feature. His store was entered one evening by Saints in disguise, he was pulled over the counter by the hair of his head, dragged into the street and thrown into the snow, his store plundered, all the money taken away, his house set on fire, and his two wives barely given time to escape with their children. As an excuse for all this he was accused of having "spoken against the authorities, and had entertained Gentiles at supper." ...

This outrage is somewhat remarkable, because it was unattended by bloodshed, a most extraordinary circumstance, when so many were killed outright who had sinned as Mr. Jarvis had. Innocent people suffered, and at that time, no Gentile was safe in the Mormon territory.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

During the next week, the majority of the Catholics and Lutherans left the city; the “Munsterite kingdom” episode had begun. During this first period, the Catholic churches of the city were sacked; their altars and images were broken, the relics of the saints were desecrated, and the wonderful town library was burned. Thousands of fervent Anabaptists from different places moved to the “holy city, New Jerusalem” (Munster) and occupied the houses of the citizens who had escaped. Some of them were stopped by troops, and others reached the town. On April 4, Jan Matthijs was killed in a fight with the besieging army of Bishop Waldeck. After that, Jan van Leiden, a young and still more radical leader, became the head of Munster. He immediately abolished the city council and proclaimed himself “the new King David” of the Messianic “Israelite” kingdom. In obedience to “the voice of the Lord” that he heard, Jan van Leiden chose “twelve elders of the twelve tribes of Israel,” and renamed the citizens “Israelites.”

On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty,... In short, Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as its King....

He then spoke of the standard & ensign that would be reared in Zion, to govern the Kingdom of God And the nations of the earth. For every nation would bow the knee & every tongue confess that JESUS was the Christ. And this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God & his Laws & Judgment in {the [-] if [--] man Christ}. And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven so there would be an invitation to all Nations under heaven to come unto Zion. (5)...

Joseph established the Kingdom in secret and the business of the members was to remain so....Members included a wide demographic of Mormon hierarchy and non-Mormons. All members were chosen by the Prophet. ... Council members were organized into a hierarchy by age and Joseph was chairman and anointed Prophet, Priest and King over the Council and the world....

Joseph taught that his first-born son in the covenant, David Hyrum – born after Joseph's death, would be this latter-day King over Israel
, which teaching was widely recognized by 19th century church leaders.

-- Council of Fifty, by MormonThink

In the view of Hirshson, the Council of Fifty embodied "the earthly Kingdom of God, the organization destined to plan and control the westward migration ... the Kingdom was to prepare the world for the coming of God." As King of the Kingdom of God on Earth, Joseph Smith appointed fifty-three princes to assist him. "Unlike the Twelve and the Seventies, the Council of Fifty was an independent organization and theoretically had nothing to do with the Mormon hierarchy." But in reality, its leaders were the same people who controlled the church. The Council of Fifty became Smith's election committee for the 1844 presidential campaign, and also finished building the Nauvoo Temple. (Hirshson, pp. 79-80)

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

The teaching one might call “Mormon Israelism” was that Ephraim’s descendants were scattered among all nations, but that almost all Mormons were Ephraimites (for some, even “pure” Ephraimites) because the people that had responded to the missionary message were the select few with Israel in their veins. It was taught (including by Joseph Smith) and assumed by some that the more pure the Israelite blood, the more open a person was to the Mormon message.

-- British Israelism, by Stirling

In practice, this meant a period of terror and horror in Munster. To resist the “king” was to resist God’s will and divine revelations. Not a few citizens were executed,especially because of their criticism of the new regime. The official list of capital crimes, based on the Old Testament, included blasphemy, disobedience to the ruling powers, seditious orations, disrespect to parents, adultery, gossip, and complaining. In addition to this revolutionary order, Jan van Leiden instituted by his unchallenged power, the principle of common property and polygamy in Munster. According to contemporary accounts, the king himself had a harem with perhaps fifteen wives (including the Queen Divara of Haarlem, Jan Matthijs’ widow), while the chief ideologist of Munster’s kingdom, Bernard Rothmann, probably had nine wives.

Immediately on the arrival of the church in Utah, polygamy was urged upon the people. Having no fear of the outside world, since they were so far removed from it, they laid aside all caution, and preached and practiced it openly. The plural-wives taken in Nauvoo were acknowledged for the first time, and others were added. The men were constantly urged to "build up the kingdom," and in order to do that they were counselled to "take advantage of their privileges." If they did not hasten to obey counsel, they drew down Prophetic and Apostolic wrath onto their heads, and were accused of not "living up to the privileges."....

In Nauvoo it had been represented to those who had been told of the new doctrine that it was optional; that no one need enter the relation unless he chose; and, consequently, although they felt it was a cruel doctrine, yet most of the women flattered themselves that their husbands, while they might receive it as a religious truth, would never practice it. But when the church was located in Utah, away from everybody, where help could never reach the oppressed and miserable, and from whence there was no possibility of escape, then polygamy was no longer optional, but every man was compelled to enter it, under pain of Brigham's displeasure, and its results.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

In the early days of the church, the duty was strongly enjoined of consecrating all the possessions to the Lord; and this was not to be a figurative, but a real consecration; in which all the possessions were to be catalogued and consecrated in legal form, and the transaction authenticated by witnesses. The custodian of this property was to be a "Trustee in Trust," the community into which the faithful Saint thus entered was to be called "The United Order of Enoch," and the property was to be held for the benefit of this community....

Whoever joins this community gives all his earthly possessions into the keeping of Brigham Young. His children, too, are required to sign away all claim or title to the property; if any are too young to write, the pen is given them, and their hands guided by their elders, and they are thus deprived of their rightful patrimony; and in return for all this, the family is to be furnished with what food and clothing the officers think they require.

-- Wife No. 19, the Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Expose of Mormonism and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy, by Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's Apostate Wife

At the beginning of 1535, the situation deteriorated quickly for Munster’s Anabaptists. Bishop Waldeck abandoned his unsuccessful attempts to take the city by force, tightened the ring around its walls, and awaited the results of the famine inside. In June 1535, due to the critical shortage of food, Jan van Leiden sent the women, children, and old men from the city. Many of them were immediately killed by the besieging army. The fall of Munster took place on June 25. The massacre of the Anabaptists continued for two days. Jan van Leiden and two of his officials – Bernhard Knipperdolling and Bernd Krechting – were captured alive. After a series of public spectacles during which the Anabaptist leaders were led from town to town, they were finally tortured to death in Munster on January 20, 1536. Bound to posts by iron collars, their bodies were torn apart with red-hot pincers. Bishop Waldeck was present at the scene.

When a committee of Mormon leaders went to Governor Harding's office and delivered the resolutions calling on him to resign, he replied in kind. Harding told the delegation that if they killed him, Union forces would massively retaliate and destroy the Mormon metropolis: "I, too, will prophesy if one drop of my blood is shed by your ministers of vengeance while I am in the discharge of my duty, it will be avenged, and not one stone or adobe in your city will remain upon another.


Connor now sent word to Bill Hickman, the infamous assassin and the head of the Danites, that the US Army intended to "cross the river Jordan if hell yawned below him." (Saints and the Union, p. 109) This message had its desired effect. Although Hickman had reportedly been taking bets that no federals would ever pass the Jordan River, the Brigham Young regime, despite all of its bluster, now ignominiously backed down, just as when Albert Sidney Johnston's force was finally approaching in 1858. Brigham Young, it would seem, had the psychology of a bully, eager to attack the weak, but equally anxious to avoid a clash with those who would not capitulate. Connor had bested the Mormon Prophet with a decisive show of strength that proved him to be an aggressive and determined commander. Compared to Connor, Brother Brigham was blowing smoke.

-- Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion, by Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D.

Diverse Anabaptism

Of course, the events in Munster in 1534-35 are shocking. But was the tragedy something typical of the history of early Anabaptism, or an aberration? To answer this question, we must take into account many factors far removed from the walls of Munster, specifically in other Anabaptist communities, but also in the Catholic, and Protestant (Lutheran, Zwinglian) lands of that time. Because of the limited nature of this article, all aspects of this issue cannot be covered, but at least some directions for further study can be shown. It is not difficult to distinguish two main tendencies (with a few variations) that characterize authors who describe and analyze the nature of early Anabaptism. The first tendency is typical for both Catholic and Protestant writers from Martin Luther to Karl Holl in the twentieth century. Their reasoning is as follows: The Anabaptists were offspring of the revolutionary Thomas Muntzer (according to reformer Heinrich Bullinger); Anabaptism is characterized by terrible “fanaticism” (according to Luther and Calvin) (Snyder, 1995, 397) which reached its logical conclusion in the Munster drama (Weaver, 1987, 91). Some socialist writers, following Karl Kautsky, identified Anabaptism as the “forerunner of modern socialism”, a kind of “medieval communism” (Bender, 1957, 36). “What Bolshevism is today, radical Anabaptism was then,” wrote Presbyterian historian Henry Dosker in 1921 (Dosker, 1921, 65). Anabaptists were also described as “the Bolsheviks of the Reformation” (Preserved Smith), or the “left wing of the Reformation” (Roland Bainton) (McGrath, 2011, 48). Historian Andrew Miller said that the way the Gnostics were seen by the church fathers was the same way in which the Anabaptists were seen by the Reformers: “They were scandalous fanatics” (Miller, 1994, II, 189-190).

The second tendency is the Mennonite historiographical overview that began in the first half of the twentieth century and is associated with such scholars as John Horsch, Harold Bender and others. This school preferred to distinguish the “true,” “genuine” or “original evangelical and constructive” Anabaptists from “aberrations” or “mystical and revolutionary groups” (i.e., the Munsterites) that should not be confused with the true movement (Bender, 1957, 35-37). Developing this concept, Bender traced the roots of such ennobled Anabaptism from Zurich only (monogenesis theory). However, scholars following the more realistic polygenesis theory find Anabaptist origins in at least three different places: Switzerland, South Germany (and Austria), and North Germany (and Netherlands) (Snyder, 1995, 401-403). In its extreme expression, the Mennonite position is presented in Bender’s statement: “...Another line of interpretation... holds that Anabaptism is the culmination of the Reformation, the fulfillment of the original vision of Luther and Zwingli, and thus makes it a consistent evangelical Protestantism seeking to recreate without compromise the original New Testament church, the vision of Christ and the Apostles” (Bender, 1957, 37).

Thus, to the present day, a number of scholars maintain diametrically opposed estimates of Anabaptism, offering us a predominantly black-and-white view. It is much more productive to attempt to balance these extreme positions. First, however, we must look more closely at Bender’s defense.

The weakness of the apologetic position

First of all, whether or not we hold the monogenesis or polygenesis theory of Anabaptist origins, view Anabaptism as a coherent or fragmented movement of the 1520s and 1530s, sympathize with it or despise it, we should recognize that this Reformation movement, like any other movement in human history, was not monolithic. In its own paradoxical way, it always had extreme and moderate tendencies that simultaneously found their own adherents. This simple axiom is the base point for a correct understanding of such apparently contradictory examples of early Anabaptism as the unashamedly peaceful Schleitheim Confession, on the one hand, and the bloody Munsterite revolution on the other; David Joris’ spiritualism, and Menno Simons’ biblicism; Jan van Batenburg killing his enemies, and Dirk Willems saving his enemy’s life.

It is not difficult to understand the motives of Harold Bender and his followers, who, beginning in the 1940s, tried to counter the one-sided view of the radical Reformation that had dominated historiography since the sixteenth century. However, it is impossible to agree with the Bender school’s artificial division of the movement into “true” and “false” Anabaptism. It seems an enormous simplification. Undoubtedly, there were some essential features that united many “mystical and revolutionary” bands of the “stepchildren of the Reformation” with much more respectable groups of believers led by well-educated and wise leaders. The distinctive features of Anabaptism, as we understand them today, were adult believer’s baptism (rejection of the efficacy of infant baptism), strict separation from all government institutions of power, strong opposition to both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers, 1 and (maybe the most important point) the recognition of the majority of Anabaptists (both radicals and moderates), even in the tragic 1530s, that they were, to a large degree, part of a common movement.

If it were not so, it would be impossible to plausibly explain the cause of the renunciation of the Anabaptist brotherhood by such an important and moderate leader as Obbe Philips after Munster. Philips did not say that the Munsterites had not been “true” Anabaptists, but said the opposite in his Confession. 2 Furthermore, without the idea of a wider movement, we cannot understand the story of a company of about 3,000 armed Anabaptists from the Netherlands who, in the spring of 1534, experienced a similar eschatological ecstacy as the residents of Munster and marched to the New Jerusalem in order to escape the Lord’s wrath on the wicked (as the popular new prophet Jan Matthijs proclaimed through his messengers). At Genemuiden, however, they were taken by less than a hundred soldiers, did not resist, and finally turned back (Williams, 1992, 565; Weaver, 1987, 87-88). Historians note ironically that these Anabaptists were waiting for the coming of the prophet Jeremiah and did not want to fight without his approval. For our purposes, the point is this: Why, in similar situations, did one group of Anabaptists use the sword with great freedom (in Munster) while another group was non-resistant, even when they had weapons in their hands (near Genemuiden)? Who were the “true” Anabaptists, and why? Even Menno Simons, whose image is traditionally upheld to support Bender’s concept, and who convinced his followers to condemn Munsterite extremism and directed them on the path of nonviolence, longed to gather what he called “the poor straying sheep” (i.e., mistaken brethren) rather than opposing “false” Anabaptists (George, 1988, 262). In the 1539 edition of Menno’s Foundation Book, he called the Munsterites “dear brethren” who had “formerly acted against the Lord in a minor way” and mainly condemned their leaders for using the sword (Weaver, 1987, 99).

Soon after Munster’s fall, the well-known meeting of Anabaptist leaders (followers of Melchior Hoffman) took place at Bocholt in August 1536. About twenty attended. The conference showed some different streams within the movement at that time and attempted to reach agreement in understanding Melchior Hoffman’s legacy, especially to achieve some unity regarding the urgent question of vengeance against the wicked. The aggressive position of Jan van Batenburg and his followers was condemned, and David Joris’ moderate views won. The position adopted reflected a moderate Melchiorite tendency to spiritualize the most controversial points of discussion, especially regarding the sword (Weaver, 1987, 94-95).

Even the facts mentioned above would be enough to cast doubt on the rightfulness of Bender’s way of seeking to defend Anabaptism. But this, of course, does not mean that we should go to the other extreme and use Munster to support the old Catholic and Reformed tradition of blackening the Anabaptists. What, then, can we say in defense of the Anabaptists against the accusations that have often been made that Munster is typical of the Anabaptist movement?

Munster and the radicals

Let us return to the axiom stated above: Early Anabaptism, like any other social movement, had its radicals and moderates who simultaneously competed with and influenced each other. It was this ongoing internal struggle, together with the ongoing controversy with both the Catholics and Protestants, that developed and refined Anabaptism as a whole. Many leaders of the first generation of Anabaptists were far from minor figures. Conrad Grebel, for example, was from an aristocratic family and the son of a member of the Zurich city council. He received an excellent education at the universities of Paris and Vienna (Smithson, 1935, 54). Balthasar Hubmaier was a doctor of theology (Cairns, 1981, 306). Felix Manz was a fine Hebrew scholar. Michael Sattler, before joining the Anabaptist movement, was the prior of a cloister (Smithson, 1935, 54). Pilgram Marpeck was a respectable member of Rattenberg’s city council and later worked as an engineer in Strasbourg (Snyder, 1995, 78). Many other Anabaptist leaders had been Catholic priests: Wilhelm Reublin, Simon Stumpf, Johannes Brotli, Hans Marquart, etc. Dr. R. Smithson wrote: “It is clear that these early leaders [of the Anabaptists] were men of considerable culture and good social standing” (Smithson, 1935, 54).

Such moderate (relatively, of course) and well-educated leaders had, I would argue, a good chance to rein in their more radical brethren (who existed indisputably from the beginning of Anabaptism – for example, the followers of Thomas Muntzer, the St. Gallen brethren, etc.) and to direct their energy in a peaceful direction. But the problem was that even these so-called “moderate” Anabaptist leaders, who tried to live according to the gospel and plant new churches according to the New Testament pattern, seemed too radical for both the Catholic and Protestant contexts. The Anabaptists were persecuted throughout Europe with the use of severe medieval methods, starting, of course, with their leaders. Almost all the main leaders of early Anabaptism suffered martyrdom. Felix Manz and Michael Sattler were executed in 1527. Hans Hut died in prison in 1527. Balthasar Hubmaier was burned at the stake in 1528. Wolfgang Ulimann and Johannes Brotli were also put to death in 1528. George Blaurock was burned at the stake in 1529 (Snyder, 1995, 75; Smithson, 1935, 552-53).

Looking at the dates of these executions, we can see that they occurred in the period of the infancy of Anabaptism. A few years later, the drama at Munster took place. Undoubtedly the widespread persecutions upset the delicate balance of moderates and radicals among the Anabaptists. This is what gave opportunity to many new, unknown, and, as a rule, ignorant leaders: furrier Melchior Hoffman, baker Jan Matthijs, tailor and street actor Jan van Leiden, etc. Bernard Rothmann, with his Master’s degree from the University of Mainz, was a rare exception in this period (Snyder, 1995, 146), and he used his talents to support the favorite ideas of the Munsterite leaders about vengeance against the wicked, community of goods, and polygamy. These repellant leaders, products of persecution and their own strange eschatology, demonstrated to all of Europe what unrestrained Anabaptist radicalism meant.

However, in spite of the excesses of the radicals’ behavior, it should be noted that the situation was provoked, to a great degree, by the short-sighted policy of Catholic and Protestant authorities. Only the appearance of the moderate leaders of Anabaptism’s second generation, such as David Joris and Menno Simons (after the Munster tragedy), was able to subdue extremists within the movement.

Both the Catholic and Protestant national bodies had the protection of the secular governments in their regions. This was the so-called “Constantinian way” (after Constantine the Great) of the church’s development. Because of these conditions, the adherents of the main Protestant churches were never persecuted to the same extent as the Anabaptists (and some other “separatist” groups). An exception may be during Catholic – Protestant wars, but armed conflict should not be compared with persecution during peace time. To be sure, military action always revealed “fanatics” and “extremists” in the official churches. But does anyone seriously judge the whole of Catholicism or Protestantism because of a few (or even not so few, in war time) extreme examples? If we imagine Catholics and “respectable” Protestants in the same straitened circumstances as Anabaptists, under the heavy press of the state and endless persecutions in peace time, we have every reason to suppose that excesses such as Munster might be found among them as well. Human psychology is interdenominational.

Here it is appropriate to recall the situation of the Western (Catholic) church during the barbarian invasions in the fifth century, and during the Muslim advance in the seventh and eighth centuries. This was a period not only of Christian suffering, but also of Christian (Catholic) extremism. Even in the period of the persecution of the early Christian church by the Roman authorities, we know of some fairly typical incidents when Christians sought martyrdom even when they were not personally threatened with persecution, and defiled pagan sacred objects, proclaiming openly at the same time their faith in Christ (Bolotov, 1994, II, 130.139).

Communism in the twentieth century in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe also demonstrated that a severe anti-Christian policy regularly produces a reaction of despair: Christian extremism. For example, during this period we find Soviet “radical Anabaptists” in evangelical congregations (especially in the Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians – Baptists), in the Russian Orthodox Church (especially Metropolitan Joseph’s movement and the famous Catacomb Church), and in some other denominations (including Catholic) (Shkarovsky, 1999, 217-260). Northern Ireland gives an example of “Christian terrorism” (Catholic and Protestant) in our own time.

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had the bloody Inquisition (in comparison with Tomas de Torquemada, the Spanish “father-inquisitor” at the end of the fifteenth century, the Munsterites look like very moderate and pious brethren), promoted the terrible crusades (both to free the Holy Sepulchre and to suppress heretics in Europe), connived at the slaughter of the Huguenots in France in 1572, and had many monk-ascetics in their ranks who proved their holiness by never washing, flagellating themselves, walling themselves up in tombs, etc. Thus, even the violence of “the two Jans” (Matthijs and van Leiden) in Munster was in accordance with the practices of their own severe time.

It should not be forgotten that the fathers of the Reformation in the sixteenth century were also far from the spirit of meekness and humility. It is enough to remember Luther’s all but obscene criticism of the papacy, his hostility to Zwingli, his antisemitism, and his call to the German princes to deal in the cruelest way with peasants who revolted (Vipper, 1995, II, 61-63).

Another version of the “New Jerusalem” on earth was Calvin’s Geneva (with corporal punishment for many faults, the execution of heretics, etc.), which, in turn, influenced Puritan extremism in England (Horst, 1972, 67). During the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants alike were zealous in cleansing their territories of “witches” (Robins, 1996, 13). We know of the executions of tens of thousands of unfortunate women in Germany alone. Against such a background, even Rothmann’s dubious writings, such as On Vengeance (1534), and its fanatical applications (for example, by a Munsterite girl, Hille Feyken, who tried to repeat the feat of the apocryphal Judith in the summer of 1534), 3 do not seem to be unheard of.

The above examples are intended to show that it is not especially wise or just to judge a whole movement solely because of extremists who, from time to time, can be met with anywhere in the world. But someone may protest that the Anabaptists, after all, were heretics, and therefore it is not right to compare their “heretical” extremism with the “holy mistakes” of the Catholic Inquisition, for instance. Let us look briefly at this very common line of reasoning.

The concept of “heresy” in Christian theology is not as simple as many people think, and certainly does not allow for a simplified explanation. Consider this: The Anabaptists were killed as heretics by the Catholics, who themselves were heretics from the standpoint of the Orthodox, and by the Protestants, who were heretics from the point of view of both the Orthodox and the Catholics. A confused situation, to say the least. Once, during a crusade against the Cathars in the thirteenth century, when a crusader asked a Roman legate how to distinguish heretics from good Catholics, the remarkable answer was, “Kill everybody! God will know His own in heaven” (Dyck, 1995, 14). Thus, it is not so easy to divide Christians into “true believers” and “heretics.” This has a bearing on events at Munster.

Another view of events at Munster

In the case of the Munsterite kingdom, of course, it was not only persecution that produced Anabaptist extremism. Historians usually mention the strong eschatological inclinations of the Munsterites (Swartley, 1989, 71; Jansma, 1986, 88-89); however, the atmosphere of persecution undoubtedly created fertile soil for spreading amazing variations on teachings about the “end times” and visions from above. Another important factor influencing the expectation of a speedy end in the early sixteenth century was the serious threat of a Turkish invasion of Europe. 4 As is well known, the Bible often unites the themes of the great sufferings of God’s children and the end of human history, and so the Anabaptists felt keenly that they lived on the threshold of apocalyptic events (Klaassen, 1986, 30-31). Arnold Snyder (1995, 183) writes:

To be an Anabaptist in the sixteenth century meant that one had placed oneself on the margins of acceptable society. It is thus not surprising that a separatist interpretation of Anabaptism came to prevail, and that the biblical themes of the righteous having to suffer at the hands of the unrighteous, the persecution and exile of God’s chosen people, and the final reward of the faithful remnant would become increasingly important in defining the movement.

This point is easily understandable; but why did the extremism of the Anabaptists take a special form, namely the seizure of a town? Some of the key ideas of Anabaptist eschatology answer to that question. The designation of Munster as the “Holy City New Jerusalem” goes back to Melchior Hoffman’s teaching on the Last Days, when, according to this Anabaptist prophet, spiritual revelations would multiply. Before the second coming of Christ, there would be a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the earth, and then the righteous would have many great visions and revelations as in the time of the Old Testament prophets (Snyder, 1995, 205). The idea of the “holy city” was a favorite in the Melchiorite eschatological tradition. The New Jerusalem described in the Book of Revelation would be the only place of refuge for the chosen when the day of God’s wrath and vengeance against the godless came. The New Jerusalem would come down to earth, and believers would hear the message from God’s prophets concerning where to seek the holy city to which they should hurry in order to be saved. Melchior Hoffman himself named Strasbourg as the place of gathering; other prophets mentioned Groningen, Amsterdam, Munster and London (Klaassen, 1986, 29-30). Finally, the opinion of the “Enoch of the End Times” (Jan Matthijs) won out: Munster (where the Anabaptists had political weight at that time), not Strasbourg, was seen as the true New Jerusalem. As a matter of fact, this was not the only point of disagreement between Hoffman and Matthijs. The former consistently rejected the use of force by the saints and instead expected “divine intervention” (Isaak, 1986, 79).

Some comments need to be made concerning the community of goods and polygamy at Munster in 1534-35. Taking into account that it was a wartime situation, we can probably agree with some commentators who point out that the community of goods in Munster may be justified by the siege of the city and by appeals to the practice of the early church in Jerusalem (Ac 2-4). We may agree or disagree with their approach to private property, but we can understand their reasons. Church history demonstrates many similar episodes of communitarian practice, including in the life of Pope Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, the Hutterite communities, etc. Sieges in the past have led sometimes to even more radical things because of lack of food – cannibalism, for instance (2Ki 6:26-29). Of course, we can assume that some citizens of Munster were forced to give their property to the community (Verduin, 1964, 237), but we should remember that Jan Matthijs offered the opportunity to leave the city to all who disagreed with the Anabaptist program. In addition, about half the adult males (approximately 800 of 1600) and one-third of the females (1600 of 4800) were not residents of Munster and came there looking for the New Jerusalem (De Bakker, 1986, 111). These newcomers were welcomed as brothers and sisters by the Munsterites and they also needed their daily bread. This also explains the institution of common property in Munster.

The practice of polygamy, of course, is far removed from Christian culture. Here Rothmann’s appeal to Scripture in his basic work Restitution of the True Christian Teaching (1534) was not done in a convincing way because it relies exclusively on the Old Testament examples of the patriarchs which looked to Christians like something foreign and pagan (or Muslim). But even in this doubtful episode, we can find some extenuating circumstances. First, if the community of goods in Munster was something that had relevance to difficult times, polygamy was something unexpected and repugnant for the majority of Anabaptists in the city. Polygamy in general was supported by only a small number of radicals (the leadership and Jan van Batenburg’s followers) (Snyder, 1995, 282). It is well known that there was rebellion against the institution of polygamy in the city. Heinrich Mollenhecke, together with several dozen citizens of Munster even imprisoned Jan van Leiden in an attempt to force him to abolish polygamy. This incident shows the normal Christian reaction of ordinary Munsterites against the pagan innovations of their leaders. However, “King Jan” was released by his followers and soon executed Heinrich Mollenhecke and 48 other dissidents (Weaver, 1987, 89). Nobody wanted to be killed, and so polygamy won out in Munster.

De Bakker writes that since “…women outnumbered men three to one in Anabaptist Munster and since adultery and fornication were both capital crimes in the Holy City, polygamy was the only way to regularize the sexual needs of the women in the community” (De Bakker, 1986, 115). However, polygamy in Munster was imposed on ordinary citizens by the leaders and was often formal rather than actual. There could be both ethical and physical considerations for this (we should not forget about the famine in the besieged city). Apparently it is mainly the settled, preconceived opinion of the Anabaptists’ opponents that prevents us today from interpreting polygamy in Munster as economic assistance, or as care for brothers to sisters in a besieged city, rather than as sexual dissipation (similar to promiscuity) of the majority of the Anabaptists. At the same time, the ruling clique of the Munsterites was doubtless satisfied with Jan van Leiden’s innovation and Rothmann’s arguments for it, and they used and promoted polygamy. Marriage in general, as we know, was an important theme of the Reformation period. The celibacy (sometimes formal) of Catholic priests was one obvious extreme that Protestants opposed. The polygamy of the Munsterites was another extreme that clearly caused Europeans to newly appreciate the value of the traditional Christian family.


The majority of the Anabaptists, as has already been said, condemned Munster’s extremism immediately after its fall. The meeting of the Melchiorite leaders at Bocholt in 1536 was very significant in this regard. But even before this, from the end of 1534, the brothers Obbe and Dirk Philips, David Joris, Jacob van Campen, Menno Simons (while he was still a Catholic priest) and some other Anabaptist leaders were teaching against the use of violence to achieve God’s goals (Weaver, 1987, 93; Bender, 1956, 10-11).

This fact testifies to the unquestionable evangelical foundation of the Anabaptist movement as a whole. Without doubt, the Anabaptists were more honest and consistent in their remorse over Munster than, as a rule, were Catholics and Protestants in connection with comparable extremes in their own histories. For example, contemporary official Catholic publications, regardless of many historical facts, still assert concerning the Inquisition: “The duties of this Commission were the following: to find heretics, consider their case, teach them, warn and excommunicate only obstinate persons. This was the end of the duties of this Commission.” This means that all tortures and executions were carried out by the secular authorities only, without the participation of the church. 5 Protestants, as a rule, also seek justification for unpleasant incidents in their ranks in the past. For instance, Calvinists defend Calvin’s violence during his “spiritual rule” in Geneva by appealing to the usual European medieval practices. Andrew Miller writes about the burning of the famous physician and heretic Michael Servetus: “Nobody among both the Catholics and Protestants saw any injustice in the death sentence of the prosecutors and judges for Servetus. Calvin himself wanted the death of the blasphemer, but... he was against the appalling way of execution – burning alive – and demanded a simple killing by the sword” (Miller, 1994, II, 468).

Because of the aforesaid examples, there is only one apparent reason why Munster damaged the reputation of the Anabaptists so much more than the numerous analogous excesses of their opponents did to the name of Catholic and Protestant churches. The Anabaptists judged themselves according to the gospel and Christ’s teaching of nonresistance in the Sermon on the Mount and did not defend themselves seriously (regarding Munster) until the twentieth century (Bender and other Mennonites). By contrast, both Catholics and Protestants spent a lot of energy offering an apologia for their history. As a result, many people today are indulgent toward the historical extremes of the Catholics and Protestants because “it was the severe custom of that time,” while judging the Anabaptists’ extremes according to the high standards of the gospel (as the Anabaptists judged themselves) and of modern civilization. Is this just?

In the author’s view, evangelicals today need not be ashamed of their historical and theological connection with sixteenth-century Anabaptists. Even the most peaceful of Christians can be radicals in extreme circumstances. Doubtless, there were radicals among the Anabaptists from the very beginning of the movement; however, persecution by the authorities increased their ranks and unusually strengthened their apocalyptic vision. The destruction of the educated and moderate first-generation leaders meant that there was no opportunity to stop the radicals without a bloody drama, which is what happened at Munster in 1534 – 1535. Political power proved too great a temptation for the “simple types” among the new Anabaptist leaders. Once again this demonstrates the wisdom of the Schleitheim Confession’s “apolitical” position on the authorities (1527): “The government’s magistracy is according to the flesh, but the Christians’ is according to the Spirit”. After Munster, a new generation of moderate Anabaptist leaders had enough influence to limit the radicals and lead the rest of the compromised movement in a peaceful and orderly direction. Yet, who knows what would have happened if the authorities had caught and executed Menno Simons, Dirk Phillips and a few other leaders? Anabaptist extremism might have returned.

In light of all of the above, we can finally answer the question posed at the beginning of this article as to whether the events at Munster were an aberration that in no way reflected the concerns and ethos of early Anabaptism. The most balanced answer is simultaneously “yes” and “no”. Yes, it was an aberration, if we remember the main, moderate wing of the movement. For moderates, Munster was truly horrible. If we carefully consider the radical wing, then no, it was not a departure from the ideas and practice of early Anabaptism. For the radicals, the Munsterite revolution was the logical development of Anabaptist teaching. The complicating factor is that Anabaptism can be interpreted as one movement with two very different wings, rather than as two different movements of “true” and “false” Anabaptists. Looking at our contemporary churches and imagining a further period of severe persecutions against Christians, it is not difficult to surmise that we today could experience a wave of problems similar to those that the early Anabaptists experienced.



1 “The Anabaptists rejected any kind of state church. For them, the Catholics went far away from  the apostolic church, and the Reformers stopped ‘halfway’ in returning to it. All Anabaptists  held the teaching on community as the fellowship of believers. For the sake of their community  they were ready to suffer until the end. Menno Simons said often that he had loved nothing  so much as the community of God’s children” (Brandsma, 1997, 67).
2 “...When I think of the resigned suffering which occurred among the brethren in Amsterdam,  in the Old Cloister, in Hazerswoude, in Appingedam, in the Sandt, and, above all, at Munster,  my soul is troubled and terrified before it. I shall be silent about all the false commissions,  prophecies, visions, dreams, revelations, and unspeakable spiritual pride which immediately  from the first hour stole in among the brethren” (Philips, 224).
3 “Hille Feyken... hearing at worship the story of Judith and Holofernes, decided to assassinate  the warrior bishop... With a poisoned shirt to present to the bishop, she left the city... and  proceeded to the enemy lines, expecting to be let through. She was arrested instead... and  vengefully beheaded” (Williams, 1992, 570). We can imagine the kind of sermons preached  in Munster, since Judith is an Apocryphal heroine of the Old Testament period. Adherents of  the Reformation (including most Anabaptists) normally used the canonical books of Scripture  only. Anabaptists considered the New Testament a priority, while the Munsterites based their  views mainly on the Old Testament.
4 “Luther and other religious leaders of the day, including the Anabaptists, believed that the Turks  were the rod of God’s anger and that they were the forces of evil of the days just preceding  the return of Christ and the end of the world” (Klaassen, 1962, 9-10).
5 Chto kazhdy katolik dolzhen znat’ [That Every Catholic Should Know] (Catholic catechism,  n.p, n.d.), 63-64.



Bender, H. (1957). “The Anabaptist Vision”, in Hershberger, G.F., ed., The Recovery of the Anabaptist Vision. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.

Bender, H. (1956). “A Brief Biography of Menno Simons”, in The Complete Writings of Menno Simons, trans. by L. Verduin. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.

Bolotov, V. (1994). Lektsii po Istorii Drevney Tserkvi [Lectures on the History of the Ancient Church], 4 vols. Moscow: Izdanie Spaso-Preobrazhenskogo Valaamskogo Monastyrya.

van Braght, Thieleman J. (1951). The Bloody Theater or Martyrs’ Mirror. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House.

Brandsma, J. (1997). Menno Simons iz Witmarsuma [Menno Simons of Witmarsum]. Karaganda, Kazakhstan: Istochnik.

Cairns, E. (1980). Christianity through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Chto kazhdy katolik dolzhen znat’ [That Every Catholic Should Know]. Catholic catechism, n.p., n.d.

De Bakker, W. J. (1986). “Bernard Rothmann: Civic Reformer in Anabaptist Munster,” in Horst, I.B., ed., The Dutch Dissenters: A Critical Companion to their History and Ideas. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Dosker, H. (1921). The Dutch Anabaptists. Philadelphia: The Judson Press.

Dyck, C. J. (1995). Radikalnaya Reformatsiya [The Radical Reformation] (Moscow, 1995).

George, T. (1988). Theology of the Reformers. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

Horst, I. B. (1972). The Radical Brethren: Anabaptism and the English Reformation to 1558. Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf.

Isaak, H. (1986). “The Struggle for an Evangelical Town”, in Horst, I.B., ed., The Dutch Dissenters: A Critical Companion to their History and Ideas. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Jansma, L. (1986). “The Rise of the Anabaptist Movement and Societal Changes in Netherlands”, in Horst, I.B., ed., The Dutch Dissenters: A Critical Companion to their History and Ideas. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Klaassen, W. (1986). “Eschatological Themes in Early Dutch Anabaptism”, in Horst, I.B., ed., The Dutch Dissenters: A Critical Companion to their History and Ideas. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Klaassen, W. (1962). “The Life and Times of Menno Simons”, in No Other Foundation. North Newton, KS: Bethel College.

McGrath, A. (2011). Reformation Thought: An Introduction, 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell.

Miller, A. (1994). Istoriya khristianskoy Tserkvi [History of Christian Church], 2 vols. GBV, Germany.

Philips, O. “A Confession”, in Williams, G.H., Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers. London: SCM Press, n.d.

Robbins, R. (1996). Entsiklopediya koldovstva i demonologii [Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology]. Moscow: Lokid.

Shkarovsky, M. (1999). Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov’ pri Staline i Khrushcheve [The Russian Orthodox Church under Stalin and Khrushchev].(M.: Krutitskoe Patriarshee Podvor’e.

Smithson, R. (1935). The Anabaptists: Their Contribution to our Protestant Heritage. London: James Clarke & Co.

Snyder, C. A. (1995). Anabaptist History and Theology: An Introduction. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press.

Swartley, W. (1989). “Liberation Theology, Anabaptist Pacifism and Munsterite Violence”, in Schipani D., ed., Freedom and Discipleship. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

“The Schleitheim Confession”, in Estep, W., ed., Anabaptist Beginnings: A Source Book. Nieukoop: B. De Graaf.

Verduin, L.(1964). The Reformers and Their Stepchildren. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Vipper, R. (1995). “Luter”, in Averintsev, S., ed., Khristianstvo: Entsiklopedichesky Slovar’ [Christianity: Encyclopedia], 3 vols. M.: Bolshaya Rossiyskaya Entsiklopediya, v. II.

Waite, G. K. (1990). David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism 1524-1543. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Weaver, J. D. (1987). Becoming Anabaptist. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.

Williams, G. H. (1992). The Radical Reformation, 3rd ed. Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, Inc.

Constantine Prokhorov

Münsterska tragedija


Opće je poznato da događaji u Münsteru 1534-35. predstavljaju jedan od temeljnih razloga za kolebanje evanđeoskih povjesničara u ukazivanju da su počeci njihovih denominacija u anabaptističkom pokretu ili pokretu radikalne reformacije u šesnaestom stoljeću. Autor ovoga članka nudi nov pogled na, nažalost, dobro poznate događaje “Münsterskog kraljevstva”, uspoređujući ih sa sličnim događajima u drevnoj Crkvi, te s anabaptističkom, rimokatoličkom i protestantskom (luteranskom, zwinglijanskom) poviješću. Komparativna analiza pokazuje da se situacija u Münsteru odnosi jedino na radikalno krilo anabaptista te da, istovremeno, nije daleko od granica uobičajene vjerske prakse u tadašnjoj Europi. Umjereno anabaptističko krilo osudilo je događaje u Münsteru, dok se kasniji razvoj pokreta, posebice među menonitima, kretao u smjeru apsolutnog pacifizma.
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:43 pm

French Israelism
by Wikipedia
Acessed: 7/20/18



French Israelism (also called Franco-Israelism) is the belief that people of Frankish descent are also the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and it is often accompanied by the belief that the Merovingian dynasty is directly descended from the line of King David.

One of the earliest scholars who claimed that he could trace the ten lost tribes of Israel to France was the French Huguenot writer, Jacques Abbadie, who fled French Roman Catholic persecution and later settled in London, England. In his important 1723 work, The Triumph Of Providence
, he wrote:

God opened, as one might say, the tomb of the Ten Tribes by the conversion of the Northern Peoples... Certainly, unless the Ten Tribes have flown into the air, or been plunged into the center of the earth, we must look for them in the North, and in that part of the North, which at the time of Constantine was converted to the Christian faith...The Ten Tribes have since seen conversion into Christian nations, which they are, having thousands of God-fearing ministers in their midst, a people marked by physical possession of the Gospel as servants of God, and reunited with many of their brethren of Judah in the Christian church. This explanation allows us to see the historical fulfillment of the prophetic picture in the Gothic warriors, prepared for conquest, destined for empire, and ancestors of the tribes who inhabit this nation [France].(Translation from the French by M.F. Bennett, The Servant People, [1])

The claim became the foundation for the Priory of Sion hoax created by Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chérisey in the 1960s, and it was further popularized in 1982 with the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,[1] and in 2003 with The Da Vinci Code.

See also

Groups claiming affiliation with Israelites


1. Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Corgi, 1982. ISBN 0-552-12138-X.
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:58 pm

Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/20/18



Google Search Results "Israelism". All "Israelism" is British.

Google Search Results "German Israelism". There is no "German Israelism." It's an invention. The Germans are the Asssyrians.

Google Search Results "French Israelism". But only if you ask "French".

In Anglo-Israelism and some currents of U.S. Christian fundamentalism, the idea has been advanced that modern Germans are partly descended from the ancient Assyrians. This notion was entertained by Edward Hine, although it is incorrect as the native Germans are actually to this day referenced as Allemanni in the Syriac language. The only link to the region of Germany by Assyria is the speculative expedition into that region by mythological Prince Trebeta who allegedly colonized what is today Trier, which is annunciated by the Archbishops of Trier in records known as the Gesta Treverorum.

British Israelism

The idea can be traced to Edward Hine, an early proponent of British Israelism, deriving the Anglo-Saxons from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.[1][2] The link between British Israelism, Assyrian, and Germanic ties is in a hypothetical sense by British Novelist Edward Hine comparing ancient Assyria and neighboring Israel to 20th century Britain and Germany. John Wilson, the intellectual founder of British Israelism, had considered that not only the people of Great Britain, but all the Germanic peoples were descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Hine took a more particularist view, deciding that only the British nation fulfilled the prophecy for Israel — he acknowledged an ethnic affiliation between Britons and Germans, but thought this reflected what he considered was a close relationship between the ancient Israelites and their neighbors the Assyrians (who had taken the Ten Lost Tribes into captivity in Assyria). Likewise, Britain and Germany's status as two great powers of the modern age he considered reflective of the ancient glories of the Kingdom of Israel and of Assyria. So there were two original competing views as to the relationship between the Germans and British-Israel; either the British people, alone, were identified with the Tribes of Israel (Edward Hine) or they included the Germans (John Wilson) and other European peoples (including the Dutch and Scandinavians).[3] Hine maintained that only the Ten Tribes of Israel were included within the British race and excluded the Continental Teutonic or German peoples, who he instead believed descended from Assyrians not Israelites.[4] Hine believed all the tribes of Israel settled in Britain only, with Manasseh who became the Americans (who mostly descended from British stock). Hine had identified the Ten Tribes as being together in Britain in that Ephraim were the drunkards and ritualists, Reuben the farmers, Dan the mariners, Zebulan the lawyers and writers, Asher the soldiers etc., or that these tribes were regional or local people in Britain.[5] Hine's particularist view was received with some hostility by other British Israelites, who maintained that other Europeans descended from the lost tribes of Israel, not solely Britain.[6]

Hine believed that all of the ancient peoples mentioned in the Bible must also be present in the modern world, in order for the prophecies concerning them to be fulfilled. If a people was "lost" to the ages, it meant simply that the people must have migrated to a new region, changed their ethnonym, and forgotten their history. Hine considered the Assyrians as such a "lost" people (unlike for example, the Egyptians), and he made no mention in his writings of the modern Assyrian community in the Middle East — a community that was largely unknown to Europe in his time. Although Assyria is portrayed as one of the great enemies of Israel in the Bible, Hine took pains to explain that he did not consider Germany to be an enemy of Britain, and his writings do not betray any anti-German feelings. In his Forty Seven Identifications, he did admit ‘The Germans are not our enemies, and there is evidence to show that they could not become our enemies’.[7] Later writers in his tradition, however, have often set Germany in the biblical role of Assyria as an enemy to Britain.

British Israelism often compares the militarism of the German Empire with that of the Neo-Assyrian Empire as narrated in the Bible, by analogy establishing Britain, as the threatened party, with the Kingdom of Israel.
After World War II, the comparison was also extended to the supposed brutality towards the Jewish population.[8]

Revision of Assyrian extent of territory

Adherents of the Assyria-Germany connection often revise the extent of land the Assyrians controlled (see Neo-Assyrian Empire). British Israelites, for example, who equate Assyria to Germany claim that the Neo-Assyrian Empire extended to the Black Sea region and further north.[9] Mainstream historians, by contrast, believe land controlled by the Assyrians during the Neo-Assyrian Empire did not stretch that far, but only reached into southern, south western and north eastern Anatolia, bordering Armenia. There is no historical evidence that the Assyrians crossed the Caucasus into Europe in Assyrian records of the time, and the furthest extent of their conquests would have been the southern borders of the Caucasus and the south eastern edge of the Black sea.[10] However, the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which took control over the Assyrians and Babylonians in the 6th century BC. did extend its territory to the Black Sea and north-west into Thrace. British Israelites, however, maintain that this extended territory already existed before the Persians, often quoting as evidence the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, which lists Assyria as having already extended to the Black Sea region.[9] British Israelites also cite Pliny the Elder, who mentioned a tribe dwelling around the north-western regions of the Black Sea (Romania or Ukraine) in the 1st century AD called the Assyriani, who they believe were Assyrians.[11]

Taking the legends of Trebeta as having founded Trier in Germany in 2053 BC (1300 years before the establishment of Rome in 753 BC) as literal fact, and revising the extent of the Neo-Assyrian Empire into south-western parts of Europe, British Israelites believe that the ancient Assyrians had a vast territory.[12] To further corroborate this belief, British Israelites often quote from the Austrian Chronicle of 95 Seigneurs (see below).

Jews deported by Assyrians to Germany

British Israelites who adhere to the Assyria-German identification believe that a small portion of Jews were deported to Germany by the Assyrians.[13] They cite II Kings 18: 13 which notes that the Assyrian king Sennacherib sacked several cities of Judah and captured several Jewish inhabitants. This deportation has been verified by archaeology, since an ancient Assyrian prism records Sennacherib deported a population of Judah (see Taylor and Sennacherib Prisms). This population of Judah was deported (with the House of Israel) to the Medes but British Israelites believe that the Jews and Israelites who were deported by the Assyrians to the Medes, did not stay there, but migrated over time into parts of Europe.[14]

The 14th-century Austrian Chronicle of 95 Seigneurs is usually cited by British Israelites, as it purports to trace an early Jewish settlement in Germany or Austria. The Chronicle connects the Dukes of Austria with the Jews rather than the Assyrians but states that Central Europe became to accept the Jewish faith or Jewish customs from 708-704 BC. British Israelites provide an answer for this: they believe since the Assyrians had long controlled parts of Europe (especially Germany) that the Germans or Austrians became to accept Jewish customs and faith in the 8th century BC because Sennacherib (who captured several cities in Judah) had deported its Jewish inhabitants into Eastern Europe along the Danube River, eventually reaching Austria and Germany.[13] The Chronicle lists 'Jewish Kings' who began from 708-704 BC during which a duke called Gennan converted to Judaism. Consequently, this Jewish population intermarried with the local rulers in the regions of Austria and Hungary, the pagans were subdued and the whole country was Jewish until c. 227 CE.[15]

Often cited to support these theories, is the legend of Judaesaptan.[16] According to the Jewish Virtual Library, this was a legendary Jewish kingdom, which several thousands of years ago sat in Austria or central Europe; it first appeared in writing in Gottfried Hagen's chronicle Reimchronik (1270).[17]

Wolfgang Lazius in the 16th century attempted to find the remains of the kingdom but was unsuccessful.[18]

Anglo-Saxons not Germanic

British Israelites who are proponents of Hine's German-Assyria connection do not believe that the Anglo-Saxons were Germanic, but instead of Scythian heritage, who ultimately descended from the ancient Israelites.[19] Hine pointed out that the Anglo-Saxons only spoke a Germanic language, and that the term 'German' was an exonym and that the Saxons were distinct to the other continental Germanic tribes.[20][21] Hine believed that the Anglo-Saxons were only in Germany for a short time as part of their migration to the appointed 'Islands' (which he identified as Britain) as their final resting place, as told where the Israelites would be resettled in Isaiah 24: 15; 42: 4; 49: 1; 51: 5 and Jeremiah 31: 10.[22][23]

Worldwide Church of God

Herbert W. Armstrong in Chapter 5 of his Mystery of Ages (1985), "The Assyrians settled in central Europe, and the Germans, undoubtedly, are, in part, the descendents of the ancient Assyrians." (p. 183). In this, Armstrong draws upon the opinions of Herman L. Hoeh, published in his 1963 Compendium of World History.[24]

Such suggestions are informed by Jerome's simile with Psalms 83:8.[25]

Hoeh (1963) draws on Verstegan (1605) and Johannes Turmair (1526) to conclude that Deutsch really derives from Tuisto whom he in turn identifies with Shem:

Tuitsch or Tuisto: Chief of thirty-two dukes. Noah gave him all the land between the Don River and the Rhine or what was called Grossgermania. This is the beginning of the 'neolithic' settlement of Europe. Tuitsch is, according to all ancient German commentaries and chronicles, a son of Noah. But which son? Noah adopted Tuitsch's children as his own. The ancient Germans understood the name Tuitsch to be the title 'Teacher.' He was therefore the great patriarch of his family who taught the divine will to his children. Tuitsch is the father of Mannus (who is the Assyrian Ninus). The son of Mannus, Trebeta, is the same man who is called the son of Ninus in classical writers. The son of Mannus or Ninus — Trebeta — built Trier, the first town of Germany. Since the Bible calls this Ninus (who built Nineveh), Asshur, Tuitsch is therefore Shem! (Hoeh 1963 vol. 2 ch. 2)


As with Anglo-Israelism itself, proposed German-Assyrian connections enjoy no empirical support and are not current among mainstream historians, anthropologists, archaeologists or historical linguists.

See also

• British Israelism
• Khazar theory
• Red Jews


1. Edward Hine. "The British Nation Identified with Lost Israel". The last account we have of Israel was when they were in the land of Assyria; but they were not alone there, the Assyrian people were with them, who were purely Gentiles. Now both Israel and this Gentile people are lost, and yet both have to be found
2. Mattias Gardell (2003). Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Duke University Press. pp. 371f. ISBN 0-8223-3071-7.
3. The Standard of Israel, 1876, Vol II, p. 100.
4. Life From The Dead, 1874, Vol. I, pp. 327-328
5. Edward Hine, The English Nation Identified with the Lost House of Israel by Twenty-Seven Identifications, (Manchester: Heywood, 1870), p. v.
6. The Standard of Israel, 1876, Vol.II, p. 101.
7. Banner of Israel, 1917, p. 296
8. Julia M. O'Brien, Nahum and Atrocity, Continuum International Publishing Group (2002), ISBN 1-84127-300-7, p. 115, quoting Craigie (1958)...
9. "Volume 2 Chapter 1". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
10. World History, Volume 1, William J. Duiker, Cengage Learning, 2009, p. 31
11. "Compendium History Vol. 2". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
12. "Volume 2 Chapter 3". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
13. "Volume 2 Chapter 4". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
14. " - The British Nation Identified with Lost Israel By Edward Hine". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
15. Yair Davidiy, "Lost Israelite Identity" (1996)
16. Rhodes, Betty Matteson. "Brit-Am Now 21". Retrieved 28 August 2017.Ju
17. [1] Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
18. H. Gold, Geschichte der Juden in Wien (1966).
19. Hine, Forty-seven Identifications, (1878), pp. 16-29.
20. Hine, pp. 20-22.
21. The term German, is an exonym of Deutsch and Deutschland (Germany).
22. Hine, pp. 20
23. The first-mentioned "Germans" were actually a Celtic tribe, which had formerly lived east of the Rhine River. The Encyclopædia Britannica says: "Of the Gaulish [Celtic] tribes west of the Rhine... the Treveri claimed to be of German origin, and the same claim was made by a number of tribes in Belgium.... The meaning of this claim is not quite clear, as there is some obscurity concerning the origin of the name Germani. It appears to be a Gaulish term, and there is no evidence that it was ever used by the Germans themselves. According to Tacitus it was first applied to the Tungri, whereas Caesar records that four Belgic tribes... were collectively known as Germani.
24. "vol. 2, ch. 1: "If the Germans admitted to themselves and the world who they really are, all the world would recognize in Imperial Germany the reconstituted Assyrian Empire — once the terror of all the civilized world!"". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
25. Hoeh, "Germany in Prophecy!" (1962). Also in Hoeh (1963) vol.2 ch.1.: "Jerome, who lived at the time when the Indo-Germanic tribes were invading Europe, provides this startling answer ... Yes! Jerome said so! But how did he know? He saw them! He was an eyewitness to their migrations from Mesopotamia and the shores of the Black and Caspian seas!"


• Craig White, The Great German Nation: Origins and Destiny, ISBN 1-4343-2549-0

External links

British Israelism

• Alan Campbell, The Remnant of Judah Revealed in Germany (part one), (part two)

US Christian fundamentalism

• Kelly Marshall, The Origins of Assyria and Germany, Exit & Support Network (2004)
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:24 am

Urim and Thummim
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/22/18



In the Hebrew Bible, the Urim and the Thummim (Hebrew: הָאוּרִים וְהַתֻּמִּים‬, Standard ha-Urim veha-Tummim Tiberian hāʾÛrîm wəhatTummîm; meaning uncertain, possibly "Lights and Perfections") are elements of the hoshen, the breastplate worn by the High Priest attached to the ephod. They are connected with divination in general, and cleromancy in particular. Most scholars suspect that the phrase refers to a set of two objects used by the high priest to answer a question or reveal the will of God.[1][2]

An ephod (Hebrew: אֵפוֹד‬ ’êp̄ōḏ; /ˈɛfɒd/ or /ˈiːfɒd/) was an artifact and an object to be revered in ancient Israelite culture, and was closely connected with oracular practices and priestly ritual.

Jewish High Priest wearing the sacred vestments. The ephod is depicted here in yellow.

In the Books of Samuel and Books of Chronicles, David is described as wearing an ephod when dancing in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Chronicles 15:27) and one is described as standing in the sanctuary at Nob, with a sword behind it (1 Samuel 21:9). In the book of Exodus and in Leviticus one is described as being created for the Jewish High Priest to wear as part of his official vestments (Exodus 28:4+, 29:5, 39:2+; Leviticus 8:7).

-- Ephod, by Wikipedia

The Urim and the Thummim first appear in Exodus 28:30, where they are named for inclusion on the breastplate to be worn by Aaron in the holy place. Other books, especially 1 Samuel, describe their use in divination.

Name and meaning

Urim (אוּרִים‬) traditionally has been taken to derive from a root meaning lights; these derivations are reflected in the Neqqudot of the Masoretic Text.[3] In consequence, Urim and Thummim has traditionally been translated as lights and perfections (by Theodotion, for example), or, by taking the phrase allegorically, as meaning revelation and truth, or doctrine and truth (it appears in this form in the Vulgate, in the writing of St. Jerome, and in the Hexapla).[4] The latter use was defended in modern Catholic interpretations by connecting Urim and Thummim from the roots ירה (to teach) and אׇמַן (be true).[2]

Thummim (תוּמִים‬) is widely considered to be derived from the consonantal root ת.ם.ם‬ (t-m-m), meaning innocent,[1][4][3] Many scholars now believe that Urim (אוּרִים‬) simply derives from the Hebrew term אּרּרִים‬ (Arrim), meaning curses, and thus that Urim and Thummim essentially means cursed or faultless, in reference to the deity's judgment of an accused person— in other words, Urim and Thummim were used to answer the question innocent or guilty.[1][3]

Assyriologist William Muss-Arnolt connected the singular forms—ur and tumm—with the Babylonian terms ūrtu and tamītu, meaning oracle and command, respectively. According to his theory the Hebrew words use a pluralis intensivus to enhance their apparent majesty, not to indicate the presence of more than one.[4] Along these lines the urim and thummim are hypothesized to derive from the Tablets of Destiny worn by Marduk on his breast according to Babylonian religion).[2][a]

Form and function

1 Samuel 14:41 is regarded by biblical scholars as key to understanding the Urim and Thummim;[4] the passage describes an attempt to identify a sinner via divination, by repeatedly splitting the people into two groups and identifying which group contains the sinner. In the version of this passage in the Masoretic Text, it describes Saul and Jonathan being separated from the rest of the people, and lots being cast between them; the Septuagint version, however, states that Urim would indicate Saul and Jonathan, while Thummim would indicate the people. In the Septuagint, a previous verse[6] uses a phrase which is usually translated as inquired of God, which is significant as the grammatical form of the Hebrew implies that the inquiry was performed by objects being manipulated; scholars view it as evident from these verses and versions that cleromancy was involved, and that Urim and Thummim were the names of the objects being cast.[3][2]

Cleromancy is a form of sortition, casting of lots, in which an outcome is determined by means that normally would be considered random, such as the rolling of dice, but are sometimes believed to reveal the will of God, or other supernatural entities.

-- Cleromany, by Wikipedia

The description of the clothing of the Hebrew high priest in the Book of Exodus portrays the Urim and Thummim as being put into the sacred breastplate, worn by the high priest over the Ephod.[7] Where the biblical text elsewhere describes an Ephod being used for divination, scholars presume that it is referring to use of the Urim and Thummim in conjunction with the Ephod, as this seems to be intimately connected with it;[4][2] similarly where non-prophets are portrayed as asking HaShem for guidance, and the advice is not described as given by visions, scholars think that Urim and Thummim were the medium implied.[3] In all but two cases (1 Samuel 10:22 and 2 Samuel 5:23), the question is one which is effectively answered by a simple yes or no;[3] a number of scholars believe that the two exceptions to this pattern, which give more complex answers, were originally also just sequences of yes or no questions, but became corrupted by later editing.[3]

There is no description of the form of the Urim and Thummim in the passage describing the high priest's vestments, and a number of scholars believe that the author of the passage, which textual scholars attribute to the priestly source, was not actually entirely aware of what they were either.[3] Nevertheless, the passage does describe them as being put into the breastplate, which scholars think implies they were objects put into some sort of pouch within it, and then, while out of view, one (or one side, if the Urim and Thummim was a single object) was chosen by touch and withdrawn or thrown out;[3] since the Urim and Thummim were put inside this pouch, they were presumably small and fairly flat, and were possibly tablets of wood or of bone.[3] Considering the scholars' conclusion that Urim essentially means guilty and Thummim essentially means innocent, this would imply that the purpose of the Urim and Thummim was an ordeal to confirm or refute suspected guilt; if the Urim was selected it meant guilt, while selection of the Thummim would mean innocence.

According to classical rabbinical literature, in order for the Urim and Thummim to give an answer, it was first necessary for the individual to stand facing the fully dressed high priest, and vocalise the question briefly and in a simple way, though it was not necessary for it to be loud enough for anyone else to hear it.[4] The Talmudic rabbis argued that Urim and Thummim were words written on the sacred breastplate.[8] Most of the Talmudic rabbis, and Josephus, following the belief that Urim meant lights, argued that divination by Urim and Thummim involved questions being answered by great rays of light shining out of certain jewels on the breastplate; each jewel was taken to represent different letters, and the sequence of lighting thus would spell out an answer (though there were 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and only 12 jewels on the breastplate);[9][10][11] two Talmudic rabbis, however, argued that the jewels themselves moved in a way that made them stand out from the rest, or even moved themselves into groups to form words.[12]

According to Islamic sources, there was a similar form of divination among the Arabs before the beginning of Islam.[3] There, two arrow shafts (without heads or feathers), on one of which was written command and the other prohibition or similar, were kept in a container, and stored in the Kaaba at Mecca;[3] whenever someone wished to know whether to get married, go on a journey, or to make some other similar decision, one of the Kaaba's guardians would randomly pull one of the arrow shafts out of the container, and the word written upon it was said to indicate the will of the god concerning the matter in question.[3] Sometimes a third, blank, arrow shaft would be used, to represent the refusal of the deity to give an answer.[3] This practice is called rhabdomancy, after the Greek roots rhabd- "rod" and -mancy ("divination").

History of use

The first reference to Urim and Thummim in the Bible is the description in the Book of Exodus concerning the high priest's vestments;[13] the chronologically earliest passage mentioning them, according to textual scholars, is in the Book of Hosea,[14] where it is implied, by reference to the Ephod, that the Urim and Thummim were fundamental elements in the popular form of the Israelite religion,[3] in the mid 8th century BC.[4] Consulting the Urim and Thummim was said to be permitted for determining territorial boundaries, and was said to be required, in addition to permission from the king or a prophet, if there was an intention to expand Jerusalem or the Temple in Jerusalem;[15][16][17][18] however, these rabbinical sources did question, or at least tried to justify, why Urim and Thummim would be required when a prophet was also present.[19] The classical rabbinical writers argued that the Urim and Thummim were only permitted to be consulted by very prominent figures such as army generals, the most senior of court figures, and kings, and the only questions which could be raised were those which were asked for the benefit of the people as a whole.[20] Abiathar joined David, who was then in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6). He remained with David, and became priest of the party of which he was the leader (1 Sam. 30:7). When David ascended the throne of Judah, Abiathar was appointed High Priest (1 Chr. 15:11; 1 Kings 2:26) and the "king's counselor" (1 Chr. 27:33-34). Meanwhile, Zadok, of the house of Eleazar, had been made High Priest. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia Abiathar was deposed from office when he was deserted by the Holy Spirit without which the Urim and Thummin could not be consulted.[21]

Although Josephus argues that the Urim and Thummim continued to be used until the era of the Maccabees,[22] Talmudic sources are unanimous in agreeing that the Urim and Thummim were lost much earlier, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians.[23][24][25] In a passage from the part of the Book of Ezra which overlaps with the Book of Nehemiah, it is mentioned that individuals who were unable to prove, after the Babylonian captivity had ended, that they were descended from the priesthood before the captivity began, were required to wait until priests in possession of Urim and Thummim were discovered;[26] this would appear to confirm the statements in the Talmud that the Urim and Thummim had by then been lost.[1][4][3] Indeed, since the priestly source, which textual scholars date to a couple of centuries prior to the captivity, does not appear to know what the Urim and Thummim looked like, and there is no mention of the Urim and Thummim in the deuteronomic history beyond the death of David, scholars suspect that use of them decayed some time before the Babylonian conquest,[3] probably as a result of the growing influence of prophets at that time.[4]

Latter Day Saint movement

Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, said that he used interpreters in order to translate the Book of Mormon from the golden plates. The interpreters he described as a pair of stones, fastened to a breastplate joined in a form similar to that of a large pair of spectacles. Smith later referred to this object as the Urim and Thummim. In 1823, Smith said that the angel Moroni, who had told him about the golden plates, also told him about the Urim and Thummim, "two stones in silver bows" fastened to a breastplate, and the angel intimated that they had been prepared by God to aid in the translation of the plates.[27] Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, described these Urim and Thummim as being like "two smooth three-cornered diamonds."[28]

Smith also said he used the Urim and Thummim to assist him in receiving other divine revelations, including some of the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and portions of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Only Oliver Cowdery is claimed to have attempted to use them to receive his own revelation.[29] Latter Day Saints believe that Smith's Urim and Thummim were functionally identical to the biblical Urim and Thummim.[30]

Smith extended the use of the term "Urim and Thummim" to describe the dwelling place of God, the earth in a future state, and the white stone mentioned in the Book of Revelation.[31]

In popular culture

Yale University Coat of Arms, with Urim and Thummim shown in Hebrew letters on an open book

In accordance with the belief that Urim and Thummim translates to "Light and Truth", the Latin equivalent Lux et Veritas has been used for several university mottoes. For example, Lux et Veritas is the motto of Indiana University and the University of Montana. Similarly, Northeastern University's motto is Lux, Veritas, Virtus ("Light, Truth, Virtue"). Although Urim and Thummim itself is emblazoned across the open book pictured on the Yale University coat of arms, Lux et Veritas appears below on a banner.[32]

The Urim and Thummim are also afforded some value as artifacts in some modern fiction:

Thomas Mann has elaborated greatly on the definition of this term in Joseph the Provider, the fourth book of his tetralogyJoseph and His Brothers.
• A treasure hunt for the Urim and Thummim forms the central plot of the John Bellairs novel The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost
• Their apparent desecration by an unknown vandal is a theme in the Arthur Conan Doyle short story "The Jew's Breastplate".
• In the Christian fiction novel The Face of God, by Bill Myers, the pastor Daniel Lawson and terrorist Ibrahim el-Magd race to find the Urim and Thummim, as well as the twelve stones of the sacred breastplate, in order to hear God's voice.
• In the novel The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, at page 30, the king of Salem gives the main character Santiago two stones that the king calls Urim and Thummim. One of the stones is black, which is said to signify yes, and the other is white, said to signify no; a significance applicable when the stones are asked an appropriate question and drawn from a bag. The king himself had removed the stones from his shining golden breastplate.
• Urim and Thummim were the names given to two objects of mystical technology in the Prosopopeia transmedia series, culminating in the International EmmyAward-winning participatory drama series The Truth About Marika by SVT The company P.
• In the television series Dig, the breastplate that is a part of the mystery is said to be the breastplate of the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem and used to communicate with God.

See also

• Cleromancy: the drawing of lots for the purpose of divination
• Divination: ascertaining information by supernatural means
• Dice: polyhedral objects used to randomize decisions
• Oracle: person or object used to obtain information via prophecy or clairvoyance
• Scrying: obtaining supernatural knowledge by means of an object

Notes and citations

1. 1 Samuel 28:3-6 mentions three methods of divine communication – dreams, prophets, and the Urim and Thummim; the first two of these are also mentioned copiously in Assyrian and Babylonian literature, and such literature also mentions Tablets of Destiny, which are similar in some ways to the Urim and Thummim. The Tablets of Destiny had to rest on the breast of deities mediating between the other gods and mankind in order to function, while the Urim and Thummim had to rest within the breastplate of the priest mediating between God and mankind. Marduk was said to have put his seal on the Tablets of Destiny, while the Israelite breastplate had a jewelled stone upon it for each of the Israelite tribes, which may derive from the same principle.[4] Like the Urim and Thummim, the Tablets of Destiny came into use when the fate of king and nation was concerned. According to some archaeologists, the Israelites emerged as a subculture from within Canaanite society, and not as an invading force from outside, and therefore it would be natural for them to have used similar religious practices to other Semitic nations,[5] and these scholars suspect that the concept of Urim and Thummim was originally derived from the Tablets of Destiny.[4][2]
1. Commentary on the Bible, ed. Arthur Peake, p. 191 etc. (1919).
2. William Muss-Arnolt, "The Urim and Thummim: A Suggestion as to their Original Nature and Significance", American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures (continuing Hebraica), Vol. XVI, No. 4, July 1900.
3. George Foote Moore, "Urim and Thummim", Encyclopedia Biblica, ed. Cheyne & Black, vol. IV (Q−Z), cols. 5235–5237 (1903).
4. Hirsch, Emil G.; Muss-Arnolt, William; Bacher, Wilhelm; Blau, Ludwig (1906). "Urim and Thummim". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. 12. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. p. 384–385.
5. Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed
6. 1 Samuel 14:37
7. Exodus 28:13-30
8. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 28:30
9. Yoma 73a-b
10. Yoma 44c in the Jerusalem Talmud
11. Sifre, Numbers 141
12. Yoma 73b
13. Exodus 28:30
14. Hosea 3:4
15. Sanhedrin 16a
16. Yoma 41b (Jerusalem Talmud)
17. Shebbit 2-3, and 16a
18. Shebbit 33d (Jerusalem Talmud)
19. Sanhedrin 19b (Jerusalem Talmud)
20. Yoma 7; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 28:30
21. Ginzberg, Louis (1901). "Abiathar". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. p. 56.
22. Josephus Antiquities of the Jews (volume 3) 8:9
23. Sotah 9:10
24. Yoma 21b
25. Tamid 65b (Jerusalem Talmud)
26. Ezra 2:63, which is also Nehemiah 7:65
27. Joseph Smith–History[permanent dead link]. The Urim and Thummim were said to have been found with the golden plates, the aforementioned breastplate, and the Sword of Laban.
28. Smith, Lucy Mack (1853). "Biographical sketches of Joseph Smith the prophet, and his progenitors for many generations". Brigham Young University Religious Education Archive. p. 101. Retrieved 2006-02-02. It [Joseph's Urim and Thummim]; also at EMD, 1: 328-29.
29. Section 9
30. There are seven references to the Urim and Thummim in the Masoretic Text (the basis of most English translations of the Old Testament): Exodus 28:30, Leviticus 8:8, Numbers 27:21, Deuteronomy 33:8, 1 Samuel 28:6, Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65. The Septuagint version (the pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament) and some English translations of 1 Samuel 14:41 also references them.
31. Doctrine and Covenants 130:8–10.
32. "How Hebrew Came to Yale". Retrieved 2018-04-16.

External links

• The Urim and Thummim by Reb Chaim HaQoton
• Mormon views of Urim and Thummim and Seer Stones
• Commentary on Exodus 28:30 by John Wesley
• Commentary on Exodus 28:30 by Cyrus Scofield
• The Urim V'tumim: The History of Yale's Insignia and Jewish Thought Today at, by Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol – B'nai Israel, the Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:14 am

Joseph and His Brothers
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/22/18



Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder) is a four-part novel by Thomas Mann, written over the course of 16 years. Mann retells the familiar stories of Genesis, from Jacob to Joseph (chapters 27–50), setting it in the historical context of the Amarna Period. Mann considered it his greatest work.

The tetralogy consists of:

• The Stories of Jacob (Die Geschichten Jaakobs; written December 1926 to October 1930, Genesis 27–36)
• Young Joseph (Der junge Joseph; written January 1931 to June 1932, Genesis 37)
• Joseph in Egypt (Joseph in Ägypten; written July 1932 to 23 August 1936, Genesis 38–39)
• Joseph the Provider (Joseph, der Ernährer; written 10 August 1940 to 4 January 1943, Genesis 40–50)


Mann's presentation of the Ancient Orient and the origins of Judaism is influenced by Alfred Jeremias' 1904 Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients, emphasizing Babylonian influence in the editing of Genesis, and by the work of Dmitry Merezhkovsky.

Alfred Karl Gabriel Jeremias (24 February 1864 in Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony – 11 January 1935) was a German pastor, Assyriologist and an expert on the religions of the Ancient Near East.

In 1891 he published the first German translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. From 1890 until his death he was pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Leipzig, and from 1922 he was also professor at Leipzig University. He received honorary degrees in 1905 from Leipzig and in 1914 from the University of Groningen.

He was one of the prominent advocates of Panbabylonism, explaining the origins of the Hebrew Bible in terms of Babylonian mythology.

-- Alfred Jeremias

The Epic of Gilgamesh (/ˈɡɪlɡəˌmɛʃ/)[1] is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia that is often regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature....

The first half of the story discusses Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop Gilgamesh from oppressing the people of Uruk. After Enkidu becomes civilized through sexual initiation with a prostitute, he travels to Uruk, where he challenges Gilgamesh to a test of strength. Gilgamesh wins and the two become friends. Together, they make a six-day journey to the legendary Cedar Forest, where they plan to slay the Guardian, Humbaba the Terrible, and cut down the sacred Cedar.[2] Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. As a punishment for these actions, the gods sentence Enkidu to death.

In the second half of the epic, distress about Enkidu's death causes Gilgamesh to undertake a long and perilous journey to discover the secret of eternal life. He eventually learns that "Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands".[3][4]

-- Epic of Gilgamesh, by Wikipedia

Mann sets the story in the 14th century BC and makes Akhenaten the pharaoh who appoints Joseph his vice-regent. Joseph is aged 28 at the ascension of Akhenaten, which would mean he was born about 1380 BC in standard Egyptian chronology, and Jacob in the mid-1420s BC. Other contemporary rulers mentioned include Tushratta and Suppiluliuma.

A dominant topic of the novel is Mann's exploration of the status of mythology and his presentation of the Late Bronze Age mindset with regard to mythical truths and the emergence of monotheism. Events of the story of Genesis are frequently associated and identified with other mythic topics.

Central is the notion of underworld and the mythical descent to the underworld. Jacob's sojourn in Mesopotamia (hiding from the wrath of Esau) is paralleled with Joseph's life in Egypt (exiled by the jealousy of his brothers), and on a smaller scale his captivity in the well; they are further identified with the "hellraid" of Inanna-Ishtar-Demeter, the Mesopotamian Tammuz myth, the Jewish Babylonian captivity as well as the Harrowing of Hell of Jesus Christ.

Abraham is repeatedly presented as the man who "discovered God" (a Hanif, or discoverer of monotheism). Jacob as Abraham's heir is charged with further elaborating this discovery. Joseph is surprised to find Akhenaten on the same path (although Akhenaten is not the "right person" for the path), and Joseph's success with the pharaoh is largely due to the latter's sympathy for "Abrahamic" theology. Such a connection of (proto-)Judaism and Atenism had been suggested before Mann, most notably by Sigmund Freud in his Moses and Monotheism, which had appeared in 1939, just before Mann began work on the tetralogy's fourth part—although in the last installment of Mann's work, Akhenaten is postulated as the Pharaoh of the Exodus contemporary of Moses, while Mann in his novella "Das Gesetz" (1944) casts Ramesses II in that role.

Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten

Aten, the god of Atenism, first appears in texts dating to the 12th dynasty, in the Story of Sinuhe. During the Middle Kingdom, Aten "as the sun disk...was merely one aspect of the sun god Re."[1] It was a relatively obscure sun god; without the Atenist period, it would barely have figured in Egyptian history. Although there are indications that it was becoming slightly more important during the eighteenth dynasty, notably Amenhotep III's naming of his royal barge as Spirit of the Aten, it was Amenhotep IV who introduced the Atenist revolution in a series of steps culminating in the official installment of the Aten as Egypt's sole god. Although each line of kings prior to the reign of Akhenaten[2] had previously adopted one deity as the royal patron and supreme state god, there had never been an attempt to exclude other deities, and the multitude of gods had always been tolerated and worshipped. During the reign of Thutmosis IV, it was identified as a distinct solar god, and his son Amenhotep III established and promoted a separate cult for the Aten. There is no evidence that Amenhotep III neglected the other gods or attempted to promote the Aten as an exclusive deity.

As Joseph is saved from the well and sold to Egypt, he adopts a new name, Osarseph, replacing the Yo- element with a reference to Osiris to indicate that he is now in the underworld. This change of name to account for changing circumstances encourages Amenhotep to change his own name to Akhenaten.

The tetralogy closes with a detailed account of Jacob's famous Blessing of his sons and their tribes, his death and the funeral.
The characters of the individual brothers are determined by epithets taken from the text of the Blessing of Jacob throughout the details; thus Reuben is "turbulent as the waters" (and associated with Aquarius by Jacob). Simeon and Levi are known as the "twins" (and associated with Gemini), even though they are a year apart, and portrayed as violent bullies. Juda is a lion (Leo), and inherits Abraham's blessing since Jacob disrobes his elder brothers of their birthright. Zebulun shows predilection for Phoenicians and seafaring. Jacob calls "bony" Issachar a donkey to evoke Asellus, γ and δ of Cancer. Dan is sharp-witted and "suited as a judge" (Libra). Asher is fond of dainties. Joseph is blessed by Jacob in his dual aspect of male (Dumuzi, god of seed and harvest), with reference to Taurus, and female (since for Jacob, his beloved Rachel lives on in Joseph, and in his affinity with the nourishing Earth), with reference to Virgo. As Jacob comes to Benjamin, his strength is almost gone, and with his last breath he rather incoherently compares his youngest son with a wolf, partly because of Lupus in Scorpio.

Editions and translations

• Die Geschichten Jaakobs. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-596-29435-5
• Der junge Joseph. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-10-048230-1
• Joseph in Ägypten. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-10-048232-8
• Joseph der Ernährer. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-10-048233-6
• Finnish translation by Lauri Hirvensalo. Helsinki/Porvoo: WSOY, 1947.
• English translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948. ISBN 0-394-43132-4.
• Spanish translation by Jose Maria Souviron and Hernán del Solar. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Ercilla. 2 Vol, 1962.
• English translation by John E. Woods. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-4001-9.
• Dutch translation by Thijs Pollmann. Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek, Amsterdam, 2014. ISBN 9789028424005.


• Jan Assmann: Thomas Mann und Ägypten. Mythos und Monotheismus in den Josephsromanen. C. H. Beck Verlag, München 2006. ISBN 3-406-54977-2
• Thomas L. Jeffers, “God, Man, the Devil—and Thomas Mann,” Commentary (November 2005), 77-83.
• Hermann Kurzke: Mondwanderungen. Ein Wegweiser durch Thomas Manns Josephs-Roman. Fischer Verlag Frankfurt am Main 2004. ISBN 3-596-16011-1
• Bernd-Jürgen Fischer: Handbuch zu Thomas Manns "Josephsromanen". Tübingen/Basel: Francke 2002. ISBN 3-7720-2776-8
• R. Cunningham: Myth and Politics in T.M.s 'Joseph und seine Brüder', Hans-Dieter Heinz Akademischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1985. ISBN 3-88099-165-0
• E. Murdaugh: Salvation in the Secular: The Moral Law in T.M.s 'Joseph und seine Brüder', Stuttgart 1976.
• Vladimir Tumanov. “Jacob as Job in Thomas Mann’s Joseph und seine Brüder.” Neophilologus 86 (2) 2002: 287-302.

External links

• Novels portal
• (in German) Friedemann W. Golka: Die biblische Josephsgeschichte und Thomas Manns Roman
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:58 am

Bath ḳōl [Daughter of Voice]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/22/18



Ezekiel hears the voice, represented by the Hand of God, Dura-Europos Synagogue, 3rd century CE.

In Judaism bat kol or bat ḳōl (Hebrew: בּת קול, literally "daughter of voice", "voice of God") is a "heavenly or divine voice which proclaims God's will or judgment."[1] It signifies the ruach ha-kodesh (רוח הקודש, "the spirit of holiness") or serves as a metonym for God; "but it differed essentially from the Prophets", though these were delegates or mouthpieces of ruaḥ ha-kodesh.[1]

In art it is represented by the Hand of God.

Jewish Bible

The characteristic attributes of the voice of God are the invisibility of the speaker and a certain remarkable quality in the sound, regardless of its strength or weakness. A sound proceeding from some invisible source was considered a heavenly voice, since the mass revelation on Sinai was given in that way in Deuteronomy 4:12: "Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice". In this account, God reveals himself to man through his organs of hearing, not through those of sight. Even the prophet Ezekiel, who sees many visions, "heard a voice of one that spoke" (Ezek 1:28); similarly, Elijah recognized God by a "still, small voice," and a voice addressed him (I Kings 19:12–13; compare Job 4:16); sometimes God's voice rang from the heights, from Jerusalem, from Zion (Ezek. 1:25; Jer 25:30; Joel 3:16–17; Amos 1:2, etc.); and God's voice was heard in the thunder and in the roar of the sea.[1]


In the period of the Tannaim (c 100 BCE-200 CE) the term bath ḳōl was in very frequent use and was understood to signify not the direct voice of God, which was held to be supersensible, but the echo of the voice (the bath being somewhat arbitrarily taken to express the distinction). The rabbis held that bath ḳōl had been an occasional means of divine communication throughout the whole history of Israel and that since the cessation of the prophetic gift it was the sole means of Divine revelation. It is noteworthy that the rabbinical conception of bath ḳōl sprang up in the period of the decline of Old Testament prophecy and flourished in the period of extreme traditionalism. Where the gift of prophecy was believed to be lacking – perhaps even because of this lack – there grew up an inordinate desire for special divine manifestations. Often a voice from heaven was looked for to clear up matters of doubt and even to decide between conflicting interpretations of the law. So strong had this tendency become that Rabbi Joshua (c. 100 CE) felt it to be necessary to oppose it and to insist upon the supremacy and the sufficiency of the written law.

The last nevi'im ("spokespersons", "prophets") mentioned in the Jewish Bible are Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, all of whom lived at the end of the 70-year Babylonian captivity. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 11a) states that nowadays only the "Bath Kol" exists.


In Jewish art the Bat Ḳol was often represented by the Hand of God, as in the Synagogue of Dura-Europas.


Josephus (Ant., XIII, x, 3) relates that John Hyrcanus (135–104 BCE) heard a voice while offering a burnt sacrifice in the temple, which Josephus expressly interprets as the voice of God.[2] According to Hebrew traditions, Metatron − an archangel and God's celestial scribe − is called the "Voice of God".


1. The Jewish Encyclopedia: BAT ḲOL: Kohler, Kaufmann; Blau, Ludwig. "BAT ḲOL". - The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
2. This article incorporates text from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia article "Bath Kol", a publication now in the public domain.
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:53 pm

Israel’s “Other Tribes”
by Vern G. Swanson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
January, 1982



When the Prophet Joseph Smith set down the Articles of Faith in 1842, he included an interesting declaration concerning the tribes of Israel which now reads in part: “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; [and] that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American Continent.” (A of F 1:10.)

In that statement the Prophet acknowledged, first, a historical fact—that a large portion of the house of Israel had been taken by Assyria from the land of their inheritance and thus were lost from the common knowledge of the tribe of Judah, the ancient record-keepers; and second, the Prophet acknowledged the Lord’s promise for the future—that these tribes “lost” in terms of immediate recognition, would be gathered in again in the latter days.

It was the Lord himself who referred to these of his scattered sheep as the “other tribes of the house of Israel.” (3 Ne. 15:15.) The scriptures and related sources give us a limited body of information about these “other tribes” up to the point when they were “lost” to Judah’s record-keepers.

After the conquest of the promised land of Canaan (Palestine) following Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Joshua partitioned the area into thirteen geographical entities to be possessed by the tribes of Israel. The tribes lived under a government of judges for 334 years, and then under the kingship of Saul, David, and Solomon for another 120 years before the land was divided into the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah in 975 B.C.

Because of Solomon’s transgressions, the Lord declared the end of his kingdom: “And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way. …

“And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces:

“And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to thee.” (1 Kgs. 11:29–31.)

Thus at the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam suffered a rebellion that left him the southern part, known as the kingdom of Judah, while a northern kingdom, known as the kingdom of Israel, formed under Jeroboam. This northern kingdom was also sometimes called the kingdom of Ephraim (which was the largest and most prominent tribe), or simply “Samaria,” after the capital city of the Ephraimite province.

Jeroboam immediately plunged the kingdom of Israel into enduring wickedness. Fearing that his people would travel to Jerusalem to worship at the temple in the kingdom of Judah and thus eventually shift their allegiance there, he made idols for their false worship. (See 1 Kgs. 12:26–33.) Nevertheless, the northern kingdom of Israel endured for another 253 years before the people’s wickedness weakened the kingdom to the point that Assyria conquered it.

The Assyrian conquest began about 738 B.C. when the armies of Tiglath-Pileser III marched against Menahem, king of Israel, wresting part of his dominion and compelling him to pay tribute. By 733 B.C., all of the northern kingdom except Mount Ephraim was conquered by the Assyrians, including the lands occupied by the tribes of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, Issachar, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the region of Galilee, and Reuben, Gad, and the other half-tribe of Manasseh in trans-Jordan. (See 2 Kgs. 15:29; 1 Chr. 5:26.) After Tiglath-Pileser’s death in 727 B.C., he was succeeded by Shalmaneser IV, who immediately laid siege to Ephraim’s capital city of Samaria. After three years, Shalmaneser died and Sargon II took power. His famous “cylinder inscription” declares that it was he who was “the conquerer of the city of Samaria and the whole land of Beth-Omri.”

In his treatment of the kingdom of Ephraim (Israel), Sargon II followed the policies established by Tiglath-Pileser: deportation and colonization. Excavators have found, amid the ruins of his palace at Khorsabad, the annals of his conquest. One entry reads:

“In the beginning of my reign I besieged, I took by the help of the god Shamash, who gives me victory over my enemies, the city of Samaria. 27,290 of its inhabitants I carried away. … I took them to Assyria and put into their places people whom my hand had conquered.”

The Old Testament confirms this account, stating that “in the ninth year of Hoshea [722–21 B.C.] the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the fiver of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” (2 Kgs. 17:6; also 2 Kgs. 18:9–12; see map.) Then Sargon “brought men from Babylon, and from Cutha, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel.” (2 Kgs. 17:24.)

The people thus transplanted into Samaria eventually mingled with the remaining peoples of the northern kingdom and produced a religion that was a mixture of portions of the true faith and portions of pagan worship, for “they feared the Lord, [yet] served their own gods.” (2 Kgs. 17:33.) This mixture of nationalities and pollution of the religion appalled the Jews to the south and created enmity between them and these new “Samaritans.” Even in the time of the Savior, the Jews had a superior attitude toward the Samaritans.

Just how many Israelites were carried into Assyria is not known. Sargon II claimed 27,290 captives, but that number only represents the captives taken from the city of Samaria alone. Doubtless the total number carried away was significant, for Samaria never recovered as a power from the expulsion and never again became the dominant force that the northern kingdom of Israel had been. Nevertheless, the depopulation was not total, since it was the usual policy of the Assyrians to select only the ablest, most skilled, and intelligent of the people for deportation, just as Nebuchadnezzar later did in the captivity of Judah: “And he [Nebuchadnezzar] carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.” (2 Kgs. 24:14.)

It may be that those taken captive by the Assyrians numbered in the hundreds of thousands. In any case, these members of the Lord’s Other Tribes were taken away as colonists to the area of northwestern Mesopotamia, toward the upper reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, there to await the time of their escape. Today those areas are associated with eastern Syria, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, and the Armenian region of eastern Turkey.

Eventually, some of the displaced Israelites escaped from their captivity, to the fulfillment of the word of the Lord through his prophet Amos: “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve.” (Amos 9:9.) How this portion escaped, and when, are not known.

Perhaps the fall of Assyria afforded the captives the opportunity to escape. In the period from 614 to 610 B.C. the army of the Medes under Cyaxeres overran all the territory of the Assyrians, including the areas of Halah and Gozan, where many of the captives had been settled. This was the end of the Assyrian empire. Subsequently, some of the peoples held captive by Assyria migrated. This migration seems to have been under way by the early part of the sixth century B.C., for at that time Nephi wrote: “Behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away.” (1 Ne. 22:4; italics added.)

The best account of the departure of the Other Tribes by Judah’s record-keepers is found in the book of 2 Esdras (also called 4 Ezra). In verses 40 through 47 of chapter 13 we read:

“These are the ten tribes which were led away captive out of their own land in the days of Josiah [Hoshea] the king, which (tribes) Salmanassar the king of the Assyrians led away captive; he carried them across the River, and (thus) they were transported into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a land further distant, where the human race had never dwelt, there at least to keep their statutes which they had not kept in their own land. And they entered by the narrow passages of the river Euphrates. For the Most High then wrought wonders for them, and stayed the springs of the River until they were passed over. And through that country there was a great way to go, (a journey) of a year and a half; and that region was called Arzareth. There they have dwelt until the last times.” (R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 vols., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964, 2:619.)

This report agrees with 2 Kings 17:6, 18:11 [2 Kgs. 17:6; 2 Kgs. 18:11], and 1 Chronicles 5:26 [1 Chr. 5:26] in that the tribes would have been taken “across the River” (the Euphrates) on the way to the places of captivity named in those verses. An escape “by the narrow passages of the river Euphrates” (that is, in its upper reaches—see map) into “a land further distant, where the human race had never dwelt” points to a northward direction for the subsequent migration of the tribes (the lands east, west, and south of Assyria were already inhabited at that time). This, too, agrees with a number of scriptural prophecies relative to the eventual return of those Other Tribes from the “land of the north,” or “north countries.” (See, Israel, Ten Lost Tribes of, in Topical Guide, LDS edition of the King James Bible.)

Beginning in 721–22 B.C., the Assyrians carried many Israelites captive, settling them “in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” From these areas, according to one account, they later migrated northward “by the narrow passages of the river Euphrates.”

This was to be an event of such significance that the prophet Jeremiah spoke these powerful words:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

“But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jer. 23:7–8.)

Precisely where the tribes journeyed after the fall of Assyria is another unknown, even as it is unknown to Judah where Lehi and Mulek went; Arzareth itself simply means “another land.” But seeking an actual locale is perhaps an irrelevant question, since the scriptures clearly indicate that the Other Tribes were to be scattered among many nations, even though a distinct remnant of them clearly would remain in the “land of the north.”

It is also clear that part of the scattering surely involved portions of the Other Tribes that didn’t go north. As mentioned earlier, some of the population of the northern kingdom were left in the conquered lands of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians and not taken captive at all. Others, although taken captive, elected to remain in the land of their captivity, for Isaiah indicated in his well-known prophecy: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isa. 11:11; also 2 Ne. 21:11; italics added.) Assyria, Elam, Shinar, and Hamath were all lands involved in the Assyrian captivity. This same principle also applies to Judah, for many Jews did not return to Jerusalem after establishing themselves in Babylon and places where they fled.

Nevertheless, as a distinct remnant, the Other Tribes did become “lost” to Judah’s record-keepers—not simply because they were taken captive, but also because they left their captivity and went forth “into a land further distant,” numerous of them undoubtedly choosing to settle in the lands through which they traveled.

Since that time—particularly in the last few centuries—attempts to locate and identify the Other Tribes have been numerous. At different times and by a variety of Christian authors the Other Tribes of Israel have been identified with the Japanese, Chinese, Turks, Ethiopians, Persians, Yemenites, Nestorians, Afghans, Arabians, Britons, Kassites of Russia, Hindus and Buddhists of India, Scythians, Cimmerians, Celts, Kareens of Burma, North and South American Indians, Australians, and Eskimos. Indeed it is possible that remnants of the Other Tribes may have spread out and became part of all these peoples in fulfillment of the prophecies that Israel would spread itself throughout many countries.

In the ninth century, for example, a man called Eldad ben Mahli went to Kairwan, Tunisia, announcing that he was from a Jewish kingdom in Ethiopia comprising peoples of four of the ten tribes. This tradition continued into the sixteenth century when the geographer Abraham Yagel placed the Other Tribes in Ethiopia and India. Perhaps the most interesting accounts of Other Tribes “hunting” came from a merchant named Benjamin de Tudels, a Jewish-Spanish traveler at the time of the Crusades who shared an account of Jewish communities in the Near East and communities of the Other Tribes in Iran, India, and beyond, northward as well as eastward. Many are the legends, romantic tales, and speculations concerning the locale or present-day identification of the “Lost Tribes.”

It was in this vacuum of reliable reformation regarding the Other Tribes that in November 1831 Joseph Smith received this revelation from the Lord:

“They who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.

“And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. …

“And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.

“And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

“And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

“And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.” (D&C 133:26–33.)

In the last days, then, the Other Tribes are to come to Zion, “upon the American continent,” there to receive blessings from Ephraim. The keys of the “gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north” were committed to the Prophet Joseph Smith by Moses on 3 April 1836 in the Kirtland Temple. Since Ephraim itself was one of the Other Tribes lost to Jewish and Christian history, we see that the promised restoration has already begun. In fact, we have been blessed to identify many from another tribe, Manasseh. This identification of tribal lineage is made under the hands of inspired patriarchs in the normal spiritual processes incident to the functions of the priesthood.

As we look toward our common future, we see that, as foretold, the great gathering, or restoration, of all the peoples of Israel who have spread themselves throughout the world will be accomplished and distinct remnants of all of the tribal units of Israel will at last be united again in fellowship under Christ. All tribes are to have representation in the establishment of the New Jerusalem. All tribes will have representatives in the calling of the “hundred and forty and four thousand” mentioned in John’s revelation, twelve thousand out of every tribe of Israel. (Rev. 7:2–8.) These are “high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 77:11.) Thus, a great work awaits representatives of each tribe as they continue to preach the gospel throughout the world to all mankind. Ultimately, in righteousness the Other Tribes of Israel will be prepared to return to Jerusalem, to receive with Judah the lands of their first inheritance. (See Deut. 30:1–5.)

Certainly all the reasons why the Lord “hid” the tribes—as he did with both Ephraim and Manasseh—and exactly when we will identify the others and when a distinct remnant of “they who are in the north countries” will come to “the boundaries of the everlasting hills” is information that remains with God. However, we do know that it will ultimately be for the benefit of all—for those who were “lost,” for the nations who were blessed by their leavening seed, and for us in Israel today who await the gathering of these Other Tribes and the great work of restoring to all the peoples of Israel the true knowledge of their God and King, Jesus Christ.

Bas-relief from the Black Obelisk showing the Israelite King Jehu bowing to Shalmaneser III, King of Assyria, which took place around 820 B.C. (Photography courtesy of the British Museum.)

Vern Grosvenor Swanson, director of the Springville, Utah, Museum of Art, teaches the seventies group in his ward.
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Mormonism in The New Germany, by Dale Clark

Postby admin » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:58 pm

Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture. The church says the studies are being twisted to attack its beliefs.
by William Lobdell
Los Angeles Times
February 16, 2006



From the time he was a child in Peru, the Mormon Church instilled in Jose A. Loayza the conviction that he and millions of other Native Americans were descended from a lost tribe of Israel that reached the New World more than 2,000 years ago.

"We were taught all the blessings of that Hebrew lineage belonged to us and that we were special people," said Loayza, now a Salt Lake City attorney. "It not only made me feel special, but it gave me a sense of transcendental identity, an identity with God."

A few years ago, Loayza said, his faith was shaken and his identity stripped away by DNA evidence showing that the ancestors of American natives came from Asia, not the Middle East.

"I've gone through stages," he said. "Absolutely denial. Utter amazement and surprise. Anger and bitterness."

For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the church regards as literal and without error.

For those outside the faith, the depth of the church's dilemma can be explained this way: Imagine if DNA evidence revealed that the Pilgrims didn't sail from Europe to escape religious persecution but rather were part of a migration from Iceland -- and that U.S. history books were wrong.

Critics want the church to admit its mistake and apologize to millions of Native Americans it converted. Church leaders have shown no inclination to do so. Indeed, they have dismissed as heresy any suggestion that Native American genetics undermine the Mormon creed.

Yet at the same time, the church has subtly promoted a fresh interpretation of the Book of Mormon intended to reconcile the DNA findings with the scriptures. This analysis is radically at odds with long-standing Mormon teachings.

Some longtime observers believe that ultimately, the vast majority of Mormons will disregard the genetic research as an unworthy distraction from their faith.

"This may look like the crushing blow to Mormonism from the outside," said Jan Shipps, a professor emeritus of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who has studied the church for 40 years. "But religion ultimately does not rest on scientific evidence, but on mystical experiences. There are different ways of looking at truth."

According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an angel named Moroni led Joseph Smith in 1827 to a divine set of golden plates buried in a hillside near his New York home.

God provided the 22-year-old Smith with a pair of glasses and seer stones that allowed him to translate the "Reformed Egyptian" writings on the golden plates into the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

Mormons believe these scriptures restored the church to God's original vision and left the rest of Christianity in a state of apostasy.

The book's narrative focuses on a tribe of Jews who sailed from Jerusalem to the New World in 600 BC and split into two main warring factions.

The God-fearing Nephites were "pure" (the word was officially changed from "white" in 1981) and "delightsome." The idol-worshiping Lamanites received the "curse of blackness," turning their skin dark.

According to the Book of Mormon, by 385 AD the dark-skinned Lamanites had wiped out other Hebrews. The Mormon church called the victors "the principal ancestors of the American Indians." If the Lamanites returned to the church, their skin could once again become white.

Over the years, church prophets -- believed by Mormons to receive revelations from God -- and missionaries have used the supposed ancestral link between the ancient Hebrews and Native Americans and later Polynesians as a prime conversion tool in Central and South America and the South Pacific.

"As I look into your faces, I think of Father Lehi [patriarch of the Lamanites], whose sons and daughters you are," church president and prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said in 1997 during a Mormon conference in Lima, Peru. "I think he must be shedding tears today, tears of love and gratitude.... This is but the beginning of the work in Peru."

In recent decades, Mormonism has flourished in those regions, which now have nearly 4 million members -- about a third of Mormon membership worldwide, according to church figures.

"That was the big sell," said Damon Kali, an attorney who practices law in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is descended from Pacific Islanders. "And quite frankly, that was the big sell for me. I was a Lamanite. I was told the day of the Lamanite will come."

A few months into his two-year mission in Peru, Kali stopped trying to convert the locals. Scientific articles about ancient migration patterns had made him doubt that he or anyone else was a Lamanite.

"Once you do research and start getting other viewpoints, you're toast," said Kali, who said he was excommunicated in 1996 over issues unrelated to the Lamanite issue. "I could not do missionary work anymore."

Critics of the Book of Mormon have long cited anachronisms in its narrative to argue that it is not the work of God. For instance, the Mormon scriptures contain references to a seven-day week, domesticated horses, cows and sheep, silk, chariots and steel. None had been introduced in the Americas at the time of Christ.

In the 1990s, DNA studies gave Mormon detractors further ammunition and new allies such as Simon G. Southerton, a molecular biologist and former bishop in the church.

Southerton, a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, said genetic research allowed him to test his religious views against his scientific training.

Genetic testing of Jews throughout the world had already shown that they shared common strains of DNA from the Middle East. Southerton examined studies of DNA lineages among Polynesians and indigenous peoples in North, Central and South America. One mapped maternal DNA lines from 7,300 Native Americans from 175 tribes.

Southerton found no trace of Middle Eastern DNA in the genetic strands of today's American Indians and Pacific Islanders.

In "Losing a Lost Tribe," published in 2004, he concluded that Mormonism -- his faith for 30 years -- needed to be reevaluated in the face of these facts, even though it would shake the foundations of the faith.

The problem is that Mormon leaders cannot acknowledge any factual errors in the Book of Mormon because the prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed it the "most correct of any book on Earth," Southerton said in an interview.

"They can't admit that it's not historical," Southerton said. "They would feel that there would be a loss of members and loss in confidence in Joseph Smith as a prophet."

This seaport of Smyrna, our first notable acquaintance in Asia, is a closely packed city of one hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants, and, like Constantinople, it has no outskirts. It is as closely packed at its outer edges as it is in the centre, and then the habitations leave suddenly off and the plain beyond seems houseless. It is just like any other Oriental city. That is to say, its Moslem houses are heavy and dark, and as comfortless as so many tombs; its streets are crooked, rudely and roughly paved, and as narrow as an ordinary staircase; the streets uniformly carry a man to any other place than the one he wants to go to, and surprise him by landing him in the most unexpected localities; business is chiefly carried on in great covered bazaars, celled like a honeycomb with innumerable shops no larger than a common closet, and the whole hive cut up into a maze of alleys about wide enough to accommodate a laden camel, and well calculated to confuse a stranger and eventually lose him; every where there is dirt, every where there are fleas, every where there are lean, broken-hearted dogs; every alley is thronged with people; wherever you look, your eye rests upon a wild masquerade of extravagant costumes; the workshops are all open to the streets, and the workmen visible; all manner of sounds assail the ear, and over them all rings out the muezzin’s cry from some tall minaret, calling the faithful vagabonds to prayer; and superior to the call to prayer, the noises in the streets, the interest of the costumes—superior to every thing, and claiming the bulk of attention first, last, and all the time—is a combination of Mohammedan stenches, to which the smell of even a Chinese quarter would be as pleasant as the roasting odors of the fatted calf to the nostrils of the returning Prodigal. Such is Oriental luxury—such is Oriental splendor! We read about it all our days, but we comprehend it not until we see it. Smyrna is a very old city. Its name occurs several times in the Bible, one or two of the disciples of Christ visited it, and here was located one of the original seven apocalyptic churches spoken of in Revelations. These churches were symbolized in the Scriptures as candlesticks, and on certain conditions there was a sort of implied promise that Smyrna should be endowed with a “crown of life.” She was to “be faithful unto death”—those were the terms. She has not kept up her faith straight along, but the pilgrims that wander hither consider that she has come near enough to it to save her, and so they point to the fact that Smyrna to-day wears her crown of life, and is a great city, with a great commerce and full of energy, while the cities wherein were located the other six churches, and to which no crown of life was promised, have vanished from the earth. So Smyrna really still possesses her crown of life, in a business point of view. Her career, for eighteen centuries, has been a chequered one, and she has been under the rule of princes of many creeds, yet there has been no season during all that time, as far as we know, (and during such seasons as she was inhabited at all,) that she has been without her little community of Christians “faithful unto death.” Hers was the only church against which no threats were implied in the Revelations, and the only one which survived.

With Ephesus, forty miles from here, where was located another of the seven churches, the case was different. The “candlestick” has been removed from Ephesus. Her light has been put out. Pilgrims, always prone to find prophecies in the Bible, and often where none exist, speak cheerfully and complacently of poor, ruined Ephesus as the victim of prophecy. And yet there is no sentence that promises, without due qualification, the destruction of the city. The words are:

“Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

That is all; the other verses are singularly complimentary to Ephesus. The threat is qualified. There is no history to show that she did not repent. But the cruelest habit the modern prophecy-savans have, is that one of coolly and arbitrarily fitting the prophetic shirt on to the wrong man. They do it without regard to rhyme or reason. Both the cases I have just mentioned are instances in point. Those “prophecies” are distinctly leveled at the “churches of Ephesus, Smyrna,” etc., and yet the pilgrims invariably make them refer to the cities instead. No crown of life is promised to the town of Smyrna and its commerce, but to the handful of Christians who formed its “church.” If they were “faithful unto death,” they have their crown now—but no amount of faithfulness and legal shrewdness combined could legitimately drag the city into a participation in the promises of the prophecy. The stately language of the Bible refers to a crown of life whose lustre will reflect the day-beams of the endless ages of eternity, not the butterfly existence of a city built by men’s hands, which must pass to dust with the builders and be forgotten even in the mere handful of centuries vouchsafed to the solid world itself between its cradle and its grave.

The fashion of delving out fulfillments of prophecy where that prophecy consists of mere “ifs,” trenches upon the absurd. Suppose, a thousand years from now, a malarious swamp builds itself up in the shallow harbor of Smyrna, or something else kills the town; and suppose, also, that within that time the swamp that has filled the renowned harbor of Ephesus and rendered her ancient site deadly and uninhabitable to-day, becomes hard and healthy ground; suppose the natural consequence ensues, to wit: that Smyrna becomes a melancholy ruin, and Ephesus is rebuilt. What would the prophecy-savans say? They would coolly skip over our age of the world, and say: “Smyrna was not faithful unto death, and so her crown of life was denied her; Ephesus repented, and lo! her candle-stick was not removed. Behold these evidences! How wonderful is prophecy!”

Smyrna has been utterly destroyed six times. If her crown of life had been an insurance policy, she would have had an opportunity to collect on it the first time she fell. But she holds it on sufferance and by a complimentary construction of language which does not refer to her. Six different times, however, I suppose some infatuated prophecy-enthusiast blundered along and said, to the infinite disgust of Smyrna and the Smyrniotes: “In sooth, here is astounding fulfillment of prophecy! Smyrna hath not been faithful unto death, and behold her crown of life is vanished from her head. Verily, these things be astonishing!”

Such things have a bad influence. They provoke worldly men into using light conversation concerning sacred subjects. Thick-headed commentators upon the Bible, and stupid preachers and teachers, work more damage to religion than sensible, cool-brained clergymen can fight away again, toil as they may. It is not good judgment to fit a crown of life upon a city which has been destroyed six times. That other class of wiseacres who twist prophecy in such a manner as to make it promise the destruction and desolation of the same city, use judgment just as bad, since the city is in a very flourishing condition now, unhappily for them. These things put arguments into the mouth of infidelity.

-- The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain

Officially, the Mormon Church says that nothing in the Mormon scriptures is incompatible with DNA evidence, and that the genetic studies are being twisted to attack the church.

"We would hope that church members would not simply buy into the latest DNA arguments being promulgated by those who oppose the church for some reason or other," said Michael Otterson, a Salt Lake City-based spokesman for the Mormon church.

"The truth is, the Book of Mormon will never be proved or disproved by science," he said.

Unofficially, church leaders have tacitly approved an alternative interpretation of the Book of Mormon by church apologists -- a term used for scholars who defend the faith.

The apologists say Southerton and others are relying on a traditional reading of the Book of Mormon -- that the Hebrews were the first and sole inhabitants of the New World and eventually populated the North and South American continents.

The latest scholarship, they argue, shows that the text should be interpreted differently. They say the events described in the Book of Mormon were confined to a small section of Central America, and that the Hebrew tribe was small enough that its DNA was swallowed up by the existing Native Americans.

"It would be a virtual certainly that their DNA would be swamped," said Daniel Peterson, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, part of the worldwide Mormon educational system, and editor of a magazine devoted to Mormon apologetics. "And if that is the case, you couldn't tell who was a Lamanite descendant."

Southerton said the new interpretation was counter to both a plain reading of the text and the words of Mormon leaders.

"The apologists feel that they are almost above the prophets," Southerton said. "They have completely reinvented the narrative in a way that would be completely alien to members of the church and most of the prophets."

The church has not formally endorsed the apologists' views, but the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- cites their work and provides links to it.

"They haven't made any explicit public declarations," said Armand L. Mauss, a church member and retired Washington State University professor who recently published a book on Mormon race and lineage. "But operationally, that is the current church's position."

The DNA debate is largely limited to church leaders, academics and a relatively small circle of church critics. Most Mormons, taught that obedience is a key value, take the Book of Mormon as God's unerring word.

"It's not that Mormons are not curious," Mauss said. "They just don't see the need to reconsider what has already been decided."

Critics contend that Mormon leaders are quick to stifle dissent. In 2002, church officials began an excommunication proceeding against Thomas W. Murphy, an anthropology professor at Edmonds Community College in Washington state.

He was deemed a heretic for saying the Mormon scriptures should be considered inspired fiction in light of the DNA evidence.

After the controversy attracted national media coverage, with Murphy's supporters calling him the Galileo of Mormonism, church leaders halted the trial.

Loayza, the Salt Lake City attorney, said the church should embrace the controversy.

"They should openly address it," he said. "Often, the tack they adopt is to just ignore or refrain from any opinion. We should have the courage of our convictions. This [Lamanite issue] is potentially destructive to the faith."

Otterson, the church spokesman, said Mormon leaders would remain neutral. "Whether Book of Mormon geography is extensive or limited or how much today's Native Americans reflect the genetic makeup of the Book of Mormon peoples has absolutely no bearing on its central message as a testament of Jesus Christ," he said.

Mauss said the DNA studies haven't shaken his faith. "There's not very much in life -- not only in religion or any field of inquiry -- where you can feel you have all the answers," he said.

"I'm willing to live in ambiguity. I don't get that bothered by things I can't resolve in a week."

For others, living with ambiguity has been more difficult. Phil Ormsby, a Polynesian who lives in Brisbane, Australia, grew up believing he was a Hebrew.

"I visualized myself among the fighting Lamanites and lived out the fantasies of the [Book of Mormon] as I read it," Ormsby said. "It gave me great mana [prestige] to know that these were my true ancestors."

The DNA studies have altered his feelings completely.

"Some days I am angry, and some days I feel pity," he said. "I feel pity for my people who have become obsessed with something that is nothing but a hoax."
Site Admin
Posts: 30830
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Religion and Cults

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests