Zion’s Watchman Sunderland, La Roy

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Sunderland, La Roy. “Mormonism.” Zion's Watchman (New York) 3, no. 7 (17 February1838).


If there were nothing else to prove the falsehood of Mormonism, evidence enough may be found in the language and style in which the Mormon books are written. And to enable our readers to judge of this fact, we beg leave to present them with the following:—


The following extracts purport to be inspired translations of what were written, long before the English language was in existence, and many of them, long before the commencement of the Christian era:—

“Awful fear—awful guilt—awful dread—awful reality—awful scene—awful state— awful destruction—awful dilemma—awful wickedness—awful hell—awful situation—awful view—awful brutality—awful woundedness—then will our state be awful—lest my case shall be awful—that awful monster death—that awful monster the devil,” &c. &c.

The following phrases may be found in different parts of this book:—

“Did labor with their might, p. 138. It matters not, p. 183. Bearing down against the church, p. 221. All manner of good homely cloth, p. 224. Were placed in most dangerous circumstances. p. 375. Sent forth to preach among the people, &c., p. 362. [This is the first time we ever knew that God revealed his will by a ‘&c.’] Somewhat, p. 375. Dangerous circumstances, p. 376 Stripling soldiers, p. 376. It supposeth me, p. 378 Rations, p. 380.

Because of the numeroirty of their forces, p. 382. The enormity of our numbers, p. 387. Are a marching, p. 389. It mattereth not, p. 399. The Lord spake and sayeth, p. 7. Dwindle in unbelief, p. 22. One eternal round, p. 23. I saw rumors of wars, p. 28. Make bellowses, p. 43.

Having been waxed stronger in battle, p. 247. I am a man of no small reputation among all those who know me, p. 248. As I was a journeying, p. 249. The foundation is beginning to be laid, p.

251. The scriptures are before you; if ye will arrest them, it shall be to your own destruction, p.

260. The walls were wrent in twain, p. 264. As he was agoing forth, p. 270. He found Mulaki a preaching, p. 254. Becometh worse than as though they had never known these things, p. 293.

My heart is brim with joy, p. 296. A tremendous battle—A tremendous slaughter, p. 302. If we do not improve our time, p. 321. Use boldness but not overbearing, p. 331. Land their souls at the right hand of God, p. 414. Neither Lamanites, nor no manner of ites, p. 515. One continual sound of murder, p. 532. He that eatheth this bread, eatheth of my body to their soul, p. 496. I will make thy hoops brass, p. 497. And he was in a clowd, p. 541. Never has man come before me, with such exceeding faith as thou hast: for were it so, ye could not have seen my finger, p. 544. Did moulten out of a rock, [! ! !] p. 543.”

The typographical errors in this book are numerous, but the above are given as specimens of that kind of INFALLIBLE INSPIRATION under which the book of Mormon was writtentranslated, and printed.

The following jonathanisms are found in the book of Mormon, where they are used as proper names:—“Josh,” “Sam,” “Gid,” “Com,” “Kim,” “Kid,” and the like.

The phrase, “And it came to pass,” occurs, not only on nearly every page in the book, but, it will be found at the beginning of almost every paragraph. So the word “in fine,” “the remainder,” yea,” “yea even,” “that,” “because that,” and the like, occur in every part of the book; nor could a greater insult be offered to common sense, than when we are told that the foregoing language is a faithful translation of something written one or two thousand years ago.


The following passages are found in the book of Mormon, and it is said they were used by different writers, some of whom wrote long before the Christian era. But Smith gives no credit to the books, from which any child might perceive they are borrowed.

“The cold and silent grave from which no traveller can return,” p, 61.

Every school-boy knows that the above is a paltry imitation of a sentence in Young’s Night Thoughts, and yet the writer of the book of Mormon, would have us believe, that it was within some hundreds of years before Christ! And who can believe that the following phrases were written some two thousand years ago, or that they are the inspired translations of phrases which were original with the writers who lived a thousand years ago? For instance:

“O wretched man that I am, p. 500. Sins which doth so easily beset me, p. 70. I know in whom I have believed, p. 70. Days of probation, p. 81. To be carnally minded is death, p. 82.

Wars and rumors of wars, p. 104. Carnel, sensual, devilish, p. 189. Resurrection of endless damnation, p. 189. One faith and one baptism, p. 193. Born of the spirit, p. 214. Must be born again, p. 214. Gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity, p. 214. The driven snow, p. 24. O, Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, p. 325. Whosoever will come may come, and partake of the waters of life freely, p. 339 For behold, to one is given, by the spirit, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another that he may teach the word of knowledge, &c. p. 536. [Compare 1 Cor. 12:7, 13] Stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free, p. 393. Being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, p. 17. By faith on the Son of God, p. 23. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, p. 23. They are they which shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, p. 27. Pervert the right ways of the Lord, p. 30. How beautiful upon the mountains, p. 31. Did breathe out much threatenings, p. 49. Their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, p. 256.”

Any person who can believe that the above quotations, from the book of Mormon, are faithful translations of inspired originals which were written before the Christian era, can believe that the stories of Peter Parley are worthy of being received as revelations from God; he must be prepared to believe any thing, however shocking or absurd.

A very large proportion of his book is made up of such base and bungling attempts to imitate the Scripture style; and to quote one of a hundred of those attempts, we should have to transcribe some hundreds of pages.


A preacher of Mormonism, professedly under Divine inspiration, affirms that “the book of Mormon is written in plain English.” Here follow a few specimens. And in reading them, let it be remembered, that the book from which they are taken, professes to have been written, transcribed, and translated by the infallible direction and assistance of the infinite God.

Look, then, at the following:—

“I sayeth, p. 141. He sayeth, p. 141. Have not sought no manner of riches, p. 157. I who ye call your King, p. 157. Had not ye ought, p. 157. Do as ye have done, p. 158. Men drinketh, p. 161. They had fell, p. 162. They was taken.—They was bound.—They was committed.—

Brethren which was, p. 169. He had not ought.—Things is not.—These interpreters was.—Seats was set apart, p. 178. This man hast bid, p. 181. They saith.—You priests desireth to know, p. 182. Ye priests, what sayest thou? p. 183. Those who hath, p. 187 Had ought to, p. 188. The arms was extended, p. 189. This is the desires of our hearts, p. 192. People was driven, p. 200.

Had began.—Their wives was the daughters, p. 204. Lamanites doth pursue thee.—People which was a descendant of Mulaki, p. 207. The Lamanites was the brethren of, p. 208. There was seven churches, p. 209. The sons was, p. 212. Stones was fastened.—Things was prepared, p. 216. All these wars and contentions was commenced, p. 229. A shepherd art still calling after you, p. 285. As they had ought, p. 35. Like unto they.—I saith, p. 46. Words was, p. 52. Unto they which, p. 37. Had spake, p. 69. Mine eyes hath beheld, p. 70. I did take all they, p. 71.

Thou shalt engraven, p. 72. I engravened, p. 73. Shew into they, p. 79. Among they, p. 84.

Lord remembereth all they, p. 83. I hath seen.—They yieldeth unto thee, p. 107. They are a descendant, p. 117. For none cannot hope, p. 122. Have overcame, p. 136. No one was deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together, p. 238. They sayeth, p. 245. This was the minds of the people, p. 269. We had slew many of them, p. 273. The man had fell dead, p. 278. So bitter as was my pains, p. 325. Because of they, p. 442. Behold we layeth a tool here, p. 444. This man hath been fell to the earth, p. 462. My bowels is filled, p.489. The gates is open, p. 491. He baptised all they, p. 494. They were no blood shed—I were forbidden, p. 519. I remaineth alone,” p. 535.

And we must believe, that the men wrote and translated the above, acted under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit, or be cursed of God; and consigned to the miseries of an eternal hell!!! This is Mormonism!


Of the many contradictions which abound in Mormonism, both of itself, of facts, and of the Scriptures, look at the following:—

1. In the book of Mormon, p. 149, and throughout the book. The plates on which it is said to have been engraved, are called “brass;” but on p. 500, the eight witnesses say they had the appearance of “gold.”

2. On p. 48, an instrument is mentioned which is called “a compass.” This purports to have been some five or six hundred years before Christ. But another writer, a long time after, p. 329, says, his fathers, by whom it is first mentioned, called it “a ball,” or a director, or liahoni, which is being interpreted a compass.”

3. Page 440, it is said the sun does not move at all!

4. Page 431, ten years before Christ, a writer pretends to quote the following passage:

“They that have done good, shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil, shall have everlasting damnation.”

But no such Scripture was written at that time.

5. This book frequently calls America, “a land that was choice above all lands.” p. 560, and it makes God affirm this, in direct contradiction of what he said to the children of [Israel].

6. Adam fell that men might have joy, p. 65. So, without sin, there is no joy, either in heaven or on earth!

7. “Adam fell that men might be,” p. 65. Hence, it seems, that, if Adam had not fallen, he never would or could have fulfilled that command of God given to him in a state of innocence, “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth.”—Gen. 1: 28.

8. Page 91. We have a pretended quotation from Isaiah. The Hebrew word “Seraphim,” is quoted and translated by inspiration, not “seraphim,” but “seraphim s,” as it is in our English Bibles!

9. On page 100, is a pretended quotation, of Is. 13:14, which is a palpable contradiction of the inspired original. The text in Isaiah reads as follows:—

“Behold I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver, and as for gold they shall not delight in it.”

But Smith makes it read:—

“Behold I will stir up the Medes against them which shall not regard silver and gold, nor shall they not delight in it.”

10. Quoting Scripture by inspiration (Voice of War p. 44.) “He shall be afflicted and dispised.” Is. 53.

11. “Seven streams of the Nile.” From Is. 11:15, we learn that the Nile formerly had seven mouths by which it was emptied into the sea. But modern travellers in Egypt affirm, that is now has but two. So the Hon. J. S. Beckingham testified in one of his Lectures on Egypt, in this city a few weeks since. See his lecture in the 99th number of Zion’s Watchman. Hence the space between those two mouths is called Delta, because it is in the form of a Greek letter of this name.

But the author of the “Voice of Warning,” a Mormon book, “written by inspiration,” says, p. 37, the Nile now has “seven streams,” or mouths!

12. He says again, that “the book of Mormon is written in plain English,” p. 128. But we have noticed and marked more than two hundred gross violations of the plainest rules of Grammar in that book.

13. Mr. Pratt says, p. 132, “If you stood in Egypt where Jacob was when he blest Joseph, and measure to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, and you will land somewhere in the central part of America!” And he might with just as much propriety have said, “you will land somewhere in the central part of Kamtschatka.

14. He affirms, p. 135, that the very existence of the present generation depends on an “immediate understanding” of the prophesies of the book of Mormon!

15. Mr. P. interprets the Bible literally. According, he says, before the flood, “the lion ate straw like the ox.” But we know, that from the construction of the lion’s teeth and jaws, it is impossible for him to chew the cud like an ox. The Scripture which speaks of the lion’s eating straw, therefore, like an ox, cannot be interpreted literally.

16. He affirms that the islands of the sea, every one of them shall, by and by, be removed and joined to the main land! p. 158.

17. In Gen. 11:1, 9, we are informed that there was but one language spoken by the inhabitants of the earth, at the time Babel was built, and also, that this language was confounded.

But the book of Mormon, p. 539, expressly contradicts this account, and says that God did not confound the language of one Jared of whom it speaks.

18. According to the representation, on p. 540, of the book of Mormon, there was an insect, called, in the “reformed Egyptian” language, “a honey bee!”

19. Page 542, the Lord is represented as saying to Jared, more than two thousand years before Chirst:—“What will yet that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces!” The writer did not know, probably, that “glass windows were not invented till more than three thousand years after the time to which he refers.

20. The writers in the book of Mormon say, they are of the tribe of Joseph, the son of Jacob. On p. 16 they say that the “records” about which this book contains so much, were written in “the language of our fathers.” Now, the language of Jacob and all his descendants, was Hebrew, but we have before shown, that the language in which this book professes to have been written, was “reformed Egyptian,” a language which no person ever spake since the world was made Let any Mormonite produce a specimen of such a language if he can.

21. A hero in this book, p. 529, is made to say that, his “ten thousand” warriors, whom he was leading into battle, were killed, and he “fell wounded in the midst.” But on the very next page, he is represented as leading them “in the front” of the battle again, after they “were hewn down!”

22. In the “Doctrine and Covenants,” (sec. 2) remission of sins, is placed before baptism, by water. But in the book of Mormon, p. 359, baptism is placed before repentance: and the former book, also, puts the conversion of children after baptism:—

“The children shall be baptised for the remission of their sins, when eight years old.”

Why not measure the capacity of children for baptism by their height, or weight; say when two feet high!

23. The book of Mormon, (p. 48.) mentions the mariners’ “compass,” representing that it was used some five or six hundred years, before the Christian era, Whereas, the compass was not discovered till some five hundred years ago.

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