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FBI recovers rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon
The FBI recovered a stolen first-edition of the Book of Mormon.
June 14th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

FBI recovers rare first-edition of the Book of Mormon

By Carol Cratty, CNN

(CNN)–Law enforcement agents have recovered a rare first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon that was reported stolen from a Mesa, Arizona, bookstore in late May.

The FBI announced Thursday the religious book, first published in 1830 in New York, was located two days ago in Herndon, Virginia, and a suspect was arrested.

The Book of Mormon is considered scripture by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, on par with the Bible.

Jay Michael Linford, 48, is awaiting extradition to Arizona, where he faces charges of theft and trafficking in stolen property.

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

According to a court affidavit, the owner of the Arizona bookstore - identified only as Witness 1 - reported the theft to the Mesa Police Department on May 28.

The bookstore owner told police she had been in business with Linford, who brokered the sale of pages of the rare book on her behalf.

The woman said their business relationship had ended but Linford knew she kept the first-edition in a locked fireproof box in a file cabinet and had access to it around the time she believes it was stolen. According to the affidavit, Witness 1 said Linford had a key to the box and to the location where the book could be found.

The bookstore owner told police once she realized the book was missing - along with its fireproof box - she contacted Linford and he "denied having the book or having any knowledge of its location."

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The affidavit says the bookstore owner also reached out to people who buy and sell rare books to alert them that the book had been stolen.

A Texas man identified as Witness 2 replied that he recently had bought two pages of a Book of Mormon from Linford for $7,500 and that Linford said the book was owned by a family in North Carolina. The pages were shipped to the Texas man, who later determined they did come from the Arizona woman's first-edition.

The FBI's Art Theft unit and other agents investigated and found the book after locating the suspect staying with an acquaintance in Virginia, the affidavit said.

The FBI would not estimate how much this edition of the Book of Mormon might be worth. The Arizona bookstore owner placed the value at $100,000. However, the Mesa Police Department consulted experts who gave an estimate of $40,000 because pages had been taken out of the book and sold.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (2,069 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.
    Proof of prayer working at prolapsed.net.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • .

      give it a rest you moron. prolapsed.net – 3 Hotties Make A Prolapse Party!

      Grow up.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things."

      You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Evangelical

    To all Christians who oppose Romney because of his Mormonism: You have to ask yourself which candidate is more likely to advance the Christian agenda. You have seen how Obama has slapped Christians in the face at every turn – ho-mos-exual marriage, abortion, contraception, etc. Do you really believe that Romney would be worse? While Mormons do indeed follow a false gospel, their core values are similar to Christians.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Wait, why should other people in this country be stuck under laws that are based solely on the Bible?

      June 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Jacques

      Not based soley on the Bible, but informed by the Bible.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • midwest rail

      America never was, is not, and never will be, a theocracy. Next.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • no

      you religious nuts are creepy. religion should have no influence on politics. its all bs anyway, have fun going nowhere when you die. gg

      June 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • peter

      evan is saying to people like me that even though i think the mormon religion is blasphemy that i should vote for romney because he is more "conservative" on issues than obama. I can only speak for myself, but i don't hate obama so much that im going to vote for a mormon to get the black guy out. I think ill just sit out this gen election and wait till 2016

      June 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @midwest rail

      Do some research on what a theocracy truly is. No one is suggesting puting priests or ministers in control. What we do want are laws informed by Biblical principles.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • peter

      evan–that was a good try though–no doubt there will be some people who wet let the mormon religion slide and vote for romney–i just don't see romney getting enough of the base

      June 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      So why should people base their life on something that have absolutely zero belief in? You can't base laws solely off of the Bible with nothing else to back it up. That is a clear violation of the 1st ammendment.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Hogwash. You want laws governing ALL Americans to be based on YOUR interpretation of what biblical principles should be. Since you've repeatedly voiced your disdain for science as irrelevant to morality, which " experts " in morality will be chosen to ensure that said laws are properly grounded in the biblical principles you seek ?
      Nothing more and nothing less than a back handed attempt at a theocracy. No thanks.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Evangelical

      There are ways around the First Amendment, but first we need a candidate dedicated to carrying forth the Christian agenda. And I'm sorry but laws based on traditional morality are NOT in violation of the First Amendment. The only ones to complain are the atheists, but the First Amendment simply says that Congress shall make no laws establishing a religion. It does not say that laws cannot be informed by Biblical principles.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " A candidate dedicated to carrying forth the Christian agenda ". You are truly delusional and dangerous.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      This country will be properly served by an elected official when NO religious agendas are advanced.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Just like an atheist to resort to ad homenim attacks.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Madtown

      That would just give us an amoral country. Our nation under God should be moral.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Blane

      Evangelical,

      Do not bother to argue with the atheists. There are none so blind as those who will not see. They have no meaning in their lives and come on here merely to reinforce their own disbelief. Misery loves company.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Wow you want to throw the 1st ammendment out the window... find ways around it? How would you feel if a Muslim said the same thing? After all, they believe they have the highest moral standards too. There are plenty of Christians who don't want to infringe on anybodies rights to worship god as they please and don't want to enact laws based on a book written thousands of years ago. Just so you know "one nation under god" is new to the 20th century. It was added to the pledge of allegiance not too long ago. This country was not founded on Christianity.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Jen

      I'm pretty sure that Christians would get up in arms if abortion became illegal, considering they are the ones having them.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      @Madtown
      That would just give us an amoral country. Our nation under God should be moral.
      ----
      Most brain-washed fools think that. Not true, however, as man-made religion is never necessary to establish moral codes. Besides, which religion do you want your elected officials to follow then, only yours? What about all the other people in the country who follow an equally relevant religion to yours, they don't get equal representation? That would be ok with you? I imagine yes, as long as the agenda that suits you is the one persued. Again, because you're ignorant and arrogant, you believe that you know what's best.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Jacques,

      Read the text of the First Amendment. The founders didn't want to establish a religion because they didn't want there to be a state religion like there was in Europe. That does not mean, however, that they wanted the US to be an atheistic country. Our laws should be informed by Biblical principles.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      Blane
      Do not bother to argue with the atheists.
      ---
      Oh, and Blane, not that I really need to explain anything to you, I know I'm wasting my time, but just this once...I'm not an athiest. I'm just not nearly as cognatively and realistically challenged as you.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Madtown

      "as man-made religion is never necessary to establish moral codes"

      This is an assumption and it is patently false. First, Christianity is not a man-made religion. Second, you cannot have morality without God.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      Our laws should be informed by Biblical principles.
      -----
      Why not Hindu principles?

      June 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Madtown

      Evangelical
      This is an assumption and it is patently false. First, Christianity is not a man-made religion. Second, you cannot have morality without God.
      ----–
      LOL!!!!!!!! You're a hoot. Have you considered a career in comedy? I'm serious, you are a laugh factory! Christianity isn't man-made, huh? I'm not even going to ask you to explain that one, though it may be entertaining. I suppose you also don't think the bible was actually written by men as well? Like I said, you could very easily be a comedian!

      June 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • midwest rail

      My characterization of you as delusional and dangerous would only qualify as an ad hominem attack if it weren't true.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Mock me all you want, satan. They mocked Jesus too. It just proves how true the prophecy is.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Midwest rail

      So now you've added lying to your list of sins. But let's say that what you say is true (which it isn't). Suppose you have a weight problem. And suppose my response to you in a debate would be "you're fat" which would be true. Do you not think that is an ad homenim attack?

      June 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      You mock yourself and America with your deluded reasoning. Next.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • TR6

      @Evangelical:” Our laws should be informed by Biblical principles.”

      How about the “biblical principle” of murdering prisoners of war and rpaeing their virgin daughters?

      And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18

      June 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  3. Bruce

    People saying that they think this copy of the book is worthless because of the content are completely stupid. The mormons have a good mark in american history and this book is old and rare. That is a huge deal in the collecting world, not necessarily the mormon world. You people don't have to turn everything into a debate about what fairy tales are the most credible.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  4. s

    whatever your view on religion is, it's nice that they caught this guy. i don't personally hold with any organized religion, but when i heard this book had been stolen, i was a wee peeved. it's a 180 year old book. it's a little piece of surviving history. it's been around longer than anyone now alive on the entire planet. to be able to compare it to current prints of the book of mormon would be interesting. i am offended like all get out that this stupid woman sells individual pages out of it! imagine the value if it were still complete... i wouldn't remove pages out of a book that was published yesterday, and here she's slowly destroying what is an historical artifact of sorts. i mean, look at this bit: "The Arizona bookstore owner placed the value at $100,000. However, the Mesa Police Department consulted experts who gave an estimate of $40,000 because pages had been taken out of the book and sold." she devalued it by more than half, if it was truly ever worth $100,000. the cover looks pretty ratty, but the subject matter being what it is, i guess it COULD have gone for that much, depending on the condition of the pages as well... i just can't wrap my head around it. to me, it's like tearing one of the dead sea scrolls in half to sell part of it.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  5. Eric

    I'm surprised the book wasn't hiding in the Fiction section of the local library.

    June 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • vulpecula

      ^I swear this guy must have this on a hot key. I've seen this spam for months.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • vulpecula

      not you Jesus

      June 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Jesus

      "Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything!"

      He's only lying if he KNOWS he's not telling the truth. If your contention is that he's wrong, that just makes him unimformed.

      "A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested."

      You're missing the option that God isn't a wish granter and for whatever reason chose to say "no" to a prayer.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jesus

      "You're missing the option that God isn't a wish granter and for whatever reason chose to say "no" to a praye"

      It's proof it didn't change anything proving the statement wrong. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      " I've seen this spam for months."

      And yet, amazingly, every time this is posted it gets a ton of responses. What's the definition of insanity again?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • heartfelt truths

      are never spam

      June 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Sparkle Plenty

      Topher,

      "God's" purported answers to prayer: Yes, No, or Wait?

      Those are the same answers that wishing upon a star get.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • vulpecula

      My dad loves fried spam, and that's the truth.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • vulpecula

      *facepalm*

      wouldn't it be funny if CCN just posted that every now and again to keep the flames burning here. haha

      June 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Topher

      Sparkle Plenty

      "God's" purported answers to prayer: Yes, No, or Wait?
      Those are the same answers that wishing upon a star get."

      And? That doesn't mean that's not how it works with God.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Topher
      You said, "He's only lying if he KNOWS he's not telling the truth. If your contention is that he's wrong, that just makes him unimformed."

      another option is willfully ignorant.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Topher

      "another option is willfully ignorant."

      Possible. But that doesn't make him a liar.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Proof of prayer working at prolapsed.net. See the light of the lord for yourself.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "heartfelt truths

      are never spam"

      Oh really? Cool – Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      June 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jesus

      "He's only lying if he KNOWS he's not telling the truth"

      He knows he's not telling the truth because the proof of prayer not changing anything has been posted over and over again by numerous posters. 😉

      June 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • ,

      prolapsed.net

      pointing people to a spam site is not cool and only shows you're a moron.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      No spam, only the truth of God.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "No spam, only the truth of God."

      That's why the bible has been proven not to be an historical document. Duh!

      June 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • TR6

      @Topher: “"God's" purported answers to prayer: Yes, No, or Wait?
      Those are the same answers that wishing upon a star get." … And? That doesn't mean that's not how it works with God.”

      Please explain how a god that is undetectable is any different from one that is non existant?

      June 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  7. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    Joseph Smith was called a prophet
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    June 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • vulpecula

      is "dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb" the sound of your balls being juggled?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • No one gives a sh it

      what a Frechie thinks, Fk off ass hole !

      June 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      He found the stones and golden plates. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.
      Even though no one else ever saw them. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

      Lisa Harris: How do you know he isn't just making stuff up and pretending he's translating off golden plates?
      Lise Harris smart smart smart, smart smart smart smart smart

      June 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Theistville Dog

    To my mindfielded brainyard of atoms, I find my psyche running the gauntlets ever to reason and decipher he incipherable leaving many issuances untennable and without restraints to commonly resolve with due diligence. God either is or is not. There is no in-between. There either is a Kingdom of God or there isn't. There are either heavens or there isn't.

    Science portrays that atoms make up all things animate or not animated. Who can in earnest say that the atomic cosmos is the very first cosmos and the celestial cosmos we live within is but the second cosmos? Are we nothing more than animated atomic copy machines?

    June 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • vulpecula

      You just reminded me of Horton Hears a Who.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • vulpecula

      And if our going to asked the god question, remember there are many many gods to choose from. There is some evidence to the the early jews did not always only worshop one god. God may have had a wife, as well as presided over a council of lesser gods. But he killed them and gained their powers. This isn't sarcasm. Check out some of the archeaological evidence found in Israel not conducted by those agencies with a flair for finding evidence only for furthering the Israeli governments agenda.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      Hello vulpecula,

      I do not contest there being gods, plural. But, for there to be gods, plural, there is need to be a God, singular from which gods came forth and from. Since I nor you nor anyone living were around in times' passed all one can do is make speculations and refutiate the issues of God. To my mindfield's brainyards of atoms, I see God and the gods and goddesses living upon the atomic cosmos inside all animations of life substances. Who knows for sure that our universe's cosmos is but a living organism of the gigantic extreme? Odds are more likely that if (and I mean if), our universe's cosmos is a living organism, it has only a limited mentality much like a one-celled organism within our established life forms. Ya think, vulpecula?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • vulpecula

      if your going to speculate that it's a one celled organism, why not a single blood cell in a flying spagetti monster?

      June 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      vulpecula,

      🙂

      June 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  9. Topher

    "LEV 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
    -Ummmmm, rabbits don't chew cud."

    From Encyclodedia Brittanica ... "Some lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) are capable of re-ingesting moist and nutritionally rich fecal pellets, a practice considered comparable to cud-chewing in ruminants"

    Yeah, they do.

    June 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If the bible was going to say that rabbits eat shit, why didn't it just say that rabbits eat shit? Are you really saying that shit = cud ?!?!?!? Because 'comparable' isn't the same thing as 'is the same as'

      June 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Topher

      So now you don't believe Encyclopedia Brittanica either? So what do you believe?

      June 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      facepalm, you would think the creator of rabbits, who supposedly wrote the Bible would know about his creation.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • vulpecula

      have you ever seen rabbit droppings from one that eats grasses? They are still loaded with undigested grass.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Know What

      Topher,

      Do you know that Muslims consider the Quran to be scientifically perfect too? You should see the contortions they perform trying to make it so. The Mormons turn themselves inside out to try to prove their archeology of the Americas. Stretch Armstrong has nothing on y'all.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      comparable != is.

      I fully consider the encyclopedia Britannica to be correct. I do not consider your reading comprehension to be correct.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      I'm still waiting on you to explain how 0=5, btw. Should be amusing.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Topher

      Know What

      I have no idea what scientific evidence those religions profess. I only know some basic religious beliefs they hold. I do know the Mormons say Native Americans are just Jews. No evidence of this what-so-ever. And I bet a simple blood test would prove it wrong. But the fact is people keep throwing out things that supposedly disprove the Bible (like the rabbit thing) and don't want to hear the evidence to the contrary. As if we haven't heard these same things over and over again for the last 2,000 years. They've got nothing.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Topher

      *facepalm*

      I"'m still waiting on you to explain how 0=5, btw. Should be amusing."

      Sorry, dude. I stepped away for a minute. What are we talking about again?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Same thing we've been talked about. You've unsuccessfully attempted to rebut one single contradiction of about the dozen+ I've listed. Is that all you've got?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Topher

      *facepalm*

      "You've unsuccessfully attempted to rebut one single contradiction of about the dozen+ I've listed. Is that all you've got?"

      Of course not. I'm simply asking what 0=5 is. What are you talking about? Book/chapter/verse?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Topher

      not sure who you are asking what 0=5 is. But if your using the base 10 system, 0=5 is false

      June 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
      – Matthew 13:31–32

      The mustard seed is not the smallest. This was known even 2000 years ago.
      Mustard plants are not trees.
      Birds do not nest in them.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Doc Vestibule
      And you you really need a bible to tell you about musturd seeds when all of that is so easily observable?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • vulpecula

      oops, "mustard"

      June 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      "The mustard seed is not the smallest. This was known even 2000 years ago.
      Mustard plants are not trees.
      Birds do not nest in them."

      First of all, Palestinian mustard plants are large shrubs, sometimes up to 15 feet tall. That's certainly large enough for birds to land in or even build nests. Also, this passage is likely a reference to OT passages talking about the inclusion of Gentiles in the kingdom.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @vlpecula
      In case you didn't notice, I am pointing out a rather glaring mistake in the Bible to show Topher that it is not infallible.
      Can you dig it?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Here's some other gems:

      Man can see god's face ... except when he can't
      -And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.
      -Whom no man hath seen nor can see.

      Perhaps 0 = 5:
      -Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
      -the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul

      23k = 24k:
      -There died of the plague twenty-four thousand
      -There died of the plague but twenty-three thousand

      13 = 14:
      -There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David
      -There were but thirteen generations from Abraham to David

      -There were fourteen generations from the Babylonian captivity to Christ.
      -There were but thirteen generations from the Babylonian captivity to Christ.

      11 = 12:
      Ahaziah began to reign in the twelfth year of Joram
      Ahaziah began to reign in the eleventh year of Joram

      800k = 1.1M:
      The number of fighting men of Israel was 800,000; and of Judah 500,000
      The number of fighting men of Israel was 1,100,000; and of Judah 470,000

      June 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Doc – did you like that. @Topher issued a "rebuttal" that basically only potentially disagreed with one of your points – the nesting birds. He completely ignores the parts he finds less convenient – the size of the seed and plant v. tree.

      Nice try, Topher. Fail. Try again.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Let's not forget the vocalizing incendiary foliage that Moses met, or the rocks that are supposed to scream if people can't praise Jesus.
      Then there's mention of unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), half man half goat beasts (Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14), flaming snakes (Numbers 21:6), seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) and serpents that can kill just by looking at you (Jeremiah 8:17).

      June 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Topher

      C'mon, dude. One at a time. I've gotta leave for work soon ...

      "Perhaps 0 = 5:
      -Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
      -the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul"

      In 2 Sam. 6:23 ... "And Michal the duaghter of Saul had no child to the day of her death."
      In 2 Sam. 21:8 ... "But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the dauther of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Metholathite:"

      See? It says she brought them up for Adriel, not that they were her's. Adriel was married to Merab. Merab was the mother of the five. No contradiction.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Topher

      Then there's mention of unicorns (Isaiah 34:7)

      Likely a reference to a rhinoceros, which scientific name is Rhinoceros unicornis.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Doc Vestibule
      I dig it. my bad. I'm tired, and need to eat. I'm thinking a pizza with canadian bacon. I wonder where I got that idea. Hmm

      June 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @vulpecula
      Toss some shrimp on there and you'll have the least kosher meal available.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • vulpecula

      before I go, (I'll be back) I had a thought to share. I'm sure most of you have seen the images of the jackalope. Do you think that people 2000+ years ago had enough of a sense of humor to perhaps construct a "unicorn" head or skull and that people then might be gullable enough to believe it?

      June 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Damn you Doc. Now I want shrimp too. 😛

      June 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  10. Reality

    come from a long line of Cylons!! But don't we all???

    BTW, the Book of Cylon is available at your local libaries in the Fiction section along with the Book of Mormon.

    Any sightings of Moroni yet ? He has no wings so travel is slow for this "pretty, horn-blowing thingie". But you can hear his horn for miles and miles so Be Ready!!!

    June 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Reality

      I come from a long line of Cylons!! But don't we all???

      BTW, the Book of Cylon is available at your local libraries in the Fiction section along with the Book of Mormon.

      Any sightings of Moroni yet ? He has no wings so travel is slow for this "pretty, horn-blowing thingie". But you can hear his horn for miles and miles so Be Ready!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Stephen

    Seems to me the most religious bunch on here are the atheists. Talk about shoving your doctrine on someone. How about this. Why don't we all stop being religious and just be that which we believe. I'm sure things will work themselves out a lot quicker that way. It's much easier to talk about what you think is truth than to live it and keep quiet unless somebody asks. Let your fruit be the truth of what you believe. In the end it already is.

    June 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • shep

      Deep thoughts. Stupid, but deep.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Stephen
      Sorry, I'm unable to find were anyone asked you. So much for following you idea of silence unless asked. you fail. haha

      This is a public forum. all are welcome to post here within the rules of course, and those are not dictated by the atheists. If we seem more religious, you are mistaken. Many of use are religiously literate though. For me,it was a natural outgrowth of my doubt and seeking answers first about the christian faith, then about world religions, philosophies and sciences. Knowledge is a wonderful think.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  12. sdl

    I was already in spiritual crisis as a teen and as I looked at Mormonism (most of my friends were Mormon), it helped put the final nail in the coffin of my belief. As I looked at how Joseph Smith, a man, could create a fiction and call it a new religion and convince a few simple people to follow his beliefs and then over time, as they indoctrinated their children and multiplied, and as each new generation solidified their new found myths and made them real, I could see how this process had repeated itself with all religions. Real people became objectified and cloaked in the fine raiment of myth and ultimately worshiped. The further away in time we get from these events, the more mystical and legitimate the become to generations who are brought up believing this is the true word. I'm fascinated by the process. People need to believe, because we don't like to think we're out here in the universe alone and we need to think there is justice for those who get ahead in life even though they are terrible people. But the problem is when men create their religions and impose rules that create prejudices that are justified because they have been written down as the word of God and not the word of man. But of course, how can you prove their words didn't come from God? That's where their strength comes from. Charisma and their ability to instill faith.

    June 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Very well said. Applause!!

      June 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • shep

      Great post

      June 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      People seem to think Catholicism is legitimate because it has a lot of followers. Mormonism has a lot of followers too, doesn't make it right.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Occam's Razor

      sdl, That is a lucid, well-conceived and oh-so-true post.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      And L. Ron Hubbard did the same in the Mid-60s. Only in his case, the religion he founded (Scientology) was started as a bar bet.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Topher

      sdl

      Good points. You have a good thesis with your Mormonism example. The problem is you can't use it as a blanket for all religions. You'd have to go through and prove it happened with each one. Just because that's what happened with Mormonism doesn't mean that's what happened with all the others. Of course, that COULD have happened, but you'd also have to concede that one of the religions could be the truth.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      One of them could indeed be the truth – but which one?
      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      Of the thousands of religions mankind has followed, they can't all be right – but they CAN all be wrong!

      June 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      "Of the thousands of religions mankind has followed, they can't all be right – but they CAN all be wrong!"

      100 percent agree.

      " If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment."

      Well, He did come to Earth. Granted it was a long time ago according to our standard of time, but you can't give much better evidence than that. And I know some of you will say there's no evidence He actually existed. But there were more than 500 witnesses, secular sources wrote about Him and many of the believers went to their deaths for it. If it were a lie, I don't think that would have happened.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      Where is the writing by the supposed 500 witnesses? What contemporary secular source wrote about Jesus? Just because people died believing something doesn't make that thing true. Just because they died for it means absolutely nothing.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Know What

      Topher,

      "there were more than 500 witnesses,"
      - Who were they? Paul of Tarsus was a tent salesman, you know, and an early PR genius. Today, we put those "more doctors recommend..." ad folks on the spot to prove their claims.

      "secular sources wrote about Him"
      - They wrote about the cult and what the followers claimed and believed about their hero.

      "many of the believers went to their deaths for it. If it were a lie, I don't think that would have happened."
      - Ever hear about the followers of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Heaven's Gate, Muslim 'martyrs', etc. ?

      June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Topher

      HawaiiGuest
      "What contemporary secular source wrote about Jesus?"

      "Just how many non-Christian sources are there that mention Jesus? Including Josephus, there are ten known non-Christian writers who mention Jesus within 150 years of his life. By contrast, over the same 150 years, there are nine non-Christian sources who mention Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus. So discounting all the Christian sources, Jesus is actually mentioned by one more source than the Roman emperor. If you include the Christian sources, authors mentioning Jesus outnumber those mentioning Tiberius 43 to 10!"

      From "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist." by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler

      June 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Topher

      Know What

      "They wrote about the cult and what the followers claimed and believed about their hero."

      Exactly, which proves that at least He existed as Jesus.

      – Ever hear about the followers of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Heaven's Gate, Muslim 'martyrs', etc. ?

      Which means they believe it was true. Some atheists claim that Christianity was all a lie made up to create a new religion. Them going to their deaths means they believed it. As far as followers of Jones and Koresh, not all of them chose to go to their deaths. Watch the CNN special.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      And yet, no actual sources are given for the assertion of those 10 supposed people. Josephus is able to establish that a person call Jesus was a brother to someone, and that passage is accepted as most likely genuine, but says nothing as to whether this person was a teacher, preacher, or miracle worker. And then the only other passage from all of Josephus' writings is generally considered, even by biblical scholars, to be a forgery.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      Also, Josephus writing about Jesus about 20-30 years after his supposed death isn't really contemporary now is it? And that's granting, for the sake of argument, that he actually wrote both of the passages.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Topher

      "Josephus is able to establish that a person call Jesus was a brother to someone, and that passage is accepted as most likely genuine, but says nothing as to whether this person was a teacher, preacher, or miracle worker"

      Whatever.

      From Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews," ... "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."

      June 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Know What

      Topher,

      There is a mention of Jesus in Josephus' 'Antiquities', but Josephus also mentions Hercules in his 'Antiquities'. Just as Tacitus mentions a Crestus (Christ), he also mentions Hercules many times in his Annals. That has to mean that Hercules was real, then, right?

      June 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Know What

      No. And I agree it doesn't prove Jesus was Messiah. But it certainly proves Jesus was a real person. Considering when Josephus was writing this, he could have easily went and talked to any of the followers that were still alive. He would NOT have been able to do the same for Hercules.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Know What

      Topher,

      Them going to their deaths means they believed it.
      - The fates (and even the ident'ities) of most of the Apostles and Disciples are quite unknown or unverified. Legends about them abound, however.

      "As far as followers of Jones and Koresh, not all of them chose to go to their deaths."
      - How do you know that many of Jesus's followers didn't bail out too? CNN, get on the story, ok... video, still shots and interviews will be much-appreciated. Jesus should have known that we'd need this stuff.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Topher

      Perhaps you should actually read all of my post. There are 2 passages in Josephus' writings that mention a man called Jesus. The first only says that Jesus was the brother of someone, I can't remember who, and the second, the one you quoted, is accepted as a forgery by a large consensus of scholars, including biblical scholars.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Topher

      You can continue to find excuses and reason out why you don't want to believe, but as this is my last post for the day, I have to bring this back to the Gospel. We all have a sin problem. We've all lied or stolen or blasphemed. We've all got something to answer to. The Bible says we deserve Hell. And if we're judged based on the 10 Commandments on Judgment Day, we're gonna be found guilty. What are you doing to do then? Claim there just wasn't enough evidence? It won't help you. But because God loved you, He sent His Son to live a perfect, sinless life and die on the cross taking the punishment for your sins. That means God can dismiss your case. Your fine has been paid. What an incredible gift! All you have to do is repent (meaning not just say you are sorry, but also turn from sinning) and trust Christ to be whom He claimed to be. And if you do that you will be "born again." And you can know that when you die you will spend eternity in Heaven.

      Please give this some thought tonight. None of us are promised another day.

      With that said, have a great weekend everyone. And God bless.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Poor Topher, can't even address an actual point.

      June 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  13. lindaluttrell

    I just find this whole article offensive! Doesn't the FBI have enough real crimes to chase??? Murderers, drug dealers, pedophiles and terrorists??? What a waste of the taxpayer's money!

    June 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • vulpecula

      crime is crime. especially when the item stolen is worth between 40 to 100,00 dollars. Remember too, if it was not recovered, some insurance company would have a huge payout. where do you think they get there money? Do you pay insurance on anything?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • vulpecula

      40,000 to 100,000*

      June 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  14. shep

    Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. Before Joseph Smith wrote the book, he was in and out of jail on fraud charges. Because he travelled around the country claiming to have magic stones that helped him find buried treasure. He never found any treasure, but kept the finders fee from gullible dupes. This is the inventor of the Mormon religion. A flat out con artist. And the GOP wants us to vote for a man who believes in this blasphemous nonsense. Who wears a magic Mormon diaper 24/7. What the hell is wrong with this country??

    June 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Warren

      Wow, Shep. That was incredibly insightful. Thank you.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Doug

      What's wrong with this country is bigots like yourself who can't accept other peoples viewpoints and beliefs. Mormons are good people; who cares if you don't believe in what they do; get over it.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ shep – agree with your post, except I'm curious about your use of the term "blasphemous" nonsense. Are you saying that it's an affront to another God? After all, don't you need a god to blaspheme against in order to generate "blasphemous" nonsense?

      June 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • vulpecula

      you could buy seer stones online and become a prophet too. He wasn't the only one to use seer stones either. Using them was sort of a "new age" thing in those times.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Justin

      almost as crazy as a man who could walk on water and turn it into wine..Every religion is full of leaps of faith, let's not sit here and pick apart one when whatever religion you are involved with absolutely has them as also

      June 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Justin

      Maybe you haven't realized that everyone here doesn't follow a religion.
      Yes, you are in a chat room with atheists.....BOO! hehe

      June 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Glug

      DOUG: Who cares if you hate the fact that someone cares about something you don't care about us caring enough about in the sense that I just don't care what you think about their caring. In short: suckit..

      June 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • CathEngineer-2

      Thanks, Shep, for presenting the facts. In plagiarizing parts of the bible for his new "faith", he created a fake religion. What kind of people are those who still follow this hoax?

      June 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Doug

      Glug: Your post doesn't make much sense, but I liked the "suckit" endcap. Nice touch.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • RP

      Here is my problem with all of you. If Joseph Smith was such a con artist and fraud, why do all of you seem to be consumed with "proving" him as such? These claims have been made ad nauseum for years, with no basis in fact. If Joseph Smith is a liar and Mormonism is a fraud religion then leave it at that and move on. Go persecute the Jews, Baptists, Hindus or some one else. You have all made your point about Mormonism, whether true or false. Let's move on elsewhere

      June 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  15. vulpecula

    when you take into consideration the thousands upon thousands of different religions that have ever existed, many lost forever because they had no written history, the end to todays religions seems inevitable. The question is what will take their place.

    June 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Canadian Bacon

      Hopefully, as eduction levels increase around the world, and communication amongst people with widely diverging viewpoints and opinions increases, religion – especially the hard core, fundamentalist religions based on hate – will wither away. Children,. it's time to put away the toys; time to grow up.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Canadian Bacon

      First of all, your name has made me hungry. 😛
      Second, your post does not address the big question. What will take their place. Science is great for finding hard evidence, but there are many moral and ethical questions that need to be answered. If religion does ever totally fail, we need to have some system in place so those that do need to be told how to behave will know how to behave. The sheep will still need some sort of shepherd. Or will the world just become competing philosophies.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • vulpecula

      ...cont.

      Not that I believe religion will totally die in my lifetime. Even if by some miracle ( I don't believe in miracles) the head was chopped off of the Christian, Muslim and Judain religions, there are thousands in the wings ready to take their place.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  16. Pope Al

    Maybe the White Salamander made him steal it. (See "the Mormon Murders")

    June 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • WASP

      @pope: nope the devil made me do it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. XD

      June 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  17. WASP

    @Topher

    WASP
    "i know christians like to state "god was always here".....how about the same idea in science, the universe was always here it only keeps remaking itself."
    Because the evidence doesn't support the universe always being here. For instance, we can see that it is expanding (and many other things). In fact, the Big Bang, though I don't believe it, makes more sense that it was just always there.
    June 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm"

    the universe remaking itself, as in expanding cooling then recondensing back into a singularity just to repeat the process. to me it seems more probable seeing we know for a fact the universe is expanding and it's speed is increasing.
    as far as evidence, there is absolutely 0% supporting any kind of creator or god; however we can see all the way back to a few nano-seconds before the "big bang" or sigularity event.

    June 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Topher

      "we can see all the way back to a few nano-seconds before the "big bang" or sigularity event."

      I'm confused. How can you see back in time? This is what is called historical science ... we have beliefs about what happened but don't know for sure since we weren't there ...

      June 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • WASP

      @Topher
      "we can see all the way back to a few nano-seconds before the "big bang" or sigularity event."
      I'm confused. How can you see back in time? This is what is called historical science ... we have beliefs about what happened but don't know for sure since we weren't there ...
      June 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm"

      you truly have no understanding of science do you? when you look up at the stars at night or see sunlight during the day you are seeing backward in time because it takes 8 minutes for light from our star to make it to earth, imagine how long it takes light from stars farther away to get to us. so yes we can see into the past. when a scienctist "witnesses" a supernova (mind you they're rare) he is looking at an event that has already happened due to the speed of light is always constant.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Topher

      You have a persupposition that the universe is billions of years old. If that's true, we have a moon problem. We'd also have a space temperature problem.

      You also are assuming that space and time has no effect on the speed and that the speed was always the same.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Wasp,
      Not a scientist here but I was wondering a couple of things. You know how every so many years someone makes a new and bigger better telescope and someone discovers something beyond what we could see before. Do you think we can see the boundary of the universe or is it just as far as we can see? Also, along the same lines but in a different direction, you know how every so often over the years someone has discovered the smallest particle. Do you think we will continue to find smaller particles? You said light moves at a constant speed, does the medium through which it is traveling matter?

      June 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Curiosity

      It's nice to see some interest in the orgins of the universe in the comments.
      @Robert Brown
      We have infact found conditions under which light slows down, such as temperatures barely above absolute zero (0-1 Kelvin). Light still remains a great way to measure distance and time in space because of the conditions we have found so far ("so far" got to keep an open mind) do not exist anywhere explored in space. Light will be bent by gravity but it's speed won't change significantly.
      As for getting smaller and smaller. It is a possibility that we will never find an end (or beginning) to the large and small of the universe and it will go on forever. Another theory exists, based of string theory, that states that we will edventually find small quantanized strings of energy that form everything. In between these strings is nothing and nothing can travel through that space and it insteads "jumps" to the next string.
      @everyone
      For all we know there may or may not be a beginning. And anyone whos says they know the truth is mistaken. As of the moment we can only makes theories and guesses as to how it all came to be. Once we can test these theories we can weed some out but who's to say it doesn't causes more questions then it answers? And this goes on to infinty. Maybe some insurmountable problem will hit us and prevent us from finding the answer, even though I hope this isn't the case.
      So keep thinking and wondering, it's how new things are discovered.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • vulpecula

      OK, I'm an atheist, but I'm going to have to come to Tophers defense on this one. We can not see back to the big bang. We can currently see events that happened as far back is 13.7 billion years. The estimates for the big bang are 14.7, pretty darn close, but not all the way. The Big bang is still only one theory as to the origin, if there was one at all. There are still competing theories about that, though I beleive it is still the most widely excepted one. Science is always open to more evidence.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      Hey, I know a few of these!
      "You know how every so many years someone makes a new and bigger better telescope and someone discovers something beyond what we could see before. Do you think we can see the boundary of the universe or is it just as far as we can see? "
      It's both.....kinda. Since we're looking back in time due to the vast distances and speed of light we're acutally looking toward the beginning of the universe which you can call the boundary because we can't see any further because there was nothing then. Or you can say it's just as far as we can see because any light past that hasn't had time to reach Earth yet.

      "Also, along the same lines but in a different direction, you know how every so often over the years someone has discovered the smallest particle. Do you think we will continue to find smaller particles?"
      Possible, but unlikely. The smallest particle we've seen is very small, and there is a minimum size that we will be able to see. It's called the Plank distance (or mass..... or energy. With quantum numbers all these are intercheagable). Anything smaller than the plank distance will create a black hole and we will not be able to see because the black hole will be hiding it.

      "You said light moves at a constant speed, does the medium through which it is traveling matter?"
      Yes it does, when people talk about light speed they're usually refering to light speed in a vacuum. It's slower going through different things. It's different through air than it is through water which is why things look different if you're looking at a fish in the water as opposed to pulling it out and looking at it in your hands.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      That was good stuff curiosity thanks.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Im the best,
      Thank you too.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Topher

      Just curious what you all think ... if we are indeed seeing into the past with the light as we were talking about ... does viewing this same light through a microscope change anything? Like are we seeing the light any quicker?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Topher

      Sorry, I mean telescope.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      Topher,
      We are not seeing it any quicker, just bigger and brighter. Sort of like leaving the shutter open on a camera longer to bring in more light, that's what these telescopes are doing, but they're also amplifying the picture so it's bigger using warped glass. The speed of light changes as it passes through the glass and diverts it clearing up and amplifying the image, along with a wide aperture and long shutter speed (just have the telescope pointed at one area for a long time and merging all the images when your done) you can have a pretty bright, clear picture of an object that is not only too dark to see with the naked eye, but also much to small.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Topher

      No, we are not seeing the light any faster. It's just that the light we are recieving is from events that happened as late as those billions of years ago. But by building bigger and better telescopes, we can make out more detail, and not just in the visable spectrum which is only a small sliver.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Infidel83

    I'd ike to thank warren for seeming to be the only true rational person on here. I, in my free time, have read every major religions books. I belive there is a god but Im just a man... I cant tell you which one is correct. I dont pray, I fend for myself and try not to fill my head and heart wth hatred, to do good and improve the world as best I can while I'm here. I think some of you need to take a step back, look in the mirror, and think long and hard on who you are, how eay is it for you to hate someone cause they are different from yourselves... think about it.

    June 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Stupidity should be pointed out at all times, which is why religion is increasingly being criticized.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Warren

      Rational why does religion necessarily make you stupid. True religious belief sometimes makes us blind to the world around us and sometimes breeds intollerance, but I think that speaks more to people than it does to the effects of religion. Let's be real, if we're not arguing about religion it's always going to be something else (e.g., politics, sports, scientific theory, etc.). Religion can lead to self-acualization and can lead one to lead a good and happy life. You may choose to find these things without religion. That's fine, but don't imply that someone is stupid for believing there is something greater than them in the vast universe.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • vulpecula

      @Warren
      "believing there is something greater than them in the vast universe"

      The universe itself is something vastly greater than any one of use. And yet every one of use are a part of it. It doesn't take a belief in god to see that.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Warren

      I don't think it takes a belief in God to understand the universe is vast. I choose religion based on my life experience to explain its origin and existence. You may not. My personal religious belief teaches me to respect that. I think it's important to have tolerance and try to understand the perspective of others not call their perspectives stupid.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  19. pastmorm

    Before any of you consider a mormon president, consider what some of their beliefs are based on. Also keep in mind that they are taught to be the best propagandists from an early age. I should know. I was one of them.

    Troubling Quotes from the Second Prophet (leader) of the Mormon Church

    Brigham Young said your own blood must atone for some sins.

    "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247; see also, vol. 4, p. 53-54, 219-220).

    Brigham Young said you must confess Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved.

    "...and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

    Brigham Young said his discourses are as good as Scripture.

    "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264; see also p. 95).

    Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong.

    "I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

    Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.

    "I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom...I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95).

    Brigham Young said you are damned if you deny polygamy.

    "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

    Brigham Young said you can't get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith's consent.

    "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

    Brigham Young boasted.

    "What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).

    Brigham Young said Jesus' birth was as natural as ours.

    "The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

    Brigham Young said that God the Father and Mary 'do it.'

    "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

    Brigham Young said that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit.

    "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

    Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.

    "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken - He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

    Brigham Young made a false prophecy?

    "In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 40).

    Brigham Young comments about blacks

    "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

    "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

    Now if that last portion didn't strike you as unbelievably horrible, than imagine this....Mormons are taught to believe every word of their prophets as though they were the words of God: Unquestionable. And these are quotes from just one of their prophets.
    Now imagine the President of the USA being Mormon.....

    June 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Warren

      Wow, that must have been a useless waste of time for you to write.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Doug

      Brigham Young lived a long time ago. I doubt you'll find many Mormon's ascribing to the beliefs you claim they believe. Congratulations on being completely misinformed about what Mormon's actually believe. Get a new hobby.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Romney did nothing in his time as governor of MA to suggest he would base his policies strictly on his religion. His religion doesn't matter. It isn't any more ridiculous than the Christian beliefs.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • yesiammormon

      Wow!! What can one say about that piece of information? On Sunday I am going to give up my membership in the mormon church just because Brigham Young had some thoughts of his own. I am crying a river right now at this new found proof that I belong tol a 14 million member church that gives billions of dollars in aid all over the world, and a christian church that believes above all else that Jesus is the Christ. What was I thinking all these years? Thanks Pastmorm for leading me in the right direction. Wow!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @yesiammormon
      Billions of dollars in aid? I'm afraid not.
      According to the Deseret News Agency, the propaganda arm of the LDS, the Church spent some $750 million internationally on charitable works between 1984 and 2006..
      They have also spent 4 times that amount (approx $3 BILLION) in ¼ of the time to build a mall in Salt Lake City.

      The LDS are ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
      Mormons are told: "if a dest.itute family is faced with the decision of paying their ti.thing or eating, they should pay their t.ithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).

      To make sure congregants are paying up, each year they must go before a Bishop for a Ti.thing Settlement.
      A member is questioned in a one-on-one interview with the Bishop to ensure the member is paying a full 10%.
      Those members who are not paying a full 10% lose their temple recommendations and therefore are in serious jeopardy of losing their Celestial blessings.
      If a member cannot get into the temple, they cannot learn the secret handshake, secret password, secret "new name" and special “sealings”.
      Without these, the member will be unable to pass Joseph Smith and the angels who guard the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.
      So if you don't prove that you're giving them enough money, your afterlife will be no fun at all.
      To me, this amounts to spiritual blackmail.

      June 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Why would you all attack me for something your own prophet said? You're afraid. You're scared that the world will know what you're really like. You can't hide behind your fluffy commercials anymore. People will know mormons for what they are: a crazed, power-hungry cult that attracts members with personality and mental disorders. Just look how you attacked me after I did nothing but post things your OWN prophet SAID! You just proved your own illnesses. How sad.

      June 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  20. the book of Mormon

    There was only one man sent by God to teach men about his coming Kingdom in heaven with his subjects here on a cleansed new earth and that man was Christ Jesus. In the bible, which is the word of God, it emphatically states in the last book of Revelation that it should not be added to or anything taken out of the bible. for the mormons to do that is just wrong. I know most of you won't agree with what i am saying here but did people believe Jesus? No most did not and will still not to this day. In fact, his own peopel, the Jews, had him hung up and he died a terrible death. He did all this to regain what the perfect man Adam lost for mankind, he , Jesus being a perfect man too. Adam disobeyed God and brought death to all mankind afterward so Jesus had to give up his perfect life as a man here on earth so that mankind may again have a good relationship with God and get every lasting life here on the earth.
    Anyone who reads their bible will know that in Psalms 83:18 in the King James bible and many others it states that the most high over all the earth is not Jesus, the son of God but that God's name is Jehovah, in hebrew YHWH and that he wants his name used and not taken out of the bible. Most religions say the name is too sacred to pronounce and take it out of their bibles but how can you have a closes relationship with someone, even God , if you don"t know his name or use it? He told Jesus to make his name known throughout the whole earth. That is what Jesus did and we should too. You need to read the bible and not the book of Mormon where this John Smith wants glory for himself.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Know God

      Prolapsed.net has the real truth about our savoir Jesus Christ. Disregard the lies above.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      God's name is Frank Zappa, everybody knows that.

      Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best…

      June 15, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Is it too late to submit my addition to the Bible? Did I miss a deadline? I want to add some more sections to it to fit modern thinking. Then I can have a church built after me in the next century or so.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • ME II

      @the book of Mormon,
      "anything taken out of the bible"
      Doesn't it actually refer to "this book of prophecy"? When the book of Revelation was written the Bible as we know it did not exist.
      So... how was it compiled with Revelation without violating the very warning within Revelation about adding to the "book of prophecy"?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • *facepalm*

      If your god gets upset if people use his name, then I have to ask why the creator of the cosmos cares what a few ants on an average planet rotating around an average star in a suburban part of a galaxy that is only one of billions call him. Is he really that much of a narcissist?

      And an all-powerful being does not make sacrifices. The concept is absurd. To sacrifice one must give something up. If an all-powerful being gives something up, he's not all powerful. Furthermore, and all powerful being would not have to suffer to accomplish something. Thus, the suffering would be a choice simply for the point of suffer. Ergo, the christian god is a masochist.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Warren

      You apparently don't know the history of the Bible. Revelations is actually an ancient manuscript. It was not simply written at the end of a book called "the Bible." In fact, the Bible is a collection of manuscripts. The early Catholic Church determined which manuscripts would be included in the Bible and the order they would appear in the Bible. That's a little convenient don't you think?

      June 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Ted

      Thanks for the slow pitch right down the middle. I'll hit it out of the park right now. Revelations 22: 18-19 states, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Is John speaking about the Bible, or just the Book of Revelations? You claim he was talking about the Bible. I believe he was talking about the Book of Revelations. John warns against altering what he said in that book. Besides, regarding "adding to" the Bible, you should know that Revelations was not the last of the New Testament books written (chronologically). It just occupies the last spot in the compilation of revelations and records that we call the New Testament. He had nothing to do with (and certainly no knowledge of) the eventual order these books would be placed in our published Bible. It's ignorant to think he was "closing the record" with one final warning. Even so, if that logic could be used, how do you explain it saying essentially the same thing in Deuteronomy 4: 2-3? I'd have to reject everything else behind Deuteronomy as illicit additions to the Word of God. Doesn't make sense to conclude that, huh? What John (and Moses in Deuteronomy) are saying is that he who changes the record, adding his own views, philosophies or opinions to the true gospel, or takes away plain and precious truths once contained in the ancient record will face consequences. He's talking about muddying up the living water.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Topher

      Ted

      "Is John speaking about the Bible, or just the Book of Revelations? You claim he was talking about the Bible. I believe he was talking about the Book of Revelations. John warns against altering what he said in that book."

      Actually, he was speaking of the canon. Yes, that would mean the Bible, but like you say that wasn't compiled into one volume yet.

      "Besides, regarding "adding to" the Bible, you should know that Revelations was not the last of the New Testament books written (chronologically). It just occupies the last spot in the compilation of revelations and records that we call the New Testament."

      Actually, it was the last written, somewhere between 94-96 AD, just after the books of 1,2,3 John in 90-95 AD

      June 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "Actually, he was speaking of the canon." You knew John? How old are you?

      "Actually, it was the last written" Actually, it's people that use the word actually often that actually exposes how little they actually know about anything actually.

      June 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Topher

      Way to add something to the conversation!

      June 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
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