Have you ever wondered where the expression "OK" came from?
In 1840 a man named Martin Van Burren ran for President of the USA. Burren was born in the town of "Kinderhook", in New York State, his supporters had a nick-name for Burren and even formed a club which was called by that same nick-name.
That nick-name was "Old Kinderhook". His supporters would indicate their allegiance to him with statements such as "Burren for President, OK!" (OK being short for "Old Kinderhook".) The "OK" stuck, and has become part of everyday language worldwide.
In another town by the same name; Kinderhook, Illinois an event took place which was reported in a local Newspaper called "The Quincy Whig". The news item was then reprinted on May 1, 1843 in the Mormon owned newspaper, "Times and Seasons".
The report told of a young man named Robert Wiley who dreamed there was hidden treasure buried in a mound near the town. Having had this dream on three successive nights he decided to dig at that place, just to set his mind at rest; about ten or twelve of the townsmen went with him to help. (Times and Seasons, vol.4, pp. 186 - 187)
After digging for a while they discovered six brass, bell shaped plates upon which strange characters were engraved.
Two of the men present were Mormon Elders, one of these men, named Sharp, leaped for joy at the find and exclaimed that "it would go to prove the authenticity of The Book of Mormon."
As no one present could read the strange hieroglyphics the Mormons suggested that the plates be sent to the town of Nauvoo where their prophet, Joseph Smith, would be able to translate them, this was done.
Joseph Smith had facsimiles made, the plates were then returned to Robert Wiley in Kinderhook.
Exactly one year later Joseph Smith recorded:
"Monday May 1. I insert facsimiles of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook ... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendent of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth." (History of the Church, vol.5, p.372)
Within two months Joseph Smith was dead; shot during a gunfight with a mob whilst he was being held in Carthage Jail (a gun having been smuggled in for Joseph.)*
Had Joseph Smith not died, the Mormon Church would, most likely, now have a book of scripture based on the Kinderhook plates.
These plates, it was later revealed, were a hoax, conceived, and executed, by three men.
Robert Wiley (who claimed to have had the dreams), Wilbourn Fugate and Bridge Whitton had read a "prophecy" by a Mormon Apostle, the "prophecy" claimed that "truth is yet to spring out of the earth."
They decided to make it come true - as a joke.
Whitton cut the plates into the bell shape while Fugate and Wiley engraved them by using Nitric acid and beeswax, the characters they engraved were copied from the lid of a Chinese tea chest.
The plates were fixed together with an iron ring then embedded in a mixture of pieces of iron, lead and Nitric acid, they were then buried at the spot Wiley was going to dream about.
When the plates were 'discovered' the Nitric acid mixture had done its work; the plates were encrusted in a ball of rust and the iron ring easily disintegrated, thereby giving the impression of great age.
The two Mormon Elders present, Sharp and Marsh, suggested their Prophet; the rest we know, Joseph Smith "translated" a portion of the plates before his death.
Only one plate survives to this day, the other five being lost during the American Civil War.
Joseph Smith proclaimed these plates to be authentic. He was wrong!
We also know that the source material for the Book of Abraham is not what Joseph Smith claimed. The Egyptian papyri, found in 1967 in a New York museum, which Joseph purchased, and then claimed were written by Abraham, are now known to be nothing more than the Egyptian "Book of Breathings", a sort of "passport" for the dead to use in the afterlife.
If Joseph could get the above two wrong we should ask "what about the source of the other Mormon scriptures and revelations?"
How can a Mormon, who has accepted every word spoken by Joseph Smith as truth, know for certain they are not part of the 'many' Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:11?
For a long time Mormon leaders tried to defend their prophet and refused to believe the story that the plates were a fraud; however.
In 1965 George M. Lawrence, a Mormon physicist was allowed to conduct some non-destructive tests on the remaining plate, in his report he said the following:
"The dimensions, tolerances, composition and workmanship are consistent with the facilities of an 1843 blacksmith shop and with the fraud stories of the original participants." ("Report of a Physical Study of the Kinderhook Plate Number 5." by George M. Lawrence)
Mr. Lawrence submitted his study to Brigham Young University Archaeological Society - they did not print it. Need I mention that BYU is a Mormon University?
Since Mr. Lawrence's test, other qualified Mormon scholars have run tests on the plate and agree with Mr. Lawrence.
A Prophet who makes a false translation of a false artifact is clearly a false Prophet.
In view of the Biblical teaching that the office of Prophet is a thing of the past, (Hebrews 1:1) the last man to hold that office being John the Baptist, (Matt.11:13 ; Luke 16:16) it should be obvious that anyone who claims to hold the office of Prophet, must be a false Prophet.
* The Mormon people are told that Joseph Smith went "like a lamb to the slaughter". This image of him helps to bolster, in the minds of his followers, the impression that he, like Christ, voluntarily gave his life for his Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. Joseph Smith was being held in jail charged with treason, with him were his brother Hyrum; Fredrick D. Williams and John Taylor (who became the third Mormon Prophet).
Hyrum had a single shooter pistol and Joseph had a "six-shooter" which Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock had smuggled into the jail. When the mob were coming up the stairs to the room in which the prisoners were held, Joseph opened the door a little and fired his weapon repeatedly into them killing at least two and wounding some others.
This account of the events was recorded by John Taylor, and remember, HE WAS THERE! (History of the Church, Vol. 7. pps.100, 102 103)
Good Tidings Ministry.