1. And this man, who did go amongst the people causing them to question their beliefs, considering anew the truthfulness of their claims, was named Korihor. He did find among the open minded and honest hearted, a willing audience of eager participants.
2. Among these people, he did speak these manner of words, saying: O ye that are bound down under deceptive traditions, why do you think that ye must not question the teachings of an honorable man? For is not the wisest amongst us found to be a fool upon occasion? Should we follow that man into error during his moment of foolishness for the sake of his previous success? Would it not be better to oppose the honored amongst us and suffer their scorn, patiently waiting, that perhaps that man may come to his senses?
3. O ye that are blinded by the glory of those who sit in the high seats, why do you think that ye must give no heed to the lowliest plowman? For is not the most foolish amongst us found to be wise upon occasion? Should we ignore that man’s sage advice in his moment of wisdom for the sake of his previous shame? Would it not be better to humbly accept that plowman’s counsel that perhaps we too might come to our senses?
4. Behold, these things which ye call perfect doctrines, which ye say are handed down by beloved prophets and whom ye say can never lead you into error, this is a fallacious tradition. For that beloved prophet sayeth he cannot cause ye to error, therefore ye willingly believe. Yet not by any word of promise, save that man’s word alone. Behold thine reasoning doth circle upon itself as a dog biting its own tail.
5. Can a man give endorsement of his own unfailing wisdom? Nay, for the truly wise man knoweth that upon occasion he is the fool and therefore, he welcometh the corrective voice of the plowman’s perspective. And only the truly ignorant thinketh themselves above correction, yea, an incurable fool believeth in his own wisdom. Wherefore, it is not reasonable to place full trust in the teachings of any man, beloved or holy though he be.
6. I hold myself as no exception.
7. How can ye know of the surety of any man’s words? Behold, you cannot know of things which ye cannot verify. Wherefore, doctrines must be examined and questions must be answered and the solidity of the words must be tested.
8. If it be a true thing, can it not withstand the scrutiny? Yea, if it be true, it can withstand the hottest fire and it can bare under the heaviest pressure. Wherefore it is wisdom that ye shall test all doctrines, whether they be true or no.
9. For the falsehoods and errors of men will crumble, they cannot bear examination. Wherefore if their claims cannot be verified, nor can any man obtain an equal result by examination; is it not folly to accept their postulations as they lead in some unfalsifiable direction? Can we trust the man who doth refuse the careful examination?
10. And now I will tell you why ye do accept the yoke of their unquestionable authority. For ye are troubled by your failings and by your weaknesses. Wherefore you look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins, but only if ye shall be blessed under their hands. Behold this is an error of the mind, caused by the control of clever men who seek to gain authority over you.
11. They create the problem and they doth sell unto thee the cure, and they make profit at your expense. Yet still you say that they bless thee, nevertheless it is they who are blessed by thee, for ye do place them upon their thrones. This is a troubling tradition that we have received of our fathers.
12. And now, I continue to tell you why ye do accept the burden of their authority. For ye do not understand that the Creator, whatever true form it may be, hath caused all nature to spring forth according to its own place within the temporal world. Wherefore all things fit together perfectly within the natural sphere and participate within this sphere of life according to the measure of their creation until the fulfillment of their times. Wherefore, these things are not separate and isolated components, but do interact according to their capacities within that greater whole, bound together by natural forces which are beyond the control of any single entity.
13. Thus it is that all truths may be circumscribed into one great whole and you are already a perfect part of that greater whole and though ye may desire to enforce a greater influence within that universal sphere, nevertheless ye have already grown up to fill the full measure of your own creation. As ye are now, so ye have been meant to be within this sphere. Wherefore ye are whole and perfect having been made for this day. Are ye not already formed by that which ye call divine creation?
14. Wherefore, what need have you to be scornful of your natures and coerced into that which doth break thine own heart? Therefore, be that better influence within your capacity, but ye need not grasp beyond that which nature hath not granted. By all means, learn to swim within the deep waters but do not chastise thine self that ye cannot walk upon it.
15. For these men do promise that which they cannot deliver. They offer a greater influence in a world yet to come. They burden ye with grief and sorrow for they measure ye against a standard of their own design, rather than allowing the Creation to be satisfied in the form it received by the hand of that Creator.
16. Behold, if a man work long in his field, they say he neglect the household. Yet if that same man dwell long in the household they say he is slothful in his labor, and ought to return unto his field. And if a woman chastise her child, they say she is sharp tongued and ill tempered. Yet if that same woman is soft in speech and forbears the child, they say she is neglectful and unfit in her duties.
17. Behold, if ye were a bear, they would scold ye in the summer for thine foraging; yet in the winter they would scold ye for sleeping. If ye were a fish, they would shame you for the lack of wings to fly. If ye were a tree that bore fruit, they would curse you for the berries ye could not supply. Wherefore, ye are shamed into seeking for some higher power to lift you above the temporal world as if to overcome your lowly place in this dreary world, and ye do seek it by their hands.
18. And in this day of mortal life, they say do this and there will be no sin in the life to come, and do that if ye desire power after the grave. Yet they offer unto you in this mortal day nothing more than that which already belongeth unto thee by the grace of thine own nature.
19. Follow our lead, they say, and ye shall be forgiven of the sin which the Creator hath allowed to be placed in thee. Nevertheless, their words shall not be verified until the body hath been long buried; and no question shall be answered until their tax upon you hath long been spent.
20. Behold the fallacy is evident within the doctrine itself. For doth not the law say, that if a man commit the crime, then that man must be punished? Therefore if a man commits murder, is it a just judge who doth seize the brother of that man and not he who did the murder?
Is it a just judge who doth execute the brother of that man for the crime of the other? Nay. Doth not the just judge search diligently until he discover the man who did commit the murder and bring that man alone to the trial? Yea. Doth not every man stand alone in the court and answer according to his own accountability?
21. Yea, for no judge is righteous according to justice, save that judge who doth hold each guilty for their own crimes and doth grant mercy according to their own merits. Wherefore, if thine God be just and merciful, how then shall he be either just or merciful if he violates the virtues of even those most ignorant of judges amongst us?
22. And consider the heathens which do seize upon the innocent and cast them into the fire. They sayeth that their Gods shall be appeased and grant blessings for this grave sacrifice. They say that the harvest shall be full for this horror.
23. What irony that their harvest is made great, not by sowing and reaping more abundantly, but by the sharp reduction in the mouths which place demand upon the harvest. What a fickle God indeed, these heathens serve.
24. Who among you would wrench the arm of your little ones and drag them into the fire? And who among you would sleep in satisfied peace for some supposed ransom, even the murder of your innocent child; and this for the sake of thine own prosperity, whether now or in eternity?
25. Wherefore, remember the false traditions of the heathens. How grave the injustice as they sacrifice their own children. And consider also, the false traditions of our fathers.
26. Doth any difference exist amongst the traditions of our fathers and the traditions of the heathen? Shall our fathers sacrifice even one child, even to make amendment for their own sin?
27. How unjust to sacrifice any innocent soul for the sake of another, even a universally innocent soul for a universally offered cleansing. Even but one murder is unreasonable for the amendment of another’s failings.
28. Is such a doctrine any less deplorable than the doctrine taught by rulers of the remnant of Amulon? For there was one among them who hath taken his only infant from his own wife’s arms and hath sacrificed that child in the sight of all the Lamanites.
29. And he did say unto the people: This sacrifice is demanded of God, for the redemption of our brethren who did commit the Sin of Saul by sparing the traitors called Anti-Nephi-Lehi and joining themselves unto them.
30. Even as I your king have spared not mine own kin, thus saith God, spare not any who betray me and ye shall be blessed with a multitude of kin that shall exceed the stars! And now we shall march forth against them and not fail to fulfill the divine commandment that all traitors shall be sent to the judgment bar of God upon this day!
31. And thus was the manner of that leader who was of the rulers of the remnant of Amulon.
32. Now the Lamanites hath hatred unto thee, yet unto the doctrine of the rulers of the remnant of Amulon they could not abide, and they did drive these rulers out from among them and destroy them; for so deplorable was their teachings unto the Lamanites.
33. And ye also count that public sacrifice as a horror and yet ye honor Abraham who did act in secret. Wherefore by this, I do know that the God ye subscribe unto hath no morality. Thine God betrays reason, mercy and justice. For it is not a God of Truth ye worship, but a God of thine own creation.
34. How canst our fathers ask it of their God, even to cast that Father’s Son into the flames to pay the price of their own ransom? The man that shall ask this of his Lord is the most selfish of souls; and the God who doth grant his petition is the most sadistic among the courts of hell.
35. What madness and cruelty shall such a Father be that first cripples the youngest son and then berates him for the weakness; thereafter he doth slay the eldest son to give the youngest son a second chance to be whole once more!
36. It is unmistakable in reason, and it is inerrant in the stirrings of the heart, that such a sacrifice should never be asked of any soul. For the Creator hath made the Creature according to its part in the whole of nature; wherefore if there is error in the Creature, it is incumbent upon the Creator to heal that Creature and not by destruction of another.
37. Perhaps, we do greatly error in that which constitutes sin in the eyes of that Creator. Perhaps these sins are taught of men and not of any God of Justice and Mercy. For this reason, I do say unto you that with one hand they have inflicted ye with the disease and with the other hand they have sold ye the cure.
38. These things are only a tradition established by the priests; that they may hold ye in shame and sorrow, wherefore by your obedience unto them and for your money, they do sell you an atonement and a story, a story of which ye cannot verify save it be by the emotions of thine insecurities.
39. Nevertheless, their stirring speeches do act within you great emotions of fear and hope, and by these means they do persuade you to perfect obedience unto their counsel. And their underlings praise them as if they speak for God that their voices may be unquestioned and their authority unchallenged.
40. And they do teach to measure truth by the power of your emotions and to ignore the questions within thine own mind. They doth not provide any answers save illogical mythologies and they do comfort with a promise of whatsoever thine heart desires, to be delivered in some heretofore unvisited world.
41. They do equate peace and comfort with truth, that ye may be content with their teachings. And your minds are continuously caught up in songs and poems and readings upon these things, that these things fill your dreams until ye do readily witness the apparitions of their teachings.
42. Your words do betray thee when thou sayest: whether in the body or out of the body I could not tell, nevertheless I did behold that God. But behold, I say unto thee, is not the capacity to distinguish between the waking realm and the dream realm a most basic requirement of all living things?
43. Yea doth not the youngest child even learn to distinguish between the visions of the mind and the tangible world about them?
44. For the mind speaks unto the body, that the body shall not respond unto the dream at night. And the body speaks unto the mind that the mind shall not dream during the labor of the day. Yet if this cooperation of body and mind shall fail, we bind the man and taketh him unto he who has knowledge of medicine, that the cure may be obtained.
45. Therefore, how reliable are these visions of which ye cannot distinguish between dream and reality? Is not this skill as basic a requirement as breathing? And thus ye betray thine own reasoning and are led astray.
46. The Beloved Prophets have taught thee all these fallacies and more; and ye do not question them. Therefore, they have been crowned kings over you.
47. I say unto thee that I would rather carry the burden of a difficult truth; then be sedated by a comfortable lie.
Posted by Mormon Skeptic