My friend posted the above painting on Facebook last night. I asked him where the painting was hung and he told me temple square by the Christus statue. I know I have posted about this issue before, but don’t you think we need to stop depicting the Book of Mormon translation like the one in this painting? It is just sad when South Park depicts the translation process much more accurately. I mean c’mon – a freaking cartoon on Comedy Central is more accurate than all the translation paintings/videos put out by the Church ever? Let’s step it up!

Recently a Meridian magazine published an article on the troubling history and doubts that occur when people come across these facts. The article is called: “Facing Down the Doubters of Our Mormon Heritage”. This article is garbage and here is why:

No sympathy for the person that comes across troubling facts about our history.
The images depicted above is an example of what has been taught in Church compared to what actually happened. This can cause some people to be hurt and confused. That pain is real and we should never tell someone, that it is their fault, especially when the painting is STILL hanging in Salt Lake at the most visited Mormon site on the planet. Can we take it down already? Please?

Historical inaccuracies – I will give you two examples, even though there are more.

First error-
The article states: “We should be clear that never once was there an official declaration by the prophet speaking on behalf of the Lord that said only white men could hold the priesthood. ” FALSE!  Try this statement on for size from the First Presidency: “[The priesthood ban] is not a matter of the declaration of a policy BUT OF DIRECT COMMANDMENT FROM THE LORD, on which is founded the DOCTRINE of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE PRIESTHOOD AT THE PRESENT TIME.” (Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview Dialogue Vol. 8 No. 1 Spring 1973, emphasis in caps, mine) I don’t know about you, but that seems to be a strong statement.

Second error-
The article states that Elijah Abel was endowed. He was the first black priesthood holder, given the priesthood by Joseph Smith. Elijah Abel was NOT “temple-endowed” as stated in the article. Elijah requested to be endowed but was denied by Brigham Young in 1853 (Quorum of the Twelve, Meeting Minutes, August 26, 1908, typescript, George A. Smith Family Papers, Box 78, fd. 7.) then again by the First Presidency in 1879.

The domain name needs to change.
The Meridian magazine’s domain name is This gives the impression that this is Church material. It is not. It is run by just members of the Church. I have emailed them several times to ask them if they do have any connection to the Church but I have yet to receive an answer. Meridian you need a new domain name, how about

So this terrible unsympathetic article defends the Church’s inaccurate portrayal of  our history and then goes and whitewashes our history even more. Victim blaming and whitewashing at its finest.  “Facing Down the Doubters of Our Mormon Heritage”. Facing down, really? How about loving the doubters. How about mourning with those that mourn? Where have I heard that before? That seems a little more christian to me.

Born and raised in Northern California, Pablo received his education at Ricks College and BYU with a BA in Spanish, minor in PE Coaching. Pablo served his LDS mission during the years 94-96 in Rosario, Argentina. He now runs a skate shop and batting cages in Orem, UT. He's married and has 4 boys.

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