On Joseph Smith


“No, it’s a matter of logic! If you’re going to say things that have been proven wrong, like that the first man and woman lived in Missouri, and that Native Americans came from Jerusalem, then you’d better have something to back it up. All you’ve got are a bunch of stories about some asswipe who read plates nobody ever saw out of a hat, and then couldn’t do it again when the translations were hidden!”

– Stan Marsh

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2 thoughts on “On Joseph Smith

  1. South Park Season 7, episode 12 “All About The Mormons” [No. 712]

    [A little American town in the early 1800s. A man rides by in a small carriage pulled by one horse. In the distance, Joseph Smith strolls into town]

    SINGERS
    Joseph Smith was called a prophet
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    He started the Mormon religion
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    BLACKSMITH
    There goes that kooky Joseph Smith.

    CUSTOMER
    You know, he claims he spoke with God and Jesus.

    WOMAN
    Well, how do you know he didn’t?

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Joseph Smith was called a prophet

    BUTLER
    Hey, Joseph! I told my wife that you spoke with God and Jesus, and she didn’t believe it.

    SMITH
    Well it’s true. I did.

    WIFE
    Where?

    SMITH
    I was out in the woods, praying I was asking God if I should be a Protestant, or a Catholic, or what? And suddenly God and Jesus appeared before me. And they said I should start my own church, because none of the others had it right. And that’s exactly how it happened.

    BUTLER
    You see? You believe it now?

    WIFE
    Well yeah, sure. Why would he make that up?

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Many people believed Joseph
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    And that night he-ee saw an angel
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    SMITH
    And please bless Mother and Father, and please keep our bellies full of yum-yums and luscious goodies. Ah! Oh my gosh!

    ANGEL
    I am Moroni. I am a Native American.

    SMITH
    A… Native American? But your skin is white.

    MORONI
    Yes. Long ago all Native American were white. We all came to America from Jerusalem. And while we were here we were visited by Christ.

    SMITH
    Jesus live here in America?

    MORONI
    Yes. Eventually, my people were all killed by the other tribe of Israel, and as punishment, God turned their skin red. These are the Native Americans you know today.

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    MORONI
    There is an ancient book buried near here, written on gold plates that account my people’s lives. Also buried with the book are two seer stones, the Urim and Thummim, which will allow you to translate the writings. Find it, and fulfil your destiny.

    SMITH
    Wooww…

    SINGERS
    Joseph Smith was called a prophet
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    […]

    [The Early 1800s, day, a small town. People mill around]

    SMITH
    I found them! I found them! You’re not going to believe it, everybody! I found them!

    BUTLER
    Found what?

    SMITH
    Another New Testament of Jesus Christ!

    PEOPLE
    What? What did he say? Are you crazy?

    SMITH
    Last night, a Native America angel told me where I could find another testament of Jesus Christ, so I went out to the woods. I dug around all morning where the angel had told me to look.

    SMITH
    “Maybe there isn’t anything out here. Wait a tick! What’s this? Wow…” Inside the stone box, I found the magical seer stones. Under that, I found four gold plates written in strange writing. “This must be the Gospel that Jesus told the Nephites!” Well, they were the most amazing things I’d ever gazed upon.

    MAN
    Well, so where are they?

    SMITH
    Where are what?

    WOMAN
    The gold plates and the seer stones. Where are they?

    SMITH
    Oh. Oh, well, I… was not allowed to take them. You see, after I found the plates, the angel Moroni appeared to me again and said that I am not allowed to show the plates, or the seer stones, to anybody. Because first I must translate what’s written on the plates into English, so you can all read it!

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    PEOPLE
    Wow, amazing!

    SINGERS
    He found the stones and golden plates
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Even though nobody else ever saw them
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    […]

    [Back to the 1800s, night. Joseph Smith and another man walk up into the attic of a large building]

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    MAN
    What’s this all about, Mr. Smith?

    SMITH
    Mr. Harris, can you keep a secret?

    HARRIS
    Well, sure I can.

    SMITH
    I have, in my possession, an ancient book written on gold plates that tells of Jesus Christ’s second coming. Here, in America.

    HARRIS
    In America? Really? That sounds kind of…

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    SMITH
    It’s true. And I’m going to translate the plates and publish it into a book for the whole world to read. Now, I know you have a lot of money, Mr. Harris, and I’m just going to need a little bit to pay for the publishing costs.

    HARRIS
    Mmm, I don’t know. Uh, how do you expect to translate it?

    SMITH
    With these.

    HARRIS
    Rocks?

    SMITH
    They’re not rocks. They’re seer stones, given to me by an angel. With them, God allowed me to translate the plates into English. Watch. You take this quill and paper and write down what I say. Sit here. I have the golden plates here in this hat. I need to have them somewhere dark so I can read the spiritual light.

    HARRIS
    Really?

    SMITH
    Now, when I put the seer stones into the hat, the ancient letter light up and change into English, which I can then read to you.

    HARRIS
    Wow!

    SMITH
    Ooo, I’m seeing the light. Oh, okay. Write this down. “And… so… it… was… that… Christ… appeared before… the… Nephites.”

    SINGERS
    And that’s how the Book of Mormon was written
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Dumb dadumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Dumb dadumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Dahumb dahumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb duuumb, duuumb

    […]

    [Back to the 1800s, night, the large building]

    SINGERS
    Martin went home to his wife
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
    And showed her pages from the Book of Mormon
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    HARRIS
    And so Joseph Smith put his head into a hat, a-and read to me what the golden plates said. I wrote it all down and we’re going to publish it into a book.

    MRS. HARRIS
    Martin, how do you know he isn’t just making stuff up and pretending he’s translating off golden plates?

    SINGERS
    Lucy Harris smart smart smart
    Smart smart smart smart smart

    HARRIS
    Why would he make it up?

    SINGERS
    Martin Harris dumb dadumb-

    LUCY
    All right, here. I’m going to hide these pages. If Joseph Smith really is translating off of golden plates, then he’ll be able to do it again. But if Joseph Smith is making it all up, then the new translations will be different from these.

    HARRIS
    Okay, fine. I bet he’ll have no problem.

    SINGERS
    Lucy Harris smart smart smart
    Martin Harris dumb
    So Martin went on back to Smith
    Said the pages had gone away
    Smith got mad and told Martin
    He needed to go pray
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    HARRIS
    Look, ah I’m sorry about losing the pages we worked on, Joe, but I’m ready to write it all down again if you translate from the plates.

    SMITH
    I would love to, Martin, except, I just had a vision. And the Lord said he’s very angry with me for letting you take those pages.

    HARRIS
    He is?

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    SMITH
    Yes. He is so mad that he will never let me translate from the plate of Lehi again. He’s… we must now translate from the plate of Nephi. So it will be the same basic story, but written a little differently.

    HARRIS
    Wow! If God got angry with you, then you must be telling the truth.

    SINGERS
    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb

    HARRIS
    All right, Martin. Let’s get to work!

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