The Bulwer-Lytton stage presentment premiered on 7 March 1839 at London's Covent Garden - with a young, newly crowned Queen Victoria on 14 March 1839 attending a performance just a week after the theatrical premiered.
Just short a span of a decade before, the Wayne Sentinel of Palmyra, New York announced in its 26 March 1830 issue that the "Book of Mormon,” was up for sale. It seems that from this very moment wholly preemptive of the Bulwer-Lytton's "The pen is mightier than the sword" notion, a dark shadow was cast over the Book of Mormon, and too, on to its followers and the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. - all who became subject to immediate ridicule and degradation.
With this instance, the proverbial "sword," as it seems had come to be - generated a more acute persona from not only having a single edge of assertiveness, but rather had, imbued by the administrative advocacy of the independent press - asserted a greater effective potential of a sword with now a double edge! For the Book of Mormon, it now suddenly came to be transformed into a 'double edged sword'!
How ironic that in the Epistle to Hebrews found in the New Testament, there is found in verse 4:12 the following passage:
"Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart."
It was all this that preempted the release of Joseph's Smith's 1830 biblical landmark publication that was printed and bound at Egbert B. Grandin's printing house in Palmyra.
BOOK OF MORMON BECOMES COMPROMISED BEFORE IT WAS EVER EVEN RELEASED!
However more notably was a counterfeit release of that which came to represent the first instance of this proverbial 'double edged sword.' This was marked by the first of two unauthorized excerpts from the Book of Mormon that came about in the Palmyra Reflector. It had come out as an 'extra' installment edition first on 9 January 1830 and then on 22 January 1830.
The news sheet that revealed these pirated excerpts was edited and published by a man named Abner Cole, who perhaps not merely by apparent happenstance cleverly hid behind the pseudonym "Obediah Dogberry" on the Reflector's masthead.
Abner Cole for a good spell shared the use of E. B. Grandin's printing press on some nights as well as most Sundays, to get his limited circulation paper out.
This 'extra' of 22 January 1839 included an unauthorized “Extract from the Book of Alma, Chapter XX.”
Abner Cole’s pirate work of the portions of the Book of Mormon has been long viewed as a primary, if not the predominate catalyst behind what came to be the ongoing persecution that would come to follow the life of Joseph Smith and his followers.
To the non believer, after seeing what first appeared seemingly as a fairy tale in Abner Cole's Reflector, combined with the even then long standing swirling rumors of Smith's discovering the gold plates at the Hill Cumorah outside of Palmyra, and his mere mortal connection to an Angel named Moroni, in the face of modern Christianity of the day: It all seemed like sheer blasphemy.
Non Mormons who came in contact with Mormons who expoused the precepts of their newly crafted bible interpreted the Book of Mormon passages as nothing short of a fraud and a scam. Most people in early 19th century America were of the Christian faith, and viewed Mormonism more strongly as not a religion, but more so: A cult.
It was Angel Moroni who had appeared before Joseph Smith on several occasions and interacted with him. Finally the angel asked Smith to take possession of the now infamous gold plates, said to have been buried for ages under the Hill Cumorah at Palmyra, New York.
Angel Moroni asked Smith to translate the alien looking text and characters said to have been etched there by Mormon, Angel Moroni's father, military general, and a strong leader of the Nephites - the tribe of Jewish peoples from the "Land of Israel" descending from the family of Nephi.
PEOPLES FROM ISRAEL COME TO THE AMERICAS AROUND 500 BC
The Nephites, according to the Mormon bible, came across the Atlantic Ocean by boats to the North American continent around the year 500 B.C. At about the same time, brothers of the Nephites, called Lamanites - came to the area of the North Americas as well. The Lamanites descended from the family of Lehi. The earliest Lehi family founding member on record, as mentioned in the Book of Mormon, was Lehi the prophet of the 7th–6th centuries BC.
It was this same time most ironically around 500 BC, when both the Nephites and the Lamanites came to the Americas that the circulating manuscript copies of the Teachings of Ahiqar revealed that "The word is mightier than the sword."
According to the Book of Mormon text, the Nephites were light skinned and possessed a good nature, while the Lamanites were dark skinned and were of a bad nature. They were philanderers. The Lamanites with their dark skin were said to have fallen out of favor with God. The philandering Lamanites were said to have mated with the North American Indian. When the two brother tribes had come to America, they found themselves in constant war with each other.
The last great battle between the two bother tribes was at Hill Cumorah. The historical record of the world and mankind up to this time that Mormon recorded, etched on the thin pagenated gold leaves, Mormon kept in safe keeping. Just before he finally died following the great Battle at Hill Cumorah, a battle which consumed all of the Nephites, Mormon instructed his son Angel Moroni to take possession; to guard and further preserve the gold plates, that had descended down from Nephi, and to which Mormon added - for mankind.
Back in early 19th century America, all of this was greeted by non believers as being on the edge of criminal. From a theological standpoint it was a crime assuming oneself the rights or qualities of God, especially one who exhibited irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred or priceless, as prophet Smith had done by issuing the Book of Mormon and even linking it to Christianity and Christian principals.
A more acute notion called 'blasphemous libel,' claims it was a crime if a person insulted, offended, or vilified the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion.
On the contrary, today, in some Middle Eastern sects, such as within Islam - to criticize or to not accept the precepts of extremist factions in their group philosophy can be met by death. This applies not only to the deviant group itself which attacks its own from within, but also any Christians or religious tolerances that the extremist may encounter outside its own sect.
Any house of holy can not be devided. All Mormons appreciate the nature of persecution. Faith must be certain.
In this early part of the twenty-first century, Christians today finding themselves in the presence of certain intolerant groups, are often met with instant death perpetrated by such intolerant congregant extremists.
As it was not uncommon in the early days of the Mormon faith for a Mormon to be persecuted by devout Christians, much in the same manner as that of Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith when he was once tarred and feathered back in 1832, today in the world of this twenty-first century we now find intolerant religious groups trying to undermine the self determination of the theological or religious thought and belief systems of many.
As it was at that time of Smith's 24 March, 1832 altercation, his attackers dragged him from his bedroom, strangled him unconscious, tore off his shirt and drawers, scratched and beat him viciously, and finally rammed a vial of poison up against the Prophet's teeth until the vial shattered. It was after the tarring and feathering of Smith's limp body, that the incessed group left him for dead.
Similarly speaking, this experience parallels the time when Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s own mother, later recorded the prior mentioned herein 1830 Abner Cole episode in her later published memoirs of 1853. This incident precluded the tar and feather incident of 1832 by two years. It is there that she described the formidable confrontation between her son Joseph and publisher Cole, wherein Joseph Smith, as the Mormon bible's accredited author and copyright holder, was successful in having Cole cease his unauthorized pirating of the Book of Mormon.
As it had been, according to the account 8 September 1892 Palmyra, New York published account: Recollections of John H. Gilbert - regarding the printing of the Book of Mormon - Grandin's printer's assistant John H. Gilbert recounted some six decades later at the age of 90 - the following;
"Martin Harris, Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdery, were very frequent visitors to the office during the printing of the Mormon Bible [Book of Mormon]. The manuscript was supposed to be in the handwriting of [Oliver] Cowdery."
Then most significantly, John H. Gilbert stated:
"Joseph Smith, Jr., had nothing to do whatever with the printing or furnishing copy for the printers, being but once in the office during the printing of the Bible [Book of Mormon], and then not over fifteen or twenty minutes."
Mr. Gilbert further stated in his 1892 recollection:
"Hyrum Smith was a common laborer, and worked for anyone as he was called on."
Clearly illustrated by and documented with the candid account of Grandin printer's assistant John H. Gilbert, Joseph Smith, Jr. himself was clearly distanced from the sublime workings with printer Grandin in issuing the Book of Mormon publication. Prophet Smith left it all up to his brother Hyrum Smith, and fellows Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery.
Thus, once learning of both the Reflector's 9 January 1830 and subsequent 22 January 1830 pirated publications of Book of Mormon passages, Joseph Smith, Jr. instantly became incredulous over the matter. His demeanor quickly changed as the prophet's spirit and soul increasingly became infused with outright rage!
It is with this sublime harsh occurrence preempting the officially sanctioned Book of Mormon, there was cast a dark pallor over the Mormon religion, prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and the young religion's founders and followers.
ALSO CONFUSES BOOK OF MORMON MESSAGE
This is not to say also that this dark pallor was not equally compounded by the ultimate result of Martin Harris's visit to show the New York Columbia College professor Charles Anthon the "Anthon Transcript." It was this famous incident where Harris took the "Caractors document" - a small piece of paper on which Joseph Smith, Jr, had copied samples forming a passage said to be taken from the gold plates - to show to professor Anthon.
This presentment by Harris was made on the recommendation of Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchell of the Rutgers Medical College, New York who Martin Harris first visited in the winter of 1828. Dr. Mitchell recommended Harris show his "Caractors document" to Anthon.
As the story goes, based on Harris' own recollection and statements, Anthon first provided a positive authentication in writing. Dr. Anthon then asked of Martin Harris a specific question after he had handed the authentication paper he drew up for Harris.
Dr. Anthon earnestly and understandably asked to see the actual record from which the "Caractors" were suitably drawn from, intimating for Harris to come back with the information and reveal it to Anthon.
Martin Harris intimated that the plates on which the "Caractors" were taken from had been provided by an angel and that part of the plates were "sealed." Anthon retorted by then stating: “I cannot read a sealed book.”
Upon hearing from the country farmer this statement, in a huff Dr. Anthon quickly recoiled and asked to see the paper he had just provided to Harris upon which contained his written "Caractors" authentication on. Upon this request, Martin Harris sheepishly handed the paper back over to Anthon, who quickly snatched it for his keeping.
Following the Book of Mormon release, Professor Charles Anthon provided disparaging remarks referencing the Book of Mormon after he became witness of its release.
There is much more to this part of the story. A great revelation shedding new light on the old subject of the "Anthon Transcript" will be divulged in future works by this author here on these pages. This new insight on the "Anthon Transcript" has, most peculiarly, escaped all Mormon scholars and researchers to date. However, research conducted by this author as long ago now well over ten years has amazingly yielded new revelations, all to soon be published herein, at the Mormon Key.
Yes, Edward Bulwer-Lytton's notion that "The pen is mightier than the sword" certainly, it has been found, is a sword with a definite double edge, and a very sharp one at that!
A Great American Folk Story
The first edition of the Book of Mormon, published in 1830, was printed at Egbert B. Grandin's print shop in Palmyra, New York State - not far from the growing city of Rochester.
Actual interior scenes taken in the very E. B. Grandin print shop acquired and restored in recent times by the Mormon's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, provide a video viewer hereof to better engage one's mind as to what it was actually like at the time when Prophet Joseph Smith had first received the Gold Plates at Hill Cumorah from Angel Mornoni and secreted them away till he arrived with them in Harmony, Pennsylvania.
It was at Harmony that Smith translated the Gold Plates by using the "Urim and Thummim;" the name given in early Mormon accounts that actually merely referred to a pair of multi-faceted crystal glass lenses set into what essentially were simply silver eyeglass spectical frames. These are more rudimentary known as eyeglasses.
The Grandin printing of the Book of Mormon was the final step in producing the sacred work after the initial use of the Urim and Thummim by Smith.
In the Hebrew Bible, the Urim and Thummim (Hebrew: האורים והתומים, Standard ha-Urim veha-Tummim Tiberian hāʾÛrîm what Tummîm) are associated with the "hoshen" - hence a High Priest's breastplate.
Divination in general further becomes a prominent element of association here. As well cleromancy, or the will of God in particular, becomes manifold as well. Scholars of the Hebrew dialect generally suspect that the phrase Urim and Thummim refers to specific objects involved in the divination.
"MORMONKEY: The Key to News and History of the Mormon Faith"