Thursday, October 12, 2017

Raising Cain...

...by lowering standards. Epic facepalm.

The Biblical Cain was the first human murderer and was forced into exile from Eden, to wander the earth in the Middle East,[1] eventually founding a city named Enoch. (Genesis 4:8, 11, 12, 16, 17)[2] While there is no direct mention of Cain eventually dying, it is certain that he did from a Biblical point-of-view, for at least three reasons:

  1. There is nothing stating that he was to wander forever.
  2. As a child of Adam, he inherited a death sentence. (Romans 5:12-14)
  3. Lastly, the Noachian Deluge wiped the earth clean of prior wickedness, including Cain’s legacy.

However, as early as 1835 it was reported that one of the first apostles of the Mormon Church came “face to face with Cain” and had an “interview with Cain.”[3] This was David W. Patten (1799-1838) who converted to Mormonism in 1832 and who was appointed as a Mormon apostle in 1835. He was killed in October 1838 as an outlaw during a firefight with the Missouri Volunteer Militia.[4]

David W. Patten, the Mormon apostle who “raised Cain.”

Being described as “one of the most remarkable experiences of his life,” while traveling by mule on a country road near Missouri, he described seeing a tall, naked, dark, hairy humanoid who claimed he “was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro” who most significantly “could not die.” Patten concluded that this was “a very remarkable personage who had represented himself as being Cain,” and told this to other Mormons.[5] However, it could not have been Cain due to the three scriptural issues above, as well as the geographical anomaly of being far from his Middle Eastern associations. He lived and died there. (Claiming at this point that it was Cain’s “ghost” is merely an undocumented assertion crafted for the sole purpose of solving this dilemma.) Therefore, Apostle Patten did the Mormon community a great disservice by claiming to have conversed with Cain, which exposed his shallow grasp of the scriptures. Interestingly, this geographical anomaly was repeated later on May 19, 1838 when Joseph Smith, the Mormon founding prophet, identified a plot of land in Missouri as being “the place where Adam blessed his posterity after being driven from the Garden of Eden,” with the Garden of Eden logically being close by.[6] This claim also did the Mormon community a great, incalculable, disservice—producing a crazed fanaticism of then having to maintain that Noah’s ark traveled from this locale all the way across the world to the “mountains of Ararat” in the Middle East. (Genesis 8:4) It is the wrong location for both Eden and Cain’s habitation.

Thus, bolstered by this highly unfortunate misidentification by Joseph Smith, Patten’s claim did not die with him. In fact, it reared its ugly head again in a very unexpected place years later in 1921, across the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. There, the president of the Hawaii Mission, E. Wesley Smith, reported a frightening encounter with a giant, naked, unkempt ruffian entering his office the night before the dedication of their Mormon temple at Laie. His prominent brother Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith identified his unwelcome visitor as none other than Cain, “whose curse is to roam the earth seeking whom he may destroy.” Cain was thus presented as being “an incarnation of supernatural evil sent by Satan, whose primary role was to undo the work of the [Mormon] Church.”[7] Interestingly, this same “Cain” was also reported to have struck again in the 1920s in Mexico, disturbing “an unnamed [Mormon] apostle.”[8] Such occurrences blissfully detached from one another, hailing from disparate places on earth, can only make the Mormon Cain appear to be a demonic figure who can manifest himself at will anywhere in the world, a satanic “incarnation of supernatural evil.”

Maintaining a folklore psychology such as this, that Cain is alive and travels the world menacing Mormons, is contrary to the spirit of 2 Peter 1:16, 1 Timothy 1:4, 4:7, and 2 Timothy 4:4. As this unscriptural and demonic folklore began with a Mormon apostle, and was supported by the Mormon founder, it should be laid to rest by the highest powers of the Mormon Church. It began with them, and it should end with them. Will it? Frankly, like with other oddities that have accumulated in Mormonism, I highly doubt it will, as that would by extension call into question the accuracy of their founder in his outrageously absurd misidentification of Eden in Missouri. Belief systems that harbor colossal absurdities of astronomical magnitude are simply not worth being associated with.

Raising Cain in the minds of people as a frightening agent lowered the standards a religion professing to be Christian should set for its members. A Christian religion should be directing its members to study the Bible and should lead them to fear God and Christ, not bogeymen.—Proverbs 1:7, 8:13, 9:10, 19:23; Colossians 3:22.

Footnotes:
[1] Eden was in the Middle East as attested by the Bible. Significantly, Mormon scriptures unwittingly both agree with that and contradict that by placing Eden in Missouri, a state in America. This sobering situation is presented here in detail: Mormonism and the Eden Direction Dilemma http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2013/08/mormonism-and-eden-direction-dilemma.html

[2] Additionally, in order to found a city, one wonders if he eventually settled down and stopped being a wanderer. Now, while Mormons have a lot more to say about the Sethite Enoch than what’s found anywhere else, they seem to have nothing to say about Cain’s city Enoch, as noted here in their online reference: “Enoch.” Bible Dictionary. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/enoch.html?lang=eng&letter=E

[3] Wilson, Lycurgus A. The Life of David W. Patten, the First Apostolic Martyr. The Desseret News. Salt Lake City. 1900. Pp. 6, 45. https://archive.org/details/lifeofdavidwpatt1900wils

[4] Patten, David W. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism. http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Patten,_David_W.

[5] Supra note 3. Pp. 49-51.

[6] Adam-ondi-Ahman Temple http://ldschurchtemples.org/adamondiahman/

[7] Bowman, Matthew. A Mormon Bigfoot: David Patten’s Cain and the Conception of Evil in LDS Folklore. Journal of Mormon History. Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall 2007), p. 69. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/mormonhistory/vol33/iss3/

[8] Ibid. Pp. 69-70.


Additional resources:

Nothing to fear here. Dead is dead.

Gravestone is computer generated.

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