South Park Mormon: Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni
1. Joseph Smith was praying to “please keep our bellies full of yum-yums and luscious goodies” when the Angel Moroni appeared – FALSE
I don’t think anybody actually expected this is what it was, but the REAL context of the story is important! Three years had passed since Joseph Smith’s first vision of God and Jesus Christ. He was anxious to know his standing before God, as he describes:
“I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.”
2. The Angel Moroni appeared like a spaceship – FALSE
If you’ve watched the South Park episode, you know that the angel Moroni has quite the entrance. This is not how Joseph Smith described it. He actually said:
“While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.”
Though it wasn’t how South Park portrayed it, Moroni’s real entrance was likely quite an amazing experience for young Joseph Smith.
3. Moroni said that all Native Americans came from Jerusalem – FALSE
There is nothing in the history of Joseph Smith to suggest that Moroni said that all Native Americans came from Israel. In fact, the Book of Mormon records that there were people here besides those who had originally come from Jerusalem. The introduction to the Book of Mormon explains that those from Jeruaslem were “among the ancestors of the American Indians,” but not that all American Indians are descended from that group.
4. Moroni told Joseph Smith where to find the Book of Mormon – TRUE
When the angel Moroni appeared, Joseph Smith records that Moroni called him by name, explained that he was a messenger from God, and that God had a work for him to do. He then explained that there was an ancient record written upon gold plates which gave the history of some of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. He then told Joseph Smith that he was to translate and bring for the Book of Mormon. Finally, Moroni ended by quoting numerous Biblical scriptures. Click here to read the full version of what Moroni said to Joseph Smith.
In the South Park episode, Moroni ends by saying, “Find it and fulfill your destiny.” Unfortunately this Yoda-like quote was likely not part of the actual message from Moroni!
CONCLUSION: The South Park episode actually got quite a bit of this wrong. It added a lot that didn’t actually happen, omitted key context, and twisted a lot of things just for laughs. It would be worthwhile for anybody interested to read the real account of the angel Moroni as written by Joseph Smith at the link above.