Mormon History Art - by grindael
Tour of Zion - Self-guided to unusual locations
Mark Hofmann - Fakes out the fakers
The 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games The Molympics
Prominent Mormon Gravestones - Quick before they all arise the morning of the first resurrection
Mormon History Lowlights - Not all is well in Zion
Mormonism in a Nutshell - Religious shell games
Mormon Pavilions - World Fairs and Expos
The Dream Mine - Riches for Zion
Mormon History Quiz - For novice to expert
Locating Lamanites Monuments, sightings and relics
John C Bennett - Tricky as Joseph Smith
Ingersoll - In the Land of Palmyra
The First Presidency's Vault - Black hole of Mormonism
03/26/2008 - by Insanad
Cove Fort is just off the I-15 and I-70 interchange in central Utah. It's in a pretty little valley that is very cold and windswept and surrounded by lava strewn hills and juniper forests. During a snowstorm it is the best place to pee while waiting for the snowplows to come through. The Mormons have done it up like Santa's village at Knotts Berry Farm with all kinds of 'Authentic" reproductions of little houses and cabins and barns and such to replicate the thriving wealth of GBH's ancestors. The fort ittself is interesting and sturdy, made from thick walls of lava stone and sturdy heavy pine doors. It's just precious, in that sort of sickening sweetness that one gets from downing 9 cups of artifically sweetened, thick karob flavored fake hot chocolate.
Watch out though because as you drive up to the site and park in the nice wide parking stalls with the well lit walkways and brightly painted reproduction pioneer houses you'll see little shadows of chubby older men scurrying behind the corners of buildings, lurking and peeking, giving each other the eye to see who can waddle over to approach you first. It's almost a geezer race and you're the ribbon at the end of the track. The dominant or more agile one will get to you and the sad look or latently angry glare from the "loser" will fill you with a curious awe as he shuffles off to his post behind a building or back to his well appointed RV or double wide modular home on the premises.
The goal of these well meaning but desperately bored old farts is to take you to the gates of the fort, and with some carefully practiced lines, get your name, address, and phone number so "Some representatives" can call you. Even if you're just there to pee or other necessary business they want to get you on their list, sort of like army recruiters at a high school football game, desperate to fill the dwindling ranks and assured of a "Heavenly reward" for the bonus of getting your contact info.. Don't succumb, or better yet, give them Infymus's e-mail address. That would be too dang funny. Just do your business and get the hell out of there because if you stay, it's like an endless Amway convention and you've just been selected as "Sucker of the moment".
The fort is pretty cool and well appointed with the trappings and artifacts from all kinds of legendary pioneer acoutrements. The garden just outside the fort is so well attended by these competing old men that narry a weed pokes it's desperate head above ground before one of them comes and chops it with a sharp hoe. The same for any nay sayers of church doctrine or revisionist history so watch out when they come at you with their "hoes".
Speaking of Hoes, they have these sweet old ladies that have been placated over a lifetime with the expression one masters at the end of a really good bowell movement....ahhhhhhhh, that feels so warm and good. The sing songy voices are so anxious to tell you the fabulous tales of the generous and welcoming Hinkley family who opened their big wooden doors to all the weary travelers passing on their way south or to California. They have the well practiced gestures of an airline stewardess, guiding you through the little rooms and showing you the precious beds and kitchen implements, all the while bearing testimony to the truthfullness of the gospel because the chamber pot is the one GBH's grandmother used and it must be good, otherwise God would have seen to it that it would be lost from the site.
Don't forget how generous and loving they were to "Their Lamanite neighbors", supplying them with blankets, selling the kids for $70.00 or whatever they could get, or even better, blaming them for the MMM. Ohh the sweetness of it all will coat your tongue like cheap malted easter eggs and soon you'll be glad for the backwash of stomach bile to neutralize the sugary sappiness.
You won't get out of there in less than 45 minutes if you succumb to the gates. They keep you in those little claustrophobic rooms while they witness to you till you relent out of desperation to escape. Give them anything, a name, an address, whatever or they will surround you like toothless pirhannas, gumming you to death.
I made the mistake of going with my mom, sisters, and daughters on a church history tour. Forget the passive agressive 101 fiasco of navigation and resentment. That's another dissertation but Good Gawd, site after site is an excersize in redundancy and bullshit that can hardly be imagined. Nauvoo is absolutely beautiful and the restoration is so commendable, but crikey, don't get stuck in one of those buildings!! They corner you and close the doors from room to room and continue to bear witness till you will do anything to escape. I found myself having multiple Morgasms (faking pleasure and approval) over and over just so I could get through these little pieces of "History".
I'm not sure what codswallop is but I hear Brits and Aussies use it all the time. It flows like sewage on a rainy day and you get it all over your shoes, it creeps up your pantleg and pretty soon you can feel it gooeing between your knees. Slogging through it from house to house you soon feel like Tim Robbins in "Shawshank Redemption". That moment you get out of the town limits is just like when he leaves the sewer and breathes fresh air. You gasp and gulp and spread your arms in a greatful gesture of freedom.
At the printing office in Palmyra one gilded and naive old lady stated that the "Not YET LDS" printer of the Book of Mormon died shortly after the first printing, but that since he'd "Served his purpose here on earth", that God took him for his heavenly reward. I was fairly incensed because I doubt his non-mormon family felt that his sole purpose on this earth was to print the codswallop that was the BOM. While he may not have been paid well, it was his JOB and from what I understand, printers print stuff in exchange for money, even bullshit fantasy like the BOM. I suggested to this sweet schitzforbrains matron that I highly doubted that this man's family felt that "His usefullness" was over nor that his purposes on earth had been well served by printing the BOM. Of course mom and the entourage were upset at me for ruffling the pretty surface and I had to walk away, steamed and incensed and indignant. The rest of the trip went accordingly.
I took some fabulous photos of Nauvoo with the leaves turning and sun setting over the Mississippi, the light glowing on the temple and the valley below fading into darkness. Palmyra and the surrounding area are equally lovely and I could spend weeks there going up and down the little country roads, enjoying the flavor of New England towns and history that the west just can't hold a candle to. Pretty is different than authentic though and every single site is a contrived, trumped, overdone, absolute fabricated version of the real life there or true history of the church and the people and the times.
Like going to Santa's village at christmas, it's fun to see the efforts of the crafty folk who decorate and create the illusion, but don't forget that it's all fantasy. Don't make jokes about "Governor Boggs" when someone knocks on the door at the Liberty Jail, or ask about any authenticity to the first vision in Palmyra, or ask where the wars were fought in the surrounding forests. The sweet old geezers and "hoes" are ill prepared to deal with controversy and really are just the little costumed elves helping to carry out the fantasy. It's not their fault that Santa is exploiting them or that he gets to sit around getting all fat and lardy while they toil away fabricating the playthings that are the doctrine of the LDS faith.
Like any museum or art gallery, the goal is to sell you stuff. They take all credit cards, cash, and travellers checks at the gift shops with authentic resin statues of JS or the other characters in the fantastic legends. You can get little aprons and clothes and nightgowns so you can look just like Emma or the other wives and concubines. You can get cast iron pots and pretend to slave away over the dishes displayed in the recipe books from the times. You can get an authentic Mormon Brick for free, well not really because you have to pay with the price of your ears swelling from a nasty puss oozing infection of Mormon bullshit first. The brick is about the size and consistancy of the rest of the crap they spew and passing it hurts like heck, but eventually the sphincter relaxes and you get back to normal.
If you go, try the Fall season. The sites really get all decked out and Nauvoo celebrates Halloween in a big way with a big pumpkin carving festival and parade and trick or treating, live bands, and a few impotent "Christians" decrying the foulness of the doctrine and JS. Nauvoo is so pretty and the whole place is fun to look at. There's a big statue of Joseph Smith in front of one of the gift shops but don't try to sit on his lap. To say he'd get a big woody would be a misnomer. He's larger than life and ready to "Frig" anything that comes his way.
02/20/2008 - SEcular Priest
As a teenager in the 60's we used to go as a group to the pagent. We would camp out in the fields beside the hill with thousands of other LDS familes. At night there would be a big bonfire after the pagent. It was like a yearly trip to Mecca. Farmers would charge about $5 per person to camp in the surrounding fields.
On Sunday they would have a sacrament meeting at the base of the hill. The Church usually sent 2 apostles to speak. For years these men would bear testimony that this was the place of the final battle. I guess they were speaking as men and that the voice of two witnesses means nothing!!!!! But as a teeenager I was impressed to be standing at the final battle field. Year after year were told this by the apostles who came. I remember as a teenager even trying to look for the cave within the hill, or arrow heads, etc.
Then in the middle 70's it came to a halt. The Church bought all the farmers fields surrounding the hill. No more Mecca camp outs. Members now had to use hotels or other nearby campsites.
Then in the late 90's they had some groups come to the hill and sell food. It used to be that you brought your own food with you. Now you could buy food there. Then they started having the people in the pagent come down among the audience in their costumes 1 hour before the pagent and mingle, trying to find that golden investigator. It was a gaudy experience and I felt took away from the sacredness of the pagent. Then they started to have a big production as the teams of lighting crews would climb up into their towers to control the lights. It became "I am wonderful, I am in the pagent, See me concept."
I felt it became a hollywood production.
No more Sunday meetings with GA but local sacrament meetings.
In the olden days you used to be able to go to the grove and join in a testimony meeting. That seemed to be done away with also.
As I look back now I see that maybe the Church knew back then this was all a fake. Rather than have saints ask lots of questions by spending time near the hill they do like they do on Sunday. 2 hours for the show and your gone. No time for questions, etc. Make the show hollywood style, distract the people from the real meaning of the place and get the peoples minds off the real deep doctrine stuff. Make it "milk." Stop sebding GA's to testify this is the place , let the locals do it and then the Church can say it's the locals and it's not offical.
I notice that in town it's one big money grabbing oppportunity for merchants. The spirit of the pagent from the olden days has gone. Anyone else feel the same way?