Once while traveling through Italy, I encountered a group of men gambling their money away at a sidewalk shell game. The ‘dealer’ would place a pea under one of three walnut shells on a board…then quickly shuffle the shells around the board. The other men placed bets on which shell they believed the pea had ended up under. As I watched, I observed the shell with the pea move around the board. As the shell came to a rest I would instinctively pick the correct shell game after game. I was amazed at how easily “I” was able to choose the correct shell while the other men kept losing their money. Somehow...the movement of the pea seemed so obvious, but the otherr men kept losing their money, game after game. After watching 7-8 games and having been able to consistantly guess the correct location of the pea, I decided that I could make some easy money.
I felt I had an edge over the dealer and other gamblers… surly I could NOT lose… I had discovered a way to out smart the dealer. I convinced myself that I had some previously unknown talent to locate concealed peas hidden under walnut shells. Wow what an opportunity had fallen into my lap. My ethnocentric American mind told me I had an advantage over these stupid Italians and their money.
As I reached for my wallet and withdrew a few large bills…one of the men who had been consistently losing his own money… gleefully welcomed me and my money to the board…but something was wrong… maybe it was the collective look in each of their eyes…a misplaced glance or a knowingly collective “We’ve caught another sucker” look on all of their faces…but I knew in an instant…that I had stumbled onto a well crafted “con” and that these men were looking to shear a sheep.
In a moment of clearity I quickly grabbed my money and ran away from the shell game as fast as I could…with them yelling some choice Italian words at me… but I had dodged a bullet.
The Mormon Church is also delft at playing the game of ’Peas and Shells’. Each generation of Mormon faithful are taught doctrines that are in direct conflict with those taught to the older/ previous generation. The church is delft in the duplicity of its multiple doctrines… it is not unusual to find three generations of a single family each having their own conflicting beliefs on such basic doctrines as the Flood, Adam and Eve, Creation, Origin of the Amerindians, the process for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham etc, just to name a few. But is this any wonder…with the Mormon Church continuously moving the dogma ‘pea’ with every doctrinally conflicting scientific discovery made?
My mother’s generation believed and were taught that all American Indians were descendants of Lehi that these descendants occupied the entire Northern and Southern American Continents, that the earth is 6,000 years old with NO death prior to Adam’s fall and that there was a universal flood that covered the entire earth with water to its highest mountain.
My son believes and has been taught in church that Lehi merely contributed to a vast DNA pool and was only one of many original much diluted forefathers of the Amerindians, that Lehi left no DNA evidence due to this population dilution, That the Nephite and Lamanite Nations occupied a relatively small, yet to be discovered, geographic area somewhere in Central America, that there are 2 Hill Cumorah’s , that the flood was not universal but limited in scope to a small region in the near east and should NOT be taken as a literal event, that the earth has a multi-billion year age and that death has been a part of earth for billions of years. He has also had one very different doctrinal innoculationary dogma pounded into his head… “Prophets are men…and sometimes speak as such”.
Both my mother and son are active believing Mormons with completely conflicting beliefs…they are the result of the success of the Mormon Shell Game… Oh, if they could both wake up and discover that they are pawns in the Mormon Shell Game… a very crafty con game run by a very cunning cult. Run... please run...