Selected Teachings on
Korihor
c. 74 B.C.
(See Alma 30:6-53)


Relevant Articles

Teachings of Korihor
Modern Examples
  1. There will be no Christ (30:12)
  2. Those who believe in Christ are bound down by a foolish and vain hope (or, to paraphrase: you are gullible people, blindly following the foolish traditions of your fathers) (30:13-14)
  3. No man can know of anything which is to come (Alma 30:13).
  4. What you call prophecies are merely foolish traditions handed down by your fathers. (30:14)
  5. Premise: You cannot know of things which ye do not see. Conclusion: Therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ. (30:15).
  6. Belief in God Comes from Cognitive Irrationality. The hope of a remission of sins through Christ “is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.” (30:16). Modern paraphrase: The worldview which includes a belief in God and in the redemption of Christ results from cultural indoctrination of ancient “god” myths which were conjured up in the minds of ancient people to help them make sense of the various phenomena of nature (such as why the sun comes up, why it rains, why famines occur, etc.). With these out-of-date and irrational ideas in one’s mind, psychological confirmation bias allows one to continue to attribute the happenings of their world and their lives to some “unknown being, who they say is God.” (30:28)
  7. There is no Sin, Therefore no Atonement. “There could be no atonement made for the sins of men [because] whatsoever a man did was no crime” (30:17).
  8. Survival of the Fittest. Every man fares in this life “according to the management of the creature; therefore every man [prospers] according to his genius, and … every man [conquers] according to his strength” (30:17)
  9. Moral Relativism. Whatsoever a man does is no crime (30:17).
  10. No Afterlife. “When a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (30:18).
  11. Obedience to God's laws and ordinances is "bondage" (30:23-24). The teachings of Church leaders keeps people from thinking for themselves (an intellectual bondage), which keeps them from confidently enjoying "their rights and privileges" (30:27).  
  12. There was no Fall. (30:25)
  13.  Corrupt Church Leadership.
    • Church leaders are seeking to usurp power and authority over their people by causing them to bind themselves down under foolish ordinances and performances, which keeps the people in ignorance (or unable to think for themselves). Through foolish traditions (church doctrine) they require their members to give financially so that Church leaders can glut themselves with their labors. They also indoctrinate members with the idea of submission to their authority so that “they durst not look up with boldness [to] enjoy their rights and privileges,” or to use their own money for their own purposes for fear of offending their Church leaders (30:27-28, 31).
    • Church leaders “deceive [the] people,” and cause them to believe in their doctrines by sharing “their traditions (prophecies?) and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries.” Through teaching such things they get people to believe that unless they listen and do according to their words they will offend some pretend being whom they say is God. (Analogous to creating the idea of Santa Claus so that parents can say: “If you’re naughty and don’t do what we say then Santa is not going to bring you the presents you want!”). In other words, the “idea” of God is a very effective psychological tool used by Church leaders to induce “good” behavior in their followers. (30:28, 35-36)
    • God has never been seen or known. He never was nor ever will be (30:28)

Philisophical Branches/Worldviews

Methods of Korihor
  • He preached against the prophecies of the prophets concerning the coming of Christ.
  • He questions and then ridicules the epistemological reliability of revelation and prophecy. Revelation is not a valid source of knowledge. At least four times he says that Church members “cannot know” or “do not know” the spiritual realities which he rejects (30:15, 24, 26, 48).
  • Uses Logic to Confuse. He introduces fallacious arguments by drawing logical conclusions from false premises. Examples:
    • False Premise: No man can know of anything which is to come; Conclusion: Therefore all that you call “prophecy” is merely a false tradition or a lovely story handed down from generation to generation. (30:13-14, 24)
    • False Premise: You cannot know of things which ye do not see; Conclusion: Therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ. (30:15).
    • False Premise: There is no such thing as sin; Conclusion: Therefore there could not be an atonement made for the sins of men (30:17).
    • False Premise: There is no life after death; Implied Conclusion: Therefore there is no judgment day or accountability for your actions. (30:18)
  • Through his false reasoning (see above) he led many women (and men) to commit whoredoms, assuring them that there is no afterlife, and thus no accountability or judgment day.
  • He promotes his “new” worldview as a progressive and enlightened intellectual breakthrough, as compared to the stuffy old “ancient” and “silly traditions” of less advanced and unenlightened generations. In our day people of the Korihor cloth would say, “Just as you’ve grown up and grown out of Santa Claus, it’s time to grow up and grow out of the ancient and primitive ideas about “god.” It’s fun to pretend, but it’s time to grow up.
  • “Foolish” and “silly” are some of his favorite words to describe the beliefs of Church members. By using such words he is saying, in effect, that if you truly believe in such things as God, Christ, a remission of sins, moral absolutes, prophecy, and life after death then you must be an unsophisticated, gullible, blind, ignorant person who has no rational sense of reality. You have drunk the “Mormon punch.” You’ve been deceived. You’ve taken the Mormon bait—hook, line, and sinker! You must be a sucker fish.
  • He demands physical evidence or some manifestation of God’s power—a sign—to verify the existence of God or he will not believe. Again, in Korihor's worldview, revelation is not a valid means of obtaining knowledge. (30:43, 48)