Here is Adam K. K. Figueira’s winning entry in the Monsters & Mormons Bedlamites contest.
For months now, reports have been circulating online of the discovery of a document attributed to Emma Smith discussing certain passages from the Book of Lehi, which of course was written on the 116 manuscript pages infamously lost by Martin Harris. In the letter, Sister Smith mentions a conversation she had with her husband, the Prophet Joseph, regarding the work that he was translating. Apparently she was intrigued by Joseph’s description of certain happenings shortly after the arrival of Lehi’s family in the Promised Land, and referred to these events in her document, which is most likely a journal entry as it seems to have no specific intended recipient.
The story in question is of one Beidl, described in the ancient record as a short, dark, exceedingly round being who entered the camp of the Lehites on an evening. After attracting Laman’s attention, Beidl led a small party back to his home, which was in a “great hole in the rocks” located “a long distance” inland of the camp. Beidl had seemingly been cut off from his people somehow, but his strange language made it impossible for the children of Lehi to understand exactly how.
According to Emma’s report, the Book of Lehi ends by mentioning the marriage of Beidl to one of Laman’s daughters, and Emma speculates that the union with this strange personage may have been the beginning of the curse which plagued the Lamanites ever after.
After finishing her summary of the scriptural account, Emma mentions that during their conversation on the topic, Joseph told her of a vision in which he saw the history of Beidl and Laman. He described Beidl as a “grotesque person with an unusually large nose,” and told of a split among the children of Beidl and Laman, in which the majority stayed with the newly formed group thereafter known as Lamanites, while the remainder, who had inherited Beidl’s unfortunate facial characteristics, went their own way back to the great hole and were referred to generally as Beidlamites.
But all this is old. The exciting new news has only come in the last few hours.
Latter-day Saint archaeologist Moab Young has discovered what he describes as a “Beidl-like” skeleton in the region of NeuquÃ©n, Argentina, near the site of the unlisted El Sauce crater. El Sauce, a 20 km wide hole in the ground of unknown age, has been generally thought to be an impact crater, but a lack of convincing evidence for this theory has kept it off the official Earth Impact Database list.
Young’s theory is that El Sauce is, in fact, the “great hole in the rocks” mentioned by Emma Smith and that far from being impact related, the crater is the collapsed entrance to the subterranean home world of Beidl and his mole-man ancestors. The close proximity of the Beidlamites hole to the original Lehite camp suggests that the original landing site may have been much further south than generally thought.
NOTE: Adam has also created a magazine-style version of the story complete with images.