Bob Dylan’s Conversion to Mormonism

Bob Dylan’s Conversion To Mormonism

by Larry Fyffe

Not at all noticed by Dylanologists is that Bob Dylan gives hints in his song lyrics that he has coverted to the Mormon religion – a well-kept secret that does not escape the sharp eyes and ears at the ‘Untold’ offices.

The lyrics below show signs that Dylan is disgruntled with his life situation, and ready to convert to Mormonism – Utah being the holy city of that particular religion:

Looks like a-nothing but rain
Sure gonna be wet tonight on Main Street
Hoping that it don’t sleet
Build me a cabin in Utah
Marry me a wife, catch rainbow trout
Have a bunch of kids who call me ‘Pa’
That must be what it’s all about
(Bob Dylan: Sign On The Window)

According to the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, some Hebrews deported from Northern Israel by the Assyrians set sail in search of the Promised Land, and they come upon the empty expanses of the Americas. There, God-fearing Hebrew Nephites toil, and fight the ungodly Hebrew Lamanites – the latter get punished by God: their skins darken. The resurrected Christ appears to the goodly Nephites, appoints apostles, and peace reigns in the New World, at least for a time.

In the lyrics below, Dylan cues the astute observer that he’s now a follower of the scriptures that are found in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Mormon ‘Bible’:

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue, and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Dylan refers to God commanding John the Baptist to visit the shore of a river near the Pennsylvania home of Joseph Smith to confer the authority of the priesthood upon the Mormon prophet, and to warn him about trouble ahead when Smith and his followers journey westward:

Roll On John, roll through the rain and snow
Take the right-hand road, and go where the buffalo roam
They’ll trap you in an ambush before you know
Too late now to sail back home
(Bob Dylan: Roll On John)

‘Buffalo’ refers to the native Ameican bison.

In the lyrics below, the singer/songwriter takes on the persona of the risen Jesus who appears in the Pre-Columbian New World because His teachings of peace and brotherhood have been flagrantly ignored by the barbaric Lemanites; alligators and crocodiles are native to neo-tropical America, and native ‘Indian corn’ has yet to be transported from the Americas to Europe:

I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes, and blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Fortunately for Christ, the Nephites are more receptive – figuatively represented by Dylan as female-like:

Suddenly I turned around, and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me gracefully, and took my crown of thorns
“Come in”, she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
(Bob Dylan: Shelter From The Storm)

Unlike the Holy Bible that’s read by most Christians, Joseph Smith observes that the ‘Book of Mormon’ predicts the coming of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. As depicted by Dylan below, Christ on a trial run for a ‘Second Coming’ to the New World finds out that the Nephites now have themseves gone astray:

But the funniest thing was
When I was leaving the bay
I saw three ships a-sailing
They were all headed my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn’t drive a truck
He said his name was ‘Columbus’
And I just said, ‘good luck’
(Bob Dylan: 115th Dream)

Only here on ‘Untold’ is it possible to learn about Bob Dylan’s secret conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-day Saints.

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  1. You don’t need to look for hints in his lyrics. Bob Dylan has stated it plainly he either respects or believes in the Mormon Church: In the 1980s I remember a news story stating he was exploring a religion that believed that native americans were related to the ancient israelites. In his biography Chronicles he talks of reading and being inspired by Joseph Smith’s biography “No Man Knows My History”. Later in the book he calls the Book of Mormon the true revelation of God. In an interview he states how he would rather be thought of as a Mormon than the leader of the counterculture.

  2. Pete is guilty of spreading fake news and vicious propaganda. There is absolutely no “stating plainly he either respects or believes in the Mormon Church”, it is certainly untrue that “he talks of reading and being inspired by Joseph Smith’s biography” and nowhere “in the book he calls the Book of Mormon the true revelation of God”. This is the only thing about Smith and the Mormons in Chronicles:

    There was a book there on Joseph Smith, the authentic American prophet who identifies himself with Enoch in the Bible and says that Adam was the first mangod. This stuff pales in comparison to Thucydides, too.
    (Chronicles, p. 37)

    Furthermore, Pete abuses, in a Trumpian manner I might add, an interview fragment, in which “he states how he would rather be thought of as a Mormon than the leader of the counterculture.”

    This is the fragment:

    BD: Look, if the common perception of me out there in the public was that I was either a drunk, or I was a sicko, or a Zionist, or a Buddhist, or a Catholic, or a Mormon – all of this was better than “Archbishop of Anarchy”.
    EB: …and the Spokesman for the Generation…
    BD: Yeah.
    EB: …opposed everything.
    BD: Mm-hmm.
    (2004 interview with Ed Bradley for CBS “60 Minutes” special)

    Ironically, Pete is precisely one of those guys who falsely claim that Dylan is their “spokesman”, that Dylan is “one of them”. It is, all in all, rather distasteful and, frankly, quite rude.

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