Cain is Bigfoot

MYTH: The Bigfoot creature is Cain, the son of Adam and Eve.

This is truly one of the more amusing Mormon myths. The myth is that Cain, after killing his brother Abel, was cursed by God and consigned to be a fugitive and vagabond and a mark or curse was placed upon him that would reveal his identity. In this variation of the story, that curse was the shape and form of a giant hairy beast that couldn’t die: That’s right - Sasquatch.
Matthew Bowman recently published in The Journal of Mormon History an examination of several accounts in Mormon history that seem to not only support but may provide the origin of this myth. Most significant among these stories is that of David W. Patten, one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The account is published in Spencer W. Kimball’s 1969 “The Miracle of Forgiveness.” Kimball quotes an extract from a letter by Abraham O. Smoot recounting David Patten’s 1835 account of meeting “a very remarkable person who had represented himself as being Cain.” He quotes:
As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me…his head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men.I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight….[1]

Bowman also cites a 1919 manuscript describing the account of a missionary serving in Hawaiian, E. Wesley Smith, "being attacked by a huge, hairy creature, whom Smith drives off in the name of Christ" the night before the mission was dedicated. According to Bowman, Joseph Fielding Smith tells E. Wesley Smith the attacker must've been Cain, referencing Moses 5:35-36 ("Now therefore cursed shalt thou be upon the earth, which hath opened her mouth and received the blood of thy brother at thy hand...a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be upon the earth.") He then referred Elder Wesley Smith to the story of David Patten.[2]
If the manuscript is to be believed, then it would appear that Joseph Fielding Smith also believed Patten’s story of Cain.
Bowman believes that the publication of Patten’s story in The Miracle of Forgiveness combined with a rash of Bigfoot sightings in the David County, Utah area, fused together two strains of folklore.
The book of Genesis specifies that God issued the mark of Cain, "that whosoever found him should not kill him.[3] However, this mark is not specified and has given rise to at least one other myth (the myth of Cain and black skin will be discussed in another part of this blog.) Furthermore, there is no indication that the “mark” would transform his body into that of giant, hairy, ape-like creature.
Additionally, although the mark was to set him apart, there is no scriptural indication that he would become immortal and somehow survive the flood so that he could destroy souls along the way.
This myth seems to be a juxtaposition of the John the Beloved or the Three Nephites story: righteous individuals whose lives were preserved to continue building the kingdom of God. Obviously, the Cain myth suggests that Lucifer has a similar power and preserved Cain in immortal misery in order to act as Lucifer’s physical agent on the earth.
I cannot say with any degree of authority what Patten actually saw or experienced in 1835. But without question, his story will lend new credence to the existence of Bigfoot, even if only among Mormons.
I personally find that this legend is simply over the top and far too sensational. It relies solely on the unconfirmed account of David Patton, and his claim (that Cain was Bigfoot) was never confirmed nor ratified as doctrine of the LDS Church.
I tend to agree with blogger Alex Boese, at Museum of Hoaxes site, who couldn't resist making the obvious joke. "[I]f Bigfoot is Cain, maybe Nessie is really the snake from the Garden of Eden."
[1] Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969 p.127-128; Letter by Abraham O. Smoot, quoted in Lycurgus A. Wilson (1900). Life of David W. Patten, the First Apostolic Martyr (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News) p. 50 (pp. 46–47 in 1993 reprint by Eborn Books.[2] A Mormon Bigfoot, Matt Bowman[3] JKV Bible, Genesis 4:15

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