Mormonism lack of evidence.

  • I in no way intend to offend or upset members of the LDS community. I only intend to help create dialogue and understanding between members of mainstream Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants) with members of Mormonism and other heterodox “Christian” movements (Jehovah Witness, Christian Science etc.) -

The Book of Mormon contains many stories about events that happened in the Americas from a period roughly in-between 2500BC to 400AD. Many of the tale’s in the Book of Mormon include accounts of great kingdoms or large battles and wars between different groups. They even include an account that Jesus visited America. The problem with these tale’s is that there is no archeological evidence for them. They also directly contradict many of the things historians know about the history of civilization in pre-Columbian America.

There is also lack of evidence for such things as the Golden Plates, where the accounts of the Book of Mormon supposedly came from. No one but a very small handful of people saw them. And their accounts are questionable. Also, we have things such as the “Book of Abraham”, an ancient Egyptian papyri which Joseph Smith claimed to be additional accounts of Abrahams journeys between Canaan and Egypt. Yet, when the papyri for the Book of Abraham was rediscovered, many scholars concluded that hieroglyphics contained on it depict nothing more but embalming ceremony’s preformed by an Egyptian god.

Mormonism seems to be based on blind faith. Now, Christianity does put importance on faith. But not on blind faith. Christianity does have something to back its faith up, which would be the resurrection of Christ. As Paul says, “If Christ is not raised, then your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” - 1 Corinthians 15:17 Christianity is based on the resurrection. Mormonism is based only on the word of Joseph Smith. A man who came 1800 years after Christ yet claimed to know more about Christ than anyone did.

So, how do you continue to be Mormon when facts and reality simply don’t seem to be in your favor? I am genuinely curious.

Is Mormonism nothing but a bunch of tale’s with no evidence whatsoever and must be accepted with blind faith and gullibility?

By golly thephilosopher6, you’re right- we should only accept something as “true” if I have something in front of me that is undeniable physical proof – else it is unbelievable nonsense! I should examine my faith this way starting right now, with the most important thing- Christ!

Where is the risen Christ- I want him right in front of me right now so that I can feel his scarred hands and feet in front of me for myself. Then I want to run an MRI scan to confirm that these are real wounds. And then I want a video tape of him coming back from the dead-- not just any video tape, by certifiable original copy so that I can be sure it wasn’t altered. And then I need the man claiming to be Christ to walk on water for me, and then feed a bunch of people, walk through walls, etc.

Wait… I don’t have any of that. I can’t have any of that. And science tells us thoroughly that coming back from the dead is nonsense. Nor is there any scientific evidence for Hod, spirits, Heaven or any of that nonsense.

Therefore I should conclude that this whole “Jesus” thing is folklore nonsense that I should just quit. Well, off to the void of atheism for me! Thanks for making a real difference in my view on things thephilosopher!!!

*** Note: all of the above is 333% complete satire and in no way a reflection of my actual feelings. Rather, I believe in things that I cannot see and that science tells me are impossible because I have been moved so by the Holy Spirit***]

Greetings, Jane.

You are a intelligent person, obviously.

So I’m sure you understand what the OP is saying. We have all the apostles dying for their beliefs in Jesus, less John. We have a unbroken chain of successors to Peter. We have arguably 300+ fulfilled OT prophecies by the Lord. There is plenty of evidence for Orthodox/Catholic Christianity. But there seems to be a real lack of evidence for these restoration movements such as Mormonism.

This is one of the reasons i started a thread asking active LDS members about their testimony in regards to reading and praying about the BOM. We would like to know what is it that you see that keeps you in the LDS Church as opposed to mainstream Christianity?

Pax

Are you comparing the stories in the Book of Mormon to whether or not Jesus lived and died and started a Church?

This is a series of questions actually. I’ll answer them, but I’m going to keep my answers brief— I do not wish to offend any of my Catholic hosts here, anger the mods, or start arguments. If you want a more thorough answer, feel free to PM me and I’ll give you my personal email for communicating.

Why do I not accept the Catholic claims of being the one True church? Because upon thorough investigation of the Catholic church, her beliefs, and her claims, I find them to be false. The same answer applies for creedal Christianity in general.

Why am I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints? Because upon thorough investigation of the LDS church, her beliefs, and her claims, I find them to be True.

That is not necessarily what I’m arguing. The case for the resurrection of Christ is strong. Even many atheist admit that. Christianity is based off of the resurrection. Mormonism is based off of… well… just some guy who said he found some golden plates that pretty much nobody ever saw and the supposed stories contained on those plates which he translated turn out to be completely false and contradict basic facts of history. I mean very basic facts of history you learn in High School history class…

The resurrection is not science. It’s beyond science. It’s a supernatural event. The case for it is strong and can be argued for very well actually.

The Book of Mormon is actually not unusual for its time. There were many stories similar to Joseph Smith’s circulating around. Even one that Native Americans were Jews. Most scholars and historians believe Smith was greatly influenced by this and wrote up some of these theory’s in the Book of Mormon. However, the Book of Mormon has been shown repeatedly to be a work of fiction and it falls outside of academic credibility. All archaeological, linguistic, and DNA evidence directly contradict the Book of Mormon and point to a much different origin and history of pre-Columbian Americans. This is all very embarrassing for Mormons, but it’s simply the truth! But, you don’t have to believe it! Just like you don’t have to believe in gravity! Many people in the past have actually disputed the existence of gravity. But just because you don’t believe in gravity, doesn’t mean that if you decided to jump off the Empire State Building you’ll start to float. But if living in a world of fantasy makes you happy then… there is nothing stopping you. Just know that it’s far from what reality has shown us.

I’m sorry, but your post here is very disrespectful towards LDS beliefs. I’m here graciously answering your questions, please be respectful and try to understand my point of view. I assure you that I have many things better to do on a Saturday night than be insulted.

As I stated in post #2, if I were to look to science to prove my faith, it would immediately disnigrate, starting with Jesus Christ-- I simply find “historical” and “scientific” arguments for Him to be very unconvincing. Same with the Father, Spirit, Heaven, resurrection, creation, sin, etc etc (if I were to keep listing things in order of importance, the Book of Mormon wouldn’t even fall in the first 20).

I don’t think I was being disrespectful in anyway. Being offended is subjective anyway.

Science is useful in determining how the natural world works. History is useful in determine the events in the real world. The case for the Resurrection is strong historically. It is not anti-Scientific but rather it falls outside the bounds in which science can examine. Rational Philosophy, for example, is not anti-Scientific but does not fall in the bounds of scientific examination.

The fact that you don’t find the argument convincing shows that Mormonism is a heretical non-Christian religion such as Islam. The Book of Mormon’s history is contradictory to true history. The Book of Mormon is false. It is nothing but a bunch of silly tales.

And I shall respectfully disagree with you. Now, since you are apparently not interested in my views, I shall bid you adieu.

Sorry, I edited the post. I couldn’t get my thoughts out the right way before. I may edit it a little more. But be free to “re respond” I guess. Also, I am interested. It’s just that your views are easily refutable.

Again, you are being disrespectful and should little interest in my views.

I do not believe I was, but rather presenting a truth. As said before though, feeling disrespected and offended is subjective.

Once again, this great divide. “How can this person be an A,” you cry, “when it’s so obvious they should be a B.”

It’s not that simple, and instead of decrying the speck in our neighbor’s eye, we should be examining the plank in our own.

Mormonism arose in the “burned-over” district of what was then the American frontier, at an historic time when established Protestant churches in the former colonies (notably Connecticut and Massachusetts) were being dis-established, and many believers found themselves relying on private interpretation of the scriptures. At that time, to be a Catholic voice in the wilderness was a lonely prospect indeed. There was a diocese in Baltimore, and another in New York, and probably in a few other places I can’t recall off-hand. French Canadian Catholics were generally hated, the great waves of immigration from Ireland were yet to come, the Spaniards had been American enemies in war in the recent past, and the Know-Nothing movement was up and coming. All of this was the fruit of the Reformation.

Catholicism does not now, and did not then, offer easy answers to life’s challenges. The road of faith is a narrow one. Conversion takes weeks formally, but a lifetime to achieve (trust me, I am a convert). The language barrier was in full force then; the sacraments were celebrated in Latin, the rest of the liturgy was in English (or, depending on your location, French or Spanish or whatever was the prevalent language).

As the “burned-over” district of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio experienced revival after revival, at the preaching of the Methodists, the Baptists, and the Campbellites, many were primed and ready to hear the word of one who said he had a new book of scriptures, that answered their questions about believer’s baptism, about the origins of the American Indians, about the religious cacophany and vacuum that surrounded them following the collapse of the established churches. Miracle stories and utopian communities abounded, prophets and seers pronounced their visions, up and down the Eastern seaboard. Joseph Smith was not alone.

The LDS had their share of schisms, their own fruit of the Reformation pattern. Before the main body of LDS believers headed west, easily half their pre-1846 number split off. They followed variant prophets including Lyman Wight, James J Strang, Sidney Rigdon, and others. Historians have argued for many years it was isolation in Utah Territory which made the main body of the Latter-day Saints strong. In the 20th century, LDS numbers have increased in two ways: birth into the sect, and conversion into the sect, oftentimes by marriage. Out-conversions are not as easily tracked.

How can one believe? Men and women are granted the gift of free will.

If Catholics had a program which entailed eighteen months to two years of full-time door-to-door missionary effort by every believer, and a system of mandatory tithes to fund religious efforts, it might be a different story.

I think you have aptly described the thought process of Mormon to atheist. It happens often, which is a concern to have anytime the irrational difficulties of Mormonism are addressed. It is quite a black and white way to view religious history and faith, no?

But, many individuals convert straight from Mormonism to mainstream Christianity. So this is not the only process of thought possible for a Mormon.

AMEN, God Bless, Memaw

Absence of evidence is not proof of anything. It is only evidence when such absence should not exist. In the case of Joseph Smith, the evidence is very strong. We should have, we should have know, there should be a tradition, of the events of that era, prior to Joseph Smith drawing his first breath. We should have known of this "reformed Egyptian language, prior to 1830. There is as much evidence of its existence as there is of Klingon or Elvish.

Then you have the alleged Gold Plates, the most sacred of all artifacts, except, we don’t have them. There is nothing at all, in terms of evidence, except for witness testimony from a couple of people. Now this sort of testimony can be powerful, when witnessed by the death of martyrdom, unlike the death of Joseph Smith, who died in a gun battle during an attempted escape, unlike Brigham Young who fled religious persecution, only to inflict religious persecution on others.

By your screen name, Philosopher, it’s clear that you are, and appreciate thinking thru things as part of your journey in coming to see and understand truth.

Philosophy isn’t something that is part of LDS thinking, however, for whatever reason. Nor do they have a need or a desire to look to the sciences as a part of the journey into see and coming to understand truth. That is a general statement on my part, however.

It’s my understanding that in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, there was a BYU DNA project (sorry don’t know the name of it) that studied the DNA of those who were considered decedents of the group of people in the Book of Mormon known as “Lamanites”.

These groups of people were Native Americans, both from North and South America, the Polynesians. At the time, within the LDS community, (well at least at BYU) they were referred to as the Lamanite members. In fact, there was a BYU performing group known as the “Lamanite Generation” whose members were made up of Native Americans, Latinos, and Polynesians. They went around the world with their cultural dances and music etc.

As time went by with this project, it became clear thru DNA studies that the above mentioned groups did not decend from Israel, but rather Asia, the group’s name was changed to “Living Legends” and the emphasis that the Book of Mormon was a historical record, de-emphasised.

Now the BoM is held up and said to be more of a spiritual record.

That was a 180 degree shift on the BoM from when I was at BYU (I had friends in the “Lamanite Generation” ) and from Ezra T Benson’s mantra that the “Book of Mormon was the most correct book on the planet” and his strong emphasis in using it.

Im not sure how the LDS Church deals with scientific discoveries that clash with it’s belief systems, or how they encourage their people to deal with it. But there does seem to be an encouraging of a “blind faith” when science and faith collide and an embracing of their testimonies that is seen as given to them by the Holy Spirit.

So evidence doesn’t really matter much to them. Their testimonies trump that.

Most athiests agree that Jesus was a real person, don’t they?

I don’t know the ratio of those that agree and those that don’t. In ex Mormon forums that are dominated by now-atheists, I’d say anecdotally, most do not agree Jesus was a real person. I venture a guess that Jane Doe is familiar with the now-atheist, once-Mormon, group.

But here we are on a Catholc forum where once-Mormons are now Catholic. Obviously the sarcasm doesn’t fit to the audience. But it shows the attitude of Mormons who I view as being trained quite efficiently to become atheists.

There is the difficulty, of the Jesus Mormonism teaches not being a real person but in my personal experience, the problem is more with their concept of the Father. In my atheist years I viewed Jesus as a real person but along the lines of an exceptional example of humanism. I didn’t view him as divine but that came a lot from what I was taught as a Mormon. It’s just one small step from the Mormon concept of Jesus to not agreeing that Jesus is divinity.

In addition I view Joseph Smith as a closet atheist. Using religion to manipulate people I don’t see that he believed in any religious ideas but rather rejected them entirely during his teens. His new “religion” being a farsical and sarcastic parody of multiple religious beliefs, but mainly of Christianity.

I have looked and all I could find was a printers copy of the witness testimony held by the Community of Christ.  There may have been one at one time, and there may not have been.  All we have now is a testimony in the BOM similar to the one on the printers copy with the printed names of the people who it is claimed signed the testimony.
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