The Book of Mormon

As some may know, i recently graduated from BYUI and am back in Pittsburgh. Don’t worry, i found a decent job in web design and am still looking for opportunities to contribute in the Archaeology industry.

Anyway, i had dinner with the folks last night and finally told them that I was attending RCIA and was thinking of joining the Catholic Church. After the shock and awe phase, questions started to pop up. The usual, “why” “did someone offend you?” “how long have you been thinking about this” So i explained the inconsistencies that I saw in the LDS church and the things that bothered me and the strengths of the Catholic Church and what i liked about it. Then my mom asked me a simple question, “What about the Book of Mormon?”

She told me there was no way of leaving the LDS church without explaining how the Book of Mormon came into existence. Then i got all the quotes and testimonies of the Book of Mormon that i could handle.

So here’s my question, How do you explain the existence of the Book of Mormon? Any former LDS out there that worked through this problem? Any help and rebuttal would be appreciated, i’m having dinner with them again tomorrow night to discuss further.

it is actually up to them to explain HOW it exists.

Nothing about it makes sense.

First, it is a book that allegedly is a history about a people that no one can prove existed in a land no one knows where it is using a language no one has heard of before or since. It copies from the Bible and has no basis in anything factual.

Next, it was never truly seen by anyone. It was admitted it was only seen by Spiritual eyes. It was translated using rocks js used, at one time, to look for buried treasure. And the way it was translated has been told several different ways. It resembles other books js had access to about finding golden objects in hills nearby. It was allegedly gold, but made of gold that weighed less than feathers, as js, on a bad leg and over uneven ground outran men on good legs for several miles.

It was written by a man who was uneducated in USAin 1800s allegedly translated from Reformed Egyptian, yet is often word for word with what very educated Englishmen in 1600s translated from Greek and Hebrew. Pretty amazing, that.

It has “and it came to pass” more often in its few pages than the entire Bible. It speaks of things existing in the Americas that did not exist till much later.

And it speaks of a great battle where thousand and thousands died on a hill in New York where nothing has been found to support it and the the lds church is too afraid to excavate.

It would seem THEY have the burden to prove that they claim is a fact.

So here’s my question, How do you explain the existence of the Book of Mormon?

Its a product of the fanciful imagination of an intelligent yet misguided person. Textual criticism shows that old Joe Smith borrowed large swaths from the King James Bible, even copied the same translation uses. Its rife with archeological anachronisms, like that there were horses present in America prior to European settlement. It claims that folks crossed from Israel to America in wooden submarines. It has not a single shred of archeological evidence to back up its claims.

“But how could a person with no formal education like old Joe complete such a work?”

No one claims that old Joe wasn’t intelligent, and he was well read. Many smart people had little or no formal education.

“But a book that has changed millions of lives couldn’t be false!”

Dianetics has changed thousands of lives and minds as well. But no thinking person puts any stock in that L Ron Hubbard was anything more than an intelligent misguided person. Lots of false books have people utterly convinced of their truth.

Very well said TexanKnight and thank you for your rebuttals. I never thought to have them prove the BoM is true rather than me proving it is false. I’ll definitely bring up the points you mentioned and have them prove it is true.

Sorry to provide more work than needed but could you provide sources to claims. Such as horses first appearing in North America during the European settlement?

the idea of making you prove it is false is bad form. You cannot prove a negative. And they cannot prove it is real. All they will say is “We prayed about and the Spirit told us it is true”.

That is a fallacious argument because we can go to any church and they can say they prayed and the Spirit confirmed it for them. If they claim it is a historical book, they need to prove it.

This only proves that horses “returned” to America through Europeans. Different forms of horses were present far before the Iberian horses.

Keep reading. They went extinct in America around 12500 years ago in the Pleistocene extinction.

They returned with the Spanish invaders around 1530 because they survived in Europe.

That means when the Israelites got to the Americas, per the BOM, horses would have been gone for over 10000 years.

Why the error? Because old Joe had no idea about the Pleistocene extinction or ancient fauna in the Americas. He simply assumed they were here. Paleontology disproves they were.

Horses went extinct in the Americas 12,000 years ago, long before the BoM period setting. Horses were reintroduced by Europeans. The Mormon apologetic on this is that Smith used an English word to translate a word that really meant tapirs.

Of course, this is just piling more make believe on top of make believe, as the original language documents of “reformed Egyptian” don’t exist. So there’s no way to verify Smith’s translation. Not to mention verifying he actually had golden plates.

This then brings up the issue of translation mistakes. If you go with the fantasy that the golden plates actually existed for a moment, how many translation mistakes did Smith make, and how would you verify the translation today?

Thank you for the clarification

I was waiting for someone to bring this up, i had that same problem when told about this also. I asked how someone could know that Joseph meant Tapir and now horse when we have no documents of reformed egyptian to base it off of. I think it’s just an attempt to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.

LDS have no evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. They make a valiant effort at connecting far flung dots, but the evidence just isn’t there. No non Mormon archaeologist believes the claims of the Book of Mormon in regards to culture, civilization, artifacts, religious practices, language, etc. Belief in the Book of Mormon is entirely one of faith, devoid of reason.

I agree.

The MormonThink website really is a great resource. There are a few pages specifically on the Book of Mormon that you should read.

What always bothered me was the lifting of excerpts from the KJV of the Bible, including problematic parts. It doesn’t make sense to me. You can read more about that here.

Great resource, thank you!

All I can add is Bless you on your journey. I’ll be praying for you.

Thank you! I understand this will be a tough journey but one full of rewards. Any prayers my way would be appreciated!

God Bless

Some scholars have found that earlier works, such as the Wonders of Nature by Josiah Priest and the View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith were similar, at least in part, to what was written later in the Book of Mormon.

Glad to hear that you are landing on your feet and moving into the next phase of your journey. Also good luck with the parents. I’m praying for you.

My parents never confronted me on the Book of Mormon. My stake president did. Our SP and EQP showed up on our doorstep one fine Sunday and one of the arguments the SP used to try to convince us to come back was that the BOM was inspired by God. He asked, “Didn’t you feel the Spirit when you read the BOM?” He also tried to argue that if the BOM is the word of God, then JS is a prophet.

The reality is that the truthfulness of the BOM (and all of Mormonism for that matter) stands or falls on the trustworthiness of Joseph Smith. JS is not trustworthy because the BOM is “true”. Of course there is some truth in the BOM. Parts are copied straight out of the KJV of the Bible! It doesn’t matter how much truth there is in the BOM because the source is corrupt.

What did it for me is that Joseph Smith stole the wives of other men. God would never command a prophet to steal another man’s wife. The treasure seeking and fraud also deem JS to be untrustworthy.

Either Joseph Smith was a prophet of God or he was a very bad man. I think the evidence shows that he was a very bad man.

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