Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

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LadyofRadiantJoy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by LadyofRadiantJoy » 01 Mar 2019, 11:01

Roy wrote:
25 Feb 2019, 11:57
dande48 wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 08:56
If the BOM is good, it's good whether or not its historical. It's historical accuracy and authenticity should not matter. The fact that it DOES matter, rubs me the wrong way.
I think the church tries to have it both ways by saying that we should not necessarily look for proofs that the BoM is historical because the biggest evidence is the witness of the spirit. The feelings of goodness that one can have regarding experiences with the book are to be taken as the most sure evidence of its historicity.

I am also aware that many feel that if something is not literally true then it is meaningless. One of the strategies that helps me to stayLDS is to look for truths and purpose amongst the symbolism.
IIRC the Church has spent a lot of money on the idea that the Nephites were the Mayans. Which does not at all track with what Joseph Smith said.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Mar 2019, 17:49

I would have to see that. I am not aware of that claim from the Church.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by SamBee » 02 Mar 2019, 03:18

Nah, HP doesn't do it for me . There is *some* wisdom in there and I enjoy them*, but as a spiritual guide? No. I know some people have said the same about Star Wars, but personally the commercial aspect of the films undermines that for me - and yes, I'm meaning the films not just the merchandising.

* You'll be glad to know I have the complete set of books and films. I didn't see the latest Fantastic Beasts film but that's a different series, right?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Roy » 04 Mar 2019, 10:10

LadyofRadiantJoy wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 11:00
Lemme clarify. Not ALL of Harry Potter made me feel the Spirit, just certain parts of it where some good ol' truth is right there.
The moment in LOTR when Merry and Pippen draw the attacking orks away from Frodo, even though it will almost certainly lead to their own deaths.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

LadyofRadiantJoy
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by LadyofRadiantJoy » 06 Apr 2019, 11:47

Curt Sunshine wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 17:49
I would have to see that. I am not aware of that claim from the Church.
There are tons of articles and books by LDS folk and by FARM talking about the connection.
Roy wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 10:10
LadyofRadiantJoy wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 11:00
Lemme clarify. Not ALL of Harry Potter made me feel the Spirit, just certain parts of it where some good ol' truth is right there.
The moment in LOTR when Merry and Pippen draw the attacking orks away from Frodo, even though it will almost certainly lead to their own deaths.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Amen!
SamBee wrote:
02 Mar 2019, 03:18
Nah, HP doesn't do it for me . There is *some* wisdom in there and I enjoy them*, but as a spiritual guide? No. I know some people have said the same about Star Wars, but personally the commercial aspect of the films undermines that for me - and yes, I'm meaning the films not just the merchandising.

* You'll be glad to know I have the complete set of books and films. I didn't see the latest Fantastic Beasts film but that's a different series, right?
I wasn't "looking" for it. I just felt it. Same with some Star Wars stuff. Universal truths are universal truths and will resonant no matter what packaging they are in.

IIRC Fantastic Beasts has our favorite trio as adults. I haven't seen it either. I have heard horrible things about the latest one about Dumbledore and Grimmauld (or whatever his name is).

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Apr 2019, 13:38

You said the Church has spent a lot of money on the idea that the Nephites were the Mayans. FAIR/FARMS and individual members aren't "the Church". I am not aware of money spent by the Church making that claim. There might be, but I am not aware of any. I would need to see a link.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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rrosskopf
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by rrosskopf » 07 Apr 2019, 20:26

People who assert that Joseph Smith could have brought forth the Book of Mormon from his own imagination seriously underestimate the complexity of the book. When the book of Lehi was stolen, Joseph continued on with the book of Mosiah through to Moroni, and only then dictated the books of Nephi and Jacob. Yet there are several places where later prophets quote earlier prophets word for word. I guess you could say that he had a photographic memory, and could write a book in his mind without ever putting it to paper, and then memorized his own imagined book word for word, but is there any record of anyone ever accomplishing such a feat? To say the odds are 1 in a million is to seriously underestimate the odds.
Then there is the chiastic verse; the Book of Mormon contains some of the finest examples of a long forgotten type of Hebrew prose. It is so obscure that no one noticed it in the Book of Mormon for over a hundred years. Some of these are quite lengthy, and hard to compose even with a computer. Where did Joseph Smith learn to write Hebrew prose? According to his mother, Joseph was an active boy and didn't like to read.
According to authorship testing, the Book of Mormon was written by twenty men - none of which were Joseph Smith. If someone knew about the test then they might be able to figure out some way to fool it, but if Jospeh Smith knew about the test, then the titles of prophet and seer would certainly apply to him.
Then there is the geography. Hundreds of statements regarding geography are all in perfect harmony.
If that weren't enough, the Book of Mormon is predominantly Israelite in composition. It isn't Jewish at all. Israelite themes are talked about again and again, but the Jewish specific themes are noticeably absent. I suppose some scholar who has done research into Documentary Hypothesis could fake such a book today, but this discipline didn't exist in 1830.
Then there is the real world knowledge of war. Joseph Smith may have paraded around Nauvoo on his horse, wearing the uniform of a general, but he had no real training in war. Mormon - on the other hand - was a real general and fought in numerous battles, and seems to talk about little else. It has been suggested, and rightly so, that the Book of Mormon is a manual on guerrilla warfare.

Then there is the real question about how much Joseph Smith knew of Jerusalem, Arabia, or ancient America. The coincidences just keep adding up. Why are there plausible candidates for the river of Laman, bountiful, and Nahom? How did Joseph Smith describe in great detail Mayan armor and weapons? How would he know that the plates of Laban would have been kept in a treasury and not a library? How would he know that before money was invented, that weights of grain were used as currency? Or that cement houses were being built in 100 AD? He couldn't build a cement house on a dare. And yet, surprise surprise, archeologists have found houses made out of cement.

None of this speaks to the other problems, because they really don't involve the Book of Mormon per se; How did he heal the men who were dying of Cholera? How did he heal the withered arm of a women he had just met? How did he cause so many people to see shared visions? Even after excommunication, the three witnesses were still loyal to what they had actually seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears, what could only be described as a visionary experience in broad daylight.

I'd like to suggest, that if you can write a lie, and feel the spirit, then perhaps you are feeling the wrong spirit. When the spirit has born witness to me of future events, I have watched those events transpire. I have come to trust the spirit.
Last edited by rrosskopf on 08 Apr 2019, 16:39, edited 1 time in total.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Apr 2019, 21:23

As I said in my previous comment, there are a lot of elements that intrigue me and make it impossible for me to dismiss the BofM as simply a work of standard fiction. I hope we can all help each other in some way.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by SamBee » 08 Apr 2019, 01:55

Curt Sunshine wrote:
07 Apr 2019, 21:23
As I said in my previous comment, there are a lot of elements that intrigue me and make it impossible for me to dismiss the BofM as simply a work of standard fiction. I hope we can all help each other in some way.
By no yardstick is the BoM "standard fiction". Nor is the Bible "a fairytale" as the modern cliché goes. Whoever says that clearly doesn't know their literary genres. Even if Smith made up all or most of it, then it's something a bit different - there are elements of a chronicle about it, theological discussion and the structure of it is unlike most novels of the 19th century. Moby Dick comes close in some regards, with its chapters on whale biology etc but even that is more like a novel.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Joseph Smith Could Not Have Written the Book of Mormon

Post by Roy » 08 Apr 2019, 09:27

rrosskopf, thank you for providing important information to balance out the discussion. As I too wrote in the other thread, there is evidence on both sides - for and against. The LDS church position (as I understand it) is that a scientific approach will not be enough to convince an individual of the historicity of the BoM. It requires a spiritual witness and is a matter of faith.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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