• Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, dictating it from behind a curtain to a fellow named Oliver Cowdery. With the help of "Urim and Thummim" (a breastplate/glasses combo), Smith was able to see the "reformed egyptian" characters in the English alphabet. Of course, rather than letting average believers see for themselves, the "golden plates" were shown to eleven other people, who swore oaths that they had indeed seen these plates and this writing. The promise of a bunch of dead men are the authority by which the LDS "proves" that the golden plates existed and that the "revelations" contained within are divinely inspired. This idea, of course, throws to the wind the fact-- the incontrovertible fact-- that no other writings written in "reformed egyptian" outside the BOM have ever been discovered. Apparently, Mormon (the supposed author) was privy to a written language that has eluded every non-Mormon researcher since the inception of the LDS church. It becomes easy to realize why no evidence of tremendous battles between Jewish tribes in North America have been discovered, or why none of the metal coin described in the BOM has ever been discovered, or why there is no historical, tangible evidence of Nephite, Lehite, Jaredite or any other North American Jewish tribes predating Columbus-- Joseph Smith, a former treasure hunter and womanizer-to-the-end wrote the book.
  • Book of Mormon: Mormons claim this book to be a record written on golden plates by prophets of a race who lived in the Americas for about 1,000 years. Joseph Smith said he found these plates in 1823 near Palmyra, NY and executed an 'exact and inerrant translation' of them with the help of an angel, two friends and special instruments.The ancient race was descended from two groups of Hebrews, the Nephites and the Lamanites, who traveled to the New World from Palestine around 600 B.C. and built a great civilization. Another people, the Jaredites, who had arrived in the Americas much earlier, exterminated the Nephites around A.D. 421. The Lamanites supposedly became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. The indigenous people discovered by Columbus are cousins of that race, reputedly cursed with dark skin for having rejected God. A major claim of the Book of Mormon is that Christ appeared in the New World shortly after His resurrection and that His second coming will preceded by a massive conversion of the American Indians to Christ, who will then exterminate gentiles who do not accept it. After that, the believing Indians and Mormons will build the New Jerusalem (in Independence, Missouri), where Christ will return to live. The Mormon Church claims this book is "another testament of Jesus Christ" that confirms the Biblical dictate to establish every fact by the mouth of two or three witnesses. Importantly, the Book of Mormon also claims that the Bible is incomplete and inaccurate: "many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible...wherefore because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:3,10).
  • This is not intended to be a factual answer to this question, but simply an observation... I have seen many questions and answers on the AnswerBag that seem intended to bring Mormons into disrepute. This is not the purpose of this website. Numerous websites exist that do that sort of thing. This is intended to operate as a repository of information. The Book of Mormon originated from people who believed themselves to be chosen by the Judeo-Christian-Muslim god. The Bible, the early chapters of which form the basis of three major world religions and numerous smaller sects, was constructed by many people over a broad historical span. Some of these were written by persons who believed themselves to be ordained by their god and some were simply a recording of their history as they understood it. The Bible was assembled from a selection of writings - various writings were selected and various writings were rejected during the creation of this document. We have divisions between the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as between Muslims and Jews / Christians. The Book of Mormon represents another such split. Is it valid? To its believers it is. Almost a thousand years ago, the Roman church launched a crusade to exterminate the Cathar heresy within Europe. They succeeded and the 'heretical' Cathars are all but unknown today. The first incarnations of the Protestant church would have cheerfully burned Cathars, as various Christian sects did to one another in those days. But today, one finds that progressive elements within the Anglican and United churches follow many of the paths laid down by the Cathars before their obliteration. So, tell me, who is right? Perhaps the Mormons exist along one of these paths. Or perhaps the Jehovah Witnesses do. Or perhaps any sect based on the Christian Bible do. The source of the writings is irrelevant, since they are believed to be ordained from god. Most people I know consider Mormons to be a fairly mainline, if small, Christian sect. They may seem secretive to some, but is this of any importance? Many religious sects have secrets restricted only to initiates. I don't lose sleep over these things. Most Mormons that I have met seem to be pretty decent people, as are most people of most religious beliefs. They believe themselves to be a Christian sect and that's good enough for me. If we look around the world and see the hatred brewed by various religious and non-religious sects, we should consider the position in the world that Mormons see themselves within. Mainline Mormonism is not evil. It does not promote hatred against others. It promotes a morality that is not asocial. I would certainly prefer a family of Mormons living next door to me than, say, a family of fundamentalist, ultra-right Pentecostals who murder people who hold beliefs like mine. Yes, there are fringe elements within the Mormon faith, but so there are among every faith. The sociopaths Jim Jones and David Koresh spring to mind. While I am areligious, I can respect persons who hold a humanistic morality as I do, be they Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, or Buddhists. I have known, socialized, and worked with persons of many faiths. All of them condemn bigotry, murder, and other crimes done for the sake of 'faith'. Mormons are decent people. Can you say the same for yourself? Perhaps this is not the best place to frame this response, but I will do it here to say my piece and be done with it. Let us answer these questions factually, as best as possible, without resorting to petty hatreds and bigotry.
  • So far no one has answered the question. How do you explain the Book of Mormon, you who believe that it is a product of Joseph Smith's imagination? How did he produce it (540 pages of scripture) in around 3 months? How come none of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon ever changed their witness of the book, even after they left the Church? What about the historical evidence that has emerged about the Book's origins (Nahom, for example)? What about the word printing, indicating more than a dozen authors wrote the book? What about the inner consistency in terms of geography, doctrine, culture, etc.? What about the consistency with ancient Arabic life and culture, something that that there is no EVIDENCE that Joseph Smith even had access to in his rural New York state town (just a lot of speculation and conjecture)? Where did Smith, an extremely poor farmer, come up with the means to fabricate, as you are suggesting, the plates from which the translation came, and which many other witnesses saw, handled, and testified of? And when did he have the time to forge them, make them, hide them, etc., etc.? Keep in mind that all of the evidence shows that when Joseph was translating he never referred to anything, he simply dictated the words to whoever his scribe was at the time, and all of his scribes said the process was exactly the same, and even though one of them left the Church never denied what had happened with Joseph. I'm sorry, this is an extremely complex book. I've read it more than a dozen times. Have you read it once? You're going to have to do better than "imagination" and "treasure hunter."
  • A church pew? [oh - I thought you wrote "*this* Book of Mormon"] ;-)
  • SHORT ANSWER: The latest research indicates that the Book of Mormon was written by Sidney Rigdon with input from Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith. It was then recited by Joseph Smith to scribes via the "Seer Stone in the Hat" trick that has been well documented and written about by Mormon Studies Scholars. From Craig Criddle's seminal (and now peer reviewed and validated) White Paper: "According to the Spalding-Rigdon Theory, The Book of Mormon is the product of a pious fraud perpetrated by Sidney Rigdon, aided and abetted by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The theory states that Ridgon made extensive use of materials written by Solomon Spalding (also spelled "Spaulding") to fabricate what became the 1830 version of The Book of Mormon. He then used Smith as his conduit to bring his new revelation to the attention of the public. In crafting this "American Bible", Rigdon sought to maximize the support that this new scripture would give to his particular version of Christianity." The full White Paper goes into great detail on the above summary statement and is highly recommended. LONG VERSION: Please use this link to read Mr. Criddle's article in it's entirety: ALSO RECOMMENDED: AUDIO/VIDEO: Art Vanick 'The Spalding Enigma' AUDIO: Tom Donofrio 'Book of Mormon Tories' VIDEO: Bill McKeever/Aaron Shafovaloff 'How the BoM was "Translated"' WEB CLIP: Why was the Book of Mormon Written in Ancient Irish?
    • Glenn Blaylock
      The problem with this answer is that Sidney Rigdon did not even hear of Joseph Smith until AFTER the Book of Mormon was published.
  • As far as I can tell: Imagination. But not necessarily Mr. Smith's. Aside from the archaelogical anachronisms: References to animals, plants, metals and technologies in the Book of Mormon that archaeological or scientific studies have found no evidence of in post-Pleistocene, pre-Columbian America, frequently referred to as anachronisms. Items typically listed include cattle, horses, asses, oxen, sheep, swine, goats, elephants, wheat, steel, brass, chains, iron, scimitars, and chariots. One person has suggested that it was plaigiarised from Walt Whitman's: Leaves of Grass. Yet another has made the accusation that it was plaigiarised from the book: View of the Hebrews. And there is extensive evidence of amazing parallels between the Book of Mormon and the Bible's Book of Isaiah, even down to mistranslations of the Book of Isaiah in the Early 1800's version of the King Jame's Bible:
  • Wasn't it found under the ground near a tree?
  • Paper comes from wood.
  • Mormania :D
  • It is a plagiarized concoction of assorted sources. Put together by Joseph Smith, in an attempt to make money from it's sale in Canada.

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