The independent accounts of the witnesses are less than compelling that those
affidavits contained in The Book of Mormon should be taken seriously.
Deseret News...I get tired of posting reasonables arguments that don't get
posted because it doesn't support Mormonism. What are you afraid of? You must
already know the evidence really can be challenged and can't stand on its
own.The Book of Mormon witnesses later said, when they were
questioned more in detail, was that they only saw these things in visions, not
in reality, in other words, they were only “visionary imaginations”,
of obviously very gullible people. The BoM speaks of tangible plates so there is
something wrong if the witnesses saw visionary ones. The Mormon
Church tries to prove on psychological grounds that the witnesses to the Book of
Mormon must have been telling the truth. It does this by eliminating the
ulterior motives such as lust for money, the fear of notoriety, the fear of the
loss of power, the fear of embarrassment as motives for the witnesses not
retracting their testimony. There was great pressure put by the book itself on
the witnesses to make themselves see visions of the plates and the angel saying
the book was true.Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
People who believe seem to accept disputibly weak evidence.
Huh?Not sure what cowboy is saying but I will read this book when it
Mormoncowboy: For those who choose to be cynics and who remain closed to the
possibility of truth, no matter from wherever it may come, and who deny the role
of direct personal revelation from God, I don't think even a thousand witnesses,
regardless of the circumstances, would be sufficient evidence. Nor would the
display of a set of gold plates claimed by the church to be THE gold plates be
Reluctant... because ... well... "they don't exist."... unless I'm
mistaken ... and they are at the Field Museum in Chicago.
@GmaxDFor those who choose to be gullible and who remain closed to
the possibility of deception, lies, lust for money, the fear of notoriety, the
fear of the loss of power, the fear of embarrassment as very possible motives
for witnesses to support the existence of the golden plates no matter how much
good contrary evidence is presented, and who believe the role of direct personal
revelation from God can't logically be disputed and challenged, won't think any
good evidence to the contrary, regardless of its logic and reliability, would be
sufficient evidence to disregard the existence of the golden plates. Nor would
the display of detailed evidence by scholarly sources that the BoM is false be
sufficient. The BoM can easily be challenged and the evidence
supporting it can't stand on its own. The three and the eight witnesses to the
Book of Mormon plus plenty of other evidence give many people no confidence as
to the existence of the golden plates or the truth of the BoM.Humanism shows that we all believe many things just because we want them to be
true. Mormonism is NO exception.Will DN post a rebuttal?
To Jolter: The problem with your argument is that these so called eleven
witnesses did see and handle these plates. Physically handled them. The other
thing is that none of the eleven ever and I mean ever recanted their
testimonies.To Mormoncowboy: There are many instances where Joseph
Smith didn't look at the plates during translation but into the hat with the
seer stone. We know that the first 116 pages of the Book Of Mormon were lost or
stolen awaiting for Joseph to retranslate them. This never happened thus those
pages never seem to have ever come back into existance. The plates and the
translators were taken from Joseph for a season. When the plates were returned
we don't know if the original translators were returned to him or not, thus the
reason for the seer stone.You will never prove the falsehood or the
truth of the Book of Mormon through so called hard evidence, just as you will
never prove the same with the Bible. Just because the names of so called places
aren't found doesn't mean they never existed.The Book of Mormon must
be taken on faith and faith alone.
The Lord covered all his bases when he had the 12 men testify of the plates.
There was Joseph who had them and handled them. who saw the angel and
translated them. That would be easy to rationalize away, if that was the end of
the story. So the Lord gave us 3 more witnesses who saw an angel, heard the
Lord's voice declaring the truthfulness of the record and saw the plates, the
sword, the liahona, and the Urim and Thummim. They are the spiritual witness,
testifying that Joseph wasn't just daydreaming or having fantastic ideas
floating in his head. Then the Lord had 8 more men see and feel the plates.
They are the physical witness of the Book of Mormon. They saw no angel, and
heard no voice. You can't claim that it was a hallucination,
because of the 8 who saw physical evidence. You can't claim that the 8 were in
cahoots with Joseph because of the 3 witnesses. The Lord showed in a very real
way that the Book of Mormon and plates are real. That isn't taking into affect
the millions who know by the Holy Ghost.
The plates were real. The witnesses "handled" and "hefted" them. William Smith,
a brother of Joseph handled the plates in a pillow-case and claimed on several
occasions that the set of plates weighed about sixty pounds, as did Willard
Chase, while Martin Harris said that they weighed forty to fifty pounds. Emma
felt the plates under a cloth on the table and noticed that they felt metallic.
And some enemies of Joseph tried to steal them - even they at least believed the
plates to be real.
The fact that God chose to take back the plates makes it difficult for some to
just rely on the witnesse's testimony. But I'm not sure that many members know
that the Church HAS the seer stone in their possession. I have seen a picture of
it and I would assume many well-placed members have physically viewed it. The
seer stone in JS's hat was used for the vast majority of translations. I recognize there is some inherent embarrassment in general regarding the hat
and stone process but it is what it is and the seer stone is in the church's
possession. It would be pretty cool if members were allowed to see it. But that
darn PR/image thing will probably always prevent that. I wonder if
the book will address the reality that the stone was used FAR more than the
plates for translation? And did I say we actually HAVE it?
This isn't the place (the forums which allows for only brief comments) for a
detailed analysis of the issue. So I won't go into that. However, beyond the
vague assertion that eight witnesses had in fact "hefted", who knows the actual
story of when the Whitmers and Smiths were said to have experienced this.
Secondly, think to story of the three witnesses, paying particular attention to
Martin Harrises "witness". Next learn of David Whitmers retelling and how it
actually is more consistent with Martin Harris's experience (hint: it was in
their mind - their words, not mine) than the Testimony signed in The Book of
Mormon. Finally, read David Whitmers "An Address to All Believers in Christ" and
see if you can maintain the validity of his "testimony". No nothing can be
proved, and from where I stand Joseph Smith has a lot to prove before getting my
To Mormoncowboy:Actually Joseph Smith has nothing to prove. Martin
Harris even on his death bed failed to recant his witness to the plates as did
David Whitmer. They had every opportunity and every reason to recant but NEVER
did. What you say is only words of description not fact or reason. There are
too many that know for a fact that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God.That through the power of inspiration Joseph Smith translated the Book
of Mormon. The evidence has been presented but just as some have seen angels
and been spoken to have failed to be swayed so why should anyone else who have
been told of the same excuses know any different.The promise of the
Book of Mormon to know for a sureity is in Moroni 10:3-5. Put that to a test
with a complete sincere heart to know and then to be ready to act upon it. No
one will have to tell God whether the Book of Mormon is true or false but when
you ask when did you tell me remember those on this board that have told you.
Bill in Nebraska,I took the test you have described. I took it over
and over, repeatedly, while my beautiful wife prayed and fasted and yearned for
me to "see the light".I received nothing that can be called an
"answer" or "revelation". If the "feelings" I have had over the years regarding
the Book of Mormon count as "revelation", then they have to be revelation that
the book is not true. And it isn't even good reading. It is not good history.
It is not good literature. It is not good logic or science. It is not good
moral guidance (cut off a man's head because "an angel" tells you to? Really?).
My repeated conclusion after taking Moroni's Challenge was consistently: "Well,
there's another few days I will never get back." Add to that the time I wasted
taking classes from BYU religion professors and attending Education Week, and I
can only testify that I have wasted more time than anyone I know trying to find
out if the Book of Mormon is "true".So, please, don't try to pawn
off that ancient con-game on us. We know the Emperor is naked.
Vanka: Thank you for your candid response to your efforts to find out for
yourself whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. As far as you can
determine, you did not get an affirmative response. To the contrary, you
perceive your response as a negative one. I respect you for making the effort
and I respect the decision you have made based on your effort. I, on the other
hand, have made the same effort and have received what I feel is an
incontrovertible witness that it is true. And contrary to your observation, I
feel the Book of Mormon is a superb history, is superb literature, and is superb
theology. No naked emperor for me, so I will respect you for saying that you
received a negative answer. Please, respect those of us who are so certain that
we have received an affirmative answer that we are willing to stake our eternal
welfare on it. This is serious business, for both of us.
RE: Vanka | 7:38 p.m.NOT getting an answeris not the
same as getting a negative answer,God will answer in his own time
and not yours, and when you are ready, especially spiritually.Many people get frustrated because they demand answers right away.and BOM was never intended to be a history book, or literature, but just an abridgement of greater records that Mormon was
inspired to or directed to include,and primarily a witness of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and of God's works with his other sheep in america.
The whole "Golden Plate" story never felt right to me, even as a child in Sunday
School. It still does not feel right to me as an adult.
Quite the ambiguity about the plates with many of the "witnesses""brother of Joseph handled the plates in a pillow-case""Emma felt
the plates under a cloth on the table"Then there is the whole
"spiritual eye" and "eye of faith" thing.Were there ever any plates?
I do not know.What is apparent is that the witnesses comments about
the whole thing are all over the map.Yes, there were comments made
that left no doubt that these people saw, touched and knew the plates were
real.These same people also made lots of comments that leave much
doubt as to what they really saw.
Like Vanka, I also have made serious request to the divine on the question of
Mormonism. But instead of simply not receiving an answer, I actually received a
negative response. One night I could not sleep, and I was weeping and crying out
for hours for an answer. There are few times in my life when I've been so
emotionally distraught. After several hours of this, a great peace and calmness
came upon me, and memories came to my mind in rapid-fire-- all the memories of
facts which prove Mormonism to be a false religion. This answer was not only a
feeling (the peace of God that surpasses all understanding), but was accompanied
by a rational response that did not come from me. Since that time I have never
considered Mormonism as a viable option-- God has ruled it out. Remember the continuity of 4,000+ years of Judeo-Christian tradition: strict
monotheism that worships the one true God! Mormonism is a different Gospel, and
as such is to be rejected by those who embrace the truth.
@brokenclayI lost respect for your "testimony" when you said there
are "facts which prove Mormonism to be a false religion". There is
no proof for or against any religion that is backed up by facts. It is all based
on faith - either pro or con. I have read the Book of Mormon
probably over 30 times - I quit counting at 15 times and have read it since then
numerous times. I have received the witness of the Spirit of God that it is
true. And I have yet to hear a decent alternative that explains the book - all
the critics' arguments for the Book of Mormon - they contradict themselves. If the critics cannot decide what theory about the BOM they believe,
then I would hardly say there are facts that prove it false. Disregard it if you
want, but don't claim the facts disprove it - that is utterly false.
It seems individuals like brokenclay and vanka make such comments to justify
what they say they believe.Vanka same name but now a male and not
from MichiganYou don't understand God's process for revelation thus your
disappointment. Study the concept of line upon line to learn how God gives
revelation to His Children. Elder Bednar taught the followingI
believe many of us unknowingly accept a faulty assumption about the Lord’s
pattern. And this faulty assumption then produces erroneous expectations about
how we receive spiritual knowledge. And that faulty assumption and our
misinformed expectations ultimately hinder our ability to recognize and respond
to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Let me suggest that many of us typically
assume we will receive an answer or a prompting to our earnest prayers and
pleadings. And we also frequently expect that such an answer or a prompting will
come immediately and all at once. Thus, we tend to believe the Lord will give us
A BIG ANSWER QUICKLY AND ALL AT ONE TIME.
To Vanka continued from Elder BednarHowever, the pattern repeatedly
described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept
upon precept,” or in other words, many small answers over a period of
time. Recognizing and understanding this pattern is an important key to
obtaining inspiration and help from the Holy Ghost.I like Montana
Mormon have had the answer and yes it was line upon line no big event for me
either I guess like you Vanka.I believe with my whole heart the last words
of Moroni in the BofM as follows I am brought forth triumphant
through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the
Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.
Alberta Reader: "I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you
before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah(YHWH), the Eternal Judge of both
quick and dead. Amen"(Mornoni 10:34)Jehovah is a KJV mistranslation of the
divine name of God or Yahweh. The angel Mormoni(JS) was misunderstood. See
A personal testimony or witness - either positive or negative regarding the BofM
and other LDS issues - should be treated with respect.I recognize
the "line upon line" concept of a testimony as mentioned by Alberta Reader. But
we all know stories or have personally experienced the "big answer quickly and
all at one time" as well. I know that I have personally experienced BOTH and
most of us probably have.The problem we often face is our own
absolute conviction of our beliefs. Therefore, if someone either received a
different answer or none at all then they must have gone about the process
incorrectly. I am very intrigued by the reality that millions have
experienced profound spiritual confirmations that completely contradict the LDS
position in one sense or another. What does that mean? It is easy for LDS to say
those experiences came from an incorrect source or the testimony gaining process
was not followed correctly. It is certainly easy for non-LDS faiths to
contribute that to LDS testimonies.I believe the answer may be that
the Lord has different life and spiritual paths for each of His children. And
equally provides a spiritual confirmation for them.
"I know . . . how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those
who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false." (Rev
2:2)"Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what
is good." (1 Thess 5:20-21)"Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets
have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)"Now these Jews were more
noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness,
examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." (Acts 17:22)"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from
the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons."
(1Tim 4:1)Test the spirits, apostles, and teachers: the world is
full of deceiving spirits and false prophets! Any spirit can give a feeling. The
objective way is as the Bereans did-- by searching the scriptures to see if
these things are true. There are doctrinal tests. The doctrine of Mormonism is
foreign to the Bible; therefore, we know it is false.
Idaho coug: "Therefore, if someone either received a different answer or none at
all then they must have gone about the process incorrectly" No,"He saved
us,not because of righteous things we had done,but because of his mercy,He saved
us through the washing of the rebirth by the Holy Spirit"(Titus 3:5)Christians are saved grace through faith alone but not by faith that is
alone,Christians will produce good works. "It does not therefore,depend on man's
desire or effort,but on God's mercy. (Romans 9:16) Not,"you are
saved by grace after all you can do."
Brokenclay: You stated above, "The doctrine of Mormonism is foreign to the
Bible; therefore, we know it is false." I am currently in my 82nd reading of
the New Testament, so I consider myself well informed as to what the New
Testament has to say about Christianity. Therefore, I respectfully disagree
with your assessment of Mormonism and Biblical Christianity.