I love dispelling the Spaulding theory. It has more holes than Swiss cheese.
First you have the fact that many of the people that claim the manuscript used
the same names as the Book of Mormon were in Ohio. That would mean it would have
to be the first manuscript not second manuscript that was used. Second people
in Pennsylvania also claimed the names were the same only fewer people here made
the claim than in Ohio. So the existence of a second manuscript is unlikely.
Third when the manuscript was found in Hawaii it has been studied, midway
through the manuscript is found a page written on the back of a letter written
to him after he had moved to Pennsylvania (it is actually dated) This tells us
it is likely that the part before that page was written in Ohio and after that
page was clearly written in Pennsylvania. All of a sudden the supposed two
manuscripts become one single manuscript again and the theory fails.
I assume you avoid talking about BOM anachronisms and translation process on
purpose. That way you can write a nice fluffy article without addressing any
meaningful criticism at all.
Full-on D R: Maybe he'll get to that in a future article. Stay on topic.
This one was simply about the origin of the book.
As I have stated before, these articles do not have references or additional
reading. I find it hard to accept opions that cannot be cross referenced. It is one thing to say the Spadling theory is false. It is another thing
to use multiple sources to demonstrate why that is the case.I have
no problem with faith and personal testimonies, but I feel like this series is
meant to be a scholarly endeavor. That is why it is dissapointing that the
author wants me to accept his opinion as fact, rather than a hypothesis based on
@aaazzz,I wish too but they can't give a hypothesis based on
evidence. It's called faith for a reason. Shouldn't even be
considered an opinion.Truth is there's no proving it's
true but there's TONS of evidence that can prove it's false. Yet the
faithful cling on.
KC Mormon: That doesn't explain separate accounts of the names and stories
in the BoM matching so well with the witnesses' memory of the Spalding
document.Missing documents: I find it ironic that logical people
would reject that there might have been two different Spalding documents and
ridicule the theory that the pertinent one might be lost, then would explain
that the Book of Abraham was actually translated not from the papyrus in the
Church archives but rather from another scroll that was destroyed by fire. Seems
a bit disingenuous to me. For myself, I'll wait to see which is found
first, the Spalding document or the golden plates (yes, I did Moroni's
promise multiple times).Stylometry: I would use a similar criticism
of the FARMS stylometric study as that of the one they refuted: why leave out
the writings of Sidney Rigdon that are so similar to the BoM? Maybe the reason
his writings were so influenced by the BoM is because he wrote it.
SearchingLets follow the logic here. People in Ohio claim that the names
in the Book of Mormon match those of the Spaulding Manuscript. People in
Pennsylvania also say that the names in the Spaulding Manuscript match those in
the Book of Mormon. As Spaulding left Ohio in 1812 this would mean that they
both had to see the same manuscript. If you claim that he changed the manuscript
when he came to Pennsylvania and that is were the Book of Mormon names were
added then how did the people in Ohio see those names? All the supposed
witnesses spell the names the exact same way as the PUBLISHED version of the
Book of Mormon. This is interesting as spelling was not standardized yet. The
Book of Mormon manuscript actually has names being spelt differently several
times (common for the time). Now half way through the Spaulding manuscript you
find a page written on the back of a letter dated Jan 1812 after he had moved to
Pennsylvania. Clearly the Pennsylvania manuscript and the Ohio manuscript were
one and the same.
KC Mormon: So it is impossible for an author to write two different manuscripts
at the same time over a period of years? Couldn't have Cowdery, after the
transcription, have standardized on the spelling from the originating document?
Simplicity: In relying on a supernatural explanation, you need also
explain the nature of your supernatural being, how it operates in the natural
world, how it differs from other supernatural beings, why it differs, what its
motives are, how those motives differ from other supernatural beings, where it
came from, why it is interested in the natural world, etc. Some specific
questions might be: Why, if prophecy and guiding His children is of utmost
importance, did God leave his children leaderless from the death of Paul until
the alleged restoration? Why have Mormon and Moroni spend the effort of creating
golden plates, etching their history in a strange script, hiding them from
enemies intent on destroying their faith and culture, packing them thousands of
miles from mesoamerica to bury them in New York with the needed translators,
only to have Joseph Smith hide them all and use a peep stone he found while
digging a well to access the translation.
It is funny how the moderators will allow people to bash all other explanations
to the book of momon, but won't allow any questioning of the book of
mormon. Any opinions opposing the true church are denied. Funny.
@sitichonGood point. I guess i have never really been inpressed with the
Hey guys, if you believe the LDS church is false, why do you continue to read
DN? Are you all just incredibly bitter people with a bone to pick or what?
Petersen definately jumps to a false conclusion. First, Petersen is
making light of the fact that some claim there is a "second unknown
Spaulding manuscript", like it could not even be possible. To me, that
second manuscript sounds oddly familiar to the lost pages of the book of
mormon.... It is not believeable that god would punish Joseph by not allowing
him to retranslate those pages, but allow him still to translate the rest of the
book. It can't be true in my opinion. The notion that
Smith's story is more likely than any other theory is wishful thinking. Recap: Joseph was told by an angel to go dig up plates of gold to
translate them. He starts, and loses the first 116 pages, and is punished by
god. God takes away the Urim and Thummim, and tells Joseph he can still
translate but only using a seer stone in a hat. After translation, Joseph gives
said plates back to angel to take away, leaving no trace whatsoever. This is the
MOST unlikely scenario of them all. I don't know how he got the Book of
Mormon, but I don't believe his story.
It is ironic that Mr. Peterson presents his article arguing the authenticity of
the Book of Mormon accompanied with a painting of witnesses of the Book of
Mormon that is totally inaccurate as to any physical witness to the supposed
golden plates. It helps explain how myth is manufactured and expanded.
Just as Nibley, Peterson is taking some seriously great liberties with Occams
Razor. The logic is really absurd when applied to the supernatural. Giving
preference to the simplist explanations, with no restriction on supernatural
postulations, almost always results in a supernatural conclusion. Is it simpler
to believe that a persons poor health is the consequence of a combination
genetics inherited through generations of dormancy, or through cellular
mutations from enviromental exposures, or to believe that it is simply the
punishment for sinning against God? Is it simpler to believe that Lee Harvey
Oswald was the product of an evolving ideological conflict, wrought by complex
and abberant psychological motivators, or to simply believe that he was
possessed by an evil spirit? Unfortunately for Peterson however, the
proof is in his rhetorical style. Why must he resort to these strained
contortions on logic and heuristics? Because, reasonable proof doesn't
exist. We don't need to prove who authored The Book of Mormon. So far, we
have no good reason to believe that represents an actual history. In which case,
the only reasonable conclusion is fiction. From there, it's just a matter
I always get a kick out of the way critics stretch logic to make their theories
work then complain LDS do the same thing.Searching now theorizes that
Spaulding was simultaneously writing both a first and second draft and that this
went on for the entire time. That the second draft changed names and ideas yet
he continued to write the first draft. Has anyone EVER known an author to do
this? When facts the actual manuscript show a theory is false rather than
try a new idea they just reinvent the old ones. How about this fact, why did
Spauldings wife and daughter tell Hurlburt that the manuscript they gave him was
the one he was looking fopr with the same names as the Book of Mormon? Why did
he not publish it? Answer is simple they had not actually read the manuscript in
close to 20 years they had however read parts of the Book of Mormon shared by
Hurlbut. He never published it because when he read it he knew it was a false
What is interesting to me is that it seems some of the same people who feel
angel visitations to Joseph Smith, are to impossible or ridiclous to believe and
so would call them "supernatural" -- maybe haven't realized how
many angels are involved in the Bible record of Jesus birth, and throughout Old
and New Testaments?
Just as Peterson points out the critics follow exactly the pattern described in
his article as they comment. l valfre where is this TONS of evidence you
The most simple explanation for who wrote the Book of Mormon is actually Joseph
Smith as he began this whole religion thing well before 1829, when the book was
allegedly first started to be translated. He had plenty of time to
write the book and use fill in from the Bible as needed and for source material
for the Book of Mormon, use other texts including:a. the Spaulding docb. View on the Hebrews (Ethan Smith)c. other multiple literary works-- that all claim Native Americans descended from the Middle East.It was common around the early 19th century and late 18th century for
Christians to posit that the Native American's were either from the Lost 10
Tribes or somehow descended from the Middle East.The one flaw in
Joseph Smith's claim that he translated the book from gold plates is that
said plates are no longer available which would be his source material (dog ate
my homework excuse). We are supposed to just accept his word that they existed
as he said they did. Those 11 witnesses of the Book of Mormon each never
claimed they saw with their physical eyes, those gold plates.
I find it interesting that Dr Peterson chooses to publish these segments in the
most mainstream pro-LDS publication, and then his readers apparently end up
being largely antagonistic. I suppose it's a good reflection on the
neutrality or tolerance of the DN staff that the antagonistic comments are
published, though.As Peterson suggests, the "easiest"
explanations given for a non-inspired Book of Mormon tend to have gaps at least
as large as those in the "easiest" explanations for an inspired Book of
Mormon. Faith asks one to accept holes in understanding, at least temporarily,
where pure reason is more obligated to fill them in, or try to.The
resulting beauty is that it all comes down to choice- the God of Mormonism
presents a story and people choose whether they want to believe it or believe
alternate explanations. What determines who ends up wanting/choosing what, I
@Stay the Course,I don't have time to pull them all up.
I'm not afraid to read non-approved literature about the church. And
you'll find all the 'anti-literature' is official church
literature that's been revised and changed many many times to cover up the
real truth.Don't let an organization dictate where you get your
information from. Read into it yourself you know it's out there. Have the
courage and be rational with yourself.And no I don't take what
I see in Wiki and other sites without a grain of salt. The original official
church literature doesn't lie if you have the courage to read and
KC Mormon: Hmmm, I don't recall stating that one was a draft of the other.
Authors will commonly write multiple stories simultaneously. I'll admit
that this is a stretch as far as the Spalding theory goes, but would you be
willing to admit the same stretching of logic pertaining to the theories backing
the Abraham papyrus? Or do you allow your faith to trump all reason and
logic?I'm definitely not married to the Spalding theory,
although I find it intriguing. View of the Hebrews, Oliver Cowdery, amateur
archaeology, all could have contributed to the authoring of the BoM. Each of
these explanations make more sense to me than that of a supernatural origin.
SearchingFirst what are two editions of the same story if not DRAFTS? As
for the Book of Abraham there is one very large problem the critics have not yet
been abler to answer. IF the few fragments we have today are all that Joseph
Smith had how do they account for the claims of contemporary NON-LDS that speak
of a great number of records some of which were referred to as large scrolls
that can not account for the few fragments that exists today? When Non-LDS say
they saw scrolls rolled out and placed under glass that had black and red
writing on them we do not find those in the fragments existent today. Now to
liken this to the Spaulding manuscript we find NO contemporary record of two
manuscripts of the same basic story line but with different names and
backgrounds for the people.
Whether its fromSpaulding or Ethan smith or Joseph or Oliver or Sidney does not
matter. The book is clearly a product of early 19th century authorship.
It's themes are from the time period as was its production. It includes
language and events that couldn't have been known to ancient Americans and
that are anachronistic. Efforts to validate the book as authenticate appear to
be made as an effort to justify misplaced faith rather than a search for truth.
Joseph's other translation attempts from the Abraham facsimiles to the
kinder hook plates to the Greek psalter all point to a much simpler conclusion
than an after the series of supernatural events that Peterson suggests.
Gramajane:Fret not, my dear. I apply my scrutiny evenly. Yes, the
Bible also is a supernatural farce.
This article series is titled "Defending the Faith." I have no problems
in any way with Moromism or Mormon beliefs.These articles should be
called "Why I believe," or some akin to that. Defending should rely on
something stronger than opinion.I want to point out that my purpose
is not to critisize the Mormon church or faithful, just the title of this series
your answer continues to be a non answer sorry
Actually L Valfre I have gone to the source the BofM read and had the
confirmation it is true. End of story there I'm afraid I don't need
to look around or read other material have you read the BofM yourself?
Thanks Dr. Peterson. Your scholarship, insights, and ability to clearly
communicate them are much appreciated. I also get quite a kick (probably
unfortunately) out of all the commotion you stir up every time you post an
To: Dr. Petersons,Sidney Rigdon, stole Spalding's work for whatever reason?
It was used it to set Joseph Smith up as a prophet. Because of
Joseph Smith’s desire to be a modern day “prophet” and its
requirement for a “book” that Solomon Spalding’s manuscript is
discovered by Joseph Smith through his cousin and Sidney Rigdon.In 1814,
during the period between the submission of Spalding’s manuscript to the
publisher and Spalding’s own death, the manuscript disappears for a while.
It is believed that Sidney Rigdon, a leather tanner and book binder, was
responsible for this disappearance. He was seen by Many witnesses frequenting
the various printing shops and publishing houses in the area. One of the many
witnesses, Joseph Miller, a companion of Solomon Spalding in his later years,
mentions in his letters that Solomon told him that he suspected Sidney of
purloining his manuscript.
Even in the event that the spaulding story, and all other critics stories about
the Book of Mormon are false, that doesn't make Joseph's story true.
His story is the most outlandish and unbelievable of them all.Petersen
definately jumps to a false conclusion.
Bless you Brother Petersen! I watch with child-like delight at all the frantic
bee-havior when the nest is gently prodded. It always seems to be the same bees
that come out. :o)@aaazzz - I think this is a general interest
column. If you want the scholarly stuff with footnotes and bibliographies, you
should check out the Neal A Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and some
of the other LDS apologetic sites. More than enough there to keep you
occupied.I don't believe that the veracity of the Book of
Mormon will ever be unassailably established by proof or evidence. God will
make sure that's it's always a matter of faith. This comments to this
column confirm what I learned years ago as a missionary. If you believe what we
say, no explanation is necessary. If you don't believe what we say, then
no explanation is possible.
If the original 1830 Book of Mormon was inspired than why were there so many
errors and changes and additions and deletions, when compared to current
editions? How do you account for the stunning parallels in both content and
order between the BoM and the View of the Hebrews published (7 years before the
BoM) less than 100 miles from the Joseph Smith's parents home? If the BoM
is true, then why has the Mormon church changed it? Joseph Smith said that there
are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000
years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding
the way to Heaven? Probably not!There is so much information out in
the world that supports the improbability of Mormonism that it can't be
properly addressed here, but yet it exists. And as far as accepting angels is
concerned as the source of Smith's vision....there is no certain evidence
they exist (including in the Bible). Faith is not an adequate or reasonable
defense of any belief which purports to have any empirical connection to the
reality which we all share.
Has anyone here ever read the Spaulding Manuscript or View of the Hebrews?I have been reading and scanning them (when I have time). So far, I
find only a few very basic relationships to the Book of Mormon (foreign folk in
America) and no similar story arc.I will let you know if I come
across something else.
GramajaneOAKLEY, IDWhat is interesting to me is that it seems some
of the same people who feel angel visitations to Joseph Smith, are to impossible
or ridiclous to believe and so would call them "supernatural" -- maybe
haven't realized how many angels are involved in the Bible record of Jesus
birth, and throughout Old and New Testaments?---------------And here we are in the last days and we do not receive any more visits.
I have often wondered why. There were plenty when the church was restored, but
there haven't been any for centuries. And the Lord used to tell Joseph
everything and he had it written down - but now we must all rely on feelings.Does anyone know why the direct communication stopped with Joseph and
why angels are not visiting the church members any more?
Lane Myer:My suspicion is that your perception is only half right.
In other words, the reason those things aren't happening now is because
they weren't happening before either.
Even the TV20 anti-Mormon (SM) has finally admitted that the Spaulding theory is
dead. Of course he moved to another theory entirely, and is pushing the View of
the Hebrews one now. I really enjoyed reading that, with all those evidences
and Native American connections with the Middle East, of course some of his
ideas are outdated, including the Beringia only theory (was it Ethan Smith who
invented that one, or did he pick it up from some other 19th Century person).
Didn’t Einstein say, about “the hundred and one books written
against” him, that if he were really wrong it would only take one book?For 200 years anti-scholars have failed to find that fatal BoM flaw,they
have searched high and low (or mainly just low), but always end up lending more
support to the Book of Mormon instead. IF they had any valid evidence they
wouldn’t have to resort to being less than honest and mocking, pretending
to be LDS, forging documents, altering studies on word prints etc etc. Here is something I said on another article to some of the same critics: When
I sin and lose the Spirit, and weigh with fallible logic only, I still find no
valid evidence against the BoM etc, and abundant valid evidences in support. A
FEW: undeniable religious links; American, ME and Polynesian morphology; DNA;
Native American temples and detailed Passion knowledge; reformed Egyptian; BoM
MotherKing tree symbolism; impossibly accurate geography; steel;
“machined” iron; Liahona; Pacal from BoM king; etc etc- everything
from the names Alma and Isabel - to Nahom and Zarahemla, all supportive. : )
RE: JM: one of the bedrock claims of the Mormon Church to refute this theory is
that Sidney Rigdon was not in Pittsburgh until 1820 or possibly 1822. It is
because of this, that any claim of Sidney knowing Solomon or of his manuscript
and then stealing it are dismissed as impossible. The problem with this
reasoning is that during that time, mail was not delivered to your house, you
had to pick it up from the post office. Now if you did not collect your mail
regularly, the post office would publish a list of people with mail waiting for
them in the local newspaper. There exists such a list, dated Aug 1816, which
contains not only Sidney Rigdon’s name but also Solomon Spalding’s,
proving that they were both in Pittsburgh at the same time and their paths could
have crossed. The Spalding enigma,2005, Letters Pg 136-137
Lane Myer:Why do you assume that angels are no longer visiting
mankind on Earth? I'm only curious becuase my assumptions are completely
different.Unlike Mormoncowboy's comments, I argue that
"things are happening" all around us. My own family's history
contians a rich tapestry of experiences where the veil between Earth and Heaven
has momentarily parted. I'm grateful for those of my kin who have shared
this knowledge with me to ponder and treasure up in my heart.
Personally I like the words of Nephi written in the BofM 11 And if
they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you,
with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you
and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have
been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.Some day we will all know the BofM is the word of Christ
What difference does it make? The argument just diverts people from the real
topic, Is the Book of Mormon the word of GOD? I think not. Too many different
stories and changes for the BOM to be the word of God. Whitmer said it best
"I saw the golden plates with my "spiritual" eye", not "my
natural eye". Rigdon was a preacher well before Joseph Smith and Rigdon
preached the Restoration theory long before he met Smith. I don't
understand why the church is ALWAYS defending itself, always changing its
doctrines, always disclaiming past church leaders, always stating that past
church leaders didn't represent the TRUTH of the church unless it was a
"divine revelation" WHY? Leave it alone. Your church serves it's
purpose. It does a good job. Why the need to build so many temples and create
this auroa of wealth and salvation tied to tithing? I no more believe in a
talking rock as I believe Moses parted the Red Sea. All religious hype to
control and who does it better than yours truly. Joseph Smith was a contemporary
synthetic preacher, no more no less.
I agree, angels are still visiting the earth. Sharonna- Here is a
quote from FAIRlds: Book of Mormon/Authorship theories/Spalding manuscript"Modern (critics) ignore the inconvenient fact that the manuscript
(was) recovered......all these critics have is a nonexistent
document which they can claim says anything they want...(this) shows the lengths
to which critics will go to disprove the Book of Mormon."...the
BEST explanation such critics can propose requires that they invent a document,
then invent its contents, and then invent a means of getting the document to
Joseph via Rigdon."Despite clear evidence that Joseph met Sidney
after the publication of the Book of Mormon, critics claim that evidence will
eventually appear which proves that Joseph and Sidney met prior to late 1830End quotes.As pointed out above, if anyone found any fatal
flaw, or any logical explanation for the evidences, etc, critics wouldn't
have to resort to fabrication, mocking, twisting sacred things, hiring people to
attack, etc. Ya'll critics have been at this for almost 200 years.
It's time to free yourself from the chains of doubt, even Thomas believed
once he saw, we have signs enough : ), to look again.
I didnt notice the comment you posted under your Joggle moniker. Was it an
example of the scramble for something, anything, to make the anti-Mormon failure
less painful for those who must doubt? You dont have to feel so
guilty about doubting. As mentioned, even Jesus’ disciples were doubters.
Most are, until we gain strength and knowledge. You should simply admit that you
doubt, like Thomas. No need to justify it with all this anti-Mormon scrambling,
that gets you into trouble. You SHOULD feel guilty about stretching,
fabricating, etc in trying to recruit doubters. There is no need to lead others
down. Those who will doubt will get there without your help, and when you pull
down, it makes you partially responsible for any tragedies. BTW, much
has been written about the translation/revelation process (always through human
minds, minds like Isaiah within a certain culture) and changes (printers’
punctuation etc, and some more important changes occurred, starting with Joseph.
The most notable example- apparently he translated skin garments washed white/
white skin etc references more directly (including ancient symbolism), but
realized people in our culture might misunderstand, he started changing but
never finished). FAIRlds moon.
It doesn't matter when Joseph Smith met Rigdon. What matters is that Rigdon
was a preacher of the Restoration doctrine BEFORE he met Joseph Smith.
Why is anyone actually responding to the obvious anti-LDS comments on this
article? If anyone SINCERELY and with real intent, let me repeat, sincerely and
with real intent prays, they will get an answer. Real intent means that you
aren't praying with the idea of poving Moroni's promise wrong.
Anything else is a joke.
Atikokan:I find it quite convenient to assume that anyone who
studies the Mormon gospel, and does not reach the same conclusion as you, must
have been insincere. Indeed, Jesus himself spoke highly of faith no greater than
a mustard seed. Alma suggests that the minimum is but a "particle".
While I don't know how much faith that really is, I would think that the
very act of reading The Book of Mormon and privately praying to God, ought to be
indicative of a person who posses at least a particle. Still, we can
alway's say, "well, you just weren't sincere enough". Perhaps
that's true, but the best I can say is that it is at least partly due to
the fact that your alleged God has offered very little that would compel me to
be more sincere than I have been.Northern Lights:Certainly angelic ministrations aren't happening "all around us".
How could we debate such a thing, if these were common occurences. In fact, you
even admit that your perception is just an assumption. So notwithstanding that
these are "common" as you suggest, you yourself admittedly even lack the
first hand experience.
I can honestly say that revelation continues to flow from the heavens. Angels
are visiting the earth and continue to do so. The problem is that if we so
stated and gave away the facts, the critics still would not believe us just as
they don't believe Joseph Smith saw God the Father and God the Son. They
won't believe us just as they fail believe that the angel Moroni visited
the Prophet Joseph Smith and showed where the Book of Mormon was hid. They
wouldn't believe us just as they fail to believe that Moses, Elijah, Jesus
Christ and Elias visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the
Kirkland Temple RESTORING all Priesthood keys to the earth. Have I
seen angels? I will answer that emphatically YES. Do you believe me? NO, but
yet they have and on many occassions. Do I believe they visit the leaders of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that answer is also YES.
RE:JM,The path from Rigdon to J S comes via Oliver Cowdery. Oliver was
Joseph’s second chief scribe and also his cousin. Oliver’s brother
Erastus Cowdery lived in Ohio. And it is believed that during the time when
Sidney was a preacher (of sorts) in Ohio that he and Erastus come into contact
with each other because they were practically next door neighbours.. The
content of Solomon Spalding’s novel “Manuscript Story” can be
found in the testimony of the witnesses who claim to have seen Sidney Rigdon in
Pittsburgh during the time of Solomon Spalding. The testimony of those witnesses
contains details of his manuscript because Solomon read it to them. During those
times Solomon was the nightly entertainment, and it was because of these
readings and his constant use of the phrase “It came to pass” or
some variant of this, that Solomon becomes known as “Old Come to
Pass”. It is interesting to note that in the first edition (1830) of the
Book of Mormon, the phrase “It came to pass” (or some variation of
it) occurs over 1500 times.
You missed the one and only Biblical answer. Amazing that it was not considered
even once in this article or the previous.For a church that passes
out free Bibles on my porch and professes to believe in it, as far as it is
translated correctly, why have you avoided the very passages that give you that
one, last explanation and warning? Not even once to consider-2Cor.11:1-15Atleast be honest and use God's word as a
@JMWho is the "you" that you are referring to? I've
only posted once on this article and have not posted under any other name. The
rest of your post lacks any coherent argument and is based on false assumptions
not based on any knowable truth. There is no stretching, fabricating, etc or
recruitment going on, but you are welcome to that delusion. However, it
doesn't give you much credibility. It only shows that you cannot present
any argument based on evidence and facts. While I often disagree with the
doctrines and beliefs contained in most organized religions...I'm not
anti-Mormon....or anti any specific religion. I simply disagree that any
religion is true and I'm presenting an opinion on it. I belong to no
organized group trying to destroy your religion. I'm simply one person
expressing an opinion of which you are free to disagree with! If my expressing
my opinion causes any doubt....then that person's faith was weak to begin
with. Me....I have no doubts about my beliefs. There are many better ways to
search for truth that are not based on the circular reasoning of Moroni's
I find Peterson's reasoning to be very persuasive. The arguement against
the Restoration is really a circular argument, and it is repeatedly endless from
the critics, to wit: "I don't believe in it, so it can't be
true." The variations are endless: "Joseph Smith could not have seen
God (or angels) because there are no (meaning 'I don't believe
in') gods or angels." "The Mormon interpretation of the Bible
can't be true because I interpret the Bible differently." "Sidney
Rigdon must have written the Book of Mormon because I don't believe that
Joseph Smith did"; or its corrolary: "Joseph Smith must have written the
Book of Mormon because I don't believe Mormon did."The
simplest answer to the Mormon question is the most obviously true: Joseph Smith
saw God; he conversed with an angel named Moroni who led him to the golden
plates upon which the Book of Mormon was written; Joseph translated the Book of
Mormon with divine help; other angels appeared to Joseph; Joseph recieved other
revelations. "But what about..." questions always lead (if fully
followed) to the same conclusion: Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
@JeffOur opposing arguments are NOT a simple matter of "I
don't believe in it, so it can't be true." We have very well
thought out reasons for the rejection of the Restoration as true based on
research of evidence. It is not circular reasoning. When a person assumes the
very thing it aims to prove beforehand...that is circular reasoning. If you are
susceptible to spiritual feelings and want a spiritual affirmation of the BoM
(or any holy book) you'll get it. It doesn't mean it is what you think
it is! I can entertain the possibility any religion is true, however remote, but
to be convinced of the truthfulness, I need more than feelings. I would need
undeniably undisputable evidence with a high probability of truth. Mormonism
lacks that. Personal truth is a truth known individually, and universal truth is
a truth known worldly. Your conclusions without evidence that can be universally
recognized proves nothing about the truthfulness of your assertions and can be
disregarded as personal truth rather than universal truth. The same can be said
of any belief! If your faith was a universal truth the whole
Joggle,I am sure you have well thought out reasons for your
rejection of the restoration. And of course circular reasoning is
problematic.But I disagree strongly about getting a spiritual
affirmation of any holy book if you seek it. That was certainly not my
experience nor the experience of many folks I know who are LDS. Many come to a
testimony of the Book of Mormon not wanting for it to be true.So you
want undeniable evidence before you investigate? Then what about other
Christian religions (say the Greek Orthodox) or Judaism? They certainly have
enough evidence for such a search to begin, true? I agree that a
testimony is a truth that is discovered personally.Your point
reference the world acknowledging a universal truth is simply not true. There
are many truths that science can prove that are still not recognized by the
world. Judaism in the epoch before Christ and Christianity in its first century
were certainly not universally acclaimed as true.Truth is never a
popularity contest. It doesn't matter if we accept it or not, recognize it
or ignore it. Truth exists quite apart from how many accept it.
Joggle: I will say this that the experience I had that affirmed the truthfulness
of the Book of Mormon, the truthfulness of Joseph Smith being a Prophet of God,
and the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ came not from a feeling or a
burning in the bossom. It came in away that can only come from a higher being
and from a light that I can not nor will I try to describe. However, it came it
was more an affirmation of the truth. Prayer in its innocence, in its sincerity
will answer in a way no one can actually describe. What happened for me I know
that others may have experienced something similar but uniquely for themselves.
One must be sincere. One must be willing to change and accept the answer they
are given (real intent). One must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Without any of these present the answer will NOT come.As the
scriptures state: It isn't in the wind, the earthquake, the tempest or the
fire. It is as if something is speaking to you that completely overtakes your
entire being. You will know beyond any doubt when it does.