Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: 2 Book of Mormon 'errors'’

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Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Here, UT

I'd be more concerned about steel swords and horses than a couple of words, Dr. Peterson.

In any case, the BOM is still a work of fiction.


These are a couple of the weakest arguments against the Book of Mormon that exist, but thank you for refuting them anyway.

If the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction, nobody has yet been able to prove who made it, after nearly 200 years. I guess that is where "faith" comes into play: believing something without having any evidence whatsoever. Such as the Book of Mormon's allegedly fictitious nature.

The presence of steel swords and even horses in ancient America has already been resolved long ago. But those who insist on living in denial will never be persuaded otherwise.

Littleton, CO

HA! Yes, the words "horses" and "steel" are a MUCH more pursuasive argument that it is a work of fiction, right Ranch? Over 500 pages of text, and those two references are your evidence against its validity? I think you're missing forest for the trees, Ranch. But thanks for chiming in....

Robb Cundick
Salt Lake City, UT

The Book of Mormon is a work of God. No critic has yet been able to refute that fact for me.


Over 500 pages of text, and "horses" and "steel" are the only things you look at to be able to dismiss the entire thing conclusively as a work of fiction?

Somebody is definitely missing the forest for the trees here, yes, but it isn't Brother Peterson. Somebody else is also letting their preconceived notions get in the way of doing any genuine, honest research…or perhaps, more
accurately, deliberately placing them in the way.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT


The issues of horses and steel in the BoM was resolved long ago? That's news to me, and news to the church actually. The church readily admits that there has yet to be a single steel artifact discovered from the precolumbian Americas; nor have there been any artifacts pointing to a horse culture or horse skeletal remains. I would love to hear how these issues have been resolved.

Roanoke, VA

@Ranch re "In any case, the BOM is still a work of fiction."

I believe you'll need just a tad bit more proof than that if you want to convince most inquirers.

Salt Lake City, UT

Believing something to be true is not by itself a way to establish the truth. Objective, honestly obtained, honestly tested and honestly discussed evidence is required.

To date, all available objective evidence supports the conclusion that the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, are exclusively and in their totality the products of human minds.

You have the right to believe what you want. Beliefs are personal. The truth should be objective.

Salt Lake , UT

Anyone who still believes in the Book of Mormon simply hasn't done their research. With modern internet search engines, it's clear it was a work of fiction.

Check out Chris Johnson's "How the Book of Mormon destroyed Mormonism" on youtube.

Weber State Graduate
Clearfield, UT

There is simply no reputable evidence or peer reviewed data outside the Mormon apologetic community to support the numerous anachronistic claims found in the BoM...period.

Unfortunately, apologists like Peterson spend way too much time trying to create assumed associations regardless of contradictory evidence in order to advance an illusion of probability when such probability is entirely unsupported by non-Mormon archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, scientists, or scholars.

Apologists do a huge disservice to the LDS community by engaging in such pretentious argument. They forget that belief in the authenticity of the BoM is a matter of faith...and there it should remain.

With all due respect, I believe the church would be much better served if stopped supporting the excess of logical fallacies perpetuated by apologists trying to defend BoM authenticity and instead focus on the book's overall message.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

The issues of horses and steel is not missing the forest for the trees. They are just two simple examples of a much deeper problem. The BoM presents an entire culture, a culture that was familiar with horses and steel weapons. The problem is that no culture yet found in any of the Americas fits the culture described in the BoM. The "trees" is the fact that these cultures as described by the BoM simply never existed in the Americas, the horses and steel issues are just two facts that support the main point.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

We shouldn't start off on our search for truth with the question already answered.

There are too many people like Dr. Peterson who start off with the answer (that the church is true) and then try to find everything that they can to convince themselves that they are right.

Instead, what we should do is look at ALL the evidence on the matter and then make a decision on whether or not the Book or Mormon is literal truth. We are less biased when we do it this way. That is why it is so sad that children are indoctrinated into their parents religion before they know how to think for themselves.

San Diego, CA

Let's start and end with the Lamanites and Nephites.... DNA proof/ archeological evidence/ empirical data that they emigrated to the America's from Israel would be really helpful. Even the church has backtracked on that one.

Roanoke, VA

@Blue ... re "You have the right to believe what you want." For now, and not like only a decade ago. This right is being eroded.

Re. "...exclusively and in their totality the products of human minds." How is it possible that early man would develop the means of his own repression? I understand the idea that man would develop religion to repress others, yes; but the 'narrow road' standards apply to the men who came up with the idea, too. How do we lend credence to the belief that man decided to fabricate a Being who would condemn them to eternal torment if His precepts weren't followed? This seems too unlikely to me.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT


By that logic the greek gods must also exist. After all the people who believed in them believed that these gods tortured and tormented man all the time, sometimes just for fun. Since it seems too unlikely for you to believe that men would invent a being or beings that condemn them, then Zeus, Apollo, Hades and the rest must all be real.

Big Bubba
Herriman, UT

To all the horse and steel critics I say, absence of evidence is not absence of truth. Absence of evidence for horses and steel can never prove the BofM false. This not a spiritual dictum - it is a scientific tenet.

I can never quite understand why critics care about things like horses and steel when they've made up their minds that the BofM is false. It almost seems like they're trying to justify their decision that the BofM is false, a common theme for people who leave the LDS church.

Back in the late 1970s critics used to talk about how grains like barley had not been discovered in ancient South American archaeological evidence, yet the BofM mentions barley. Care to guess why this criticism no longer comes up? Because evidence for ancient barley was discovered in the early 1980s and reported on in a scientific journal. Now the critics have looked for the next criticism du jour, "horses and steel."

Anyway, the truth of the BofM is established in a spiritual not material way, as millions of people have already discovered.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

".... it’s doubtful that the very unsophisticated Joseph Smith of 1829-30 was even aware that “adieu” was French...."

The first great anti-immigrant antagonism of the early United States was the immigration influx from France when John Adams was President. I find it highly unlikely that the common French salutation 'adieu' would have been one that Joseph Smith never heard of.

Apologists for the historicity of the Book of Mormon undermine their arguments when they reach to such ludicrous examples.

Roanoke, VA

@Blue ... Because I can promise you, if Moontan and the boys fabricated a God, this Being would be a rock 'n roller. Cool Dude in the extreme. Not being funny here, either. I'm saying a god I made up would not restrict or control some of my basest desires and wishes. I don't think early man is an exception, either. Any being man invented would reflect man's desires, and therefore I doubt moral sins would be included.

hymn to the silent
Holladay, UT

The real question is: "If evidence of steel swords and horse skeletons and DNA proof were discovered, would all the naysayers believe?" Of course not. And what difference would it make anyway? Our relationship to God is a living, breathing relationship; not one based on antiquity. The verities I live by are in the human heart, revealed by a loving God in His time, as He sees fit. I have never been disappointed. But I have been let down, even amused, by intellectual consensus attained by human reasoning and research...the truth attained by man alone takes far more faith to live by than truth revealed by God.

Layton, UT

Many people claim that the Book of Mormon has yet to be refuted or proven to be untrue. But we Mormons are discouraged from reading "anti" Mormon literature, so how most of us would know if something is false about mormonism would be through MORMON teachings, including apologetics. Seems a bit fishy to me.

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