Embracing the power of the Book of Mormon

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  • Fred W. Anson Lake Forest, CA
    Feb. 21, 2013 12:36 a.m.

    A little help please! This article states:

    "Even Joseph Smith used the Bible far more than he used the Book of Mormon in his sermons."

    I have yet to find a single sermon in which Joseph Smith preached from the Book of Mormon at all. True, there are passing references and verbiage that eludes to it but never a direct citation from the Book of Mormon that I have found.

    And I have asked many, many, many Mormon Studies Scholars about this and had this verified by them.

    So what is Mr. Peterson referring to here?

    Your assistance is appreciated in advance.

    Thank you.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 4:37 p.m.


    I think most readers would agree that I've been critical of the BoM in my comments. However, I don't see how you can characterize my comments, or those of any other critic in this discussion, as trying "to convince [myself] that it is false" anymore than your comments are you trying to convince yourself that it is true. My purpose here is to point out problems that in the claims about the BoM such as your have. You make a claim that should be verifiable, because it deals with what should be a physical, ancient culture writing a physical record. To date, there is no consensus within or without the church as to where this culture existed. Therefore, it is up to debate.

    ADN, I'm doing what you're doing: responding to comments that I believe are misleading in the hopes of setting things straight, but mine discards the claims for supernatural influence and relies on logic and reason.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Jan. 9, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    It seems as though so many people are trying to target the Book of Mormon to try to convince themselves that it is false. They may think that if they can convince themselves that it isn't true, then the guilt or the Spirit that is trying to draw them back to the fold might go away. Stop kicking against the pricks and come back, we love you and miss you! The Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets and it contains the gospel of Jesus Christ and testifies of His reality. You know this because it keeps nagging you and nagging you everytime it is talked about or written about.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    As for your scriptures, this argument also lies in circular logic, as I have to believe the scriptural account in order to credit your argument. . .

    One simply cant (or shouldnt) dismiss the testimonies/witnesses of millions, plus the testimony of the three witnesses and the eight witnesses who actually saw the plates. The Lord did provide witnesses who never denied their testimony. In addition, there was Joseph Smiths ultimate witness of giving his life for it. He could have easily (at almost any point) backed down and avoided all the hassles and danger, but he didnt. He acted, taught, sacrificed, prophesied, preached, and demonstrated courage as a prophet should.

    I do agree though that the resurrection (along with the atonement) could be construed as signs, which many ignore. Of course, they were so much more than signs. They were monumental, earth-changing miracles. And plenty of other signs have been given that point toward them.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2012 9:52 p.m.


    Unless it was written as a novel, the Popul Vuh, like all myths, especially creation myths, was oral in origin. I'd like to know how descriptively rich written Mayan was capable of being. What source would you suggest?

    I don't have immediate access to "The Forest of Kings" so I can't comment on the quote you offer, but I would bet that the authors in no way imply that Mayan was influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphics. I know that originally scholars felt that there was a similarity in the way that they would be read, but even that proved to be false. Could you provide the text of the quote?

    I'm also not sure what your original post was implying: is written Mayan supposed to be reformed Egyptian, influenced by reformed Egyptian, or is reformed Egyptian influenced by ancient Mayan? I see very little similarity between Joseph Smith's "caracters" and Mayan. And if Nephi was trying to conserve space and etching time on the plates, Mayan was certainly not the way to go.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Jan. 8, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    Cowboy you use the point of a circular argument too much it seems to be your answer to disbelieve anything

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 7, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    Mormoncowboy: You have stated on many occassions that you are a returned missionary, that you have taught Sunday School and the such. Now you come out against and state it is circuliar reasoning. No, everything we have said is verified by scripture. The signs given are what has been repeated by prophets. Those signs of the second coming of the Lord are the son turning blood red, the killing of two prophets in Jersulem who lie in the streets three days and then are raised as everyone can see them, wars and rumors of wars, and the most damaging of all who are skeptics the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All was foretold by John. Some are already coming to pass and others are forth coming. These are signs of his coming. However, those WHO SEEK signs are what are called evil and wicked. Those are they that will perish at the second coming of the Lord. I don't seek after these signs nor do I seek waiting for something to happen. I know the prophesies as well as you do. The coming forth of the BOM was foretold, yet many of you deny its existance.

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Jan. 7, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    skeptic says, "That is contrary to the Joseph Smith story because when he was confused and didn't know the truth it is told that he went to the woods and prayed and received engraved plates. That would be physical proof."

    Your understanding of the First Vision is incorrect. Joseph read James 1:5 in the Bible and did go out to pray --- to ask God directly for knowledge. The answer wasn't engraved plates, it was a visitation from God and Jesus Christ.

    The golden plates came later.

    Let me ask you and Cowboy a question: If you believe in the Bible and pray like Smith did based on reading of James 1:5-6, how would you get an answer from God?

    Christ said the knowledge would come from the Holy Ghost so how would you get an answer? If it's not a "warm and fuzzy", then what is it? How does the answer from God come to us?

    Ranch: you claim you got a different answer, well how did you get any answer? A voice, vision, angel, what?

    Many of you reject the Holy Ghost as the method of answers so it'll be great to have your answer.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Jan. 7, 2012 8:08 p.m.

    Doublerainbow: Although Dr. Coe is an excellent Meso-American scholar, what he is not is a BofM scholar. It would surprise me if he has read it once cover to cover. In which case, his opinion is as meaningless as skeptics.

    Skeptic: it does not speak of coins. We simply assume that the monetary values applied to the gold and silver discussed are coins. It is just as likely that these are weights or measures.

    Searching: Your statement is only partially true. Popul Vuh was originally in written form but when Mayan books were destroyed by the Spanish it became oral tradition. Thus, you are correct that some oral expression could have been added -- most likely as memory devises. Nonetheless, scholars agree that Mayan written language is perfectly capable of expressing all that the spoken language can express.

    And I disagree with your assessment of Reformed Egyptian. Freidel & Schele -- neither are LDS scholars -- in their book Forest of Kings refer to Maya script as "reformed Egyptian."

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Jan. 7, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    Dear MormonCowboy: I still think it is odd that you chose that as your handle when you aren't LDS, but whatever.

    I read all the versus that's why I posted them.

    If you don't believe in the Bible then why are we discussing anything? If you do believe in the Bible then you clearly don't understand that Jesus is telling the people that those who seek signs are missing the picture. It's an evil and wicked generation that seeks after signs.

    How many saw those miracles happen and yet still didn't believe? They crucified the Son of God because they wouldn't believe even when they saw the miracles!

    What's the difference between the 2? The "warm and fuzzy 'spirit'" that you think is mine. It's not mine, it's what Christ said He would send to bring to our remembrance truth. It's what "pricked their hearts" as found in Acts.

    The Holy Ghost is a Spirit so he can connect with our eternal spirits. Why do you reject the very process that Jesus said He would teach you and try to lay it at my feet? It's not my process it's Christ's!

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 7, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Some Mormons claim that those who seek physical proof will never know the truth of the BOM or the LDS Church.
    That is contrary to the Joseph Smith story because when he was confused and didn't know the truth it is told that he went to the woods and prayed and received engraved plates. That would be physical proof.
    Also, what about others who seek physical proof will they also never know the truth of their sacraed writings or church. DN: I have now presented this question in three different polite and correct manner, you have no just reason to censor it.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 7, 2012 11:37 a.m.


    First - Your comments to Ranch Hand are simply accusatory, and unhelpful. Rather than insisting you are right, put forth some aggreeable evidence.

    As for your scriptures, this argument also lies in circular logic, as I have to believe the scriptural account in order to credit your argument. Still, you clearly didn't even read them:

    John 4:48 - Jesus speaks and heals a noblemans son, and the nobleman takes it as evidence, and he and his whole household become believers. Read it.

    Matthew 12:39 - Jesus considered himself, personally, THE sign. Follow the footnotes, he had already shown them signs, tangible ones. He healed on the sabbath, and was accused of doing so by the power of the devil. In other words, he had already given them more than your warm fuzzy "spirit", he had healed, but they were looking to accuse him. Maintain the context Charles.

    Matthew 16:4 - Jesus defends himself by pointing to his miracles, feeding the multitudes, etc.

    Luke 11:29 - Same as Matthew 12:39

    John 20: 24-31 - How does one point to the ultimate Christian miracle, the resurrection, and make your arguments.

    It is clear Jesus taught using miracles. Was he wrong?

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 7, 2012 11:09 a.m.


    That is my whole point! You "say" a lot things, none of which you can verify. You borrow phrases like "the natural man", which have no inherent meaning, and then encapsulate within that label anything you disagree with, and act as though you have made a point. Ultimately, "the natural man" in you paradigm, is anything that doesn't operate from the a priori that The Book of Mormon is a true book, and that your Church leaders are real Prophets. That Bill, is called circular logic. Your arguments depend on your conclusions, rather than lead to your conclusion.

    As for "signs", you are now arguing semantics. All that anybody requires is some objective evidence, call it "signs" or "witnesses", it is all the same. There is nothing unreasonable about this. What is unreasonable is asking people to read a book that they have already read multiple times, and tell them to "humbly" take actions which they have already taken multiple times, in order for things to happen. The onus is on you to demonstrate why your experience is superior. So far Bill, all you do is talk.

    Stay the Course:

    What could I make of those alleged "miracles"???

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Jan. 7, 2012 8:40 a.m.


    Ranchhand: your emphasis is misplaced. It's not about me, it's about what Christ and His apostles have said. They aren't my words, they are Christ's. It's His method of learning and coming to the truth, not mine.

    But let's not be coy.

    You were a member of the LDS church.
    You served a mission.
    You embraced the behavior of homosexuality.
    You lost your way and left the LDS church.
    You also don't believe in Christ and God any longer.

    And yet you pose on these pages as one who is interested in finding a true answer. You know the way to Christ. You just choose not to go there.

    The path is narrow and straight is the way and FEW be there that find it. We knew the plan BEFORE we came to earth. We were to be obedient to the things commanded and follow the teachings of Christ.

    God knew that the overwhelming MAJORITY of His children would not return to His presence. What love!

    Cowboy: read John 4:48, Matt. 12:39, Matt. 16:4; Luke 11:29, John 20:24-31

    How many saw the miracles that Jesus performed but still didn't believe?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 6, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    No Cowboy: There is no made up stuff. As I've said before you rely on your natural man which is an enemy to God. You do not rely on the spiritual man which much more in line with the wishes of God. Over and over through out the scriptures the Savior, Jesus Christ, states: "If you love me keep my commandments." Those commandments contain that we are to read and study the scriptures and to worship the only true God. The serpent in the wilderness was not a sign. All one had to do was look at it and they were saved from the firey serpents. The Lord has also said, if you want to know the truth all you have to do is ask me after you have studied it out in your mind, pondered it and then ask with a contrite spirit and a broken heart. This is not a sign as you put it. What you and others want is exactly that is a sign. Something beyond the Holy Ghost to tell you it is true. Those who seek physical proof will NEVER know the truth of the BOM or the LDS Church.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Jan. 6, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    what do you make the the miracles performed and their converting power? How about those Sadducees how well did it work for them? The point is faith is not maintained by miracles never has never will

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 6, 2012 1:13 p.m.


    Any confirmation under the sun, including the Holy Ghost, would be a "sign". The sign seeking that is criticized in the scriptures is that of witchcraft.

    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    What was the resurrection if not a "sign"? Why did Jesus see the need to perform public miracles, if not to provide "signs"? We can go on and on, but the fact is, your religion lacks the meaningful manifestation of visible signs. So instead you contrive this emotional response that can only be viewed in isolation, and defended subjectively through singular "personal experiences". When that fails, you then simply resort to quoting scriptures whose authority rests in circular logic.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    @Charles says:

    "you are being asked to read, study, ponder and pray if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If it is, then the rest of the dominoes fall into place. Read the last 2 paragraphs from the Introduction page. "


    But what happens if we do all the above and the answer is the opposite of the one YOU think we should get?

    Then, of course, "all the dominoes" fall into place, but they fall into the opposite place and tell us the opposite of what they tell you (i.e.; that the whole shebang is not true).

    What then?

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    @atl: I believe this is my 4th as well and I've enjoyed our 'conversation'. I'd discuss it with you further but through the Dnews there is no way to be in contact. Oh well.

    I do believe the LDS church is the Lord's church on the earth. However, my comments come straight from scriptures in the Bible, not Moroni's challenge or any other place. It's what Christ taught as recorded in the Bible.

    No one is asking you to believe the church, you are being asked to read, study, ponder and pray if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If it is, then the rest of the dominoes fall into place. Read the last 2 paragraphs from the Introduction page.

    And in reality, the question of the true church is either with the Catholics or the LDS; no other churches come into play. Either the Catholics have the authority from the beginning or their was a need for a restoration as the Bible tells us.

    As long as you are dictating to God how you will believe then you will never come to know the truth.

    Again, all Bible verses that teach truth. Good luck.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    When we ask if the Book of Mormon is true, we are not wondering whether or not it teaches true principles, but whether or not it has a divine origin. There are a lot of books that teach truth, but that, in and of itself, does not make it divine. That being said, I believe this question can only be answered by a spiritual witness. But it is difficult (if not impossible) to know for sure whether such feelings and impressions come from God or from oneself. Hence, I dont think there is any way to know for sure if the Book of Mormon is true, but isnt that the point of faith?

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Jan. 6, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon does not actually say a single word about coins. Yes in 1981 a chapter heading was added saying that the Nephite coins were described however that chapter heading is not a part of the Book of Mormon but a later addition to let people know the idea about the chapter. A close reading actually sounds more like a system of weights and measures. If that is actually what was used (as was used by many American cultures) no coins should be found because they did not use coins.
    A question for all skeptics if a Book of Mormon artifact was to be found how would most archaeologists look upon it? Because they hold to the idea that there was no Middle Eastern people who came to the Americas before the Spanish they would call it a hoax. So the proof would then be discounted by each of you because it was a hoax even though it in fact was not.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 9:30 a.m.


    The Popul Vuh was received orally from Mayan descendants and transcribed by Spanish priests. That would give it a richness where the written Mayan was limited. It was also centuries later than the purported Nephite writings. Still, to make any of this possible you need to find the connection between Reformed Egyptian and written Mayan. The experts aren't with you there.

    If the golden plates are safer in heaven than hidden on earth, then why bury them in Cumorah for over 1000 years instead of keeping them in heaven. In fact, considering translation process (the plates weren't even present) why have the plates at all? If God could give Joseph the words to write in the seer stone, why not give them from some tree bark hidden under a rock in Guatemala? It would have been less work for Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 6, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    %Bill in Nebraska, You state: I agree with @Charles that you are looking for a sign to prove your belief.

    So many times the argument you make is repeated by believing Mormons, but it is difficult to understand your thinking or logic; because it is contrary to Mormon or Christian believe that man is created in the image of god and god made all things for man's benefit to study, understand, manage and use. That is why man can establish truths through science because god and the universe is physical and true. Otherwise, the logic, or way of thinking, that you propose is superstition and has no true roots in the believe in a god of truth and reality. That is why there are so many different religions and church. Because they, the same as you, all try to convince others to accept their favorite believes by claiming that they must believe without prove and not to seek signs. With that logic one could claim any believe as their religion.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    @Charles How do we know that the translations we have of the Bible are correct? What originals do I have to compare them against?
    We have accurate well- preserved Copies of the original text. There are some 5,700 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text. While we have 99% of the original text, 100 % of the truth comes through.

    And The Articles of faith Original Edition, #8. We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon, and in all other good books.

    but,A great portion of 3 Nephi seems to be "borrowed and lifted" from the KJV Bible. Stan Larson also found that 3 Nephi holds exactly the same sort of errors that are unique to the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph Smith owned.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 6, 2012 6:48 a.m.


    Actually there is proof of the 116 pages being stolen. Stolen by Martin Harris' wife and some compradres. I don't hold with your arguments. The thing is they would not be in the Smithsonian. The Church would never have allowed them out of their site. In fact, I doubt if they would have ever been presented to the public to see. The fact is the Book of Mormon must be taken on faith and faith alone. The same is true of the Bible. Sure there are evidences of both that are concrete but yet there are still many who don't believe the Bible any more than they believe the Book of Mormon.

    I agree with @Charles that you are looking for a sign to prove your belief. The Doctrine & Covenants which is modern day revelation tells us flat out that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a WHOLE is the only true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. You are looking for a sign to prove that point. I have received from anything beyond this earth definitive proof that this is true.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 10:06 p.m.

    "However, what you are doing is dictating to God how you will believe Him. "

    From your perspective it looks that way since you believe the LDS church is God's church. From my perspective, I'm dictating to the church how it is that I'd believe them. Think of it this way: you don't believe the Catholic church to be true, so there is something you would need them to have for evidence in order for you to believe that they are right or at least closest to being right. That'd be you questioning the Catholic church, not God.

    "the Bible,... condemns those who seek after signs or conditions of belief."

    There's a lot of denominations, something has to be present to distinguish which you or I believe to be most correct.

    "The scriptures teach us that we must ask in faith, nothing wavering"

    That could be a No True Scotsman logical fallacy ("everyone gets this answer and if you didn't that means you just weren't doing it right"). Really there's nothing stopping every church from claiming that and some do (it's common among born-agains), Moroni's promise is just a more explicit version of it.

    (4th comment)

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Jan. 5, 2012 9:49 p.m.

    I think it is time to move way past the question: "Is the Book of Mormon true?"
    It is. Now is the time to expound on its teachings, messages and warnings concerning societies and governments.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska
    "They were stolen"
    No evidence of that.

    "You say it is too convienent to have them go. Why?"
    If it were a hoax you would make the plates conveniently disappear so that nobody could use them to prove you wrong.

    "They are stolen and since they have the original manuscript"
    Joseph Smith would have the second manuscript and the second set of plates. That would be quite sufficient evidence. Speaking of which... him translating one set of plates, losing the manuscript, and then having a second set of plates to translate is also convenient in an 'if this were a hoax I'd make this claim' sort of way (why not translate both sets in the first place?).

    Besides, if the plates were stolen and presented with the manipulated manuscript to attack Joseph Smith there's still the fact that Joseph Smith found those plates (their existance would be amazing in itself) and eventually somebody else would be able to translate them. They'd likely be in the Smithsonian with experts studying them if not under church protection and Joseph Smith could be vindicated if his reputation was somehow destroyed.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 5, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    It is strange that the Book of Mormon gives great detail of the many different metal coins that were in circulation, but not one coin has been discovered or found even though the Book of Mormon times are only a few thousand years ago; on the other hand there have been coins several thousand years old discovered from real past civilizations.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 8:19 p.m.

    @atl: I appreciate your response and honesty. However, what you are doing is dictating to God how you will believe Him. From my experience, it never works when I tell God, "I'll do or believe what you want me to after you show me a sign." In fact, the Bible, of which we don't have any original letters as written by those who wrote them, condemns those who seek after signs or conditions of belief.

    What physical evidence do we have a Jesus living? I don't know anyone who lived with Jesus. I don't know anyone who knew Joseph and Mary. How do we know that the translations we have of the Bible are correct? What originals do I have to compare them against?

    How many versions of the Bible do we have?

    Where are the tablets from Moses?

    Where is the cross that Jesus died on?

    Where is Jesus?

    Where is God?

    The scriptures teach us that we must ask in faith, nothing wavering. By your own admission, you were wavering and looking for a sign. The sign is the answer received by the Comforter promised by Jesus to bring all things to our remembrance.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 7:48 p.m.

    John Dehlin did a podcast/interview with Dr Coe a couple of months ago. Dr. Coe concluded that the BOM is a work of fiction. Very interesting podcast.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 5, 2012 7:34 p.m.

    To alt134:

    Here is the problem I have with your assessment. Since, our Heavenly Father knows the hearts of all of his children then the following scenerio proves why the plates are not here.

    For instance whatever happened to the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. They were stolen, thus if Joseph Smith had retranslated those pages and the person who stole the pages rewrote different information on the sheets, it would prove the Book of Mormon to be false.

    Now regardless whether the plates were still on earth think of this. You say it is too convienent to have them go. Why? Wouldn't they be safer in the hands of God then in the hands of man? Anything man makes can be stolen sooner or later. So just say they were here for all to see. They are stolen and since they have the original manuscript, they can say that this or that means this and what Joseph Smith states is false. After all you need is someone with the correct skill to do it. Then the Book of Mormon falls. No, they are safe from the crude hearts and where they will soon be provided.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    "I am completely convinced that no amount of physical evidence would be sufficient for the naysayers"

    I read the book of mormon, prayed about it, even joined the LDS church. I even wanted it to be true since I had a crush on an LDS girl... but I never got to a point where I could believe it. There just was insufficient evidence for it as far as I'm concerned and I left the church to be honest about my belief (or lack thereof). I'm sure there are some for whom no amount of evidence would be sufficient... but there are plenty of people for whom there is some sort of threshold that would be sufficient. In my case, if the plates (existed/were still on earth) were around and verifiable that they are indeed legitimately from the time period claimed and translated correctly, that would be sufficient. Without them I require much more evidence because let's face it... regardless of what the truth is, "the plates were taken away" doesn't pass the sniff test and seems too convenient. I'm not trying to convince you that the church is wrong, just that doubters have legitimate reasons for skepticism.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Jan. 5, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    Searching: Thank you for your thoughtful observations.

    To some degree you are correct about Maya writing, though keep in mind we have very limited amount of script: 4 codices, plus what appears in stelae, buildings and pottery. Thanks to Landa we have a rosetta stone to Maya written language, but also thanks to Landa thousands of "books" were burned. So, while the writing we presently have is somewhat linguistically stilted, it does not follow that all that the Maya wrote was.

    And I would respectfully disagree with you regarding the Popol Vuh, which is rich in symbolism and linguistic complexity.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Jan. 5, 2012 5:37 p.m.

    I have been wondering for some time, is the church STILL under condemnation for neglecting the Book of Mormon?

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    I am completely convinced that no amount of physical evidence would be sufficient for the naysayers. It never is. When one issue is negated the goal posts move.

    Sorry, but the Book of Mormon's validity doesn't stand or fall on physical evidence. It stands on its own merits. Those who helped in the translation all detailed how it was accomplished.

    The witnesses detailed how they saw the plates. No one ever recanted any of it and said it was all a hoax even when they left the LDS church. No one.

    The promise is out there to anyone who humbly and truly wants to know the truths of God that are contained in the Book of Mormon. The last 2 paragraphs on the Introduction page detail what one can expect to receive in the way of knowledge through the Book of Mormon.

    @mormoncowboy: then you'll just be one of those who is ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Your call.

    Folks, don't get sucked into the games Ranch plays. He was a member of the LDS church, former missionary who just likes to tweak members.

  • FDRfan safety dictates, ID
    Jan. 5, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    a witness to the existence of a personal God who intervenes in human history for the salvation of his children,

    I am totally convinced that the Book of Mormon is not only the handbook for our personal lives but also for the governance of our society. We all bring our backgrounds into our interpretation of what is written but a less than correct interpretation is better than ignoring what is written. This is a great opportunity to get more interest in this book. Examine the various political philosophies with what is written therein and vote accordingly. My interpretation leads me more toward being a Democrat and I simply don't see how members of the Church can be so die hard Republicans. But I can flip flop where warranted.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    Ranch Hand: Copyright law at the time required that Joseph be listed as author. That is the only reason. You need to get up on the facts.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 4:25 p.m.


    That's an interesting proof that you produced. Let's put aside that claiming Michael Coe as a support for "LDS archaeology" won't get you very far or that one of the Spalding witnesses responded to the reading of the BoM with "Old 'and it came to pass' lives again."

    I won't claim to be an expert, but from what I've read about Mayan, their written language was very linear. The main purpose of their stele were to record events, such as the ascensions of kings. Something like "the king was born, then this event happened, then he did this, then he was made king." Even the Popol Vuh was along those lines: "There was only immobility and silence in the darkness, in the night. Only the creator, the Maker, Tepeu, Gucumatz, the Forefathers, were in the water surrounded with light. [...] Then Tepeu and Gucumatz came together; then they conferred about life and light, what they would do so that there would be light and dawn, who it would be who would provide food and sustenance."

    Compare that to 2 Nephi 3 or the discourses of Alma. First of all, there is no connection between Mayan and Egyptian--not stylistically nor linguistically. No written language that can be described as revised egyptian has been discovered in the Americas. Beyond that, Mayan doesn't seem capable of the depth of expression found in the BoM.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 5, 2012 2:31 p.m.


    "Are you a Doubting Thomas who has to "see" to believe?"



    Allegedly, the Book of Mormon never said "and it came to pass". It supposedly said things in "reformed egyptian" that correlate to the English.

    In response to Dan Peterson's article:

    I guess we see what we want to in the evidence. I always interpreted Joseph Smith's disinterest in the Book of Mormon as evidence that he didn't translate it. He never really seemed to excited about it, as I would expect a guy who was called to be it's principle forebearer. Additionally, Peterson's general dismissall of Spaulding is out of hand, and only a technical assertion on the opinion of believers who would like to dismiss the Spaulding theory. As always, they dismiss without even discussing the substantial plagiarism made by Joseph Smith regarding finding the plates. Further, if Joseph Smith merely "stole" the Book of Mormon, but did not write it, his disinterest in the work is quite obvious. Peterson implicitly acknowledges this, which is why he must propose the Straw Man that the only tennable "anti" theory is Joseph Smith as author. He does so with adequately establishing why.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Jan. 5, 2012 1:58 p.m.


    The state of New York required that published works have an "author" listed. Joseph Smith's name appears as such to fulfill the legal requirement.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Jan. 5, 2012 1:57 p.m.


    The most direct evidence of the veracity of the BofM is the phrase "it came to pass." This phrase appears ubiquitously in Mayan writings. Please see Michael Coe's book Breaking the Maya Code. Dr. Coe is not LDS but he is one of the foremost authorities on Meso-America. His recounting of the events leading to breaking the Maya code includes an explanation of "it came to pass" and how extensively it was used. In fact, he includes one example -- about 10 sentences long -- in which the phrase is used 4 times.

    This is one bit of natural evidence that this book has an ancient American origin, but I know it will not make any difference to you.

    Furthermore, I have an ever increasing list of parallel evidences -- things JS couldn't have known in 1829 because no one knew them. The real issue here is you are asking me to do your home work for you. When you have read the BofM 50+ times and also immerse yourself in the study of ancient America you will see the same things I see. Until then, your opinion is worthless.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    There is no denying that people can "feel" the power of the BoM.

    However, the BoM has no more power than what the reader gives it. The feelings and emotions experienced by the reader are a product of one's own individual reaction...nothing more. Everyone has the ability to give meaning and experience the exact same sensations through the reading of countless other literary pieces.

    Simply put, the "power" of the BoM is not intrinsic, nor is it supernatural...it's what people give it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 1:20 p.m.


    I saw an auction recently where an Original Book of Mormon (pretty cool actually) was sold for somewhere around $60K. The title page read "The Book of Mormon: Author Joseph Smith Jr."

    That seems to refute your statement about Joseph's "lack of pride of authorship".

  • Overdubbed San Diego, CA
    Jan. 5, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    I do not understand the doubts about the Book of Mormon.

    It is a miraculous book.

    I could far more understand doubts about Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ but reading the Book of Mormon, I do not understand the doubts at all, if you in any way accept other religious texts, particularly the Bible.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    I may be misreading Peterson, mightymite, but I don't really think that this column was intended to offer a proof of the Book of Mormon or even that it's primarily about arguing for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The bit about Joseph's lack of "pride of authorship" was just a side observation about something that Peterson seems to think -- and that I think -- counts against his being the author. Is it a decisive proof? No. Is it an interesting bit of evidence? Yes.

  • Arlin Nusbaum SLC, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    Thank you for your comments, they will be used and referenced.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    "The simple fact that the Book of Mormon is here, available for all to read is proof that it is true."

    Surely that is not the standard you use to determine literary truth since I'm fairly sure you don't believe the Quran to be true, and you sure as heck don't believe The Hobbit to be true (is this nation ready to elect an elf to be president?).

    "what does "producing one bit of natural evidence that it is anything more than fiction" have to do with the truth, validity or power of the Book of Mormon?"

    Because there is good reason to be skeptical of the Book of Mormon's validity if there were not evidence to support the Book of Mormon events having happened.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Seriously? Come on Dan, you have to bring it a little more than that. You mailed it in this week on very week arguments again. Common I want to believe but your just killing me.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Dear skeptic: what does "producing one bit of natural evidence that it is anything more than fiction" have to do with the truth, validity or power of the Book of Mormon?

    Are you a Doubting Thomas who has to "see" to believe?

    The simple fact that the Book of Mormon is here, available for all to read is proof that it is true. It, the Book of Mormon, stands on its own merits.

    I encourage you to actually read the Book of Mormon and feel the power of the word of God as written by His prophets of old.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 5, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    If one wishes to defend the book of Mormon he might start with producing one bit of natural evidence that it is anything more than fiction.

  • NT Springville, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Thanks, Bro Peterson. Even a few minutes a day reading and pondering this magnificent modern-day miracle gives me purpose, hope and perspective. It truly does tell me all things what I should do.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 5, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    Without the tittle "Defending the Faith" I dont feel as antagonistic.