Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: How Moroni and the plates may have made it to Hill Cumorah

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  • kc girl Edgerton, Ks
    March 4, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    the truth
    While my Husband and I both believe firmly in the Book of Mormon you really do need to do some more research on subjects. While it is true that the Spalding theory can not hold up for many reasons it can not be that Spaulding took his idea from the Book of Mormon. A simple look at when he died will prove that, he died in 1816. Now there are things like the claim that his manuscript had the names Lehi and Nephi in it that show it to be wrong. Both the Ohio and the Pen witnesses tell this. The current theory is that he re-wrote the manuscript after leaving for Penn. and that the Hawaii manuscript was the Ohio manuscript. Two problems with that. First both say it had the names this discredits the supposed second manuscript theory. Second one page of the Hawaii manuscript is written on the back of a letter sent to him after he was in Penn. We know this because the letter is dated. This page is found around the middle of the manuscript.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 4, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    RE: Actually

    There is no validation of the "copywrite" story, as given and told by apostate David whitmer and other ANTI's,

    By the way, do your own research on David Whitmer, I am not going to do it for you,

    but you can start by reading wikipedia on him, and D&C 30:1-4.

    Re: Mormoncowboy

    The truthfulness of the LDS Church and Joseph Smith hinge on the BOM.
    Without Prphet Jospeh Smith and BOM the church would be like any other christian church, and would no basis for they are true Church of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

    There is no known connection between J.S. and spaulding, anything regarding that is speculation and assumption.

    there are only vague similarities at best about group people from the old world coming to the new world, beyond a VERY GENERAL story idea there is no similarity to the BOM.

    The spaulding manuscript could have just easily been inspired by the BOM and J.S. story (and probabably was), the rest could just as easily have been independently made up.

    a fictional story about romans coming to america is hardly evidence or proof anything against the BOM.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    March 4, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    Part 2 of 2

    When the Savior was on the earth some recognized Him for whom He was, while others did not. Thomas the apostle would not believe the Savior had been raised from the dead until he saw for himself. Laman and Lemuel saw angels, but that didnt help them to live the gospel. Korihor had been deceived by an angel of the devil to lead people not to believe in Christ. So, even if you get to see an angel you then have the trouble of determining whether it is from God or not. In the end, the Savior is coming again. At that point everyone will know who He is, what His doctrine is, and where we stand with Him. Then, hopefully, there will be peace. I think 3 Nephi 11 and following chapters gives us a glimpse of what that day will be like when the Savior comes again.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    March 4, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    Part 1 of 2:

    I suppose those claiming eye witnesses dont make good evidence may be right. Im not so sure the physical, tangible evidence others seek will be enough, though. By this point if anything is brought forward how will anyone know it to be genuine and not a forgery? Whose witness and which scholars are we to believe? Why should we believe them? What makes these scholars an expert?

    I think this is why it is important for each person to gain their own witness and as far as I understand the best witness one can receive is through the Holy Ghost. Some get frustrated with this kind of answer because try as they may they feel they dont receive an answer and wanting some other proof may not be all bad. But I think there is something important to having faith and learning how to recognize when we are receiving revelation through the Holy Ghost to help us know of and to recognize those things that come from God. The Holy Ghost testifies of Christ and the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon is to lead us to Christ.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    March 4, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    Regarding Manuscript Lost/Manuscript Found:

    There is no proof that a second document ever existed, so admittedly it is speculation. There are the witness testimonies that claim such a text existed, as that which would serve as a foundation for the Book of Mormon. The manuscript that ended up in Hawaii does tell an identical story as Joseph Smith, regarding the place and event surrounding where Joseph Smith unearthed the plate - creating some plausibility for the theory that Spaulding was the author of The Book of Mormon. So the question remains.

    Still, I've never understood the argument that, well we read the document "Manuscript Lost", and it wasn't The Book of Mormon, so that proves Spaulding wasn't the author. All it proves is that Manuscript found wasn't a draft copy. Furthermore, assuming that there was another manuscript, and Sidney Rigdon (or whoever) got a hold of it to plagiarize - what does that mean? It means that the document would not be found among Spaulding's assets. It means, it was probably destroyed.

    Again, I'm not stating this as evidence, just logic - but the similarities suggest that the so-called "spaulding enigma" is far from settled.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    March 4, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Actually: Thank you for your concern for my welfare, but you are making assumptions. I followed Moroni's promise and was satisfied for years with the lack of an answer. Finally, it came to a point where the lack of an answer wasn't good enough, so I redoubled my efforts. At that point, I finally got the answer: don't go to church.

    That is my witness, which obviously doesn't agree with yours. That is why I keep insisting that, while a spiritual witness may give one personal comfort and spiritual strength, it cannot be used as a proof, because it is so personal and subjective.

    Witnesses can be trusted if they can be held to a certain standard. The BoM witnesses are suspect because they were all close associates with JS and could have been expecting some benefit, either financial or spiritual. If JS were trying to get objective witnesses, he would have found some disinterested parties, such as a local lawman or newspaper editor. The Spalding witnesses are suspect because they may have been influenced by Hurlbut or hatred of Mormons. My reading is that they were disinterested parties reporting their experiences.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    March 3, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS
    "I think taken on the whole, eye witnesses do not make good evidence."

    If that is the case then I guess we should never allow any evidence from eye witnesses in our court system. If eye witnesses do not make good evidence what kind of witnesses do. Maybe we just need to try cases without any witnesses at all and just rely on circumstantial evidence.

  • Actually Provo, UT
    March 3, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    the truth, kc girl already refuted your claim. Read the revelation as we have.

    Regarding Whitmer, provide a source.

    Searching, witnesses are required by God and are respected in a court of law. I'm telling you the BoM is true and I want you to read it and ask God for yourself and stop seeking detourants to let you off the hook from obtaining your own witness.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    March 3, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    the truth: You lost me. As I reread my post, I don't see where I put forth anything as evidence. I was simply expanding on the Spalding theory so others reading these threads will realize that there is more to it than KC reported. It's easy to shoot down a theory when leave out half of it. As for evidence, neither the Spalding nor gold plate theories have any tangible evidence thus far to prove that they are true.

    As to knowing a denomination by their fruits, by your logic, I should pay more attention to the Catholic, Islam, and Buddhist faiths. They haven't dwindled at all. The Koran has quite a following today and has for centuries. The Jehovah's Witnesses are growing at a faster rate with their translation of the Bible than the LDS with the JST; should I trust their fruits more?

    But that isn't even on point. The point: witnesses are unreliable.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 3, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    RE: Searching . . . | 2:49 p.m.

    Assuming what Joseph Smith and others did is not evidence of anything. If that were the case then would making up your own facts.

    RE: Actually:

    David whitmer started his own church.

    RE: kc girl:

    There is great misunderstanding concerning this mission. They went to sell PUBLISHING rights not copyrights, someone misspoke or miswrote or misheard and certainly misunderstood,

    the church and Joseph Smith would NEVER sell the copywright of the BOM, foundational scripture of the church.

    RE: the shakers, angels and the roll:

    as the scriptures state: "by their fruits ye shall know them",

    do your own research on the shakers, they have dwindled to nearly nothing a hundred years ago.

    This is not to caste aspersions on the shakers, but highlight the fact that scriptures's words do have meaning.

    IF it were a good fruit tree you certainly should have seen something come of it.

  • Actually Provo, UT
    March 3, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    Pickle Juice, please match the following to the Shakers, Solomon Spaulding or whoever you like:

    1. Says it fulfills Bible prophecy.
    2. Claims to be an ancient record.
    3. Claims it was written on gold plates.
    4. Says Jesus appeared to Indians after his resurrection.
    5. Says how it would come forth.
    6. Contains prophecies that have been fulfilled.
    7. Condemns polygamy.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    March 3, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    KC: Actually, Manuscript Story (the manuscript found in Hawaii) doesn't prove the witnesses wrong. They claimed to have read a document that was written in biblical language about the migration of a lost tribe to the Americas and how they were the basis for the American Indians. Manuscript Story obviously does not match that description. The theory states that a different manuscript (Manuscript Found) by Spalding that matches that description did exist and that Rigdon and Smith based the BoM on that one. See the solomonspalding site for more details.

    Of course, apologists claim that Manuscript Found was invented for convenience. They don't acknowledge that same convenience for the gold plates. So basically, I'll show you the Manuscript Found document as soon as you can show me the gold plates. Which do you think will show up first?

  • kc girl Edgerton, Ks
    March 3, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS
    You are right I did type the wrong name the point is still the same it proves the Spalding witnesses wrong.

    Mormoncowboy and The Truth
    perhaps you should both actually read the revelation before commenting on it. It is very clear that it commanded Joseph to obtain a copyright for the Book of Mormon AND gave permission to sell the Canadian copyright as it pertained to four provinces. My husband gave the page numbers for it in an earlier post.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    March 3, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    To The Truth:

    I am aware that the new insights coming from the Joseph Smith papers (hardly an ubiased project by the way - just watch the program and ask, if there was something incriminating, would these guys come forward with it?), is that the intent was to secure a copyright for The Book of Mormon, as opposed to selling it. Okay, let's work with that for a moment. I have yet to hear an explanation as to why then, they weren't able to do so. In sincerity, is there an answer for this. After all, it seems rather simple - go to Canada, show the original work, pay for the copyright, and you're done. Nobody, particularly those collecting the money, are going to make an issue over the legitimacy of The Book of Mormon, if all that was being attempted was to SECURE a copyright. So then, now that the facts have changed the story, why couldn't they get this copyright?

  • Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS Clinton, UT
    March 3, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    kc girl,

    I think you are confusing Manuscript Lost with Manuscript Found. Just google to learn more.

  • kc girl Edgerton, Ks
    March 3, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS
    There is a major problem with the Spalding witnesses, They made certain claims (i.e. same names in manuscript lost as in Book of Mormon as well as other items claimed to be the same) then Manuscript Lost was found in Hawaii. It turned out that the claims did not hold up when looked at the actual manuscript from Spalding. Strang also had problems when his journal was decoded after his death. It contained confessions about his forgeries including the letter appointing him as Josephs successor. It turned out that he wanted to marry into the British royal family but seeing that would not happen he forged the letter and other items. To look at claims like these really need more in depth looks than most who just want to attack the LDS Church are willing to give them.

  • Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS Clinton, UT
    March 3, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    KC Mormon and others,

    I actually really enjoyed this article and the following comments. I think it highlighted some real important issues regarding the reliability of witnesses. I've always wondered why Joseph would not allow any outside party to see the Book of Mormon, but had absolutely no problem allowing people to see the Book of Abraham Papyri.

    For Example, no outside objective party was ever allowed to see the golden plates because it was too sacred. However, Joseph had to keep changing the hiding place so it wouldn't get stolen. How is a book is too sacred to be seen, but not to be stolen?

    Also, Joseph claimed that he had in his possession a sacred manuscript written by Abraham and Joseph who was sold into Egypt. Did he hide the papyri and have a few of his followers sign a paper that they had seen it? No, he put it on display and charged 25 cents to see it. It was there for the world to see. So we see how Joseph Smith treats REAL ancient documents when he has them.

  • Pickle Juice, The Key to a BCS Clinton, UT
    March 3, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    KC Mormon and others,

    This article brings up interesting issues. How reliable are witnesses?

    James Strange had many witnesses of his divinity and they saw the plates which he translated the Law of the Lord.

    Seven people wrote affidavits testifying that they had read early drafts of the Book of Mormon by author Solomon Spalding. In some ways they are more credible than the BOM witnesses as they each wrote their own account instead of merely signing a prepared statement.

    There are many people that signed affidavits stating that Sidney Rigdon admitted to them that he used the Spalding Manuscript to make the Book of Mormon.

    The Shakers, of course, do not believe the Book of Mormon, but they have a book entitled A Holy, Sacred and Divine Roll and Book. More than sixty individuals gave testimony to the Sacred Roll and Book. These individuals each wrote their own account of personally seeing an angel testify to them about the truthfulness and divinity of their scriptures. You can google and read these many eyewitness accounts of the angel proclaiming their scripture is true and divine.

    I think taken on the whole, eye witnesses do not make good evidence.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 3, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    To Actually, You posted, "KC Mormon, that fallacy is tiring, no shaker saw a glorified angel and heard the voice of God. Give it a rest." It is curious. How do you justify your believe that Joseph Smith saw God Himself but you deny a Shaker seeing an angel. Is there substance to your post, or is it just you. This seems to be one of the core problems with one man's acceptance of his religion and the hate and rejection of all others. Joseph Smith may have had it right when he said something like: all man made religions are bad (I suppose including Mormonism too).

  • kc girl Edgerton, Ks
    March 2, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    I am posting this for my husband because he has used his 4 posts on this story already. If people will please look back over KC Mormons posts you will find that he has not supported Whitmer as a Shaker or the Shaker stories. What he did write about was Whitmers account of the attempt to sell the Canadian copyright to the Book of Mormon and how his account was written 57 years after the fact and how Whitmer was not part of that mission. This calls Whitmers account into question on that event. He also pointed out were the two parts of Whitmers account came from separated by almost a year using original sources. To "the truth" if you read the original revelation it did in fact speak of obtaining a copyright and give permission to sell the right for "four provinces" in Canada with restrictions. Look at my husbands earlier posts and you can find the original source.

  • Actually Provo, UT
    March 2, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    the truth, your argument on semantics is desperate

    "David whitmer...had greater desire for power and leadership in the church"

    Actually he refused more than once to lead within and without the church.

    "sad story of apostasy"

    David lived longer than Joseph, was liked not hated.

    KC Mormon, that fallacy is tiring, no shaker saw a glorified angel and heard the voice of God. Give it a rest.

  • Mormon in Michigan Detroit, MI
    March 2, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    KC Mormon,

    I think we as Mormons make too much out of the witnesses much to our detriment. For example, the Shakers had around 100 witnesses who saw an angel proclaim that their Scriptures (Roll and Book) is divine and true.

    Martin Harris joined the Shakers for about two years. Here is the statement of members of the Shakers:

    Joseph Smith only had three witnesses who claimed to see an angel. The Shakers, however, had a large number of witnesses (over 100) who claimed they saw angels and the Roll and Book (Shaker's scripture). There are over a hundred pages of testimony from "Living Witnesses." The evidence seems to show that Martin Harris accepted the Sacred Roll and Book as a divine revelation. Clark Braden stated: "Harris declared repeatedly that he had as much evidence for a Shaker book he had as for the Book of Mormon" (The Braden and Kelly Debate, p.173).

    Why should we believe the Book of Mormon witnesses but not the Shakers witnesses? What are we to make of the reported Martin Harris's comment that he had as much evidence for the Shaker book he had as for the Book of Mormon?

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    March 2, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Stanely B. Kimball's article in the August 1981 Ensign was quite convincing that the Kinderhook plates were a hoax. How about FAIR? They have an excellent write up about about the Kinderhook plates. They explain very well how Joseph Smith was not involved in translating them nearly as much as critics like to say.

    The Kinderhook plates are on that map. The church knows the Kinderhooks were a fraud. FAIR knows they were a fraud. When apologists use a map that includes a known fraudulent artifact and try to prop it up as evidence, my doubts are not against the BofM, I lose all respect for the apologists that do this. Just as I have no regard for those who try to use the Bat Creek or the Newark Stones.

    JM, follow Moroni's promise. You don't need to rely on faked evidence for proof.

    LDS apologists are not to be trusted.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    March 2, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    Appreciate honest LDS again.

    Skimmed highly trained posers (seems intentional dishonesty is all some can do faced with honest evidence). Still luvem : )

    Check FAIR on all anti-comments for more info

    BOMG- appreciate ideas and know Whitmer after story, traveler to Cumorah (which way?), but am curious about JS Nephite revelation.

    @Otis, does love, honesty, etc include holding a recommend while affiliating with and dishonestly posting destructive dishonest anti-Mormon propaganda??

    As noted, Jesus and His Prophets (including McKay) testify of the crucial BoM, and condemn for neglecting its history.

    Cmtman: already discussed different Gospel versions, JS scribes etc.

    Map ok, acid didnt prove hoax, but if JS translated we wouldve kept the translation with everything. (see my 1st).

    BYoung obviously reports as heard (from PRockwell?) BY believed the Lord moved plates. If hill opened it was vision, could be anywhere. Why would Moroni, after abridging sealed plates and wandering for years, hide plates in box next to records cave?

    Jaxrepeat: Lehis children single brown race from Joseph/Asenat ("Asiatic"), white skin usage indicates BoM antiquity, was description for religiosity (seeWiki), JS translated directly, began changing, still misread.

    Moses required death.

    The mountain of BoM evidences grows daily : ) : ) luvinit!

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 2, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    RE: cmtam

    They were sent on a mission to SECURE a copywrite NOT sell one.

    When you start out with false information, then the rest must necesassirly be false, the fruits of false tree.

    ANTI mormons are quite well know for false stories, giving misleading information, taking comments out context, believing rumours and assumptions of others and reporting them as fact, or just giving plain false or made up information and stories, stories and comments they just made up, all to attack or discredit the mormon church or any of it's leaders.

    David whitmer became one of those wheh_he left the church. he had greater desire for power and leadership in the church rather than for building the kingdom,

    and nothing he said after he left was validated by other witnesses.

    his is a said story of apostasy.

    Disagreement on interpretation of scripture, like those regarding "New Jerusalem", does not make the LDS interpretation any less true.

    Truth is NOT based on a populatity vote by other christians.

    ONCE_AGAIN for you BOM deniers,

    the BOM is scripture,

    it's not a history_book, though it contains some_history

    it's not a geography_book, though it contains some

    it is scripture.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    March 2, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    BOMG said, "The Book of Mormon was one only one facet of the Marvelous Work and A Wonder prophecy. IF you consider America as the New Jerusalem then you will appreciate how literally it has been ulfilled. No,Christians consider the New Jersualem Heaven.

    But the book (Bom)shall be delivered unto a man(JS)(IS 29:14 JST). JS prophecies the BOM and JS.

    BOMG said,Whitmer is very reliable, everyone who knew him said he was honest and his interviews were consistent.
    Then JS is a false prophet: "Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil." So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 30-31:

  • BOMG Modesto, CA
    March 2, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    JoeBlow, it confirms the virgin birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, with signs.

    Jax, you have not addressed the integrity of the 20+ witnesses of the translation. You would do well to apprise yourself of their witness before pontificating more. The Holy Book of Mormon rings true with the Bible and until you can show a contradiction with it, keep your opinions to yourself.

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    March 2, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    "@Jax, your fairness is not including the 20+ witness of the translation process, for starters."

    Yes it is.

    "Second, what doctrine/teaching in the BoM is offensive?"

    There are two obvious ones:

    1) That God made the Lamanites skin dark as a curse for unrighteousness and the dark skinned people are repeatedly referred to as loathsome and unclean. Racism in the 19th century is one thing, but to canonize it in scripture is quite another. That is extremely offensive.

    2) That it's okay to murder somebody in the interest of preserving a religion as Nephi did to Laban so that a nation wouldn't dwindle in disbelief. That is the exact type of teaching that leads to things like the Mountain Meadows Massacre or 9/11.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    March 1, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    "@JoeBlow, intellectually dishonest according to whose intellect?"

    Basic human, rational, honest, reasonable, scientific and archeological intellect would point to the BOM being totally non-historical.

    Please cite the intellect required that produces a different conclusion.

  • BOMG Modesto, CA
    March 1, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    @cmtam, The Book of Mormon was one only one facet of the Marvelous Work and A Wonder prophecy. If you consider America as the New Jerusalem then you will appreciate how literally it has been fulfilled.
    @JoeBlow, intellectually dishonest according to whose intellect?
    @KC Mormon, the issue with the copyright revelation was the attempt to circumvent Harris. Whitmer's brother kept the revelation book, so he knew exactly what city it said. He chose the correct city where buyers were to save Joseph's face.
    @Jax, your fairness is not including the 20+ witness of the translation process, for starters. Second, what doctrine/teaching in the BoM is offensive?
    @cmtam, Whitmer is very reliable, everyone who knew him said he was honest and his interviews were consistent.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    March 1, 2011 7:44 p.m.

    KC Mormon: l agree, Whitmer is an unreliable witness,also JS had issues with
    Lecture 5,p.53 onlineThey are the Father and the Son: The Father being a
    personage of SPIRIT,glory and power: possessing all perfection and fullness:
    The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle,made
    or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man,and is
    called the Son because of the FLESH--. The Christian view.

    My copy adds,Further light was revealed to the Prophet subsequent to the
    giving of the LecturesNote B. The Father has a body of flesh and bones as
    tangible as mans April 2 1843,(D&C 130:22). The current Mormon view.

    Lectures on Faith...with added references on the Godhead and Holy Ghost N.D.Lundwall,Bookcraft,Inc.SLC. My copy.

    The Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit by Joseph F. Smith. The question is often
    asked,is there any difference between the Spirit of the Lord and the Holy
    Ghost? JS was unaware that Spirit and Ghost are renderings of the same Greek
    word,spirit( pneuma,4151).

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 1, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    It is more likely that Whitmer writing 57 years after the fact combined two accounts in his mind into one. Both can be found in The Joseph Smith Papers Revelations and Translations. Whitmer has the mission going to Toronto yet the revelation says Kingston so clearly Whitmers recollection is foggy at best having never been involved in the mission. The revelation is found on pages 31-32 and is titled 23 commandment AD 1830.
    The Some from God comment likely comes from pages 125-128 48th commandment March 1831 page 127 in particular. Telling the Church to be careful of what they teach we read "...that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits or doctrines of Devils or the commandments of men for some are of men and others of Devils..." Again if you go to original sources it becomes clear that Whitmer was simply combining two events 57 years after the fact A simple reading of the original revelation shows many errors in Whitmers account including the location and the fact that the copyright to attempt to sell was was for " four provinces" (page 32)

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    March 1, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    KC Mormon, I suggest not chewing others cud and doing your own research including looking at ORIGINAL sources: I do,do you? I have a copy of (D&C 17:22,23).It was edited out,available on request.

    Shields (LDS),said Joseph was at my fathers house when they returned. I was there also [i.e., when they returned from Canada] and am a witness to these facts [i.e., what happened when they returned, not what went on before they left]. (David Whitmer, An Address To All Believers In Christ, p. 31)

    MY copy, Joseph was at my father's house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada.also available online.
    ... I am the Lord God almighty; the Lord JEHOVAH[YHWH](Exodus 6:3 JST).

    God Almighty; but by my name the LORD(YHWH) (Exodus 6:3 NIV & Septuagint).
    JST agrees that Jesus is almighty God but Jewish scholars recognize Jehovah to be "grammatically impossible" Jewish Encyclopedia (Vol VII, p. 8). JS relied on KJV, for false revelation.

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    March 1, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    KC Mormon - I've tried to make several posts now that haven't been disallowed by the censors (even though the posts are well within the rules), so I doubt this will get through. I'll try anyway.

    I too question the reliability of some of these accounts, much like I question the reliability of the official witnesses of the gold plates. Still, I believe in looking at all the evidence and not just one side of the story.

    The thing that interests me about the story of the tile brick is that the details, such as hiding the plates under a covering or in a bag, and threatening death from God for looking at them, are consistent with what other witnesses described. The stories are worth considering, but I wouldn't base a conclusion solely on such accounts. Based on the whole body of evidence that I have seen, I currently conclude that Joseph's official story just doesn't make sense and is consistent with a possible fraud. A few things that have persuaded me to this conclusion: plates sometimes not even used during translation, plates returned to heaven without public examination, Joseph's history of glasslookingetc.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 1, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Otis Spurlock
    Who exactly is this David O'McKay you have mentioned twice? Is it supposed to be David OMAN McKay Born Sep. 8 1873 died Jan 18 1970? If so you are missleading in your posts trying to make people believe that he did not think that people needed to believe the Book of MOrmon was true.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 1, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    To Bill in Nebraska: Threats are not the way to influence your friends. Does it occur to you that the manufactor of a defective, or pseudo product threats of ill consequenses will happen if you don't buy his product are as fatuous as the product itself. Even today there are snake oil salesmen who prey on people with fatal illnesess, and threaten the sick that their help is the only hope and without it they are doomed. Do you believe God would make a demand on you to believe something that is unbelievable and incomprhensiable to you mind and then threaten you with damnation if you could not believe it. Maybe you need a closer walk with God in love and not fear.

  • Waikiki Gal Waimanalo, HI
    March 1, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    Nebraska Bill,

    Do you honestly feel that you are under the "Lord's condemnation" until you "flood the earth with The Book of Mormon?" It sounds like a very terrible and unhappy way to go through this life. I want you to know that God loves you and wants you to be happy. I also want you to know that God has not put you, or anyone else under "condemnation". We are here to be happy, find contentment and do our best. Jesus does not want you to feel guilty or feel like you are under condemnation. He is a God of love, compassion and understanding. Jesus has not put anyone under condemnation for not flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon. That is just silly. He cares that we follow His commandments. If you want to know what Jesus cares about, please read David o Mckay's list of what is important to the Savior. Just remember, "Men are that they might have joy".

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 1, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    You mentioned the mission to Canada to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon. The only problem is that with the publishing of the Joseph Smith Papers the actual document was found. It is not quite like the Anti-Mormon sites have spent years reporting it, again can I suggest not chewing others cud and doing your own research including looking at ORIGINAL sources. First as to the copyright the actual revelation received told Joseph to obtain a copyright for the Book of Mormon. This was wise as it was needed part way through the publishing when it was discovered that copies of pages were being published in a church newspaper in a near by town that used the same printing office. The Canada part was that he could sell the CANADIAN copyright only if the people were to repent and follow Christ. The Anti-Mormon sources do not even get the name of the town that the mission was to correct. AS for the Some revelations part that is a distortion of a revelation that was given some time later. If you would like I can give you the page numbers for both.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 1, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Jax and Otis Spurlock
    Your stories about the brick tile really do not hold up to much study if you go past chewing other peoples cud and really study it out. First lets look at Peter Ingersoll. His claim is not a brick tile but a pile of sand in a frock. In his story in the 1834 Mormonism Unveiled he claims that Joseph told him that he had a pile of sand in his frock and when asked by his family what he had he said Gold plates making the story up on the spot. A close examination however shows this to be false. First Alvin knew of Moroni before his death before Joseph received the plates. Second others report the name of Moroni before Joseph received the plates so he could not have made the story up on the spot. As for William Hussey and Azel Vandruver we have at best second hand accounts from an 1867 Anti-Mormon book. It does not even claim to have received the stories from them first hand so is likely third or fourth handwritten years after Joseph had died. Not very strong evidence against Joseph.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 1, 2011 6:36 a.m.

    To All:

    The following comes directly from the Lord and was followed up in General Conference years later by President Benson: First in September of 1832:

    "And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received-- Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until the repeat and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written-- That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom: otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgement to be be poured out upon the children of Zion." (D&C 84: 54-58)

    From President Benson: "Now my good Saints, we have a work to perform in a very short time. We must flood the earth with the Book of Mormon--and get out from under God's condemnation for have treated it lightly."

    This still holds true today.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    March 1, 2011 4:55 a.m.

    There are certainly a lot of "it could have happened like this" stories in trying to prove the "POSSIBILITY" that the BOM is historical.

    However, one must put aside common sense, logic and critical thinking to accept the story.

    If it makes your life better, good for you. Stick with it.

    But at the end of the day, you have to be intellectually dishonest with yourself to believe it.

  • 5 Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Of course Moroni carried several wagon loads of plates and artifacts from mesoamerica to New York. And of course the references to a free land without kings or despots as long as Christ is the God of the Land refers to Mexico or any of the coutries south of it. Just a bit of a stretch. The best answer I can find for all the hoopla about mesoamerica is to follow the money. Millions of dollars are spent on tours to that area. That may be the only reason such a big deal is made. Any way what difference does it make?

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Feb. 28, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    The BoM,"that in in the last days (latter days) perilous times shall come(2 Tim 3:1),"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,and shall be turned unto fables[BoM],(2Tim 4:4). Makes more sense than JS's,"A Marvelous work and Wonder"prophecy.(Is 29:14 KJV)

    Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them:
    and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of
    the prudent.(Is 29:14 Septuagint)250 B.C..

    A paraphrase gives a good understanding of Isaiahs prophecy. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB).

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    Just observing the mental gymnastics here reminds me of the saying "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" If it takes this much mental contortions there is something fundamentally wrong.

  • BOMG Modesto, CA
    Feb. 28, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Ash ignores the facts:

    1. The plates were secured prior to going to battle.

    Why? Because both Moroni and Mormon were "in the front" of their 10k and knew their people would be "destroyed."

    2. Mormon stayed nearby.

    Why? To protect the records.

    3. Where did Mormon find additional plates?

    They were with the other records in a cave near the hill as reported by David Whitmer.

    4. Prophecy says the record would come forth ON BoM land.

    5. Prophecy says it would come forth to descendants of the Lamanites. If it was a "limited" area as Ash supports, those descendants were in a limited area.

    6. Official church history named the hill Cumorah, as did a Nephite to Whitmer, Cowdery and Joseph.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 28, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    I think the theory that Moroni carried the plates to what is today upstate New York while alive is the most likely. It seems contrary to the "economy of God" to have an angel do something that a living person can do. Since Moroni tells us "I wonder withersoever I will" and indicates he has been doing this for several decades, his reaching New York even if he started in Patagonia is totally workable. His reaching New York from somewhere in modern Vera Cruz or Tampico is without a doubt doable.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska wrote:

    "To Otis:It is evident that you are not a real member of the church. Good luck."

    I'm sorry you feel that way. Like I've said before, I really appreciate your testimony and I hope that at some point in your life you will learn to appreciate testimonies different than yours.

    It is evident that we both have much different views on what constitutes a "real member of the church". In the end, I really have to agree with David O'Mckay that when we meet the Savior, He will only be concerned with a few things. Namely, how we treated our families, if we were tolerant, kind, honest, gentle and loving to our fellow man. Nothing else matters to Him, it's not rocket science.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 28, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    To Otis:

    It is evident that you are not a real member of the church. Good luck.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    ill in Nebraska wrote:

    "Otis, The difference is what is counted as historical and what isn't.Do you want dates and times? Do you want to prove that an event didn't happen or what?"

    Bill, I appreciate your testimony and someday I hope you will be able to appreciate testimonies that are different than yours. I don't really want or need anything from you. I already know that the BoM is not historical. I know this from many years of studying, prayer and pondering.

    Bill, you should know that I am very comfortable with my testimony. More importantly, I know the Savior is pleased with me and my testimony and the person that I am striving to become in this life.

    Bill, the only things that are important in this life are how you treat your family and if you were honest, kind and gentle to others (See David O'McKay above). The Savior just does not care about the BoM being historical.

    @ D. Jeremy,

    Many neighbors and friends did look under the cloth and see the "tile brick". William Hussey, Azel Vandruver and Peter Ingersoll to name a few. Google and read their stories.

  • BOMG Modesto, CA
    Feb. 28, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Ash ignores the facts:

    1. The plates were secured prior to going to battle.

    Why? Because both Moroni and Mormon were "in the front" of their 10k and knew their people would be "destroyed."

    2. Mormon stayed nearby.

    Why? To protect the records.

    3. Where did Mormon find additional plates?

    They were with the other records in a cave near the hill as reported by David Whitmer.

    4. Prophecy says the record would come forth ON BoM land.

    5. Prophecy says it would come forth to descendants of the Lamanites. If it was a "limited" area as Ash supports, those descendants were in a limited area.

    6. Official church history named the hill Cumorah, as did a Nephite to Whitmer, Cowdery and Joseph.

  • D. Jeremy Spring, TX
    Feb. 28, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    In response to Everybody Wang Chung Tonight, we cannot be certain what Joseph and Oliver saw in the vision, nor can we be certain of the location of what the vision showed.

    I personally believe what they saw was accurate. I think there had to be some site for housing all the historical records that had accumulated through the years. Where that site is no one knows (nor is it important), but it wouldn't make sense for the keeper of the records to haul around all those records where ever they went, or risk their destruction at the hands of evil-doers.

    That said, I feel that Joseph and Oliver truly saw a records room. I don't believe that records room is inside the Hill Cumorah in upstate New York, but the vision likely showed them the Nephite records room where several uncompiled records remain to this day.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 28, 2011 12:24 p.m.


    What I'm trying to say is what do you feel is historical and what isn't?

    Dates, times and so doesn't prove historical. If we say that a people was existing in this hemisphere at the time the Book of Mormon took place then do we need actual proof where Zarahemla is? Do we need actual proof that there was a person named Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and etc.? If you are saying because we have no proof to these people names then that makes it non-historical, I would agree with you in principle. However, if you are basing everything on mans word that these events couldn't take place because there is no proof then maybe we need to find out how. Mike Ash will come out and basically prove that the Geography of the Book of Mormon took place basically in Central America in an area about the size of Tennessee. All of the basic elements he will show proves the geography. You state that much what is said at General Conference is opinion. I would suggest you go back and read President Benson's talk that was reprinted in 2005, Ensign.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 28, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    Bill, JS was wrong about the BoM before: Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a "revelation" that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money...
    we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: "Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil." So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 30-31.False phrophecy.

  • D. Jeremy Spring, TX
    Feb. 28, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Jax said: "FYI, I tried to post the account of the tile brick, but the DNews censored my post."

    Probably because your assertion is so clearly a distortion of truth that it was thought of as a joke or unjustly critical. Where in the world do you get your sources? I deem myself fairly well-read in LDS history and I have never heard of tile bricks being found in place of the plates. In fact, I have read several more accounts that indicate that Joseph did not go to extensive means to hide the plates at all from his scribes. The story abot the curtain separating Joseph and his scribes is just that, a story. I have yet to find any historical backing to that.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    JM said "Visions of cave were also in WYO hill, etc, PR rumor"

    The actual source was in the Deseret News, 15 August 1877 - it was a printed discourse given by Brigham Young on June 17, 1877. How can Brigham Young be accused of spreading rumors?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 28, 2011 11:57 a.m.


    There are people that don't believe in the historical portion of the BOM but the MAJORITY OF THE CHURCH DOES. The difference is what is counted as historical and what isn't.

    Do you want dates and times? Do you want to prove that an event didn't happen or what?

    If you are saying that Christ DIDN'T VISIT the American hemishere then you are in direct difference to what the Church Doctrine teaches. If you are saying that there is no historical proof then that is possibly true but there has been proof that there was a time period of the Americas where a day revlution did occur. It may not be a complete and TOTAL HISTORY OF the ancient people but it is historical with the events that took place.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    The article talked about a map. The problem I have is that the map includes reference to the Kinderhook plates. The August 1981 Ensign showed that the Kinderhook plates were a hoax. How can I trust a map that includes a hoax?

    Let me be clear. The Kinderhook plates being a hoax never troubled my faith 29 years ago. But today's use of a map that includes a known hoax gives me no reason at all to trust apologists.

    The Apostle Mark E. Peterson said this on April 5, 1953 during the General Conference:

    "I do not believe that there were two Hill Cumorahs, one in Central America and the other one up in New York, for the convenience of the Prophet Joseph Smith, so that the poor boy would not have to walk clear to Central America to get the gold plates."

    Since that time I have heard no Apostle or Prophet state publicly in General Conference that Elder Peterson was wrong.

    Why should I believe the apologists? Their map presented as evidence mentions a fraudulent artifact that the Ensign exposed nearly 30 years ago.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    Just watched PBS program claiming Indigenous People came from SW Asia (showed Middle East Babel/Israel area), one says Native oral traditions of horses, but not here. Others discuss how IP greatest, elephant, horse, etc hunters and metalworkers, etc. Some say came by boat, etc.
    2008 program so probably outdated alreadybut interesting.

    @Broken: Visions of cave were also in WYO hill, etc, PR rumor, etc. Doesnt establish Cumorah location.

    Feelings are the only way to know any important truth. Many are deceived by logic, etc, and many make up stories to deceive others feelings. (check FAIR on witnesses). Evidence always goes in favor of the BoM, and the logic of the philosophers fails every time it tries to stand against Gods prophets. So, if evidence converts you.: ).

    Satan can speak, do miracles, use failed logic in his temptations, Pharisees Biblical arguments etc.

    But how did Peter know Jesus was the Christ? Probably not simply voices, healings, argument etc. God revealed it, Peter felt the Sprit testifying, recognized Gods' voice by the Spirit, and knew by feelings (read Alma32) the difference between Gods voice and darkness and doubt promoted by critics/accusers (Diablo). You must feel eternal good/truth : )

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Why would Joseph tell people that God would strike them dead for looking at the plates? To me, that type of threat is not consistent with a benevolent God (or prophet), but is consistent with some type of fraud. There are accounts of people that looked under the covering that covered the plates, even under threat of death from God. They didn't find golden plates but found a tile brick. Joseph had lied that the plates were under the covering. I can appreciate Ash's attempts to make sense of the story of the plates, but we must consider the possibility that the reason the story of the plates doesn't make sense is because the plates may not have even existed at all.

    (FYI, I tried to post the account of the tile brick, but the DNews censored my post. I'll never understand why the DNews tries to prevent information from reaching the populace, but whatever. It's their "news"paper.)

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:35 a.m.

    In so many ways these stories become more preposterous, like straining nats and swallowing camels. The right thing to do is for the Mormon church to open their vaults, files and private library to qualified indepentend and objective scientist to examine and report the truth of the Mormon saga from beinning to present and set the Mormon people free.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    JM: You are hard to understand. The BoM does lack history, but it does contain some truth from the Bible; .mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment.(Mosiah 2:39)

    ...all is well and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. (2Nephi 28:22)

    And fear not them which kill the body ,but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.(gehenna,1067).(Mt 10:28)Not hades or sheoul but gehenna.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    I'd like to see how Mike would answer "Everybody Wang Chung Tonight's" quote from the JoD. It probably would go along the lines of, "The JoD is not inspired, so I don't have to take it into account in my explanation." I believe this is called "special pleading." It seems like a lot of this is going on.

    With regard to those who say that only a feeling is necessary to demonstrate a work's historicity, I would point you toward David Whitmer, one of the BoM witnesses. He said he received word from God that was just as real that he must separate from the LDS Church for its apostasy (see my comments on Daniel Peterson's most recent article). At the very least, then, it should lead the LDS to doubt whether a simple feeling is sufficient for determining truth. As I have said many times before, there are many spirits in the world, and any one of them can give a person a feeling (1 John 4:1). I'm not saying that some form of existentialism is bad; but the fideistic existentialism of the LDS is certainly insufficient as a theological compass.

  • aaazzz Murray, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 9:43 a.m.

    I appreciate the passion and zeal you have. I am afraid that due to the way you arrange your thoughts on paper it is difficult to understand what you are saying. If you could separate your thoughts a little more clearly, and not use so many parenthesis, you would communicate your feelings more clearly.

    I do not want you to feel like I a critisizing you or your viewpoints, just the way you present them when you are writing.

  • Everybody Wang Chung Tonight Riverton, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    From the article, "Its also possible that during the decades in which Moroni was wandering and fleeing from the Lamanites (Moroni 1:1-3) that he simply carried the 50-pound plates until he made his final home in upstate New York."

    Actually, Moroni must have used many horses/tapirs to carry many wagon loads of plates. From the Journal of Discourses:

    "When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the Hill Cumorah. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light, but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in corners and along the walls. (19 Journal of Discourses 38)

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    (Dude,you've implied in times past that geography is crucial but claimed Mormons' are empty handed, and that when geography is established then you will start believing other evidences for the historicity of the BoM. I know it must be troubling to you to see that, once again, JS accurately predicted details that he could not have known (ups, downs, around, Hebrew directions, Mesoamerican customs, etc etc), thus Im guessing youve fabricated this claim--that Mormonism is abandoning the Book of Mormon: ): )(funny)--as a distraction from truth and mountainous BoM, PoGP, etc evidences, and especially from the voice of the Spirit etc. I understand this is what you do, but honestly, you've been trying that one for over a month, and I don't think it's working. You've been blessed with creativity, but even fiction requires some believability. Some of your copying from anti-Mormon sites was interesting (was fun looking into false claims, seeing how they actually support JS, BoM historicity etc), this, however, is beneath even your gifts, it doesnt even merit investigation. No offense...

    But, all true LDS know Christ cares about the BoM, it testifies of HiM. He brought it forth.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    So, Mormon is given access to all of the Nephite records, reads through them and decides which stories are the most important, makes or arranges for hundreds of gold plates, then painstakingly etches the condensed history onto the plates, all of this while leading an army to its doom against the Lamanites and raising a family. He finally hands them off to his son Moroni who takes possession of the records and, while hiding out from the Lamanites, reads through the history of the Jaredites and condenses their history, etching it onto the plates along with some of his own writings. Then he binds the plates, packs them up with breastplate and Urim and Thummim, and heads northeast from Mexico through Utah, dedicating land for temples along the way. He then locates the hill, makes a stone box and deposits the plates, breastplate, and translators. After 1500 years he contacts Joseph Smith, shows him the plates, explains how to use Urim and Thummim with the breastplate and turns them over. Joseph then hides the plates in a hollow log and translates with a stone. Not a very efficient process. Moroni should be upset.

  • Hyena Murray, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Well, Mormons do have a history of traveling long distances. Moving from Vermont to New York to Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, Missouri and Illinois and finally on to Utah. Besides this, since the church began missions to foreign parts have be part of being Mormon.

    You could say that Moroni was just being a type for future saints.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 8:26 a.m.

    Also, when the BoM was translated, technology was little more than it was in Moroni's day. PPratt traveled thousands of miles on foot, by canal, river etc,

    Traveling such great distances didnt create problems for early Saints, and JS is said to have considered sending Saints to Mesoamerica to settle what he felt were BoM lands.

    Note: I love reading Mikes articles, and am thankful for the honest comments, testimonies, information etc. The critics are also entertaining, but keep in mind that they are perfectly willing to be dishonest about everything. They (in general) know there are mountainous evidences for the BoM, and all their attacks and spiritual violence fail in logic (if they had even one legitimate claim they wouldnt have to resort to dishonesty and repeating debunked misinformation(check: Mikes articles/comments, FAIR, Maxwell, etc for questions, Mike also has an excellent book including discussions of Kinderhook etc), As Critics do, these seem to simply wish to darken minds with doubt. On the bright side : ), this is further evidence that the BoM is true, for darkness hates the light, and, they have failed for 200 years, wasting their lives in attacking and discouraging LDS.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 28, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    After reading this article, one thing stands out in my mind. Namely, I'm very thankful that the Savior doesn't care about the historicity of the BoM (See David O'Mckay's 5 things the Savior Will Ask You When You Meet Him). With all the mind bending and mental gymnastics it's not suprising that, as Elder Holland recently acknowledged, "there are many that are firmly in this Church that do not believe the Book of Mormon is historical."

    I'm also thankful for the recent steps that the Church has taken in lessening the importance of the historicity (See recent changes to the baptismimal and temple recommend questions).

    As was recently told to me, people don't read the BoM and then say to themselves "wow, what an interesting history book". If people are focusing on the history of the BoM, I would humbly suggest that they go back and read it again to find its real meaning.