Defending the Faith: Top Book of Mormon expert Royal Skousen to lecture

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  • EditorJack West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 26, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Thinkman wrote:

    > Not to be arrogant, I'm probably as much an expert on it as anyone

    Seriously? After you've written and publilshed books comparable to his,you might be able to call yourself an expert. Royal Skousen has been through the various texts of the Book of Mormon with a fine-tooth comb, considering the possible meaning of literally every word.

    Have you even looked at any of his books? Do you know anything about the Book of Mormon manuscripts? I didn't think so.

    By the way, Royal Skousen's work is *not* apologetic. What he's done has *nothing* to do with whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and *everything* to do with what the text of the Book of Mormon actually is and says. Those who argue otherwise simply show their ignorance.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Feb. 11, 2013 3:59 p.m.


    You may want to look up Thor Heyerdahl. He made the voyage you claim to be nearly impossible. The difference between you and he, is he understood ocean currents and sailing, and knew that sailing from Belfast to new England isn't the same as sailing from the coast of Africa or the Mediterranean to the New World. First, he sailed from the New World to the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific on a Balsa raft, 8000 km in 101 days. Then he sailed from Africa to the New World in a reed boat, 6100 km in 57 days.

    Obviously, NOT a work of fiction.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 11, 2013 3:03 p.m.


    The many medically trained LDS I know would I think well understand the concept of emotional experiences vs. spiritual experiences and have examined that issue.

    I certainly understand why folks don’t believe. Been there, done that.


    Since there have been many artifacts found supporting the Bible, do you believe that document to be the word of God?


    I agree. Do not believe every spirit and there are false prophets. By implication there are true prophets and there are spirits we should believe.

    Preaches another Jesus from that which the early church understood – not the Jesus of Nicaea 300 years later.


    Just as an aside, I’ve been on the recreation of the Mayflower. It looks a lot bigger on film. I don’t think I would have volunteered to cross the pond on it. Look at Viking “ships” or the Polynesian ocean going canoes. All of these are tiny crafts by today’s standards. But folks do amazing things.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 11, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    Tornogal: I'm not going to list them. Reason: Most of what I would site are available on FAIR and FARM websites. Though some I may or may not agree with do provide the information you seek. However, from you last comment you neither care what is said or you face it with the critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints point of view.

    They can and do explain many things much better than I can or even wish to explain. My faith and knowledge I have acquired is sufficient for me to disavow any of the critics information. The proof is there is you are ernestly seeking it. Otherwise, to explain would be nothing more than a waste of my time.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 11, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska - You are continually able to entertain me. You claims that all that have left the church cannot feel the holy ghost and are pawns of satan... I used to be offended at this but now I just feel sorry for you that you think anybody who doesn't agree with the church is a pawn of satan. Moreover, comments like that reinforce my decision to leave the church, as I would never want to be a part of an organization that teaches that those that are not with us are pawns of satan. Thank you for helping me relize my choice was correct.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Feb. 11, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Like I said in a comment this morning that mysteriously disappeared without a rejection or approval.

    Going to FAIR for proof that it's true is like going to an anti-LDS site for proof that it's false.

    I have seen some, what would be considered anti-LDS to members, that are quite fair and respectful with little to no clear bias.

  • Tornogal LITTLE ROCK, AR
    Feb. 11, 2013 10:02 a.m.


    I'm happy to look at the "quite a bit of proof" of the Book of Mormon, so kindly share it. Because when I have gone to FAIR, I see awkward twisting of logic to force facts to fit. And in the end, I am left with less confidence than when I entered.

    And more, how POSSIBLY can you prove "Joseph Smith could not have known" anything? But again, I am happy to entertain the notion, so please tell us what he could not have known.

    And finally, I would love someone to point to a single non-LDS scholar who agrees that the Book of Mormon is, as it claims to be, a true record of ancient people on the Western Hemisphere. Because I have not found a single one.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Feb. 11, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    There is some considerable effort made by some to cast "apologists" as second-rate compared to the REAL SCHOLARS who only follow a quest for knowledge "wherever it leads" -- promoting an assumption that these real scholars are never influenced by their own biases and that they never begin a quest for knowledge with a particular end in mind. Baloney.

    Skousen, it appears, just set out to analyze the Book of Mormon text in a certain way. For him, he says, the textual discoveries "strongly support" a particular understanding of the Book of Mormon itself. In other words, his studies have led him to conclusions that he has shared with us. I like it; Daniel Peterson evidently likes it. Some may not like it -- and may post their condemnations on Dr. Peterson's blog comment section. We'll take their critiques under advisement.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Feb. 11, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Chris B
    "There really is no in between. If its true, prove it. Such is the requirement of anything in life we are supposed to take as true."


    "The Book of Mormon hasn't been proven true, but it also hasn't been proven false."

    There has been far more proven false about it than proven true. Far more.

    Bill in Nebraska
    "I suggest going to FAIR and seeing for yourself much of the proof provided. There is both physical and scientific proof that relates to the Book of Mormon. There is parallel proof as well that Joseph Smith could not have known about. "

    Going to FAIR for proof its true is like going to any anti-LDS site to prove it's false. It has no credibility when theirs a bias or agenda. That being said some anti sites I've been to have been quite fair and respectful in their analysis.

    "In fact, there is more proof for the Book of Mormon than against."

    That's blatantly false.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 10, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    Donn:I don'tknow what you are trying to prove but if you really looked at those scriptures you cite, they really say the samething. They don't contradict each other which is what you are trying to prove. There is no contradiction at all. One is clearer than the other, meaning the Book of Mormon, but in all they same the identical same thing.

    Torngal: Actually is quite a bit of proof on the Book of Mormon. A lot of what is written is things Joseph Smith could never have known as he translated the Book of Mormon. I suggest going to FAIR and seeing for yourself much of the proof provided. There is both physical and scientific proof that relates to the Book of Mormon. There is parallel proof as well that Joseph Smith could not have known about. In fact, there is more proof for the Book of Mormon than against. However, faith is the biggest denominator of the Book of Mormon, proving not only its existence but truth for it. Critics have spent too much time trying to prove it is fake than trying to prove it does.

  • Joggle Somewhere In, HI
    Feb. 10, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    A Secular View:

    The real problem with the BoM and faith that adherents have that it is true lies in the idea Mormons believe in something that looks utterly ludicrous(ie Satan), improbable, and unproveable when cast in a rational light and that goes for all religious texts in all religions old and new. The need to believe can be so powerful that it overpowers logic-reason-knowledge in favor of believing in things that don't jive with reality and are extremely weak in probability. As for spiritual experiences and that some often rely on when logical arguments fail...can be explained otherwise as natural emotional experiences brought on by the event, the need the want, chemical imbalances, drugs, reactions in the brain to natural external stimuli having nothing to do with a god, brain damage. Natural explanations are always available that are more reasonable than "God or Satan" did it. I support your freedom to believe, but it seems to me that if you can't understand why people don't believe.....than you haven't truly investigated "belief" and simply accept through faith which to me is belief without evidence. Evidence reigns supreme in our world.

  • Tornogal LITTLE ROCK, AR
    Feb. 10, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    The notion of accepting the Book of Mormon on faith appeals to some here. Fair enough.

    But accepting it as what it claims to be would be far more palatable to many if even one artifact, one shard of pottery, or one coin would be found. None has.

    And more, the absolute convolution that is necessary to make the plants and animals mentioned in the Book of Mormon "work" is amazing. Elephants, horses, wheat, barley. None of them existed by all evidence.

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 10, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    RE: Bill in Nebraska, the Jesus taught by the Church of Jesus Christ is the same Jesus as taught by the other sects of Christianity.
    (Mosiah 7:27)…God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood ,and go forth upon the face of the earth.

    (Phil 2:6-10 NIV )Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth .

    (1Tim 3:16)God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.God becomes man not man becomes God

  • tusco Bloomington, IN
    Feb. 10, 2013 12:02 a.m.

    @fkratz: Thanks for the clarification, and I apologize for being a bit snarky before. I understand your misgivings from a secular standpoint. But you're rather straining at gnats and...not swallowing camels but ignoring them (surely there's a more apt expression that doesn't require adaptation). You critique seafaring data while ignoring the much more fantastical and CRUCIAL claim (again, to a secularist--I don't know if that's you) that God could talk to someone in a cloud, lead him and his company to a promised land, etc. If you don't believe that, then of course you don't believe all the business about barges, etc. But why single out the Book of Mormon when the scriptures of most major religions make similarly "supernatural" claims? If your real beef is that you don't believe in God (or at least such an interactive one), fine. But if you just assume that as a given without making a compelling case for it, disputing an account of someone accomplishing something humanly impossible with God's help amounts to a circular argument.

    PS I believe the voyage described in Ether is supposed to have been transpacific, not transatlantic.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 9, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    Donn: I'm sorry but the Jesus taught by the Church of Jesus Christ is the same Jesus as taught by the other sects of Christianity. Just as I mentioned you have probably never been present when the Holy Ghost has been present. If you had you would have never left the LDS Church. So as mentioned those who have left the LDS Church are the most ardent critics. I really wonder why. Is it because Satan who is real has made you his pawn or is it really that you have refused to accept the truth when it is before you.

    The Book of Mormon will stand as a testament against all who criticize it at the time of the judgement. Remember at the time of the Second Coming only the most righteous will be left on the earth. There will be some who are not members of LDS Church. Missionary work will continue but in the end. Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ. Which is you?

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska (Acts 17:11)These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    (I John 4::1). Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    2 Corinthians 11:3-5 "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!"

  • fkratz Portland, OR
    Feb. 9, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    @tusco: You are of course correct and I was mistaken. What I meant to write was a comment about the Jaredite sea voyage lasting 344 days and occurring long before the Lehites. Those eight small barges must have been a sight to behold, bobbing like corks on the vast open ocean.

  • tusco Bloomington, IN
    Feb. 9, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    @fkratz: And of course the reality that we should not ignore must be the version YOU have created, based on one single voyage. Not all transatlantic voyages resulted in such Donner-Partyesque tragedies: only two out of 150 people perished on the Mayflower. As for how long the Lehites were at sea, the entire voyage is treated from start to finish in one chapter of the Book of Mormon (I Nephi 18), and it makes absolutely no claim that it took anywhere near 300 days. Perhaps you yourself should construct your realities a little more carefully.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 9, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    I wonder how many of the critics have ever had a real spiritual event happen in their life. I wonder how many of the so called critics have stood in the Sacred Grove, Kirkland Temple, Joseph Smith log cabin, Liberty Jail, Far West and many other spots where some of the most tragic and spiritual events in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints occurred. I've had more than one opportunity to do so and each time I get the same spiritual response to things. Answers come more easily as I allow myself to be taken away from the world around me.

    My ancestors were early converts to the Church. They had the opportunity to know and to live with the Prophet Joseph Smith. Many of their stories and the telling of the events differ so much from what the critics state. It really shows that there is a difference when the Holy Ghost is paramount in your life and when it is not.

    When one leaves the Church of Jesus Christ we are told in the scriptures that they become the most critical and hateful people against the people of Christ. Woncer why.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 6:28 a.m.

    Paul's writing to the Corinthians states,'For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.". So it goes with the scriptures. Paul would of course know what he was talking about in making such an inspired statement to unbelieving people. Paul's faith came from first hand expeiences with The Spirit, not from scholarship. His detractors were the scholars of the day.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    The prophets of the Bible spoke the Word of God as did those of the Book of Mormon. I am happy with that. Why do so many in these threads go a different path. Both of these prophetic scriptures have brought me great joy and have elevated my faith in Christ. Peter wrote, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". Both books go hand in hand to testify that Jesus is the Christ, that is good enough for me and for my family as we go forward in the service of our Savior. The authors of these scriptures were simple men called of God, not primarily historians or scholars.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Since the publishing of the Book of Mormon in 1830 there have been a lot of archeological finds in Central and South America that were not know of then. That to me is enough "imperical" evidence of the truthfullness of the book. However, as with the Bible, one must develop a faith and testimony to know it is true in the "supernatural" sense.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 8, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Chris B,

    I would classify few items I have ever learned as indisputable. As to the value of education, this is from President Hinckley:

    You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.

    You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands. The Lord has said, “Teach ye diligently … of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—that ye may be prepared in all things” (D&C 88:78–80).

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 8:16 a.m.


    Do you suggest that we discontinue all schools, as those institutions teach people to find truth through indisputable means.

    Why don't we just tell everyone to pray about math, science, engineering, architecture, medicine, to verify they are true?

    Just as a doctor can't gain his needed expertise by praying to see if medicine is correct, man can't pray to see if a religion is true. Anyone can convince themsleves they've found something they really want to find, even if they truly haven't.

    What if I pray and am told that 2+3=5. Does that make it so?


  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 8, 2013 7:23 a.m.


    If you really feel that has been your answer, then you are off the hook. No problem. I have read folks here say such things and I take them at their word. I would simply note that my experience and the experience of all those I know personally who have taken that challenge has been in the affirmative.


    I can only say that a sloop is typically a relatively small craft. It really comes down to what rations were provided for given the numbers of people and the length of time they thought (planned) to be at sea.
    Also, it appears that they were transporting convicts so rations might have been poor and meager to begin with. Not sure there is a comparison here.

  • Lledrav West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:11 p.m.

    Exactly what words are used in the Book of Mormon and where they came from are immensely important. The book is true and it invites any and all scrutiny. Honest investigators have asked for a hundred years, "How did a 19th century translator translate nephite and get nearly verbatim the same as 15th century translators got translating Greek into the New Testament, errors and all? Why did the first edition contain "bad English"? How could there be expressions that were unknown in the 19th century? The answer to these questions is that the Book of Mormon was REVEALED to Joseph word for word. He didn't use a bible, didn't even use the plates,just looked in the hat with the seer stone. Many eyewitness saw exactly that. We just don't learn it in Sunday School. And for those doubting the expertise of Royal and the importance of his work, you show your ignorance. Attend the lectures.

  • fkratz Portland, OR
    Feb. 7, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Looking up 'analogical modeling', one finds all roads lead to Skousen. Isn't anyone else doing this? He's been at this since before 1989. Time to get real.

    In 1741, the sloop "Sea Flower", left Belfast and was 16 weeks at sea. 46 of its 106 passengers died of starvation with six eaten by those trying to survive. Atlantic voyages were treacherous.

    In 600 BC, a group of Israelites traveled the vast oceans to find land in the Americas after being at sea for over 300 days.

    Rather than looking at the writings, people should question the legitimacy of a work which totally ignores reality. It is almost like a fiction trying to be made real.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 7, 2013 3:00 p.m.


    You can't be serious can you? Did you really just say that praying about something and getting an answer by the spirit is a more realistic and reliable method then analyzing facts? Think about that. So then when people do take Moroni's promise and the spirit tells them that it isn't true, is that also reliable, or does it only count when the answer is a positive?

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Feb. 7, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    @Chris B,

    I'm afraid I have to chuckle when I read your assertion that, "...should be able to either be proven true through modern day scientific evidence, or thus proven false."

    (S)Yes, man knows everything. There is nothing more to discover or learn and man has the ultimate knowledge of all things, past, present and future. (/S) Pardon my sarcastic tenor, but man is hardly in a position to prove anything by himself.

    We are taught that the way to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is by faith; by exercising Moroni's Promise as related to us in Moroni 10:4 - "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

    Why do we need the inanely pathetic science of weak, insignificant men when we have the power of the Holy Ghost to testify as to the Book of Mormon's truth?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 7, 2013 2:46 p.m.


    “....some of the greatest scholars and philosophers in history have been apologists...."

    "....maybe you need to revise your notion that the two are incompatible. The actual evidence is against you.

    With all due respect, apologetics doesn’t meet the rigorously high standards expected of first rate scholarship. Being faith-promoting is appropriate for the Sunday School manual and other general instructional material of the Church. But in a university level academic thesis or dissertation, peer review from outside the Church and BYU inner circles is essential if the study is to be taken seriously. Any flaw or weakness is fair game to be exposed by a process that’s supposed to do just that.

    There’s nothing unreasonable about that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Feb. 7, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    I had a Senior Seminar class with Prof. Skousen. He knows so much about the history of the manuscript etc and he is absolutely captivating to listen to. I wish I lived closer so I could go.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 7, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    The more you read the Book of Mormon, the more it becomes clear that it cannot be what it is claimed to be. Yes, it has some good stories and spiritual ideas. But that doesn't make it true.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    I studied the Book of Mormon in high school seminary, read and studied it 7-8 times whilst serving a mission. Took multiple classes on it at BYU and institute. Taught from it in gospel doctrine for 2 years and have read it about 20 some odd times in my life.

    I've also read and studied books that analyze the Book of Mormom from differing viewpoints that aren't biased towards its claim to authenticity.

    Not to be arrogant, I'm probably as much an expert on it as anyone and would invite an opportunity to discuss my findings and insights on it with Daniel or with Mr. Skousen.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 1:04 p.m.


    Such "linguistic theory" is used by Peterson as evidence to support BoM authenticity. To advance such evidence for consideration while at the same time discounting the overwhelming evidence against BoM authenticity, as Peterson often does, is intellectually unreasonable.

    Although interesting, Skousen's "analogical modeling" does nothing more than advance an illusion of probability through the creation of assumed associations. Peterson frequently makes clever use of assumed associations while ignoring or brushing off evidence to the contrary. As a self-proclaimed scholar, such activity is simply untenable and calls into question the validity of all his claims.

    Again, belief in the BoM is a matter of faith. As such, it should remain in the arena of faith.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    RE: Craig Clark, To approach history with integrity, you can’t predetermine the outcome. An honest scholar must the trail of evidence to wherever it leads and it often leads to some surprising places. True,
    (3 Ne. 21:9).For my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work” among the people of the land of America in the last days.

    Isaiah 29:14 KJV, Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a Marvelous work and a Wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

    Is 29:14 Septuagint, 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.”
    “I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:19). Paul quotes the Septuagint, from where God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    Weber State Graduate:

    What? Royal Skousen's "analogical modeling" is a linguistic theory, not a ploy for hiding uncomfortable data about the Book of Mormon. The two are unrelated.

    Craig Clark:

    The fact is that some of the greatest scholars and philosophers in history have been apologists, and that some leading scientists, scholars, and philosophers still today (e.g., Alister McGrath, John Polkinghorne, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, William Lane Craig, Kenneth Kitchen, N. T. Wright, etc.) ARE apologists. So maybe you need to revise your notion that the two are incompatible. The actual evidence is against you.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:33 a.m.


    Agreed, it hasn't been proven true or false.

    At this point, its on par with any story ever written by anyone, ever.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    To discount evidence when it becomes inconvenient and then draw it back for use when it becomes convenient under the pretext of "analogical modeling" is nothing more than intellectual dishonesty. Peterson does this quite often - purposely ignoring evidence which does not support his conclusions while laying claim to ostensible evidence that advances his supernatural beliefs.

    Belief in the BoM is a matter of faith. I have much more respect for those who claim such belief as a matter of faith over the person who tries to incorporate scientific evidence in support of its authenticity despite the overwhelming empirical evidence against it. Leave the BoM where it belongs - in the arena of faith.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Apologists and debunkers have more in common than they suspect. One is out to prove, the other to disprove. Neither is the basis for honest scholarship.

    To approach history with integrity, you can’t predetermine the outcome. An honest scholar must the trail of evidence to wherever it leads and it often leads to some surprising places. I don't see how a scholar can be an apologist. You can't serve two masters.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    I'm not sure what Chris B.'s comment has to do with Peterson's article, but, if he really thinks the issue is so black and white, he must imagine that the Book of Mormon has been proven false.

    But where's the "proof" that would convince all rational and fair-minded people? It doesn't actually seem to exist. Which suggests that Chris B.'s demand is simplistic. The Book of Mormon hasn't been proven true, but it also hasn't been proven false.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 11:02 a.m.


    A book as large as the Book of Mormon and with as many historical accounts, should be able to either be proven true through modern day scientific evidence, or thus proven false.

    There really is no in between. If its true, prove it. Such is the requirement of anything in life we are supposed to take as true.

    Silly would be the notion "math is complicated. Don't try to understand it really, just believe that it works"


  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    For most Mormons, LDS faith is not dependent on empirical evidence supporting the Book of Mormon’s historicity. I knew of a young man who became obsessed with the quest to the point that he came to believe he had nailed down the exact location of Zarahemla. He was an inactive member who was struggling against the notion that the Book of Mormon could not be understood by the logical mind, something I presume he had been taught at one time. He was unsure of his faith but the obsession to find proof was still with him.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    I don't see anything strange in Peterson's article, but flatlander's comment seems quite odd. Peterson TELLS what Prof. Skousen is a specialist on: He's studied the textual history of the Book of Mormon and created a "critical text" of it -- very much the way other scholars have studied the textual history of Darwin's "Origin of Species," Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer," Homer's "Iliad," and, for that matter, the New Testament, and have created "critical texts" of those works. None of these efforts have anything to do with "scientific proof" that Homer's account is true or that Huck and Tom really lived. Those are totally separate questions.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    "Indeed, certain elements of Book of Mormon vocabulary may derive from a period prior to the King James Bible — which is certainly something to ponder."

    This is what is fascinating to me. I have read numerous internet "theories" on why this is so, all of which are interesting, but I have yet to make a conclusion on why this is the case. Of course, I am completely incapable of coming to a conclusion. Not that I need one, but it is fun to wonder "what if?" I wonder if Dr. Peterson or Dr. Skousen will entertain us with an idea of why some vocabulary in the original texts pre-dates the time of the translation of the Bible. On second thought, I doubt highly respected scholars will form opinions on this as only speculation can be expected. And, any theory will probably be "weird" or certainly different from our expectations.

    Also, I hope the lectures will be available to listen to. I probably won't be able to attend them.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    Feb. 7, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    Article hit me as really strange. why would someone spend that much time doing that kind of research. Cannot he accept the book as written or does he need some scientific proof to make him feel better about it when he talks with others. First question that hit me was the title to the piece. How does one become an expert on the Book of Mormon and an expert about what exactly.