Defending the Faith: The Book of Mormon was very carefully written

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  • MrG Rainier, OR
    June 24, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    @ atl34

    My take on this is: Standard belief. Interesting combination of words. Is that like what the scientific community believes until some new info comes along?

    I think the majority of believers believe MesoAmerica is the Book of Mormon land. And that is only because that was the most logical thinking. I am hoping that those that believe that, reconsider. There is much more to consider and the western part of South America has much more to offer than MesoAmerica. There are so many tell tale signs that this was indeed the Book of Mormon lands. MesoAmerica was settled by Nephites and Lamanites.. but it was NOT the lands on which Lehi arrived and Mormon died some 1000 years later.

    The plates being buried in NY is not a problem. After all.. Moroni never said where HE buried the plates.. only where his father.. Mormon did.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    "and then landing in what is now Chile at about 30 degrees South Latitude. "

    Hold on there... first off I thought the standard belief was that it's not known where they landed? Secondly, I thought the standard belief for those who did claim a location claimed central America. Thirdly, the plates were found in New York which is distinctly very far away from Chile.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    June 24, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Bill Fitz,

    Thank you for the invitation. I am glad to hear that it is so simple. May I ask? Did you perform this same task with sincere intent and praying to God asking for truth for every other piece of claimed scripture?

    Quran, Tanakh – Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim, The Evangelion, The Book of Giants, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, The Word of the Lord – Book of the Law of the Lord (LDS break offs), Writings of Ellen White, The Mabinogion, Rasa’il al-hikmah, Homeric Hymns, Sruti, Svetambara, The Five Classics, The Four Books, The Thirteen Classics, The Donghak Scripture, Books by Bahá'u'lláh, The Kojiki, The Fudoki, The Guru Granth Sahib, The Barton Cylinder, The New World Translation Bible, Book of Shadows, A Course in Miracles. Apologies to anyone if I missed your sacred text, there are just so many that it is impossible to list them all.

    As all religions say, if you find fault in these books it is mistakes by men, not of their god/s.

    I hope arrogance isn’t leading you to your truth.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 24, 2013 8:56 a.m.


    "...why are we digging so deep into the text to make a linguistic defense of the historicity of The Book of Mormon?...."

    It is curious, isn't it? Dr. Peterson may want to address that question in a future column. Then again, he might see the wisdom of letting the question hang.

    The Book of Job is regarded by many scholars as a work of literary fiction. What makes it scripture is that for centuries, people have come to believe in it. The same is true for the Book of Mormon. I don't regard the Quran as the revealed word of God. But 1.5 billion Muslims do. To them, it doesn't matter what I think. Nor should it.

  • Bill Fitz LAKE BLUFF, IL
    June 23, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Response to Brahmabull and cohorts, You guys are making this too difficult. Get a copy of the Book of Mormon and read with sincere intent. Pray to God. Ask if it is true. Yea, it really is as simple as that. You can come to know as I did (on the first day I ever opened the Book and read) that it is the word of God and that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I also alert you to the scripture that reads, if there are mistakes, they are the mistakes of men. How do you like that, an answer to your question in the very books that you question.

  • Fly Fisherman Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2013 11:10 p.m.


    I hold the story that Joseph gave since that is the ONLY story that is backed by history. Any other theory has NO historical facts associated with them. None. Your "somebody gave it or sold it to Joseph" is lacking in historical facts - there are none. Just because YOU think that an angel is unlikely, hardly makes it so.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    June 22, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    If a man wrote the BoM, he would have taken credit for doing so. It is inconceivable that pride of authorship would not have risen its head sooner or later. Like Einstein publishing Relativity ... anonymously. Or Bach allowing his beautiful work to be attributed to the town blacksmith. Not possible. I see only two choices here ... either Joseph wrote the BoM himself, or the preface to the BoM is true. To say he wrote such an involved, complicated, intricate work, when he couldn't compose a letter, strains credulity. Today, no one would believe him if he announced that he wrote it himself. Most would laugh at a young man's (boy's) claim to have written a book involving many disciplines, when he confessed "I didn't complete elementary school."

    Liars and cons leave a life littered with evidence of their deceptions. Littered. A fraud, a fake, a clown is as easy to identify as the moon in the sky. In Joseph's case, even his admitted flaws have to be exaggerated and embellished by his critics in order to concoct a semi-valid criticism.

    I wonder how many people just don't want the BoM to be true?

  • MrG Rainier, OR
    June 22, 2013 5:09 p.m.


    You know.. I could see your point if at age 21.. that was all that happened.. Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon.

    But you see.. there is this problem that all of this Gold Plate business happened long before the Book was written. This all started when Joseph was 14 years old. So what you now want me to believe is that Joseph convinced his entire family.. His mother, his Father, all of his brothers and sisters.. his grand parents.. fooled the Three Witnesses.. deceived the other 8 witnesses.. got his wife to buy in on the whole thing.. and all of this so he could be chased down.. put in jail.. tar and feathered.. etc. He just hypnotized them all and got them to lie for him. Somehow.. I just don't think so. There is more to this story than Joseph was a genius and wrote the Book of Mormon. His wife would have had to lie when she described how the translation process worked. So you have to call everyone a liar. Talk about a conspiracy theory.. WOW.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    June 22, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    Some ask how could Joseph Smith at 21 years of age write such a book as the BOM; the answer is simple: he could because he could, by whatever means he used. How could Mozart, Beethoven, etc. compose the masterpieces at their young ages, and the great scientists make their (Newton, etc) discoveries, they did because they could. The world has seen past things, and will see even much greater future things than the BOM. Some men have genius for something's; and others have so little as to believe most anything.

  • MrG Rainier, OR
    June 22, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    @ Tyler D

    You stated: "Seems to all comes down to how we define “truth.” "

    There is a truth called absolute truth. That is the truth about something whether people believe it or not. For example.. the earth is round. Even though there was most of the people who believed it was flat.. their belief did not make it so. The earth is round and that is an absolute truth.

    Belief does not affect absolute truth. Neither does unbelief. There is a truth out there. An absolute truth. When it comes to God.. there are a few people who could tell you that indeed he does exist as an absolute truth. We can have faith to believe.. or not believe.. but it will not change the fact that there is a God.

  • MrG Rainier, OR
    June 22, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    @ CCJones

    What I like more than Moroni bringing up the words of Paul in the 13th chapter of Corinthians, is showing that Paul took it from someone else.

    This particular passage is actually one of those things that turn out to be a striking vindication of the Book of Mormon. For the whole passage, which scholars have labeled "the Hymn to Charity," was shown early in this century by a number of first-rate investigators working independently (A. Harnack, J. Weiss, R. Reizenstein) to have originated not with Paul at all, but to go back to some older but unknown source: Paul is merely quoting from the record.

    Now it so happens that other Book of Mormon writers were also peculiarly fond of quoting from the record. Captain Moroni, for example, reminds his people of an old tradition about the two garments of Joseph, telling them a detailed story which has been found only in [th' Alabi of Persia,] a thousand-year-old commentary on the Old Testament, a work still untranslated and quite unknown to the world of Joseph Smith.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    June 22, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    Fly Fisherman:

    I have theory you might consider. My theory is this, someone wrote it prior to 1826, but after 1700 (at least). Joseph Smith got a hold of it, whether that's because he wrote it, stole it, borrowed it, bought it, or it because it was given to him, and he then had it published.

    It's nonsense to argue that because we can't verify an alternative theory then we must accept the story of angels as the most likely. It's particularly strange that you would hold the most likely theory under such high scrutiny, and yet not apply that same skepticism to the Moroni story.

  • MrNirom1 Oregon City, OR
    June 22, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    @ GK Willington

    I am surprised that you have a problem with authorized homicide. Especially in religious text. The Law of Moses had incorporated into it capital punishment. Capital punishment is authorized homicide.. is it not? Why so ironic?

  • donn layton, UT
    June 22, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    @Semi-Strong, submit to the test in Moroni 10:3-5.
    Moroni 10: A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by the power of the Holy Ghost—The gifts of the Spirit are dispensed to the faithful—Spiritual gifts always accompany faith ,“Moroni’s words Speak from the Dust.”

    And you shall be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and your speech shall be low out of the dust, and your voice shall be, as of one that has a” familiar spirit”* out of the ground, and your speech shall whisper out of the Dust (Is 29:4) *ghost conjured up from the grave,(NLT)

    Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.( Deut 19:31.)

    if they preach a different Jesus(exalted man) than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit(familiar) than the one you received…(2 Cor 11:4).

    @Bill in Nebraska. RE: FAIRLDS, should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief or practice. Where does the buck stop?

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 22, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    There are two facts that are clear from the text of the Book of Mormon and from the objective history of its production: The text reflects a great deal of deliberate thought in its selection and organization of narratives and doctrinal discourses, demonstrating deep knowledge of the entire text by its author(s)/editor(s); and neither Joseph Smith nor any of his contemporaries functioned in that way. Joseph simply read the text aloud in a linear fashion, from written English words he was able to see, including spelling out names he was unfamiliar with, and the only editing function was having the person acting as scribe read back each written sentence to confirm it was what Joseph saw. All of this was done in the presence of Oliver Cowdery as scribe and Emma Smith, and then in the presence of the entire David Whitmer family, including several adult men and women. Joseph was not reading from any paper manuscript. So when did the complex editing happen? The only explanation available is the one Joseph gave.

  • CCJones Lehi, Ut
    June 21, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    My favorite is when Moroni quotes the apostle Paul from the 13th chapter of Corinthians

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    to MrNirom1

    You are semi-skeptical about the Phoenicians yet have no problem w/ the BoM?

    Almost like the Phoenicians are the fictional ones & you know Lehi’s route? I'd bet that the Phoenicians were the "Pagans" already inhabiting Canaan prior to Moses.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    to MrNirom1

    You are semi-skeptical about the Phoenicians yet have no problem w/ the BoM? Almost like the Phoenicians are the fictional ones? Interestingly; you know Lehi's route?

    I'd bet that the Phoenicians were the "Pagans" already inhabiting Canaan prior to Moses and his road trip.

    Funny, you should mention Laban. How ironic is it the homicide is rationalized in a religious text?

  • Open Mind Taylorsville, UT
    June 21, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Though I cannot verify the validity of Braumhall's statement. What people struggle explaining with any logic is how Joseph Smith could have been (at the time the book was published) so well versed in ancient Hebrew, Egyptian and Jewish tradition and language, letalone be able to write anything so profound. Imagining up so many charcters, stories, covenants, writing styles, etc all while maintaining a very high level of doctrinal consistancy to the Bible.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    June 21, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    If 'reason, research and logic' could disprove the claims of Joseph and the BoM as to its origins, both would have been exposed as frauds long, long ago. The very fact that the question still exists is proof that man, using intellect alone, cannot dismiss the BoM as a human construct. Continued debate amounts to not much more than kicking a horse that died last century. We need to take a hint and move on. Trigger ain't waking up.

  • MrNirom1 Clatskanie, OR
    June 21, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    @ GK Willington

    Yes.. they would have been seen. To be seen is to know where they are.. and to know where they are is the ability to kill them. Lehi's life was in danger and one of the reasons he was told to leave Jerusalem. One of the same reason's that the servant of Laban was taken with Nephi to the wilderness rather than leaving him behind.

    Now.. the Phoenicians reached the Americas? Yes.. I have heard that one British explorer claims as such and has made the trip himself that took two years to accomplish with modern technology and charts. However.. Lehi and his family did it in less than a year. And they built their own boat and were not sailors at all. Only the winds and currents got them there. They did not transverse around South Africa but went straight down south until reaching the Prevailing Westerlies.. both wind and drift.. sailing south of Australia.. and then landing in what is now Chile at about 30 degrees South Latitude. A very easy route to maneuver.. especially from those who had no sea faring experience whatsoever.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    June 21, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    GK Willington,

    If you are being chased, the Med might be the more likely route to search.

    God has no problem with logic or geography. But look at the path and timetable for the ancient Israelites leaving Egypt. The Lord sometimes has a different purpose in mind.

    Tyler D

    The issue here is true as in confirmed by spiritual witness that it is true, not simply true as a corollary to spiritual experiences received. I recall that you have cited conflicts regarding the latter.

    Reference archaeology, I would simply note that specific claims in the book that were once thought wild and totally out of character with archaeology are now considered consistent with what has been found.

    Is that the same as direct evidence? No. But then there is good evidence for some of the history of the bible and folks still ignore that book. In the time of Christ, not all who met him followed him (or even cared).

    Some who are so quick to criticize (present company excepted) would be unconvinced if a temple were unearthed in a land that anciently was called Bountiful and there were carvings of the visiting Christ.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    to MrNirom1

    I'm not asking anything. I'm just pointing out an oddity.

    "had they taken the route in the Mediterranean.. they would have easily been seen."

    Been seen? Really?

    "Not to mention.. where could they have sailed to if they had gone the route of the Mediterranean? The Lord was taking them to a promised land he had chosen.. not a land they had chosen."

    The Phoenicians reached the Americas. I have a hard time believing God has problems w/ logic and Geography.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 21, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska – “The Book of Mormon is the truth about a people that lived in ancient times in the American Hemisphere.”

    Seems to all comes down to how we define “truth.”

    If “true” means it affected your life in positive ways even including profound spiritual experiences – subjective experiences I might add – then OK.

    The problem people like me have if when people make truth claims where they seem to using the word in the same as if I were to say “the sky is blue” or “1+1=2.” That’s a problem…

    And in the case of the BoM, it is making these sorts of truth claims (history of America) which makes it totally fair game to put it under the scrutiny of science, archeology, historical evidence (is there any?), etc… wouldn’t you agree?

    If believers are not using “truth” in this manner, then why not say “I believe” or even “it seems to me?” It would clear up a lot of confusion and perhaps minimize faith crisis for believers who come to understand the scientific evidence for and against.

  • Fly Fisherman Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Any discussion on the Book of Mormon being false without presenting reasonable arguments on HOW the book came to be, are useless to me. Given that I have read all the "theories" by critics on the production of the Book of Mormon and find them incredibly lacking in logic and reason, and especially given that even the critics themselves cannot agree on a "theory" leaves me bored with the discussions. I rarely check in on these discussions anymore, this time being an exception. Discussions on the book being false because of certain assumptions (assumptions such as "it should not have anachronisms", or "it should not quote from the KJV Bible"), are useless to me as I see them as bad assumptions (why can't God include KJV verses??? hint: He can and did!). Again, no theory, guess, explanation, etc. about HOW the book came to be, other than the explanation given by the Church today - that it was translated by the power and gift of God - is acceptable. And, with that beginning, that the book has NO explanation about its origins by critics (because none exists), makes discussions about anachronisms, KJV quotes, etc. useless.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    June 21, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    "Scholars have NOT been able to come to an agreement on the Joseph Smith papyrus."

    9MM, I'm curious why you would make such a misleading statement?

    The truth is that translations and analyses of the Joseph Smith papyri have been performed by both Mormon and non-Mormon scholars since 1968. The translations among these scholars are consistent...they AGREE that the available papyri and BoA facsimiles bear no resemblance to the text of the Book of Abraham or Joseph's interpretation. They clearly AGREE the papyri represent common Egyptian funerary texts that date back to the first century BC, nearly 2000 years after Abraham.

    The disagreement is not about the papyri or Joseph's incorrect interpretation, but about Joseph's intended message. To argue otherwise would be out of the realm of true academics.

    Some Mormon scholars suggest Joseph interpreted the documents by other means such as through "revelation" rather than standard "translation." However, such a position is difficult to reconcile given both Joseph's and the church's claim that they are indeed a translation.

    "A Translation of some ancient Records...the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt...written by his own hand, upon papyrus." (See church website)

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    June 21, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Misunderstanding must be the best way to make your point in a faulty argument.
    When it comes to the Pearl Of Great Price, the "They" I refer to is the "Egyptologists" referred to earlier in the same comment. Also, if Egyptologists are unable to come to an agreement on an interpretation, then what capability do they have in making a determination if one interpretation is accurate or not.

    There is enough variety in all the possible known interpretations at this point to make Joseph Smith's translation of the Joseph Smith papyrus perfectly valid. To state otherwise, would be out of the realm of true academics, and leads you into speculation.

  • Adrian Martin Birmingham, England
    June 21, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Well did the Apostle Paul say, "3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

    Those who oppose the historicity (or any other aspect) of the Book of Mormon always want to see the Plates for "scholarly examination".

    The point is that the Holy Scriptures were not written for "scholarly examination". They were written to bring souls unto Christ!

    I have studied the Holy Scriptures for nearly 40 years and have a testimony of their truthfulness. Detractors of the Book of Mormon who are unwilling to submit to the test in Moroni 10:3-5 please keep your "scholarly" opinions to yourselves.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 21, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    A couple of things strike me from the macro level. One is, consistent language is a very old argument for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I remember coming across it in my youth and somewhere still have books about it. It was a contemporary argument with the we will find the physical remains of the Book of Mormon cultures. But alas, that has never happened and in fact the search has led to some losing testimony. So what's left..internal consistency.

    Secondly, others have eluded to this but the whole internal consistency argument starts with believing that Joseph Smith didn't do research, didn't stop and go back and see what he had said before In general it starts with absolute faith in his version of the translation process. If that story isn't accurate then it opens up all kinds of possibilities.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    June 21, 2013 12:39 a.m.


    The idea that certain important bits (like the restoration of the priesthood) were not part of the original record is understandable. In the Book of Mormon, Nephi is asked by Christ why the record of Samuel the Lamanite was not included in the record. Surely the inclusion of prophecy of "a day, a night, and a day" were worth including...

    Nephi quickly added it to the record.

    Your argument rests on the premise that "this (the restoration of priesthood) could not have been overlooked" and thus, the supposed event didn't happen.

    But things like this happen. People are people.

    Have you ever forgotten to mention something important to you? Have you ever remembered it later? If you did, did you say, "I can't tell about that important thing now."

    Of course not.

    Your logic and argument is not persuasive.

    Buttressing it with commentary from the Vogel book does not make it any more persuasive. If Whitmer didn't believe, why didn't he ever deny his testimony about the divine origin of the Book of Mormon?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 20, 2013 8:41 p.m.


    Reading the language of the BOM or KJV does require some getting used to. I suppose I have become so. I have read various biblical translations. The “modern” one I like best is the King James 2000. I like Young’s Literal Translation as a reference.

    Yes, our language has changed. I think the church is averse to changing anything unless and until it is almost impossible for the average reader to understand them. I suppose that if the Book of Mormon is to be updated, it might be in coordination with an updated biblical translation. Just my own personal opinion – nothing more.


    Your summary is too limited. There appear to have been various ways and/or stages. Under nearly any scenario, the concepts had to pass through his mind which is where Joseph’s phraseology would matter. As you read the Book of Mormon, it seems clear that his language had some effect on the translation process.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 20, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    Silverprospector: I would suggest you go to fairlds to really see more of what has been said about the three facsimiles. You will find that what is different in the first one from some of the other funeral texts. By the way the data has been updated within the last two years. When was the last time the information you are spewing was found out. Also, the only WAY to find out the truth of the Book of Mormon is what has already been stated. The rest is man made and full of errors. The other once one receives the answer to truth is beyond anything Mormoncowboy, Weber, Barmabull and many others can ever contrive to state. The Book of Mormon is the truth about a people that lived in ancient times in the American Hemisphere. To really know one must ask of God or just wonder in darkness as many that post here do.

  • Max for President Brighton, MA
    June 20, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    Brahmabull and little brother Chris B:

    You should brush up on your history with regards to the Restoration of the Priesthood. Your statement is totally incorrect. For starters, I suggest reading, Larry C. Porter, “Dating the Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood,” Ensign, Jun 1979,  5. I can't even hold a discussion with you until you understand what you are talking about.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 20, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    People, scholars in particular are getting so caught up in the nuts and bolts examination of the Book of Mormon that they completely overlook the religious doctrines that are found in the book. It is studying and living the doctrines that will give a sincere soul a testimony of its truthfulness, not the nuts and bolts.

  • MrNirom1 Clatskanie, OR
    June 20, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    @ GK Willington

    Are you asking me why the Lord instructed Lehi and his group to travel on foot rather than by boat? Honestly... you would have to ask the Lord that question as he was he who directed Lehi to do so.

    But from my observations.. had they taken the route in the Mediterranean.. they would have easily been seen. And the Jews would have known where he went. Just think of all the time, money and effort it would have taken to load up the boat with all the animals and supplies they needed.. when they ended up spending years in the wilderness on the Arabian Peninsula.

    Not to mention.. where could they have sailed to if they had gone the route of the Mediterranean? The Lord was taking them to a promised land he had chosen.. not a land they had chosen.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    June 20, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Simple question...why are we digging so deep into the text to make a linguistic defense of the historicity of The Book of Mormon??? Because, at present, that's all there is to study. That's the thing I have the hardest time reconciling. All of this wrangling over textual evidence is a bit discouraging given all the way's that The Book of Mormon ought to be defensible outside of the text. Even if one could argue, as Jeffrey R. Holland does, that The Book of Mormon is "teeming with Semitic complexity", this Semitic complexity is noticeably absent everywhere that The Book of Mormon events should have occurred. In which case, one would have to ask, "IF" the BoM actually has some compelling textual intricacies to it, couldn't that just as easily be evidence for the fact that it was contrived?? After all, a common criticism of the four gospels, is the very fact that they are inconsistent.

  • Not Asleep Lewiston, UT
    June 20, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    Tyler D

    I believe the Book of Mormon to be translated by Joseph Smith. I believe the text of the Book of Mormon to be revelations and teachings as dictated to prophets by The Spirit, ie by God. I believe the Doctrine and Covenants to be revelations and teachings dictated to Joseph Smith by the Spirit or by God "in real-time" as you called it. I love the scriptures (Holy Bible, Pearl of Great Price, D&C, and Book of Mormon) and they have a power that no other books on the face of the earth have. I have read my share of great literature, masterpieces, and none have the power to transform lives that the scriptures do. They are truly the word of God. So I get a bad taste in my mouth when scholars dissect the book as if it were a piece of literature though I somewhat understand the exercise.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    June 20, 2013 4:39 p.m.


    Your statement is blatantly false. That is not the only way to find out. Reason, research, and reading and you can easily determine that it is false. If you want to combine that with prayer and asking god, then fine. But you are suggesting that only god can answer that question. Many people have recieved different answers when asking, so that isn't reliable at all. So if I want to know if the Quran is true the only way to find out is to ask god? Startling logic.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    June 20, 2013 4:34 p.m.


    "That Joseph Smith's interpretation is wrong, even though they can not agree upon an interpretation"

    I am not sure who the "they" is that cannot agree on what it is.

    "these three facsimiles of Egyptian documents in the Pearl of Great Price depict the most common objects in the Mortuary religion of Egypt. Joseph Smith's interpretations of them as part of a unique revelation through Abraham, therefore, very clearly demonstrates that he was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian writing and civilization "

    Dr. James H. Breasted, University of Chicago

    So then if his "translation" is wrong, then where does that leave you? If the Pearl of Great Price is fabricated, then isn't it at least minutely possible that the Book of Mormon is as well

    TWIN LIGHTS - I see that you mention the translation process and so forth. There was no translation of the Book of Mormon. If you recall, he stuck his face in a hat and the characters would appear and they wouldn't disappear until the scribe got them correct. This process is not translation at all. Not the least suspicious?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 20, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    RE: zoar63, can you be certain his words survived intact? (Isa 6:1-3), John Did,

    … he (Isaiah) saw *Jesus' glory and spoke about him.(John 12:41 NIV). See,(Rev 4:1-11) The throne in Heaven.
    Do you believe any of these?
    The virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) Christ as a descendant of David (Isaiah 11:1,10) ; Christ to be gentle to the weak (Isaiah 42:3) ; Christ to make possible the New Covenant (Isaiah 42:6; 49:8); Christ to be a light to the Gentiles and to be worshiped by them (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6-7; 52:15); Christ to be rejected by Israel (Isaiah 49:7; 53:1-3); Christ to be obedient to God and subject to suffering (Isaiah 50:6; 53:7-8);• Christ to be exalted (Isaiah 52:13; 53:12); Christ to restore Israel (61:1-3).

    RE: 9MM, “all associated books of Christian scripture.”
    The original A of F. #8 We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon, and in all other good books. See current #8.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    June 20, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    It has been a long time since I've been impressed by an argument from fulfilled prophecy. The only real way to find out if God inspired a book of scripture is to ask God if it is or not.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    To address some of the comments about the Book of Mormon,
    Several things I have learned in reading translated works and scripture.
    Do not take someones attempt at simplifying a translated work at face value.
    Improved readability does not mean improved comprehension of the original text.
    Idioms that are used in one language, while not readily translatable directly, will have an idiom in the new language that is similar, ie.. "Alpha and Omega" as opposed to "Aleph and Tav" or "you are free to eat" as opposed to "to eat that you may eat"

    Again I restate, occasional delves into scripture will not provide the understanding needed to comprehend such texts.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 20, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    @Not Asleep – “There was no choreographing, no editing, no crafting-- it was as I believe the revelations to Joseph Smith-- dictating as God spoke.”

    So did Joseph translate the BoM from plates or was he dictating in-real-time revelations while looking into a seer stone at the bottom of a hat?

    You’re understanding would appear to support both stories…

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 20, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    LDS Revelations,

    If the theory is true, Joseph Smith could not have done it by himself. Please show who the other co conspirators were by verifiable evidence, not the theories of men. For instance there are a lot of military strategies found in the BOM. What person with a military background did Smith consult to be able to write those descriptions? And the Allegory of the Olive tree what Jewish scholar who knew that art of writing allegories helped him with that?

    Smith must have been the most intelligent person to have ever been born. He was just 19 years old and managed to write a book as complex as the bible and no one yet has produced its equal. It is much easier to believe it was translated as he said it was. Emma his own wife stated that her husband could not even compose a readable letter much less write the BOM.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    There is neither time nor space in these comments to clear, nor elucidate misunderstood nor poorly educated opinions of Christian scripture. But I can refer to a well written article concerning the Doctrine & Covenants.

    Ensign article, December 1984, titles "The Story of the Doctrine & Covenants" By Robert J Woodford.

    It is a well written and referenced article, and will be enough to get anyone serious about learning scripture started.

    To address some of the claims made against the Pearl of Great Price, I think the sources used must be carefully reconsidered. Scholars have NOT been able to come to an agreement on the Joseph Smith papyrus. In fact the sources used for such claims can only agree to one thing, if they know it is the Joseph Smith papyrus. That Joseph Smith's interpretation is wrong, even though they can not agree upon an interpretation.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    June 20, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    *** The reference is in the book by Vogel

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    Twin Lights:

    I understand your point, and it certainly makes sense to use common use language in translation.

    That said, I have to say I find the BoM to be extraordinarily cumbersome to read. Have you ever read the New International Translation of the Bible? It supports your (general) point about readability and comprehension via commonly used language.

    King James was wise to try and get a common translation of the Greek NT and Hebrew OT text into English, but our English has changed substantially since then.

    If the LDS church is not averse to making minor improvements in the BoM for clarification, why not attempt to refresh it with at least 20th century English? (Not a hostile question, an honest suggestion regarding readability).

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    June 20, 2013 3:02 p.m.


    I assume the book that Brahmabull referred to is in the book by Vogel. You just have to do a little research. It is there. The fact remains that the restoration of the priesthood isn't found anywhere until 1834.. 5 years after it took place. Certainly an event of such importance would have been recorded at the time by Joseph or Oliver.... It is very suspect.


    You may have become bored with the critics because you have no real answer for their questions. That is understandable.

  • Not Asleep Lewiston, UT
    June 20, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    As a student of the Book of Mormon as a pure scriptural text, God's word, I am not really comfortable with the "was very carefully written" description of the Book of Mormon. This is my problem with scholars' approach to the Book of Mormon: they want to analyze it as if it were man's words, devices, etc. For me it is God's word through his prophets, pure and simple, not some carefully, smartly, crafted literary publication which is what I seem to get from Mr. Peterson's article. But perhaps I am misunderstanding his writing, his intent, or his style. "Carefully written" takes away from and diminishes "plainly translated." There was no choreographing, no editing, no crafting-- it was as I believe the revelations to Joseph Smith-- dictating as God spoke.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    I will clearly state my position, I am LDS, and yes I have read, and do read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price daily for several years, as well as several books written by Biblical, Book of Mormon, and historical authors. I am also in the process of reading the Old Testament in the Hebrew language.

    For any one to disregard what is in either book I think shows profound ignorance. There is a real lack of education of historical and modern events surrounding all associated books of Christian scripture, especially LDS Scripture. Such knowledge does not come from occasional glances of articles published on the internet and written by fellow ignorant's wollowing in the mire of misunderstanding and confusion, and will not increase our understanding.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    @ SparkyVA-
    "It is a product of an accomplished writer, though not of our culture or time."

    I'd revise that statement to say the BoM is likely the product of "writers" and agree that it is 'not of our culture and time' but of 19th century America. The evidence places the book squarely in Joseph Smith's time. Grant Palmer has tied 75% of the BoM content to known sources from the time— not the least of which is the 1769 Edition of the KJV Bible. Tom Donofrio has done research showing a number of links between Mercy Otis Warren's History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (1805) and David Ramsay's History of the American Revolution (1789) and the very specific language of the BoM. Considering the testimonies of those who witnesses the BoM translation (D. Whitmer etc) this is significant.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 20, 2013 2:38 p.m.


    I have little doubt Joseph was familiar with the biblical phrase.

    I can only say that when I translate, I often look for linguistic or cultural touchstones for the audience to relate to. It makes the translated text more relevant and understandable.

    I understand this may not assuage your doubts, but I hope it is at least a partial answer in understanding why others can believe.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    June 20, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Brahmabull posted: (Whitmer, Early Mormon Documents, Dan Vogel 5:137).

    Seeing the source, until I can read in context, I cannot determine to what extent the telephone game comes into play from your quote.

    Do you have source for the ORIGINAL documents? Not simply Vogels inference to them?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Weber State Graduate makes some interesting and thought provoking points.

    For BoM believers, how to reconcile the use of "I am the Alpha and the Omega" (ie, "I am the beginning and the end"? This phraseology is used in the New Testament, because the NT was written in Greek; Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet.

    The only problem is that the BoM was not written in Greek. It was written in a language we don't have the source for. So, we're left to believe that Joseph Smith saw "Alpha" and "Omega" in the BoM plates, or he just kind of put it in there because he'd seen it somewhere before, like perhaps in the English translation of the New Testament.

    There are many, many anachronisms in the BoM that are tough to explain.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    June 20, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Don't ya just love the wisdom found in ACTS 5:38-39!! All naysayers would do well to re-read these verses. The rest of us have grown far beyond bored with all this tired same old worn rhetoric. So many well-educated (as well as those of us who are less so) continue to testify to the divinity of the Book of Mormon.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 20, 2013 1:34 p.m.


    Before the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, some of the earliest complete manuscripts of various books of the Old Testament dated to around 900 to 1000 A.D

    The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in jars inside a Qumran cave by young Bedouin shepherds in 1947. Coming from the late Second Temple Period, a time when Jesus of Nazareth lived, they are older than any other surviving biblical manuscripts.

    The ages of the scrolls range from 300 BC to 68 A.D. These dates support earlier paleographic research, which estimated the ages of the scrolls by analyzing the handwriting styles, materials, and formatting of the manuscripts.

    Before 300 BC there are no earlier verifiable sources. The last surviving Hebrew Scriptures were from approximately three centuries after the Babylonian captivity. So how do we know what Isaiah really said since he began his ministry 193 years before the captivity (792-715 BC) can you be certain his words survived intact?

    If Christians believe in the Bible they do it by faith since the manuscripts that support it only date back to 300 BC for the OT and starts at 200 AD for the NT

  • SparkyVA Winchester, VA
    June 20, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    Actually changes to the BoM have been made to make it more honest. There were two "original" documents - one that the transcribers wrote down, and a copy made for the publisher. The third "original" document was the original printing of the BoM. They all differ slightly from one another. Some was simple transcription errors. For this we take the first original document written mostly by Oliver C. But there is a problem with this first and second original: Oliver C. didn't do any punctuation. The Publisher tried to correct this by adding in his idea of what the text meant.

    The LDS Church has, in a very scholarly way, tried to restore the original meaning of the BoM, using the first document as the source while keeping most of the punctuation of the original publisher but fixing any punctuation that was incorrect or that would change the doctrinal meaning of the text to be out of sync with the early teachings of the Prophet. None of these changes were major or any cause for one's loss of Testimony. These changes are due, as the Prophet said, to "the failings of man", and not God.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    June 20, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Zoar63 - thank you for insulting my intelligence, but yes of course I know that. I don't believe the bible as fact either. This was a Book of Mormon article, so that is where my comment was directed. But we aren't talking about a book with a 2,000 plus year history. Mormonism is a fairly new religion, so changes are more easily noticed. But that is how it should be, because of the claims of "most correct book" and "only true and living church". I don't put jehovah's witnesses under such scrutiny because they do not have the same claims of one true church etc.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 20, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “A great point.”

    And to you as well…

    I’ll just add that as someone who does not believe in the supernatural, I trust that there are equally compelling “this-worldly” explanation(s) for how Joseph wrote/transcribed the BoM.

    And I’ll leave it to those who know much more than me to posit some of those…

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 20, 2013 11:56 a.m.


    Thank you but I am well aware of those points. I have been around for a while and have heard/ready most of what you post.

    This is not really what I was talking about in my post. I was addressing a question about a writer who had great textual agreement and why that was so.


  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    June 20, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    That doesn't really answer the questions I asked, but ok. That doesn't address the Pearl of Great Price being nothing more than funerary documents. And I don't see any sources that these changes were "well known".

    If he was a prophet he would not need to add in revelations later. What does this quote say about the added in part about the restoration of the priesthood? David Whitmer said:

    "I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic Priesthood until the year 1834[,] [183]5. or [183]6—in Ohio.… I do not believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph and Oliver…" (Whitmer, Early Mormon Documents, Dan Vogel 5:137).

    So there is no mention of this miraculous event of Christs apostles, and John the baptist before 1834, 35, or 36. But then it is retroactively added into the D and C later on. It doesn't make sense. And even one of the 3 witnesses doesn't believe that it ever happened. Is he credible in his opinion? I would think so, since he is a Book of Mormon witness. Or maybe he isn't, and the witnessing of the Book of Mormon never happened either?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 20, 2013 11:42 a.m.


    "....The question remains the same—was Joseph Smith a prophet?...."

    Is the Pope the vicar of Jesus Christ? Every individual can decide such claims as a matter of faith. I'll never fully understand Joseph Smith but I don't devalue him as an original religious thinker. He founded a vital and vibrant religion that now speaks to the hearts of millions. I don't think that need be dependent on the 100% veracity of Joseph Smith on all matters he spoke to. He was a flawed human being as we all are.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    Twin Lights, RE: Intertextualit: allusion, quotation, plagiarism. “methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God” (Alma 36:22)

    … I saw also the LORD(*YHWH) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. .., Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD(*YHWH)…..(Isaiah 6:1-3)
    Isaiah said this because he saw *Jesus' glory and spoke about him.(John 12:41 NIV)

    @ The second proposed example suggests reliance upon the O.T. [KJV] story of Elijah.

    i.e. (D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there isn’t a Greek character for the English letter J.
    To avoid confusion, modern translations: NIV,NET and the NASB have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14; Luke 1:17) .

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    June 20, 2013 11:41 a.m.


    "I lost faith in that book when I discovered that earlier editions were different - and revelations changed. They were written into later editions as if they were included in the originals. That kind of dishonesty I cannot look past."

    It makes one wonder about the authenticity of the new testament then especially since the oldest manuscripts supporting it date only to the third century A.D. But you probably did not know that.

  • tim_the_tool_man_taylor Dallas, TX
    June 20, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    @Chris B

    I'm a "Mormon", and I think I can answer your question.

    "The editing and modification of the revelations was never a secret; it was well known to
    the Church of Joseph's day, and it has been discussed repeatedly in modern Church
    publications, as well as extensive studies in Masters' and PhD theses at BYU.

    If Joseph could receive the Doctrine and Covenants by revelation, then he could also
    receive revelation to improve, modify, revise, and expand his revelatory product. The
    question remains the same—was Joseph Smith a prophet? If he was, then his action is
    completely legitimate. If he was not, then it makes little difference whether his pretended
    revelations were altered or not."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 20, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Tyler D

    A great point. But, as I understand it, Tolkien spent a dozen or so years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings getting all of the back story together.

    He was a professor of ancient languages and had the advantage not only of education (and age) but of time.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    The intertextuality argument in favor of BoM authenticity is interesting, but must be viewed in context with the many other problems that exist with the BoM claim. Although it's understandable why members might easily latch onto anything remotely resembling favorable evidence, one simply cannot ignore the controversial evidence against BoM historicity.

    With all due respect, the BoM quotes extensively from the Bible and shared vocabulary is not necessarily a good measure of intertextuality. It's also just as likely the BoM could have been plagiarized from a contemporary source with parallels and so called "intertextuality" being nothing more than plagiarism parallels of those particular sources.

    Unfortunately, scholars will never know. Without the plates or an original BoM text available for scholarly examination, one is left to playing word games to defend the faith.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 20, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    I have no opinion about the BoM one way or another so this is not meant as an insult, but the article did raise a question for me – should we be similarly impressed when the Lord of the Rings shows internal consistency?

    And I have often had a similar thought regarding how the NT apparently confirms prophecies spelled out in the OT - should we also be astonished when the Return of the King (3rd book in series) fulfills the “prophetic” statements found in The Fellowship of the Ring (1st book in series)?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 20, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    The oddity of seeing Mormon scholars now probing textual interdependence within the Book of Mormon as evidence of authenticity is that right from the start, skepticism of its historicity stemmed from immediate suspicion that Joseph Smith used the Bible as a creative model.

    That’s anything but unprecedented whether or not Joseph Smith was trying to perpetrate a fraud. The books of the Bible built on earlier efforts they tried to outdo. Chronicles covers the same ground as Kings. It may have begun as an attempt to rewrite history but to those who believe in the Hebrew Bible, Chronicles and Kings go hand in hand. Interdependence of the synoptic Gospels has been analyzed to no end although much of the traditions material originated from common sources. But where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    Only one Christian religion regards the Book of Mormon as historical. With the weight of independent evidence being against it, that’s not likely to change.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:02 a.m.


    I'd love your hear your reply to Brahmabull from his 10:39 comment.

    And by reply is it too much to ask you address the points he brings out?

    I guess I'd love for any Mormon to reply. If you disagree with him, then please present the facts.

    If you don't argue what he brings up, then why would the original DC not have included important things until many versions and 5 years after such important events supposedly took place?

    "I believe" doesn't hold up unless counterarguments can be refuted.

  • CougarinVegas HENDERSON, NV
    June 20, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Another in a line of great articles. Consider the phrase found in Alma 28:2, Helaman 14:5, 3 Nephi 8:5, Ether 11:6 and Ether 11:7 "such an one as never had been known". This appears in English to be a little bit of a clumsy translation from another language. Yet each time it is translated from the Nephite language it is translated the same. This phrase is used five times to refer to something extraordinary that had never been seen before.

    A portion of the phrase (such an one) is found a number of times in the New Testament and Old Testament but the entire phrase as quoted above is found only in the Book of Mormon. I believe John Welch and others have pointed out many examples of Hebraisms that are evident in the Book of Mormon text.

  • SparkyVA Winchester, VA
    June 20, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon is far too complex a document for the time it was brought forth, even conceding a genius intellect for Joseph Smith. It is a product of an accomplished writer, though not of our culture or time. That the teachings add a layer of clarity to the New Testament, as well as reflecting a new interpretation on the Old Testament more in line with the New Testament should give anyone cause to reconsider what this book means to us.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    June 20, 2013 10:39 a.m.


    No problems with differences of opinion - I can respect that. Problem is, I have done all of that. It was only by studying them in depth that I discovered the vast problems that they have. I am in no was trying to change your opinion, just pointing out why I have come to that conclusion. The Pearl of Great Price has NOTHING to do with the translations Joseph Smith gave them. They are not what he claims they are. Every part of his translation of them was wrong. Egyptologists have looked at them, and they are simple funerary texts, and have nothing to do with Abraham and all of the other things Joseph Said. Regarding the Doctrine and Covenants - I lost faith in that book when I discovered that earlier editions were different - and revelations changed. They were written into later editions as if they were included in the originals. That kind of dishonesty I cannot look past. The restoration of the priesthood, for example - it wasn't even mentioned until 5 years after it supposedly took place. It isn't in diaries, or in the original D and C. If it happened, certainly it would have been in there??

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    To Brahmabull

    I can appreciate your opinion, but I respectfully and completely disagree. These books of scripture are consistent; consistent with each other and consistent with the Bible. I invite you to study them and find out for yourself, then ask God if they are true and consistent. God does everything with purpose. I know these are inspired writings from God and are not only records of historical significance, but inspired works to teach all human-kind the true nature of God, his eternal plan, and his Son, Jesus Christ, who died, who lives, who is the only one who can save us from our carnal state as we exercise faith in Him. Each of these works of scripture including the Holy Bible, help us to understand that and help us know how to work out our own salvation. The fact that this author is pointing out literary consistencies that most of us (including me) have not seen or understood before, should only propel us to research these divinely inspired works on a greater scale.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    June 20, 2013 9:47 a.m.


    The Book of Mormon isn't consistant. Neither is the D & C or the Pearl of Great Price. 0 for 3 isn't bad, but hey, who's counting.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    Minor problem: that Alma (36) has 1Ne 1 in mind is complicated by the fact that like Mormon (till near the end of his life--WofM 1-3), he and all were unacquainted with the Small Plates, as born out by such passages as Al 45:9ff (cf. 1Ne 12:19, 15:5; cf. En 13--unlike Alma, Enos does know about Nephi's prophecy) and Al 1:12 (cf. Jac 7). All pointing to the conclusion that the order of dictation corresponded precisely to the order of textual formulation. --AGF

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    per MrNirom1...

    Oddity 1 of the BoM; Why journey down the Arabian Peninsula? Israel is right next to the Mediterranean.

  • MrNirom1 Clatskanie, OR
    June 20, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Now if we could only get the MesoAmerican theorist's to be as honest and forth coming. Lehi never saw MesoAmerica... but those who left on Hagoth's ships.. did.

  • Mormon Wookiee Riverton, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Dan, I always look forward to your articles. I had never considered that Alma's desire to have the voice of an angel and shake the earth to repentance came from his own experience being shaken to repentance by an angel, but of course, that makes perfect sense. I love the Book of Mormon!

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 20, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Anyone who has written articles for publication knows how difficult internal consistency can be. Composing an internally consistent narrative over 500 pages long without an outline or notes is inconceivable. For someone to do it who had never published a single essay, who was not trained in the tradition of literature, is incomprehensible. And nearly 200 years of examination have shown that the book is always more information rich than the society around it.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    June 20, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    Proving the reality of the BoM, as the same "intertextuality" exists in our day, the same real world use of available text or scripture, including current Apostolic declarations, as well as proving God is the same, yesterday, today, tomorrow. Valid & Ponder-worthy article, thanks,