Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

August 17, 2012

COLUMN: Religious book seems to be fabrication

— Much has recently been said about the Mormon faith. And I had no idea what to believe.

So, I bought a copy of the Book of Mormon and two books written by critics of Mormonism; one by Jon Krahauer and the second by Martin Wishnatsky. I have not found any recent publications supporting Mormonism that were not written by Mormons.

Here is what I found:

The Book of Mormon can hardly be called a book in the Old or New Testament sense. It has 588 pages and would better be identified as a new, new testament. It was written by one man, Joseph Smith and first printed in 1830; its story begins in 600 BC.

It is redundant to make a statement and then restate the same thought again and again. For example it repeats the phrase “and it came to pass” over 2,000 times.  

It details events in pre-Jesus Israel for which there is no Old or New Testament mention. It claims the American Indians are part of the lost tribes of Israel, which somehow crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 600 B.C., and divided into white-skinned and dark-skinned tribes. The two tribes battled and the dark skins finally killed all the white tribe along with their leader, named Mormon. Mormon’s son, Moroni, returns 1,400 years later and reveals God’s secrets to Joseph Smith as the Book of Mormon. The murder of the whites by the dark tribe is supposedly why Columbus only found dark skinned people in the New World.

The problem with Smith’s New World history is that there are absolutely no archaeological artifacts of Israelite tribes in the New World. His history is riddled with reference to horses and wheeled carts, which did not exist in the New World until after 1492. He also talks about steel and a seven-day week in a period centuries before their inventions. Additionally recent DNA testing of Native Americans prove that they are not descendants of Israelites.

He claimed he received his information from “Golden Plates” that had been buried in America and whose location was revealed to him by the angel Moroni. Additionally, these plates were written in Egyptian hieroglyphics which he was able to translate using a magic “Peep Stone.”

Earlier, Smith claimed he could find buried treasure with such a stone and charged a fee to find these valuables on people’s land. However, there is no record of him finding any treasure, but there is a record of him being charged with fraud by his customers.    

Possible sources of Smith’s story may come from a stage play that was popular at the time, which closely followed Smith’s New World history. Also, he probably was aware that Egyptian hieroglyphics had been deciphered using the Rosetta Stone in 1823. The blood oaths and Mormon temple ceremonies are extremely similar to the ones that had been in use by Masons for centuries.

My conclusion is that Smith plagiarized his book of Mormon from recent events, Masons and stage fiction. I haven’t even touched upon Smith’s doctrinal teaching.

I hope some reader will do their own factual research and if they disagree with my statements, please submit a column to the Democrat. Due to limited space, I have by no means given a complete history of the creation of the Book of Mormon.

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