From Book of Mormon Central: could a single author write the Book of Mormon?

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

7 thoughts on “From Book of Mormon Central: could a single author write the Book of Mormon?

  1. One of my first experiences of finding internal proof of the Book of Mormon came when I was a teenager and was fairly ignorant of character voice let alone stylometrics. At that time I was struck by the distinct difference between the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite and Nephi his contemporary.

  2. IMO, the Lord likes to hide things in plain sight.

    I like these kinds of apologetics. They illustrate _plausibility_.

    Our critics want us to _prove_ that the Book of Mormon is true, but that will never happen. The Lord has left room for faith, without requiring or forcing anyone to believe at this point.

    On the other hand, the critics can’t _prove_the Book of Mormon is a fraud; they can only make the case that their opinion is _plausible_ also.

    “Argument” is therefore pointless, because arguments are based on assumptions by all sides. The Book of Mormon either “may” or “can’t” be true, depending on what your assumptions are about God, prophets, and how they operate.

    Critics who do believe in Christianity are, in essence, asserting that the LDS restoration story is not, or cannot, be in accordance with how God operates. “That’s just not something God would do” they say. There are a lot of assumptions underlying that position. Especially for creeds where they believe God has been silent for 2000 years.

    Atheist critics have even less of a leg to stand on. People who deny the existence of a God/Creator have no standing to say how He must operate if He did exist. They must dismiss all of Christendom, along with every other religion, equally with their dismissal of the LDS restoration. As soon as an Atheist grades the relative quality of others’ metaphysical assumptions, he must admit that atheism is a metaphysical assumption.

    Again, there are root assumptions in play in order to assert there is no God, just as there are to assert “which” God or what kind of God there is.

    Faith is not just to believe. But real and true faith requires believing in _true_ things. One’s assumptions about God must be correct in order to lead to the correct faith/religion.

    I’ve tried to reason my way down the “_If_ Joseph were a fraud…” line of analysis. The biggest thing I see is that if he had been a fraud, his inner circle had to have known. And since most of his inner circlle at the time of the translation/creation of the BoM, ie those who “had to have known”, eventually got disaffected, but never broke ranks with the foundational claims… to me, that is the biggest evidence in favor of Joseph Smith. Especially Cowdery, Harris, the other formal witnesses, Emma. Also the fact that Joseph did not personally bring many (or any?) of the 12 apostles into the church, nor his successors. Their loyalty to him could not have been due to brainwashing or salesmanship on his part.

  3. Also, If Joseph were a fraud, then all those who claimed to have angelic visitstions or visions along with Joseph had to have been “in on it” too. That was a pretty big group, especially those attending the Kirtland temple dedication. As far as I know, none of them ever said “we faked it.”

  4. Critics can’t overturn for me the fact that I have experienced God. I’ve gone through the statistical implausibility that chance and undigested potato could have explained the dream I had of my daughters after the death of my son. People may not like that some of us experience being touched by God, but their lack of comfort does not obviate our experience.

  5. Hank Smith once said, “A person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an opinion.”

  6. I wonder from time to time what the Exodus would have looked like if newspapers and journals from numerous contemporaneous randos existed. The OT gives tantalizing glimpses of Moses’ personal foibles and weaknesses. How much would those have been blown all out of proportion if any sort of media complex existed way back when?

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