How to Read the Book of Mormon

How to Read the Book of Mormon

Although there are a plethora of books and research articles on Mormonism, there is one aspect of the Book of
Mormon that always seems to be overlooked – the discrepancies, incongruence and outright mistakes found
in grammar and spelling, historical facts, statements from leadership and even core doctrines within the
foundational Mormon teachings.

This book will cover those difficulties in detail, listing spelling,
grammatical issues, tense changes, added words, deleted words, changed words, agricultural problems, and
animals not found in the Americas, geographical locations and many other difficulties.

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Written by: Phillip Moormann

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date published: 01/20/15

Edition: 2nd

ISBN: 1505512727

581 pages

Available in Paperback

CHAPTER PREVIEWS
Introduction: Summary and Purpose

Why write another study on Mormonism when there are already so many available? There are books on the differences in the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price to say nothing about the specific studies on the Book of Abraham controversy. There are entire volumes on the history of Joseph Smith, his birth, life, and death. There are in depth studies of almost every aspect of Mormonism – mostly critical.

Although there are a plethora of books and research articles on Mormonism, there is one aspect that always seems to be overlooked – the discrepancies, incongruence and outright mistakes found in grammar and spelling, historical facts, statements from leadership and even core doctrines within the foundational Mormon teachings. This book will cover those difficulties in detail, listing spelling, grammatical issues, tense changes, added words, deleted words, changed words, agricultural problems, and animals not found in the Americas, geographical locations and many other difficulties. The problems are so many and so robust that it is astounding that so many people still put their faith in the Book of Mormon.

1 Nephi: Crucifixion

11:33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross, and slain for the sins of the world.

“he was lifted up upon the cross”

Crucifixion was unknown to the Jews of 600 BC. This method of torture appears to have been invented among the Persians. Indeed, the earliest reference to crucifixion is from Herodotus, who places it at the start of the Persian period, sometime after 600 BC. From there, it appears to have spread to the Phoenicians, Egyptians, the Grecian colonies, the Carthaginians and finally to the Romans, who practiced it with great abandon, until Constantine outlawed it in the fourth century AD.

The Mormons believe that Jesus suffered for our sins in Gethsemane, not on the cross. In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism it reads: “For Latter-day Saints, Gethsemane was the scene of Jesus’ great agony, even surpassing that which he suffered on the cross…” This is in spite of several facts. The experience in Gethsemane was part of his struggle to be “obedient unto death” (as referenced in Phillippians 2:8), the cross where he died for our sins.

2 Nephi: Metallurgy and Mining

“…of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores…”

2 Nephi 5:15 – I did teach my people…that they should work in all manner of…steel (About steel: see also 1 Nephi 4:9 and 16:18) How likely is it that 8 men, 15 children and 10 women should suddenly become expert in metallurgical and mining skills? Where and when did Nephi gain this knowledge? It most certainly was not common knowledge among the Jews in Israel.

Dr. Ray Matheny, professor at BYU in anthropology and history, states that there is no evidence for a ferrous or non-ferrous metal industry in pre-Columbian times and that this is a “king-size kind of problem…for so-called Book of Mormon archaeology.”

Jacob: One Wife or Many?

Jacob 1:15: ”…indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of Old, desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son”

Jacob 2:27; 3:5: This admonition appears to have been conveniently forgotten during the early Mormon Church’s on-again, off-again relationship with polygamy. Is it an abomimation to have many wives for a man or not? According to the Book of Mormon, one must have but one wife. But since Joseph Smith, although translating this “word of God” himself, didn’t like this admonition after all. And then we find in the Doctrine and Covenants this contradictory statement:

“I, the Lord, justified…David and Solomon…as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines.” – Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants (See 132, 1).

The Mormon Church does not want to talk about polygamy although their doctrinces teach that when a Mormon male dies he may have multiple wives in heaven. Joseph Smith did not wait until he died to have multiple wives. He is reported to have had more than 30 wives.

Mosiah: Agriculture

Barley is mentioned in Mosiah 7:22, 9:9 and Alma 11:7, 15; wheat is mentioned in Mosiah 9:9. The introduction of domesticated modern barley and wheat to the New World was made by Europeans sometime after 1492, many centuries after the time in which the Book of Mormon had been written.

“There’s a whole system of production of wheat and barley…It’s a specialized production of food. You have to know something to make flax [the source of linen], and especially in tropical climates. Grapes and olives…all these are cultures that are highly developed and amount to systems, and so the Book of Mormon is saying that these systems existed here.” (BYU anthropology professor, dr. Raymond T. Matheny, August 25, 1984 Sunstone conference in Salt Lake City)

Alma: Birth of Jesus

”…born of Mary, at Jerusalem…conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost…”

How did Joseph Smith know that it was Mary who gave birth to Jesus? How did he know her name? He knows the name of Jesus (although confusing Christ with his name from time to time) and the name of his mother. Why did he not know the name of John the Baptist, too?

Jesus was not born in Jerusalem he was born in Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:1, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea…”

In addition, later, there were skeptics thinking that Jesus was born in Nazareth said in John 7:42: “Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

3 Nephi: DNA/American Indians

Jesus came to the Americas because the Indians were Jews. Or so goes the story. Dr. Robert Millet, a professor at Brigham Young University, stated,

“This historicity of the Book of Mormon record is crucial. We cannot exercise faith in that which is untrue, nor can ‘doctrinal fiction’ have normative value in our lives…Only scripture – writings and events and descriptions from real people at a real point in time, people who were moved upon and directed by divine powers can serve as a revelatory channel, enabling us to hear and feel the word of God” (“The Book of Mormon, Historicity, and Faith,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Vol. 2, number 2, p.1).

I couldn’t agree more. If the Book of Mormon is not historical its value is greatly diminished. That’s putting it mildly. It puts a lie to the entire Mormon position, to say nothing about its author, Joseph Smith. What has all of this got to do with the American Indian? In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under the subtitle “Native Americans”, one finds this:

”…the Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi’s death his family divided into two opposing factions, one under Lehi’s oldest son, Laman (see Lamanites), and the other under a younger son, Nephi” (3:981).

Mormon: Archaeology

”…the land of Zarahemla”

In 1973 Michael Coe, one of the best known authorities on archaeology of the New World, wrote an article for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. In this article he stated:

“Mormon archaeologists over the years have almost unanimously accepted the Book of Mormon as an accurate, historical account of the New World peoples…They believe that Smith could translate hieroglyphs…Likewise, they accept the Kinderhook Plates as a bona fide archaeological discovery, and the reading of them as correct. Let me now state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing would be true, and I would like to state that there are quite a few Mormon archaologists who join this group…”

“The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.” (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1973, pp.41, 42, 46). Quoted from The Changing World of Mormonism, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, 2009 p. 134.

Dr. Dee Green is a Mormon scientist and former editor of U.A.S. Newsletter. In the journal, Dialogue, he states: “There have been no spectacular finds, no Zarahemlas discovered, no gold plates brought to light, no horses uncovered, and King Benjamin’s tomb remains unexcavated…(Dialogue, Summer 1969, pp. 77 – 78)

Mormon: God & Favoritism

There are at least 17 racial verses in the Book of Mormon: most of them are blatantly displaying racial prejudice – suggesting the white supremacy over black or dark skin. Some of these references are inferential only.

Can there be any doubt, after reading the Book of Mormon and the Prophets of God about the issue, that the Mormons were anti-black? In 1958, Bruce R. McConkie a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a book entitled Mormon Doctrine in which he stated:

“In a broad general sense, caste systems have their own origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.” Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958 edition, pages 107-108.

Mormon: One God or Many?

”…unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which is one God…”

In the Book of Mormon compare Alma 11:28-29, 44, 14:5; 1 Nephi 13:41, 2 Nephi 31:21, 3 Nephi 11:27, Mormon 7:7 and Mosiah 15:4 (Isaiah 44:6 – “I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5 reads: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides Me.”)

Doctrine and Covenants 121:28 (1839) – “…whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.” Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345, 370 (1844) – “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…we have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea…I will preach on the plurality of Gods…”

Ether: Silk

”…and of silks, and of fine linen…”

Silk is commonly understood to mean the material that is created from the cocoon of the Asian moth Bombyx mori. Since Asia is not in the Americas(!) this is another example of an anachronism.

“Ship building and sailing, use of magnetic compass, overseas navigation, wheeled vehicles drawn by horses, tent manufacture, linen manufacture, many agricultural products from the Old World, wheat and barley, vineyards and wine presses, domestic animals from the Old World, glass manufacture, and so forth. All these paint a scene that seems to be quite foreign to what I am familiar with in the archaeological record of the New World. People have continually dragged up esoteric examples of many of these things…An esoteric thing found in a society or in an archaeological context has little meaning to us…Many Mormon scholars have tried to put these esoteric things together and thread together a story that would support the Book of Mormon. In general the archaeologist does not do this. He does not try to weave together all these little esoteric pieces of things…” (Sunstone Theological Symposium, Book of Mormon Archaeology: What Does the Evidence Really Show? [Panel Discussion], August 25, 1984)

Moroni: Law of Moses

Laws and Ordinances about Food

There seems to be no concern for what the Hebrew peoples in America ate. Yet the Mosaic Law was very specific of what they could and could not eat. The most explicit statement about the lack of concern about their food stuffs may be found in Ether 9:18:

9:18 “and also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals, which were useful for the food of man;”

Leviticus 11:1-8 “And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

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