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Mormonism and Eternal Truth

Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
(Henri-Frederic Amiel)

BOOK OF MORMON CONTENT IS NOT FACTUAL

LANGUAGE

The language of the Jewish people was Hebrew, although they also spoke Aramaic. In Nephi’s time every Jewish boy was taught to read the Torah (the Old Testament books of the law), in Hebrew. They knew how to read and write in their own language. Yet in 1 Nephi 1:2, the writer says that he used the language of the Egyptians for recording purposes.

But that would never have happened. The Jews took pride in being God’s chosen race. No Jew would ever have recorded his people’s history in the language of the idolatrous Egyptians. He would have used his own language in the same way that an English historian would record the history of his people in English, not in Rumanian or Swahili or whatever.

The myriad of excuses put forward to justify the use of so-called “reformed Egyptian” don’t ring true.

The Book of Mormon maintains that its peoples spread out over the entire American continent. Evidence has been found of thousands of dialects prior to the advent of the Europeans in the 11th century. Yet there is no trace of anything that could have evolved from either Hebrew or Egyptian.

JARED’S VESSELS

The book of Ether goes beyond the bounds of credibility. It tells of how, under God’s instructions, a group of folk from the time of the tower of Babel had built eight vessels to sail to the American continent (c/f 2:16-3). The vessels had peaked ends, were airtight, small and light on the water; and about the length of a tree (2:16-17). The lack of windows made it pitch black inside (verse 23). But God enabled some small stones to act as lights. They placed one of these stones at each end of the insides of the vessels (Ether 6:2).

According to 6:14-16, Jared, his brother, their children and twenty-two friends travelled in these eight small vessels. As the men were all married, this would have amounted to forty-eight adults altogether, plus their children.

Chapter 6:4 says they took food that they had prepared for themselves and their flocks and herds of every kind, plus fowls of the air and fish of the waters, swarms of honey bees and seeds of every kind (c/f 2:1-3). Bear in mind that they were at sea for almost a year — 344 days, according to 6:11. So they would have needed a massive amount of storage space for their own food, animal fodder and drinking water. They would also have needed to take with them spades, axes, scythes and other necessary implements so they could clear and work the land once their journey was over.

How could there possibly have been sufficient space available, on eight small vessels, each the length of a tree?

The weather was stormy, with heavy winds and mountainous waves. So they were constantly tossed and tumbled about. Ether 6.6 tells us that they were buried in the depths of the sea many times. But each vessel had an air hole on the top and another underneath, with stops to seal them (verse 20). This enabled them to open one of the holes no matter which side was facing up when the vessel eventually surfaced. But how did they prevent the urine and sewerage from the livestock from contaminating everyone and everything when they were tumbled upside down? And how did they get the vessels back to the right side up, so they could function normally again?

When the weather was rough both air holes had to be sealed. So during those periods (which it seems were more or less ongoing) they had no ventilation at all. One can’t help but wonder how they coped with the stale air plus the foul odour emanating from the cattle, themselves, the sewerage and the effluent, that would have built up in a poorly ventilated vessel. God’s instruction in 2:20, “When thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air,” would hardly have been the answer to their dilemma.

Because of a lack of refrigeration and inadequate and intermittent ventilation, their food and water supplies would have been contaminated by bacteria, funguses and the like, fairly early on in the journey. They couldn’t bake, roast or boil anything, as God had forbidden them to take fire with them (c/f Ether 2:23.) But even if they had been able to light a fire, there was no outer deck on which to do so. And using a fire inside a small, airtight vessel in rough seas would not have been possible.

Although they had been subjected to ongoing violent storms and winds for almost a year, all eight boats appear to have arrived safely at their destination on the same day.

CHANGING SKIN COLOUR

The Book of Mormon maintains that the skin colour of the early inhabitants of the Americas changed to dark and loathsome when they became sinful, and to exceedingly fair and delightsome when they become godly. This accounts for the dark skins of the American Indians (c/f 1 Nephi 13:15, 2 Nephi 5:21; 30:6, Jacob 3:8; 3 Nephi 2:15-16; 4 Nephi 1:10; Mormon 9:6).

If God used a change of skin colour to reward righteousness, why would He only do this in the pages of the Book of Mormon? This claim is obviously fictitious. The colour of our skin is determined by the amount of melamine we inherit from our forebears. In the entire history of the world, no one has ever undergone a change in the colour of their skin when they have turned from a sinful existence to a godly one, or vice verse.

THE NEPHITE TEMPLE

Nephi claims to have constructed a temple like Solomon’s. The only difference was that his temple didn’t include some of the more precious things that Solomon had at his finger tips (2 Nephi 5:15-16).

In building his temple Solomon had used 30,000 forced labourers who’d worked in relays, a month labouring and two months at home. So that would have been equivalent to 10,000 labourers working full time. Besides those, he had 70,000 transporters and 80,000 hewers of stone, plus thousands of supervisors, etc. That would have been a total full time work force of at least 160,000, without making allowance for the supervisors (c/f 1 Kings 5:13-16). And it took this massive work force seven years to complete the temple.

Making allowance for a high birth rate, Nephi’s workforce couldn’t have amounted to more than 30 or so adult males. It would not have been possible for such a small number of people to have built a temple like Solomon’s within Nephi’s lifetime. Moreover, archeologists have never discovered any evidence of such a temple having been built in the Americas.

THE PROBLEM OF ANIMALS AND CROPS

Experts all agree that none of the animals or crops mentioned in the Book of Mormon, with the exception of Indian corn, had existed in that part of the world until a much later date. On the other hand, animals that did exist during that same time period, are not mentioned at all in the Book of Mormon. This is a strong indication that it was a work of fiction.

“Evidence of the foregoing animals has not appeared in any form — ceramic representations, bones or skeletal remains, mural art, sculptured art or any other form. However… evidence has been found in several forms of the presence in the Book-of-Mormon times of other animals — deer, jaguars, dogs, turkeys etc. The zero score presents a problem that will not go away with the ignoring of it. Non-LDS scholars of first magnitude, some who want to be our friends, think we have real trouble here. That evidence of the ancient existence of these animals is not elusive, is found in the fact that proof of their existence in the ancient old-world is abundant. The absence of such evidence … is distressing and significant, in my view.” (Mormon Tom Ferguson, Written Symposium on Book-of-Mormon Geography, 1978).

The Book of Mormon is obviously a work of fiction.

Joseph Smith was a well practiced con artiste. The first article listed below explains how he deceived his followers into believing that he had translated the Book of Mormon from inscriptions on gold plates (that nobody was ever allowed to see). The second article deals with the background to the publication of the Book of Mormon and discusses Joseph Smith’s dubious past.

Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.

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