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Fast Facts on the Origins of the Book of Mormon

  • In 1820 Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of Mormonism, claimed to receive a revelation from God the Father and Jesus Christ saying that all of the Christian churches were wrong and their creeds were an abomination to the Lord.
  • A few years later Joseph Smith claimed that an angel named “Moroni” had revealed to him the location of hidden “golden plates” on the hill Cumorah in upstate New York. These golden plates were supposedly inscribed with hieroglyphics of a language Smith called “reformed Egyptian”.
  • Using miraculous spectacles called the “Urim and Thummin”, supposedly provided by the angel Moroni, Smith translated the golden plates between 1827 and 1830. In 1830 he published his translation of the golden plates, calling it the Book of Mormon.
  • The Book of Mormon details the supposed history of ancient Hebrews who came across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The Book of Mormon calls these people the “Nephites” and the “Lamanites” and the Mormon Church has claimed that they are the principle ancestors of today’s Native American tribes.
  • Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth”. This is still the claim of the Mormon Church today.
  • The reality for the Book of Mormon, however, is far different than what Mormon’s claim for it. Since 1830 it has undergone over 3900 textual changes. Additionally, there is no historical or archaeological evidence whatsoever for any of the people, places, or stories described in the Book of Mormon. For example, modern day genetics has yet to find any evidence of Hebrew ancestry in the Native American populations; the Mormon Church refuses to produce an official map of any of the locations mentioned in the Book of Mormon; and there is no evidence at all for the language Smith called “reformed Egyptian”.
  • For these reasons, and many more, the Book of Mormon must be rejected as a true revelation from God and Joseph Smith must be rejected as a legitimate prophet.

For more information on the Book of Mormon and the religion of Mormonism, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, “Mormonism: Christian or Cult?” available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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