Archive for category Apologetics
Anti-Mormons argue that the Book of Mormon couldn’t have been divinely translated because it makes the same grammatical mistakes as the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible. They ask why a book written in the 19th century has the same type of language used in the 1700s. Did Joseph Smith use a KJV Bible to write the Book of Mormon?
It is true that the BOM has many passages where the language mirrors that of the KJV. This only can add to one’s testimony that the BOM must be holy scripture. But why does it make the same mistakes?
If language is rendered a certain way in the KJV, we should assume that that was the correct way to render it. The KJV is the greatest piece of literature in Jacobean English and perhaps in all of English. Some contest that language is rendered a different way in other pieces of literature of the time. None of these were as great as the KJV.
Critics admit that the introduction to the KJV contains no grammatical mistakes. If you read that introduction, you’ll know that the KJV was composed under his majesty’s special command. There is no room for errors in the KJV. If something appears a certain way in the KJV, we should assume it was the authors’ intent and that it was the correct way to translate.
So why does the Book of Mormon language mirror KJV language? Because God wanted us to see it as just as great a piece of literature as the KJV! FairMormon defends the faith by saying, “…we do not claim to know why the Lord chose to reveal the Biblical passages in that manner.” They claim that the BOM passages were revealed in the same manner so that both books would be heavenly sealed together.
There were several witnesses of the golden plates of the Book of Mormon who later went back on their word and said they didn’t really see the plates. Why did they do this? And could the Book of Mormon be true even if they did rescind?
Joseph Smith Told Them to Lie
It’s possible that Joseph Smith felt like he was a prophet and wanted to write a book about Jesus Christ visiting America. But, in order for people to believe his book, he had to convince people that he had found some golden plates on which the book was written. So, it is suggested, he wrote the book himself and then asked several people to lie and say they saw the golden plates of which he spoke of.
I believed this hypothetical scenario for a while when I first joined the church. My Catholic friends would ask me, “How could you believe this book when it wasn’t really written on golden plates engraved upon by ancient Americans?” I told them that I believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he had the authority from God to write a book and that God told him to lie.
The Book of Mormon is a beautiful book. It’s like crack-cocaine for a well-schooled Christian. There are many interpolations from the Bible. I really feel like it’s the Hip-Hop version of the Bible, meaning that it “sampled” the Bible much like Puff Daddy samples old, classic songs. Whoever wrote the Book of Mormon really knew the Bible pretty well.
They Sort-of Saw the Plates
When they asked the witnesses how they could lie about seeing such a thing, they responded that they had only seen the golden plates through the eyes of faith. This means they prayed with Joseph Smith and they had some sort of hallucination.
Hallucinations can be very religious experiences. Just because they had a vision in their mind doesn’t mean the vision wasn’t of God. In my early years as a member of the Church, I had no problem with the idea that maybe Joseph Smith handled these plates strictly through the eyes of faith. And, as he translated this book that he could only see through vision, the words were beamed into his head from God.
It’s Still a True Book!
Nowadays, I believe the Book of Mormon is literally true. After studying creationism and creation science and the theory of intelligent design, I came to the conclusion that the Book of Genesis was literally true. Then, God prompted me to fully examine the Book of Mormon and determine if it was also literally true.
The first doubt I had was that it couldn’t have been engraved upon golden plates. Nobody did that in ancient times. But then I researched and found out that they found ancient scripture engraved on metal plates in some caves. This makes it more plausible that the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, who came from the Middle East, recorded scripture in a similar fashion.
The second doubt I had was that the ancient inhabitants of the Americas couldn’t have come from the Middle East. But genetics research has shown that there are similarities between Native Americans and Middle-Easterners.
I want to bear my testimony by saying that I know the Book of Mormon is a true record that was written on golden plates that were found and translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith.