Découvrez votre prochain livre préféré

Devenez membre aujourd'hui et lisez gratuitement pendant 30 jours
The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon

Lire l'aperçu

The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon

évaluations:
3.5/5 (3 évaluations)
Longueur:
171 pages
3 heures
Sortie:
Jun 21, 2013
ISBN:
9781301137220
Format:
Livre

Description

All religions are founded in myth. Belief in whether or not these myths are true is the basis of faith in religion. Most people have heard of the Mormon Church (formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and the Book of Mormon, its foundational scripture. But few have any idea what the contents or origin of the Book of Mormon really is. The Mormon religion is premised on two myths – one regarding the Book of Mormon’s discovery by Joseph Smith, and another concerning the story it tells. The purpose of this book is not to determine whether these myths are true or not, but to describe what they are, as succinctly and clearly as possible.
PART ONE of this book describes the 19th-century myth involving the life and times of the contemporary American prophet Joseph Smith, his discovery and magical translation of golden plates on which the Book of Mormon was inscribed, his reported visitation by Jesus Christ, God, and angels, and the historical origins of the Mormon religion.
PART TWO summarizes the Book of Mormon’s contents, a mythical tale of Jewish emigrants from ancient Jerusalem who journey across land and sea to the American Hemisphere; establish a continent-spanning, city-building, steel-making, horse-and-chariot-driven, literate civilization that worships Jesus Christ by name hundreds of years before he’s even born, and the eventual destruction of this civilization by hostile factions.
PART THREE assesses and evaluates the Book of Mormon’s claims in light of contemporary knowledge of human history and science.

Sortie:
Jun 21, 2013
ISBN:
9781301137220
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur


Lié à The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon

Livres associé
Articles associés

Catégories liées

Aperçu du livre

The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon - Susan Wolverton

THE BOOK OF MORMON MYTHS

An Independent Inquiry

into the Claims, Contents, and Origins

of the Book of Mormon

by Susan Wolverton

Published by MormonMyth.com

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All religions are founded in myth. Belief in whether or not these myths are true is the basis of faith in religion. Most people have heard of the Mormon Church (formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and the Book of Mormon, its foundational scripture. But few have any idea what the contents or origin of the Book of Mormon really is. The Mormon religion is premised on two myths – one regarding the Book of Mormon’s discovery by Joseph Smith, and another concerning the story it tells. The purpose of this book is not to determine whether these myths are true or not, but to describe what they are, as succinctly and clearly as possible.

PART ONE of this book describes the 19th-century myth involving the life and times of the contemporary American prophet Joseph Smith, his discovery and magical translation of golden plates on which the Book of Mormon was inscribed, his reported visitation by Jesus Christ, God, and angels, and the historical origins of the Mormon religion.

PART TWO summarizes the Book of Mormon’s contents, a mythical tale of Jewish emigrants from ancient Jerusalem who journey across land and sea to the American Hemisphere; establish a continent-spanning, city-building, steel-making, horse-and-chariot-driven, literate civilization that worships Jesus Christ by name hundreds of years before he’s even born, and the eventual destruction of this civilization by hostile factions.

PART THREE assesses and evaluates the Book of Mormon’s claims in light of contemporary knowledge of human history and science.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART ONE - The Book of Mormon’s American Frontier Origins

Joseph Smith, Prophet of God 1805-1844

Inconspicuous Childhood 1805-1818

Teenage Magician 1819-1826

God Appears in Person 1820

Moroni’s Golden Plates 1823-1827

Magical Translation 1828-1830

Dubious Witness 1830

Publication 1830

American Prophet 1829-1843

Martyred by the Mob 1844

References

PART TWO - The Book of Mormon Summarized

Historical Prelude

The First Book of Nephi

The Second Book of Nephi

The Book of Jacob

The Book of Enos

The Book of Jarom

The Book of Omni

The Words of Mormon

The Book of Mosiah

The Book of Alma

The Book of Helaman

The Third Book of Nephi

The Fourth Book of Nephi

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Ether

The Book of Moroni

PART THREE - An Assessment of the Book of Mormon's Claims

Content Particulars

Plausibility Problems with the Book of Mormon Storyline

Native American Ancestry, a 19th Century Mystery

The Scale and Conceptual Locations of the Nephite and Lamanite Civilizations

The Mississippians, a Vanished Culture

Ice Age Migration from Siberia

Genetic Ancestry Revealed

Improbabilities

Altered Scripture – Thousands of Changes

The 2007 Mormon Doctrinal Shift on Native American Ancestry

The Book of Mormon in the 21st Century

Is the Mormon faith a Christian religion?

References

RECOMMENDED READING

PART ONE - The Book of Mormon’s American Frontier Origins

Joseph Smith, Prophet of God 1805-1844

Joseph Smith, Jr. was the discoverer, translator, and publisher of a remarkable story involving Jesus Christ in America (long before Columbus) that he is reported to have found written on a set of ancient golden plates that are known to us as the Book of Mormon. After Joseph finished translating the Book into an archaic Elizabethan English dialect, an angel of God reclaimed the golden plates from him and took them up to heaven.

Unlike the Book of Mormon (where we have no actual golden plates on hand to see, touch and examine, or any archeological evidence that confirms the story) the contemporary history of the Book’s introduction into human affairs is well documented in an age of printing presses, newspapers, court records, official documents, and the sworn testimony of first-hand witnesses.

Joseph Smith, Jr. was born two days before Christmas, on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, 29 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Just 38 years later, Joseph (as he will be referred to hereafter) was murdered by an enraged mob on June 27, 1844 in Carthage, Illinois as the United States was beginning its inexorable westward expansion across the Mississippi River, onto the Great Plains, and into the American West.

Throughout his short lifetime, Joseph was recognized as a prophet of God by his followers, a secret husband of over forty plural wives aged 14 to 54, a buried treasure-seeker through magical means, a convicted fraud, a real estate speculator, faith healer, political schemer, the lieutenant general of his own 5,000-man army, mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois (a burgeoning Mormon settlement on the banks of the Mississippi River), judge of the Nauvoo municipal court, merchant of the leading Nauvoo store, failed banker of a collapsed bank, building contractor, temple architect, hotel keeper, real estate developer, deed recorder, translator of ancient languages, steamboat owner, founder of the Mormon Church, trustee of all his church’s finances, spiritual leader of tens of thousands, and a candidate for President of the United States of America. He even went so far as to assign himself the officious title of King, Priest, and Ruler of Israel on Earth.

Inconspicuous Childhood 1805-1818

Joseph was the third-eldest of the eight children born to Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. Joseph Smith, Sr. struggled as a poor New England farmer, odd job laborer, schoolteacher, speculator, and treasure-seeker who moved from one tenuous circumstance to another.

During Joseph’s first five years of life the Smith family lived in four different communities in Vermont and New Hampshire. At the age of ten, Joseph’s family was driven from Vermont by crop failures and abject poverty. When the family moved on, Joseph stood witness as voracious creditors seized the Smith’s possessions and drove them from their home. By 1816 the Smiths had moved two more times before finally settling in the town of Palmyra in western New York, south of Lake Ontario, and east of present day Rochester.

When the Smith family arrived in Palmyra they found a bustling town of several thousand people. There were schools, a lending library, churches, commercial businesses, newspapers, and printing presses. Palmyra lay on the surveyed path of the Erie Canal which would soon connect Buffalo (on Lake Erie) to Albany (on the Hudson River). Construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817 a year after the Smiths’ arrival. Armies of immigrants descended on the area to dig the 363-mile-long waterway through thick forests and swamps, using little more than shovels, picks, and horses. It was a monumental undertaking that would to connect the isolated Great Lake region with the ocean port of New York City and the Hudson River Valley. It promised to make travel and the shipment of goods within the region quick, inexpensive, and easy. Real estate speculation was intense. The Smith family bought a farm in nearby Manchester at the peak of the real estate boom and lived in Palmyra for two years before moving onto their land.

When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825 it created a ribbon of navigable water forty feet wide with 77 locks. It allowed a barge, towed by horses along its banks, to carry a shipment of 30 tons along its length in just eight days. This was a phenomenal achievement of inland transportation for its time. It led New York City to triumph over Philadelphia as the economic center of America and transformed Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, New York into major cities. The Erie Canal literally opened up the American West before the age of railroads. Joseph was 11 years old when the canal construction began and 19 years old when it was completed. He was able to watch firsthand its creation and the effects it had on the area where he lived.

The Smiths, like many poor families before the advent of public schools, couldn’t afford private tuition, and educated their children largely at home. The Smith children learned to read and write from their mother Lucy, and their father Joseph Smith, Sr., an occasional schoolteacher himself. One only needs to read Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations by Lucy Smith - Mother of the Prophet to recognize that Lucy Smith was quite literate and undoubtedly capable of teaching some degree of English composition to her children. Lucy Smith wrote, As our children had, in a great measure, been debarred from the privilege of schools, we began to make every arrangement to attend to this important duty. We established our second son Hyrum in an academy at Hanover; and the rest, that were of sufficient age, we were sending to a common school that was quite convenient. Meanwhile, myself and companion were doing all that our abilities would admit of for the future welfare and advantage of the family.

For most home-taught families, religious education and bible study were critical components, and the Smith family was no exception. Both of Joseph’s parents were deeply religious Protestant Christians but not specifically connected with any particular sect.

One enduring myth within Mormon culture presents Joseph as an ignorant farm boy who was chosen by God to be his vessel. By extension, it is argued that Joseph couldn’t possibly have known enough to compose and create the Book of Mormon’s text from his own limited reservoir of knowledge. While Joseph may have been uneducated in a formal sense, he was a very competent reader. Early samples of his handwriting clearly demonstrate that he was also capable of composing thoughts in handsome penmanship. Joseph Smith had a highly inquisitive mind, high reading capacity, and with easily available books he wasn't just another ignorant farm boy. While Joseph’s early spelling was not good in relation to 21st-century standards, it should be remembered that it wasn’t until 1828 that the first American dictionaries were published and that the spelling of words started to become standardized. Joseph was very much a product of his era, deeply schooled in the Bible, and very familiar with knowledge of the world that was contemporary with his time and place. He was not the illiterate young man that Mormon myth often ascribes to him.

Anecdotal tales from his childhood show him to be an imaginative, intelligent, inquisitive, and charismatic young boy. But Joseph’s anonymous and innocent childhood was on the cusp of dramatic change.

Teenage Magician 1819-1826

Dreams of buried treasure or veins of gold lying beneath the poor rocky soil were commonplace amongst 19th-century New England farmers. In Vermont and New Hampshire, where Joseph’s family lived until 1816, settlers eagerly looked for gold among the rocks that their plows unearthed. Hopeful treasure-seekers also deliberately sought specific places to dig where they believed legendary treasures might be located.

When Joseph’s family moved to New York State, they found a landscape littered with potential sources of treasure. The vanished Mississippian Indian culture (also known as the Mound Builders) had left behind hundreds of archeological sites scattered with human skeletons, silver, copper, and stone artifacts. The Smith farm in Manchester was located within easy walking distance of many of these sites, and people were readily drawn to these mysterious places. Young Joseph was not immune to the allure exerted by the potential treasure to be found.

If magic is the art of convincing an audience of an illusion, Joseph Smith was an accomplished prodigy by the time he was a teenager. He was able to convince men of substance that he was capable of peering beneath the earth, locating hidden gold, and getting them to pay him for doing so, even when none was found. From 1819 to 1826 Joseph was actively engaged in treasure-seeking utilizing his native charisma, performance theatrics, seer stones, folk magic, and occult rituals. During this period Joseph established a reputation as a practitioner of this suspect activity. There was a problem however; it was against New York State law at the time to engage in the pretense of treasure-seeking for hire.

In his 1839 autobiography, Joseph indirectly addressed and excused his treasure-seeking period, saying, I was left to all kind of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers [sic] temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by who was called of God as I had been.

In 1825 Joseph was hired by farmer Josiah Stowel of Bainbridge, New York (100 miles southeast of Palmyra), to look for a lost Spanish silver mine. Joseph was paid fourteen dollars a month, plus room and board. In March of 1826 a complaint and arrest warrant were filed against Joseph by Peter Bridgman, a neighbor of Stowel’s. Joseph was charged with being an impostor and for disturbing the peace. On March 20, at the age of twenty, Joseph stood trial in the Chenango County Courthouse in the case of People of State of New York vs. Joseph Smith. This is the earliest known public record of Joseph.

The record of the trial is sparse but conveys a straightforward narrative of the proceedings, and

Vous avez atteint la fin de cet aperçu. Inscrivez-vous pour en savoir plus !
Page 1 sur 1

Avis

Ce que les gens pensent de The Book of Mormon Myths:An Independent Inquiry into the Claims, Contents, and Origins of the Book of Mormon

3.3
3 évaluations / 1 Avis
Qu'avez-vous pensé ?
Évaluation : 0 sur 5 étoiles

Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    A thorough examination of the problematic origins, dubious claims and suspect theology of Mormonism. Religious faith is a touchy subject. Personally, I believe we're all free to faithfully follow any religion we choose. I also believe, however, that acolytes of any religion, philosophy or cosmology owe it to themselves to constantly question their faith and explore any and all challenges to its veracity. If you choose to believe something, at least be bold enough to explore and accept the totality of what you believe, warts and all.

    The Book of Mormon Myths formulates a cogent presentation and investigation into the problems of Mormonism, from founder Joseph Smith's "translation" of the Book of Mormon to the founding tenet of Mormonism, that Native Americans are the descendants of expatriate Israelites who migrated to North America in three distinct waves. Neither archaeology nor genetic profiling support this assertion, a reality that the author addresses in the book's third section along with Mormonism's other claims.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile