Problems with

The Book of Mormon.

Beginnings (Supplement)

Purpose of this supplement.

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As indicated in Beginnings, the first article in the series entitled Problems Associated with The Book of Mormon. Mormons will tend to believe what they are told by their Church leadership rather than look at evidence and make up their own minds.

Beginnings dealt with dates concerning the production of the Book of Mormon. In particular, the date of the revival which stirred Joseph Smith Jun. and which, eventually, led to the formation of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." - the Mormon Church.

This revival is said to have occurred in the year 1820. However, I stated that there was no revival in Joseph's area in that year. I said that the revival Joseph had in mind actually began in the Autumn of 1824.

That difference of four years causes major problems for Smith's account of the events leading to the production of The Book of Mormon. This supplement seeks to give the reader some of the evidence which supports the 1824 date, and destroys the 1820 date.


Joseph Smith informed us that during the revival four of his family joined the Presbyterian Church, his Mother Lucy; two brothers and one sister. That statement is true, their names appear in the Presbyterian Church records showing when they joined. (and the dates they were expelled!)

Lucy Smith wrote a book (1) In her book she says she joined the Presbyterian Church following the death of her son, Alvin.

Alvin Smith died 19 November 1823.

NOTE! (Until the year 1981 all Mormon books wrongly dated Alvin's death as 19 November 1824. My 1968 edition of Doctrine & Covenants [Mormon Scripture] uses the wrong date).

(1)Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and his progenitors for many Generations.

Ministers -

From a number of sources we know the names of the Ministers involved in the revival. For example, Joseph's brother, William Smith, wrote a book entitled William Smith on Mormonism, in his book he speaks of the revival and mentions the ministers involved.

The same Ministers are recorded in the Mormon history, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1 pp. 51-53.

The two Ministers mentioned are:

What do we know about these men?

Rev. Stockton - Took over as Minister of the Presbyterian Church on 18 February 1824.

He had visited the area some months earlier, possibly to make arrangements for his impending arrival, during that visit he preached the sermon at the funeral of Alvin Smith.

During his sermon he implied that Alvin had gone to Hell, not a very sensitive thing to do at a funeral.

William Smith states that because of this remark his father, Joseph Smith Senior, would not join the Presbyterian Church with his wife, Lucy. This provides further evidence that Lucy joined after Alvin's death in November 1823.

Rev. Lane - The Reverend George Lane became Minister of the Methodist Church in July 1824 but due to ill health left the Ministry in January 1825.

Obviously, any revival which involved both men, had to begin after July 1824. (The revival started the following month, August 1824).

The records show that during the 1824 revival the Baptists gained 94 people; the Presbyterians 99 and the Methodists 208.

Just as a matter of interest - what changes are shown on the Church Records for the year 1820?

In 1820 the Methodist Church LOST 6 members and the Baptists gained 6 members, not what you would call a revival, is it?

Deceit -

At least three Mormon writers have used a quotation from a religious magazine published in Joseph Smith's time. The last writer to use it, to my knowledge, was Hinckley (now the Mormon prophet) in his short Mormon History, Truth Restored.

The quotation reads:

'One week a Rochester paper noted: "More than 200 souls have become hopeful subjects of divine grace in...[towns mentioned] since the late revival commenced...more than four hundred souls have already confessed that the Lord is good."' (end of quote)
Hinckley continues: "Under the impetus of this revival, four of the Smith family - the mother and three children - joined the Presbyterian Church." (emphasis mine).

Why is the use of this quotation deceitful? Because Hinckly knew the truth about this quotation - though most Mormons don't.

The "Rochester paper" in question did not exist in 1820.

The Religious Advocate of Rochester, from which the above quotation came, did not begin publication until about October 1824, two months into the revival.

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.