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Problems with

The Book of Mormon.


An extract from

The Tragedy of Julius Ceasar.

By William Shakespeare. Act 2 Scene 1

[CASSIUS]. Yet I fear him, For in the ingrated love he bears to Caesar-
 [BRUTUS]. Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.
 If he love Caesar, all that he can do Is to himself, take thought and die for Caesar.
 And that were much he should,
for he is given To sports, to wildness, and much company.
 [TREBONIUS]. There is no fear in him-let him not die, For he will live and laugh at this hereafter.
 [Clock strikes].
 [BRUTUS]. Peace, count the clock.
 [CASSIUS]. The clock hath stricken three.
 [TREBONIUS]. 'Tis time to part.

The short quotation above is from a play written by William Shakespeare in the year 1599. Although the play is fiction, it does employ actual historical characters. Julius Caesar was born on the 12 (or 13) July 100 BC. He died 15 March 44 BC.

The first mechanical clock appeared around the 14th. century. Prior to that, time was measured with such things as shadows (the sun dial); sand (the hourglass); and by burning candles which were marked into divisions.

All these methods of timekeeping had one thing in common; none made a chiming sound.

William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights who ever lived, nevertheless, he was only human and therefore could make mistakes, just like any other human. When he wrote this tragedy he made a mistake, he placed an item (a chiming clock) in a period of time (Caesar's lifetime) before that item existed.

But no harm is done, after all, it's only a play, a bit of make-believe, a farce.

But what if Shakespeare had tried to pass off his play as true history? Ah. Now, that would quite be a different matter altogether. In that case Shakespeare would have been guilty of deceit, and, I'm sure you will agree, this one mistake would have been enough to make manifest that deceit to the world.

The Book of Mormon

Two hundred and thirty one years later, in America, another farce was published. But the writer of this work, Joseph Smith, claimed it was not fiction, but true.

He claimed that the book he had produced was translated from gold plates upon which the ancient inhabitants of America had recorded their history and many passages of scripture which God had revealed to them through their prophets.

He also claimed the book was God given, God protected and translated by him from the plates by the gift and power of God. The book is, of course, the Book of Mormon.

Regarding the passage from Shakespeare; we seen that just one mistake, placing an item in a time period before that item existed, would have been sufficient to expose any deceit - had Shakespeare tried to be deceitful. When we look at the Book of Mormon we do not find one such mistake - we find dozens!

Let me, in this article, point out just a few of them for you. It is not my intention to speak at length about them but merely to acknowledge their existence. You can then decide for yourself whether the Book of Mormon is God given, or just the product of the very fertile imagination of Joseph Smith - supplemented with text from the Bible and other books and newspapers available to him.

For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with the Book of Mormon story I give a very brief outline.

Migrations to America.

The book details a number of migrations from the old to the new world. The first was at the time God confused the languages, about BC 2000. These people, who were known as 'Jeredites', left the Tower of Babel; built boats (more about these boats later) and sailed to America.

There the small party multiplied until they numbered several millions.

 Then there was a great battle in which they where all killed, the last two people left standing were the two generals of the opposing armies, their names, Shiz and Coriantumr. Coriantumr cut off Shiz's head, then Shiz (with his head cut off) raised himself up on his hands, then fell, then struggled for breath (?), then died.

The battle, which lasted several days, took place on a hill known to the Jeradites as "Ramah".

The second migration to America was about BC 600 led by a man named Lehi. These people became known as 'Nephities' after Nephi, one of Lehi's sons.

Another son, Laman, rebelled against God, was cursed with a dark skin, and started his own race of people who were called 'Lamanites'. The American Indians are claimed to be the descendants of this race. The God fearing Nephites were wiped out in a great battle by the Lamanites. This great battle took place on a hill which the Nephites called 'Cumorah'.

It is interesting to note that the hill Cumorah was the very same hill which had been called 'Ramah' by the Jeradite people. Considering the size of America, that is some coincidence!

A third migration took place, these people were known as 'Mulekites'. They do not play a key part in the Book of Mormon story, they were led, we are told, by a man named Mulek, who was the son of King Zedekiah.

It is important to realise that the Mormon people have always been taught that the Book of Mormon contains a serious history of America.

The years have passed since 1830 when the Book of Mormon was first published, and it has become obvious to everyone that none of the Book of Mormon history is true.

It speaks of great cities which were built from coast to coast; temples, like that in Jerusalem; coinage used by these people etc.

But nothing, absolutely nothing uniquely mentioned in the Book of Mormon has ever been discovered, no matter what you have been told by Mormon Missionaries or LDS Church leaders.

Mormon scholars have tried, of recent years, to put some different meaning to the history recorded in the Book of Mormon, some saying it's an allegory, but the early writings by Joseph Smith, and other Mormon leaders, have closed that escape route.

Brother of Jared - Boat builder to the Lord.

Let's look at the boats built by the people of the first migration, the passage in question is Ether, Chapter 2 verse 16 to Chapter 3 verse 6. Should you wish to read the full record, Click Here. In this article I shall just mention the most significant points.

We are told that the brother of Jared built the boats according to the instructions of the Lord. They were small and they were "exceeding tight... like unto a dish". In verse 18 the brother of Jared had to point out to the Lord that the boats, as built to the Lord's instructions, had some problems.

The boats were obviously enclosed vessels and the Lord had to be told that it was too dark inside them to see, but even worse, being airtight, after a short time, the occupants would suffocate. In order to remedy His oversight the Lord instructed the brother of Jared to make a hole in the top of the boat, and also in the bottom ! Then the Lord, clearly unsure what would happen, said if water comes in, stop up the hole "that ye may not perish in the flood."

Having sorted out the problem of breathing the Lord did not know how He was going to fix the lighting problem. He said that they cannot have windows in the boats as they "will be dashed to pieces."

The Lord then had to ask the resourceful brother of Jared what He should do. The brother of Jared suggested that the Lord touch some small stones, 16 in all, and cause them to glow, as there were eight boats this provided two glowing stones for each boat.

The subject of this article is things being mentioned before they were invented.

The Lord said they could not have windows because they would be "dashed to pieces." The word glass is not mentioned but that is obviously what would be broken in a window, yet this event is supposed to have happened at a time long long before the Phoenicians invented glass.

Further into the book of Ether, (7:9), we are told they melted steel out of a hill and made swords. Steel was unknown as early as this, besides, steel is a man made alloy; you cannot melt it out of the side of a hill.

Silk and Linen.
The Book of Mormon states that the people were in possession of an "abundance of silk and fine linen,...(Alma 1:29). This is dated as, 'about BC 90'. Silk was first brought to America by the Europeans. On the instructions of his Spanish overlords, Cortez tried to introduce the production of silk in 1522, it was unsuccessful. In 1609 when James 1 was on the English throne he tried to introduce silk production into the colonies, it was unsuccessful. Several attempts have been made since to produce silk in America without much success. What about linen.

Linen is made from flax, and flax was introduced to America by the Europeans - mainly Irish emigrants - who brought their skills with them.

The pages of the Book of Mormon are littered with objects and concepts about which these ancient people, (who never existed anyway), could have known nothing.

The Cimeter (Scimitar)
First mentioned in Book of Mormon at Enos verse 20, dated BC 420 in the Book of Mormon. A curved sword used by the Persians, Arabs and Turks half way around the world ---- but not for another 1000 years. The writer of the Book of Mormon seemed to have an obsession with war and warfare, he speaks of weapons which simply did not exist as early as mentioned, and these weapons (and protective clothing) are made of metals which, at that time, were unknown.

Churches and Synagogues.
Within the pages of the Book of Mormon we continually come across mention of the Church. The Church was established by the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost. When Christ said "I will establish my church..." that is exactly what He meant, He did not mean re-establish. Before Pentecost the concept of the Church was unknown. Besides, the word 'Church' is Anglo-Saxon, it did not exist as early as the Book of Mormon dates it. The same problem exists with Synagogues, they came into existence long after the supposed migrations to the New World, how would these people have known about them?

Alpha and Omega.
At the time the people are supposed to have left Jerusalem and travelled to the New World the Greek language was unknown in that area, it came many years later, so these people, the Nephites, would have had no way of knowing any Greek. Yet in Book of Mormon. 3 Nephi 9:18 the Lord Jesus is supposed to have arrived and announced:

"...I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end".

This, of course, is copied from Revelation 21:6 which was written in 96 AD.

In answer to the charge that he had used a Greek word in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith wrote a letter dated May 15 1843 in which he stated:

"There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon." Times and Seasons (a Mormon Newspaper) Vol. 4 page 194
Alpha and Omega are Greek, so is Synagogue. The Book of Mormon also makes mention of sanctuaries, which is Latin. See 2 Nephi 28:13; Alma 15:17; 21:6.

Shakespeare's chiming clock does no harm to anyone, but millions of people around the world believe the Book of Mormon to be God's word and therefore close their eyes, and minds to what is perfectly obvious.

The Book of Mormon is not of God, it is a farce written by Joseph Smith Jun.

An Observation

It is interesting to note that in the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith has the brother of Jared suggest to the Lord that He touch some stones in order to make them glow in the dark.

It is known that Joseph Smith had a stone which was found during the digging of a well. He claimed it was a "Seer stone" which, when placed into his hat and the hat held tightly around his face to exclude light, the stone would glow in the dark and reveal to him the location of hidden treasure.

Joseph Smith used this stone to separate gullible people from their money, and in fact, ended up in court (and found guilty) for doing so.

This "Seer stone", it is claimed, was used to "translate" at least a portion of the Book of Mormon.

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.