OceanSide church of Christ
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THE BOOK OF MORMON:
The “Most Correct” Book, or, NOT?
Victor M. Eskew
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, is on record as saying that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth” (History of the Church, Vol. IV, p. 461). Mr. Smith says this because of the supposed manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. In his “Address to All Believers in Christ,” David Whitmer sets forth the “how” of the translation.
“Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling a parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One charac- ter at a time would appear and under it was the interpreta- tion in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then, it would disappear, and another charac- ter with the interpretation would appear” (as quoted by Jon Gary Williams in The Book of Mormon: A Book of Error and Fraud, p. 5).
It is asserted that all that was happening in the translation process was by the “gift and power of God.” It has also been asserted that “the Lord caused each word spelled as it is in the book to appear on the stones in short sentences or words, and when Joseph had uttered the sentence or word before him and the scribe had written it properly, that sentence would disappear and another would appear. And if there was a word wrongly written or even a letter incorrect, the writing of the stones would remain there” (Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Oliver Huntington, p. 168, Utah State Historical Society, as quoted by Jon Gary Williams, p. 6). In essence, God made absolutely certain that the original copy of The Book of Mormon was perfect, free from any and all errors. Thus, in Joseph Smith’s mind he was certain that this was “the most correct of any book on earth.”
The Book of Mormon that is published today and distributed to the masses is not the same as the book that was originally translated by Joseph Smith. The present Book of Mormon has gone through many revision processes since that first copy was made. The reason it was revised so many times is because that first copy was not the most correct book on earth. There were numerous problems that were associated with it. Let’s look at a few in the remainder of this article.
First, the original copy contained many misspelled words: 1) “journied” for journeyed (I Nephi 4:38; 5:6; 7:6; 18:25; II Nephi 5:7; Omni 1:16); 2) “bellowses” for bellows (I Nephi 17:11), 3) “feading” for feeding (Enos 1:20); 4) “bablings” for babblings (Alma 1:32), and 5) “yars” for years (Alma 16:13). These are just a few of the misspelled words. Brother Williams lists seven other incorrectly spelled words in his book. Why were these words misspelled? The power of God was said to be overseeing the entire process. If any word was incorrect in the translating process, God was not to move on until the error was corrected. Dear reader, just this one point alone shows that God was not involved in the production of this work at all.
Second, the original copy of The Book of Mormon contained thousands of grammatical errors as well. Let’s list a few of these grammatical errors: 1) “And it came to pass that there was certain men passing by” (Helaman 7:8); 2) “That all might see the writing which he had wrote” (Alma 46:19); 3) “they did not fight against God no more” (Alma 23:7); and 4) “I were about to write to them” (III Nephi 26:11). Are we to think that God is responsible for such blatant grammatical errors? Is He that created all language to be blamed for all of the wrong verb tenses and double negatives used by Joseph Smith? The answers to these questions are self-evident. The fact is that God was not with Joseph Smith when he translated The Book of Mormon from the plates he said he received from the angel Moroni.
Third, the first copy of The Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible, a book that is definitely from God. The Bible says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1). However, The Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus was born in Jerusalem. “And behold, he shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem” (Alma 7:10). Was the Holy Spirit confused? Did God forget that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not in Jerusalem? Another contradiction is found in Helaman 14:20, 27. The Book of Mormon says that during the crucifixion of Jesus that there was darkness “for the space of three days.” The Bible declares that there were only three hours of darkness (Luke 23:44). Again, God must have been confused. Somehow He did not harmonize what He revealed to Luke with what He revealed to Joseph Smith. One more contradiction is found with regard to when the word “Christian” was first used. Acts 11:26 tells us that the disciples “were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). This was somewhere around 40 A.D. Alma 46:13, 15 has people wearing the name Christian in 73 B.C. Which one of these texts is correct? Again, did God make a blunder? The truth is that if God had revealed both the Bible and The Book of Mormon, they would have harmonized perfectly with one another. The reality is that God was not with Joseph Smith when he fabricated his translation. He was speaking from his memory about these things and his memory was faulty.
These are just three problems found within the book that has been incorrectly styled, “the most correct of any book on earth.” There are many Mormons who have never been given this information. It is believed that if some of them heard these things, they would cease adhering to a man-made religion. Some are honest enough to realize that Joseph Smith and those who supposedly witnessed the translation of The Book of Mormon were liars. As such, they were closely associated with Satan and not the Son of God. Jesus said: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).