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cinepro

What would make the Book of Mormon not-true?

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The other day at the library, I came across a book in one of my favorite genres, even "Alternate History". "Alternate History" is a form of writing where stories are told in the real world, but imagining a different turn to the story. Usually, the stories involve a significant historical figure not making a critical decision, not dying prematurely, or winning a war they had lost. "Europe in 1960, but Germany won World War II".

I started thinking about The Book of Mormon as history, and if it is history, that means there could be an alternate history. The good guys could win. Laman and Lemuel and Nephi could live in peace, and develop an advanced civilization that invents the personal computer 2000 years early.

So let me create an alternate alternate reality for The Book of Mormon.

Suppose an aspiring writer of fiction took the public-domain Book of Mormon and decided to jazz it up a bit. They introduced new characters, changed timelines and events and geographic identifiers. But, for the purposes of this example, they didn't touch the doctrine. It's still about Jesus, and everything having to do with the Gospel stays the same, but the characters and events are totally changed. He calls it "A History of the Peoples of Ancient America, as Told Through Their Ancient Records".

Here's the question: At what point does the Book of Mormon become so changed that it can no longer be defended by apologists based solely on the evidence. Obviously, all the names (other than Jesus) could be changed, and even if they were "Mike" and "Bob" and "Pam", it could still be defended using existing apologetic arguments ("the ancient names were updated in the translation process"). The time frames are almost infinitely flexible (except where it had to coincide with New Testament Jesus). The geography is infinitely flexible; if something doesn't match up, it just means we haven't found it yet.

So my question is, is there more evidence right now for a true Book of Mormon than there would be for an untrue one?

Note: I'm not talking about spiritual manifestations based on Moroni 10:4, although that would be an interesting consideration as well. I'm only talking about the non-spiritual evidences that are used by apologists to bolster non-spiritual belief in the book.

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cinepro, I would say that because we are defending, and not attacking, tbh, this doesn't really matter. The importance of the gospel would be the non-historical things, the spiritual things. The only reason to defend the history part is to defend those. You may change history as you wish, but the history is not the important thing; the gospel is.

Respectfully,

TAO

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For me, I would say that if documents were found,that were verified, that show Joseph Smith coming up with a story or outline or brainstorming the BOM concepts-having said that this isn't an idea that I have long thought out so I am open to criticism, but know this if you criticize me I will have to hate your guts.

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All scriptures are non-falsifiable.

You could ask the same question of the Bible or Avesta or Mahabharata.

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For me, I would say that if documents were found,that were verified, that show Joseph Smith coming up with a story or outline or brainstorming the BOM concepts-having said that this isn't an idea that I have long thought out so I am open to criticism, but know this if you criticize me I will have to hate your guts.

You might find this experience of mine interesting.

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You might find this experience of mine interesting.

Amazing story! Thanks!

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For me, I would say that if documents were found,that were verified, that show Joseph Smith coming up with a story or outline or brainstorming the BOM concepts-

This would do it for most people. But I think that that window of opportunity is now gone. However, if it weren't for the 11 witnesses the book of mormon would be in a tenuous position. With the 11 witnesses, many critics have a difficult time to get around it, just how none of the witnesses ever came out and said that they lied.

But yes, a rough draft in Joseph's or Sidney's hand would do it.

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That is what I was going to say, "It HAS been done."

I've actually read that series, and it's pretty good.

The point of my post is that Book of Mormon "evidences" ultimately appear to isolate the Book of Mormon as an independent factor, and then draw dotted lines to any sort of "evidence" that seems logical. A methodology has been developed (but not invented) that takes the truthfulness of the book out of the equation and accepts any sort of dotted line that is presented well. If, in the future, the dotted line weakens, it is easily erased and forgotten.

A big deal can be made about impossible coincidences and complex parallels, but ultimately it doesn't really matter what the Book of Mormon claims, because it could claim anything and there would still be really smart people drawing dotted lines or explaining why the stuff that can't be explained (or appears to actually contradict the "evidence) should be ignored.

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Fundamentally the BoM could not be true if ALL "scripture" is manmade and not revelation as Joseph Smith claimed with his story of origins for the book.

The Bible is less problematic, being the composition of countless redactors for millennia. Even so, there are fundamentalists who will assert that the Bible is "the perfect and complete word of God", and furthermore, the ONLY such book that God has dictated.

There are billions of people who take issues with that assertion, even believers.

So the BoM cannot be "true" if no such things occurred as Joseph Smith said occurred. I am not going to accuse him of lying. When he said he had a theophany, from which he awoke on his back gazing into heaven, I take him at his word: that at the least he believed he had had an experience as he described it. If he believed that there were gold plates given by an angel, he would not be the first and certainly is not the last, to believe in a metaphysical reality that most people cannot share. James Strang also produced scriptures miraculously; obtained the testimony of "witnesses" (who never denied their testimonies), received the support of virtually all of the Smith family, and was likewise murdered/martyred. How is one to separate "God's will" in all of this claim and counter-claim that occurs?

The simplest explanation covers the lot. It ends up being between YOU and GOD and does not require anyone else's agreement to make you right before God. Follow your heart, and confirm your heart with the God-given mind you possess. Amen....

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The simplest explanation covers the lot. It ends up being between YOU and GOD and does not require anyone else's agreement to make you right before God. Follow your heart, and confirm your heart with the God-given mind you possess. Amen....

Dang.

You got one right! ;)

:good:

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