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Spalding and the Book of Mormon


Bernard Gui

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For those who desperately hold to the Spalding/Rigdon theory and the "other" lost manuscript, would you please explain this discrepancy in

style, syntax, vocabulary, names, etc., between Manuscript Found and the Book of Mormon? How could

one inexperienced writer (Spalding) compose two books with such glaring dissimilarity? One is

obviously a product of 19th-century America, the other is not. Won't you agree Spalding could

not have written the Book of Mormon?

Bernard

http://solomonspaldi...cs/rlds1885.htm pages 16-17

On the fifth day after this we came in sight of land, we entered a spacious river & continued sailing up the - - - - many leagues until we came in view of a town. Every heart now palpitated with joy, & loud shouts of gladness expressed the enthusiastic transports of our souls. We anchored within a small distance from shore. Immediately the natives ran with apparent signs of surprize & astonishment to the bank of the River. After viewing us for some time, & receiving signs of Friendship, they appeared to hold a counsel for a few minutes. Their King then stept forward to the edge of the bank & proffered us the hand of friendship, & by significant gestures invited us to Land, promising us protection and hospitality. We now found ourselves once more on terra firma, & were conducted by the king & four chiefs into the town whilst the multitude followed after, shouting & performing many odd jesticulations. The King ordered an entertainment to be prepared for his new friends which consisted of - - - - fish boiled beans & samp - - - - The whole was placed under a wide-spreading Oak in wooden dishes. A large clam shell

& a Stone Knife were provided for each one. The king then came forward with about twenty of his principal subjects, & con seated us (being about twenty in number) & seated us by the side of our repast. He and his company then took seats in front. After waving his hand & bowing all fell to eating & a more delicious repast we never enjoyed. The repast being finished, our attention was called to a collection of about one thousand men & women who had formed a ring & invited our company to come forward into the midst. After gazing upon us for some time with surprize we were permitted to withdraw & to take our stand in the Ring. About forty in number then walked into the middle of the Ring & began a song with but a discordant and hideous modification of sounds, & such frantic jesticulations of body that it seemed that chaos had bro't her furies to set the world in an uproar. And an uproar it was in a short time for the whole company fell to dancing, shouting, whooping, & screaming at ontervals, then dancing jumping & tumbling with many indescribable distortions in their countenance & indelicate jestures. In fact, they appeared more like a company of devils than human Beings. This lasted about one hour. They then took their places in a circle & at a signal given gave three most tremendous whoops, they then instantly dispersed playing many antike capers & making such a confused medley of sound by screaming, whooping, screeching like owls, Barking like dogs and wolves & bellowing croaking like Bull-frogs, that my brain seemed to be turned topseturvy, & for some time I could scarce believe that they belonged to the human species.

Alma 29

O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. I ought not to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience. Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth? For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true. I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage. Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage. Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full. But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi. Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward! Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy. And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.

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For those who desperately hold to the Spalding/Rigdon theory and the "other" lost manuscript, would you please explain this discrepancy in

style, syntax, vocabulary, names, etc., between Manuscript Found and the Book of Mormon? How could

one inexperienced writer (Spalding) compose two books with such glaring dissimilarity? One is

obviously a product of 19th-century America, the other is not. Won't you agree Spalding could

not have written the Book of Mormon?

Bernard

Bernard, you must understand that Sidney Rigdon stole the manuscript from the printer's office and "polished" it up prior to handing it off to Joseph Smith. Sidney was probably the most underrated literary genius who ever lived in the U.S. of A. To be able to take that manuscript and use it as a catalyst for the Book of Mormon was a feat the likes of which have never before or since been accomplished.

Rigdon also deserves high praises for his modesty and humility. He never once intimated that he was the genius and driving force behind the Book of Mormon.

Glenn

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Why did you choose that particular BoM passage for comparison? Why not something like Alma 17? They are still different, but more similar in their "travelogue" narrative.

1 And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

4 And they had been teaching the word of God *for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.

5 Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.

6 Now these were their journeyings: Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them, and also this was the minds of the people;

7 Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.

8 And thus they departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God unto the Lamanites.

9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.

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Bernard, you must understand that Sidney Rigdon stole the manuscript from the printer's office and "polished" it up prior to handing it off to Joseph Smith. Sidney was probably the most underrated literary genius who ever lived in the U.S. of A. To be able to take that manuscript and use it as a catalyst for the Book of Mormon was a feat the likes of which have never before or since been accomplished.

Rigdon also deserves high praises for his modesty and humility. He never once intimated that he was the genius and driving force behind the Book of Mormon.

Ahhh...the standard reply. If Sidney were so talented, why did he even bother to pinch Spalding's manuscript?

Why not just write your own story?

Bernard

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Why did you choose that particular BoM passage for comparison? Why not something like Alma 17? They are still different, but more similar in their "travelogue" narrative.

Very perceptive, grasshopper, but not unanticipated.

There is nothing in Spalding that even resembles Alma's psalm.

Thanks for producing a comparable passage from the Book of Mormon. My claim stands.

Let's look at personal correspondence between characters from each book.

If you did not know the sources, would you suppose theses two letters were

written by the same amateur author?

How about comparing this letter from Elseon to the Emperor...

May it please your most excellent Majesty. Permit me to express my most sincere gratitude for the high favors & honour, which thro' the beneficence of your Majesty I have enjoyed in your dominions. I am likewise impelled to request a favour, which to me would be the most precious gift, that is in the power of your Majesty to bestow. Having contracted an acquaintance with your most amiable daughter Lamesa, & finding that a correspondent affection & esteem exist in our hearts toward each other & a mutual desire to be united by the solemn covenant of mariage, I would therefore solicit Your Majesty's permission, that such a connection may be formed.

Such a connection I conceive, may in its effect be very salutary & beneficial to both Empires. It will unite the two imperial families in a nearer in the bond of consanguinity, & fix upon them an additional obligation to cultivate friendship, peace & amicable intercourse. It will strengthen the sinues of both governments & promote & promote an happy interchange of friendly offices. As to the objection that might arise from the constitution requiring, that the Emperors daughters should marry in his own dominions, this according to its literal meaning can have respect only to the place where the Emperors daughters shall marry. If by your Majestys permission, I should marry your daughter Lamesa in your dominions it will be a literal fulfillment of the constitution. From this ground therefore, I conceive that no objection of any weight can arise. Will your majesty please to vouchsafe me an answer to my request.

Signed, Elseon. Prince of Kentuck.

with this letter from Mormon to his son Moroni:

1 An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

2 My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work.

3 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

4 And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.

5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

6 And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.

7 For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.

9 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach

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Deleted duplicate post.

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The text is the main thing that makes the Spalding/Rigdon theory interesting.

I understand the conspiracy and the Spalding-Rigdon connection make it extremely difficult to support.

I'm intrigued because the theory fits the text. Spalding fits perfectly as the creator of the narrative. Rigdon fits perfectly as the creator of the religious sections and doctrine.

And as for your passage, don't you think Mormon sounds a little too interested in infant baptism?

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Ahhh...the standard reply. If Sidney were so talented, why did he even bother to pinch Spalding's manuscript?

Why not just write your own story?

Bernard

Bernard, I was trying to let you know I was joking via my emoticons. I didn't think I was that subtle.

Glenn

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The text is the main thing that makes the Spalding/Rigdon theory interesting.

I understand the conspiracy and the Spalding-Rigdon connection make it extremely difficult to support.

I'm intrigued because the theory fits the text. Spalding fits perfectly as the creator of the narrative. Rigdon fits perfectly as the creator of the religious sections and doctrine.

And as for your passage, don't you think Mormon sounds a little too interested in infant baptism?

Why do you say that Spalding fits perfectly as the creator of the narrative? And Rigdon as the creator of the religious sections. Spalding was a Dartmouth educated former preacher himself. Have you done any research into Rigdon's belief system before the Book of Mormon was published? Does the Book of Mormon consistently follow that belief system?

Also why do you think that Mormon is a little too interested in infant baptism?

This is the stated reason: Moroni 8:5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

I assume that you are heading toward the reported controversy concerning infant baptism that was supposedly raging among some sects during the time Joseph did his translation work. This has been covered before and before and before. But go ahead and make your point.

Glenn

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The text is the main thing that makes the Spalding/Rigdon theory interesting.

I don't understand. Please explain.

I'm intrigued because the theory fits the text. Spalding fits perfectly as the creator of the narrative. Rigdon fits perfectly as the creator of the religious sections and doctrine.

The theory is Spalding wrote a story, Rigdon pinched it, and Smith "translated" it. The above are

passages from Spalding's story. They obviously have nothing to do with the BoM. So, some say

Spalding had written another story, now lost, that was the real source for the BoM. So, looking

at the existing story, do you think the same author wrote it and the BoM? Are you saying Rigdon

put it in its final form, after cribbing from Spalding? Why didn't he just write his own story, if he

was so accomplished?

And as for your passage, don't you think Mormon sounds a little too interested in infant baptism?

No. Perhaps Mormon and Moroni were inspired to deal with a future theological problem that

had popped up in their day. But this has nothing to do with my question.

Bernard

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Bernard, I was trying to let you know I was joking via my emoticons. I didn't think I was that subtle.

I'm sorry...I did get your joke, but I was trying to respond as if you were seriously writing

the standard response. Two jokesters trying to communicate sometimes come up short.

Please contribute more!

Bernard

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Why do you say that Spalding fits perfectly as the creator of the narrative? And Rigdon as the creator of the religious sections. Spalding was a Dartmouth educated former preacher himself.

A lapsed preacher, according to Uncle Dale, I believe. Judging from his writing, his Dartmouth education did not equip

him with skills in novel-writing. I'm sure he had other skills like having a sweet bike, being really good at hooking up with chicks, and being the only guy at Dartmouth who had a mustache.

Let's suppose you have never heard of the Book of Mormon or Manuscript found. Can you guess which of these passages was written by an amateur 19th-century American author? :P

1. Their minds were filled with consternation and despair. & unanimously agreed that What could we do? How be extricated from the insatiable jaws of a watery tomb? Then it was that we felt our absolute dependence on that Almighty & gracious Being who holds the winds & floods in - - - hands. From him alone could we expect deliverance. To him our most fervent desires assended.
2. And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore. And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrist, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof. Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions
.
3. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.

And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.

4. The Captain whose name was Lucian & myself were appointed judges in all matters of controversy & managers of the public property to make bargains with the natives & barter such articles as we did not need for necessaries. As we all professed [sic] The next thing to be done was to believe in the religion of Jesus Christ we unanimously chose Trojanus, the mate of the ship, a pious good man to be our minister, to lead our devotions every morning & evening & on the Lord's day.
5. But now a most singular & delicate subject presented itself for consideration. Seven young women we had on board, as passenjers to viset certain friends in Britain. Three of them were ladies of rank & the rest were healthy bucksom lasses. Whilst deliberating on this subject a mariner arose whom we called Droll Tom Hark, ye shipmates says he. Whilst tossed on the foaming billows what brave son of Neptune had any more regard for a woman than a Sturgeon but now we are all safely anchored on Terra firma, our sails furled & ship keeled up, I have a huge longing for some of those rosy dames. But willing to take my chance with my shipmates, I propose that they should make their choice of husbands. The plan was instantly adopted. As the choice fell on the young women they held a consultation on the subject & in a short time made known the result. Droll Tom was rewarded for his benevolent proposal with one of the most sprightly, rosy dames in the company. Three other of the most cheerful resolute mariners were chosen by the other three bucksom Lassies. The three young Ladies of rank fixed their choice on the Captain the Mate & myself. Happy indeed in my partner, I had formed an high esteem for the excellent qualities of her mind.
6. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.

Bernard

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A lapsed preacher, according to Uncle Dale, I believe. Judging from his writing, his Dartmouth education did not equip

him with skills in novel-writing. I'm sure he had other skills like having a sweet bike, being really good at hooking up with chicks, and being the only guy at Dartmouth who had a mustache.

Let's suppose you have never heard of the Book of Mormon or Manuscript found. Can you guess which of these passages was written by an amateur 19th-century American author? :P

Bernard

Bernard, I was not suggesting that Spalding was the author at all. I was only questioning why robuchan thought that Rigdon fitted the role as the author of the religious doctrinal parts rather than Spalding since both came from religious backgrounds. The idea that Spalding had any direct input is rather laughable, noting that he died in 1816 and none of the text reads anything like any of his known writings.

Glenn

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Bernard, I was not suggesting that Spalding was the author at all. I was only questioning why robuchan thought that Rigdon fitted the role as the author of the religious doctrinal parts rather than Spalding since both came from religious backgrounds. The idea that Spalding had any direct input is rather laughable, noting that he died in 1816 and none of the text reads anything like any of his known writings.

I think robuchan is obliquely bringing us to the word count type studies that have interested Rabbi Dale the last several years. The argument is, even though the "Manuscript Found" doesn't sound a bit like any of the BoM, the vocabulary, other than names and place names, matches sections of the BoM . . . and, of course, the ostensible thematic matches.

I don't get it myself. I read that dreadful Spaulding stuff and cannot imagine a connection other than place and [almost] time. Style has got to match in some measure if the Spaulding/Rigdon theory is to have any legs.

There's a reason nobody much buys it that looks into it.

Possible =/ Plausible.

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I think robuchan is obliquely bringing us to the word count type studies that have interested Rabbi Dale the last several years. The argument is, even though the "Manuscript Found" doesn't sound a bit like any of the BoM, the vocabulary, other than names and place names, matches sections of the BoM . . . and, of course, the ostensible thematic matches.

I don't get it myself. I read that dreadful Spaulding stuff and cannot imagine a connection other than place and [almost] time. Style has got to match in some measure if the Spaulding/Rigdon theory is to have any legs.

There's a reason nobody much buys it that looks into it.

Possible =/ Plausible.

If I recall correctly he started a thread on that topic and it ground to a stop after Bruce Schlaage's response was brought up. I would guess that there is not much more to discuss on this point until Bruce's paper has been published. It has been languishing on the unpublished pile for over a year. Maybe sometime soon?

Glenn

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A lapsed preacher, according to Uncle Dale, I believe. Judging from his writing, his Dartmouth education did not equip

him with skills in novel-writing. I'm sure he had other skills like having a sweet bike, being really good at hooking up with chicks, and being the only guy at Dartmouth who had a mustache.

Let's suppose you have never heard of the Book of Mormon or Manuscript found. Can you guess which of these passages was written by an amateur 19th-century American author? :P

.

Bernard

These sections are obviously were the BoM came from. Everything matches up so precisely.

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These sections are obviously were the BoM came from. Everything matches up so precisely.

Especially the part where Droll Tom admires his bucksom young lass for "the excellent qualities of her mind."

That is so typical of Book of Mormon writing.

Bernard

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It's easy to poke fun at this comparison because, well, it's so absurd.

I was hoping some Rigdon/Spalding folks would engage the issue.

Any takers?

Bernard

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Just popping into say I found the subtitle to this thread greatly amusing. :P

I might have been off in the numbering by a million or so.

Bernard

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Bernard, I was not suggesting that Spalding was the author at all. I was only questioning why robuchan thought that Rigdon fitted the role as the author of the religious doctrinal parts rather than Spalding since both came from religious backgrounds. The idea that Spalding had any direct input is rather laughable, noting that he died in 1816 and none of the text reads anything like any of his known writings.

Glenn

Why do you think the Spalding theory lingers on? When I first heard the

theory years ago and before I read his story, it caused me some concern.

But then after reading it, and then subsequent detailed study of the text, all concerns disappeared, and, as

you say, it is laughable. How can one read it and the Book of Mormon and conclude they were written by the same person?

Bernard

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Why do you think the Spalding theory lingers on? When I first heard the

theory years ago and before I read his story, it caused me some concern.

But then after reading it, and then subsequent detailed study of the text, all concerns disappeared, and, as

you say, it is laughable. How can one read it and the Book of Mormon and conclude they were written by the same person?

Bernard

Ideology- allowing one's agenda to overcome his common sense.

There are too many holes, too many issues, too many what-if's and inconsistencies for reasonable minds to consider the Spaulding Theory tenable- and so there are two kinds of Spaulding adherents:

1) Those who are only superficially familiar with the issues, and so don't know any better.

or

2) Those who know better, but who are so consumed with their need to destroy the Mormon Church that they no longer care about intellectual integrity.

Deciding who falls into which category can consume many hours of fun.....

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Why do you think the Spalding theory lingers on? When I first heard the

theory years ago and before I read his story, it caused me some concern.

But then after reading it, and then subsequent detailed study of the text, all concerns disappeared, and, as

you say, it is laughable. How can one read it and the Book of Mormon and conclude they were written by the same person?

Bernard

Maybe it's the best that the critics can do? After all a foothold, no matter how precarious is better than none at all.

Glenn

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Spalding/Rigdon theorists....

I'm very interested in your response.

Come on in.

Bernard

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