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Could you write the likes of Book of Mormon?


Tetraforce

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Surely a known friend of the oldbies, Lynn Ridenhour proposed this challange. I want you to write a book. Be the editor.

Assignment

I want you to find a male lad between the ages of 23 and 24. He cannot be a college graduate. In fact, he can possess only three years of formal schooling. He must write a history of an ancient country (such as Tibet), covering a period from 600 BC to 421 AD. Put the history into a book with 102 chapters

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The lad must include in his writings the history of two distinct and separate nations, along with histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people.

The Jaredites weren't contemporary.

His writings must describe the religious, economic, social and political cultures and institutions of these two nations.

And there must never be any trace of any of those two nations discovered anywhere.

It must hold literary styles that are found in the Bible. Such as quotations from other Jewish scriptures, especially Isaiah.

The last I heard, quoting something else was a pretty easy thing to do.

Testimonies, . . .

Testimonies are easy to come by. Heck, people testify all the time that there is one God and Mohammed is his prophet. Does that make it true?

hymns and poems, . . .

Which the Book of Mormon contains none of.

dramatic happenings, . . .

Uhh, the last time I checked, all fictional books are chock-full of dramatic happenings. Heck, for that matter, High School is full of dramatic happenings.

letters, . . .

I've written lots of letters in my day. Do I count?

sermons, . . .

Anyone raised in a Christian environment would be readily able to mimic or produce some of those.

patriarchal blessings, . . .

None of which can prophesy anything which is to happen after your book is written.

theological discourses, . . .

The truth of a theological discourse is impossible to objectively verify, so that sounds rather easy to do.

battle accounts and social collapses.

Lots of fictional books are full of those, too. The ones in Michael Moorcock's Elric series are much more dramatic and haunting than those in the Book of Mormon.

He must weave into his history the gospel of Jesus Christ and the pattern for Christian living.

Not too hard for someone with a copy of the Bible and a Christian upbringing.

The lad
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I want you to find a male lad between the ages of 23 and 24...

Did you clip this from http://www.greaterthings.com/Ridenhour/me_...JosephSmith.htm ?

It looks very similar to that of Peter C. Covino, Jr.'s "33 Challenges of the Book of Mormon" as posted at @ http://www.konnections.com/kcun****/chall.html .

Anyway, see "Scripture and Influential Writings > Book of Mormon > Challenge of the Book of Mormon" @ http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai117.html

Also see "The Challenge of the Book of Mormon" by Daniel H. Ludlow @ http://gospelink.com/library/doc?book_doc_id=264987

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Guest Just Curious
After pauses for sleep and food, if dictating to a stenographer, he must never ask to have the last paragraph or sentence read back to him.

The scribes said the sentences WERE read back to him !!!!

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After pauses for sleep and food, if dictating to a stenographer, he must never ask to have the last paragraph or sentence read back to him.

The scribes said the sentences WERE read back to him !!!!

You're misunderstanding, Mr. Curious. Having sentences immediately read back to assure that the dictation had been transcribed correctly is distinct from having a previous sentence or paragraph re-read, after an absence, so as to get the creative juices flowing again. Witnesses testify to the former, but at least one expressly denies the latter.

I'm interested in this manuscript of which the obviously not-as-skeptical-as-he-claims-to-be Mr. Shades speaks. Can he identify it specifically? Does he perhaps have a copy of it that the rest of us can examine?

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I guess that is Dr. Dr. Shades' way of saying "no, I coulden't do what Joseph Smith did in a million years! but I can give you all these reasons why anybody could do it!"

The Jaredites weren't contemporary

I think he was talking about the Lamanites / Nephites.

And there must never be any trace of any of those two nations discovered anywhere.

Ever been to central/south america? see all those ruins all over the place...

The last I heard, quoting something else was a pretty easy thing to do

Actually, the Isaiah verses are less then 50% exact quotes, so I guess Joseph Smith was smart enough to not only understand, but rewrite Isaiah (ya, thats right, you heard me, ISAIAH)

Anyone raised in a Christian environment would be readily able to mimic or produce some of those.

Alright, write up a dozen sermons, quoting various things that not only apply to us now, but to people 100 years from now, quoting from the old testament and other sources, and get back to us. oh ya, and it has to be on a dozen subjects.

None of which can prophesy anything which is to happen after your book is written.

prehaps you ought to reread the Book of Mormon. (although I doubt you have even read it once.)

The truth of a theological discourse is impossible to objectively verify, so that sounds rather easy to do.

Read Alma 30, thats a great theological discourse right there.

Not too hard for someone with a copy of the Bible and a Christian upbringing.

Alrighty, then why hasen't anybody ever succeded at the Book of Mormon Challange?

Lots of books are longer than that.

Ah yes, but none that I can think of were written in 80 days.

That sounds like another Mormon urban legend to me. Does anyone have a list of these supposed 180 proper nouns added to the English language? I'd like to look them up.

Uh, hate to bring you back to english class, but a proper noun includes names, tribes, cities, and places, of which there are probobly at least 180.

Declaring something to be actual history is easy. Having your declaration be true is something else entirely.

Lets take the example of the holocaust: lots of people don't think somthing of that magnitude could actually happen, but did it? yes. do those peoples' belief that it wasen't real make it any LESS real? no.

Are you kidding? He made hundreds and hundreds of changes to the text!

the vast majority of those were grammer changes so people didin't have such a hard time with Hebrew grammer, and most of the others seem to me like easy mistakes that got into the Printer's manuscript.

Not too hard to do if you're reading off a plagiarized manuscript.

Rightttt, I thought his face was in a hat? :P kind of hard to read a manuscript without any light!

Thus proving my point. Thank you!

Point? I don't get what exactly your point is...

Not a single shred of evidence can ever be found to verify anything in your book.

Tell that to Hugh Nibley. <_<

You must include many historical anachronisms.

You must duplicate many King James Version errors in your book.

You must include many grammatical errors.

You must display a complete lack of knowledge of the dialect in which you're writing. For example, if you try to duplicate the King James-style Elizabethan English, you must constantly mess up your "thee"s and "thou"s.

Heh, I never understood the whole ""thee and thou" thing. The Prophets who wrote the plates didin't all have a degree from harvard! For by the weak and unlearned does God thrash the nations, but by people like who professing yourself wise have shown yourself a fool.

The Book of Mormon is true, I know it is, I just how all of mankind can realise it's divinity and stop kicking against the pricks before its too late for them.

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There are lots of authors who have written about the lost city of Atlantis as if it really happened (though none claim it other than fiction). None of them used the Bible as a guide...so they don't read like the BOM.

As for the rest - critics are routinely shunted aside and "yawn"ed at when they use journals and other such to criticize Joseph Smith. And yet, when it comes to writing the BoM Mormons are more than willing to use the same to suppose Joseph was an illiterate farm boy who wrote a magnificent book, on his own, in 80 days.

I ask - who's word are you relying on for this information? I see Mormons say "why don't you prove it" to critics all the time. Let's flip it around.

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From The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. Kinda long, but shows how characters like Joseph Smith are not unusual, and do not need the guiding hand of God:

Something about the alien abduction cases tugged at *my* memory

for years.

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No, I couldn't write a book like the Book of Mormon. -Sigh- pick me up at 9:00 sharp on Sunday for my rebaptism....that is if the church will have me back? :P

Seriously, the Book of Mormon has persisted on because it adds dimension to the doctrines of the LDS church, and because it does contain a certain "something". Many people do not detect that spiritual "something", but obviously many persons have.

Perhaps it is the central themes of christianity interwoven in the text that add interest and the spiritual flare. Redemption, forgiveness, love, salvation. What God fearing person doesn't love to read about those topics? <_<

It contains the highest teachings of the bible (IMO), namely "the sermon on the mount...the Beatitudes", addressed to the remaining (non wicked) Nephites, but essentially word for word as found in the bible.

I don't know if anyone on these boards has ever really answered the question of why? Why did Joseph Smith attempt to sell the copyright of the BoM via Oliver Cowder and Hiram Page in Toronto, Canada? If the book was to be "the most correct book on earth", the cornerstone of the LDS religion, another testament of Jesus Christ, the stone to fill the whole earth....why oh why would you sell it away?

The attempt to sell the book leads me to believe that the authors believed that money was more valuable than the book, and since they tried to sell the copyright after recieving a revelation to do so, then God also believes that money is more important than the book.

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Guest johnny_cat
The attempt to sell the book leads me to believe that the authors believed that money was more valuable than the book.

It's just as reasonable to conclude the opposite. Publishing the book was more important than long-term profit. Just depends on one's point of view, I suppose.

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It's just as reasonable to conclude the opposite. Publishing the book was more important than long-term profit. Just depends on one's point of view, I suppose

That is a valid point. IF the copyright had sold, who would own the book, the right to make revisions, changes, additions or subtractions? Could the church even give them for free like they do now, or would they be paying royalties to some Canadian publishing company?

Could the changes "white and delightesome", have been changed to "pure and delightesome", unless the church owned the copyright?

Big, big questions.

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Well hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Plagarism can be done by anyone, but above and beyond that if you take your logic TF that would also give the Quran a lot of weight as well as the book (the names escapes me..) that Mary Baker Eddy wrote which is used by Christian Scientists.

What about the Watch Tower?

MU Eagle

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Guest johnny_cat
Plagarism can be done by anyone, but above and beyond that if you take your logic TF that would also give the Quran a lot of weight as well as the book (the names escapes me..) that Mary Baker Eddy wrote which is used by Christian Scientists.

The problem here, MUEagle, is that the same accusations of plagiarism can be leveled against the Old and New Testaments. Do you have some special reason for accepting them as true?

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Plagarism can be done by anyone, but above and beyond that if you take your logic TF that would also give the Quran a lot of weight as well as the book (the names escapes me..) that Mary Baker Eddy wrote which is used by Christian Scientists.

The problem here, MUEagle, is that the same accusations of plagiarism can be leveled against the Old and New Testaments. Do you have some special reason for accepting them as true?

Are you asking if I thinbk the Book of Mormon was plagarized from the Bible?

or are you saying that the Bible was plagarized from other sources?

Dave

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This thread reminded me that someone did a parody of the Book of Mormon challenge, so I googled it. Sure enough, a jokester named tanstaafl created this parody.

A New and Improved Book of Mormon Challenge

06/27/2003 - tanstaafl

1. Write a history of ancient America covering a period of from 2200 B.C.E.

to 400 A.D.? Why ancient America? Because that's what the Book of Mormon

claims to be about silly.

2. You must start telling tales that resemble this book to your family at

least ten years before you write it.

3. You must be primarily self-educated. If you are formally educated, it may

or may not make it more difficult to write, that will obviously depend on

your individual "education," but don't worry about learning how to spell,

since . . .

4. You must include at least 3000 grammatical and spelling errors, even if

you use a secretary to transcribe your dictation. Now this is going to be

really hard, because where are you going to find such an ignorant secretary.

Good luck on that one.

5. Your "history" must be 531 pages long, and must use the phrase "and it

came to pass" 3,856 times.

6. You must come up with a good explanation as to why filler such as "and it

came to pass" would be so frequently repeated if your history is supposed to

have come from gold plates where space was at a premium.

7. Once your book is published you are only allowed to change it 3500 times

for grammatical and spelling errors and 500 times for doctrinal, historical

or other substantive inconsistencies.

8. Your "history" must replace the actual millions of inhabitants of the

ancient Americas during this time period with fictitious nations, including

one nation founded by refugees from the mythical tower of Babylon who came

to the Americas on a giant barrel-like barge with holes in the top and the

bottom (don't ask) of the barge and two other nations founded by "jews" who

know next to nothing about Jewish dietary or religious practices.

9. You must describe the inhabitants of America and their religious,

economic, political and social and cultural institutions in such way that

they don't in any way represent the religious, political, social and

cultural institutions of the actual inhabitants of ancient America. Even

make up some names of coins that were never used by the actual inhabitants

of America. Throw in some animals and crops that are only in the Americas

post-Columbus and make up some funny names of non-existent animals too, like

cureloms.

10. Make sure you plagiarize from more than one section of the bible, and

from various other sources, so that your claim that many ancient authors

contributed to the book can be trumpeted by apologists.

11. Make up a story about a dead guy coming to America and killing millions

of inhabitants and burying cities in the ocean and under the earth. Call him

Nosferatu or Lestat. No just kidding -- you must actually call him Jesus.

12. Claim that your inconsistent and grammatically awkward prose (except for

the plagiarized parts which are somewhat better written) is not fiction, but

a true and sacred history.

13. Include in your book 54 chapters dealing with wars that bear no

resemblance to the actual wars that took place in the ancient Americas. Make

sure that at least some of these wars include the nonsensical accounts of

million man armies. Ignore the problems associated with the logistical

support for such a large army. Also include million men armies fighting to

the last man and their bones and steel weapons disappearing from the face of

the earth. Include 21 historical chapters which bear no resemblance to

actual history, try and include some inconsistencies here too, like people

reappearing in the narrative after they have already died.

14. You must include 55 chapters on visions and prophesies. At least one of

the "visions" must be an almost verbatim recital of a dream that some member

of your family, preferably your father, told to you as a boy. Some of the

prophesies must be plagiarized directly from the bible, but others must

"prophesy" about things that have already happened between the time of the

supposed prophesy and the present, so that you can show how accurate the

"prophecies" of your book are. Except for the "prophecies" about events that

have already taken place, which must be laden with details, all prophecies

should be very vague. Never do anything stupid like prophesy that Christ

will come in 1891, the civil war would start in the 1830's or that people

live on the moon and dress like Quakers, that would be quite a problem for

you.

15. Included in your narrative will be bogus modes of travel that were never

used in ancient America, bogus descriptions of clothing and clothing

materials that were never used in ancient America, bogus descriptions of

crops that never existed in ancient America and bogus types of government as

well. As Spiccoli from "Fast Times At Ridgemenot High" might add at this

point -- that's a lot of bogosity dude.

16. You must invent 280 names. Well, not really invent, you can take some

from the bible, some from the apocrypha, some from maps, etc. Some should be

inside jokes (Moron, Ether), some should be silly (anti-nephi-lehite,

curelom), some should so forgettable that you refer to them obliquely

(brother of jared) and some should come from the occult practices you were

taught by your parents (Laman).

17. Every objective scholar who looks at your work and examines its claims

to be a history of the ancient Americas must denounce it as a fraud. (OK,

this one was easy, but you deserve a break after so many hard ones in a

row.)

18. Claim that your book is the word of God. Then start a religion with

doctrines contrary to the book. (Don't worry, this is actually much easier

than it sounds.)

19. Throw in all kinds of absurd, impossible and contradictory statements.

(If you need help with this see Ether 15:31, Mosiah 21:28 and 2 Nephi 19:1

for some examples to get you started.)

20. No one but you or the members of the religion you founded must believe

your claims that the book is of divine origin. To cover for the fact that

you cannot produce the gold plates, make up a story about the gold plates

upon which the record came being "taken up into heaven" and get 11 people

who are related to you and/or with a financial interest in your book to say

that they saw the plates before they disapperared. Make sure that you refer

to the dead guy that takes the plates back "to heaven" by at least two

different names.

21. Get four dishonest and shifty characters to claim that they too had an

magical dead guy come down from "heaven" to "testify" to them about your

book. Each of these witnesses must have a financial stake in the book.

22. Make sure that something in your book fulfills some vague biblical

prophesy. (And yes, I know vague and biblical prophesy are redundant and

repetitive.)

23. Thousands of men with a vested financial interest in the religion you

founded, including many who are criminals and who lie under oath to

congress, must accept your book (and your teachings that contradict the

book) for over 100 years. In fact, you must make sure that every man who

leads your church for the first 100 years must be a criminal. Make sure that

you commit every one of the following crimes: treason, sedition, murder,

perjury, conspiracy to commit murder, bigamy, statutory rape, fraud,

conterfeiting, illegal banking, assault, and bribery. Send some of your

followers on missions and have sex with their wives while they are away too.

Make sure that every man that leads your church for the next 100 years

commits at least 3 of the above crimes.

24. Since your book is filled with inconsistencies which easily demonstrate

it as fraudulent, you must include an appeal to magical thinking at the end

of the book, or no one will follow you.

25. You've got to then get a bunch of believers in your fraudulent history

to, a few of them glady, but most of them under some form of coercion, give

up two years of their life to con others into beleiving your bogus history.

Have sex with some of their wives while they are away. Call this sex

"celestial marriage."

26. Some of these salesmen must even pay their own way. Now some of them

will, over the course of these two years, come to the realization that your

book is a fraud, but over half of them must stay in your church.

27. You must derive your financial riches from the book and the religion

which you found upon its teachings (and no we must not forget about the

doctrines that contradict the teachings of the book). Despite making several

fortunes over the course of your life by conning the believers of your book

out of their hard earned money, you will waste it all and flee at least two

states due to your financial improprieties and declare bankruptcy at least

once. And along the same financial vein, you must also steal money from your

foster daughters. And while you're at it, have sex with some of them too.

28. When your financial cons and sexual scandals cause problems for your

family and followers, you must blame everything on religious persecution and

leave town. You must ingraine this into your followers so that they carry

this false persecution complex with them unto the third and the fourth

generations. You must teach all the leaders of your movement to have sex

with the wives and the daughters of those with lower callings in your

church. You must have sex with 14 year old girls and cause that any follower

of yours that does not want to have sex with 14 year old girls to be removed

from any leadership position in your church. (Yes David Koresh did this too,

but he never wrote a book and he's not about to write one now is he?)

29. Your book must result in a people whose unlawful practices will be

referred to as barbaric by both the Congress and the Supreme Court of the

United States of America.. (If you live somewhere other than the US, similar

organizations of the country where you live will suffice) You must include

in your religion covenants that require your people to blindly obey orders

to murder non-members of your cult. Your book must result in a people that

will kill and steal from any who dare visit territory controlled by your

followers. Your people must murder at least 20 children in cold blood.

30. Start right now, and spend a year writing the first draft of this book.

Then complete the second draft in three months, BUT YOUR SECOND DRAFT MUST

BE WRITTEN WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE FIRST DRAFT. Before starting on the

second draft, you must let the only copy of the first draft go to someone

who does not believe you saw god, or that you saw any dead guys, or that

dead guys gave you any gold plates. Then come up with a good explanation as

to why, since the plates were supposedly translated by the power of god, god

didn't just help you write the same words over again.

31. Then have someone who is in the pay of the religion you founded for over

50 years write an nonsensical challenge filled with invalid and dishonest

assumptions and flawed reasoning. Then have someone born more than one

hundred years after you die waste almost two hours writing a stupid parody

of that challenge.

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Guest johnny_cat
Are you asking if I thinbk the Book of Mormon was plagarized from the Bible?

The answer to that question seems rather obvious.

or are you saying that the Bible was plagarized from other sources?

I'm not saying that. Others, however, have made a case that what we have now as the Bible has its origins in pre- and post-Hebraic mythology. For example, the P version of the creation (Gen. 1:-2:3) seems to date from after the Babylonian exile and reflects to some a Babylonian influence.

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I'm not following you

Dave

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....<snip>

31. Then have someone who is in the pay of the religion you founded for over

50 years write an nonsensical challenge filled with invalid and dishonest

assumptions and flawed reasoning. Then have someone born more than one

hundred years after you die waste almost two hours writing a stupid parody

of that challenge.

While I don't agree with everything in that list, it is still hilarious.

Much shorter, but nevertheless humorous, is the "Book of Abraham Challenge", as posted by SoHo over on ZLMB:

To all those who think that Joseph Smith was a fraud, I issue the following challenge:

1. Obtain an ancient text of uncertain date and written in a currently indecipherable language.

2. Claim that the text contains the writings of one or more ancient prophets. Keep in mind that when the text is eventually dated, the ancient prophets you have chosen must be shown to have been deceased for hundreds of years before the text was written.

3. Claim that you can translate the currently indecipherable language - including the interpretations of various characters and a construction of grammar. Keep in mind that your interpretations must stand forever as having nothing to do with the source text - any degree of accuracy to any future scholarly translation and you will fail.

4. Translate the text in KJV-style English - the text to be some 10-15 pages. Again, your interpretations must stand forever as having nothing to do with the source text.

5. You must publish your translation within 7 years from the time you begin.

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You're misunderstanding, Mr. Curious.  Having sentences immediately read back to assure that the dictation had been transcribed correctly is distinct from having a previous sentence or paragraph re-read, after an absence, so as to get the creative juices flowing again.  Witnesses testify to the former, but at least one expressly denies the latter.

I'm interested in this manuscript of which the obviously not-as-skeptical-as-he-claims-to-be Mr. Shades speaks.  Can he identify it specifically?  Does he perhaps have a copy of it that the rest of us can examine?

Are you thinking that there's no accounts of Smith sneaking notes in and out of his hat, there

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....<snip>

31. Then have someone who is in the pay of the religion you founded for over

50 years write an nonsensical challenge filled with invalid and dishonest

assumptions and flawed reasoning. Then have someone born more than one

hundred years after you die waste almost two hours writing a stupid parody

of that challenge.

While I don't agree with everything in that list, it is still hilarious.

Much shorter, but nevertheless humorous, is the "Book of Abraham Challenge", as posted by SoHo over on ZLMB:

To all those who think that Joseph Smith was a fraud, I issue the following challenge:

1. Obtain an ancient text of uncertain date and written in a currently indecipherable language.

2. Claim that the text contains the writings of one or more ancient prophets. Keep in mind that when the text is eventually dated, the ancient prophets you have chosen must be shown to have been deceased for hundreds of years before the text was written.

3. Claim that you can translate the currently indecipherable language - including the interpretations of various characters and a construction of grammar. Keep in mind that your interpretations must stand forever as having nothing to do with the source text - any degree of accuracy to any future scholarly translation and you will fail.

4. Translate the text in KJV-style English - the text to be some 10-15 pages. Again, your interpretations must stand forever as having nothing to do with the source text.

5. You must publish your translation within 7 years from the time you begin.

Cinepro

Your tempting me! :P

MU Eagle

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