Reason #37:The manipulative quality of Joseph Smith’s “Revelations”

  One of the most amazing (and least-noticed) revelations he gave out is that found in DoctrineandCovenants Section 15. The heading to the revelation states: “The message is intimately and impressively personal in that the Lord tells of what was known only to John Whitmer and Himself.” What is that personal matter the Lord had in mind? Starting in verse 3, we read, And I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone””For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you. . . . And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing that will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people. . . And what is so amazing about this revelation? The fact that it is...

Reason #36: Because Joseph Smith Joined Another Church After Saying He Was Forbidden by God

  On June 15, 1828″”years after his supposed visit from God who told him that all churches on earth were corrupt — he tried to join the Methodist Church. Even the esteemed LDS writer Hyrum L. Andrus admitted that Joseph became a Methodist, but ignores the implications of this by claiming that Joseph”‘s Methodist affiliation took place before the First Vision. The Tanners, however, have concluded that Joseph”‘s membership in the Methodist church “occurred eight years after he was supposed to have received his First Vision and at the very time he was translating the Book of Mormon!” For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today (Zondervan, 2009)....

Reason #35: The Gold Plates Never Existed

  One LDS author, Dan Vogel in American Apocrypha:Essays on the Book of Mormon stated:  “Given the fact that the three witnesses saw a vision and that the experience of the eight witnesses seems to have been similarly visionary, there is no compelling evidence that Joseph Smith actually possessed anciently constructed plates.” Perhaps we could at most give the witnesses credit for being gullible. Jerald and Sandra Tanner have explored the possibility that Joseph Smith, with the aid of Oliver Cowdery (who had been a blacksmith when young), had made some sort of metal plates which they covered up and presented to the witnesses to touch as “proof” of Joseph Smith”‘s golden plates theory. Richard Abanes, in One Nation Under...

Reason # 34: Unreliability of Book of Mormon Witnesses

Many Mormons seek solace in the thought that there were enough reliable witnesses to substantiate the Book of Mormon”‘s validity and justify their own faith in it. But just how reliable were these witnesses? Mormons often claim that none of them ever denied their testimony of the Book of Mormon. However, Brigham Young in the LDS Journal of Discourses says that “some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel.” This must refer to Oliver Cowdrey, David Whitmer, and/or Martin Harris, who alone in their written testimonies (printed in the front of each copy of the Book of Mormon) claimed to have both handled...

Reason #33: Who could verify Egyptian translations in 1828?

  Martin Harris did indeed as Mormons claim take a copy of some of the characters Joseph Smith said he copied from the golden plates to Dr. Charles Anthon at Columbia University in New York City. But there truth and LDS fiction part paths. Harris claimed that Professor Anthon said that the characters Harris brought were authentic ancient Egyptian, and were translated correctly. The other untranslated characters, said Harris, were declared by Anthon to be “Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic.” However, in two separate letters he wrote later, Professor Anthon substantiated Harris”‘ claim that he had brought the characters to Anthon, but the professor vehemently denied that he had ever given the impression that the squiggles on...