Criticism of Mormonism/Books/An Insider's View of Mormon Origins/Use of sources/To copy or not to copy

Table of Contents

Use of sources: To copy or not to copy?

A FairMormon Analysis of: An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, a work by author: Grant Palmer

The Quotes

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, page 48

The author claims that Joseph copied the story of Lamoni from the story of Lazarus in the Bible.

The References

  • No citations are provided.

The Problems

The author asks us to

"[n]ote the common phrases, which I have placed in italics, and the seven common motifs in both stories." (emphasis added)

It sounds as if the author has done some serious research here, and no source is cited for this data. It seems evident, however, that the author's research involved simply reading the Tanner's analysis (and corresponding use of italicization and ellipses) of these verses. Here is a comparison of the author's work with the Tanner's analysis:

Reference Author's claim... Tanner's claim... Tanner reference
Grant H. Palmer, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002) 48. ( Index of claims ) Alma, about 90 B.C., Lamoni is dying and his wife

sent and desired that he [Ammon] should come ... and some say ... he stinketh ... He is not dead, [Ammon said,] but sleepeth ... [and] he shall rise again Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said unto him ... I believe ... [And] he arose ... (Alma 19: 2,5, 8-9, 12).

"... others say that he is dead and that he stinketh ..." (Alma 19:5)

"... he sleepeth ..." (Alma 19:8)

"... he shall rise again ..." (Alma 19:8)

"And Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said unto him: ...I believe ..." (Alma 19:9)

"... he arose ..." (Alma 19:12)

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 117.( Index of claims ).
Grant H. Palmer, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002) 48. ( Index of claims ) Lazarus, in about A.D. 33, is dying and his sisters

sent unto him ... [Jesus saith,] This sickness is not unto death, ... [for] Lazarus sleepeth ... [Then] Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again ... Jesus said unto her ... Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe ... [but] by this time he stinketh ... [Jesus spoke a]nd he that was dead came forth ... (John 11: 3-4, 11,23,26-27,39, 44).

"... Lazarus sleepeth ..." (John 11:11)

"... Thy brother shall rise again" (John 11:23)

"Jesus said unto her ... Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe ..." (John 11:25-27)

"... by this time he stinketh..." (John 11:39)

"... he that was dead came forth ..." (John 11:44)

Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 117.( Index of claims ).


The Tanner's work is not cited by the author—somewhat ironic for a chapter that accuses Joseph of plagiarism.

Further reading

A FAIR Analysis of Critical Works