Criticism of Mormonism/Online documents/For my Wife and Children (Letter to my Wife)/Chapter 15

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Response to "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife"): Chapter 15 - Source Material (Book of Mormon)

A FairMormon Analysis of: For my Wife and Children (Letter to my Wife), a work by author: Anonymous
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Response to claims made in "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife"): Chapter 15 - Source Material (Book of Mormon)

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Response to claim: B.H. Roberts "says that there is 'no doubt' that Joseph could have written the Book of Mormon with influences from a book called View of the Hebrews"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

President of the Quorum of the Seventy, Brigham H. Roberts, spoke about what Joseph’s incredible mind was capable of.

In light of this evidence, there can be no doubt as to the possession of a vividly strong, creative imagination by Joseph Smith the Prophet, an imagination, it could with reason be urged, which, given the suggestions that are found in the ‘common knowledge' of accepted American antiquities of the times, supplemented by such a work as Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews [published in Palmyra in 1825], it would make it possible for him to create a book such as the Book of Mormon is.” (B.H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, p. 250)

Elder Roberts says that there is “no doubt” that Joseph could have written the Book of Mormon with influences from a book called, View of the Hebrews, among other contemporary sources.

Author's sources:
  1. B.H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, p. 250

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The author fails to note what B.H. Roberts' actual conclusion was, as quoted in Studies of the Book of Mormon p. 58. B.H. Roberts said the following about his examination of critical approaches to the Book of Mormon, later published under the name Studies of the Book of Mormon:

Let me say once and for all, so as to avoid what might otherwise call for repeated explanation, that what is herein set forth does not represent any conclusions of mine. This report [is] ... for the information of those who ought to know everything about it pro and con, as well that which has been produced against it as that which may be produced against it. I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it.[1]

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Question: Did B.H. Roberts state that it was possible for Joseph Smith to have come up with the Book of Mormon on his own?

B.H. Roberts was a believer in the divine origin of the Book of Mormon, and talked of young Joseph Smith as he sat up late detailing to the family the wonderful conversations he had with the angel

B.H. Roberts retained his belief that the Book of Mormon was of divine origin up until the end of his life. Yet, according to one critical website, B.H. Roberts "postulated that it was certainly possible for Joseph Smith to have come up with the Book of Mormon on his own." [2] Roberts, however, believed that Joseph had conversations with the Angel Moroni.

B.H. Roberts, in his critical study of the Book of Mormon, pointed out how future critics might make use of this.

The face of it is first established by the testimony of the mother who bore him, Lucy Smith. Speaking of the days immediately following the revelation making known the existence of the Book of Mormon to her son...Lucy Smith in her History of the Prophet Joseph Smith, recounts how in the evening of that day, the young prophet sat up late detailing to the family the wonderful conversations he had with the angel;[3]


Truman Madsen: "Among readers who came to the Book of Mormon with hard, skeptical assumptions, B.H. Roberts is notable"

Truman G. Madsen:

Among readers who came to the Book of Mormon with hard, skeptical assumptions, B.H. Roberts is notable. He was capacitated by temperament and equipped by study for penetrating analysis. Moreover, at many junctures of his life he had profound personal reasons and emotional and spiritual stresses which might have led a man of lesser integrity to discard wholesale his religious heritage. But on his other side was his capacity for constant, patient study. This he brought (for more than a half century) to the Book of Mormon as he did to his work in history, never letting go, never fully satisfied with what he had written or said, and never unwilling to consider afresh the latest spate of difficulties.[4]


Question: Did B.H. Roberts lose his faith in the Church and the Book of Mormon?

An excellent argument against the claim that B.H. Roberts abandoned the Book of Mormon can be found in his last book, which he considered his masterwork

Critics charge that the 'problems' with the Book of Mormon made Brigham H. Roberts (an early LDS apologist and member of the First Quorum of Seventy) lose his faith in the its historicity. The primary source upon which this criticism is based originates with Roberts' manuscripts detailing his critical study of the Book of Mormon, which was published under the title Studies of the Book of Mormon years after his death.

An excellent argument against the claim that B.H. Roberts abandoned the Book of Mormon can be found in his last book, which he considered his masterwork. [B. H. Roberts, The Truth, the Way, the Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Studies, 1994).] Given Roberts' clear respect for the Book of Mormon in this volume, there can be little doubt that he continued to believe in and treasure it.

Ironically for the critics, many of the issues which drew Elder Roberts' attention have now been solved as more information about the ancient world has become available. He expressed faith that this would be the case, and has been vindicated:

We who accept [the Book of Mormon] as a revelation from God have every reason to believe that it will endure every test; and the more thoroughly it is investigated, the greater shall be its ultimate triumph.[5]

Roberts was an able scholar, and he was not afraid to play 'devil's advocate' to strengthen the Church's defenses against its enemies

In a presentation on some potential Book of Mormon 'problems' prepared for the General Authorities, Roberts wrote a caution that subsequent critics have seen fit to ignore:

Let me say once and for all, so as to avoid what might otherwise call for repeated explanation, that what is herein set forth does not represent any conclusions of mine. This report [is] ... for the information of those who ought to know everything about it pro and con, as well that which has been produced against it as that which may be produced against it. I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakeable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it.[6]

Roberts felt that faith in the Book of Mormon was a given, and so did not consider any 'negative' points to be of ultimate concern

Roberts felt that faith in the Book of Mormon was a given, and so did not consider any 'negative' points to be of ultimate concern, though he did seek for better answers than he then had. The critics have often published his list of of "parallels" between the Book of Mormon and Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews, without informing modern readers that Roberts did not consider the problems insoluable, or a true threat to faith in the Book of Mormon. They also do not generally cite the numerous other statements in which, to the end of his life, he declared the Book of Mormon to be a divine record.

Roberts' studies also made him willing to modify previous conceptions, such as when he concluded that the Book of Mormon was not a history of the only immigrants to the New World.

In 1930, he enthused about the Book of Mormon a century after the Church's organization:

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for God hath spoken. ... The Record of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim, the Book of Mormon, has been revealed and translated by the power of God, and supplies the world with a new witness for the Christ, and the truth and the fulness of the Gospel.[7]

Other witnesses by B.H. Roberts of truth of the Church and the Gospel

The book Discourses of B.H. Roberts of the First Council of the Seventy, compiled by Ben R. Roberts (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company 1948) contains the last seven discourses delivered by Elder Roberts: four in Salt Lake City, one in San Francisco (on the radio), and the last two at the World Fellowship of Faith in Chicago, in August-September 1933. He died three weeks after the last discourse. Roberts had returned from a lengthy illness, which made him realize how precious life is. He determined to leave his testimony, especially for the youth of the church.

From the first of these addresses:[8]

It has always been a matter of pride with me, in my more than fifty years of ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that it was no trivial thing which called this Church of the New Dispensation into existence. It was not founded upon the idea that men differed in relation to how baptism should be administered, whether by sprinkling or pouring, or immersion; or whether it was for the remission of sins, or because sins had been forgiven. I always rejoice that it had a broader foundation than whether the form of church government and administration should be Episcopal or Congregational, or the Presbyterian form of government; or any other minor [23] difference of theologians. It went to the heart of things, and astonished the world, and at the same time, of course, aroused its opposition.

When the Prophet of the New Dispensation asked God for wisdom, and which of the many churches about him he should join, he was told to join none of them, for they were all wrong; their creeds were false; they drew near to the Lord with their lips, but their hearts were far removed from him; they had a form of godliness but denied the power thereof; that the Christian world, especially, had, in fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and had broken the everlasting covenant (Isaiah 44), of which the blood of the Christ was the blood of that everlasting covenant. He promised the incoming of a New Dispensation of the Gospel of Christ, which would link together and unite all former dispensations, from Adam down to the present time, the great stream of events speeding on towards an immense ocean of truth in which it would be united with all truth. It was a world movement. To lay the foundations of a greater faith, it brought forth the American volume of scripture, the Book of Mormon. In time the authority of God, the holy priesthood was restored, the minor phase of it, through John the Baptist; and later Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the kingdom of heaven, bestowed upon them by the Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery, and the divine and supreme authority from God was conferred upon them. By this authority and under the power of it they organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, outlined its doctrines, and established it firmly in the earth.

That is how the New Dispensation began—not whether baptism should be by immersion, or for the forgiveness of sins. The rubbish of accumulated ages was swept aside, the rocks made bare, and the foundations relaid” (22-23).

Roberts then refers to a statement in David Whitmer, To All Believers in Christ, about the translation of the Book of Mormon being interrupted due to some problems between Joseph and Emma:

He [Joseph] took up the divine instrument, the Urim and Thummim, tried to translated but utterly failed. Things remained dark to his vision. David Whitmer tells how Joseph left the translating room and [26] went to the woodslot on the Whitmer farm, and there corrected himself, brought himself into a state of humiliation and of exaltation at the same time. He went back to the house, became reconciled to Emma, his wife, came up to the translating room, and again the visions were given and the translation went on. But he could translate only as he was in a state of exaltation of mind and in accord with the Spirit of God, which leads to the source of hidden treasures of knowledge” (25-6).

Roberts then refers to the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, which was revealed shortly after the Church was organized, in June 1830:

It goes further than we have come, this knowledge by faith. After the Prophet had translated the Book of Mormon he began to receive the revelations which today make up the Book of Moses, the translation of [27] which began to be published about six months after the Book of Mormon had been translated” (26-7).

I admire the achievements of the men of science and hold them in honor…. But what am I to think of the Prophet of God, who speaking a hundred years before him, and speaking by the knowledge that comes by faith, revealed the same truth—viz., that as one earth shall pass away, so shall another come, and there is no end to God’s work? This gives to the Church of the New Dispensation the right to voice her protest against a dying universe—its death blows to the immortality of man.

Oh, ye Elders of Israel, this is our mission, to withstand this theory of a dying universe and this destruction of the idea of the immortality and eternal life of man. We have this knowledge revealed of God, and it is for us to maintain the perpetuity of the universe and the immortal life of man. Such was the mission of the Christ, such is ours” (29).

I am one of the special witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, made so by the office I hold, and I want to begin a return to my ministry in this pulpit by exercising my duty as a special witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Here it is: Jesus Christ is the very Son of God, the incarnation of all that is divine, the revelation of God to man, the Redeemer of the world; for as in Adam all die, so shall they in Christ be brought forth alive. Also Jesus is the Savior of individual man, through him and him alone comes repentance and [30] forgiveness of sins, through which the possibility of unity with God comes. As his witness I stand before you on this occasion to proclaim these truths concerning the Christ, not from scientific knowledge or book learning, but from the knowledge that comes by faith” (29-30)

It is difficult to see these as the words of one who has lost his faith in the Church, the Book of Mormon, or Joseph Smith.


Response to claim: "Joseph Smith Sr.’s dream is nearly identical with Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

Shortly after his death, Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, wrote her family’s story concentrating on her son Joseph Jr. Here, she recounts the dream her husband experienced that was so profound he had to share it with his family. ... Joseph Smith Sr.’s dream is nearly identical with Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life.

Author's sources:
  1. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, March 2004.
  2. Nephi 8: 5, 9-13, 20, 26, 27

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The dream of Joseph Smith, Sr. was recorded only long after the Book of Mormon was published.

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Question: Did Joseph Smith incorporate his father's dream of the tree of life into the Book of Mormon?

The details of Joseph's father's dream were written long after the Book of Mormon was published

Critics point to similarities between a dream Joseph Smith's father had and Lehi's dream of the tree of life as evidence that Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon based on his own experiences. Significantly, none of Joseph's family regarded the similarities as evidence that Joseph Jr. was engaging in a forgery.

The details of the dream were written long after the Book of Mormon was published. Lucy's account is (at the very least) influenced in its verbiage by the Book of Mormon. Either Joseph Sr. had a remarkably similar dream, or Lucy used the material in the Book of Mormon to either bolster her memory, or it unwittingly influenced her memory.

There are three potential explanations for the similarities

  1. Joseph Smith plagiarized Joseph Sr.'s dream when he wrote the Book of Mormon. This is the stance adopted by the critics.
  2. Joseph Sr. had a dream that was similar to the dream experienced by Lehi, and this was a sign to the Prophet's family that he was translating a real record that came from God. This is certainly possible, though it is impossible to prove or disprove by historical techniques, and so will not be elaborated on. It remains, however, a viable option.
  3. Lucy Mack Smith's account of the dream (which she recorded many years after the fact, when the Book of Mormon account was well-known and published) may have influenced how she remembered and/or recorded her account of Joseph Sr's dream.

Details of Joseph Smith, Sr.'s dream of the tree of life

According to Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith, Senior, the father of the Prophet, had the following dream in 1811 when the family was living in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Joseph Smith, Junior, would have been 5 years old at the time.

I thought...I was traveling in an open, desolate field, which appeared to be very barren. As I was thus traveling, the thought suddenly came into my mind that I had better stop and reflect upon what I was doing, before I went any further. So I asked myself, "What motive can I have in traveling here, and what place can this be?" My guide, who was by my side, as before, said, "This is the desolate world; but travel on." The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, "Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting' life, and few there be that go in there at."

Traveling a short distance farther, I came to a narrow path. This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west. Of this stream I could see neither the source nor yet the termination; but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope running along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond me was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree such as I had never seen before. It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or, if possible whiter. I gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. As I was eating, I said in my heart, "I can not eat this alone, I must bring my wife and children, that they may partake with me." Accordingly, I went and brought my family, which consisted of a wife and seven children, and we all commenced eating, and praising God for this blessing. We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed.

While thus engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley which we were in, and it appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was full of doors and windows, and they were filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us, and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt. But their contumely we utterly disregarded.

I presently turned to my guide, and inquired of him the meaning of the fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments. He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there. "No," he replied, "look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also." Upon raising my eyes, I saw two small children, standing some distance off. I immediately went to them, and brought them to the tree; upon which they commenced eating with the rest, and we all rejoiced together. The more we ate, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it up, eating it by double handfuls.

After feasting in this manner a short time, I asked my guide what was the meaning of the spacious building which I saw. He replied, "It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of God because of their humility."

I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy.[9]

There are many obvious connections between this dream and Lehi's vision of the tree of life

There are many obvious connections between this dream and Lehi's vision of the tree of life recorded in 1 Nephi 8:

  • A desolate field representing the world (8:4).
  • A narrow path (8:20).
  • A river of water (8:13).
  • A rope running along the bank of the river (similar in function to the rod of iron in 8:19, 24).
  • A tree with dazzling white fruit (8:10–11).
  • Joseph, Sr. desires that his family should partake of the fruit also (8:12).
  • A spacious building filled with people who are mocking those who eat the fruit (8:26–27).
  • Joseph, Sr. and his family ignore the mocking (8:33).
  • The fruit represents the love of God (11:22).
  • The building represents the world (11:36; 12:18).

The source of the dream is Lucy's manuscript for which she dictated in the winter of 1844–45, 15 years after the publication of the Book of Mormon

The source of the dream is Lucy's manuscript for Joseph Smith, The Prophet And His Progenitors For Many Generations, which she dictated to Martha Jane Coray in the winter of 1844–45. Note the date of Lucy's dictation: more than 15 years after Joseph Smith, Junior, dictated the Book of Mormon.

Dreams are notoriously ephemeral. It is difficult for most people to remember the details of a dream, and those details quickly fade in the first few minutes after awaking.

The amount of detail Lucy records and the second-hand nature and late date of her testimony have led many to the conclusion that Lucy's recollection was strongly influenced by what she read in the Book of Mormon. That is, it is difficult to establish how much Joseph Sr.'s original dream had in common with the Book of Mormon, since the details which we have are only available after the fact, when Lucy's memory would have been affected by what she learned in the more detailed Book of Mormon account (even as it stands, the Book of Mormon account is far more detailed and lengthy than the material from 1844-45).

Thus, it seems plausible that there is a relationship between the Book of Mormon and Lucy's text--but, we cannot know in what direction(s) that influence moved.


Response to claim: "In 1823, Rev. Ethan Smith...published his book View of the Hebrews...Oliver Cowdery...was also a member of Ethan’s Congregation"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

In 1823, Rev. Ethan Smith, working as a pastor in Poultney, Vermont, published his book View of the Hebrews. At the time it was first published, Oliver Cowdery was not only living in Poultney, Vermont, but was also a member of Ethan’s Congregation

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This is correct, however, this doesn't really say anything about View of the Hebrews or the Book of Mormon.

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Question: Is there a link between Ethan Smith, author of View of the Hebrews, and Oliver Cowdery?

Both Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery's family attended

Critics postulate a link between Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery, since both men lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery's family attended at the time that View of the Hebrews was being written. Beyond speculation based upon this circumstantial evidence, there is no indication of a connection between View of the Hebrews, Oliver Cowdery, and the Book of Mormon.


Response to claim: "View of the Hebrews...teaches that Native Americans are descended from Hebrews that traveled to America...separated into two factions"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

View of the Hebrews became a very popular book in the New England area. It teaches that Native Americans are descended from Hebrews that traveled to America. Once here, they separated into two factions, one civilized and one savage and bloodthirsty, with many wars between them. The book begins with the destruction of Jerusalem, quotes heavily from Isaiah, and ends with the savage group completely wiping out the civilized group.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The two books are so different that BYU actually republished it so that it could be made more widely available to those who wanted to compare them.

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Question: Could Joseph Smith have used Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews as a guideline for creating the Book of Mormon?

Criticisms related to View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon

  • It is claimed that a 19th century work by Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews, provided source material for Joseph Smith's construction of the Book of Mormon.
  • Some also postulate a link between Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery, since both men lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery's family attended at the time that View of the Hebrews was being written.

Many of the criticisms proposed are based upon B. H. Roberts' list of parallels, which only had validity if one applied a hemispheric geography model to the Book of Mormon

The View of the Hebrews theory is yet another attempt to fit a secular origin to the Book of Mormon. Many of the criticisms proposed are based upon B. H. Roberts' list of parallels, which only had validity if one applied a hemispheric geography model to the Book of Mormon. There are a significant number of differences between the two books, which are easily discovered upon reading Ethan Smith's work. Many points that Ethan Smith thought were important are not mentioned at all in the Book of Mormon, and many of the "parallels" are no longer valid based upon current scholarship.[10]

Advocates of the Ethan Smith theory must also explain why Joseph, the ostensible forger, had the chutzpah to point out the source of his forgery. They must also explain why, if Joseph found this evidence so compelling, he did not exploit it for use in the Book of Mormon text itself, since the Book of Mormon contains no reference to the many "unparallels" that Ethan assured his readers virtually guaranteed a Hebrew connection to the Amerindians.


Question: Was the View of the Hebrews theory of Book of Mormon origin advanced during the lifetime of Joseph Smith?

The theory the Joseph Smith plagiarized View of the Hebrews was never advanced during Joseph Smith's lifetime

The theory the Joseph Smith plagiarized View of the Hebrews was never advanced during his lifetime. The prevailing theory of the day was the Spalding Theory, which quickly lost credibility upon the discovery of an actual Spalding manuscript in 1884 which bore no resemblance to the Book of Mormon. There are no records which indicate that Joseph Smith came into contact with the View of the Hebrews during the period of time that he was translating the Book of Mormon. The View of the Hebrews theory was in fact first proposed by I. Woodbridge Riley in 1902, 58 years after the death of the prophet.[11]

Joseph Smith quoted View of the Hebrews as supporting the Book of Mormon

There was, however, a reference to View of the Hebrews within Joseph Smith's lifetime, but it came from the prophet himself. In an article published in the Times and Seasons on June 1, 1842, Joseph quoted View of the Hebrews in support of the Book of Mormon:

If such may have been the fact, that a part of the Ten Tribes came over to America, in the way we have supposed, leaving the cold regions of Assareth behind them in quest of a milder climate, it would be natural to look for tokens of the presence of Jews of some sort, along countries adjacent to the Atlantic. In order to this, we shall here make an extract from an able work: written exclusively on the subject of the Ten Tribes having come from Asia by the way of Bherings Strait, by the Rev. Ethan Smith, Pultney, Vt., who relates as follows: "Joseph Merrick, Esq., a highly respectable character in the church at Pittsfield, gave the following account: That in 1815, he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood shed, standing on a place of his, situated on (Indian Hill)... [Joseph then discusses the supposed phylacteries found among Amerindians, citing View of the Hebrews p. 220, 223.][12]

It strains credulity to claim that Joseph drew attention to the work from which he derived most of his ideas. Why would he call attention to the source of his forgery?


Question: What did B.H. Roberts say about View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon?

B.H. Roberts was playing "devil's advocate" when he examined View of the Hebrews, and showing what a critic might do

The View of the Hebrews theory was examined in detail by B. H. Roberts in 1921 and 1922. Roberts took the position of examining the Book of Mormon from a critical perspective in order to alert the General Authorities to possible future avenues of attack by critics. The resulting manuscripts were titled Book of Mormon Difficulties and A Parallel. Roberts, who believed in a hemispheric geography for the Book of Mormon, highlighted a number of parallels between View of the Hebrews and The Book of Mormon. Roberts stated,

[C]ould the people of Mulek and of Lehi...part of the time numbering and occupying the land at least from Yucatan to Cumorah...live and move and have their being in the land of America and not come in contact with other races and tribes of men, if such existed in the New World within Book of Mormon times? To make this seem possible the area occupied by the Nephites and Lamanites would have to be extremely limited, much more limited, I fear, than the Book of Mormon would admit our assuming.[13]

Roberts concluded that, if one assumed that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, that View of the Hebrews could have provided him with a foundation for creating the book. In fact, many of the issues highlighted by Roberts vanish when a limited geography theory is considered. The acceptance of the View of the Hebrews theory is therefore contingent upon the acceptance of a hemispheric geography model for the Book of Mormon. In order to promote View of the Hebrews as a source, critics necessarily reject any limited geography theory proposal for the Book of Mormon.

Roberts rejected the idea that the Book of Mormon was not divine

In 1985, Roberts' manuscripts were published under the title Studies of the Book of Mormon. This book is used by critics to support their claim that B. H. Roberts lost his testimony after performing the study. Roberts, however, clearly continued to publicly support the Book of Mormon until his death, and reaffirmed his testimony both publicly and in print.


Question: What are the similarities and differences between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon?

Examples of parallels and differences

Some parallels do exist between the two books. For example, View of the Hebrews postulates the existence of a civilized and a barbarous nation who were constantly at war with one another, with the civilized society eventually being destroyed by their uncivilized brethren. This has obvious similarities to the story of the Nephites and the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon.

"Parallels" that actually aren't parallels

Many of the "parallels" that are discussed are not actually parallels at all once they are fully examined:

Both speak of... View of the Hebrews Book of Mormon
...the destruction of Jerusalem... ...by the Romans in A.D. 70. ...by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
...Israelites coming to the American continent... ...via dry land across the Bering Strait. ...via the ocean on board a ship.
...colonists spread out to fill the entire land... ...from the North to the South. ...from the South to the North.
...a great lawgiver (whom some assume to be associated with the legend of Quetzalcoatl)... ...who is identified as Moses. ...who is identified as Jesus Christ.
...an ancient book that was preserved for a long time and then buried... ...because they had lost the knowledge of reading it and it would be of no further use to them. [14] ...in order to preserve the writings of prophets for future generations.
...a buried book taken from the earth... ...in the form of four, dark yellow, folded leaves of old parchment.[15] ...in the form of a set of gold metal plates.
...the Egyptian language, since ...an Egyptian influence is present in hieroglyphic paintings made by native Americans.[16] ...a reformed Egyptian was used to record a sacred history.

Parallels that are everywhere

Some "parallels" between the Book of Mormon and View of the Hebrews are actually parallels with the Bible as well:

The Book of Mormon View of the Hebrews The King James Bible
The Book of Mormon tells the story of inspired seers and prophets. View of the Hebrews talks of Indian traditions that state that their fathers were able to foretell the future and control nature. The Bible tells the story of inspired seers and prophets.
The Book of Mormon was translated by means of the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two stones fastened to a breastplate. View of the Hebrews describes a breastplate with two white buttons fastened to it as resembling the Urim and Thummim. The Bible describes the Urim and Thummim as being fastened to a breastplate (Exodus 28:30).

This highlights the fact that general parallels are likely to be found between works that treat the same types of subjects, such as ancient history. In what ancient conflict did one side not see themselves as representing light and civilization against the dark barbarism of their enemies?

"Unparallels"

Critics generally ignore the presence of many "unparallels"—these are elements of Ethan Smith's book which would have provided a rich source of material for Joseph to use in order to persuade his contemporaries that the Book of Mormon was an ancient history of the American Indians, and that they were descended from Israel. Yet, the Book of Mormon consistently ignores such supposed "bulls-eyes," which is good news for proponents of the Book of Mormon's authenticity, since virtually all of Ethan's "evidences" have been judged to be false or misleading.

The lack of such "unparallels" is bad news, however, for anyone wanting to claim that Joseph got his inspiration or information from Ethan Smith.

Scripture use in View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon

If the View of the Hebrews served as the basis for the Book of Mormon, one would think that the Bible scriptures used by Ethan Smith would be mined by Joseph Smith for the Book of Mormon. Yet, this is not the case.

Why was this only discovered later?

No contemporary critic of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon pointed out the supposedly "obvious" connection to the View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon. It is only with the failure of the Spaulding theory that critics began seeking a new naturalistic explanation for Joseph's production of a 500+ book of scripture. As Stephen Ricks notes:

Beyond these "unparallels," there is a further question that must be answered by proponents of the View of the Hebrews hypothesis: why do none of the early critics of the Book of Mormon mention Ethan Smith in their attacks on it? If the parallels are so evident, why weren't they noticed by individuals who were not only acquainted with Ethan Smith's book, but were also existentially interested in its claims? Why wasn't it prominently mentioned as a source for the Book of Mormon until the beginning of the twentieth century, when the book itself had only an antiquarian interest and its contents were no longer so widely a part of popular discussion? My suspicion is that what appear today to be "distinctives" of View of the Hebrews, eschatological and otherwise, seemed less so in the early part of the nineteenth century, when these ideas flowed freely in published and unpublished forums.[17]


Question: Has the book View of the Hebrews been readily available?

Because availability was limited, BYU's Religious Studies Center re-published the 1825 edition of View of the Hebrews in 1996

The View of the Hebrews theory became more popular as the availability of the book itself diminished. The best evidence that argues against View of the Hebrews as the primary source for the Book of Mormon is a reading of the text itself, yet the ability to access that text had become more difficult over the years. In order to provide the interested reader with the ability to decide for themselves, BYU's Religious Studies Center re-published the 1825 edition of View of the Hebrews in 1996.[18] It is also available at wikisource.


Response to claim: "Joseph likely grew up reading the book The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain, by Gilbert J. Hunt...evidence shows unmistakable similarities"=

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

Joseph likely grew up reading the book The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain, by Gilbert J. Hunt; published in New York in 1816. Much like Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews, evidence shows unmistakable similarities.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The "staggering" parallels aren't so "astounding" once you take a closer look at them. The critic scours a book in order to extract similar phrases, then declares that this proves that this book was a source for the Book of Mormon.

Jump to Detail:

Logical Fallacy: Texas Sharpshooter—The author located some pattern in the data that he or she believes was the cause of something else, despite the lack of any supporting connection, and asserted that this was, in fact, the actual cause.

In this case, the critic scours a book in order to extract similar phrases, then declares that this proves that this book was a source for the Book of Mormon.

YouTube Video Response: "Letter to a CES Director: A Closer Look - CES Letter 15 to 17 Late War" by Brian Hales.

Question: Did Joseph Smith plagiarize passages from Gilbert Hunt's book The Late War, between the United States and Great Britain, from June, 1812, to February, 1815?

An assumption is being made that Joseph Smith must have read Gilbert Hunt's The Late War in the absence of any evidence to support it

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, in "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," (http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/) propose a number of parallel sentence structures between Gilbert Hunt's book The Late War and the Book of Mormon. The authors conclude that Joseph Smith read Hunt's book while in school (without any actual evidence that Joseph ever actually saw the book). They base this conclusion upon the assumption that the book was widely available, and therefore Joseph must have read it. Hence, they conclude that Joseph constructed the Book of Mormon by using structural elements of The Late War. The evidence is presented as a series of comparisons between the Book of Mormon and The Late War.

Seventy-five of the parallels identified as significant between the two texts came from the Copyright statements of the two books

Seventy-five of the parallels identified as significant between the two texts came from the Copyright statement. Why? Because the copyright statement was a fill-in-the-blank form. It had a certain set of language that was standardized for the period. So books copyrighted in the same general area at the same general time, such at The Late War and the Book of Mormon, would have nearly identical copyright statements. And this study found 75 parallels between the two. This shouldn't surprise us, because of course, both books had copyright statements that were reliant on a common source. And we can see from this dense material that there is a relationship between the two. But anyone who actually looks at the texts will also see that this has nothing to do with what might be termed the creative content in each work.

Most of the similarities occur simply because both The Late War and the Book of Mormon use the language of the King James Bible

Most of the similarities occur because they both use the language of the King James Bible. For both, the language choice seems like a stylistic decision (and not determined by the content). And in fact, the Book of Mormon quotes from Isaiah a couple of dozen chapters. This creates a relationship between the Bible and both of these books. The computer model doesn't have a way of separating style or word choice from content and meaning (and both texts can use the same phrase in different ways). We have to read it to realize that while one is simply copying the Bible (mining it for phrases), the other is creating theological discussion by taking a passage and expanding on it. 2 Nephi 2 quotes from Genesis about Adam and Eve, and then goes from there to provide commentary and discussion about the theology involved. The Late War may use the language or even quote from the Old Testament, but it never goes through commentary and theological discussion. That isn't its purpose. Sometimes the same passages get used. The Late War makes references to a specific battle and describes it as a David versus Goliath encounter. The Book of Mormon uses the David and Goliath narrative in an allusion to the Old Testament. They are very, very different ways of using the Old Testament text - even if on the surface, they use the same bit of material. All of this is important because if The Late War served as a model, or lent its language, we would expect perhaps to see other things influenced by it as well. And, we don't. But the computer model isn't capable of judging the quality of the parallels being offered.

The authors employ a fallacy that is called the Texas Marksman (or the Texas Bulls Eye)

The authors of the study present us these lists of similarities. In presenting this list, we get presented with a fallacy that is called the Texas Marksman (or the Texas Bulls Eye). Essentially, the way the reference works is that you shoot a bunch of rounds into the side of your barn, and then you go up to the holes and paint your target around them (giving you the best and tightest clustering). Usually, the way these models work in accepted applications is that you start by testing the model in situations where you already know the outcome. That way, you can see how reliable your new model is. And if it is highly reliable in known cases, then you can start cautiously applying it to unknown models (you don't create your own target this way).

By intuiting that it must be right, this model used with The Late War simply skipped the testing part. But this created one of the biggest obvious problems with the theory. They didn't stop with the Book of Mormon. They ran a test on a Jane Austin novel, and found a source (a relatively unknown book from 1810). Why is this important? Austin was a prolific writer, sending thousands of letters during her lifetime detailing what she was reading, her influences, writing about her writing, and so on. We have a huge body of literature devoted to dealing with her writing (she was one of the most important writers of the period). So when you have a statistical model that produces a brand new source, not noticed by anyone previously, not mentioned in any of her letters, and so on - there ought to be a bit of a red flag raised. But there wasn't. Had this theory been introduced to academic literary theorists - this would have been the major point of dispute (since they don't really care about the Book of Mormon). Did this model really find a previously unknown and unidentified source of Jane Austin's work? Or did it simply create the illusion of doing this by painting a bulls eye after clustering its data? I am pretty confident it was the second option here. (As a side note, discovering a new source for Jane Austin would be a thesis significant sort of discovery).


Question: Does Gilbert Hunt's The Late War talk of 2000 "striplings" who go to war?

Critics' comparison: It is noted that both books talk of two thousand young men who went to war [19]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, Alma 53:18-20: two thousand of those young men ... to defend their country. ... they took their weapons of war, ... were all young men, and they were exceeding valiant for courage, ...[20]
  • The Late War 35:5-6: two thousand hardy men, who ... fought freely for their country ... Now the men of war ... were ... men of dauntless courage.

The authors note that "The Late War does not include the phrase 'stripling soldiers' like the Book of Mormon; however, it does share the same context as the distinctive Book of Mormon story: striplings in battle, including a band of 2,000 courageous soldiers who volunteer in a desperate fight for the freedom of their country against an oppressive king (Amalickiah / King George III)."[21]

Full context comparison: "striplings" are not mentioned in connection with the Late War's "two thousand hardy men"

This passage from the Late War does not mention "striplings" or "stripling soldiers".

Alma 53:18-22:

18 Now behold, there were two thousand of those young men, who entered into this covenant and took their weapons of war to defend their country.

19 And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support; for they took their weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should be their leader.

20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.

22 And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand stripling soldiers, to the support of the people in the borders of the land on the south by the west sea.

The Late War Chapter 35 (p.126):

5 Immediately Jackson took two thousand hardy men, who were called volunteers, because they had, unsolicited, offered their services to their country, and led them against the savages.

6 Now the men of war who followed after him were mostly from the state of Tennessee, and men of dauntless courage.

The 1828 Webster's dictionary definition for the word "stripling" simply means "a youth in the state of adolescence"

From Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary:

STRIPLING, n. [from strip, stripe; primarily a tall slender youth, one that shoots up suddenly. ] A youth in the state of adolescence, or just passing from

The word "stripling" has no particular association with war or warriors. It simply refers to an adolescent

In order to find the word "stripling," one must go to back to Chapter 19:32, or Chapter 28:2:

The Late War Chapter 19 (p. 69):

32 About this time, a stripling from the south, with his weapon of war in his hand, ran up to Zebulon, and spake unto him, saying

The Late War, Chapter 28 (p. 99):

2 And the vessels of war of Columbia that were upon the waters of the lake were not yet prepared for the battle; the name of their commander was M'Donough, a stripling.



Question: Are there similarities between the description of forts in the Book of Mormon and Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: Ditches, fortifications and strongholds

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, Alma 49:20-25: [men] were prepared, with their swords and their slings, to smite ... with an immense slaughter ... ditches ...filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded.
  • The Late War 29:20-23: [men] were prepared ... and they let loose their weapons of war ... and smote ... with great slaughter. And the deep ditch that surrounded the fort was strewed with their slain and their wounded.

And

  • Book of Mormon, Alma 49,52: it came to pass ... on the tenth day of the month ... the Nephites had dug a ridge of earth ... so high [...] round about ... the city ... And ... built a strong hold ...
  • The Late War 51: it came to pass ... on the tenth day of the eighth month ... the people began to fortify ... and entrench the high places round about the city. And ... build their strong holds ...

One critic states that both books talk about "Fortifications: 'the people began to fortify themselves and entrench the high Places round about the city.'"[22]

Full context comparison of Alma 49:20-22 with The Late War 29:20-21

Alma 49:20-22

20 Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites.

21 And it came to pass that the captains of the Lamanites brought up their armies before the place of entrance, and began to contend with the Nephites, to get into their place of security; but behold, they were driven back from time to time, insomuch that they were slain with an immense slaughter.

22 Now when they found that they could not obtain power over the Nephites by the pass, they began to dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight; but behold, in these attempts they were swept off by the stones and arrows which were thrown at them; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.

The Late War Chapter 29 (p. 104) off-site:

20 But the men of Croghan were prepared for them; and they let loose their weapons of war upon them, and set their destroying engine to work, and smote the men of Britain, hip and thigh, with great slaughter.

21 And the deep ditch that surrounded the fort was strewed with their slain and their wounded.

Alma 49: talks of the Nephites digging a "ridge of earth" to prevent stones and arrows from reaching them

1 And now it came to pass in the eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month, the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land of Ammonihah.

2 ...Skipped

3 ...Skipped

4 But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug up a ridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of entrance.

5 ....Skipped

6 ....Skipped

7 ....Skipped

8 ....Skipped

9 ....Skipped

10 Now, if king Amalickiah had come down out of the land of Nephi, at the head of his army, perhaps he would have caused the Lamanites to have attacked the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah; for behold, he did care not for the blood of his people.

11 But behold, Amalickiah did not come down himself to battle. And behold, his chief captains durst not attack the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah, for Moroni had altered the management of affairs among the Nephites, insomuch that the Lamanites were disappointed in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them.

Alma 50 ...Skipped

Alma 51 ...Skipped

Alma 52 ...Skipped

Alma 53:6 talks of the Nephites building a "stronghold" to keep prisoners

6 And it came to pass that Moroni had thus gained a victory over one of the greatest of the armies of the Lamanites, and had obtained possession of the city of Mulek, which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus he had also built a stronghold to retain his prisoners.

The Late War 51 (p. 199-201) talks of "entrenching" the "high places" around the city and building "strong holds" off-site

3 So it came to pass, that the husbandmen from the surrounding country gathered together, and pitched their tents hard by the city.

4 ...Skipped

5 ...Skipped

6 ...Skipped

7 ...Skipped

8 Moreover, on the tenth day of the eighth month, in the eighteen hundred and fourteenth year, the inhabitants assembled together in the midst of the city, even in a place called the Park, where the Federal Hall, a superb edifice, rears its majestic front; within the walls of which the wise men, the expounders of the law, preside, and deliberate for the benefit of the people.

9 ...Skipped

10 ...Skipped

11 ...Skipped

12 ...Skipped

13 ...Skipped

14 So the people began to fortify themselves and entrench the high places round about the city.

15 And when they went out in its defence, to build their strong holds and to raise up their battlements; lo! the steam-boats of Fulton conveyed them thither, about a thousand at a time, even towards the heights of Brooklyn in the east, and the heights of Haerlem in the north.

Gilbert Hunt's The Late War, pages 199-201


Question: Was the Book of Mormon description of the Liahona derived from Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: Both books are said to describe a ball shaped object made of brass of "curious" workmanship[23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 16:10: a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles
  • The Late War 50:24: made partly of brass ... with curious works, like unto a clock; and as it were a large ball.

One critic has interpreted this to mean that both books describe "Objects made 'partly of brass and partly of iron, and were cunningly contrived with curious works, like unto a clock; and as it were a large ball.'"[24]

1 Nephi 16:10 talks of a "round ball of curious workmanship made of fine brass" while The Late War 50:27 talks of "mighty evil things" called "torpedoes" like a "large ball" made "partly of brass" with "curious works" used for blowing up ships

1 Nephi 16:10

10 And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.

The Late War Chapter 50 (p. 195) off-site

27 Yea, these are mighty evil things, and they are called torpedoes, which may be said to signify sleeping devils; which come, as a thief in the night, to destroy the servants of the king; and were contrived by that arch fiend, whose name was Fulton.

28 Now these wonderful torpedoes were made partly of brass and partly of iron, and were cunningly contrived with curious works, like unto a clock; and as it were a large ball.

29 And, after they were prepared, and a great quantity of the black dust put therein, they were let down into the water, night unto the strong ships, with intent to destroy them;

Gilbert Hunt's The Late War page 195


Question: Does the Book of Mormon mention "polished steel" of "fine workmanship" as described in Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: It is noted that both books mention "steel" and "fine workmanship" in the same paragraph [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

One critic of the Church seems to find the phrase "“Their polished steels of fine workmanship" in The Late War to be somehow indicative that the Book of Mormon copied this concept, despite the fact that the Book of Mormon never mentions this.[25]

The Book of Mormon speaks of "fine workmanship of wood," while The Late War talks of "polished steels of fine workmanship"

Jarom 1:8:

8 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.

The Late War Chapter 54 (p. 216) off-site:

7 Their polished steels, of fine workmanship, glittered in the sun, and the movement of their sqadrons was as the waving of a wheat-field, when the south wind passeth gently over it.


Question: Does the Book of Mormon, like Gilbert Hunt's The Late War, talk of "freemen who came to the defence of the city, built strong holds and forts, and raised up fortifications in abundance"?

Critics' comparison: The word "freemen" appears in both books [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

Alma 51:6:

6 And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.

Alma 60:25:

25 And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom, and strive to strengthen and fortify our armies, and grant unto them food for their support, behold I will leave a part of my freemen to maintain this part of our land, and I will leave the strength and the blessings of God upon them, that none other power can operate against them—

The Late War 51 (p. 200) off-site

7 Nevertheless, it was so that the freemen who came to the defence of the city, built strong holds and forts, and raised up fortifications in abundance, inasmuch as the whole place was as it were one camp.

The Late War 38:26-27 (p. 141) off-site

26 Nevertheless, David said unto the captains of the king, Come singly, and not like cowards, upon me; then shall ye receive the thunders of the freemen of Columbia abundantly;

27 And her liberty shall not suffer, although in the contest ye may destroy my vessel upon the face of the waters.

The Late War 48:12 (p. 180) off-site:

With the spirit of freemen, they grasped their weapons of war in their hands, and went out to meet them without fear; resolved to conquer or to die.

The "freemen" of the Book of Mormon did not build fortifications

One critic of the Church notes the phrase “Nevertheless, it was so that the freeman came to the defence of the city, built strong holds and forts and raised up fortifications in abundance" as indicative of some connection to the Book of Mormon. [26] However, the Book of Mormon passages referring to "freemen" (as opposed to "king men") say nothing about them building fortifications.

The word "freemen" was used in Colonial times

Wikipedia "Freemen (Colonial)":

Freeman is a term which originated in 12th-century Europe and was common as an English or American Colonial expression in Puritan times. In the Bay Colony, a man had to be a member of the Church to be a freeman. In Colonial Plymouth, a man did not need to be a member of the Church, but he had to be elected to this privilege by the General Court. Being a freeman carried with it the right to vote, and by 1632 only freemen could vote in Plymouth.[1]


Question: Were the Three Nephites of the Book of Mormon based upon three of the "lying prophets among the savages" in Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: three "Indian prophets" are compared to the "three disciples of Jesus who should tarry [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

3 Nephi 28:4 talks of "the three disciples of Jesus" while The Late War talks of "three of the Indian prophets" who were among the "lying prophets among the savages"

3 Nephi 28:4:

4 And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?

4 Nephi 1:37:

37 Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites.

The Late War 35 (p. 128) off-site

19 And he marched with his army through the wilderness more than an hundred miles, to a town built upon a place called by the savages the Holy-Ground, where three of the Indian prophets dwelt.

20 Now there were lying prophets among the savages, even as there were in the days of old, among the children of Israel; and they prophesied according to their own wishes;

21 And those of shallow understanding believed them, and were led into a snare, whereby their whole tribe was night being destroyed.

It seems unlikely that Joseph Smith would base the idea of three righteous disciples on the story of three "lying prophets among the savages"

One critic of the Church points to the presence of "Three Indian Prophets" and "False Indian prophets" as evidence of similarity between the Book of Mormon and The Late War.[27]

It seems unlikely that Joseph Smith would base three righteous disciples of Jesus Christ, who would remain on earth until Christ's return in a manner similar to the Apostle John, on three "lying prophets among the savages" who "prophesied according to their own wishes."


Question: Is there significance to the fact that both the Book of Mormon and Gilbert Hunt's The Late War mention a "rod of iron"?

Critics' comparison, quoting John Tvedtnes, notes a possessive or descriptive relationship between two nouns[23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

The critics quote Latter-day Saint researcher John Tvedtnes:

When English shows a possessive or descriptive relationship between two nouns, it usually puts the possessive or descriptive noun first: the king's house or wood house. Hebrew, however, uses the opposite order: house the king (which would usually be translated house of the king) or house wood (house of wood). If the Hebrew word order is kept in the English translation, the word of must be added, even though it does not exist in the Hebrew. The Book of Mormon contains a large number of what appear to be translations from the Hebrew preserving the Hebrew word order: — The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon, by John A. Tvedtnes

1 Nephi 8:19:

19 And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.

The Late War 3 (p. 15) off-site

3 Then will we rule them with a rod of iron; and they shall be, unto us, hewers of wood and drawers of water.

The phrase "rule them with a rod of iron" actually comes from the Bible, and the phrasing of The Late War is intentionally biblical

Revelation 2:27

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Revelation 12:5

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Revelation 19:15

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Psalms even talks of "breaking" someone with a rod of iron:

Psalms 2:9

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Of course, the Book of Mormon's use of the phrase "rod of iron" has nothing to do with ruling over or "breaking" anyone.


Question: Do both the Book of Mormon and Gilbert Hunt's The Late War talk about people maintaining a "standard of liberty"?

Critics' comparison: It is claimed that the two books talk of people "flocking" to a "standard" [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, Alma 61-62: sent a proclamation throughout ... the land; ... And it came to pass that thousands did flock unto his standard [of liberty] ... they ... went down with their armies ... against the ...
  • The Late War 6-7: sent forth a Proclamation, ... abroad ... And it came to pass, that a great multitude flocked to the ... standard of Columbia...they came in battle array against the ...

One critic interprets this to mean that both books speak of "Maintaining the standard of liberty with righteousness," and sees some sort of connection in "And it came to pass, that a great multitude flocked to the banners of the great Sanhedrim" compared to Alma 62:5: "And it came to pass that thousands did flock unto his standard, and did take up their swords in defense of their freedom…" [28]

Full context comparison

Alma 61:6

6 And behold, I have sent a proclamation throughout this part of the land; and behold, they are flocking to us daily, to their arms, in the defence of their country and their freedom, and to avenge our wrongs.

7-21 ...Skipped

Alma 62:5

1-4 ...Skipped

5 And it came to pass that thousands did flock unto his standard, and did take up their swords in the defence of their freedom, that they might not come into bondage.

6 ...Skipped

7 And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle.

The Late War Chapter 6-7 (p. 24-25) off-site

11 From this place, he sent forth a proclamation, which the great Sanhedrim had prepared for him; and the wisdom thereof appeareth even unto this day.

12 ...Skipped

13 Now in the proclamation which Hull published abroad, he invited the people of the province of Canada to join themselves to the host of Columbia, who were come to drive the servants of the king from their borders.

14 And it came to pass, that a great multitude flocked to the banners of the great Sanhedrim.

15 ...Skipped

16 ...Skipped

17 And when the husbandmen of the province of Canada, who had joined the standard of Columbia, learned those things, they wept bitterly; for they were left behind.

18 ...Skipped

19 ...Skipped

Chapter 7, 1 Now the host of the king were few in numbers; nevertheless, they came in battle array against the strong hold of William.

"that a great multitude flocked to the ... standard of Columbia" is actually "that a great multitude flocked to the banners of the great Sanhedrim"

One has to cover quite a bit of ground in order to make this comparison. Even so, the comparison of people "flocking" to a "standard" of liberty in The Late War is forced.

Pages 24 and 25 from Gilbert Hunt's The Late War


Question: Could Gilbert Hunt's The Late War have given Joseph Smith the idea of using brass plates as a way of recording information?

Critics' comparison: Both books mention engraving a record on metal [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

3 Nephi 10:17 talks of "plates of brass" while 'The Late War 31:33 talks of "imaginary evils" that are "graven in brass" and "good deeds" that are "graven in sand"

3 Nephi 10:17

17 Behold, our father Jacob also testified concerning a remnant of the seed of Joseph. And behold, are not we a remnant of the seed of Joseph? And these things which testify of us, are they not written upon the plates of brass which our father Lehi brought out of Jerusalem?

The Late War 36 (p. 134) off-site

26 But the imaginary evils which the children of men commit are oftentimes graven in brass, whilst their actual good deeds are written in sand.

1 Nephi 19:1 talks of "engraven" records and Mosiah 21:27 talks of records "engraven on plates of ore" while The Late War talks of a "silver plate" with "gravings thereon"

1 Nephi 19:1

1 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people. And upon the plates which I made I did engraven the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father; and also many of mine own prophecies have I engraven upon them.

Mosiah 21:27

27 And they brought a record with them, even a record of the people whose bones they had found; and it was engraven on plates of ore.

The Late War 31 (p. 112) off-site

33 Likewise, the people gave him much silver plate, with gravings thereon, mentioning his deeds.

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

The Late War does not speak of "brass plates"

One critic of the Church misinterprets this data to mean that both books talk about "Brass plates". [29] Although both books talk of "engraving" records, The Late War makes no mention of "brass plates".


Question: Was the Book of Mormon description of a cataclysm at the time of Christ's death derived from a similar description in Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: It is claimed that both books describe "cataclysms" [30]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 8: ...thunder, ... did shake the whole earth ... cities were sunk, and ... the face of the whole earth... could feel the vapor of darkness ... so that ... for the space of three days, that there was no light seen; ... great destruction had come upon them.
  • The Late War 19:37-44: ...thunders: ... as the mighty earthquake, which overturneth cities. And the whole face of the earth ... overshadowed with black smoke; so that, for a time, one man saw not another: ... sharp rocks had fallen upon them:

One critic claims that both books describe "cataclysmic earthquake followed by great darkness"[31]

Full context comparison: The critics' source material for this particular extraction of text from the Book of Mormon covers 17 verses

3 Nephi 8:6-23:

6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.

7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

8 And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.

9 And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.

10 And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain.

11 And there was a great and terrible destruction in the land southward.

12 But behold, there was a more great and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;

13 And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.

14 And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.

15 And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.

16 And there were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.

17 And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.

18 And behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land.

19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.

20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness;

21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;

22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.

23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them.

The Late War Chapter 19 (p. 69-70) appears to describe the explosion of an ammunition magazine, which is compared to the effects of an earthquake

37 But as the young man returned to where the army stayed, behold! the black dust in the hold caught fire, and it rent the air with the noise of a thousand thunders:

38 And the whole army fell down upon their faces to the earth; and the stones, and the fragments of rocks, were lifted high; and the falling thereof was terrible even unto death.

39 Yea, it was dreadful as the mighty earthquake, which overturneth cities.

40 And the whole face of the earth round about, and the army of Zebulon, were overshadowed with black smoke; so that, for a time, one man saw not another:

41 But when the heavy clouds of smoke passed away towards the west, behold the earth was covered with the killed and the wounded.

42 Alas! the sight was shocking to behold; as the deed was ignoble.

43 About two hundred men rose not: the stones had bruised them; the sharp rocks had fallen upon them:

44 They were wedged into the earth: their weapons of war were beat down into the ground with them; their feet were turned towards heaven; their limbs were lopped off.


Question: Does the Book of Mormon phrase "curious workmanship" originate from Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: It is claimed that both books mention weapons of war of “curious workmanship” [32]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Book of Mormon, Ether 10:27: And ... weapons of war ... of exceedingly curious workmanship
  • The Late War 19:13: And ... weapons of war were of curious workmanship

Full context comparison: The Book of Mormon does not talk of weapons of war of curious workmanship

Ether 10:27:

27 And they did make all manner of weapons of war. And they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship.

The Late War Chapter 19 (p. 67):

13 And their weapons of war were of curious workmanship, and they sent forth balls of lead; such as were unknown to Pharaoh when he followed the Children of Israel down into the red sea.

Note that the Book of Mormon mentions weapons, and then mentions additional objects that were of "curious workmanship." The Late War, on the other hand, is describing weapons of war (in this case guns that fire "balls of lead") as being perceived to be of "curious workmanship." The presentation of the Book of Mormon passage, however, is altered by the critics to make it appear that the Book of Mormon is talking about "weapons of war....of exceedingly curious workmanship." This is done in an attempt to enhance the perceived similarity of the passages.

The Bible speaks of "curious works" and describes "curious" objects

In Exodus 35:32 we read:

And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass.

The Bible also describes at least one object as being "curious" in Exodus 28:8 and Exodus 39:5. Exodus 28:8:

And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

Exodus 39:5:

And the curious girdle of his ephod, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work thereof; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; as the Lord commanded Moses.


Question: Is Gilbert Hunt's phrase "the fourth day of this seventh month" in The Late War a source for the Book of Mormon phrase "the fourth day of this seventh month" in Alma 10:6?

Critics' comparison: The "4th of July" appears in the Book of Mormon and the Late War, "the fourth day of the seventh month..." [33]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  • Alma 10:6: the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.
  • The Late War 26:1: the fourth day of the seventh month, which is the birth day of Columbian Liberty and Independence,

This is typical biblical phraseology, and it is not at all unique to The Late War

  • Zechariah 7:1: And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
  • Nehemiah 9:1: Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
  • 2 Kings 25:3: And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
  • 2 Chronicles 29:17: Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord: so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
  • Ezra 7:9: For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.
  • Exodus 40:2: On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
  • 2 Chronicles 3:2: And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
  • 2 Kings 25:3: And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
  • Joshua 4:19: And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
  • Leviticus 25:9: Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
  • Ezra 8:31: Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

There is nothing unique about the "4th of July" in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon also mentions other dates in the same manner:

  • The 3rd of July is mentioned in Alma 56:42: But it came to pass that they did not pursue us far before they halted; and it was in the morning of the third day of the seventh month.
  • The 5th of February is mentioned in Alma 16:1: And it came to pass in the eleventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, on the fifth day of the second month, there having been much peace in the land of Zarahemla, there having been no wars nor contentions for a certain number of years, even until the fifth day of the second month in the eleventh year, there was a cry of war heard throughout the land.


Question: Does Gilbert Hunt's The Late War describe "Boats and barges built from trees after the fashion of the ark"?

Critics' comparison: The presence of the words "barges," "vessels," "windows," "whale," and "ark" are noted in both books [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

Ether 2:16-17 states that the Jaredite "barges" were "the length of a tree" while The Late War 52:4 talks of "the barges of the king's ship"

Ether 2:16-17

16 And the Lord said: Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord. And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water. 17 And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish.

The Late War 52:4, , (p. 206) off-site

4 Now they sat their engines to work with dreadful violence; but in about the third part of an hour the barges of the king's ship were overcome; and more than three score and ten of the men of Britian were slain and maimed: the loss in the privateer was six slain, and about a score wounded.

Ether 2:24 states that the boat shall be as a "whale in the midst of the sea" while The Late War 15:30 states that the "mighty whales" shall flee from "the noise of the explosion"

Ether 2:24

24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.

The Late War 15:30 (p. 54) off-site

30 And the fish of the sea, even the mighty whales, fled from the noise of the explosion.

Ether 6:7 states that the boats were "tight like unto the ark of Noah" while the The Late War, emulating Genesis, states that the boats were "pitched...within and without with pitch" similar to the ark

Ether 6:7

7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.

The Late War 27 (p. 98) off-site

12 Howsoever, they cut down the tall trees of the forest, and hewed them, and built many more strong vessels; although they had no gophar-wood amongst them in these days.

13 And they made stories to them, even to the third story, and they put windows in them, and they pitched them within and without with pitch; after the fashion of the ark.

This passage in The Late War is obviously patterned after the account in Genesis 6:14, which talks of making the ark out of "gopher wood" and covering it "within and without with pitch":

Genesis 6:14

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

So does The Late War talk of "boats and barges built from trees after the fashion of the ark"?

One critic of the Church claims that The Late War and the Book of Mormon share a similarity in that both books mention "boats and barges built from trees after the fashion of the ark." [34] However, the account in The Late War is most definitely patterned after the account of Genesis, with the description of "pitching" the boats "within and without with pitch". The Book of Mormon states that the Jaredite barges were "tight" like the ark of Noah, but does not state how they were made "tight".

With regard to the boats being constructed out of trees, we would venture to say that practically all boats of that era were constructed out of wood. However, the Book of Mormon's mention of "trees" is simply an estimate of the boat's length rather than the material from which it was constructed. The Late War, on the other hand, deliberately uses the Biblical reference to "gopher-wood".


Question: Was the Book of Mormon phrase "it came to pass" derived from Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: The phrase "it came to pass" is more common in the The Late War than in the Bible [23]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

The density of the phrase "it came to pass" in the Book of Luke alone is higher than that of The Late War at 0.156% to 0.205%

One critic of the church believes that the presence of "A bunch of “it came to pass”" phrases in The Late War is evidence that Joseph used this phrase in the Book of Mormon. [35] There are 1297 occurrences of the phrase "it came to pass" in the Book of Mormon, while there are 387 occurrences of "it came to pass" in the Old Testament and 65 occurrences in the New Testament. In the Book of Luke alone there are 40 usages of the phrase "it came to pass" out of 19482 to 25600 words (depending upon the source of the figure). If one rejects the divine origin of the Book of Mormon and is looking for an external influence, the Book of Luke is much more likely than The Late War. Using the Johnsons' method of calculating the density of the phrase, the Book of Luke produces a density value of 0.156% to 0.205%, the upper value of which is almost twice as high as that of The Late War.

Moreover, Gilbert Hunt's The Late War was deliberately written in the "biblical style," and therefore purposely uses the phrase "it came to pass" frequently. There really isn't any reason to believe that Joseph, if he were actually the author of the Book of Mormon, would have been more likely to have picked up the phrase from The Late War than from the Bible itself. When translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph dictated in language that he was familiar with, and we certainly know that Joseph read the New Testament.


Response to claim: "The First Book of Napoleon is also strikingly similar to The Book of Mormon"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

Author, Michael Linning, a Scottish writer for Her Majesty’s Signet, published The First Book of Napoleon in 1809, a pseudo-biblical work, under the pen name Eliakim the Scribe. The First Book of Napoleon is also strikingly similar to The Book of Mormon.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The spin: The First Book of Napoleon only looks similar to the Book of Mormon if you look at the heavily edited paragraphs presented by the critics. One has to examine over 25 pages in The First Book of Napoleon in order to assemble the phrases that critics claim match the Book of Mormon, including pulling phrases from the Table of Contents and the first three chapters. This is hardly the "beginning" of the First Book of Napoleon.

Jump to Detail:

Logical Fallacy: Texas Sharpshooter—The author located some pattern in the data that he or she believes was the cause of something else, despite the lack of any supporting connection, and asserted that this was, in fact, the actual cause.

In this case, the critic scours a book in order to extract similar phrases, then declares that this proves that this book was a source for the Book of Mormon.

Question: Was the beginning of the Book of Mormon derived from The First Book of Napoleon?

Some critics of Mormonism postulate that the first part of the Book of Mormon was derived from The First Book of Napoleon, a 19th century book that was written in Biblical style

One individual makes the following claim, [36]

Another fascinating book published in 1809, The First Book of Napoleon, is shocking....The following are a side-by-side comparison of the beginning of The First Book of Napoleon with the beginning of the Book of Mormon: The First Book of Napoleon:

Condemn not the (writing)...an account...the First Book of Napoleon...upon the face of the earth...it came to pass...the land...their inheritances their gold and silver and...the commandments of the Lord...the foolish imaginations of their hearts...small in stature...Jerusalem...because of the perverse wickedness of the people.

Book of Mormon:

Condemn not the (writing)...an account...the First Book of Nephi...upon the face of the earth...it came to pass...the land...his inheritance and his gold and his silver and...the commandments of the Lord...the foolish imaginations of his heart...large in stature...Jerusalem...because of the wickedness of the people.

Note 1: The rendition above of phrases from the First Book of Napoleon is incorrect. The correct version follows:

The First Book of Napoleon:

Condemn not the (writing)...an account...the First Book of Napoleon...upon the face of the earth...it came to pass...the land...their inheritances, their gold and silver...the commandments of the Lord...the foolish imaginations of their hearts...small in stature...Jerusalem...the wickedness and perverseness of the people

Note 2: The first phrase in the Book of Mormon list is not referring to "writing" as indicated above. The phrase is:
Book of Mormon:

wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

Not so "shocking": In order to make these paragraphs look similar, you have to go through the first 25 pages of The First Book of Napoleon (extracted text is highlighted in blue)

The locations in the First Book of Napoleon from which the critics extract their text in an attempt to make it appear similar to the Book of Mormon

ELIAKIM’S ADDRESS TO HIS READERS.

Charitable and Gentle Reader! To thee the Author of this book has little to say, thy attributes being the godlike virtues of meekness and charity. Pious and Religious Reader! Let not thy feelings be offended, and withhold thy censure, until thou shalt find in these pages a single sentiment inconsistent with the spirit and principles of that holy religion which thou professes; and condemn not the feebly imitative manner of writing therein occasionally employed, until thou canst point out a language more impressive, or more appropriate, than that in imitation whereof these chapters are framed.

Readers in general! Take warning from the awful examples, and profit by the whole-

Some admonitions therein contained, and believe that they are truly intended for you good and welfare. Napoleon if, peradventure, this little volume should ever reach thee, may its truths sink deep into thine heart, and remember in the midst of the torrents of blood thy guilty ambition is shedding, and the ruin and desolation it is spreading far and wide, that thou are a mortal man; and one day, perhaps ere long, thy soul shall be required of thee, and an account of all thy deeds, by that omnipotent, unerring, and upright Being, who, as he made and governeth, so in like manner shall he judge the world.

King of the Albions! Of whom mention is made in thee pages, be assured, that the effusions of loyalty to thy person, and admiration of thy virtues, which they contain, are those not of the author only, but of a brave, affectionate, and dutiful people.

ELIAKIM

Contents of The First Book of Napoleon.

Chap. I

1. Appearance of an Evil Spirit on the face of the earth, being the forerunner of the Tyrant.-2. It seizeth upon the inhabitants of the land of Gaul.-3. Its progress.-4. The Idolatry of the Gauls.=5. Description and signs of the Beast, or Idol, which this people worshipped. Page 1

Chap. II.

1. The Evil Spirit increaseth.-2. The corrupt tree, and its fruits.-3. It is a cumberer of the ground, and doth not prosper therein; but is cast down, and destroyed. 14 Chap. III.

1. The birth-place of the Tyrant Napoleon.-2. He professeth himself to be a worshipper of the idol.-3. He goeth into the land of Egypt, wageth war, and sojourneth for sometime there.-4. He threateneth Palestine and Jerusalem.-5. He returneth suddenly from thence, destroyeth the first Idol, and putteth himself at the head of the armies of the Gauls.-6. He becometh a mighty Conqueror, powerful in war, and overwhelmeth many of the Kings and Princes of the earth.-7. He is a punishment unto the nations for the wickedness of their ways.-8.- The oppressed cry aloud unto the Lord for relief from the oppressor; but for a season he listeneth not unto them, and hardeneth the Tyrant’s heart, because fo the perverse wickedness of the people. Page 19

Chap. IV.

Character of Napoleon 26

Chap V.

1. Description of the land of Albion, and of the good king that reigneth over the same. – 2. His Throne.-3. Description also of the Tree which had grown and flourished in this Land for many generations, and of the goodly fruits thereof 32

Chap VI.

1. How the people of Albion resisted the temptations of the idol.-2. Are hated by the Gauls, and the tyrant Napoleon, who plotteth their destruction, and sweareth vengeance against them, and their good king Albanus 39

Chap VII.

1. The threats of the Gauls, and of the Tyrant, come to the ears of the Albions, who accordingly make mighty preparations to resist their foes.-2. The people of Albion cleave to their King and native land, and rise as one man to oppose the Tyrant and his hosts, who dread the sea, and the valour of the Albions, by sea and land 46

Chap VIII.

1. The ships of war which carried the army of the Gauls into Egypt, are destroyed in a dreadful battle, by a captain of the navy of King Albanus.-2. The armies of the Albions thereafter defeat those of the Gauls wheresoever they meet.-3. The Albions rescue the land of Egypt from from the Gauls.-4. The chief of the army of the Albions falls in battle.-5. The Gauls are afterwards defeated by the Albions in the land of Calabria 52

Chap. IX.

1. The dominion of the Tyrant extendeth itself upon the face of the earth.-2. He continueth to deceive the Kings and Princes thereof, and the people over whom they reigned.-3. Some are overthrown by open force, others soothed and beguiled, until a convenient season arriveth for their complete and final destruction 56

Chap. X.

1. Wise Counsellors, and mighty Captains of host and of ships, with whom it pleased the Lord to bless King Albanus.-2. He is deprived of some of them by death.-3. Lamentations for their loss Page 65

Chap. XI.

1. The oak Albion.-2. He claimeth the sovereignty of the Wood and of the Flood 72

Chap. XII.

1. The kings and Princes of the earth are warned of the craft and subtleties of the Tyrant.-2. Virtue is recommended as the only secure foundation of the kingdoms of this earth.-3 The solidity of the Empire of Almighty God ascribed, amongst other things, to the sense felt by created existence of the purity and holiness of the Great Governor of all things 75

Chap. XIII.

1. The People of Albion are told of their increasing wickedness and licentiousness, and are admonished accordingly.-2. Their manners are inveighed against, and they are summoned to repentance and amendment of life 82

Chap. XIV.

1. A mighty storm ariseth.-2. The vessel of the State is in danger of perishin.-3. A wise and good Counsellor pilots the vessel and weathers the storm.-4. The vessel is brought into a safe harbor; but the pilot therof dieth, through his endeavours to save the vessel Page 90

Chap. XV.

1. Mode of reforming the Commonwealth recommended.-2. Warnings against violent and dangerous changes.-3. Admonitions to the people of Albion in regard thereto 95

Chap. XV.

1. Mode of reforming the Commonwealth recommended.-2. Warnings against violent and dangerous changes.-3. Admonitions to the people of Albion in regard thereto 95

Chap. XVI.

1. The parable of the Bear and the Monkey.-2. The Monkey is suddenly changed into a Tyger, which devoureth the Bear, and scattereth his flesh and his bones to the winds of heaven 100

Chap. XVII.

The Vision of Eliakim 104

Chap. XVIII.

The Vision Continued 108

Chap. XIX.

The End of the Vision 115

Chap XX.

The warnings and admonitions which the Angle gave in commission, to be delivered unto the King of Albion, and to his first born, and to all the sons and daughter of the King.-2. As also unto the Rulers and Counsellors of the land, and the Judges thereof, and unto all the people who dwell therein Page 120

Chap. XXI.

Admonitions and Warnings to the Priests and Nobles of the land.-2. To the Representatives and Counsellors of the people.-3 To Judges and Magistrates 127

Chap. XXI.

Admonitions to the Matrons and Daughters of Albion. 134

Chap. XXIII.

General admonitions to the people of Albion 140

Conclusion 145

NAPOLEON THE TYRANT BOOK I.

CHAP. I.

1. Appearance of an Evil Spirit on the face of the earth, being the forerunner of the Tyrant-2. It seizeth upon the inhabitants of the land of Gaul.-3. Its progress.-4. The idolatry of the Gauls.-5. Descripton and signs of the Beast, or Idol, which this people worshipped. And behold it came to pass, in these latter days, that an evil spirit arose on the face of the earth, and greatly troubled the sons of men.

And this spirit seized upon, and spread amongst the people who dwell in the land of Gaul. Now, in this people the fear of the Lord had not been for many generations, and they had become a corrupt and perverse people; and their chief priests, and the nobles of the land, and the learned men thereof, had become wicked in the imaginations of their hearts, and in the practices of their lives. And the evil spirit went abroad amongst the people, and they raged like unto the heathen, and they rose up against their lawful king, and slew him, and his queen also, and the prince their son; yea, verily, with a cruel and bloody death.

And they moreover smote, with mighty wrath, the king’s guards, and banished the priests, and nobles of the land, and seized upon, and took unto themselves, their inheritances, their gold and silver, corn and oil, and whatsoever belonged unto them. Now it came to pass, that the nation of the Gauls continue to be sorely troubled and vexed, and the evil spirit whispered unto the people, even unto the meanest and vilest thereof, that all men being born equal, were free to act, each one according to the imaginations and devices of his own heart, without the fear of God, or the control of the lawful rulers of the land.

And lo! This foolish and wicked counsel of evil designing men, being seemly, and well-pleasing in the sight of the multitude, they raged furiously against all principalities and powers; and having slain the good king whom the Lord had appointed to rule over them, and to administer justice unto them; they moreover sought to overthrow and destroy the kings and rulers over the other nations of the earth, and made war upon them; and stirred up the people of those nations in like manner to wage war against the lawful rulers of the lands, wherein they had been appointed to dwell.

Now, it so happened, that the evil spirit stirred up every one to seek his own exaltation, by humbling and debasing those whom God had made superior to him, in mind, body, and estate.

And while this spirit raged in Gaul, the curse of God was upon the land, and bloodshed, murder, and rapine, and all manner of blasphemy, wickedness, and uncleanness, prevailed amongst the people thereof.

And they not only despised the commandments of the Lord, but also blasphemed the name of the only true and living God, and they made idols and false gods to themselves, and fell down and worshipped them.

And lo and behold, the chief idol, which this wicked and perverse people set up and worshipped, was like unto a beast, although made somewhat after the image of a man.

And out of the head of the beast there arose three horns, and upon each of the horns there were written these words, SEDITION, PRIVY CONSPIRACY, and REBELLION; and on the forehead of the beast, and under the horns, there were written, in letters of blood, the words TREASONS and CRIMES.

And from the eyes of the beast there proceeded flashes of devouring fire, and its jaws and throat were like unto the mouth of hell, and from its tongue there issued cursings and blasphemings.

And upon the breast of the beast, there were written these words, IRRELIGION, INFIDELITY, and TUMULT.

And in its right hand, it held an emblem of fire and sword, and in its left, an emblem of rapine and murder.

And upon the feet of the beast, there were brazen sandals, like unto those worn by men, and upon the sandal of the right foot, there was engraven, in letters of brass, TERROR and DISMAY; and upon the sandal of the left foot, BLOOD and FAMINE, signifying, that wheresoever the beast established itself, or trode, those direful evils would afflict the land.

And behold, the name of the idol was called LICENTIOUSNESS.

And lo! A loud and warning voice, proceeding as it were from the heavens on high, was heard upon the earth beneath, saying, “Beware, O man, of the exceeding great vileness and abominations of the beast or idol herein described, for upon the followers and worshippers thereof, there shall descend justice, and divers and direful judgments.”

CHAP. II

1. The evil spirit increaseth.-2. The corrupt tree, and its fruits.-3. It is a cumberer of the ground, and doth not prosper therein: but is cast down, and destroyed.

And the evil spirit continued to spread itself amonst the nations of the earth, and they were sorely afflicted, and troubled therewith.

And the idolatry of the beast in like manner prevailed among the sons of men, and it pleased the Lord to deliver the worshippers thereof into the hands of the Gauls.

Now the Gaul continued to rage as heretofore, with mighty ire, and waged war against all nations, people, and languages.

And the kings and ruler of the earth, beheld the raging of the storm, and combined together to quell the fury thereof.

But the power of the evil spirit, and of the multitude which it moved, was mighty great, and from amongst them there arose valiant captains, and men of war, and they overthrew those that waged war against them.

And lo! The tillers of the ground, and the labourers thereof, together with mechanics, artificers, and all manner of handicraftmen, left their sundry and peaceful occupations, and became lawmakers and lawgivers, and sought to rule over their superiors.

Now, it had pleased the Lord to darken the understandings of those foolish men; for they vainly imagined, that the laws and institutions may be forthwith made, like unto things of cunning device, or built in a season, or by models, like unto earthly habitations; whereas, they grow naturally and gradually after the manner of trees, and, like them, require to be trained and pruned by the wary hand of age and time.

Now, as good and wholesome laws and institutions, or, as they are called in these latter days, good constitutions, after the manner of trees, do not take root and grow but in good soils, and where they are well watered and sheltered; so, in like manner, as is known unto all husbandmen, the tree that springeth and flourisheth in one, and a good soil, decayeth and dieth in another, or bad soil.

As the dew of heaven, and the sun-beams thereof, water and cherish the earthly tree, so als, do the spirits of the departed patriots of a land, and the blood of the warriors thereof, foster and support the political tree, or constitution of the state.

But the Gauls were altogether a wicked and perverse people, and the tree which they had planted in the midst of them was a blasted tree, and lo and behold, it brought forth nothing but bad and forbidden fruit, and all manner of unrighteousness, such as pertaineth unto the idol of whom it is before-write, and whom they, in the foolish imaginations of their hearts, had vainly worshipped.

And this evil tree was planted in many and divers places; but the leaves and branches thereof decayed, and were blasted, and its roots rotted; because the sap which was in the tree, was poison, and all those who tasted of its fruit perished thereby; yea, even with a cruel and bloody death.

And behold the tree partook of the nature of the beast, of which it is before-written; for it had sprung from the rottenness and corruption thereof.

And when the Lord looked down from heaven, and beheld the perverse wickedness of the Gauls, he said, yea, verily, I will punish this people for the wickedness of their ways.

So the Lord spake by his prophets, and said unto the people of Gaul, O foolish people, ye have cast down and slain, with a cruel and ignominious death, the king whom I had appointed to rule over you, and whose fathers had reigned in the land for many generations; and ye have destroyed all principalities and powers, and have despised all holy things, and have imagined vain and wicked conceits, and have moreover troubled the peace of the world, and sworn enmity to the kings and rulers of the earth; but I will punish you, O people, for these evil doings; and lo and behold, a mean born stranger shall come from afar, and ye shall pay obeisance to him, and fear him, and lick the dust under his feet, and tremble under his crown, which, unto you, shall be a crown of iron. And lo! The prophecy of the Lord was fulfilled, as will be made manifest from what is hereafter written in this book.

CHAP. III

1. The Birth-place of the Tyrant Napoleon.-2. He professeth himself to be a worshipper of the idol.-3. He goeth into the land of Egypt, wageth war, and sojourneth for some time there.-4. He threateneth Palestine and Jerusalem.-5. He returneth suddenly from thence, and destroyeth the first Idol, and putteth himself at the head of the armies of the Gauls.-6. He becometh a mighty Conqueror, powerful in war, and overwhelmeth many of the kings and princes of the earth.-7. He is a punishment unto the nations for the wickedness of their ways.-8. The oppressed cry aloud unto the Lord for relief from the oppressor; but for a season he listeneth not unto them, and hardeneth the Tyrant’s heart, because of the perverse wickedness of the people.

Now, in the land called Corsica, which is an island in the sea, there was a man born, and his name was NAPOLEON.

And this man, though small in stature, was nevertheless vast in spirit, and he not only conceived unto himself, great and marvelous designs, but was moreover wicked, and cunning in council, mighty in deeds, and powerful in war.

And he professed himself to be a true worshipper of the idol, and yet he hated the idol in his heart, and had made unto himself another idol, of the nature whereof it is hereafter written.

And he declared himself to be an enemy unto all principalities and powers, and the friend of freedom and equality amongst the sons of men, and he was appointed Captain over the armies of the worshippers of the idol.

And he commanded the hosts thereof, and went forth against the lawful rulers of the earth, and overthrew them, together with the mighty high priest, who for many generations had commanded the fear and veneration of men.

And lo this man went into the land of Egypt, with many ships and a mighty army; and having conquered the inhabitants thereof, he proceeded against Palestine, and threatened the city of Jerusalem.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how are the mighty fallen, and how nearly hadst thou been conquered, yet a second time, by the arm of an infidel.

But behold the progress of this man, in the land of Egypt, was stopped by a captain of the navy of good King Albanus, the King of the Albions, the history of whom is herein after written.

Now, this man Napoleon, after sojourning for many days in the land of Egypt, suddenly took his departure from thence, and returned unto the county of the Gauls, and overthrew like a whirlwind the rulers thereof, and put himself at the head of the armies of the multitude, and declared himself to be the governor of the nation, which he began to rule with a rod of iron.

And this man being a mighty man of war, and a great captain, put himself at the head of the host of the Gauls, and thirsted for glory, dominion, and power.

And he waged war against the surrounding nations, and overthrew one people after another.

And his hosts were in number like unto the sands of the sea, and in power to the thunders of the skies; for his deeds resembled in quickness the lightning of heaven, and in might they were likened unto the thunderbolts thereof.

And lo, the people of Gaul forgot their former idol, which is described in the beginning of this book, and fell down and worshipped this strange and new idol, the nature whereof differed from the former in manner and in kind.

For upon the crown of this idol, which being a man, was altogether after the likeness thereof, there were written DOMINION, PRINCIPALITIES, and POWER; and under the crown, which was an iron crown, and on the forehead of the man there was written AMBITION; and on his breastplate there were also written, COUNSEL, PROMPTITUDE, and DECEIT.

And the man Napoleon held in his right hand a sword of steel, whereon were engraven DEATH, VICTORY, and CONQUEST, and in his left a roll of parchment, and in the roll was written the DOMINION of the WORLD, and under the same the names of the nations which he had conquered, yea all people within the reach of his power.

And on the sandal of his right foot there was engraven, in letter of brass, OPPRESSION, and on that of his left, SLAVERY.

And his throne, which reached unto the clouds, was raised on the backs of fallen nations, once great and glorious, but now prostrate and humbled in the dust.

For he had overthrown, like a whirlwind, and in the twinkling of an eye, the armies of many of the kings and rulers of the nations of the earth; because they had become vile and polluted in all manner of sinful corruption, and would not be warned by the voice of wisdom, and combine firmly together, nor be true and faithful on to another; but listened to the suggestions of the evil spirit and of the idol, which had darkened their understandings, and prepared them for downfall and ruin.

Now, the sway of this man pervaded many lands, and many of the kings and princes of the earth were made tributary to him, and the nations thereof groaned under his feet.

And he now compelled the tillers of the ground, and the labourers thereof, and the husbandmen, and the handicraftmen, who, under the first idol, had met together to commune concerning superiorities and powers, and to make laws unto themselves, to leave their peaceful homes, their wives, children, and kindred, and their lawful occupations, and to go into distant lands, and there endure cold and hunger, and suffer long marches, and mix in direful and bloody battles, all to fill up the measure of this man’s boundless ambition.

And it pleased the Lord, as a punishment for the wickedness and perverseness of the people, to deliver into the hands of this man the dominion over many lands, that they might be ruled as with a rod of iron, and chastened for the iniquity and wickedness of their ways, and brought back from the paths of sin and licentiousness, and the idolatry of the beast, to those of justice, moderation, and truth, and the fear of the only true and living God.

And the people of the land of Gaul, and all the nations whom it had pleased the Lord to deliver into the hands of this strange man, groaned heavily, and cried unto the Lord in their hearts for freedom, forgiveness, and mercy. But having forgot and despised the Lord their God, in the pride and wickedness of their hearts, he left them to reap the fruits of their evil ways, and for a season listened not unto them in their sufferings and distress.

Now behold, all the nations within the reach of this man Napoleon, groaned under the dominion of his power, and were sore afflicted in mind, body, and estate, for his ruled over them with a scepter of iron.

CHAP. IV.


Notes

  1. B. H. Roberts to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, March 1923. (See Studies of the Book of Mormon (1992), p. 58. On page 33, note 65, the editor of this work states that the date on this letter should be 1922 rather than 1923.)
  2. "Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon?", MormonThink.com
  3. B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, (Salt Lake City, UT; Signature Books, 1992) 243. Some online ministries quote Roberts' use of Lucy's quote as "evidence" that Roberts lost his testimony of the Book of Mormon. They completely ignore Roberts's statements on the same page that Joseph was describing the "wonderful conversations he had with the angel."
  4. Truman G. Madsen, "B. H. Roberts and the Book of Mormon," Book of Mormon Authorship (1982).
  5. B. H. Roberts, "The Translation of the Book of Mormon," Improvement Era no. 9 (April 1906), 435–436.
  6. B. H. Roberts to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, March 1923. (See Studies of the Book of Mormon (1992), p. 58. On page 33, note 65, the editor of this work states that the date on this letter should be 1922 rather than 1923.)
  7. Brigham H. Roberts, Conference Report (April 1930), 47.
  8. B. H. Roberts, “Protest Against the Science-Thought of a ‘Dying Universe’ and no Immortality for Man: The Mission of the Church of the New Dispensation,” delivered SLC Tabernacle, Sunday, 23 January 1932; reproduced in Discourses of B.H. Roberts of the First Council of the Seventy, compiled by Ben E. Roberts (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company 1948), 11–30.
  9. Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith, The Prophet And His Progenitors For Many Generations, chapter 14
  10. John W. Welch, "View of the Hebrews: 'An Unparallel'," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), 83–87.
  11. I. Woodbridge Riley, The Founder of Mormonism (New York, 1902), 124–126.
  12. Joseph Smith, Jr., "From Priest's American Antiquities," (1 June 1842) Times and Seasons 3:813-815.
  13. Brigham H. Roberts, Brigham D. Madsen, ed., Studies of the Book of Mormon, (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1985) ISBN 0252010434 .
  14. View of the Hebrews: 1825 2nd Edition Complete Text by Ethan Smith, edited by Charles D. Tate Jr., (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1996), 223. ISBN 1570082472. off-site wikisource
  15. Ethan Smith, 220.
  16. Ethan Smith, 184-185.
  17. Stephen D. Ricks, "Review of The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon by Wesley P. Walters," FARMS Review of Books 4/1 (1992): 235–250. off-site
  18. Andrew H. Hedges, "Review of: View of the Hebrews," FARMS Review of Books 9/1 (1997): 63–68. off-site
  19. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  20. Alma 53:18-20
  21. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  22. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 23.7 23.8 Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  24. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision)
  25. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision)
  26. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  27. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  28. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  29. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  30. "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  31. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  32. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  33. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  34. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  35. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).
  36. Jeremy Runnells, Letter to a CES Director (March 2015 revision).