FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of the doctrine, practice, and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Question: What did B.H. Roberts say about ''View of the Hebrews'' and the Book of Mormon?
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.
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.
- Brigham H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, ed. Brigham D. Madsen (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1985).