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: Why did B.H. Roberts write ''Studies of the Book of Mormon''?
Question: Why did B.H. Roberts write Studies of the Book of Mormon?
B.H. Roberts wrote the material contained in Studies of the Book of Mormon to illustrate the positions that critics would take
Critics use B.H. Roberts' critical evaluation of Book of Mormon difficulties to support their arguments. B.H. Roberts wrote the material contained in Studies of the Book of Mormon to illustrate the positions that critics would take. He was playing "devil's advocate" for the purpose of inspiring Church leadership to work on a better defense (as critics typically point out, Roberts was a "LDS apologist"). For instance, regarding Lucy Mack Smith's description of Joseph giving "amusing recitals" of ancient Americans, Roberts presented the critical conclusion that "These evening recitals could come from no other source than the vivid, constructive imagination of Joseph Smith, a remarkable power which attended him through all his life. It was as strong and varied as Shakespeare's and no more to be accounted for than the English Bard's."
From Lucy Mack Smith's history:
"From this time forth, Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every night evening, for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same. I presume our family presented an aspect as singular as any that ever lived upon the face of the earth-all seated in a circle, father, mother, sons and daughters, and giving the most profound attention to a boy, eighteen years of age, who had never read the Bible through in his life; he seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of our children...