From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
More than a few critics seem to think that it would be easy to produce a work like the Book of Mormon. Are the critics right?
If so, then why hasn’t any critic attempted to produce something like it? Not only does the book incorporate profound doctrinal insights, but it also discusses politics, war, geography, and migrations, and includes various sermons and a variety of specific events involving distinct individuals.
The original manuscript was not polished or revised by Joseph Smith. His wife Emma, who served as a scribe for a time, said that when Joseph “stopped for any purpose at any time he would, when he commenced again, begin where he left off without any hesitation”. Witnesses also claimed that Joseph translated without notes, manuscripts, or reference books.
If the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction, there would be mistakes in chronology and the inter-connectivity of the many multiple events –based on Joseph’s method of translation. Yet those who have studied the Book of Mormon find that it is a complete and amazingly consistent text.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.