Photo of Khawr Kharfut by Scott Proctor (http://www.ldsmag.com/article/14965/1)
From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
By Michael R. Ash
How easy would it have been for a young man in 1830 to write a novel about the ancient Old World and have it stand up to scrutiny nearly two hundred years later? When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon the best scholars of his day knew little about the ancient world in which the Lehites traveled through southern Arabia. The few bits of information available were generally wrong and almost consistently described Arabia as a barren wasteland. According to some authors, Arabia was so hot that animals were roasted on the plains and birds in midair. The southern coast of Arabia was thought to be dismal and barren –nothing but rocky wall. It was said that not even a blade of grass could be grown along the coastline. If Joseph had written the Book of Mormon with information sponged from his environment, he would have turned to the so-called experts of his day. So inaccurate were the experts of 1830 America, however, that if Joseph has sponged their information he would have produced a book filled with errors.
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.