QUICK DIRECTORY: 25 reasons why the Book of Mormon isn’t true

If you encounter Mormon missionaries, one of the key elements of their message and conversion process will be to try and convince you that the Book of Mormon, as claimed to have been translated by Joseph Smith in the 1820s from a set of golden plates, is the “word of god” and “another testament of Jesus Christ” set in the Americas which will, if you accept it, affirm the truth of their church.

In True Jesus Church, we believe that the Bible is the only inspired work of god, but even before I began attending here it had become very evident to me that the Book of Mormon is an ahistorical work of fiction created by Joseph Smith’s own imagination. Here, I list 25 key points to prove the Book isn’t true and does not have the same integrity of the bible.

  1. The Book of Mormon copies directly from the King James Bible, and in the process repeats the exact same translation errors of that era.
  2. This includes blatant copy and pasting from the King James New Testament, which did not exist at the period it claims to be from (600BC).
  3. The Book of Mormon refers to numerous things that did not exist in pre-Colombian America, such as horses, sheep, elephants, steel and swords. It’s a very long list.
  4. The names “Moroni” and “Cumorah” which feature in the book as a character and key location, are lifted straight off a map of a country in the Indian Ocean.
  5. Joseph Smith actually “translated” the Book of Mormon by putting his head into a hat with a stone in it, never were the golden plates referred to directly as misleadingly portrayed in church artwork when the book was being written.
  6. The Book of Mormon claims to be the account of multiple major civilizations, which have conveniently not left any trace whatsoever.
  7. The claim that the Book of Mormon would be the only record or historical account of all these things, is also questionable. Are we going to assume nobody else, absolutely nobody, wrote any of this down? Not even indirectly?
  8. The Book of Mormon directly and repeatedly uses the name “Jesus Christ”- a term which originated in Greek and did not exist in the old testament era. It doesn’t even attempt to use the Hebrew rendering “Joshua the anointed one.”
  9. The Book of Mormon teaches the mainstream doctrine of the trinity, that Jesus Christ is god in the flesh. This contradicts the later development of Mormon theology towards non-trinitarianism and a plurality of gods and that God the Father is a “physical being.”
  10. It is questionable if the “witnesses” ever physically seen the gold plates, with accounts stating they only did so with “spiritual eyes” in a vision. In turn, those who scribed for Joseph Smith never got to see them when translating, they were in a different room or behind a curtain (see above).
  11. Joseph Smith had a comprehensive book listing every single name in the bible, which it is claimed he used in order to create names for the Book of Mormon characters.
  12. Joseph Smith had a background in treasure hunting and divination, which shows how he later developed the story of finding the golden plates.
  13. With this, he already had an interest in “seer stones” long before he translated the Book of Mormon
  14. Joseph Smith’s writing style in other Mormon canonical books, including the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, is exactly the same. Why does god constantly talk in King James English?
  15. The Book of Mormon has been changed over 5280 times since the original published in 1830, that has included making overt doctrinal changes such as in 1 Nephi 11:18, 1 Nephi 11:21, 32 and 1 Nephi 13:40.
  16. Historical racism was removed from the Book of Mormon concerning the Lamanites, with the most recent change being in 2013. Would a legitimate Christian faith do this to the bible? Does the church care about the supposed truth of its work, or its public image? And why does a supposed ancient text follow the thinking of American 19th century racism too?
  17. There were two major battles at the Hill Cumorah at the end of the Book, where Joseph Smith claimed he found the plates in upstate New York. Apologists have attempted to revise this location to claim there were two hills and the real battle hill was in Mexico (There is a constant focus on Mexico as this passes for evidence of a “civilization”) but the writers of the book were very specific.
  18. Which creates the absurdity that Moroni, who buried the plates and is the last author in the book, walked all the way from Mexico to upstate New York to hide the plates in the “other” Hill Cumorah. Just why?
  19. But the revisionism of Mormon apologists to talk about Mexico doesn’t make any sense, because Joseph Smith always believed his mission was to bring the gospel to the Indians, he had no interest in Mexico, especially when his doctrine was supposed to be about the United States!
  20. And that’s why the church claimed for so long that the Lamanites, a people from the Book of Mormon, were the “principal ancestors of the American Indians”, before this claim in the Book of Mormon was also changed because there was no genetic evidence of this very strong claim.
  21. The Book of Mormon is a manifestation of an early American exceptionalist worldview wherein Christians believed the United States was god’s chosen nation. Other texts emerged during this time pushing similar ideas, such as “View of the Hebrews” of which Joseph Smith is accused of plagiarising.
  22. The truth coming out about a later LDS sacred text, the Book of Abraham, shows that Joseph Smith’s purported claim to divine translation was nonsense. When translated by actual Egyptologist scholars, the original texts have nothing to do with what Joseph Smith said it did and were Egyptian funeral texts from the Book of the Dead.
  23. Why does the Book of Mormon, in Moroni 10:5, ask you to pray about the truthfulness of the work specifically? Do you see the Bible, Qu’ran or any other Holy Book doing that? It’s almost as if the author knew people would say it is a fraud and that it would be brought into the world as something unorthodox and questionable, what writers of any legitimate ancient record have thought like that?
  24. Joseph Smith never realised he had experienced the “first vision” (the claim he seen god and jesus personally) until long after he published the Book of Mormon, showing how he changed his story and made it up over time.
  25. Joseph Smith was later successfully fooled by counterfeit plates known as the Kinderhook Plates, which were a forgery and he again believed they were an ancient record of a civilization which amounted to sacred scripture.

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