This is one of the earliest online articles on Joseph Smith’s dictating the Book of Mormon while looking at a “seer stone” in his hat, now vindicated by the LDS Church’s admission of this fact in recent years.
This paper examines the culture, credibility and relevance of the testimony of the eleven men the LDS Church presents as witnesses to the Book of Mormon. It draws extensively from early sources, both LDS and non-LDS, to provide an honest and balanced portrayal.
Mormon General Authority B. H. Roberts concluded that this book, originally published in Poultney, Vermont in 1823 (7 years prior to the Book of Mormon) was available to Joseph Smith and contained enough parallel material to the Book of Mormon so as to furnish a virtual "ground-plan" for it.
Joseph Smith dictated 116 pages of manuscript that he said was an inspired translation of the gold plates. The loss of those pages raises crucial questions about Joseph’s claims and the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon claims to be a translation of an ancient text, the original- language version of which is not available. One Mormon scholar points out that there are other texts that are available only in translation but that scholars agree are ancient. Is this a sound defense of the Book of Mormon?
This essay is a survey and critique of the main lines of evidence for the human origin of the Book of Mormon proposed by Mormon Historian and General Authority Brigham H. Roberts in an unpublished paper done in the early 1920’s.