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The Human Origins 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for the human origin of the Book of Mormon proposed by Mormon Historian and General Authority Brigham H. Roberts in an unpublished paper done in the early 1920’s. In this landmark work Elder Roberts presents a powerful case for the human origin of the Book of Mormon, based on four important observations. (1) The book stands in conflict with what is known about the early American races from scientific investigation. (2) It, however, agrees with the erroneous information believed in the nineteenth-century to have been true about these early Americans. (3) Joseph Smith, Jr., had sufficient creative "knowledge" to have produced such a book. (4) The book evidences such blunders as would have been made by an unsophisticated nineteenth-century mind that lacked formal education as Joseph Smith, Jr., did.