Criticism of Mormonism/Books

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    Analysis of books critical of Mormonism

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

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A

Response to claims made in American Massacre



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in An Insider's View of Mormon Origins


In Insider's View of Mormon Origins was developed during a period of time that its author worked as a teacher in the Church Educational System (CES), and was published after the author's retirement from Church employment. The book attempts to explain many otherwise clearly described events of the restoration by reinterpreting them as spiritual rather than physical events. (Click here for full article)

Claim Evaluation
An Insider's View of Mormon Origins
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  • Use of sources
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of An Insider's View of Mormon Origins interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in Answering Mormon Scholars Vol. 1

Response to claims made in Answering Mormon Scholars Vol. 2

Response to claims made in Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

B

Response to claims made in Becoming Gods


This book could best be described as an Evangelical apologetic work against Mormonism. The book spends much time refuting LDS interpretation of scriptural passages in the Bible, often claiming that Mormons have misinterpreted the scriptures and that they require "deeper study." In fact, it is claimed that LDS scholars have only a superficial knowledge of the scriptures, at one time stating that "[p]roperly interpreting them is not as simple as reading today's newspaper" (Click here for full article)

Claim Evaluation
Becoming Gods
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  • Use of sources
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in By His Own Hand upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in By His Own Hand upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Charles Larson "restoration" of Facsimile 1
    Brief Summary: The book "...by his own hand upon papyrus" presents a "restoration" of Facsimile 1 (p. 65), which purports to be "based upon the modern study of Egyptology, and similar scenes in numerous existing papyri." However, the recent availability of high-definition images of the papyri on the Church History website now provides the opportunity to compare the Larson restoration with the original. There are a number of discrepancies which indicate that the restoration contains a number of significant inaccuracies. We examine those inaccuracies in this sub-article. (Click here for full article)
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C

Response to claims made in Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Covering Up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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D





Ex-Mormons online were initially quite excited to read this book when it first appeared, but it appears that few were able to actually understand what it was saying. As the author noted in an online ex-Mormon forum in May 2013, "The paradigm application of such deconstruction applied interpersonally (and "intra"-personally) is some version of the "Instructive Deconstructive Conversation" found in Chapter 1. And the metaphor I like to use for such deconstruction, when applied to Mormon and other theistic beliefs, is the taking apart of an "object of great price" piece by piece, as also presented in Ch. 1." [1] In summary, the author believes that he has, once and for all, "deconstructed Mormonism," and that one has to dedicate serious effort to reading his book in order to understand how that has been accomplished. Online discussion about the book in the ex-Mormon fora appear to have died out near the end of 2013, with the author periodically reappearing in an attempt to spur further discussion. (Click here for full article)



This article is in response to a pamphlet that attempts to explain LDS beliefs to non-LDS readers. Unfortunately, the pamphlet sometimes misrepresents LDS beliefs and uses standard anti-Mormon arguments to make its point. (Click here for full article)


E



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Early Mormonism and the Magic World View indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Use of sources
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Early Mormonism and the Magic World View interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Apologetics
    Brief Summary: Throughout the revised edition, the author often refers to the efforts of LDS apologetics related to his own works. He appears to have a particular issue with a review of the first edition of Early Mormonism and the Magic World View written by LDS scholar Bill Hamblin. This page addresses specific claims made by the author related to LDS apologetics. (Click here for full article)
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L



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Use of sources
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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M



  • Introduction (Click here for full article)
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  • Index of Claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Mormonism 101 indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Quote mining
    Brief Summary: Some critics mine their sources by extracting quotes from their context in order to make the statement imply something other that what it was originally intended to mean. We examine instances of such "quote mining" in Mormonism 101. (Click here for full article)
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  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Mormonism: Shadow or Reality indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Hurlbut affidavits
    Brief Summary: Many of Joseph Smith’s friends and neighbors signed affidavits that accused him and his family of being lazy, indolent, undependable treasure-seekers. (Click here for full article)
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  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Mormon America: The Power and the Promise indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Quote mining
    Brief Summary: Some critics mine their sources by extracting quotes from their context in order to make the statement imply something other that what it was originally intended to mean. We examine instances of such "quote mining" in Mormon America: The Power and the Promise. (Click here for full article)
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N



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage" indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Use of sources
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage" interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Prejudicial language
    Brief Summary: An examination of how the author employs loaded and prejudicial language in this work in order to discredit Mormonism. (Click here for full article)
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  • Presentism
    Brief Summary: “Presentism” is an analytical fallacy in which past behavior is evaluated by modern standards or mores. We examine some of our favorite examples of this fallacy in Nauvoo Polygamy: "... but we called it celestial marriage". (Click here for full article)
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  • Mind reading
    Brief Summary: The author often attempts to interpret what Joseph was thinking as a way to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion regarding Joseph Smith. (Click here for full article)
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  • Censorship
    Brief Summary: The author claims that the Church deliberately hid or obscured information. We examine those claims in this section. (Click here for full article)
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  • Romance
    Brief Summary: We point out some instances in which the author pursues his quest to show that Joseph was "romantic" with his plural wives. (Click here for full article)
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  • Assumptions
    Brief Summary: In many cases, Joseph is simply assumed to be guilty of any offense. (Click here for full article)
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  • Magick
    Brief Summary: The author, following the lead of D. Michael Quinn, emphasizes "magick" in Joseph's early life. (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in No Man Knows My History


Louis Midgley: "Though Fawn McKay Brodie forged a reputation as a controversial psychohistorian, it is her 1945 biography of Joseph Smith for which she has always been known among Latter-day Saints. She thought of herself, and has been portrayed by cultural Mormons, as an "objective" historian who had taken the measure of "the Mormon prophet." Her death on 10 January 1981 was followed by tributes in which she was depicted as a heroic figure who had courageously liberated herself from bondage to the mind-numbing religious orthodoxy of her parochial childhood and who had thereby set in place among Latter-day Saints what one of her admirers called "a new climate of liberation." Fawn McKay Brodie: A Biographer's Life—the latest and most comprehensive of these tributes to Brodie—constitutes a substantial addition to the tiny academic specialty that might be called 'Brodie studies'."[2] (Click here for full article)

Claim Evaluation
No Man Knows My History
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O

Response to claims made in One Nation Under Gods


In early 2002 a new book entitled One Nation under Gods (ONUG) appeared on bookshelves, promising to tell the "real" history of the Mormon Church. The author attempts to pull disparate sources together to paint a picture that, when compared to objective reality, more closely resembles a Picasso than a Rembrandt—skewed and distorted—obscuring and maligning the actual doctrines and beliefs as understood and practiced by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than 150 years. (Click here for full article)


FairMormon's original review of One Nation Under Gods was of the original 2002 hardback edition. The author has responded that there were editorial problems with this edition. We acknowledge that corrections were made in the paperback edition released in 2003 in response to some of the original reviews. Consequently, all previous FairMormon reviews have been edited for accuracy and tone, and the paperback edition of this work has been evaluated on its own merits. (It should be noted that the corrected paperback edition bears no markings indicating that it is a second edition or an updated edition; it simply appears as a paperback edition of the original.) This is an index of claims made in this work with links to corresponding responses. An effort has been made to provide the author's original sources where possible. In the subarticles linked below the hardback edition is represented by "HB" and the paperback edition by "PB." (Click here for full article)

Claim Evaluation
One Nation Under Gods
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  • Source analysis
    Brief Summary: An examination and response to how the author of One Nation Under Gods interprets the sources used to support this work, indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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  • Loaded and prejudicial language
    Brief Summary: An examination of how the author employs loaded and prejudicial language in this work in order to discredit Mormonism. (Click here for full article)
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  • Absurd claims
    Brief Summary: Some of the claims made in this work are simply absurd. We list and respond to those claims here. (Click here for full article)
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  • Presentism
    Brief Summary: “Presentism” is an analytical fallacy in which past behavior is evaluated by modern standards or mores. We examine some of our favorite examples of this fallacy in One Nation Under Gods. (Click here for full article)
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  • Mind reading
    Brief Summary: The author often attempts to interpret what Joseph was thinking as a way to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion regarding Joseph Smith. (Click here for full article)
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  • Rewording secondary sources
    Brief Summary: A list of paragraphs which echo the prose of Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith. (Click here for full article)
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  • Sarcasm
    Brief Summary: The author of One Nation Under Gods uses sarcasm to belittle what he claims to be LDS beliefs and doctrine. (Click here for full article)
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P

Response to claims made in Passing the Heavenly Gift


This account of Church history contains numerous inaccuracies, distortions, and misrepresentations of the data. (Click here for full article)

S



  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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The content of this book is not written by a critic, but its purpose and audience are often misrepresented by critics in an effort to make it appear that Roberts lost his testimony of the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)

  • Index of claims
    Brief Summary: Responses to specific critical or unsupported claims made in Studies of the Book of Mormon indexed by page number. (Click here for full article)
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T

  • The "Book of Lehi" by Christopher Nemelka
    Brief Summary: The author claims to have been commanded to translate the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, as well as the lost 116 pages. As part of his 'prophetic call,' the author produced what he claims is a translation of the lost 116 pages, or "Book of Lehi." This portion of Mormon's abridgement (from Lehi to King Benjamin, roughly) was lost by Martin Harris after the manuscript was loaned to him by Joseph Smith. (Click here for full article)
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Response to claims made in The Changing World of Mormonism

Criticism of Mormonism/Books/The Changing World of Mormonism

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U

Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Under the Banner of Heaven

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W

Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon

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