Latter-day Saint scripture

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Articles related to the Latter-day Saint Scripture Canon

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

Topics


Overview of Latter-day Saint scripture

  • Index
    Brief Summary: An index of subjects related to specific Latter-day Saint scripture passages. (Click here for full article)
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Completeness of Latter-day Saint scripture canon

  • Open canon vs. closed canon
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church is in error because Christianity requires a "closed canon" (no more authoritative revelation) instead of the Church's "open canon" (potential for more binding revelation). The Bible is an important record of God's message to humanity. However, the Bible—or any other written text—cannot be the focus of the Christian's life or faith. Only One deserves that place: God. (Click here for full article)
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  • Completeness of the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is claimed the Bible contains all necessary or essential knowledge to assure salvation. Therefore, things like modern prophets or additional scripture (such as the Book of Mormon) are unnecessary or even blasphemous. (Click here for full article)
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  • Lost scripture mentioned in the Bible
    Brief Summary: There are several references to lost scripture mentioned in the Bible. What does the Book of Mormon mean when it says that "plain and precious" things have been taken out of the bible? What is this about, and what implications does it have for the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy and sufficiency? (Click here for full article)
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Consistency of Latter-day Saint scripture canon

  • Supposed contradictions
    Brief Summary: Critics present two or more scriptures from LDS scripture, and insist that the scriptures contradict each other. This article examines the supposed contradictions, presents the scriptures cited in context, and demonstrates that claims of contradiction rest on: 1) a misinterpretation of LDS scripture, 2) comparing two verses which are speaking about different things or 3) reading Protestant meanings into scriptural terminology. (Click here for full article)
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    • Contradictions in LDS scripture table
      Brief Summary: Many conservative Protestant critics have reproduced a table which purports to show how LDS scripture contradicts itself. (Click here for full article)
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    • Multiple versus single creators
      Brief Summary: It is claimed that LDS scripture is contradictory, since the Book of Mormon and Moses describe "God" as creating, while the Book of Abraham describes "Gods." The scriptures affirm that there is "One God" consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A great debate in Christian history has been the nature of this oneness. (Click here for full article)
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    • Remission of sins before or after baptism
      Brief Summary: It is claimed that LDS scriptures such as DC 20:37 (first case) and 2 Nephi 31:17, 3 Nephi 12:2, and Moroni 8:11 (second case) are contradictory about the order in which one receives baptism and a remission of sins. Some claim further that "Mormon theologians" have ignored this issue. However, these scriptures are not contradictory, for at least three reasons—any one of which is sufficient to disprove the critics' claim. In this article, we will first list the scriptural texts, and then discuss each of the three reasons for which they are not properly seen as contradictory. (Click here for full article)
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Interpretation of Latter-day Saint scripture

  • Interpretation
    Brief Summary: A collection of quotes from Latter-day Saint leaders related to the interpretation of scripture. (Click here for full article)
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  • Critical proof text
    Brief Summary: These articles address specific scriptures used by critics as proof-texts. (Click here for full article)
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    • John 4:24
      Brief Summary: This verse is used as a proof-text by critics of the LDS doctrine of the corporeal nature of God. Critics argue that this passage proves that God does not have a physical body. (Click here for full article)
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    • Revelation 22:18-19 (Click here for full article)
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    • Isaiah 43:10
      Brief Summary: This verse is used as a proof-text by critics of the LDS doctrines of the plurality of gods and the deification of man. It is claimed that this verse proves that there never has been or ever will be another being who could properly be called a god. (Click here for full article)
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    • Genesis 3:4
      Brief Summary: This verse is used by critics to attempt to show that the LDS doctrine of deification is a teaching of Satan. (Click here for full article)
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  • Inerrancy and the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is claimed the Bible texts, at least in their pristine form, were inerrant. Therefore, it is incorrect for Joseph Smith to teach that the Bible contains errors, mistakes, or omissions. (Click here for full article)
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  • Textual criticism
    Brief Summary: What can textual criticism tell us about the Bible? Does it have anything to say about the Bible being without error, as some Christians claim? (Click here for full article)
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  • Translations
    Brief Summary: The Church insists on using the Authorized ("King James") Version as its official Bible, even though more modern translations are easier to read, are more accurate, and include more recent manuscript discoveries. Critics sometimes complain that the eight Article of Faith about believing the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly," implies that Bible translators are trying to hide God's truth. (Click here for full article)
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  • Transmission versus translation
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that by using the term "translation" in the eighth Article of Faith, that we really mean "transmission." (Click here for full article)
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  • Is the Bible trustworthy?
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saint leaders consider the Bible to be untrustworthy. Yet, Latter-day Saints study the New and Old Testaments in Sunday School and Seminary. (Click here for full article)
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  • Completeness and sufficiency
    Brief Summary: It is claimed the Bible contains all necessary or essential knowledge to assure salvation. Therefore, things like modern prophets or additional scripture (such as the Book of Mormon) are unnecessary or even blasphemous. (Click here for full article)
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  • "Adding to" or "taking away" from the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Book of Mormon cannot be true because nothing should be "added to" or "taken away from" the Holy Bible. (Click here for full article)
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  • Insufficient?
    Brief Summary: Critics interpret a statement by Orson Pratt to mean that Latter-day Saints believe that the Bible is "insufficient." (Click here for full article)
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  • Lost scripture
    Brief Summary: I've heard about "lost scripture" mentioned in the Bible. What does the Book of Mormon mean when it says that "plain and precious" things have been taken out of the bible? What is this about, and what implications does it have for the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy and sufficiency? (Click here for full article)
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  • Open canon vs. closed canon
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church is in error because Christianity requires a "closed canon" (no more authoritative revelation) instead of the Church's "open canon" (potential for more binding revelation). (Click here for full article)
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  • Animal sacrifice
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith favored "Old Testament practices" including "teaching animal sacrifice." (Click here for full article)
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  • Cursing of enemies
    Brief Summary: Some Christians claim that Joseph Smith focused on Old Testament ideas and concepts, such as the "cursing of enemies." They appeal to New Testament prohibitions of cursing enemies (e.g., Rom. 12:14, and then argue that restoration scriptures or remarks by Church leaders are inconsistent with the Christian command to "bless, not curse." (Click here for full article)
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A collection of articles responding to criticisms related to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. (Click here for full article)




  • Isaiah, multiple authors of
    Brief Summary: The "Deutero-Isaiah" theory is the claim that parts of Isaiah were written later than others. The critical issue raised is that the Brass Plates of Laban quote from sections of Isaiah that this theory ascribes to Deutero-Isaiah, so how could the Nephites have these writings if they weren't written until after they left Jerusalem? (Click here for full article)
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  • Archaeology and the Bible
    Brief Summary: Sectarian critics who accept the Bible, but not the Book of Mormon, sometimes claim that the Bible has been "proven" or "confirmed" by archaeology, and insist that the same cannot be said for the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • Flood, global or local
    Brief Summary: Modern scientific knowledge regarding the diversity of species, language and evidence of continuous human habitation does not support the Biblical story that a global flood wiped out most life as recently as 4,400 years ago (Click here for full article)
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Creation and related issues

  • Age of the Earth
    Brief Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Why does Doctrine and Covenants section 77 say that the history of the earth covers only seven thousand years? (Click here for full article)
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  • Death before the Fall
    Brief Summary: Does LDS doctrine hold that there was no death before the Fall of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Did Adam and Eve really exist
    Brief Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe that Adam and Eve were real? (Click here for full article)
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  • Dinosaurs
    Brief Summary: How do dinosaurs fit into God's plan? (Click here for full article)
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  • Evolution
    Brief Summary: How does the Church reconcile the theory of evolution with the story of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Fall of Adam and Eve
    Brief Summary: If it was God's plan for Eve to eat the fruit, then why did God forbid it? Why did God not simply create Adam and Eve as mortals? (Click here for full article)
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  • Pre-Adamites
    Brief Summary: There is scientific evidence of human habitation for many thousands of years. How do we reconcile this with the idea that Adam lived approximately 6,000 years ago? (Click here for full article)
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  • Procreation before the Fall
    Brief Summary: Did procreation exist before the Fall of Adam? (Click here for full article)
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  • Global or local Flood
    Brief Summary: How do we deal with the fact that there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood? How can the scriptures and prophets teach of a worldwide flood, when this contradicts the evidence? The biodiversity of plants and animals on the earth could not have occurred within the span of a few thousand years. Did the continents separate during the flood of Noah? Doctrine and Covenants 133:23–24 seems to imply that they did. How do we reconcile this to scientific fact? Didn't Brigham Young, John Taylor and Orson Pratt teach that the Flood was the baptism of the Earth? (Click here for full article)
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What is the Book of Mormon? This article orients new readers to the nature and content of this volume of scripture. (Click here for full article)



What do we know about the method used to translate the Book of Mormon? Were the plates sometimes not in the room while Joseph was translating them? It is claimed that each sentence and word in the 1830 Book of Mormon "had supposedly come directly from God." (Click here for full article)

  • Joseph claimed that the Book of Mormon translation was performed by the "gift and power of God"
    Brief Summary: What was the precise method by which the Book of Mormon was translated? What roles do the Nephite interpreters, the spectacles, the seer stone, and the hat play in the process? Why did Joseph claim that the translation was performed by the "gift and power of God?" (Click here for full article)
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  • The lost 116 pages
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith did not retranslate the 116 lost pages of the Book of Lehi because he knew that he could not reproduce the exact same text. They claim that alterations in a different handwriting to the stolen manuscript would have been readily apparent. Some suggest that the writing of the 116 pages served as an “apprenticeship” to allow Joseph to improve his writing skills. (Click here for full article)
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  • Anthon transcript
    Brief Summary: What do we know about the Anthon transcript and the translation of the Book of Mormon? What is the current scholarly thought on the transcript? Didn't Charles Anthon deny having "validating" the characters? (Click here for full article)
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  • Description of the plates
    Brief Summary: A variety of persons who handled and/or saw the plates left descriptions. We list these descriptions in this sub-article. (Click here for full articleStatements by witnesses)
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  • Chronology of events
    Brief Summary: A chronology of events related to the Book of Mormon translation and publication. (Click here for full article)
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  • Chronology of translation methods
    Brief Summary: We have a number of accounts of the translation process from the perspective of various contemporary second-hand witnesses who viewed the Prophet as he dictated to his scribes. The only person other than Joseph who attempted to directly translate was Oliver Cowdery. Oliver, however, did not record any details regarding the exact physical process that he employed during his attempt—we only have the spiritual aspect of the process. (Click here for full article)
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  • Mainly italics altered in the portions dependent on the KJV?
    Brief Summary: Some have claimed that the differences between the KJV and the Book of Mormon text (in, for example, the Isaiah passages in 2 Nephi) differ mainly in the italics of the KJV version. (Click here for full article)
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  • Tight versus loose translation
    Brief Summary: Was the Prophet provided with the exact wording of every sentence in the Book of Mormon or was he simply given impressions which he then dictated within the context of his own understanding? (Click here for full article)
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  • Artistic depictions of the Book of Mormon translation
    Brief Summary: People are sometimes troubled when they see artists' depictions of the Prophet and Oliver sitting at a table while Joseph views the plates as they sit in plain sight. Obviously, the plates never sat exposed in plain view, and these artistic interpretations originate purely in the mind of the artist. Some accounts indicate that the plates sat on a table covered with a cloth "in plain view," with Emma indicating that she actually moved them around in order to perform her household chores.[1] (Click here for full article)
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  • Location of the plates during translation
    Brief Summary: Some witness accounts suggest that Joseph was able to translate while the plates were covered, or when they were not even in the same room with him.[2] Therefore, if the plates themselves were not being used during the translation process, why was it necessary to have plates at all? (Click here for full article)
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  • Hiding the facts in plain sight using Church publications
    Brief Summary: Quite a few items that are claimed to have been hidden by the Church were actually published in Church magazines such as the New Era, the Ensign and the Friend. (Click here for full article)
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  • Critical website MormonThink's "Translation of the Book of Mormon" page source quotes without critical commentary
    Brief Summary: The critical website "MormonThink" also has numerous source quotes related to the translation method. We provide here the "no spin" version: All of the complete primary and secondary source quotes while removing all of the anti-Mormon commentary. (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith used the Nephite Interpreters as well as his own seer stone (both of which were later referred to as "Urim and Thummim") to translate the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)



The world was not left with Joseph Smith's testimony alone. The Book of Mormon provided multiple official and unofficial witnesses who corroborated aspects of Joseph's account. Critics have long tried to dismiss or destroy the witnesses' witness. This page links to subpages which discuss various attacks in detail. (Click here for full article)




  • Author and proprietor listed as Joseph Smith
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith is listed as the "Author and Proprietor" of the first edition of the Book of Mormon. Critics use this to claim that Joseph wrote the book himself, despite that fact that the following page clearly states that he translated the book. (Click here for full article)
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  • Attempt to sell Book of Mormon copyright in Canada
    Brief Summary: David Whitmer claimed that Joseph Smith received a revelation and prophesied that Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page should go to Canada where they would find a man willing to buy the copyright to the Book of Mormon. When they failed to sell the copyright, Whitmer states that Joseph admitted that the revelation had not come from God. (Click here for full article)
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  • Printing timeframe
    Brief Summary: "I've heard that the rate at which the first edition of the Book of Mormon was printed could only have occurred miraculously. Is there anything to this claim?" (Click here for full article)
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  • An overview of secular authorship theories for the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: An overview of the various authorship theories that critics have created to explain the existence of the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • Spalding manuscript
    Brief Summary: Some claim that Joseph Smith either plagiarized or relied upon a manuscript by Solomon Spaulding to write the Book of Mormon. There is a small group of critics who hold to the theory that the production of the Book of Mormon was a conspiracy involving Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and others. These critics search for links between Spalding and Rigdon. Joseph Smith is assumed to have been Rigdon's pawn. (Click here for full article)
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  • View of the Hebrews
    Brief Summary: Some claim that a 19th century work by Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews, provided source material for Joseph Smith's construction of the Book of Mormon. Critics also postulate a link between Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery, since both men lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery's family attended at the time that View of the Hebrews was being written. (Click here for full article)
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  • Epilepsy
    Brief Summary: Some have claimed that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon while under the influence of an "epileptic fit," thus perpetuating a fraud without knowing it. (Click here for full article)
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  • Automatic writing
    Brief Summary: Some attempt to explain the complexity of the Book of Mormon through appeals to "automatic writing" or "spirit writing." (Click here for full article)
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  • The Golden Pot
    Brief Summary: Former LDS Church Education System (CES) teacher Grant Palmer argues that Joseph Smith developed his story of visits by Moroni and the translation of a sacred book from The Golden Pot, a book by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann. (Click here for full article)
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  • An analysis of early critical reaction
    Brief Summary: Early critical reaction to the Book of Mormon is instructive, both because of what it did say (e.g., Joseph Smith could not have produced it unaided) and what it did not say. (Click here for full article)
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  • Early claims about Joseph Smith as author
    Brief Summary: Some early claims assumed that Joseph was clearly the Book of Mormon's only author; others assumed that it was clear he could not have written it. (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith is often accused of creating the Book of Mormon by plagiarizing various contemporary sources such as the Spalding Manuscript or Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews. (Click here for full article)

  • Apocrypha
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith created the story of Nephi and Laban by plagiarizing concepts and phrases from the story of Judith and Holofernes in the Apocrypha. It is also claimed that Joseph Smith copied the name "Nephi" from the Apocrypha. (Click here for full article)
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  • Benjamin based on Bishop M'Kendree, a Methodist revivalist?
    Brief Summary: Former LDS Church Education System (CES) teacher Grant Palmer argues that Joseph Smith used the speech of a revivalist preacher—Benjamin—as the source for his "King Benjamin" in the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Comoros Islands
    Brief Summary: Comoros is a small nation made up of three islands off the southeast coast of Africa. Its capital city is Moroni. Some critics have claimed that Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon names Cumorah and Moroni by copying them from a map of the Comoros islands. (Click here for full article)
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  • The King James Bible
    Brief Summary: Critics of the Book of Mormon claim that major portions of it are copied, without attribution, from the Bible. They present this as evidence that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by plagiarizing the Authorized ("King James") Version of the Bible. (Click here for full article)
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  • History of Mexico
    Brief Summary: Critics theorize that Joseph Smith could have used details from Ixtilxochitl's History of Mexico to write the Book of Ether. (Click here for full article)
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  • Joseph Smith, Sr.'s dream
    Brief Summary: Critics point to similarities between a Lucy Mack Smith's account of a dream Joseph Smith's father had and Lehi's dream of the tree of life as evidence that Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon based on his own experiences. (Click here for full article)
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  • North American place names
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith is clearly the author of the Book of Mormon because many Book of Mormon place names supposedly have clear evidence of "borrowing" from geographic locations in the United States and Canada. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Spalding manuscript
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith either plagiarized or relied upon a manuscript by Solomon Spaulding to write the Book of Mormon. There is a small group of critics who hold to the theory that the production of the Book of Mormon was a conspiracy involving Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and others. These critics search for links between Spalding and Rigdon. Joseph Smith is assumed to have been Rigdon's pawn. (Click here for full article)
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  • View of the Hebrews
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that a 19th century work by Ethan Smith, View of the Hebrews, provided source material for Joseph Smith's construction of the Book of Mormon. Critics also postulate a link between Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery, since both men lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery's family attended at the time that View of the Hebrews was being written. (Click here for full article)
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  • The Westminster Confession
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the content of Alma Chapter 40 derived from a Presbyterian document called The Westminster Confession (Click here for full article)
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  • The late war between the United States and Great Britain from June, 1812, to February, 1815
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith was influenced by Gilbert Hunt's 1819 book "The late war between the United States and Great Britain from June, 1812, to February, 1815," which was written in Biblical style. (Click here for full article)
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  • As a "familiar spirit"
    Brief Summary: Critics ask why, if the words "familiar spirit" in Is. 29:4 refer to the Book of Mormon (as used in 2_Ne. 26:16, why does "familiar spirit" always refer to occult practices such as channeling and necromancy everywhere else in the Old Testament? (Click here for full article)
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  • Relationship of the Joseph Smith Translation to the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: Some passages from the Bible (parts of Isaiah, for example) were included in the Book of Mormon text. However, the same passages were later revised for the Joseph Smith Translation of the Holy Bible. In some cases these passages are not rendered identically. It is claimed that if the JST was an accurate translation, it would match the supposedly more 'pure' Isaiah text possessed by the Nephites. (Click here for full article)
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  • Wordprint studies
    Brief Summary: What are wordprints? What do they have to do with the Book of Mormon? (Click here for full article)
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The claim is often heard that there are more than 4000 changes to the Book of Mormon text. The majority of these are typographical. Few of the changes are significant. We examine the more noteworthy changes. (Click here for full article)






It is a common claim by critics that there is "absolutely no archaeological evidence" to support the Book of Mormon. When they say "directly" support, they typically mean that they are looking for a direct corroboration, such as the presence of the name "Nephi" or "Zarahemla" in association with ancient American archaeological data. There is plenty of supporting evidence that anthropologically ties the Book of Mormon to ancient America. (Click here for full article)

  • Book of Mormon archaeology compared to that of the Bible
    Brief Summary: It is often claimed by other Christians that the Bible is completely supported by archaeological evidence, while the Book of Mormon is supported by none. Neither claim is true. The main article compares and contrasts the archaeological "state of the art" between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • Book of Mormon "anachronisms"
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that a specific concept or item was not present in ancient America even though mentioned in the Book of Mormon. However, time and discovery have resulted in greater convergence rather than divergence between the Book of Mormon and what is known about ancient America. (Click here for full article)
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  • Human sacrifice during 4 Nephi time period
    Brief Summary: Some have pointed out that there was human sacrifice taking place in Mesoamerica during the period during which Christ's visit resulted in great peace and righteousness among Book of Mormon peoples. The argument is that Christ destroyed all the wicked cities (3 Ne 8-9) and left the more righteous part of the people. He established his church, which stood up a society of common good and peace that prospered greatly and multiplied across the continents. But there are archeological evidence suggesting the biggest cities practiced human sacrifice and polytheism during the time of great peace. (Click here for full article)
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  • Book of Mormon geography
    Brief Summary: Successful archaeology requires an appreciation of how the Book of Mormon situates and relates various places to each other. (Click here for full article)
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  • Hill Cumorah archaeology
    Brief Summary: If Mormon chapter 6 is a literal description of the destruction of the Nephites by the Lamanites — approximately 100 thousand were killed by swords and axes — why hasn't any evidence of the battle been found at the site that was traditionally identified as the hill Cumorah in western New York state? If Joseph Smith returned the gold plates to a cave in the Hill Cumorah, why is there no evidence of this cave? (Click here for full article)
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  • DNA evidence and the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: DNA samples taken from modern Native Americans do not match the DNA of modern inhabitants of the Middle East. Critics argue that this means the Book of Mormon's claim that Native Americans are descended from Lehi must be false, and therefore the Book of Mormon is not an ancient record as Joseph Smith claimed. (Click here for full article)
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  • Warfare in the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: Much of the geographical and cultural information in the Book of Mormon is included in accounts of war. Thus, comparing ancient American and Book of Mormon warfare is enlightening. How does the manner in which war is depicted in the Book of Mormon match up with what is known about ancient American warfare? (Click here for full article)
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  • Thomas Stuart Ferguson
    Brief Summary: Thomas Stuart Ferguson went to search for Book of Mormon lands. When he could not confirm their existence, it is said that he lost his belief. Ferguson and the New World Archaeological foundation are often used by critics to demonstrate that there is no "Book of Mormon archaeology." (Click here for full article)
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  • Smithsonian statement
    Brief Summary: The Smithsonian Institution sends a form letter to those who inquire about their use of the Book of Mormon for archaeological purposes. The National Geographic Society has a similar letter. Critics trot out this letter as proof that the Book of Mormon has no archaeological support and is therefore false. One critic even claims that "generations of youth" in the Church have been taught that the Smithsonian uses the Book of Mormon to guide their research. (Click here for full article)
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  • Izapa Stela 5 ("Tree of Life" stone)
    Brief Summary: Advances in our understanding of Mesoamerican art and iconography have led most LDS researchers with knowledge of the relevant disciplines to be very skeptical about a direct link between the stela and the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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"Anachronism" = out of time; something which is not in its proper historical context. It is claimed that a number of items or concepts in the Book of Mormon are not consistent with what is known about ancient American geography, history, or anthropology. These "errors" used as evidence that the Book of Mormon is a 19th century work rather than an ancient record. (Click here for full article)

  • Basic principles related to potential anachronisms
    Brief Summary: Translated documents (which the Book of Mormon claims to be) have many potential sources of anachronism. When trying to decide if something is a true anachronism, and when making judgments about the Book of Mormon's truth based on an assessment of anachronisms, we must take all these factors into account. Critics rarely do so. (Click here for full article)
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  • Plain and precious doctrines
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than a "bad copy of the Bible"; that anyone could have churned out such pedestrian, warmed-over ideas by borrowing liberally from the Bible and his own personal experiences. (Click here for full article)
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  • Great and abominable church
    Brief Summary: What is the "great and abominable church" referred to in the Book of Mormon? It is claimed that Latter-day Saints believe that the scriptural terms "church of the devil," the "great and abominable church," and the "whore of all the earth" refer to a specific religion. It is claimed that the Book of Mormon teaches that "all mainstream Christians fall into the world system know as the devil's church (or Satan's kingdom)." (Click here for full article)
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  • Nephi's killing of Laban
    Brief Summary: How can Latter-day Saints point to Nephi's killing of Laban as an example of a positive example of a Book of Mormon character? Wasn't this cold-blooded murder? And doesn't this passage then justify the killing of "the wicked" by anyone who feels that God has told them to do so? (Click here for full article)
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  • Modalism
    Brief Summary: Does the Book of Mormon teach the trinitarian heresy of modalism or Sabellianism? This reading misinterprets some Book of Mormon verses, and ignores Book of Mormon texts which clearly contradict this reading. (Click here for full article)
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  • Pre-Christian Christianity
    Brief Summary: Is it is an anachronism that the Book of Mormon teaches that Christians existed before Christ’s birth? (Click here for full article)
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  • Where did Alma get the divine authority to baptize at the waters of Mormon? (Click here for full article)
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  • Temple in the New World
    Brief Summary: Some attack the presence of an Israelite temple built by the Nephites. They do so on one or more of the following grounds: 1) They claim that Israelites considered the Jerusalem temple the sole legitimate site of worship, and so would not have reproduced it. 2) They claim that the Nephite population would have been too small to match the work required to built a temple "like unto Solomon's temple" (2 Nephi 5:16). 3) They claim that the temple built was "similar in splendor" to Solomon's temple. 4) They claim that the sacrifices and rituals as presented are not consistent with Jewish ritual. (Click here for full article)
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The geographical setting of the Book of Mormon has been the subject of serious study and casual speculation since before the book was first published. The Church has been neutral when it comes to issues relating to Book of Mormon geography, as is FairMormon. The articles linked below will describe the various theories and examine the strengths and weaknesses of each. (Click here for full article)




  • Calendar
    Brief Summary: The Book of Mormon calendar is not identical to the calendar used by modern peoples. Learn about Nephite calendar(s) here. (Click here for full article)
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  • Was the idea of a "week" unknown in the Americas?
    Brief Summary: Despite claims to the contrary, there is evidence for a seven-day week among the early Maya, though the Book of Mormon does not require such a correlation. (Click here for full article)
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  • Warfare in the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: Some criticisms of Book of Mormon warfare are anachronistic; other elements of Book of Mormon warfare contain authentic ancient elements about which Joseph Smith could not have known. (Click here for full article)
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  • Evidences
    Brief Summary: Summary page for evidences supporting the Book of Mormon (Click here for full article)
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  • Olive horticulture
    Brief Summary: Does the Book of Mormon's account of olive culture in Jacob 5 match what we know about this subject? The Book of Mormon provides a remarkably accurate portrait of olive horticulture. There are two points at which the allegory/parable deviates from the known principles of growing olives; in both cases, the allegory's characters draw the reader's attention to these deviations with some amazement. Thus, these 'mistakes' play a dramatic role in demonstrating the allegory/parable's meaning. (Click here for full article)
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  • Book of Mormon geography in the Old World
    Brief Summary: A discussion of the Arabian, or Old World, geography of the Book of Mormon enjoys many advantages over discussion of New World matters. Chief among these is the fact that we know we certainty where the story begins—in Old World Jerusalem. The details of Lehi's desert travels had been extracted from the text by the 1970s. It is important to note how early these models were developed; current-day critics sometimes charge that LDS scholars have "retrofitted" their models to accommodate chance discoveries like "Nahom," but this is false. (Click here for full article)
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  • Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: The Book of Mormon does indeed have authentic Semitic constructions in it, but LDS need to tread cautiously in establishing them. Each must be evaluated on its own merits. Hebraisms that could have been known to Joseph Smith may still be authentic, and may still enhance our appreciation of the text, but they are weak evidence for Book of Mormon antiquity. (Click here for full article)
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  • If-and conditionals
    Brief Summary: The first edition of the Book of Mormon contained several examples of a grammatical structure not known in English, but common in Hebrew: the so-called if/and conditional. (Click here for full article)
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  • Names: authentic Old World names in the Book of Mormon (Click here for full article)
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  • Chiasmus
    Brief Summary: A literary structure known as "chiasmus" exists in the Book of Mormon. It is claimed that the presence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is either coincidental, an artifact of the observer, or not impressive since examples of chiastic patterns have been found in the Doctrine and Covenants or other 19th century writing. (Click here for full article)
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  • Sami Hanna on the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: I have read a talk written by Elder Russell M. Nelson in which he discusses a friend of his who translated the Book of Mormon back into Arabic. What are the facts behind this story and the talk? (Click here for full article)
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  • Who are the Lamanites?
    Brief Summary: Who are the Lamanites? When asked about the Church’s official position on this matter by a writer, a Church spokesman said: "As to whether these were the first inhabitants…we don't have a position on that. Our scripture does not try to account for any other people who may have lived in the New World before, during or after the days of the Jaredites and the Nephites, and we don't have any official doctrine about who the descendants of the Nephites and the Jaredites are. Many Mormons believe that American Indians are descendants of the Lamanites [a division of the Nephites], but that's not in the scripture."[3] Note that this reply pre-dates any publication of DNA criticism. (Click here for full article)
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  • Is Lehi the exclusive ancestor or among the ancestors of Amerindians?
    Brief Summary: LDS leaders have expressed a variety of opinions regarding whether or not all Amerindians are literal descendants of Lehi. Population genetics indicate that Lehi can likely be counted among the ancestors of all native Americans—a position that the Church has reinforced by changing the 1981 Book of Mormon introduction from "principal ancestors" to "among the ancestors." (Click here for full article)
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  • Are the Maya and the Olmec the Lamanites and the Jaredites?
    Brief Summary: A common criticism is that LDS associate the Nephites and/or Lamanites with the Maya, and the Jaredite civilization with the Olmec. It is easy, based upon typical artistic representations used by the Church, to see why LDS typically associate the Nephites or Lamanites with the Maya. The assumption by critics that LDS associate the Nephites and the Lamanites with "the Maya" is an oversimplification of the facts. Most Church members view "the Maya" as a single, homogeneous group of people whom they associate with the magnificent ruins of the Classic Mayan civilization found in Mesoamerica. However, the Classic period occurs after Book of Mormon times. LDS research has focused on identifying the characteristics of the Preclassic Mayan culture, which does indeed cover the time period addressed by the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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  • Referenced in the Doctrine and Covenants
    Brief Summary: Since in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord refers to American Indians in North America as "Lamanites" (e.g., DC 28:8-9,14, DC 30:6, DC 32:2, DC 54:8), does this cause problems for the Limited Geography Theory (LGT) or issues of Amerindian genetic data? (Click here for full article)
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A collection of all known statements made by Church leaders regarding the identity of the Lamanites (Click here for full article)




  • Are the Polynesians descendants of the Lamanites?
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church has expanded the definition of "Lamanite" to Polynesians. Modern day prophets have repeatedly declared that Polynesians are Lamanites. The patriarchal blessings of Polynesians often state that they are of the tribe of Manasseh (through Lehi). (Click here for full article)
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  • Statements
    Brief Summary: A collection of various statements from Church leaders about Polynesian origins/identity (Click here for full article)
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  • What was the Lamanite "curse?"
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church believed that Lamanites who accepted the Gospel would become light-skinned. "Mormon folklore" claims that Native Americans and Polynesians carry a curse based upon "misdeeds on the part of their ancestors." (Click here for full article)
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  • Red skin curse
    Brief Summary: One critic states that the Lamanites were "cursed" with a "red skin." (Click here for full article)
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  • Responding to critical claims regarding DNA evidence and the Book of Mormon
    Brief Summary: DNA samples taken from modern Native Americans do not match the DNA of modern inhabitants of the Middle East. Critics argue that this means the Book of Mormon's claim that Native Americans are descended from Lehi must be false, and therefore the Book of Mormon is not an ancient record as Joseph Smith claimed. (Click here for full article)
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  • Geography issues
    Brief Summary: A variety of geographic models have been suggested for the Book of Mormon. Some geographic models introduce other difficulties for the DNA attacks. (Click here for full article)
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  • Haplogroup X2a
    Brief Summary: Some have tried to use a genetic group called haplotype X2a as proof of the Book of Mormon, but the science at present cannot support this. (Click here for full article)
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  • What is Lehi's ancestry?
    Brief Summary: Genetic attacks on the Book of Mormon focus on the fact that Amerindian DNA seems closest to Asian DNA, and not DNA from "the Middle East" or "Jewish" DNA. However, this attack ignores several key points, among which is the fact that the Book of Mormon states that Lehi and his family are clearly not Jews. (Click here for full article)
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  • How does one identify "Jewish" or "Middle Eastern" DNA?
    Brief Summary: Identifying DNA criteria for Manasseh and Ephraim may always be beyond our reach. But, even identifying markers for Jews—a group that has remained relatively cohesive and refrained from intermarriage with others more than most groups—is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking. (Click here for full article)
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  • Lemba and Cohen modal haplotype
    Brief Summary: Some critics use the "Lemba" as an example of a group proven to be Jewish via DNA testing as proof that such a testing should be possible for Book of Mormon people. But, this example is misleading. The Lemba were identified as Jewish because of a marker called the "Cohen modal haplotype." This marker is carried by about half of those who claim descent from Aaron, Moses' brother, and only 2-3% of other Jews. But, the Book of Mormon does not suggest—and in fact seems to exclude—the idea that Levites (the priestly family of Aaron) were among the Lehi party. (Click here for full article)
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  • What methods of DNA tests are available?
    Brief Summary: DNA issues can be complex for the non-specialist (especially those who were in high school more than twenty years ago, before much of the modern understanding of DNA was available). In this article we review the methods of DNA testing that are available, along with their strengths and their limitations. (Click here for full article)
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  • New World death rate after European contact
    Brief Summary: Approximately ninety percent of the Amerindian population died out following contact with the Europeans; most of this was due to infectious disease against which they had no defense.[4] Since different genes likely provide different resistances to infectious disease, it may be that eliminating 90% of the pre-contact gene pool has significantly distorted the true genetic picture of Lehi's descendants. (Click here for full article)
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  • Jaredite influence
    Brief Summary: Critics often over-look the Jaredites, and assume (as in the hemispheric models that the Jaredites can have contributed nothing of consequence to the Lehite DNA picture. But, it is not clear that this must be the case. Some LDS have believed in a total eradication of the Jaredites, others have argued that Jaredite remnants survived and mixed with the Lehites. Bruce R. McConkie, while believing that the majority of Amerindian descent was from Israel (i.e. Lehi, Ishmael, and Mulek) nevertheless wrote: "The American Indians, however, as Columbus found them also had other blood than that of Israel in their veins. It is possible that isolated remnants of the Jaredites may have lived through the period of destruction in which millions of their fellows perished." (Click here for full article)
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  • Fundamentalist "suicide bombing"
    Brief Summary: It should be remembered too that many sectarian critics use DNA science in a sort of "suicide bombing" attack on the Church.[5] The fundamentalist Christian critics are happy to use DNA as a stick to beat the Book of Mormon, but do not tell their readers that there is much stronger DNA evidence for concepts which fundamentalist Christian readers might not accept, such as evolutionary change in species, or human descent from other primates. (Click here for full article)
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  • Moroni's promise
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that praying about the Book of Mormon is not an objective standard for determining if the book is true or not, and should therefore not be trusted. They claim that many people have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and have either received no answer, or that they have received an answer from God that it is false. (Click here for full article)
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  • Stick of Ephraim
    Brief Summary: How is it that the prophesy of the sticks found in Ezekiel 37 is fulfilled in the Book of Mormon if Lehi and Nephi are descendants of Manasseh and not of Ephraim? (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith and others made revisions, additions, and deletions to his early revelations when preparing them for publication. Some claim that revelations from God are inerrant and should never be changed, and that this proves that Joseph Smith did not receive revelation. (Click here for full article)

  • Why did Joseph Smith and others edit the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants?
    Brief Summary: Joseph Smith made revisions, additions, and deletions to his early revelations when preparing them for publication. Are revelations from God inerrant and thus should never be changed? Were the revelations in the Book of Commandments modified because they were "showing their age," "contained outdated information," "included erroneous statements" and "abandoned doctrines?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Oliver Cowdery and the "rod of nature"
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that a revelation received by Joseph praised Oliver Cowdery's gift of using divining talents. It is claimed that the revelation was published in the Book of Commandments in its original form, then subsequently modified in the Doctrine and Covenants in order to hide the reference to the "rod of nature." Therefore, Joseph attempted to "cover up" Oliver Cowdery's work with a divining rod by changing a revelation. (Click here for full article)
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  • Direct quotation from God?
    Brief Summary: Is the wording of the D&C revelations a direct word-for-word quotation from God? Critics note that if the Doctrine and Covenants contained quotations from God, why would Joseph Smith later edit God's words? (Click here for full article)
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  • Adam and Michael conflated in Doctrine and Covenants 137
    Brief Summary: The name "Michael" was deleted from Joseph Smith's vision of the Celestial Kingdom because Adam is Michael. Was the Church trying to hide a "slip up" by Joseph Smith, who had identified Adam as Michael on multiple occasions in the past? (Click here for full article)
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  • 1835 Doctrine and Covenants denies polygamy
    Brief Summary: The 1835 edition of the D&C contained a statement of marriage which denied the practice of polygamy. Since this was published during Joseph Smith's lifetime, why might the prophet have allowed it to be published if he was actually practicing polygamy at that time? (Click here for full article)
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  • Is the Father embodied or a spirit?
    Brief Summary: When the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 it portrayed God the Father as a personage of spirit whereas Jesus Christ was portrayed as a personage of tabernacle, or one having a physical body. Yet the official LDS First Vision story portrays the Father as a physical Being. Some claim that this is evidence of an evolution of story; and that the evolution of this story is evidence of fraud. (Click here for full article)
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  • God a personage of spirit?
    Brief Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along. (Click here for full article)
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  • Lectures on Faith removed from Doctrine and Covenants
    Brief Summary: Critics argue that the Lectures on Faith were "quietly" removed from the Doctrine and Covenants without general church membership consent, that the Lectures on Faith are not available to the general Church membership through Church sources, and that they can only be obtained through non-LDS sources (despite their availability at Deseret Book). (Click here for full article)
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Joseph Smith had in his possession three or four long scrolls, plus a hypocephalus (Facsimile 2). Of these original materials, only a handful of fragments were recovered at the Metropolitan Museum. The majority of the papyri remains lost, and has likely been destroyed. There are a number of criticisms related to the recovered fragments of the Joseph Smith papyri. These criticisms are addressed below. [6] (Click here for full article)

  • Source quotes
    Brief Summary: A collection of source quotes related to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Click here for full article)
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  • Identity and nature of the papyrus in the Church's possession
    Brief Summary: In July 1835, Joseph Smith purchased a portion of a collection of papyri and mummies that had been discovered in Egypt and brought to the United States. Believing that one of the papyrus rolls contained, "the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt," and "purportedly written by his own hand, upon papyrus,"[7] Joseph commenced a translation. The Book of Abraham was the result of his work. The translated text and facsimiles of three drawings were published in the early 1840s in serial fashion in the LDS newspaper Times and Seasons. The entire work was published in 1852 in England as part of The Pearl of Great Price, which was later canonized as part of LDS scripture. (Click here for full article)
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Cover of the January 1968 issue of the Improvement Era, the Church's official magazine of the time. Note the color photograph of the recovered Facsimile 1.
  • When did the Church disclose that the Joseph Smith Papyri were an Egyptian funerary text?
    Brief Summary: Critics often assert that the Church did not identify the Joseph Smith Papyri as an Egyptian funerary text until after Egyptologists examined them. They also claim that the Church is hiding or "covering up" the papyri's actual contents. Both assertions are incorrect. In fact, the Church ran a multi-part series with color pictures of the papyri in the Improvement Era (the predecessor to the Ensign) less than two months after they were received from the Metropolitan Museum.[8] The series repeatedly affirmed that the recovered papyri contained Egyptian funerary materials and not the text of Book of Abraham. Although the article erroneously identified the papyrus as the Egyptian "Book of the Dead," it was later correctly identified as a "Book of Breathings." (Click here for full article)
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  • Dating of the Joseph Smith Papyri
    Brief Summary: Joseph said that "one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham,"[9] and his scribes quoted him as saying the scroll was "written by his [Abraham's] own hand, upon papyrus."[10] The problem is that most modern scholars (including LDS scholars) date the papyri to a few centuries before Christ, whereas Abraham lived about two millennia before Christ. Obviously, Abraham himself could not have penned the papyri. The phrase "by his own hand" can simply mean that Abraham is the author of the book. Similarly, we could hold a modern printed Bible in our hands, point to 1 Corinthians, and say, "This was written by the Apostle Paul." Joseph was translating the writings of Abraham, so it is quite possible that he believed that the actual scroll in his possession was written by Abraham himself. There is no evidence, however, that this belief was based on revelation. (Click here for full article)
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Cover of the January 1968 issue of the Improvement Era, the Church's official magazine of the time. Note the color photograph of the recovered Facsimile 1.

Among the early Book-of-Abraham-related-manuscripts that have survived from the days of Joseph Smith are a number of papers collectively referred to as the "Kirtland Egyptian Papers" (KEP). These pages were written while the Saints lived in Kirtland, Ohio, and were recorded in the general time frame that Joseph was translating the Book of Abraham. They are in the same handwriting of several of Joseph's scribes. Critics charge that the KEP represent Joseph's attempt to translate the hieroglyphics from those portions that are still extant, noting that Egyptologists tell us that the alleged "translations" do not accurately reflect the meanings of the hieroglyphics. In some cases, several paragraphs of the English translation of the Book of Abraham are associated with Egyptian characters from the Joseph Smith papyri. In some instances, one Egyptian character seems to yield several sentences of English text. From what may be surmised from the "Kirtland Egyptian Papers" the surviving Egyptian papyri are claimed by critics to be the source for the Book of Abraham. Critics point out that Egyptologists agree that these papyri are part of a collection of Egyptian funerary documents known as the Book of Breathings and do not deal with Abraham. (Click here for full article)

  • Background and provenance of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers
    Brief Summary: The Kirtland Egyptian Papers (KEP) are a collection of documents written by various individuals, mostly dating to the Kirtland period of Church history (early- to mid-1830s), constituting some sort of study documents relating to the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri. (Click here for full article)
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  • Historical LDS approaches to the KEP
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that there are at least two evidences which demonstrate an obvious connection between some of the Kirtland Egyptian papers and the Book of Breathings scroll from the Joseph Smith Papyri (JSP). These two evidences are used by critics in an attempt to prove that the existing fragments of the Scroll of Hor is the source of the Book of Abraham and that therefore Joseph was not a prophet. (Click here for full article)
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  • What is the purpose of the KEP?
    Brief Summary: For many years, the KEP were not well studied. A variety of possible explanations have been offered by LDS researchers over the years. One of the more recent approaches postulates that the KEP represent an attempt by Joseph and his associates to create a way to encode revelations and other sensitive data in a form approximating "pure language." Research into this theory is ongoing. (Click here for full article)
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It is claimed that contemporary sources were used by Joseph Smith as sources for the Book of Abraham. (Click here for full article)



We do not claim to know why the text of the Book of Abraham (or the missing Book of Joseph) is not in evidence on the fragments of papyrus that were recovered. Critics, of course, simply assume this to be conclusive evidence that Joseph was a fraud. From a believer's perspective, however, there are several possible theories to account for this: 1) The text was revealed much in the same manner as that of the Book of Mormon, without the need for the actual papyri, 2) The text was present on portions of the papyri that are missing, and 3) The Book of Abraham manuscript was attached to the Book of Breathings manuscript and was lost. 4) Perhaps there was a way of understanding the Egyptian ideograms anciently that is unknown to Egyptology in our day, yet to be discovered, deciphered or acknowledged, that could yield an interpretation of a text that is different than the standard Egyptological reading. (Click here for full article)

  • The "Revealed Text" theory
    Brief Summary: This theory assumes that the Book of Abraham was not on the papyri; he received the text by revelation, with the papyri acting as a catalyst. This is a possibility because Joseph used the word "translation" to mean several things, including the process of receiving pure revelation. (Joseph Smith's revelations call his revision of the Bible a "translation" (D&C 73:4; 76:15; 90:13; 94:10; 124:89), even though he didn't use any Hebrew of Greek manuscripts. Also, DC 7: is a revealed translation of a lost record written by the Apostle John.) (Click here for full article)
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  • The "Missing Papyrus" theory
    Brief Summary: This theory assumes that the Book of Abraham was on the papyri in Joseph Smith's possession, but the portion recovered from the Metropolitan Museum doesn't include it. This is a possibility because the recovered portion is less than 13% of the total material held by Joseph.[11] Eyewitnesses also reported that the length of the papyri in Joseph's possession was much more extensive than the fragments now held by the Church.[12] (Click here for full article)
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  • The "Jewish Redaction" theory
    Brief Summary: This theory assumes that the Book of Abraham was on a scroll which is no longer extant. While it's true that the extant portions of the JSP are from the Book of the Dead and the Book of Breathings and do not, according to Egyptologists, translate to anything like the LDS Book of Abraham, this doesn't necessarily mean that the translation didn't derive from Joseph's papyri. There are other scenarios that are compatible with Joseph's claims. We know from other sources, for instance, that sometimes scrolls were attached together. (Click here for full article)
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In the Book of Abraham, Joseph included three facsimiles of illustrations from the papyri, along with commentary about what the images and their individual parts represented. Some of Joseph's interpretations are similar to those of trained Egyptologists, but most are not. A number of criticisms relate to the three facsimiles associated with the Book of Abraham. It is noted that Joseph Smith's translation of the facsimiles does not agree with that provided by Egyptologists, and that some missing portions of the facsimiles were incorrectly restored before they were published. (Click here for full article)

  • Facsimile 1
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that facsimile 1 is simply a typical funerary scene and there are many other papyri showing the same basic scene, and that the missing portions of the drawing were incorrectly restored. It is also claimed that Abraham has never been associated with the lion couch vignette such as that portrayed in Facsimile #1 of the Book of Abraham. (Click here for full article)
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  • "By His Own Hand upon Papyrus": 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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  • Facsimile 2
    Brief Summary: The illustration represented by Facsimile 2 is a hypocephalus, a disc made of linen, papyrus, or bronze, covered with inscriptions and images which relate to one of the last spells in the Book of the Dead. Joseph Smith's notes to Facsimile 2 identify it as representing God sitting in the heavens among the stars and others of his creations. (Click here for full article)
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  • Facsimile 3
    Brief Summary: The following are common criticisms associated with Facsimile 3: 1) The scene depicted is a known Egyptian vignette which some Egyptologists claim has nothing to do with Abraham, 2) Joseph indicated that specific characters in the facsimile confirmed the identities that he assigned to specific figures, 3) Joseph identified two obviously female figures as "King Pharaoh" and "Prince of Pharaoh." (Click here for full article)
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  • Restoration of the missing portions of the facsimiles
    Brief Summary: Part of the drawings (vignettes) on the papyri have been destroyed. Before the facsimiles were published, the missing sections were filled in. While it appears that Joseph or someone else "restored" these missing parts, non-LDS Egyptologists do not recognize these restorations as accurate. Critics charge that the sections that were filled in are incorrect, and that this proves that Joseph Smith was not a prophet. (Click here for full article)
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The Book of Abraham makes several references to astronomy which draw criticism. These articles address specific issues related to Book of Abraham astronomical concepts. (Click here for full article)

  • Kolob
    Brief Summary: What is Kolob? I've heard that Mormons believe God lives there. (Click here for full article)
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  • Relationship between Kolob and the Sun
    Brief Summary: The Book of Abraham states that “the sun [is said] to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power (Abraham Fac 2,Fig 5),” while astrophysics has shown that “The Sun shines ... because of thermonuclear fusion. It does not get its light from any other star.” (Click here for full article)
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  • Revolution Time
    Brief Summary: Critics of Mormonism claim that "LDS doctrine regarding astronomy is permeated with references to time being measured, or 'reckoned' according to a star's or planet's rate of rotation. Furthermore, this 'reckoning of time' is a prime distinguisher in terms of 'greatness.' From the standpoint of modern cosmology, this makes no sense at all. Rates of rotation are largely arbitrary, and of little comment or concern from a fundamental point of view." (Click here for full article)
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  • Why would Abraham lie?
    Brief Summary: Some ask, "Why God would encourage Abraham & Sarah to lie in Abraham 2:24? Isn't lying a sin according to the 10 commandments? Why did God tell Abraham and Sarah to lie when 2 Nephi condemns liars to hell?" (Click here for full article)
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New Testament


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  1. Interview of Emma Smith by her son Joseph Smith III, "Interview with Joseph Smith III, 1879," Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 1:541–542.
  2. Interview of Emma Smith by her son Joseph Smith III, "Interview with Joseph Smith III, 1879," in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 1:539.
  3. Stewart Reid, LDS Public Relations Staff, quoted by William J. Bennetta in The Textbook Letter (March-April 1997), published by The Textbook League (P.O. Box 51, Sausalito, California 94966).
  4. Suzanne Austin Alchon, 'A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective,' Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c2003.
  5. The expression "suicide bombing" in this context comes from Stewart, "DNA and the Book of Mormon."
  6. Criticisms regarding the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith papyri are raised in the following publications: “Universalism in Ohio,” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, New York) (12 September 1835): 291. off-site; Edward H. Ashment, The Use of Egyptian Magical Papyri to Authenticate the Book of Abraham: A Critical Review (Salt Lake City: Resource Communications, 1993), 1–.; Charles M. Larson, By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri, 2nd ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Institute for Religious Research, 1992), 1–.; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, "Solving the Mystery of the Joseph Smith Papyri," Salt Lake City Messenger 82 (September 1992): 1–12.; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), Chapter 11.( Index of claims ); Watchman Fellowship, The Watchman Expositor (Page 3)
  7. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 2:235, 236, 348–351. 236, 348 Volume 2 link
  8. The 11-part series, written by Dr. Hugh Nibley and entitled "A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price", began in the January 1968 Improvement Era and ran in every issue until May 1970 (with the exception of December 1969 and February 1970). Nibley's series has been available as a FARMS reprint (N-NEP) since 1990, and several chapters became part of Nibley's book Abraham In Egypt.
  9. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 2:236. Volume 2 link
  10. Michael H. Marquardt, "A Book Note — Hugh Nibley's Abraham in Egypt" (2000).
  11. John Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000), 23.
  12. "In 1906, while visiting Nauvoo, President Joseph F. Smith related to Preston Nibley his experience as a child of seeing his Uncle Joseph in the front rooms of the Mansion House working on the Egyptian manuscripts. According to President Smith, one of the rolls of papyri "when unrolled on the floor extended through two rooms of the Mansion House." This would have been sometime between 1843 when the Mansion House was completed and the prophet's death in June 1844, one or two years after other parts of the papyri had been cut up and placed under glass. - See Hugh Nibley, "Phase I," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3 no. 2 (Summer 1968), 101. See also Hugh Nibley, "New Look at the Pearl of Great Price," Improvement Era 71 (March 1968), 17–18. and Hugh Nibley, "Judging and Prejudging the Book of Abraham," Nibley archive, 1979, 6-7; reprinted as an appendix in Robert L. and Rosemary Brown, They Lie in Wait to Deceive, vol. 1, ed. Barbara Ellsworth, rev. ed. (Mesa, AZ: Brownsworth, 1982), 236—245.