Topical Guide/Book of Mormon

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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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Suzanne Austin Alchon, 'A Pest in the Land: New World Epidemics in a Global Perspective,' Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c2003.
  • The expression "suicide bombing" in this context comes from Stewart, "DNA and the Book of Mormon."