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How to Book of Mormon is Not Like the Bible
Meridian Magazine ^ | Grant Hardy

Posted on 06/29/2010 8:28:07 AM PDT by Colofornian

Quite reasonably, the current “Introduction” to the Book of Mormon begins, “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”...

Yet...we are likely to point out some significant differences as well...

...The Bible is more of a library than a single book, and there are tremendous differences in genre...

At first glance, the contents of the Book of Mormon appear to be similarly diverse...On closer inspection... the Book of Mormon turns to be entirely narrative. The whole book takes the form of a story told by narrators...but we know who is responsible for every word in the Book of Mormon. It’s either Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, or Moroni (plus a few minor authors...). This means that the Book of Mormon, as a whole, is a much more integrated and deliberately constructed volume than the Bible.

...the Book of Mormon operates by very different literary principles than the Bible. Consider the characteristics of Old Testament narrators as described by Shimon Bar-Efrat, formerly of Hebrew University at Jerusalem:

“The narrator in most biblical narratives appears to be omniscient”

“Biblical narrators do not usually mention themselves”

“Biblical narrators [generally] make no reference to their activity in writing the narratives”

“The narrators do not...address their audience directly”

“Outside the books of Kings there are very few instances in which the narrator passes judgment”

How many of these statements are true of the Book of Mormon? None of them.

Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni are...often...participants in the stories...They interrupt their narratives regularly to tell us about their lives, their testimonies, and their desires. They worry about their “weakness in writing” (Eth. 12:23, 40; cf. 2 Ne. 33:1, 4). And they do not hesitate to address readers directly to explain their intentions,...editorial techniques,...emotional responses to...events...

(Excerpt) Read more at ldsmag.com ...


TOPICS: History; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: beck; bible; bookofmormon; glennbeck; inman; lds; mormon; mormons
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From the column: Yet even when understood as narrative, the Book of Mormon operates by very different literary principles than the Bible. Consider the characteristics of Old Testament narrators as described by Shimon Bar-Efrat, formerly of Hebrew University at Jerusalem:
“The narrator in most biblical narratives appears to be omniscient”
“Biblical narrators do not usually mention themselves”
“Biblical narrators [generally] make no reference to their activity in writing the narratives”
“The narrators do not . . . address their audience directly”
“Outside the books of Kings there are very few instances in which the narrator passes judgment”
How many of these statements are true of the Book of Mormon? None of them.

OK. Here's a Mormon who has studied the BoM in-depth, and upon this study, concludes the BoM isn't like the Bible, after all!

From the column: we know who is responsible for every word in the Book of Mormon.

(Yeah, we know: Joseph Smith)

It’s either Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, or Moroni (plus a few minor authors at the end of the Small Plates). This means that the Book of Mormon, as a whole, is a much more integrated and deliberately constructed volume than the Bible.

(Game show buzz: Wrong answer. Although Hardy is right on one thing: Indeed, the BoM is an "integrated and deliberately CONSTRUCTED volume!"

From the column: Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni are named, human narrators writing from their own historical, human perspectives...Indeed, they often were participants in the stories that they tell.

Hmmm...not secondhand -- God to people thru God's eyes [like most of the OT]...

...but firsthand as if only thru the lens of humanity.

From the column: They interrupt their narratives regularly to tell us about their lives, their testimonies, and their desires. They worry about their “weakness in writing” (Eth. 12:23, 40; cf. 2 Ne. 33:1, 4). And they do not hesitate to address readers directly to explain their intentions, their editorial techniques, and their emotional responses to the events they recount.

Bingo. Only somebody in a publishing world is going to "worry [about] their 'weakness in writing." That's hardly a description of people writing up to four centuries after Christ and up to six before!!! Likewise, Hardy says these guys tell their readers about their "editorial techniques" -- again the luxury of living in the publishing world the past several centuries. But NOT a reality of earlier times!

Furthermore, these tangents (the interruptions Hardy references) matches what Joseph Smith's mother would hear from her son when he was a teen about 17:

"During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of the continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them. On the twenty-second of September, 1824, Joseph again visited the place where he found the plates the year previous; and supporting at this time that the only thing required, in order to possess them until the time for their translation, was to be able to keep the commandments of God...he fully expected to carry them home with him. (Lucy Mack Smith, edited by Preston Nibley, History of Joseph Smith, p. 83, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1958)

[Keep in mind the above is all before he had a chance to "interpret" or "translate" those plates].

1 posted on 06/29/2010 8:28:13 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

There is only one book for me: The Bible.


2 posted on 06/29/2010 8:32:26 AM PDT by Ancient Drive (DRINK COFFEE! - Do Stupid Things Faster with More Energy!)
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To: FatherofFive

SFL


3 posted on 06/29/2010 8:33:51 AM PDT by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Colofornian

I often wonder how they got people to fall for this...

But not as much as I wonder what on earth could be the attraction of Islam (the Religion of Peace (tm))


4 posted on 06/29/2010 8:34:21 AM PDT by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofread- I swear I try!)
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To: Colofornian; restornu

It is hard to take the poster serious in their efforts attacking The Book of Mormon for not being Christian when their Grammar shows the true Intellect behind the attacks e.g. “ How to Book of Mormon is Not Like the Bible (And Why We Should Celebrate That!)”
Maybe they should check out Anti-Mormonism for Dummies!!!!


5 posted on 06/29/2010 8:36:03 AM PDT by killermedic (Git some, baby)
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To: Colofornian
In short the Bible is the Word of God.

The BoM is the word of Joseph Smith (a thug, a grifter, a flim flam man, a con artist, a known liar, a known adulator, a known pedophile, a thief, a murderer............ and on and on.)

6 posted on 06/29/2010 8:36:17 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Colofornian

Nor do most authors get told by god to go to canada and sell the copywrite for the scriptures in order to make a quick buck.


7 posted on 06/29/2010 8:36:24 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: killermedic
What a witty retort.
The BoM is such a glittering example of intellect and proper writing techniques.
Thanks for pointing that all out.

So just a question, do you agree with the premise or not?

8 posted on 06/29/2010 8:39:48 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Colofornian

When I read the Bible, I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. When I read the Book of Mormon, I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost.

The Book of Mormon is another Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Lord.

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost”

1 Corinthians 12:3


9 posted on 06/29/2010 8:40:42 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy (For victory & freedom!!!)
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To: Colofornian

Is it true that the plates were lost? One thing I find difficult to believe is that something so substantial and important in 1824 was lost.


10 posted on 06/29/2010 8:42:02 AM PDT by fire4effect
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To: Saundra Duffy

So Sandy is that versus translated correctly?


11 posted on 06/29/2010 8:43:05 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Colofornian
They worry about their “weakness in writing"...

As well they should. They go to the "And it came to pass..."well way to many times.

12 posted on 06/29/2010 8:43:42 AM PDT by gundog (Outrage is anger taken by surprise. Nothing these people do surprises me anymore.)
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To: fire4effect
For sure. You would think that these “tablets” would have been closely guarded.
Good point.
13 posted on 06/29/2010 8:44:19 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Ancient Drive

Did Glenn Beck write this column?


16 posted on 06/29/2010 8:46:42 AM PDT by FrankR (Standing against tyranny must start somewhere, or the future belongs to the tyrants.)
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To: Colofornian
"All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration.

It is chloroform in print.

If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle--keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously-engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone, in an out-of-the-way locality, the work of translating was equally a miracle, for the same reason."

Mark Twain 1861

17 posted on 06/29/2010 8:47:51 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Mount Carmel Utah, where Mr. Milquetoast lives with his "Persecution Complex")
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: fire4effect
Is it true that the plates were lost? One thing I find difficult to believe is that something so substantial and important in 1824 was lost.

(Oh, not "lost"...why the man-ghost, the angel Moroni, a dead man, took them back to heaven, alleged Smith)

21 posted on 06/29/2010 8:54:57 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian
“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”

Do they not realize that here, at the very beginning of their book, is where they lose most of us? And from there on into the actual text it just gets worse. There are some of aspects of the "Mormon life" that are appealing, and they have every right to believe and preach whatever they wish. But personally, as a Christian, and an avid with degree but not full time student of history, their "scripture" is a fairly obvious fraud.

22 posted on 06/29/2010 8:55:16 AM PDT by katana (For what is an Irishman ? But a .......)
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To: gundog
They worry about their “weakness in writing"...

**As well they should. They go to the "And it came to pass..." well way to[o] many times."**

One could even say: "Exceeding many times."

Snort!

Regards,

23 posted on 06/29/2010 9:03:56 AM PDT by alexander_busek
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Saundra Duffy

Ah, but who or what do you say Jesus Christ is?


25 posted on 06/29/2010 9:07:04 AM PDT by Señor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: Gasshog

Potty language is not allowed on the Religion Forum.


26 posted on 06/29/2010 9:11:28 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Colofornian

“Biblical narrators do not usually mention themselves”

“Biblical narrators [generally] make no reference to their activity in writing the narratives”
_________________________________________________

Oh Noez Joez...

And it came to pass ye mucketh up boy...


27 posted on 06/29/2010 9:12:24 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

A Swiss Cheese thread...


28 posted on 06/29/2010 9:13:21 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Señor Zorro; Saundra Duffy
According to lds Jesus Christ is a created being.

Sandy usually gets really testy at that question who or what do you say Jesus Christ is?

If you get a real and full answer, ping me.

29 posted on 06/29/2010 9:14:03 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Tennessee Nana

So if a “cheese head” marries a “sour dough head” does their family become a sandwich?
Good Morning Nana.


30 posted on 06/29/2010 9:15:25 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Saundra Duffy

Since the bom is a work of fiction written in the early 1800s, that ‘spirit’ you feel is not the Holy Spirit.


31 posted on 06/29/2010 9:18:01 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: svcw

Godd morning and good afternoon ta ye lassie...

How di ye be ???

:)


32 posted on 06/29/2010 9:19:16 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: gundog
They worry about their “weakness in writing"...

**As well they should. They go to the "And it came to pass..." well way to[o] many times."**

One could even say: "Exceeding many times."

Snort!

Regards,

33 posted on 06/29/2010 9:19:26 AM PDT by alexander_busek
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To: Colofornian

The book of Mormon is just the 19th century versio of “Dianetics”


34 posted on 06/29/2010 9:24:45 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Oh, snap!


35 posted on 06/29/2010 9:26:35 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: killermedic

It’s interesting that you would attack the poster on his/her grammar, yet you show a lack of knowledge of same by capitalizing words that should not be capitalized (i.e. Grammar and Intellect).


36 posted on 06/29/2010 9:27:14 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: circlecity

:)


37 posted on 06/29/2010 9:29:33 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

“Biblical narrators do not usually mention themselves”

Have you ever read the book of Nehemiah from the Old Testament? It is in first person. Nehemiah definitely mentions himself. Nehemiah might be the only example though.

Still that gives no credence to the fiction that is the Book of Mormon. No cities or coins or any other artifacts were found to substantiate the claims found in the Book of Mormon anyway.


38 posted on 06/29/2010 9:36:50 AM PDT by sail4sea
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Colofornian
It is hard to take the poster serious in their efforts attacking The Book of Mormon for not being Christian when their Grammar shows the true Intellect behind the attacks e.g. “ How to Book of Mormon is Not Like the Bible (And Why We Should Celebrate That!)”

Where to begin on this ridiculous post!

The criticism of the grammar! of the OP, "take the poster" (singular) "when their" (multiple)...Grammar (not proper noun, but capitalized), Intellect (not proper noun, but capitalized...

That's just a start!...criticism of the OP's title of the thread, which by FR rules is the title of the original article, written by "a mormon Professor" (when their Grammar shows the true Intellect!!) published in Meridian Magazine!

Note the TITLE!

It's hard to take this poster serious when obviously needed is...

grammar for dummies

41 posted on 06/29/2010 9:37:41 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Obama: "a guy who throws a baseball like a girl and eats cilantro" H/T Fishtalk)
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To: greyfoxx39

serious=seriously....proofread, GF, proof read.


42 posted on 06/29/2010 9:44:54 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Obama: "a guy who throws a baseball like a girl and eats cilantro" H/T Fishtalk)
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To: Colofornian

Hole buncha peeople on thiss thred need to git spel chek an grammer check.

Either y’all are trying to post too quickly, or you missed the part of school where they taught how to communicate using words. Please, just slow down a bit and double check your spelling and grammar. It is so much easier on the eyes and brain to read when written correctly.


43 posted on 06/29/2010 9:49:12 AM PDT by lurk
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To: Gasshog

Leave this thread, since you can’t refrain from potty references.


44 posted on 06/29/2010 9:49:16 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: lurk
U R so crrt on that.
Blame predictive spelling on some cell phones, and not typing as fast as we think.
45 posted on 06/29/2010 10:02:47 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Colofornian

A Bible is a Bible and nothing else is a substitute.


46 posted on 06/29/2010 10:03:32 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: svcw

“The BoM is the word of Joseph Smith (a thug, a grifter, a flim flam man, a con artist, a known liar, a known adulator, a known pedophile, a thief, a murderer............ and on and on.)”

That bastard Mohammed certainly gets around, doesn’t he? ;)


47 posted on 06/29/2010 10:06:23 AM PDT by Levante
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To: Levante

Joey Smith also want to be a “2nd Mohammad”

“I Will Be a Second Mohammed”

In the heat of the Missouri “Mormon War” of 1838, Joseph Smith made the following claim,
“I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So shall it eventually be with us—‘Joseph Smith or the Sword!’ ”[1]

It is most interesting that a self-proclaimed Christian prophet would liken himself to Mohammed, the founder of Islam. His own comparison invites us to take a closer look as well. And when we do, we find some striking—and troubling—parallels. Consider the following.

Mohammed and Joseph Smith both had humble beginnings. Neither had formal religious connections or upbringing, and both were relatively uneducated. Both founded new religions by creating their own scriptures. In fact, followers of both prophets claim these scriptures are miracles since their authors were the most simple and uneducated of men.[2]

Both prophets claim of having angel visitations, and of receiving divine revelation to restore pure religion to the earth again. Mohammed was told that both Jews and Christians had long since corrupted their scriptures and religion. In like manner, Joseph Smith was told that all of Christianity had become corrupt, and that consequently the Bible itself was no longer reliable. In both cases, this corruption required a complete restoration of both scripture and religion. Nothing which preceded either prophet could be relied upon any longer. Both prophets claim they were used of God to restore eternal truths which once existed on earth, but had been lost due to human corruption.

Both prophets created new scripture which borrowed heavily from the Bible, but with a substantially new “spin.” In his Koran, Mohammed appropriates a number of Biblical themes and characters—but he changes the complete sense of many passages, claiming to “correct” the Bible. In so doing he changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place. In like manner, Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon, much of which is plagiarized directly from the King James Bible. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon claims that this same Bible has been substantially corrupted and is therefore unreliable. In addition, Joseph Smith went so far as to actually create his own version of the Bible itself, the “Inspired Version,” in which he both adds and deletes significant portions of text, claiming he is “correcting” it. In so doing he also changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place.

As a part of their new scriptural “spin,” both prophets saw themselves as prophesied in scripture, and both saw themselves as a continuation of a long line of Biblical prophets. Mohammed saw himself as a continuation of the ministry of Moses and Jesus. Joseph Smith saw himself as a successor to Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith actually wrote himself into his own version of the Bible—by name.

Both prophets held up their own scripture as superior to the Bible. Mohammed claimed that the Koran was a perfect copy of the original which was in heaven. The Koran is therefore held to be absolutely perfect, far superior to the Bible and superceding it. In like manner, Joseph Smith also made the following claim. “I told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book.”[3]

Despite their claim that the Bible was corrupt, both prophets admonished their followers to adhere to its teachings. An obvious contradiction, this led to selective acceptance of some portions and wholesale rejection of others. As a result, the Bible is accepted by both groups of followers only to the extent that it agrees with their prophet’s own superior revelation.

Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith taught that true salvation was to be found only in their respective religions. Those who would not accept their message were considered “infidels,” pagans or Gentiles. In so doing, both prophets became the enemy of genuine Christianity, and have led many people away from the Christ of the Bible.

Both prophets encountered fierce opposition to their new religions and had to flee from town to town because of threats on their lives. Both retaliated to this opposition by forming their own militias. Both ultimately set up their own towns as model societies.

Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith left unclear instructions about their successors. The majority of Mohammed’s followers, Sunni Muslims, believe they were to elect their new leader, whereas the minority, Shiite Muslims, believe Mohammed’s son was to be their next leader. Similarly, the majority of Joseph Smith’s followers, Mormons, believed their next prophet should have been the existing leader of their quorum of twelve apostles, whereas the minority, RLDS, believed Joseph Smith’s own son should have been their next prophet. Differences on this issue, and many others, have created substantial tension between these rival groups of each prophet.

Mohammed taught that Jesus was just another of a long line of human prophets, of which he was the last. He taught that he was superior to Christ and superceded Him. In comparison, Joseph Smith also made the following claim.

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”[4]

In light of these parallels, perhaps Joseph Smith’s claim to be a second Mohammed unwittingly became his most genuine prophecy of all.
________________________________________

[1] Joseph Smith made this statement at the conclusion of a speech in the public square at Far West, Missouri on October 14, 1838. This particular quote is documented in Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, second edition, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), p. 230–231. Fawn Brodie’s footnote regarding this speech contains valuable information, and follows. “Except where noted, all the details of this chapter [16] are taken from the History of the [Mormon] Church. This speech, however, was not recorded there, and the report given here is based upon the accounts of seven men. See the affidavits of T.B. Marsh, Orson Hyde, George M. Hinkle, John Corrill, W.W. Phelps, Samson Avard, and Reed Peck in Correspondence, Orders, etc., pp. 57–9, 97–129. The Marsh and Hyde account, which was made on October 24, is particularly important. Part of it was reproduced in History of the [Mormon] Church, Vol. III, p. 167. See also the Peck manuscript, p. 80. Joseph himself barely mentioned the speech in his history; see Vol. III, p. 162.”

[2] John Ankerberg & John Weldon, The Facts on Islam, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1998), pp.8–9. Eric Johnson, Joseph Smith & Muhammed, (El Cajon, CA: Mormonism Research Ministry, 1998), pp. 6–7.

[3] Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.4, pp.461.

[4] Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.6, pp.408–409.


48 posted on 06/29/2010 10:14:20 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Levante

Well, JS did claim to be the next mohammed.


49 posted on 06/29/2010 10:16:45 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: Levante
Sorry forgot the quote.

“I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So shall it eventually be with us—‘Joseph Smith or the Sword!’ 1838

50 posted on 06/29/2010 10:19:25 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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