Reexamining the Book of Mormon

Part of a series about My Faith Journey.

The Book of Mormon was pretty foundational to the testimony that I gained as a teenager. Over the course of my faithful membership, I read it 18 times. I wasn't about to leave the church without giving the Book of Mormon a thorough reexamination. I have read it twice since my deconversion. Here are my notes on it.

The Defender's Claim

It is worth taking a moment to examine a defender's claim that I sometimes hear:

"How could an uneducated farm boy have written the Book of Mormon from scratch in a few short months!"

Let's take this one piece at a time.

"Uneducated"

Joseph Smith may not have had much formal education, but his father, his maternal grandmother, his wife Emma, and his scribe (Oliver Cowdery), were all schoolteachers. Mark Twain also didn't have a formal education and he authored many books. Many of the US Founding Fathers had limited formal education (including Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin), but they went on to do great things. It's more accurate to say that Joseph Smith was homeschooled. (More on JS's education here.)

We know JS was literate. The correlated narrative describes him reading James 1:5 in preparation for the first vision. We also know that he had leg surgery as a child, which means he would've spent a fair amount of time in bed recovering. Putting 2 and 2 together: he could've read a lot of books during his recuperation. He was probably fairly well-read, relative to a lot of his neighbors.

To be clear, I'm not trying to make the claim that Joseph Smith was highly educated, nor am I making the claim that he was some kind of genius. What I see is a man with talent: talent with storytelling, a man who oozed charisma, a man with ambition. But it was mostly raw talent, unrefined by the kind of formal education & upbringing enjoyed by modern inhabitants of the land he was raised in.

Telltale Signs

Let's revisit part of that claim above: "No uneducated farm boy could have written this". Let's turn that around and put it in question form: If the author of the Book of Mormon really was lacking in education, what would be some of the things you would expect to see? In other words, what would be the "tells" that would point to an ignorant author? Here are some things that I can think of:

For an example of an ignorant author at work, you can listen to the podcast How to Build a Transoceanic Vessel or read the transcript.

"Farm Boy"

Joseph Smith was born in 1805. The BofM was published in 1830. JS was 25 yrs old when it was published. He may have lived on a farm, but he was not a "boy" when the BofM was authored.

Worth noting: The BofM we have now is not the same version that JS originally produced. It has been heavily edited & revised since it's initial publication. bookofmormonorigins.com is a great site for reading the original 1830 version; it reads much more like a book that was produced by a country bumpkin. (Including phrases such as "The Lamanites was a-comin'", and "They did giddyup the horses".)

"Written"

Joseph Smith didn't write the BofM, he dictated it. That's an important distinction. JS was a storyteller, not a writer, and dictation is much easier than writing. He had scribes who recorded his dictation. This is a well-known fact that even the church admits to in their correlated narrative. Oliver Cowdery was a schoolteacher and he did most of the actual writing.

"From scratch"

Rather than invent the story from scratch, he could've copied story elements from contemporary sources (KJV Bible, View of the Hebrews, Manuscript Found, The Late War, The First Book of Napoleon, etc.).

"Few short months"

The timeframe for the authoring of the BofM was about 3 years, end-to-end. It was years, not months. That means he was 22-25 yrs old when the BofM was penned. There is also evidence of JS composing narratives years before that would eventually be incorporated into the BofM (c.f. his fanciful tales he told his mother about the Native Americans). There's an old saying: "You have your whole life to write your first book." So it was with Joseph Smith.

Speeding up the Process

Let's revisit another part of the above claim: That the Book of Mormon was written in an incredibly short amount of time. (3 years doesn't seem very "short" to me, but never mind that for now.) If you were going to write a book and you wanted  to accelerate the process, what are some techniques that you might use?

The Defender's Claim, restated:

So, let's restate that defender's claim with the above clarifications:

"How could a homeschooled, well-read, man in his early twenties have dictated the Book of Mormon in the space of three years, with plenty of contemporary sources to crib from?"

How indeed.

On Keystones and Correctness

The Book of Mormon has been described as the "keystone of our religion". Ezra Taft Benson, speaking in his capacity as prophet of the church, made this bold, no-nonsense, assertion:

"The Book of Mormon is the keystone of testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon... If it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church." - Ezra Taft Benson, The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion, October, 1986

The truth is not fragile

We are even told in the front pages of the BofM that it is "the most correct book ever written". That's a pretty big claim. If it really is the "most correct" book, it should be able to stand up to a fair amount of scrutiny. By way of comparison, when Einstein proposed his Theory of Relativity, there were numerous critics who thought it was bunk and designed experiments intended to falsify it. After running those experiments, all they succeeded in doing was proving that Einstein's theory was correct with greater and greater degrees of accuracy.

Investigators are asked to read the Book of Mormon, and sincerely pray about its truthfulness to gain a testimony. Many do, and end up joining the church. (Many more don't, but let's never mind them for now.)

Turning the question around

But wait just a minute: What if we were to rephrase the question and ask people: "Read this book and see if you can spot anything that doesn't make sense". That's a very different proposition and puts people in a completely different mindset. It's the difference between saying "See if this software meets all the requirements" and "See if you can find any bugs in this software."

So, with that idea in mind, let's examine both the claims and the text of the Book of Mormon and see if we can find anything that doesn't quite make sense...


Chapter by Chapter Analysis

Why would this record be kept on plates of gold? As metals go, gold is both heavy (hard to transport) and soft (the characters could easily get scuffed up).

In 1 Nephi 1, it says that Lehi was prompted to flee Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah.

The whole idea that there were brass plates that was a collection of Old Testament books is anachronistic. The compilation of the books of the bible into a single tome didn't occur until centuries later.

Nephi referring to brass is anachronistic. This story ostensibly took place ~600 BC, brass was not invented until 500 BC.

Why did the Lord not have a "profound sleep" come over Laban (as in Mosiah 24:19) so Nephi wouldn't have to kill him. Alternatively, the Lord could have made him unwakeable from his drunken stupor (as in Mosiah 22:7). Maybe Laban already was unwakeable? Did Nephi even try to find out?

Laban was drunk and passed out. Nephi could have just hid him in a closet and take his clothes like in the movies. Get the plates and be gone. They were going to the America’s. Not like Laban would be a threat.

How does Nephi's killing of the defenseless Laban jibe with the The Ten Commandments' #6 item: "Thou shalt not kill". (N.b. Said commandment was on the brass plates and was presumably taught to Nephi in his youth.)

The justification we are given for the killing of Laban is that "it is better for one man to perish than for a whole nation to dwindle and perish in unbelief". But is this not exactly what occurred? We read in the O.T. that the children of Israel were captured by the Babylonians and forgot the Lord their God. It sounds like they "dwindled and perished in unbelief" notwithstanding the slaying of Laban.

Nephi slays Laban and then dons his clothing. Decapitation results in a gusher of blood from the victim's severed neck. Laban's clothing should have been soaked in blood, and yet none of Laban's servants raise an eyebrow when Nephi comes to them wearing his clothes.

Related: How did Laban's servants not recognize a change in their master's voice when Nephi came to them in disguise?

If Lehi could find the Liahona, a device with magical writing that can reveal anything from God, why was it necessary for Nephi to steal the Brass Plates from Laban? Couldn't God have simply revealed the scriptures they needed via the Liahona?

Nephi is told to build a boat. He doesn't have ore for tools. He is told to go up into the mountains to find ore to make tools. Question: How did he get the ore out of the mountains? It was previously established that he didn't have tools. Did he claw it out with his bare hands? Did he bite it out with his teeth?

In 2 Nephi 3:7-11 Joseph (Jacob's son) makes reference to Moses. Problem: Moses was born after Joseph. Whoops.

2 Nephi 3:14, referring to Joseph Smith, says "And thus prophesied Joseph, saying: Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded;"

2 Nephi 3:15 says "And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father." Joseph Smith Jr. was named after Joseph Smith Sr. JS is writing himself into his own scriptures. Does that seem a little sketchy to you? Does it smack of hubris?

2 Nephi 5:15 says "And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.". The very next verse says "And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine." Which is it, Nephi?

In 1 Kings 5:15-16 it says that Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen. The initial Nephite landing party was considerably smaller than that, and yet they were able to build a temple like unto Solomon's? While still looking after day-to-day tasks like gathering firewood and preparing food?

2 Nephi 5:10 says "And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.". Jacob 4:5 repeats this, saying: "Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses..."

2 Nephi 5:21-24 describes the Lamanites becoming dark-skinned due to their wickedness. Why do we not see modern-day apostates' skin darken post-apostasy?

2 Nephi 5:24 says "And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey." I would not describe hunting as an "idle" task. (I wonder how LDS hunters feel about this.)

2 Nephi 9:34 says "Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell."

2 Nephi 9:35 "Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die." Nephi killing Laban? Porter Rockwell? Danites? Mountain Meadows?

2 Nephi 26:33 "For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

Jacob 3:11 "O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death."

Jacob 4:1  says "Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;" But we find these rambling passages later on:

Mosiah 18:30 "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

4 Nephi 1:6 "And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away."

Jacob 5:3 "For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay."

Jacob 6:10 "And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment."

Sherem in Jacob 7 is nearly identical to Nehor and Korihor that we encounter later on. The arguments they make are straw-man representations of the "Universalist" ideas being preached in Joseph Smith's day.

Omni 1:17 "And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them."

Somewhere in the neighborhood of Words of Mormon, Mormon writes that he received Jaredite Plates. << need to check this reference >> However, there is no mention of quoting from these plates from any of the Lehites. They frequently referenced the Brass Plates, but never the Jaredite record. It's almost as though the Book of Ether was added after the fact and the authors didn't want to go back and edit their previous writings to include it. See: http://www.ldsdefector.com/fact-1416/

In Mosiah 11:20 a prophet Abinadi appears out of nowhere and starts prophesying. He does not appear to be part of any organized church or fit into any command hierarchy, and yet, he's supposed to be a man of God.

Mosiah 12:1 "And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to prophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying — Abinadi"

Mosiah 15:1-5 espouses a very Trinitarian view of God that is very much at odds with what is taught in the modern LDS church.

Mosiah 15:24 "And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord." This verse says that those who die in ignorance

Alma the Elder records the sermon given by Abinadi (round abouts Mosiah 12), but is cast out of King Noah's court before Abinadi brings his speech to a conclusion and is burned in the fire.

In Mosiah 16:16, Abinadi says: "And it will come to pass that ye shall be afflicted with all manner of diseases because of your iniquities." This prophecy is never fulfilled.

Mosiah 18:13 "And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world."

Mosiah 18:26 "And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God."

Mosiah 18:20 "Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people."

Mosiah 19:8 "And now the king was not so much concerned about his people as he was about his own life; nevertheless, Gideon did spare his life."

In Mosiah 29, King Mosiah gives his exit speech where he exhorts citizens to abandon the practice of kings and instead adopt a system of judges with checks and balances.

The story of Alma the Younger bears a striking resemblance to Paul of the New Testament: he initially fought against the church, had an angelic visitation on the road, experienced a profound conversion, became a missionary, converted many, was taken in chains before magistrates, and escaped from a dungeon. The parallels are so strong that it suggests a textual dependance on the Bible.

Alma 7:10 "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." Problem: Jesus was born at Bethlehem, not Jerusalem.

Alma 10:2 "I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God." This bears a strong resemblance to the book of Daniel where King Belshazzar and his court see a disembodied finger write on the wall and Daniel interprets it. This again suggests a textual dependance on the Bible.

Alma 11:26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?

Alma 11:27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.

Alma 11:28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?

Alma 11:29 And he answered, No.

Alma 11:38 Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?

Alma 11:39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;

Alma 13 reads a _lot_ like Hebrews chapter 7. Just read the two side-by-side and see how many parallels you spot. This strongly suggests a literary dependence on the Bible.

Alma 14:10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

Alma 14:11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

Alma 14:27 "And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the prison; and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof."

Alma 14:29 says: "Now the people having heard a great noise came running together by multitudes to know the cause of it; and when they saw Alma and Amulek coming forth out of the prison, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear, and fled from the presence of Alma and Amulek even as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions; and thus they did flee from the presence of Alma and Amulek."

Alma 17

Alma 18:24 And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

18:25 And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.

18:26 And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?

18:27 And he said, Yea.

18:28 And Ammon said: This is God.

Alma 22 where Ammon teaches / converts King Lamoni's father is basically a repeat of his experience with King Lamoni (Lamoni Jr.?). This repetition suggests laziness on the part of the author and/or amateurish writing.

Korihor in Alma chapter 30 strongly resembles Sherem from the Book of Jacob and Nehor from Alma 1. It looks like the same character was reused under three different names. This again suggests amateurish writing.

Re: Korihor in Alma 30: verse 7 states "Now there was no law against a man’s belief". However, later on in verse 21 says "he [Korihor] was taken and bound and carried before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land."

Alma 30:25 (Korihor speaking) "Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents."

Alma 30:31 And he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

Alma 30:32 Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.

Alma 30:33 And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time.

Alma 30:34 And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?

Alma 30:35 Then why sayest thou that we preach unto this people to get gain, when thou, of thyself, knowest that we receive no gain? And now, believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?

Alma 30:49 Now Alma said unto him: This will I give unto thee for a sign, that thou shalt be struck dumb, according to my words; and I say, that in the name of God, ye shall be struck dumb, that ye shall no more have utterance.

Alma 30:50 Now when Alma had said these words, Korihor was struck dumb, that he could not have utterance, according to the words of Alma.

Alma 30:51 And now when the chief judge saw this, he put forth his hand and wrote unto Korihor, saying: Art thou convinced of the power of God? In whom did ye desire that Alma should show forth his sign? Would ye that he should afflict others, to show unto thee a sign? Behold, he has showed unto you a sign; and now will ye dispute more?

Alma 30:58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.

Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.

Consider the similarities between the description of the Rameumptom in Alma 31 and a modern-day LDS testimony meeting:

Rameumptom

LDS Testimony meeting

31:12: had built synagogues

ward / meetinghouse

31:12 they did gather themselves together on one day of the week

Sunday

31:13 a place for standing, which was high above the head, and the top thereof would only admit one person.

pulpit

31:16 we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren

restoration, peculiar people

31:17 thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell

two churches only: church of Christ / Church of the devil, us-versus-them, only faithful Mormons can attain the Celestial kingdom

31:18 we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people

"chosen generation", Saturday's Warriors saved for the latter-days, elitism

31:22 they did offer up, every man, the selfsame prayer unto God

"I'd like to bear my testimony. I know the church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet..."

31:28 their costly apparel, and their ringlets, and their bracelets, and their ornaments of gold, and all their precious things which they are ornamented with

dressed up in Sunday best

In Alma 32, Alma the Younger gives a great oratory extolling the virtue of faith. But there's a small problem: Alma didn't have to have faith. He saw an angel. He got actual evidence of supernatural beings. Put another way, he saw a sign. Why then was he not extolling the virtue of evidence, knowledge, and sign-seeking?

Alma 34:11 "Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay." Does this mean that the atoning sacrifice of Christ is immoral?

Alma 38:4 [Alma speaking to his son Shiblon] "For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that thou wast stoned for the word’s sake; and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee."

Alma 40:11 "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection — Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life."

Alma 42:12 "And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon himself because of his own disobedience;"

Alma 42:13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

Alma 40:13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.

Alma 41:8 Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.

Alma 42:17 Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?

Alma 43: Alma and his sons finish preaching to the Zoramites. Those who do not convert go over to the Lamanites and incite them to war against the Nephites. This is nearly identical to Alma's earlier preaching among the Amalekites. Repetition like this is just what I would expect from an amateur storyteller.

Alma 45: Alma dies (or rather, is "taken up to heaven") and leadership passes to his son Helaman. We also saw this pattern with Nephi becoming the leader after Nephi's death, and numerous other examples in the book of Omni. Why is this pattern not followed in the modern-day LDS church? This pattern was observed in the RLDS church until very recently, which means they are more closely following the pattern of succession described in the Book of Mormon.

Alma 46:

11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.

12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—

From George Washington’s 5 Rules for Honorable War:

While troops were gathering for the Quebec expedition, Washington penned an open letter to “the Inhabitants of Canada,” which he hoped would sway the uncommitted or, at the very least, soften any hostility toward the soldiers he had dispatched to their country. “We have taken up Arms in Defence of our Liberty, our Property; our Wives and our Children: We are determined to preserve them or die.” Echoing previous messages sent by the Continental Congress, he invited Canadians to join the cause: “Come then, my Brethern. Let us run together to the same Goal. Range yourselves under the Standard of general Liberty, against which all the force and Artifice of Tyranny will never be able to prevail.”

Alma 53 tells the story of the Stripling Warriors (or rather, "Stripling Soldiers"). It bears a strong resemblance to George Washington's Battle of Trenton. Notable similarities include:

Alma 54 Moroni discusses an exchange of prisoners with Ammoron. The trade would have gone greatly in Moroni's favor (a whole family of Nephites in exchange for a single Lamanite soldier), but Moroni refuses because Ammoron was rude in his tone, and decides to fight instead.

Alma 55:31 But behold, the Nephites were not slow to remember the Lord their God in this their time of affliction. They could not be taken in their snares; yea, they would not partake of their wine, save they had first given to some of the Lamanite prisoners.

Alma 55:32 And they were thus cautious that no poison should be administered among them; for if their wine would poison a Lamanite it would also poison a Nephite; and thus they did try all their liquors.

In Alma 60, Moroni writes an angry letter to Pahoran, demanding to know why he isn't getting reinforcements. He threatens to come and tear down the government. He says God commanded him to do this.

From Alma 62:

62:7 And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle.

62:8 And behold, Pachus was slain and his men were taken prisoners, and Pahoran was restored to his judgment-seat.

62:9 And the men of Pachus received their trial, according to the law, and also those king-men who had been taken and cast into prison; and they were executed according to the law; yea, those men of Pachus and those king-men, whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, but would fight against it, were put to death.

62:10 And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.

62:11 And thus ended the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; Moroni and Pahoran having restored peace to the land of Zarahemla, among their own people, having inflicted death upon all those who were not true to the cause of freedom.

Helaman 1:14 And it came to pass in the forty and first year of the reign of the judges, that the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with swords, and with cimeters and with bows, and with arrows, and with head-plates, and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind

Helaman 3:13 And now there are many records kept of the proceedings of this people, by many of this people, which are particular and very large, concerning them.

Helaman 3:26 And it came to pass that the work of the Lord did prosper unto the baptizing and uniting to the church of God, many souls, yea, even tens of thousands.

Helaman 7

10 And behold, now it came to pass that it was upon a tower, which was in the garden of Nephi, which was by the highway which led to the chief market, which was in the city of Zarahemla; therefore, Nephi had bowed himself upon the tower which was in his garden, which tower was also near unto the garden gate by which led the highway.

11 And it came to pass that there were certain men passing by and saw Nephi as he was pouring out his soul unto God upon the tower; and they ran and told the people what they had seen, and the people came together in multitudes that they might know the cause of so great mourning for the wickedness of the people.

Matthew 6:6 which says "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

Helaman 10:6 Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

Helaman 11:6 And this work of destruction did also continue in the seventy and fifth year. For the earth was smitten that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain; and the whole earth was smitten, even among the Lamanites as well as among the Nephites, so that they were smitten that they did perish by thousands in the more wicked parts of the land.

Helaman 12:3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

Helaman 13 -- Treasures becoming "slippery"

13:18 And it shall come to pass, saith the Lord of Hosts, yea, our great and true God, that whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more, because of the great curse of the land, save he be a righteous man and shall hide it up unto the Lord.

13:19 For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; and cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; for none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land.

13:31 And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.

Helaman 14:2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

Helaman 14:20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.

Helaman 14:23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

Helaman 14:25 And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.

Helaman 14:28 And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men —

Helaman 15:8 Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.

Helaman 15:9 And ye know also that they have buried their weapons of war, and they fear to take them up lest by any means they should sin; yea, ye can see that they fear to sin—for behold they will suffer themselves that they be trodden down and slain by their enemies, and will not lift their swords against them, and this because of their faith in Christ.

Helaman 16 -- Samuel the Lamanite can't be hit while he's on the wall.

16:2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.

16:3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.

16:6 But the more part of them did not believe in the words of Samuel; therefore when they saw that they could not hit him with their stones and their arrows, they cried unto their captains, saying: Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath a devil; and because of the power of the devil which is in him we cannot hit him with our stones and our arrows; therefore take him and bind him, and away with him.

Helaman 16:7 And as they went forth to lay their hands on him, behold, he did cast himself down from the wall, and did flee out of their lands, yea, even unto his own country, and began to preach and to prophesy among his own people.

Helaman 16:8 And behold, he was never heard of more among the Nephites; and thus were the affairs of the people.

Helaman 16:15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:

Helaman 16:16 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.

3 Nephi 1

9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

11 And it came to pass that he[Nephi] went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

3 Nephi 1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.

3 Nephi 1:19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.

3 Nephi 2:14 And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;

3 Nephi 2:15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

3 Nephi 2:16 And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.

3 Nephi 4:11 And the battle commenced in this the sixth month; and great and terrible was the battle thereof, yea, great and terrible was the slaughter thereof, insomuch that there never was known so great a slaughter among all the people of Lehi since he left Jerusalem.

In 3 Nephi 8-9, Jesus destroys 16 whole cities. What did the Nephites do that was so bad as to merit this? They didn't crucify him. They drove out all the Gadianton robbers. They were preparing the way for Jesus. This wanton destruction doesn't seem fitting at all.

3 Nephi 11

32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

3 Nephi 12:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

3 Nephi 12:22 But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

3 Nephi 12:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to ago a mile, go with him twain.

3 Nephi 13:2 Therefore, when ye shall do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

3 Nephi 12:24 No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

3 Ne 13:7 : But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

3 Nephi 14:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

3 Nephi 15

17 That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

21 And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

3 Nephi 14:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

3 Nephi 17:9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

3 Nephi 18:3 And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat.

3 Nephi 18:22 And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;

3 Nephi 18:25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.

3 Nephi 19:4 And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah—now these were the names of the disciples whom Jesus had chosen—and it came to pass that they went forth and stood in the midst of the multitude.

3 Nephi 19:18 And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.

3 Nephi 19:35 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying, he came again to the disciples and saith unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews. Wherefore I could not shew unto them so great miracles because of their unbelief

3 Nephi 27:31 Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy.

3 Nephi 28 talks about some of the amazing powers of the Three Nephites: They were cast into prisons, but the prisons could not hold them. They were cast into furnaces but not burned. They were cast into dens of wild animals but not hurt.

3 Nephi 28:34 And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day;

3 Nephi 28:35 And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?

Nephi 28:35 And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?

3 Nephi 30:2 "Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations and your idolatries, and of your murders and your priestcrafts and your envyings and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people which are of the house of Israel." This appears to be talking about the modern LDS church (among other things). Let's look at a few of the things that are listed:

Mormon 1:7 The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.

Mormon 1:15 And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus

Mormon 3:4 And it came to pass that after this tenth year had passed away, making, in the whole, three hundred and sixty years from the coming of Christ, the king of the Lamanites sent an epistle unto me, which gave unto me to know that they were preparing to come again to battle against us.

Mormon 5:15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.

Mormon 5:23 Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?

Mormon 6

4 And it came to pass that we did march forth to the land of Cumorah, and we did pitch our tents around about the hill Cumorah; and it was in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains; and here we had hope to gain advantage over the Lamanites.

5 And when three hundred and eighty and four years had passed away, we had gathered in all the remainder of our people unto the land of Cumorah.

6 And it came to pass that when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.

[Verses 10-15 talk about 100s of thousands of soldiers dying by the sword.]

Mormon 7:7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

Mormon 8:12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.

Mormon 8:17 And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.

Mormon 8:20 Behold what the scripture saith: Man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Mormon 8:32 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.

Mormon 8:33 O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

Mormon 8:36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

Mormon 8:37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

Mormon 9:7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;

Mormon 9:20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

Mormon 9:9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

Mormon 9:32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.

Mormon 9:33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.

The book of Ether represents the third instance of a Biblical people taking a transoceanic vessel to the New World (the other two being Lehi's family and the Mulekites). This repetition in theme is a sign of an amateur writer.

Ether Chapter 1: The Jaredites presumably spoke "Adamic" since they prayed to not have their language confounded during the construction of the Tower of Babel.

Ether 1:2 And I take mine account from the twenty and four plates which were found by the people of Limhi, which is called the Book of Ether.

Ether 1:33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

Ether 2:17 And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish.

Ether 2:23 And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire.

Ether 2:20 And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.

Ether 3:21 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard to go forth unto the world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and show it to no man.

Ether 3:22 And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.

Ether 3:23 And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write.

In Ether 5, Moroni writes directly to Joseph Smith, telling him to not translate The Brother of Jared's glorious vision. He also mentions that there will be 3 witnesses of the plates.

Ether 6:4 And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them—and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.

Ether 7:9 Wherefore, he came to the hill Ephraim, and he did molten out of the hill, and made swords out of steel for those whom he had drawn away with him; and after he had armed them with swords he returned to the city Nehor, and gave battle unto his brother Corihor, by which means he obtained the kingdom and restored it unto his father Kib.

Ether 8: This contains the story of Jared's daughter dancing in front of Akish in order to obtain a beheading. It bears a strong resemblance to the story of Herod's daughter dancing to obtain the head of John the Baptist in Matthew 14:6-11. It could be an amazing coincidence. Alternatively, it could be plagiarism.

Ether 8:19 For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man.

Ether 9:17 Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things;

Ether 9:18 And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.

Ether 9:19 And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.

The Late War 20, 11-16 Now the land of Columbia is a most plentiful land, yielding gold and silver, and brass and iron abundantly. Likewise, all manner of creatures which are used for food, and herbs and fruits of the earth: From the red cherry, and the rosy peach of the north, to the lemon, and the golden orange of the south. And from the small insect, that cheateth the microscopic eye, to the huge mammoth that once moved on the borders of the river Hudson; on the great river Ohio; and even down to the country of Patagonia in the south. Now the height of a mammoth is about seven cubits and a half, and the length thereof fourteen cubits; and the bones thereof being weighed were more than thirty thousand shekels; and the length of the tusks is more than six cubits. It is more wonderful than the elephant; and the history thereof, is it not recorded in the book of Jefferson, the scribe?

Ether 9:31 And there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land, and did poison many people. And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the land southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla.

Ether 10:23 And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.

Ether 10:27 And they did make all manner of weapons of war. And they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship.

The Late War 19:13 And their weapons of war were of curious workmanship [footnote: rifles], and they sent forth balls of lead; such as were unknown to Pharaoh when he followed the Children of Israel down into the red sea.

Ether 12:39 And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things;

Ether 13:2 For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;

Ether 14:1 And now there began to be a great curse upon all the land because of the iniquity of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon his shelf, or upon the place whither he would keep it, behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it, so great was the curse upon the land.

Ether 15:2 He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.

Ether 15:20 And it came to pass that they fought all that day. And when the night came, they slept upon their swords.

Ether 15:29 wherefore he did pursue them. And on the morrow he did overtake them, and they fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold, Shiz had fainted with loss of blood.

Ether 15:30 And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, and he smote off the head of Shiz.

Ether 15:31 And it came to pass that after he had smote off the head of Shiz that Shiz raised upon his hands and fell. And after that he had struggled for breath, he died.

Ether 15:32 And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth and became as if he had no life.

But ever King Arthur rode throughout the battle of Sir Mordred many times, and did full nobly as a noble king should, and at all times he fainted never; and Sir Mordred that day put him in devoir, and in great peril. And thus they fought all the long day, and never stinted till the noble knights were laid to the cold earth; and ever they fought still till it was near night, and by that time was there an hundred thousand laid dead upon the down. Then was Arthur wood wroth out of measure, when he saw his people so slain from him.

Then the king looked about him, and then was he ware, of all his host and of all his good knights, were left no more alive but two knights; that one was Sir Lucan the Butler, and his brother Sir Bedivere, and they were full sore wounded. Then was King Arthur ware where Sir Mordred leaned upon his sword among a great heap of dead men Then the king gat his spear in both his hands, and ran toward Sir Mordred, crying: Traitor, now is they deathday come. And when Sir Mordred heard Sir Arthur, he ran until him with his sword drawn in his hand. And there King Arthur smote Sir Mordred under the shield, and a foin of his spear, throughout the body, more than a fathom. And when Sir Mordred felt that he had his death wound he thrust himself with the might that he had up to the bur of King Arthur’s spear. And right so he smote his father Arthur, with his sword holden in both his hands, on the side of the head, that the sword pierced the helmet and the brain-pan, and therewithal Sir Mordred fell stark dead to the earth; and the noble Arthur fell in a swoon to the earth, and there he swooned ofttimes

Moroni 3:2 After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them and said:

Moroni 3:3 In the name of Jesus Christ, I ordain you to be a priest -- or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher —- to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen.

Moroni 5:1 The manner of administering the wine. Behold, they took the cup and said:

Moroni 6:1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.

Moroni 7:9 And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart. Yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.

Moroni 7:40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith save ye shall have hope?

Moroni 7:42 Wherefore if a man have faith, he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long and is kind and envieth not and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Moroni 8:18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being, but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

Moroni 8:22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing

In Moroni chapter 9, Mormon writes to his son Moroni to report on conditions in the war. Question: Why was this necessary? Mormon was an old man and his son succeeded him as general. Presumably Moroni was on the front lines and would have had first-hand knowledge of what was going on. It seems backwards to have Mormon writing Moroni about the war.

Moroni 10:4 famously says: "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are NOT true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (emphasis: mine)

Re: Moroni's promise: Note that all major (and many minor) religions use this same technique for getting members to obtain a witness of the truth. Funny thing: everyone always gets a witness that their own faith is the "true" one. See the video: Spiritual Witness.

Moroni 10:1 Now I Moroni write somewhat as seemeth me good. And I write unto my brethren the Lamanites.

Moroni 10:22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.

We are told that 2/3rds of the BofM was "sealed" and unreadable. How does "sealing" part of the book help to prepare us for the restored gospel and/or the Second Coming of Christ? Wouldn't that information be useful to us? JS originally tried to sell the copyright for the BofM. Perhaps the "sealed portion" was just a teaser for future sequels that would grant an ongoing revenue stream...


Links and other Research Materials

The following are sources I consulted to assist me when writing this page:

https://mormonleaks.com/

Protestant influence in the BoM, presented from a faithful perspective.

http://www.churchistrue.com/blog/19th-century-protestant-phrases-in-book-of-mormon/

Same idea, but from a critical perspective:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/3uvm9j/nineteenthcentury_protestant_material_in_the_book/

Gospel Doctrine for the Godless:

http://godlessdoctrine.com

Week-by-week debunking (a companion to Gospel Doctrine lessons):

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/5iz6wd/week_by_week_debunking_moroni_710/

https://imgur.com/a/q2AcO

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/1s3qfg/the_absurdity_that_is_the_jaradites_and_the_book/

Bible translation errors in Isaiah:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/480k8d/week_by_week_debunking_2_nephi_1125_dreaded_isaiah/

Related: The Bible in the Book of Mormon:

https://infidels.org/library/modern/curt_heuvel/

Institute for Religious Research articles on The Book of Mormon. Noteworthy article: Literary dependence in the BofM

ZT's Scripture Notes

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X5t4i77c5mPaSKW8ZiFlL1-1vXN0d12nNzKnqAATaAs/edit#gid=0

The Concise Book of Mormon

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13cb4nmboOH5wvWgmjADjm6KMAzFt2XY2/view?ths=true

Scrap (to research later): Captain Moroni is based off of Samuel Jackson in the War of 1812.

(*) Need to look at this again, prune stuff

https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/ayfqas/there_is_no_case_to_be_made_for_a_historical_book/

Rock solid critique of the expansionist model

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_examination/problems-with-the-expansionist-model/