If you aren’t familiar with the “Book of Mormon” or the Bible, many of these points will be obscure to you. Oh well. Read and learn.

1. Shiz & Coriantumr – Ether 15:29-31. Shiz appears to have been unconscious when Coriantumr cut his head off, although he may have started to wake up. Anyway, after Shiz was decapitated, he “raised [himself] up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.” (The words in square brackets are mine, for clarity). Does that sound like it could have happened? Could it be explained by post-mortem muscle spasms, as some have suggested? Struggling for breath, perhaps; but a controlled movement like raising yourself on your hands?

2. Reformed Egyptian (RE) – the language of the Nephites. According to the LDS I’ve spoken with, “Reformed Egyptian” isn’t the name of the language, but a description: the “Book of Mormon” people used a form of Egyptian that was altered (“reformed”) in some way. What the ancient Meso- and North Americans called it isn’t known.

Who wrote what?
– Nephi wrote 1 & 2 Nephi. (1 Nephi 1:2; Mosiah 1:2, 4)
– Mormon & Moroni wrote Mosiah to Moroni.
– Moroni took his account from original gold plates. (Ether 1:2) The gold plates contained the original Jaredite account but the Jaredites’ language was lost. (Mosiah 8:9, 12) but not confounded (Ether 1:35-37). Contrast Genesis 11:9, which says that all languages were confounded.
– Mosiah translated the plates of Ether – Ether 3:22-24; Mosiah 28:11, 13-14, 17, 24.

In 1 Nephi Lehi and his family left Jerusalem just before the exile to Babylon (before 607 BC I think) and took a copy of the Old Testament – what had been written up to then – with them on brass plates in the Egyptian language (Mosiah 1:3-4).

(a) Joseph Smith Jr said RE was a combination of Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldaic (Babylonian) and Arabic. The problem is that Egyptian and Assyrian are non-alphabetic scripts, while Chaldaic and Arabic are alphabetic scripts, so these four can’t form any language as we know it. It would be like using Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English to form a language! The only possibility as far as I can see could be a language like a type of mathematics that uses numbers and some letters which express large numbers (the name of the language eludes me at present.)

(b) 1 Nephi 3:19 – They took the plates with them to “preserve … the language of our fathers”: being Israelites, the language of Lehi’s fathers was Hebrew (this contradicts what Mosiah 1:3-4 says: that it was Egyptian). If Nephi intended to preserve the language of his fathers, the Nephites did a spectacularly bad job: RE doesn’t even include Hebrew!

(c) Why would Hebrews write in Egyptian? That would be (close to) blasphemy for the Jews – God’s word in the language of their former slavemasters? The Jews had their own language in which God revealed Himself, His past and His purposes to them. Moses used (paleo-)Hebrew, not Egyptian.

(d) Considering the length of the Old Testament up to the exile, a lot of brass would be needed. The Israelites used bronze and perhaps tin but as far as I know they never brass, a compound of those two metals. Why wouldn’t they use papyrus or vellum to write, as they had done for centuries? These would be easier to write on and much more portable.

(e) Joseph Smith Jr said that a selected transcription of the “Book of Mormon” was taken to Professor Charles Anthon (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 1:62-64). Professor Anthon was reported as saying that Joseph Smith’s translation was “more correct than any he had before seen.” But if RE was not known by anyone (Mormon 9:33), how could Professor Anthon say that Joseph Smith Jr’s translation was “more accurate than he had before seen”? How could he know that it was more accurate if the language wasn’t known? He couldn’t have any other translation to compare it to!

To expand on this … Prof. Anthon must have had to learn RE somewhere and be expert at it. He must have had some standard of knowledge that would have been “most accurate”, until he saw Joseph Smith Jr’s translation. But if the language wasn’t known by anyone, how could he have had any knowledge of it at all? Even if he knew all the four languages that make up RE, they would be so altered (see above) that they wouldn’t retain their former meanings.

3. Faith and works. 2 Nephi 25:23-24 “by grace we are saved, after all we can do”. Contrast Ephesians 2:8-9 – “by grace we are saved … not by works” – and
Titus 3:5 – “he [God] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (words in brackets mine.)

4. Does the “Book of Mormon” teach monotheism, polytheism, or henotheism (many gods but only one worshipped)?
2 Nephi 31:21 – “this is the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.”

Alma 11:26-31 – “Now Zeezeom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No”.

LDS may say that it only refers to this Earth; however, Alma 18:24-32 – “… this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things are in heaven and in the earth?” The question should be answered with “Yes”. Second, there is no other parameter mentioned to allow for this limitation. Compare Alma 22:9-11.

5. Jesus the Father & the Son (this is called modalism).
Mosiah 15:1-3 – “God himself shall come down among the children of men … he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son – the Father, because he was conceived by the power of God and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son – and they are one God, yea the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.”

Alma 11:38-39 – “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him :Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth”.
Ether 3:14 – “Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son.”
Is it necessary to say the Bible does not teach this?

6. Where first called Christians? Alma 46:13-15 (BC 73), contrast Acts 11:26 – they were first called Christians at Antioch.

7. Holy Spirit given when? before Pentecost (Helamen 5:45, BC 29) or after (John 7:39)?

8. Neither children nor joy, because there was no evil – 2 Nephi 2:22-23. But before the Fall, God told Adam and Eve to have kids (Genesis 1:28) – so sin was never a condition of procreation.

9. Jaredites crossed the oceans with air-holes in the top and base of their crafts – thus letting in air and salt water! (Ether 2:19-20). If a strong wind blew constantly from Israel towards the Americas, would it take 344 days to get there?! (Ether 6:5-11.) If the wind blew at 10 knots, you could go around the world three times.

10. Joseph Smith Jr said there was no Greek or Latin on the plates that he had, but also
“Christ” is Greek – and it is a title not a name. (2 Nephi 10:3, 25:19);
“Alpha and Omega” are Greek letters. (3 Nephi 9:18);
“Raca” is Aramaic for “empty-head”. (3 Nephi 12:22);
“Synagogue” is Greek. Synagogues didn’t come about until (or at latest, after) the exile. Lehi etal left before exile! (Alma 16:13)
“Adieu” in Jacob 7:27 is French for “goodbye”. The book of Jacob was written about 544-421 BC. French comes from vulgar Latin, but wasn’t an independent language until around 700 AD! But “adieu” didn’t enter the language until about the 14th century. it might have been spoken one century, even two, earlier than this and we don’t have records – but that’s still a long way from 400 BC! And there’s nothing that “adieu” can be used for that “goodbye” can’t.

11. References to Jesus’ baptism occur about 550 years before the event, but are written in the past tense! (2 Nephi 31:6-11)! If a figure of speech, what one? There is none that I’m aware of.

12. The cover page of Book of Mormon says that if there are mistakes they are the fault of men – but the way in which Joseph Smith Jr translated the Book of Mormon (through the Urim & Thummim spectacles, or with a seer stone in his hat, into which he put his face), mistakes couldn’t be made! (Each word given to Joseph Smith Jr – David Whitmer, “An Address to all believers in Christ” (1976), and “The Journal of Oliver Broadman Huntington”, p.168).

13. The 1964 edition of the “Book of Mormon” says that if the Lamanites turn to Christ they shall become “white and delightsome” (2 Nephi 30:6). The newest edition of the Book reads “pure and delightsome.” If “white” is figurative for “pure”, why change it? If the “Book of Mormon” is God’s word, why change it? Just add a footnote. And using one literal adjective (“delightsome”) with one figurative adjective (“white”) isn’t done.

14. Why not use Joseph Smith Jr’s “Inspired Version”? He did finish the translation – “We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures … Having finished the translation of the Bible” (“History of the Church”, Vol. 1, pp.368-369).
God commanded Joseph Smith Jr to translate the New Testament (Doctrine & Covenants 45:60-61) and publish it to the world (“Doctrine & Covenants”, 124:89).

15. Joseph Smith Jr claimed that the “Book of Mormon” contained the “fullness of the gospel” (“Doctrine & Covenants”, 20:9; 42:12; 135:3) but the “Book of Mormon” doesn’t talk about:
church organization
Aaronic priesthood
the plurality of gods
polygamy being abominable (see point 6)
baptism for the dead (see point 9)
eternal progression
becoming gods (deification).
temple rituals

16. The “Book of Mormon” claims to have, or to be, a “familiar spirit”: “For those who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit … and their speech shall whisper out of the dust” (2 Nephi 26:16). LDS claim this means its doctrine is similar to the Bible’s. But “familiar” in the Bible doesn’t mean “similar to”: it is an allusion to witchcraft; as with a “witch’s familiar”, an animal possessed by a spirit. This is confirmed in 2 Nephi 18:19 – “And when they shall say unto you: Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter …”

In the Bible, it’s said regarding Jerusalem/ Ariel – “Brought low, you will speak from the ground; your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth; out of the dust your speech will whisper.” (Isaiah 29:4)

Needless to say, God condemns spiritism:

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” (Isaiah 8:19-20. Also Deuteronomy 18:9-12)

17. Is baptism for the dead effective?
2 Nephi 9:38 – And, in fine, wo [sic] unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins. (words in brackets mine.)

Alma 34:31-35 – I beseech of you that you do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end … if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say … I will repent … for that same spirit that doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. (also Mosiah 2:33; Hebrews 9:27).

18. Is a person forgiven before or after baptism?
after: 2 Nephi 31:17 – For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
(also 3 Nephi 12:2; Moroni 8:11, 25).

before: “Doctrine & Covenants” 20:37 – All those who have truly repented of all their sins … and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.
(also Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 1:17 and 15:1-4.)

19. Is God unchangeable or a glorified man?
For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (3 Nephi 24:6)

And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God … (Mormon 9:19)

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 8:18)

And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless? (“Pearl of Great Price”, Moses 1:3. Also Moses 6:67).

copyright Troy Grisgonelle 2008.