New Day for the Book of Mormon

A new video on the Book of Mormon titled “New Day for the Book of Mormon” premiered after General Conference on BYUtv. It features interviews with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Terryl Givens, Stephen C. Webb, Paul Gutjahr, John W. Welch, and others. I wanted to transcribe a few of my favorite lines from the film, … Read more

The Reviews Are In

Earl Wunderli recently published a book arguing that the Book of Mormon is 19th century fiction. It was, unsurprisingly, published by Signature Books. The reviews of Wunderli’s work are in, and so far the critical responses to the book have been . . . not that great. Matthew Roper, Paul Fields, and Larry Bassist, “‘If … Read more

Latter-day Saint vs. Community of Christ Views on the Historicity of the Book of Mormon

The temple of the Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri. I took this picture when I visited this site last year. This afternoon I ran into Professor Alex Baugh on BYU campus, who very kindly handed me a copy of the latest issue of the Mormon Historical Studies journal. As I was thumbing through the … Read more

If the King’s English was Good Enough for Lucretius, it’s Good Enough for Joseph Smith

I know I need to stop doing this . . . You will recall that Richard Dawkins believes the Book of Mormon is a fraud because of its archaic English. Specifically, Mr. Dawkins believes, “[The Book of Mormon is] a 19th century book written in 16th century English. That’s not the way people talked in … Read more

“Joseph Smith: Seer, Translator, Revelator, and Prophet”

Professor Alexander L. Baugh is a professor of Church History at Brigham Young University. He is the author of numerous articles on early Church history and wrote the magnificent dissertation A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, one of the definitive works on the 1838 Mormon War. You can read the … Read more

The Sacrament According to Moroni and Ištar

A portrait of Esarhaddon on a stele. You can never tell what neat little things you’ll find lying around in ancient archives. For example, the archives of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (who reigned from 681–669 BC) contains a text (Simo Parpola calls it a “Meal of Covenant”) that reads as follows. The word of Ištar of … Read more

All Are Alike Unto God

I’ve heard, on many occasions, liberal or progressive Mormons* repeat the scriptural mantra “all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33) in their activism for feminist or LGBT issues. Take this image below, for example, or this website promoting more inclusive gender roles in the Church. Notice the sign second from the right. Without passing … Read more

J, E, D, P, and Me: Some Thoughts on the Documentary Hypothesis

You can see where this is going . . .  David Bokovoy will soon be releasing the first volume of his three-volume series Authoring the Old Testament. In this series, Bokovoy will, among other things, present and argue for the Documentary Hypothesis (DH) to an LDS audience. He will not only discuss what the DH … Read more

A Lamanite is a Lamanite, of Course, of Course

Joseph Smith Preaching to the Indians (1890) by William Armitage. Some of the responses to the Church’s recent essay on DNA and the Book of Mormon have been rather perplexing. (The responses of certain prominent critics of the Church, who shall, for their sakes, remain nameless, were downright embarrassing.) One of the responses I’ve heard … Read more