Lost Book of Lehi

During the summer of 1828, while working on the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith allowed his scribe, Martin Harris, to take 116 pages of the manuscript home to show Mrs. Harris. The manuscript pages disappeared. The lost book of Lehi is still missing; it has never been restored to the Book of Mormon.

As the story goes, Martin Harris asked for permission to take the Book of Mormon manuscript home in order to prove to his skeptical wife that the gold plates really did exist and Joseph Smith really was translating them. Joseph asked God if that would be okay “through the interpreters,” but Mr. Harris’ request was denied. Mr. Harris continued to pester Joseph until Joseph asked God for permission again and then again. Finally, permission was granted, Mr. Harris took the 116 pages home, and over the course of the next few weeks, the manuscript disappeared.

While Joseph still had the gold plates from which he originally translated, he received a revelation telling him not to retranslate that portion of the plates because enemies would somehow use the retranslation to make Joseph look bad (see Doctrine and Covenants 10). Instead, the revelation said, the plates of Nephi contained all the same information that had been on the plates of Lehi, only in greater detail; therefore, Joseph was to translate the plates of Nephi and forget about the lost manuscript of the book of Lehi. So he did.

On Wednesday (July 30, 2008) Jerry Johnston at Mormon Times wrote about the 116 pages Marin Harris lost from the early translation of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Johnston wrote that he has questions about that particular episode, and in his article he supposed some answers.

“Some questions I’ve puzzled out on my own. For instance, when Nephi begins the ‘small plates’ — which would replace the lost 116 — he says, ‘the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God.’

“I’m guessing that means the 116 were filled with ‘things pleasing unto the world’ — stories about battles, war heroes, kings and betrayals. If so, the Book of Mormon may be a more spiritual book because those pages were lost.”

That’s an interesting guess, but it raises other questions for me. For example, if the “account engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular” concerning the things that had been described on the plates of Lehi, wouldn’t all the details of battles, war heroes and kings be found on the plates of Nephi, and then some?

I also wonder about this view regarding the apparently unnecessary lost book of Lehi—that Mr. Johnston is comfortable with its absence, suggesting that perhaps this makes the Book of Mormon “more spiritual” than it would otherwise have been. Why would a Latter-day Saint hold such a view about a missing book from the Book of Mormon, but not allow a similar possibility for the allegedly missing books of the Bible?

Continuing with his pondering, Mr. Johnston wrote:

“Still, the one question that troubles many people never troubles me. Joseph Smith pleaded with God several times to let Martin take the 116 pages and was told ‘no.’ But Joseph went back one more time and God reversed himself. He let Martin take the pages. And he lost them.

“Why would God give his consent to such a debacle?…”

Mr. Johnston suggested that Joseph Smith and Martin Harris had lessons to learn and this was the way God choose to teach them. I have no doubt that God often uses our bad choices and disobedience to teach us lessons, but when Joseph discovered that the manuscript was missing he cried out in anguish, “It is I who tempted the wrath of God. I should have been satisfied with the first answer” (Quoted in Richard Lyman Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, page 67).

The clear implication here is that Joseph was wrong to keep asking God after he had received an initial answer; by continuing to ask, he provoked God’s wrath.

Most Mormons know of the lost 116 pages and the story surrounding the unfortunate event. So why is it that they will not accept the testimony of someone who has prayed about the Book of Mormon and received the answer that it is not of God? Time and again I hear Mormons say, “Well, you need to keep praying, keep asking, until He tells you it is true.” Though Joseph Smith tempted the wrath of God in not being satisfied with the first answer he received, they suggest investigators do the same thing.

Finally, Mr. Johnston wrote:

“…if I’m right and the Book of Mormon is more spiritual without those lost 116 pages, maybe having Martin misplace the things was simply God’s way of editing the book.”

Maybe. But doesn’t it seem odd that God would have to edit a book that He supposedly caused to be written “by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophesy and revelation–Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed”? All human writers understand edits and rewrites, but the need for multiple drafts is due to our imperfections and our ignorance when we begin of where the first draft will take us. God is not imperfect, nor is He ignorant of the future.

I believe the sovereign and almighty God did have a purpose in the loss of the 116 pages from the Book of Mormon. But if I were to guess, I would guess the reason has something to do with God’s merciful grace in providing people with yet another piece of simple, tangible evidence that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Book of Mormon, Mormon History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Lost Book of Lehi

  1. Soy Yo says:

    This is my first comment on this blog though I have been reading for a few months now. I am at work so I do not have access to my books at home but I recall reading that they used a particular type of paper to write on during the “translation” process. This paper did not allow for easy corrections due to the way it soaked up the ink. Now, if Joseph really translated this by the power of God and he was shown each word and had to verify that all of the spelling was correct, why could God not provide him with the exact same translation a second time?

    The story goes that they were worried that changes would be made to the original 116 pages but that is not realistic because if any change was made, it would be obvious because of the type of paper used and the handwriting would clearly be different.

    It is just too convenient that another set of plates had the same story. It is said that they used “Reformed Egyptian” because it was a more condensed language and since space on the plates was limited, they were able to fit more on each plate. If space was an issue, why then would he re-tell the same story? I’m sure the plates were heavy and they would not want to carry around anymore then they had to so the double account just does not make any rational sense to me.

    It is obvious to me that Joseph knew he messed up and could not duplicate the same story with the exactness needed so he came up with this way of re-telling it while allowing for the same basic story but different words.

  2. Missusslats says:

    Perhaps this is a no-no to reference an outside site (I’m fairly new to this blog, too!) but UTLM has an excellent treatment of this very topic–the lost 116 pages–in one of their newsletters: http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no72.htm

  3. Andrea says:

    “maybe having Martin misplace the things was simply God’s way of editing the book.”
    I agree with your comment on this statement, Sharon. If this was God’s work (and God knows all things and would have known that Martin Harris would lose the pages), why would He have not had JS translate from the Nephi plates in the first place? If the BoM is “the most correct of any book on earth” why did God waste JS’ time by translating from the Lehi plates that contained “things that are pleasing unto the world”?

    Having read JS “explanation” of how bad men would use the pages to prove him false, something comes to mind, and comes to mind repeatedly when I hear Mormons’ “explanations” on various matters: the simplest answer is usually the correct one. It reminds me of the 14th century when people believed the earth was the center of the universe. They had to come up with these complicated, convoluted, very difficult to even understand calculations to explain how the planets appeared to move the way they do -once they figured out that the planets, including earth, revolve around the sun, it was kindergarten easy to explain the planets movements. Food for thought.

  4. Michael P says:

    Very interesting.

    I had never heard of the lost book of Lehi, but this may take the cake in terms of shadiness.

    I’d bet most Mormons do not know about this because of its obvious problems.

    But hey, they know and excuse JS agreeing to sell the copyright of the BoM and not being successful…

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Every time the translation of the BoM topic is brought up, I keep picturing the south park episode on the Mormons, lol. Funny thing is that the first time I saw it, I didn’t know that was really how it happened. I saw that cartoon JS looking into that hat and going “what?!, lol, southpark is so random.” When I found out that was true, I couldn’t believe it.

    Anyways.. To a person outside the LDS system, especially to anyone involved in the Justice system (judges, criminal attorneys, jury, etc), one would read what happened and I would say 9 out of 10 would say “What a crock that is.” It is just too painfully obvious. Just as Sharon said at the end of the article, I believe God’s merciful grace lets these things fall flat on their face to show us evidence that which is of God, and that which isn’t.

    It doesn’t make sense that God would want to teach JS a lesson on being annoying by asking the same thing over and over again at the expense of his “word”.

    So this, along with all the other evidence God has given us to show the falsehood of the LDS church has been enough for some LDS people to realize how fake it is, but for some, its not. What does God have to do for those who still ascribe to it? I don’t think their faith would shake if Jesus came down Himself and showed it to be false.

  6. Andrea says:

    My last post for today 🙁

    “I’d bet most Mormons do not know about this because of its obvious problems.” Oh where to begin? 😉 Just like everything else, Mormons are given the edited version of the story. When I was a wee lass in Sunday School (I think it was Blazers) I remember we were taught about the “missing 116 pages” but only that Martin Harris lost them. I believe they also said that JS was punished for it by the angel taking away the gold plates and making him translate from the brass plates after that. I could go on and on about this, but the link that missusslats gave is pretty good. It gives a wealth of information on the variance and amount of details given in the first ‘re-translated’ 116 pages compared to the rest of the BoM.

  7. Rick B says:

    If LDS believe that the BoM is the Word Of God, then according to Gods Word, this whole mess could not be true.

    Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

    If God really does honor His Word above His name, then I cannot see him allowing this to really happen. Rick b

  8. lillym says:

    “It is obvious to me that Joseph knew he messed up and could not duplicate the same story with the exactness needed so he came up with this way of re-telling it while allowing for the same basic story but different words.”

    This seems evident to me as well.

    I wonder what the chances are that this “lost manuscript” will ever be found? Considering the miracle it took to find the Egyptian scroll that he used for the BoA… I wonder if “Mrs. Harris” messed with him on purpose.

  9. lillym says:

    oh, btw, if Aaron is reading:
    I first heard about that book “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” by Bauckham on here a few months ago – I finally got it and I’m about halfway through. It’s really really good.

    I’m just struck with the vast differences between the Gospels (and the evidence for them) vs. people like Smith, Mohammed, and other prophets. Historical evidence is only ONE piece of the body of evidence, but it doesn’t disappoint.

  10. GRCluff says:

    Two comments from the “still inside” perspective:

    A. Getting an answer to prayer is more about repentance and preparation than “keep asking, until He tells you it is true”. You can expect an answer the first time you ask only if you are fully prepared at that time. Very few of us are. The BoM (Moroni 10:3-5) lists the conditions being imposed for that particular answer:
    1. Proper humility – understand you position before God.
    2. Sincere heart – need to really want to know
    3. Real intent – be willing to do whatever God asks (including join the LDS church)
    4. Faith in Christ

    Based on the content of the articles and posts from this site about people who tried the prayer approach and failed, I don’t think anyone made it past #1, let alone #4. Remember that real faith in Christ involves real change through repentance, not just lip service. Accept Christ and be saved is a cop out, not faith in Him.

    B. God is not a respector of persons. He would never give anyone else a different answer than he gave me. We can’t both be right if we profess opposing anwsers to the same prayer. One of us was better prepared than the other. Probably the one who didn’t give up on the first try.

  11. Rick B says:

    GRCluff said

    Accept Christ and be saved is a cop out, not faith in Him.

    So you mean when Jesus himself said

    John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Or when Peter said to the Jailer

    Act 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Their are more verses,so please explain how these verse teach believe alone, yet you feel Jesus and Paul are wrong.

    Then GRCluff said 2. Sincere heart – need to really want to know

    Thats a cop out, If I pray and dont agree with you, then really that means I did not want to know, What A crock that is. Rick b

  12. GRCluff says:

    It seems Peter had a different answer than Paul:

    Acts 2: 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (or, what must I do to be saved)
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you (note he did NOT say “accept Christ and be saved”, or “study the Bible more”.) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    I would think that Humility would be your FIRST hangup. After all, you already have all the answers, right?

    Second would have to be real intent, because you are so skewed at this point that you would NEVER join the LDS church, even if God DID answer your prayer. God really can’t answer a prayer under those conditions, because he is in the business of saving mankind, not condemning them.

    Sincere heart– you could be really close on that one, REALLY close!

  13. falcon says:

    You’re cherrying picking again. Read the whole thing and then reflect on it in regards to the whole counsel/Word of God. The disciples had just been Baptized in the Holy Spirit. They were speaking in tongues (utterances given by the Holy Spirit) they had not learned but were the native languages of the Jews visiting Jerusalem. Peter preaches a powerful sermon directly from scripture (see Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11, Psalm 110:1). We have the Spirit, the Word and an inspired message. The people got convicted by the Holy Spirit and got saved. Now you are taking vs. 38 as a formula or prescription. In Acts 10, Peter is again preaching. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the messaage. ……..they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God……Peter answered, surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he? And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…” The formula in reverse.
    And as was pointed out previously the answer to the question “What must we do to be saved?” Is answered by Paul “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved….”
    Now here’s the deal. If you are interested in receiving the gift of eternal life you have to have faith in the Jesus of the Bible. Not the Jesus preached by Joseph Smith. We can quote Bible verses back and forth all night but they are meaningless because Mormons don’t get the nature of God right. You believe you’re going to become a god yourself, so why not just have faith in yourself. It’d be as good as the god you are conceptualizing now. Believe in yourself and be saved. Why not? I suppose someday people will have to believe in CLUFF to be saved and hook-up with him on his dream vacation planet.

  14. Megan says:

    GRcluff, you have quite a few ad hominems in your comments.

  15. Sharon Lindbloom says:

    Moderator’s Note: Thank you, Megan. I am thinking the same thing. The conversation is getting a bit…personal. On all sides. Let’s please remember to discuss ideas and not each other, okay? Thanks.

  16. Rick B says:

    It,s Been said, once ALL logic and reason leave the debate, then name calling and attacks begin. Rick b

  17. GRCluff says:

    Sorry Sharon, I’ll try to stick to the topic better.

    The temptation to “one-up” on the name calling activity was too much for a “compromised” Christian like myself. Lets see if anyone will allow me to call myself a Christian now that you have slapped our hands.

    On the topic of the 116 pages, why has no one engaged the JS argument up front? His contention was– even if he did deliver an exact copy of the original translation, his enemies (or maybe I should say “The” enemy) could easily modify the original to SHOW the exact copy to be fake. The damage to his credibility would be done even with an EXACT copy in translation. Maybe God already knew what was in the works? Maybe he DID fill in JS on the details? You have to admit. It is a possiblity.

  18. Rick B says:


  19. Jeffrey says:


    Yeah its a possibility, but its as if your grasping on to whatever you can for dear life with a statement like that. Just like that gentleman’s “God maybe was teaching them a lesson.” They just don’t get past a reasonable doubt. That’s not even that much of a reasonable doubt on your part. If God knows the future, and if he knew those pages were going to be lost, why bother having Joseph Smith translate them in the first place. Why waste time with the Book of Lehi when releasing some “scriptures that contain the fullness of the gospel” seems like it would be more important.

    This couple along with BoA which I’m asking people not to get into (to keep with the topic of the blog) just make me scratch my head when I hear of LDS knowing about the both of them and apply whatever apologetic band-aid they can to justify it all.

  20. Soy Yo says:

    GRCluff said, “On the topic of the 116 pages, why has no one engaged the JS argument up front?”

    In the very first comment I address his claim. The 116 pages were written with ink on what is called foolscap. Had the “enemies” tried to change any of the words by rubbing them out and writing something else in its place, it would have been painfully obvious. They did not have the ability to erase writing back then like we do now. They could not just hit the backspace button and re-type what they wanted it to say. Even if they managed to erase a few words without a smudge mark (highly unlikely but I will entertain the idea) the handwriting would not have matched the rest of the transcription.

    I am actually embarrassed that I believed this story for as long as I did. When I look at it, knowing now what Joseph was all about, I see a huge red flag. If he truly was a prophet who translated those pages by the power of God and in the process described by his wife and others that were part of the work, then he would have been able to duplicate them with 100% exactness.

    By the way, the audio comments are cool. I will have to do one sometime.

  21. germit says:

    GRC: why would a real prophet of God be so paranoid about what his foes might do. Granted, there were times Paul changed his itinerary based on the violence in a given city, but most of the time he showed utter disregard for life and limb: it’s the message that mattered, not him. Why would a real prophet get so caught up in IF he, the lowly servant, might be thought ill ?? Add this to the ‘dicey story’ category: POSSIBLE??: of course. PLAUSIBLE: well, you probably can guess where I land on this one. Just one more reason to to question Mr.Smith’s special status: “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit, do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil.” 1st Thess.5:19-22 GERMIT

  22. falcon says:

    Well the easiest, and best explanation, is that the whole thing is/was a ruse, a con, a flim flam. I’m most interested in the contortions our Mormon friends go through to hold on to their testimony. It appears to me that the more rediculous things get, the more they hunker down and call it faith. In the contributions by our Mormon friends I sense a casting about, grasping at anything to try and justify what is clearly a fantasy.
    Here’s a thought. After ther first 116 pages of the BoM were translated and then lost by Martin Harris, the angel punished JS by taking away the golden plates and the Urim & Thummim. After Joseph repented, the angel returned the golden plates to him but he did not return the magic glasses. JS had to resort to using a magic stone that he had found while digging a well. Why would the angel punish JS by taking a way the means to translate the golden plates? The magic glasses were kept with the plates for the sole purpose of translation. And the LDS insists on perpetuating the myth of the magic glasses were used through out the process when they were only used for the first 116 pages?


  23. footdoc1 says:

    “Dicey Story” “Plausible” “Reasonable Doubt”: Are these the terms of Christianity? I find absolutely no problem with the Lost manuscript, I believe it as told.

    What I find crazy is that those who profess to believe in the Virgin Birth, let me restate (THE VIRGIN BIRTH), and the Resurrection from the Dead, can even take such a position… can it get any more dicey, implausible and unreasonable? It’s all Doubletalk! It reminds me of St. Augustine, Aristotle and crowd mixing philosophy and Christianity to make it more believable.

    These are the same terms that Christian apologetics are constantly bombarded with by Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. I would expect this of them… but of you Brethren? If speculation and reason is your game plan, then convince me that Jesus didn’t find his illegitimate background a threat to his claims and then make up the whole virgin birth thing to further His agenda. (Note: I do not believe this, I know the Virgin birth was a reality. There is a famous story among the Jews that Mary disgracefully became pregnant from a Roman soldier…they know his name…and the disciples later made up the birth and resurrection stories to further the Christian agenda.) Where is your test for these claims Germit? The gospel has never been plausible, reasonable, etc. Hence, the scriptures which are full of rejection and killing of those sent from God. I am willing to put the lost manuscript through a multitude of tests, but the reasoning presented thus far is not the Christian heritage preached by the prophets (Biblical or otherwise)

  24. falcon says:

    You and Ralph must go to the same LDS seminars. The tactic; attack Biblical Christianity, try to put the believers on the defensive and in the process obfuscate, deflect, and distract from the topic at hand. Nothing you state here does anything to support the BoM. As Christians, we know Mormons must demean the Bible and Biblical Christianity because without that there’s no rationale for a “restoration”. You can’t defend the BoM because the evidence is plain, it’s a work of fiction and not a very good one at that.
    Joseph Smith was not a prophet. He was a practitioner of magic arts that used divination rods and magic rocks to work his wonders. He was very clever and was able to make up for the lost 116 pages. He just flipped his magic rock into his hat, buried his face in it and just kept rolling.

  25. mobaby says:


    Your argument doesn’t address the same issues. If there was evidence (not stories, not conjecture, but actual undisputed factual history) that showed someone purported that the New Testament had been revealed on jewel studded slate tablets (which no one has ever physically seen, and then ultimately the tablets purportedly disappeared into heaven) and then this prophet lost the translation of the tablets and had to recreate the story, but did not but instead told some other story of Jesus that was from someone else’s perspective – and this was the only source we had for believing in the virgin birth and the resurrection – all based on this one person and their story of disappearing jeweled tablets. If this was the case then your argument would hold up. But that’s not your argument and that’s not the case – you’re just saying there are people out there who say different things concerning the virgin birth and that believing in the miraculous resurrection is a stretch for many materialists. I would not disagree with those issues. But it is not the same thing.

  26. Jeffrey says:

    Very good point, Soy Yo.. Maybe one of the Mormons here can give us a likely way that “the enemy” would change the document to try and show JS as false in a time where doing something like that would be near impossible if not completely impossible.

    You are comparing apples to oranges footdoc. There is no evidence for a miracle or against a miracle, that’s why its a miracle. The virgin birth being a miracle. There’s evidence surrounding the 116 lost pages though within your very own history. Lets not get side-tracked here by attacking Biblical Christianity. I appreciate your attempt but the apologetics on this topic have been very weak.

  27. germit says:

    FootDr.: welcome back, can we warm up your postum for you?? Mr.Cluff could use some help,so thanks for your posts. My first thought when reading the above was: that’s a pretty good post….then I read a little closer, and the found out the ‘lady with the good tan had some streaks..”. Yes we here at Mormon Coffee are skeptics, but not of the Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchens variety. We know that God has both the ability and perogative to do as He wishes. Thomas Jefferson encountered something supernatural in his bible and cut it out, that could not have happened, he said. We are not in his crowd. Our skepticism is at least two fold: 1) the facts surrounding an event (in JS case: MULTIPLE EVENTS) just don’t add up, they are contradictory, or indicate dishonesty or suspicious character. Do you remember reading the story of when he got the plates BACK from M.Whitmer and was travelling thru the woods with them? Acc. to Bushman, JS was attacked by THREE different groups, wanting the plates, one of the attackers even had a gun. JS, somehow, was able to repel all adversaries, while carrying 60 to 200 lbs worth of gold, over the course of about 3 or 4 miles. It’s not Gods ability we doubt, it’s JS veracity. 2)his theological and spiritual inventions are just not biblical, therefore the ‘power’ that he invokes, I have reason to believe, is not the power from the good side. To sum it up: he is not trustworthy and not of God (biblical) This has nothing to do with miraculous or not miraculous. Once again, I think you tend to work backwards: FIRST you accept him as prophet/seer/revelator, then interpret all he says or does in that light. Try and treat him with fresh eyes, I know that is easier said than done. GERMIT

  28. falcon says:

    As a young man I sat around in college dorm rooms listening to other young man spin and weave intricate stories of athletic triumphs, hunting and fishing trips, hot cars and forays with young women. The stories would get more intricate and colorful with the retelling. Some of the story tellers were better entertainers than others.

    Joseph Smith was a story teller. His family testified to his ability to keep them in rapt attention as he pontificated on tales of indians and ancient civilizations. Most people “get” Joseph Smith. Others want so badly to believe the story they are willing to go to any lengths to keep the fanstasy alive in their minds. This is not faith. It’s gullibility and it’s really sad.

  29. GRCluff says:

    Rick B:

    Now that you have insisted that I am not Christian, can you fill me in on what grounds you use to make that asessment?

    Your options are:
    1. Exclusion by definition
    2. Exclusoin by misrepresentation
    3. Historical/traditional exclusion
    4. Biblican exclusion
    5. Doctrinal exclusion: Trinity or nature of God
    6. Doctrinal exclusion: Lesser arguments.

    Before you answer, you should investigate our defense on each criteria via “Are Mormons Christian” by Stephen E. Robinson.


    On gullibility, try this on for size:

    1 Cor 12:3 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.

    It is the Holy Ghost that says Jesus is the Christ, and the SAME HG that says JS is a prophet.

    Gullibility would be to let a blog entry somehow convince me that the HG did not speak on the matter.

    The results of that kind of gullibility are:

    Matt 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

  30. mobaby says:

    One other thing Footdoc – your referring to us as brethren seems awfully generous – given that according to Joseph Smith all our Churches are “an abomination” to God.

  31. germit says:

    GRC: well, as Arthur so elegantly puts it: one of us is being lied to. One of us is simply wrong for the simple reason that we both cannot possible be right, truth just does not bend like that. We are both sincere, honest, Holy Ghost believing, praying individuals, and one of us is flat wrong. And I am willing to admit the possibility that it is me. But to convince me, you have to rely on the words, written and spoken, of Joseph Smith, and for reasons we have beaten to death, he is NOT very convincing, and as hard working and nice as Mormons are (consistently, I might add) their church itself is an apologetic AGAINST ITSELF all by itself. I’ll pull on that string later. Of course you believe the Holy Ghost is all over everything LDS, what else is a true believing Mormon to say, but a ‘just so’ story doesn’t make it so. GRC, the best you seem to be able to say is that ‘I know about——-, and these things just don’t bother me.’ If that is your apologetic, then I have great hope that maybe you guys won’t be at 11 to 13 million by 2020. You are zealous and consistent, I give you that. Blessings, GERMIT

  32. Arthur Sido says:

    GRCluff You still refuse or are unable to answer the question posed multiple times. Either mormonism or the Bible is true. They cannot both be true by definition since they are mutually exclusive in their claims. Therefore one or the other (or both) are wrong. So where does that leave us? Prayer? Certainly, but only in conjunction with the Word. I turn to the Scriptures and search them to see which is true, along with prayer. But the Word is dominate because it doesn’t change and the heart of sinners can be deceived.

    Divorced from the Word, the heart is easily deceived as has been shown again and again in the history of the world. Without the Word, we do not know who God is, who we are, who Christ is and what He has done (and why He did it). We are then left adrift, free to remake God into our own image. That is precisely what Smith did, dissatisfied with the church of that day he developed a radical reordering of the Christian gospel into something unrecognizable. That is why mormons invariably turn to their testimony, because when faced with the Scripture, mormonism is shown to be without foundation.

  33. Rick B says:


  34. falcon says:

    On what basis does the Holy Spirit testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God? Given the Mormon definition of a prophet, anyone calling themselves a prophet can be a prophet. We have listed adnausem on this site, the reasons why JS is disqualified as a prophet. Mormons do the “so what” to every charge, not denying the charge, but stating over and over again that the evidence against him being a prophet doesn’t matter. Jim Jones, David Koresh or Sun Young Moon would all make the grade according to Mormonism. Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist would also qualify along with anyone the Jehovah Witness would like to put forward.

  35. footdoc1 says:

    Germit, Falcon thanks for the summaries because I think it finally gets to the core of our respective positions. A few quotes to illustrate: Falcon “story teller” “very clever”; Authur “made it all up” Germit: “not trustworthy”. i.e. Smith made it up.

    Was this a natural or a supernatural process? Please take a stance. Falcon must decide whether Smith is a “worker of the magic arts” or just someone more clever than the rest. At least Germit has taken sides that it “is not the power from the good side”. The Urim and Thummim, Seer Stone, Angelic visitations, etc. make us choose sides. The message of the BoM was/is its manner of origin.

    It is a cop out to say that I have attacked Biblical Christianity. I have never said anything was inaccurate with the stories I cited. My point is, I question your belief in the EVENTS recorded in the Bible. If we are sticking “apples to apples” why do the facts surrounding the resurrection seem plausible but not the coming forth of BoM. Both brought forth by the power of God, both had witnesses, both left no tangible trace of evidence. If the “facts” surrounding the Virgin birth don’t leave you with doubts concerning the trustworthiness of those reporting the story that is fine. But why the double standard with Smith’s claims? You believe the Bible, but place something like “healing with clay and spittle” in the hands of Joseph Smith and it is no longer the power of God through an earthly medium but witchcraft. I need some consistency.

  36. Arthur Sido says:

    footdoc, as far aas what motivated Smith, none of us can really be sure. was he involved in some sort of dark arts/withcraft? was he mentally ill? was he just a huckster who began to believe the lies he spun? Not sure, probably some combination of two or three of the above. What we are in agreement on is that Smith wrote the BoM, and not by translating by any of the myriad means he reported but wholesale from his own imagination.

    The difference, as we have hashed over again and again here, is that the Bible describes people and events and places that either are known to have existed, still exist today (i.e. Jerusalem) and often have independent support (i.e. Josephus). the Bible is translated from thousands of pieces of manuscripts, all of which are remarkable in their consistency, all of which can be viewed by any scholar. Now whether you believe in the events or not is a different story, but unlike the BoM we have a real foundation to examine instead of a book “translated” from plates that don’t exist, about a people that never existed, in places that no one can find, by a man who was a known liar and who has been shown in the BoA to be unable to translate accurately.

    Who is being inconsistent here?

  37. falcon says:

    Was it a natural or supernatural process in writing the BoM? Either/or, why? That’s like saying someone can’t have a broken leg and depresson both at the same time. We know JS copied huge amounts of the BoM directly from the KJV of the Bible. We know that he included aspects of 19th century revialism in the BoM. We know he included (as Grant Palmer states) information that was common to the environment he lived in. There’s also evidence that he lifted story plot lines from a work called the “Golden Pot”. Some believe he hooked up with demonic spirits and thus was influenced by his occult practices such as scrying.
    We know that the BoM does not reflect history. It’s a lie. We know JS dabbled in the occult. This is against God’s law. We know JS was sexually immoral and corrupt both men and women. The latter by lieing and telling them an angel with a sword threatened to kill him if he didn’t take on more women, the former because he encouraged them in the same sin. More could be listed, but this is not how a prophet behaves. You are participating in his sin by rationalizing his behavior and practice.

  38. GRCluff says:


    The Bible I read is consistent with Mormonism. Let me give you an example:

    John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    So, if we are one with God, like he is one with is Father, then we should all join hands and be one in substance, right? That is what mainstream christianity should teach. Christ and his Father are one in purpose, and we should be one in purpose with them. They are separate and distinct individuals, just like you and I.

    Supports Mormonism very well.

    Rick B:

    That would be the doctrinal exclusion based on the nature of God. Since you don’t have the book I referenced, (You should buy it if you are going to continue to go around calling Mormon non-Christians. You have an obligation to make your option an informed one.) I will give you a quote:

    Specifically the logical problem with this argument is that non-LDS Christians usually define the term trinity ambiguously. They habitually, and most often unconsciously, equate the biblical teaching on the nature of the Godhead with the later philosophical statement formulated at the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451-the Nicene Creed.fn But these two ways of perceiving God are simply not equivalent.

  39. GRCluff says:

    falcon you said:
    “On what basis does the Holy Spirit testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God?”

    germit you said:
    “Of course you believe the Holy Ghost is all over everything LDS, what else is a true believing Mormon to say”

    It is the same answer, and a point you both have missed from my blog yesterday.

    1 Cor 12:3 …and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    The only way we can know for sure that Jesus is the Christ is by the witness of the Holy Ghost. That should be the foundation for faith for the “true” Christian. Don’t fault us gullible Mormons for using the same foundation for faith when it comes to JS.

    Here’s a verse for you:

    1 GRCluff 1:1 … no man can or should try to say that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but by the Holy Ghost. It is the only reliable source.

  40. falcon says:

    You miss the verse that says not everyone who calls Him Lord Lord will enter heaven. Try this: “But also some of the Jewish exorcist, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus saying, ‘I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ And seven sons of one Sceva, a Jeewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them,’ I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you? And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued both of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)

    The Jesus that Mormons proclaim is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Mormon Jesus is the offspring of a mother/father god, the latter of which is merely an exhalted man. This is not the Jesus spoken of in the Bible. The Bible, which Mormons dismiss as error filled and unreliable. The Mormon Jesus is not the Jesus that is spoken of by the prophets and proclaimed by His disciples. Mormons have a different Father, a different Jesus, and a different Holy Spirit.

  41. germit says:

    DJB: I’m mixing threads,but I wanted to reach you ASAP. Passionate people sometimes speak first and think/pray later. Please forgive us our ‘caustic’ posts: I’m sure I’ve wandered into that on occaision. I’m not excusing having a wrong ‘package’ because it contains truth, we are accountable for BOTH. “The Lord’s bondservant must be kind to all….” 2cdTim. Hope you stay, your posts are thought out and dialogue producing.
    FDoc: It’s a guess, but I’d say BOTH, to answer your question about natural or supernatural means. Consdidering JS heavy , and non-apologetic I might add, involvment in the occult, I’d have to surmise that when that door was knocked upon, someone answered. That doesn’t mean that JS use of his God given mind wasn’t put to use, or his uncanny ability to know what would sell. It’s not an either/or situation. You are going to take it on the chin, my friend, for comparing the evidences for the Bible compared to the BoM. This comparison does not favor you at all, and I don’t have time on this post to get into it, but in trying to compare them, you bring up EXCELLENT questions, ones that we wish all potential converts would deeply consider before ‘jumping in’. The ‘prophecies’ sited on the other thread are not going to fly far either, they are either biblical prophecies reworded, or they are so general and ambiguous, they read like the National Enquirer. Let the buyer beware. GRC: I didn’t miss the point abut the HS: I have no problem attributing ALL that Jesus did by the power of the HS, and that’s what those verses are about. I don’t have to say the same thing about JS, Mary Baker Eddy, and Sun Yung Moon, in order to believe those verses. You avoid the question: how would we KNOW that it is indeed the HS that testified to JS, other than he (JS) told us HE (the Spirit) did? The room is spinning, I need to sit down. GERMIT

  42. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    OK; let’s say it was a combination for argument sake, although by definition once someone has acted in the supernatural realm, it is no longer natural, regardless of whether the source is good or bad.

    Let’s say he made the whole thing up, which at least of few of you have said. Give some reason, other than this constant speculation, that this claim is even reasonable believable. In fact, Arthur seems to think it is such bad lit that he could easily duplicate it. Well, you have opened yourself up here. If you are going to make the claim that you could do something better, the challenge is on. I will give you all the time you want, no time restraints like Joseph had. You can have access to all the known books available, which JS didnt. You can purposely copy the same amount of chapters that you claim are plagerized, etc. etc. Once you have completed the masterpiece, let’s put it through the same tests we are putting the BoM through. You should be able to substantiate your claims. To me, it is impossible, because it is the Word of God. But prove me wrong. If you are going to make such a claim, then back it up and then I would consider that the revelation I received (it was revelation, I passed beyond the natural) could have come from an inaccurate source. Germit at least leaves it up in the air saying the it is probably both, but to me it is either/or. Once you cross the line there is no going back. But gratefully, we have the BoM before us. Until then I will remain true to the light and knowledge I have been given. By the way, since when is good lit a requirement for truth? When was the last time you read Ezekial? Prophets can use whatever prose they want, it is still scripture.

  43. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    one comment on considering all the ?’s before jumping in. That is not sound doctrine. It is one that the intellectual would love to promote because he places the seeds of doubt. Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine…” If one receive a witness that the BoM is true, then the will of the Father is to be faithful to the light communicated. Repent, be baptized, etc. One will never know the doctrine until they are obedient to the will of God. Jesus is teaching an eternal truth here. It is backward thinking, and not Biblical, to say learn all the doctrine and then see if it is correct…it that were so Jesus would have said it.

  44. germit says:

    DOF: you seem robust and rested, must’ve been a good weekend. I think your challenge is greatly flawed for a simple reason: if Arthur or myself were to produce a ‘BoM” like work, you would then do the necessary analysis, and/or just claim it does’t ‘ring true’ or ‘move your spirit’ but BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF POSITION, OUR BOOK WOULD FAIL. For precisely the same reason, in reverse, that the BoM CANNOT fail in your current frame of mind: JS was a prophet sent from God, therefore…. the qualities or lack thereof or EITHER JS’ book or mine or Arthur’s are neither here nor there, correct?? A prophet of God gives us God’s book, a cranky aunt-eye blogger gives us (well, I can’t type those words..). Am I unfair with this? Good to have you back. GERMIT

  45. Rick B says:

    Why bother buying and reading the Book? You have ignored or should I say avoided every question I asked you, [Remainder of sentence removed by moderator.] Rick b

  46. footdoc1 says:

    [Statement about another participant at Mormon Coffee removed by moderator.]

    I hope I understand your comments. Here’s why I love the BoM. Because the only TANGIBLE evidence that I really have that he was a prophet IS the BoM. I have to do something with the book. It is here. Somebody produced it. Either Smith made it up or it came the way he said it did. Therein lies my challenge. If he made it up, I will be able to tell by the power of the Spirit (discernement). That is the case presentation of this entire blog. Here’s the problem: I have received the undeniable with from the Spirit testifies that the book is true. My diligent study since has only confirmed that.

    So my reasoning is actually just the opposite. I accept JS as a prophet BECAUSE I have received a witness that the BoM is true. I never knew JS, or Jesus or Moses, etc., yet I have received a witness that the writings they have left behind (Bible) is true…therefore they must be true prophets. The BoM IS the evidence (contents as well as the manner is was brought forth) for which I accept JS as a prophet. Which leads back to my original challenge, which I wouldn\’t have made if Arthur hadn’t begged the question. If the BoM isn’t true (i.e. it was a work of fiction, made up, etc.) then JS is not a prophet, period! If someone claims that they can easily produce something better, and they do, well I had better admit my revelation came from the wrong source (which I would). But it has been almost 200 years now with lots of, “he made it up” accusations. IF true, it would prove JS false. So show me the goods. Most “seasoned” critics realize this and have zeroed in on the rea l topic, the BoM.

  47. footdoc1 says:

    I apologize to the moderator for switching back between two user names. I know it is cheating, but just a few more things to say. [Yes it is cheating. Please play by the rules from now on. -Mod]

    Jeffrey referenced a website from someone he knew about the BoM and apparent problems. This is what I like to see. To me this is the only issue at hand. Sure the lost manuscript is a fun one to play around with, but really a waste of time because we don’t have that document, so none of us will ever know. That is speculation. But we do have the BoM! If the lost manuscript was made up, then so is the sequel. If the BoM is fraudulent then so was the 116 pages. I have reviewed the above website and the vast majority of the issues have already been answered, apparently not well enough to the author. The are a few issue that, I will admit, still seem puzzling…like the horse issue. But am I going to let something trivial like this override the thousand other evidences to the contrary? Not to mention the witness of Holy Ghost, which if far more important.

    So back to the initial challenge. If someone argues that JS is not a true prophet because the BoM is a work of fiction; in fact, so poorly written that they can reproduce it easily. Then the issue can easily be resolved. Produce the superior volume. Since my evidence for determine JS prophetic calling is the divinity of that book(not vice versa), then a superior reproduction would destroy my foundation. Your book would force me to admit that JS, in fact, had no authority, because he made up the book. The Word of God cannot be outdone. If the BoM is true, all of JS claims are true. If it is false, end of discussion. This is no secret. “…The BoM is the keystone of our religion…” “take away the BoM and the revelations and where is our religion? We have none.” Smith quotations. He clearly understood this. He has given you a fixed target. The task at hand seems easy and I welcome the scrutiny.

  48. Jeffrey says:

    Footdoc, I’m glad you reviewed the website.

    Do you think you would still believe in the BoM if you didn’t receive some “spiritual witness”?

    The issue I have with the whole spiritual witness is it seems the Holy Spirit has told us two different things. I prayed about the BoM and received nothing, I’ve done this multiple times and with all of the necessary pre-requisites outlined the BoM (and by I think Cluff, I might add) and I still didn’t receive the witness. I sat there in tears, begging for God to rid me of all my current bias and just let me know if its true. I was willing to be Mormon (especially because my wife was Mormon at that time). But no, I didn’t get anything.

    Days later I prayed about my current faith, something I have never really done before because I was born and raised Christian, and the God of the Bible has shown himself in many different ways. Given me a wonderful testament to Christ Jesus, the Son, being the Bible. All evidence points to his existence. But when I prayed that day about the truthfulness of my faith, I received a wonderful sensation emotionally, and it could very well be spiritual as well. I felt what Mormons describe they feel when they prayed about the BoM (comfort, joy, peace, love, confidence, etc.)

    So where does that leave us, Footdoc? What you can say about my experience, I can say just as well about yours. Is the Holy Spirit just saying what we want to hear (and by doing so contradicting the true Gospel)? Is there multiple spirits (possibly even evil ones) at work here?

    It seems as though the argument can only lie within examining all of the evidence for/against the BoM. From my point of view, there is so much more against it than there is for it. Do you perhaps have a 5 major evidences for the BoM you can bring up? You mentioned there are thousands. Of course then it comes down to personal choice on wether or not they change ones faith.

  49. footdoc1 says:

    Excellent post! What can I say? You experience sounds real. They sound genuine enough to me. I will tell you my experience has been that, with any principle of the gospel, I have found these words of Jesus to be of paramount importance.

    You remember the story: Jesus is teaching in the temple and the Jews don’t believe his doctrine. He gives them the key to know if His doctrine is true or not.
    John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (What an important teaching!)

    After diligently studying and praying about the BoM,I FELT that it was true, but I can’t say that I KNEW it was. But I was baptized because I FELT it was the right thing. IF the church was true then that would be the will of God. According to Jesus I would never KNOW if the doctrine was true unless I did the will of God. So I’m in a pickle. Fortunately, for me, I at least had a good feeling about. I knew that if the words of Jesus were true then, by following that counsel and exercising faith, I would be given a sure knowledge. I can testify that this happened exactly according to Jesus’ words. It was not a feeling, although I have had many since. I cannot describe it except to say that it was the power of God. I don’t expect anyone to believe my experience, yet I feel obligated to testify.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity or diligence. In fact, I have always liked your posts. I would say that I wouldn’t base your knowledge so much on your “ward” experience. Although valuable, members behavior, including teachings, testimonies, etc. are far from the Gospel ideal(each conference this is evident) and our flaws can sometime cloud the majesty of the Gospel. I do think that a review of Alma 32 and especially Moroni 10 (not the promise, but the rest of the chapter) would be of value to you.

    BoM Evidences to come…out of room

  50. GRCluff says:


    Sorry to make your room spin. Can I take responsibility for that?

    You said:
    “You avoid the question: how would we KNOW that it is indeed the HS that testified to JS, other than he (JS) told us HE (the Spirit) did? ”

    It seems we have some directional issues here.

    First, the Bible verse I like says:
    Cor 12:3 … no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    That is not referencing things that Jesus did, but rather something WE need to do as we become Christian– that is confess by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ. Revisit 1 Cor 2:1-5. We are the RECEPTOR of that witness. I know that Jesus is the Christ because the HS has made that clear to my mind and my heart. I have to believe that many good Christians in many different churches have had a similar experience.

    Those who have the same genuine experience as did I will recognise the same witness on a different topic, that of JS being the prophet of the restoration. It is an identical experience.

    Second, how do we know it is the right spirit? Because it is the same one that said Jesus is the Christ. The other people you mention can’t be following the same spirit as us because the true HS only testifies of truth.

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