(Investigator 13, 1990 July)
In 1983 the Mormon
Sterling M. McMurrin, of the University of Utah, said during an
I never did consider the Book of Mormon to be authentic. I don't think that it is what the church teaches it to be. I know of no real evidence in its support and there is a great deal of evidence against it…
I do not agree with the common Mormon view that the Book of Mormon was necessary as a "new witness for Christ." The Bible itself was a sufficient witness as far as literature is concerned. I know of nothing in the Book of Mormon that is of importance for religion and the moral life that is not already at least in principle in the Bible.
I believe that
distorted its own history by dealing fast and loose with historical
and imposing theological and religious interpretations on those data
are entirely unwarranted."
(Free Inquiry, Winter 1983/84 pp 33-34)
Mormons believe they are the only true religion. In his book Pearl of Great Price Joseph Smith claimed God and Jesus visited him in 1820 and told him to join no other church: "for they were all wrong."
News fully endorses the claims of Joseph Smith:
The trip to America was allegedly aided by a mariner's compass (1 Nephi chapter 18) – not invented until 1100 A.D. approximately.
The American Israelites gave rise to two groups – Lamanites and Nephites. Jesus visited them in 34 A.D. after his resurrection. (It was the Lamanites who became the Indians.)
In 365 A.D. the Lamanites wiped out the Nephites in battle.
Moroni, the last surviving Nephite, wrote the history of the American Israelites on gold tablets and buried them.
On various occasions from 1823-1827 Moroni, now changed into an angel, visited Joseph Smith and gave him the golden plates to translate.
That’s how the Book of Mormon supposedly originated.
When Joseph Smith died in 1844 the new leader was Brigham Young (1801-1877). A smaller group of Mormons waited for the son of Joseph Smith to grow up and then formed "The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". This now has about 200,000 members but the main branch regards them as apostates.
In the 1970s a
from Joseph Smith,
dated January 17, 1844, was discovered. In it the senior Smith says of
his son Joseph Smith III:
It seems then that the main branch are the apostates.
Clearly, if the Mormons had accepted the New Testament’s teaching on one man/one wife marriage from the start a lot of suffering might have been avoided.
The wives of Brigham Young have been variously estimated as numbering between 17 and 80.
Although the golden plates of Moroni were supposedly completed around 400 A.D. The Book of Mormon includes many long quotes from the 17th century King James Bible and includes copyist errors made in manuscripts of the 5th century and later.
Over 20,000 Mormon missionaries are spreading their faith to over 100 Third World countries.