The Ancient Paths is the television ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.) The program airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm MST on KTMW-TV20 (a channel that covers all of Utah and parts of the surrounding states).

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Ancient Paths - Episode 43: Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?

This is the forty-third episode of the Ancient Paths television program, hosted by Pastor Jason Wallace. In this episode Pastor Wallace interviews Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministries about the question: who wrote the Book of Mormon? The program airs on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm on KTMW-TV20, a station that is available in Utah and parts of surrounding states. The program is hosted by Christ Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City. This episode aired on 12/03/08.


Unknown said...

The explanation that Mrs Tanner has as to the Three Witnesses" testimony of The Book of Mormon being a vision and not actually sseing the plates like in a courtroom, and therefore unrealible at best. Well, does Mrs Tanner also believe the visions of Peter to extend the Gospel to the Gentiles, the vision of Steven as he was stoned, or the vision of Saul on the road to Damascus, or even The Book of Revelations unrelaiable because they were visions? Also, not addressed were the Eight Witness, who were showed the plated by Joseph Smith. They testify that they handled and hefted the plates as well as saw the engravings.

Mrs Tanner gives Joseph Smith a lot credit as the author of the Book of Mormom. He must of been the greatest author of the 19th century to produce a book of over 500 printed pages with over 100 different characters and has more references to the life and mission of Christ than the Bible has, all without the aide of a typewriter (invented in 1867). I would think that a paper manuscripted would be damaged if hid in a log.

Also, many accounts of the scribes say that when they stopped the work of translation that upon return Joseph Smith never asked to have anything read back to him about where he had left off, but took up right from the spot that the had left.

If Joseph Smith is truly the author of The Book of
Mormnn, he must be the most brillant and imaginative writer of the 1800's or as Mrs Tanner is suggesting, the best plagiarizer that ever lived, or just maybe The Book Of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

truthfirst said...

A number of interesting points made above.

It might be good that the issue be addressed at a forum or court of some sort with both sides represented.

I believe alot of what Paul is saying is based on beliefs or hearsay which may or may not be factual.

Alot of faith in BOM is based upon no evidence at all, only myths or rumors about things which really have no basis in fact.

Believing in anything is okay. The only problem is when a person projects fantasy onto reality.

Its a tragedy when people believe that fantasy is real.

There is such a strong human bias to make a personal belief a hard tangible fact rather than recognizing that its just a personal feeling not necessarily true.

Unknown said...

As "The Joseph Smith Papers" project goes along, many questions and objections to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon will either be proved or disproved. As this work will be up to scholarly research standards with presentations of the actual manuscripts, the scholarship and research of books on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Joseph Smith will now be held to higher standard than have books before.

As to belief in the Book of Mormon not being based on facts, sometimes God wants to test our faith when no ready facts are available.

For example, Abraham being promised Sarah would bear a son when she was well past childbearing years.

Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt to come up against the Red Sea and Pharaoh's armies chasing them with no possible way to escape.

There are many more examples where God tried the faith of his people with no basis in fact for the given outcome. Even Chrit's own Apostles did not understand that He would be resurrected. After all, no one had come alive after death before, even though He had told them several times that He would.

Is it that much of a leap of faith that God spoke to another people through prophets to have their record revealed in our day?

Until the books of the New Testament were written down as most books in the New Testament were written after Christ's death, the people had to rely on other disciples word of mouth.

As prophets of the Old Testament uttered their prophecies and preaching to the people at that time, there was no basis in fact that the people would be taken captive and scattered.

I guess it is all in one's perspective of listening to God's servants and what we are willing to believe with a leap of faith and do.

savethechildren said...

What you are saying is that your belief is not based upon any facts. Do you understand what that means? Are you capable of understanding what that means? Take it in fully. Look at yourself in a mirror!!!!! You do not believe in something that has any factual support. You are a hypnotized drone! You are a mind control slave. This is why there is so much mental illness in Salt Lake City and Utah. God intended man to be in touch with reality. It is really that simple.

savethechildren said...

My post was directed at Paul. WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP. Take it from a person who has read the Book of Mormon over a hundred times. If you believe that the glory of god is intelligence (mormon scripture), a man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge (joseph smith) and that if there is a truth in hell we must go there to get it (brigham young) get busy. If you actually think about the knowledge you take in, sooner or later you will know you have been deceived by the "best" the devil could send at you.

Mark Walser said...

Paul - you're missing the point. Whether or not you believe in revelations is not the issue.

This is the issue: Joseph Smith stated the BoM is the most correct of any book on earth. If the people, places, origins and time of the book do not correlate with any historical field of study in any way, then the book deserves to be questioned and indeed skepticized.

One can be a complete non-believer in the Christian God but be absoluetly certain of the historicity of the Bible - it stands bar none above any other book in history for documented historical fact.

The Book of Mormon cannot match that claim - therefore it is reasonable to backtrack to the man who wrote it and question his sanity/veracity. Even if you choose to believe he was sane, believing what he wrote in the Book of Mormon would be the logical equivalent of believing in Tony the Tiger.

Kimball said...

TRUTH - Anything in agreement with objective fact and reality. The problem with Mormonism is that many followers have been taught a different concept concerning the definition of truth. I will call it "faithful truth" and compare it to another LDS long held misconception "faithful prejudice". In other words unfortunately, if someone has said it as an authority in the Church or other fellow believers have said it and they feel good about it then they call it truth. Unfortunately we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions we are not entitled to our own truth. Truth does not need defense it can stand alone as it is unchanging and does not conflict with fact. For the many Mormons I know and have even served with I would only ask for you to search out truth by the definition used by the rest of humanity and offer as my testimony of truth that the objective facts (reality) concerning Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Book of Mormon will in no way, even when using faith with your truth seeking, rhyme in any with what you are taught in Church on those topics.
I know its difficult, and I'm not trampling on sacred things; but I would like to say when I hear comments by true believers I know in my heart and mind that individual is usually exercising blind faith, does not care to know truth, or worse is lying to protect their beliefs...all of these are negative and bad things. Please just take a minute if your in the first group and consider the facts and evidence no readily available to you. I do not know what is better or best and I claim no further enlightenment beyond Mormonsim yet I know where I am is in a better place since I did the homework and found truth.

Kimball said...

I should clarify: "faithful prejudice" is a term coined by several LDS Apostles as is "righteous discrimination" not myself. Mormon leaders in the 70's found themslves in a pickle because of the human rights movement. Even BYU sports were being affected. Black's and whites were standing up and saying this is wrong! The Church's longheld belief was Black's would never get the priesthood in this lifetime. Since many apostles and prophets had spoken words considered scripture stating so. Thus, the LDS Church leadership attempted to explain to the outside world that all discrimination and prejudice is wrong unless it is righteous. In other words one's faith justified prejudice and discrimination and since the LDS Church was the "true church" most members went along with the idea whites were superior spirits(pre-1978). Most honest knowing Mormons and leaders today will tell you the Church misinterpreted the mark of Cain as "a black skin". Clearly there are hundreds of references that this was the belief (truth) and it has now changed. Most Mormons I know would say well yeah the time had not come for blacks however in reality Brigham Young and many others clearly stated the time would not be in this lifetime. My point with this is merely to show that for Mormons the truth is merely what the true church tells them is the truth and it can and does change. My purpose in writing was in hopes of causing some Mormon to stop and examine the word truth and ask if their definition is the same as that accepted outside the church. If a Prophet said "Negros will not ever get the priesthood...negros are here to serve those righteous white people, the penalty of mixing races is death on the spot" and now a prophet stands and states "look at all these beautiful mixed race children" and "intermarriage is a blessling" or "blacks will now be given the Priesthood", it unfortunately proves for someone who understands truth and reality is unchanging that this changed under social pressure and would have continued under other circumstances. The point is if you believe in something and hold it as a truth for say 150 years then be proud of it and don't fall into social pressure to change. Personally I am very glad this prejudiced craziness stopped, however many left the church not because they were prejudiced (I'm sure some did) but because they knew it had been taught as a truth and had been taught it and maybe even taught it themselves. Polygamy is the same type deal. Its a principle yet not practiced. Mormons will argue the in the right time idea again however unfortunately this does not pass the test of truth thus we have 60 thousand polygamsists living today who were unable to flip flop on tuth. Mormon truth is what the brethern have spoken and when they have spoken "the thinking is done", they are taught there is "safety in this" yet in reality there is no safety or sanity in Mormonism because of it.

Kimball said...

Paul your comment on the witnesses to the BofM indicates to me you do not clearly understand our Church history. If you were to take the time and read the historical accounts you will find no one ever saw the plates and in some instances after they "saw them with the spiritual eye" Joseph himself would say "you have seen them as I saw them". If you were to research it a bit you will find the additional "eight witnesses" were related to Joseph and the only other person vested in the BofM. Unfortunately, when you dig deeper you find some people being pressured for hours to fast, pray, and being told they were unfaithful after they could not "see" the plates...this repeated itself until of course the unfaithful person at least in one case finally miraculously saw the plates. Problematic since the publishing of the BofM has been that there are no objective witnesses, and subjective witnesses were used, which is suspect of boistering. Further, unfortunately the concept of seeing with the "spiritual eye" does not rhyme or reason with the statement JS himself wrote and had all the witnesses sign. Now you can argue as you want however those are the basic facts.

I agree with your point about authorship Paul. Its amazing however when you start to really examine it you will find about a third of it is repetition of bible verses. You will discover if you will open your mind to truth and reality which is hard, that there are many major issues. You will also find the beautification project the Church has done on it has made almost 4,000 changes to it some are significant. Also Paul if your seeking truth it might be helpful to read the Inspired Bible authored by JS written in the last four years of the life of the founder of the Church yet seldom used. Within these writings you will see clearly why it cannot be used as it conflicts with many teachings. I disagree that JS was an amazing author. I always felt the book boring and prefered the New Testament. I was told it was because I lacked this or that and believed it for years. In reality every single teaching and about every verse in the BofM I find we find in the New Testament in a form that doesn't repeat the same war on - war off blah blah blah stuff. For 40 years I thought the BofM helped restore the gospel. In reality it has no new truths. The church no longer argues this and rather makes a big deal its important because it qualifies the New Testament as a New Witness. Unfortunately the gospels in the New Testament all seem to tell the story of Christ from different perspectives however the account or words in the book of Mormon clearly plagerize the New Testament. I'm merely speaking what you can determine on your own. Its hard for a scientist to change a hypothesis and its hard for someone of faith to change a belief but it can be done by examining fact if a person truly wants to know truth. If you want to remain where you are keep doing the same thing. I'm sorry for all the people who like myself suffer as they learn the reality of this church because we all loved it and the promises made were so life altering. Paul if you can find a single reference where a witness said he saw the plates or handled them that stands up to even minimal scrutiny I will write a public apology and send you a sizeable reward for correcting me and the thousands who have learned this reality.

Unknown said...

I am 18 years old and therefore would be considered inexperienced, ignorant, and that I should mind my own business, to many people in the world, but I must speak my mind on this subject. Whenever the issue of religion comes up in my family that consists of Catholics, Baptists, Atheists, Lutherans, Mormons, and those who choose not to take a side, my opinion usually goes uncounted for. I hope that all of you will open your minds, if not your hearts, to my words. I am a believer in Jesus Christ! I believe that almost every religion has some basis in fact and some in mystery. Every religion has there ups and downs, good parts and bad parts, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I also believe that every single human being WILL make mistakes! The only perfect being to ever walk this earth was Jesus Christ himself. I believe that every single leader of every single church has made mistakes and that those mistakes should be forgiven so that we can see the good acts that they have done. I don't want to argue with anyone or cause others to feel hatred towards another's beliefs. I believe that in order to be apart of any religion a person must except the beauty of the mysteries as well as embrace the truths. I believe that a person should be free to believe in anything as well as those things that we may believe are false. I also believe that a person should be free to state his or her beliefs, if they so choose, in a way that will not hamper another's beliefs. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I know that we teach the "truths" of our church not the "untruths" of others. We do not turn away from those who believe differently then us. This is who we are today, what we were yesterday or 100 years ago is irrelevant. People change as well as churches. We try our hardest to look at the good of every thing, we of embellish on the negative and the mysterious and the different until it is all we can think of. If you think that that is a bad thing then that is most likely why you are posting such negative comments about mormons. I guess what I don't understand is why you have to prove the BofM false. We do not try and prove any other religion false, we may belief that you church is not the true church, but our leaders do not spend our time making videos or writting books on how "false" other religions are. So why target us?

I accept that the above video is trying to convince the masses that Joseph Smith wrote the BofM instead of interpret it by divine revelation. I accept this and wish them all well. But i "know" in my heart that that is not "true." I mean true as in not based in fact but by the instincts in myself it is my belief that the Book of Mormon was an inspired text written by revelation of prophets long ago, preserved, and delivered to Joseph Smith by God to translate it into our modern language to stand as another testimony of His son Jesus Christ. If you do not believe in this that is your choice and your right. I believe that it is my right to believe it as well as anyone else. Please think about that when you try and deny anyone of their right to their faith. I wish you all happy and healthy lives and I hope that you feel as fulfilled in your beliefs as I am in mine.

William Covington said...

Smith wrote his Book of Mormon for ignorant people who lived in America in 1830. Smith's book fails from the outset to live up to the claim that the book is history. By definition history is based on evidence and there is no evidence to support anything Smith wrote of in his book. Smith's Book of Mormon should remain in 1830 America.

Sam said...

It came to pass the Book of Mormon is hard to read, like a semi literate copy of the KJV. JRR Tolkien wrote a fictional world and languages. Joseph Smith copied the King James Bible.

William Covington said...

Fair comment.