Chapter 15 The Book Of Mormon -- Continued

ARTICLE 8 -- * * * We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.


The Authenticity of the Book of Mormon constitutes our most important consideration of the work. This subject is one of vital interest to every earnest investigator of the word of God, to every sincere searcher after truth. Claiming to be, as far as the present dispensation is concerned, a new scripture, presenting prophecies and revelations not heretofore recognized in modern theology, announcing to the world the message of a departed people, written by way of commandment, and by the spirit of prophecy and revelation -- this book is entitled to the most thorough and impartial examination. Not only does the Book of Mormon merit such consideration, it claims, even demands the same; for no one professing belief in the power and authority of God can receive with unconcern the announcement of a new revelation, professedly bearing the seal of divine authority. The question of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is therefore one in which the world is concerned.

The Latter-day Saints base their belief in the authenticity of the book on the following proofs:

1. The general agreement of the Book of Mormon with the Bible in all related matters.

2. The fulfilment of ancient prophecies accomplished by the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon.

3. The strict agreement and consistency of the Book of Mormon with itself.

4. The evident truth of its contained prophecies.

To these may be added certain external, or extra-scriptural evidences, amongst which are:

5. Corroborative testimony furnished by archeology and ethnology.


The Nephite and the Jewish Scriptures are found to agree in matters of tradition, history, doctrine, and prophecy which the separate records treat. These two volumes of scripture were prepared on opposite hemispheres, under widely diverse conditions; yet between them there exists surprising harmony, confirmatory of divine inspiration in both. The Book of Mormon contains a number of quotations from the ancient Jewish scriptures, a copy of which, as far as they had been compiled at the time of Lehi's exodus from Jerusalem, was brought to the western continent as part of the record engraved on the plates of Laban. In the case of such passages there is no essential difference between Biblical and Book of Mormon versions, except in instances of probable error in translation -- -usually apparent through inconsistency or lack of clearness in the Biblical reading. There are, however, numerous minor variations in corresponding parts of the two volumes; and between such, examination usually demonstrates the superior clearness of the Nephite scripture.

In a careful comparison of the prophecies of the Bible with corresponding predictions contained in the Book of Mormon, e.g., those relating to the birth, earthly ministry, sacrificial death, and second coming of Christ Jesus; with others referring to the scattering and subsequent gathering of Israel; and with such as relate to the establishment of Zion and the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the last days, each of the records is corroborative of the other. True, there are many predictions in one that are not found in both, but in no instance has contradiction or inconsistency been pointed out. Between the doctrinal parts of the two volumes of scripture the same perfect harmony is found to prevail. FN


Ancient Prophecy has been literally fulfilled in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. One of the earliest utterances directly bearing upon this subject is that of Enoch, an antediluvian prophet unto whom the Lord revealed His purposes for all time. Witnessing in vision the corruption of mankind, after the ascension of the Son of Man, Enoch cried unto his God: "Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? * * * And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days. * * * And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten. * * * And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare." FN The Latter-day Saints regard the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, together with the restoration of the Priesthood by the direct ministration of heavenly messengers, as a fulfilment of this prophecy, and of similar predictions contained in the Bible.

David, who sang his psalms over a thousand years before the "meridian of time," predicted: "Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven." FN And so also declared Isaiah. FN Ezekiel saw in vision FN the coming together of the stick of Judah, and the stick of Joseph, signifying the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The passage last referred to reads, in the words of Ezekiel: "The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."

When we call to mind the ancient custom in the making of books -- that of writing on long strips of parchment and rolling the same on rods or sticks, the use of the word "stick" as equivalent to "book" in the passage becomes apparent. FN At the time of this utterance, the Israelites had divided into two nations known as the kingdom of Judah and that of Israel, or Ephraim. Plainly the separate records of Judah and Joseph are here referred to. FN Now, as we have seen, the Nephite nation comprised the descendants of Lehi who belonged to the tribe of Manasseh, of Ishmael who was an Ephraimite, FN and of Zoram whose tribal relation is not definitely stated. The Nephites were then of the tribes of Joseph; and their record or "stick" is as truly represented by the Book of Mormon as is the "stick" of Judah by the Bible.

That the bringing forth of the record of Joseph or Ephraim was to be accomplished through the direct power of God is evident from the Lord's exposition of the vision of Ezekiel, wherein He says: "Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph * * * and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah." FN That this union of the two records was to be a characteristic of the latter days is evident from the prediction of an event which was to follow immediately, viz., the gathering of the tribes from the nations among which they had been dispersed. FN Comparison with other prophecies relating to the gathering will conclusively prove that the great event was predicted to take place in the latter times, preparatory to the second coming of Christ. FN

Reverting to the writings of Isaiah, we find that prophet voicing the Lord's threatenings against Ariel, or Jerusalem, "the city where David dwelt." Ariel was to be distressed, burdened with heaviness and sorrow; then the prophet refers to some people, other than Judah who occupied Jerusalem, for he makes the comparison with the latter, saying: "And it shall be unto me as Ariel." Concerning the fate decreed against this other people we read: "And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." FN

Of the fulfilment of these and associated prophecies, a latter-day apostle has written: "These predictions of Isaiah could not refer to Ariel, or Jerusalem, because their speech has not been 'out of the ground,' or 'low out of the dust'; but it refers to the remnant of Joseph who were destroyed in America upwards of fourteen hundred years ago. The Book of Mormon describes their downfall, and truly it was great and terrible. At the crucifixion of Christ, 'the multitude of their terrible ones,' as Isaiah predicted, 'became as chaff that passeth away,' and it took place as he further predicts, 'at an instant suddenly.' * * * This remnant of Joseph in their distress and destruction became as Ariel. As the Roman army lay siege to Ariel, and brought upon her great distress and sorrow, so did the contending nations of ancient America bring upon each other the most direful scenes of blood and carnage. Therefore the Lord could, with the greatest propriety, when speaking in reference to this event, declare that, 'It shall be unto me as Ariel.'" FN

Isaiah's striking prediction that the nation thus brought down should "speak out of the ground," with speech "low out of the dust" was literally fulfilled in the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon, the original of which was taken out of the ground, and the voice of the record is as that of one speaking from the dust. In continuation of the same prophecy we read: "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned." FN The fulfilment of this prediction is claimed in the presentation of the transcript from the plates -- "the words of a book," not the book itself -- to the learned Professor Charles Anthon, whose reply, almost in the words of the text, has been cited in the last chapter; and in the delivery of the book itself to the unlettered youth, Joseph Smith.


The Internal Consistency of the Book of Mormon sustains belief in its divine origin. The parts bear evidence of having been written at different times and under widely varying conditions. The style of the component books is in harmony with the times and circumstances of their production. The portions that were transcribed from the plates bearing Mormon's abridgment contain numerous interpolations as comments and explanations of the transcriber,; but in the first six books, which, as already explained, are the verbatim record of the smaller plates of Nephi, no such interpolations occur. The book maintains consistency throughout; no contradictions, no disagreements have been pointed out.

Diversity of Style characterizes the different books. FN From what has been said regarding the several sets of plates that constitute the original accumulation of records from which the Book of Mormon was translated, it is evident that the volume contains the compiled writings of a long line of inspired scribes extending through a thousand years, this time-range being exclusive of the earlier years of Jaredite history. Unity of style is not to be expected under such conditions.



Book of Mormon Predictions are numerous and important. Amongst the most conclusive proofs of the authenticity of the book is that furnished by the demonstrated truth of its contained prophecies. Prophecy is best proved in the light of its own fulfilment. The predictions contained within the Book of Mormon may be classed as (1) Prophecies relating to the time covered by the book itself, the fulfilment of which is recorded therein; and (2) Prophecies relating to times beyond the limits of the history chronicled in the book.

Prophecies of the First Class named, the fulfilment of which is attested by the Book of Mormon record, are of minor value as proof of the authenticity of the work; for, had the book been written by human design as fiction, both prediction and fulfilment would have been provided for with equal care and ingenuity. Nevertheless, to the studious and conscientious reader the genuineness of the book will be apparent; and the literal realization of the numerous and varied predictions relating to the fate, then future, of the people whose history is given in the record, as also of prophecies concerning details of the birth and death of the Savior, and of His appearing to that people in a resurrected state, must, by their accuracy and consistency, appeal with force as evidence of inspiration and authority in the record.

Prophecies of the Second Class, relating to a time which to the writers was far future, are numerous and explicit. Many of them have special reference to the last days -- the dispensation of the fulness of times -- -and of these, some have been already literally accomplished, others are now in process of actual realization, while yet others are awaiting fulfilment under specified conditions that seem now to be rapidly approaching. Among the most remarkable of the Book of Mormon predictions incident to the last dispensation are those that relate to its own coming forth and the effect of its publication amongst mankind. Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the coming together of the "sticks," or records, of Judah and of Ephraim has received attention. Consider the promise made to Joseph who was sold into Egypt, repeated by Lehi to his son Joseph -- a prediction that couples the prophecy concerning the book with that of the seer through whose instrumentality the miracle was to be accomplished: "But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins -- and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them. Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord." FN The literal fulfilment of these utterances in the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon through Joseph Smith is apparent.

Unto Nephi the Lord showed what would be an effect of the new publication, declaring that in the day of Israel's gathering -- plainly then the day of the fulness of times, as attested by the Jewish scriptures -- the words of the Nephites should be given to the world, and should "hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard" unto the house of Israel; and that then the Gentiles, forgetting even their debt to the Jews from whom they had received the Bible in which they profess such faith, would revile and curse that branch of the covenant people, and would reject the new scripture, exclaiming: "A Bible! a Bible! we have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." FN Is this not the burden of the frenzied objections raised by the Gentile world against the Book of Mormon -- that it is of necessity void because new revelation is not to be expected?

Now, in olden times, two witnesses were required to establish the truth of an allegation; and, said the Lord concerning the dual records witnessing of Himself: "Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also." FN

Associated with these predictions of the joint testimony of Jewish and Nephite scriptures is another prophecy, the consummation of which is now expectantly yet patiently awaited by the faithful. Additional scriptures are promised, specifically the records of the Lost Tribes. Note this word of promise: "Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. * * * For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews." FN


The Archeology and Ethnology of the western continent contribute some corroborative evidence in support of the Book of Mormon. These sciences are confessedly unable to explain in any decisive manner the origin of the native American races; nevertheless, investigation in this field has yielded results that are fairly definite, and with the most important of these the Book of Mormon account is in general accord. No exhaustive treatment will be attempted here, as such would require space far beyond present limitations. For detailed consideration of the subject the student should consult works especially devoted thereto. FN Among the most significant of the discoveries respecting the aboriginal inhabitants, are the following:.

1. That America was peopled in very ancient times, probably soon after the building of the Tower of Babel.

2. That the continent has been successively occupied by different peoples, at least by two classes, or so-called races, at widely separated periods.

3. That the aboriginal inhabitants came from the East, probably from Asia, and that the later occupants, or those of the second period, were closely allied to, if not identical with, the Israelites.

4. That the existing native races of America form a common stock.

From the outline already given of the historical part of the Book of Mormon, it is seen that each of these discoveries is fully sustained by that record. Thus it is stated therein:

1. That America was settled by the Jaredites, who came direct from the scenes of Babel.

2. That the Jaredites occupied the land for about eighteen hundred and fifty years, and that at about the time of their extinction, near 590 B.C., Lehi and his company came to this continent, where they developed into the segregated nations Nephites and Lamanites, the former becoming extinct near 385 A.D. -- about a thousand years after Lehi's arrival on these shores -- the latter continuing in a degenerate condition until the present, and being represented by the Indian tribes.

3. That Lehi, Ishmael, and Zoram, the progenitors of both Nephites and Lamanites, were undoubtedly Israelites, Lehi being of the tribe of Manasseh while Ishmael was an Ephraimite, and that the colony came direct from Jerusalem, in Asia.

4. That the existing Indian tribes are descendants of the immigrants whose history is contained in the Book of Mormon, and that therefore they have sprung from progenitors who were of the house of Israel.

Now, let us examine some of the evidence bearing on these points presented by investigators, most of whom knew nothing of the Book of Mormon, and none of whom accept the book as authentic. FN

1. Concerning the Ancient Colonization of America -- A recognized authority on American antiquities gives the following evidence and inference: "One of the arts known to the builders of Babel was that of brick-making. This art was also known to the people who built the works in the west. The knowledge of copper was known to the people of the plains of Shinar; for Noah must have communicated it, as he lived a hundred and fifty [350] years among them after the flood. Also copper was known to the antediluvians. Copper was also known to the authors of the western monuments. Iron was known to the antediluvians. It was also known to the ancients of the west. However, it is evident that very little iron was among them, as very few instances of its discovery in their works have occurred; and for this very reason we draw a conclusion that they came to this country soon after the dispersion." FN

Lowry, in his "Reply to official inquiries respecting the Aborigines of America," concludes concerning the peopling of the western continent, "that the first settlement was made shortly after the confusion of tongues at the building of the Tower of Babel." FN

Professor Waterman of Boston says of the progenitors of the American Indians: "When and whence did they come? Albert Galatin, one of the profoundest philologists of the age, concluded that, so far as language afforded any clue, the time of their arrival could not have been long after the dispersion of the human family." FN

Pritchard writes of America's ancient inhabitants, that "the era of their existence as a distinct and isolated race must probably be dated as far back as that time which separated into nations the inhabitants of the old world, and gave to each branch of the human family its primitive language and individuality." FN

A native Mexican author, Ixtilxochitl, "fixes the date of the first people of America about the year 2000 B.C.; this closely accords with that given by the Book of Mormon, which positively declares that it occurred at the time of the dispersion, when God in His anger scattered the people upon the face of the whole earth." FN "Referring to the quotations from Ixtilxochitl, seventeen hundred and sixteen years are said to have elapsed from the creation to the flood. Moses places it sixteen hundred and fifty-six, a difference of only sixty years. FN They agree exactly as to the number of cubits, fifteen, which the waters prevailed over the highest mountains. Such a coincidence can lead to but one conclusion, the identity of origin of the two accounts." FN

John T. Short, quoting from Clavigero, says: "The Chiapanese have been the first peoplers of the New World, if we give credit to their traditions. They say that Votan, the grandson of that respectable old man who built the great ark to save himself and family from the deluge, and one of those who undertook the building of that lofty edifice, which was to reach up to heaven, went by express command of the Lord to people that land. They say also that the first people came from the quarter of the north, and that when they arrived at Soconusco, they separated, some going to inhabit the country of Nicaragua, and others remaining at Chiapas." FN

2. Concerning the Successive Occupation of America by Different Peoples in Ancient Times -- It has been stated by eminent students of American archeology that two distinct classes, by some designated as separate races of mankind, inhabited this continent in early times. Professor F. W. Putnam FN is even more definite in his assertion that one of these ancient races spread from the north, the other from the south. Henry C. Walsh, in an article entitled "Copan, a City of the Dead," FN gives many interesting details of excavation and other work prosecuted by Gordon under the auspices of the Peabody expedition; and adds, "All this points to successive periods of occupation, of which there are other evidences." FN

3. Concerning the Advent of at Least One Division of the Ancient Americans from the East, probably from Asia; and Their Israelitish Origin-Confirmatory evidence of the belief that the aboriginal Americans sprang from the peoples of the eastern hemisphere is found in the similarity of record and tradition on the two continents, regarding the creation, the deluge, and other great events of history. Boturini, FN who is quoted by writers on American archeology, says: "There is no Gentile nation that refers to primitive events with such certainty as the Indians do. They give us an account of the creation of the world, of the deluge, FN of the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, and of all other periods and ages of the world, and of the long peregrinations which their people had in Asia representing the specific years by their characters; and in the seven Conejos (rabbits) they tell us of the great eclipse that occurred at the death of Christ, our Lord."

Similiar evidence of the common source of eastern and western traditions of great events in primitive times is furnished in the writings of Short, already quoted, and by Baldwin, FN Clavigero, FN Kingsborough, FN Sahagun, FN Prescott, FN Schoolcraft, FN Squiers, FN and others. FN

John T. Short adds his testimony to the evidence of the aboriginal inhabitants of America being of "Old World origin," but admits his inability to determine when or whence they came to this continent. FN Waterman, before cited, says: "This people could not have been created in Africa, for its inhabitants were widely dissimilar from those of America; nor in Europe, which was without a native people agreeing at all with American races; then to Asia alone could they look for the origin of the Americans." FN

Lord Kingsborough, in his comprehensive and standard work, refers to a manuscript by Las Casas, the Spanish Bishop of Chiapa, which writing is preserved in the convent of St. Dominic, Mexico; in this the bishop states that a knowledge of the Godhead was found to exist among the natives of Yucatali. One of the bishop's emissaries wrote: "He had met with a principal lord who, on his questioning him respecting the faith and ancient religion which prevailed in that country, informed him that they knew and believed in God who resided in heaven; and that this God was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and that the Father was named Ycona, who had created men and all things; and that the Son was called Bacab, who was born of a virgin named Chibirias, who was in heaven with God; and that the name of the mother of Chibirias was Ischel; and that the Holy Ghost was called Echuah. Bacab, the Son, they said, was put to death by Eopuco, who scourged him and put a crown of thorns upon his head, and placed him with his arms stretched out upon a beam of wood, to which they believed that he had not been nailed but tied: and that he died there, and remained during three days dead; and that on the third day he came to life and ascended into heaven, where he is with his Father: and immediately afterwards Echuah came, who is the Holy Ghost, and filled the earth with whatsoever it stood in need of." FN

Rosales affirms a tradition among the Chileans to the effect that their forefathers were visited by a wonderful personage, full of grace and power, who wrought many miracles among them, and taught them of the Creator who dwelt in heaven in the midst of glorified hosts. FN Prescott refers to the symbol of the cross, which was found by the followers of Cortez to be common among the natives of Mexico and Central America. In addition to this sign of a belief in Christ, a ceremony suggestive of analogy to the sacrament of the communion was witnessed with astonishment by the invaders. Aztec priests were seen to prepare a cake of flour, mixed with blood, which they consecrated and gave to the people, who, as they ate, "showed signs of humiliation and sorrow, declaring it was the flesh of Deity." FN

The Mexicans recognize a Deity in Quetzalcoatl, the traditional account of whose life and death is closely akin to our history of the Christ, so that, says President John Taylor, "we can come to no other conclusion than that Quetzalcoatl and Christ are the same being." FN Lord Kingsborough speaks of a painting of Quetzalcoatl, "in the attitude of a person crucified, with the impression of nails in his hands and feet, but not actually upon the cross." The same authority further says: "The seventy-third plate of the Borgian MS. is the most remarkable of all, for Quetzalcoatl is not only represented there as crucified upon a cross of Greek form, but his burial and descent into hell are also depicted in a very curious manner." And again: "The Mexicans believe that Quetzalcoatl took human nature upon him, partaking of all the infirmities of man, and was not exempt from sorrow, pain, or death, which he suffered voluntarily to atone for the sins of man." FN

The source of this knowledge of Christ and the Godhead is apparent to the student of the Book of Mormon. We learn from that scripture that the progenitors of the native American races, for centuries prior to the time of Christ's birth, lived in the light of direct revelation, which, coming to them through their authorized prophets, showed the purposes of God respecting the redemption of mankind; and, moreover, that the risen Redeemer ministered unto them in person, and established His Church among them with all its essential ordinances. The people have fallen into a state of spiritual degeneracy; many of their traditions are sadly distorted and disfigured by admixture of superstition and human invention; yet the origin of their knowledge is plainly authentic.

4. Concerning a Common Origin of Native American Races -- That the many tribes and nations among the Indians are of common parentage is generally admitted; the conclusion is based on the evident close relationship in their languages, traditions, and customs. "Mr. Lewis H. Morgan finds evidence that the American aborigines had a common origin in what he calls 'their system of consanguinity and affinity.' He says, 'The Indian nations from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Arctic sea to the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of the Esquimaux, have the same system. It is elaborate and complicated in its general form and details; and, while deviations from uniformity occur in the systems of different stocks, the radical features are in the main constant. This identity in the essential characteristics of a system so remarkable tends to show that it must have been transmitted with the blood to each stock from a common original source. It affords the strongest evidence yet obtained of unity in origin of the Indian nations within the regions defined."' FN

Bradford's summary of conclusions regarding the origin and characteristics of the ancient Americans sets forth: "That they were all of the same origin, branches of the same race, and possessed of similar customs and institutions." FN

Written Language of the Ancient Americans -- To these secular, or extra-scriptural, evidences of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon may be added the agreement of the record with discoveries regarding the written language of these ancient peoples. The prophet Nephi states that he made his record on the plates in "the language of the Egyptians," FN and we are further told that the brazen plates of Laban were inscribed in the same. FN Mormon, who abridged the voluminous writings of his predecessors, and prepared the plates from which the modern translation was made, also employed Egyptian characters. His son Moroni, who completed the record, declares this fact; but, recognizing a difference between the writing of his day and that on the earlier plates, he attributed the change to the natural mutation through time, and speaks of his own record and that of his father, Mormon, as being written in the "reformed Egyptian." FN

But the Egyptian is not the only eastern language found to be represented in the relics of American antiquities; the Hebrew occurs in this connection with at least equal significance. That the Hebrew tongue should have been used by Lehi's descendants is most natural, inasmuch as they were of the House of Israel, transferred to the western continent directly from Jerusalem. That the ability to read and write in that language continued with the Nephites until the time of their extinction is evident from Moroni's statement regarding the language used on the plates of Mormon: "And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew,; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also." FN

The following instances are taken from an instructive array brought together by Elder George Reynolds. FN Several of the early Spanish writers claim that the natives of some portions of the land were found speaking a corrupt Hebrew. "Las Casas so affirms with regard to the inhabitants of the island of Hayti. Lafitu wrote a history wherein he maintained that the Caribbee language was radically Hebrew. Isaac Nasci, a learned Jew of Surinam, says of the language of the people of Guiana, that all their substantives are Hebrew." Spanish historians record the early discovery of Hebrew characters on the western continent. "Malvenda says that the natives of St. Michael had tombstones, which the Spaniards digged up, with several ancient Hebrew inscriptions upon them."

In all such writings, the characters and the language are allied to the most ancient form of Hebrew, and show none of the vowel signs and terminal letters which were introduced into the Hebrew of the eastern continent after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. This is consistent with the fact that Lehi and his people left Jerusalem shortly before the captivity, and therefore prior to the introduction of the changes in the written language. FN

Another Test -- Let not the reader of the Book of Mormon content himself with such evidences as have been cited concerning the authenticity of this reputed scripture. There is promised a surer and a more effectual means of ascertaining the truth or falsity of this volume. Like other scriptures, the Book of Mormon is to be comprehended through the spirit of scripture, and this is obtainable only as a gift from God. But this gift is promised unto all who shall seek for it. Then to all let us commend the counsel of the last writer in the volume, Moroni, the solitary scribe who sealed the book, afterward the angel of the record who brought it forth: "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." FN


Biblical Allusions to the Book of Mormon

For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of Mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall do this -- 2 Kings 19:31.

The vision of all is become as the words of a book that is sealed; this is delivered to the learned and the unlearned -- Isa. 29:11, 12.

Note that at the foretold time of the coming forth of this book people would be led away from the doctrines of God by the precepts of men -- Isa. 29:13; compare the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith: They teach for doctrines the commandments of men -- P. of G.P. p. 49.

The people spoken of in the book were to be brought down and their speech was to be low out of the dust -- Isa. 29:4. Compare: Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven -- Ps. 85:11.

The stick or record of Judah and the children of Israel his companions; also the stick of Joseph, called also the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions, these to be one in the Lord's hands -- Ezek. 37:16-19.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: they shall hear my voice -- John 10:16. Compare the words of the resurrected Lord to the Nephites that they were the other sheep of another fold -- 3 Nephi 15:17-24.

Book of Mormon Testimony Relating to Itself

The words of the Lord to Nephi, son of Lehi, relating to the bringing forth of scriptures other than the Holy Bible: Unto the Gentiles in this day, much of the gospel, plain and precious, to be given; the Nephites to write many things, which, after the destruction of the people as a nation, were to be hidden up, later to come forth unto the Gentiles; these writings to contain the record of the gospel -- 1 Nephi 13:34-37.

Nephi, who had kept the records of his people, was commanded by the Lord to make other plates and to engrave upon them as directed -- 2 Nephi 5:29-33.

The word of the Lord through Nephi, son of Lehi, that those who are to be destroyed shall yet speak out of the ground, with speech low out of the dust; their book to be brought forth in a day when the Gentiles had built up many churches -- 2 Nephi 26:16-22. Compare Ps. 85:10-13 cited above.

The prayer of Enos that the Lord would preserve a record of his people and bring it forth in due time -- Enos 13-18.

Mormon, who abridged and compiled the ancient records, predicts their coming forth -- Mormon 5:12-15.

Moroni, son of Mormon, completes his father's record, and testifies to its coming forth -- Mormon 8:13-17; 25-32.

Nephi, son of Lehi, predicts the bringing forth of a book which contains the words of them that have slumbered; the one appointed to bring it forth is to deliver the words of the book, but not the book, to another -- 2 Nephi 27:6-11.

The book itself to be hid from the world, but to be shown to three witnesses, and afterward to a few according to the will of God. The unsealed part to be translated, the sealed part to remain for a season -- 2 Nephi 27:12-25.

The book to come forth among the Gentiles shall establish the truth of the first, or the Holy Bible; and both shall be established in one -- 1 Nephi 13:39-42.

Concerning him who was appointed to bring forth the book in the last days -- 2 Nephi 3:6-16; 27:9-12, 15, 19; Mormon 8:14-16.

Many of the Gentiles reject the book, saying: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible -- 2 Nephi, chap. 29. Note that the Gentile world has derisively called the Book of Mormon the "Mormon Bible."

The resurrected Christ commanded the Nephites to write the words he had given unto them -- 3 Nephi 16:4; read the entire chapter.

Latter-day Revelation Concerning the Book of Mormon

To Joseph Smith was given the power to translate the ancient records constituting the Book of Mormon -- D&C 1:29; see also 20:8-12; 135:3.

Concerning the loss of certain manuscripts containing the translation of parts of the writings of Mormon -- D&C, sec. 3. Compare 2 Nephi 5:30; 1 Nephi, chap. 9; Words of Mormon 7.

Concerning the testimony of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon -- D&C 5:1-18.

Joseph Smith called and chosen to bring forth the Book of Mormon -- D&C 24:1

And with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon -- D&C 27:5.

Elders of the Church to teach the principles of the gospel contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon -- D&C 42:12.

Account of the revelation to Joseph Smith concerning the existence of the ancient records, and incidents relating to its translation -- P. of G.P. pp. 51-57.

And he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true -- D&C 17:6; read the entire section, which is directed to the three witnesses prior to their viewing the plates.

A knowledge of the Savior attested by both the Bible and the Book of Mormon -- D&C 3:16-20.


 APPENDIX 15—Notes Relating to Chapter 15

             1. Ishmael an Ephraimite"The Prophet Joseph Smith informed us that the record of Lehi was contained on the one hundred sixteen pages that were first translated and subsequently stolen, and of which an abridgment is given us in the First Book of Nephi, which is the record of Nephi individually, he himself being of the lineage of Manasseh; but that Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim, and that his sons married into Lehi's family, and Lehi's sons married Ishmael's daughters, thus fulfilling the words of Jacob upon Ephraim and Manasseh in the 48th chapter of Genesis [verse 16] which says: 'And let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.' Thus these descendants of Manasseh and Ephraim grew together upon this American continent, with a sprinkling from the house of Judah, from Mulek descended, who left Jerusalem eleven years after Lehi, and founded the colony afterwards known as Zarahemla and found by Mosiah—thus making a combination, an intermixture of Ephraim and Manasseh with the remnants of Judah, and for aught we know, the remnants of some other tribes that might have accompanied Mulek. And such have grown up upon the American continent."—From "Discourse by Apostle Erastus Snow," at Logan, Utah, May 6, 1882; see Journal of Discourses, vol. 23, pp. 184, 185.

A Sprinkling from the House of Judah: This may well not be a sound conclusion. The descendants from the colony of Mulek out numbered the Nephites though they were far less than the Lamanites. That there were 'Nephites' who had joined themselves to the Lamanites also precludes that there were 'Mulekites' or the poeple of Zarahemla who also did so. Why there are so few 'Jews' to be found among the Lamanites today, according to the results of such patriarchal blessings as given them, seems more likely to be based upon the fact that the 'Mulekites' were not strickly to be considered 'Jews' having been brought to the Land of Joseph and so being legally and rightfully considered of the House of Joseph themselves (See Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph).

            2. Diversity of Literary Style in the Book of Mormon—"There is a marked difference in the literary style of Nephi and some of the other earlier prophets from that of Mormon and Moroni. Mormon and his son are more direct and take fewer words to express their ideas than did the earlier writers; at least their manner is, to most readers, the more pleasing. Amos, the son of Jacob, has also a style peculiar to himself. There is another noticeable fact that when original records or discourses, such as the record of Limhi, the sermons of Alma, Amulek, etc., the epistles of Helaman, and others, are introduced into Mormon's abridgment, words and expressions are used that appear nowhere else in the Book of Mormon. This diversity of style, expression, and wording is a very pleasing incidental testimony to the truth of the claim made for the Book of Mormon—that it is a compilation of the work of many writers."—From Lectures on the Book of Mormon, by Elder George Reynolds.

            3. Mexican Date of the Deluge—In speaking of the time of the Deluge as given by the Mexican author, Ixtilxochitl, Elder George Reynolds says: "There is a remarkable agreement between this writer's statements and the Book of Genesis. The time from the fall to the flood only differs sixty, possibly only five years, if the following statement in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (107:49) regarding Enoch lengthens the chronology: 'And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.'" The same statement is made in the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 7:68).—"External Evidences of the Book of Mormon," by Elder George Reynolds in Contributor, vol. 17, p. 274.

            4. Ancient Civilization in America—"That a civilization once flourished in these regions [Central America and Mexico] much higher than any the Spanish conquerors found upon their arrival, there can be no doubt. By far the most important work that has been done among the remains of the old Maya civilization has been carried on by the Peabody Museum of Harvard College, through a series of expeditions it has sent to the buried city now called Copan, in Spanish Honduras. In a beautiful valley near the borderland of Guatemala, surrounded by steep mountains and watered by a winding river, the hoary city lies wrapped in the sleep of ages. The ruins at Copan, although in a more advanced state of destruction than those of the Maya cities of Yucatan, have a general similarity to the latter in the design of the buildings, and in the sculptures, while the characters in the inscriptions are essentially the same. It would seem, therefore, that Copan was a city of the Mayas; but if so it must have been one of their most ancient settlements, fallen into decay long before the cities of Yucatan reached their prime. The Maya civilization was totally distinct from the Aztec or Mexican; it was an older and also a much higher civilization."—Henry C. Walsh, in article, "Copan—a City of the Dead," Harper's Weekly, September, 1897.

            The following statements are derived from Bradford's "Conclusions," p. 431, in his American Antiquities, published in 1841, relating to the ancient inhabitants of America:

            "That they were all of the same origin, branches of the same race, and possessed of similar customs and institutions.

            "That they were populous, and occupied a great extent of territory.

            "That they had arrived at a considerable degree of civilization, were associated in large communities, and lived in extensive cities.

            "That they possessed the use of many of the metals, such as lead, copper, gold, and silver, and probably the art of working in them.

            "That they sculptured in stone, and sometimes used that material in the construction of their edifices.

            "That they had the knowledge of the arch of receding steps; of the art of pottery, producing urns and utensils formed with taste, and constructed upon the principles of chemical composition; and the art of brick-making.

            "That they worked the salt springs, and manufactured salt.

            "That they were an agricultural people, living under the influence and protection of regular forms of governments.

            "That they possessed a decided system of religion, and a mythology connected with astronomy, which, with its sister science, geometry, was in the hands of the priesthood.

            "That they were skilled in the art of fortification.

            "That the epoch of their original settlement in the United States is of great antiquity; and that the only indications of their origin to be gathered from the locality of their ruined monuments, point toward Mexico."

            5. American Traditions Concerning the Deluge—"Don Francisco Munoz de la Vega, the Bishop of that diocese (Chiapas), certifies in the prologue to his Diocesan Constitutions, declaring that an ancient manuscript of the primitive Indians of that province, who had learned the art of writing, was in his record office, who retained the constant tradition that the father and founder of their nation was named Teponahuale, which signifies lord of the hollow piece of wood; and that he was present at the building of the Great Wall, for so they named the Tower of Babel; and beheld with his own eyes the confusion of language; after which event, God, the Creator, commanded him to come to these extensive regions, and to divide them amongst mankind."—Lord Kingsborough, Mexican Antiquities, vol. 8, p. 25.

            "It is found in the histories of the Toltecs that this age and first world, as they call it, lasted 1,716 years: that men were destroyed by tremendous rains and lightnings from the sky, and even all the land, without the exception of anything, and the highest mountains, were covered up and submerged in water fifteen cubits (caxtolmolatli); and here they added other fables of how men came to multiply from the few who escaped form this destruction in a 'toptlipetlocali'; that this word nearly signifies a close chest; and how, after men had multiplied, they erected a very high 'zacuali,' which is today a tower of great height, in order to take refuge in it should the second world (age) be destroyed. Presently their languages were confused, and, not being able to understand each other, they went to different parts of the earth."—The same, vol. 9, p. 321.

            "The most important among the American traditions are the Mexican, for they appear to have been definitely fixed by symbolic and mnemonic paintings before any contact with Europeans. According to these documents, the Noah of the Mexican cataclysm was Coxcox, called by certain people Teocipactli or Tezpi. He had saved himself, together with his wife Xochiquetzal, in a bark, or, according to other traditions, on a raft made of cypress wood (Cypressus disticha). Paintings retracing the deluge of Coxcox have been discovered among the Aztecs, Miztecs, Zapotecs, Tlascaltecs, and Mechoacaneses. The tradition of the latter is still more strikingly in conformity with the story as we have it in Genesis, and in Chaldean sources. It tells how Tezpi embarked in a spacious vessel with his wife, his children, and several animals, and grain, whose preservation was essential to the subsistence of the human race. When the great god Tezcatlipoca decreed that the waters should retire, Tezpi sent a vulture from the bark. The bird, feeding on the carcasses with which the earth was laden, did not return. Tezpi sent out other birds, of which the humming bird only came back, with a leafy branch in its beak. Then Tezpi, seeing that the country began to vegetate, left his bark on the mountain of Colhuacan."—Donnelly's Atlantis, p. 99.

            The tradition of a Deluge "was the received notion, under some form or other, of the most civilized people in the Old World, and of the barbarians of the New. The Aztecs combined with this some particular circumstances of a more arbitrary character, resembling the accounts of the east. They believed that two persons survived the deluge, a man named Coxcox and his wife. Their heads are represented in ancient painting, together with a boat floating on the waters at the foot of a mountain. A dove is also depicted, with a hieroglyphical emblem of language in his mouth, which he is distributing to the children of Coxcox, who were born dumb. The neighboring people of Michoacan, inhabiting the same high plains of the Andes, had a still further tradition, that the boat in which Tezpi, their Noah, escaped, was filled with various kinds of animals and birds. After some time a vulture was sent out from it, but remained feeding on the dead bodies of the giants which had been left on the earth as the waters subsided. The little humming bird, huitzitzilin, was then sent forth, and returned with a twig in his mouth. The coincidence of both these accounts with the Hebrew and Chaldean narratives is obvious."—Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, Appendix, part 1, p. 386.

            6. Survival of the Hebrew Language Among American Tribes—"It is claimed that such survivals are numerous in the religious songs and ceremonies of many of the tribes. A number of writers who visited or resided among the tribes of the northern continent, assert that the words Yehovah, Yah, Ale, and Hallelujah, could be distinctly heard in these exercises. Laet and Escarbotus assure us that they often heard the South American Indians repeat the sacred word Hallelujah."—Elder George Reynolds, "The Language of the Book of Mormon," Contributor, Salt Lake City, vol. 17, p. 236.

            7. "The Origin of the Pre-Columbian Civilization of America"—Under this title an instructive article by G. Elliot Smith appeared in Science, vol. 44, pp. 190-195 (August 11, 1916). As to the interest accorded to the subject, the author says: "In the whole range of ethnological discussion perhaps no theme has evoked livelier controversies and excited more widespread interest than the problems involved in the mysteries of the wonderful civilization that revealed itself to the astonished Spaniards on their first arrival in America.

            "During the last century, which can be regarded as covering the whole period of scientific investigation in anthropology, the opinions of those who have devoted attention to such inquiries have undergone the strangest fluctuations. If one delves into the anthropological journals of forty or fifty years ago they will be found to abound in careful studies on the part of many of the leading ethnologists of the time, demonstrating, apparently in a convincing and unquestionable manner, the spread of curious customs or beliefs from the Old World, to the New." The writer decries the fallacy of assuming that similarities in customs and culture of widely separated peoples can be explained on any other basis than that of a common origin, and proceeds as follows: "Why then, it will be asked, in the face of the overwhelming mass of definite and well-authenticated evidence clearly pointing to the sources in the Old World from which American civilization sprung, do so many ethnologists refuse to accept the clear and obvious meaning of the facts and resort to such childish subterfuges as I have mentioned? Putting aside the influence of Darwin's work, the misunderstanding of which, as Huxley remarked, 'led shallow persons to talk nonsense in the name of anthropological science,' the main factor in blinding so many investigators to appreciate the significance of the data they themselves so laboriously collect results from a defect incidental to the nature of their researches. * * * The failure to recognize the fact, recently demonstrated so convincingly by Dr. Rivers, that useful arts are often lost is another, and perhaps the chief, difficulty that has stood in the way of an adequate appreciation of the history of the spread of civilization." Dr. Smith presents an impressive array of evidence pointing to the Old World and specifically to Egypt, as the source of many of the customs by which the American aborigines are distinguished. The article is accompanied by a map showing probable routes of travel from the Old World to the New, and two landing places on the west coast, one in Mexico and another near the boundary common to Peru and Chile, from which place the immigrants spread.