Origin of the Book of Mormon
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There are several theories as to the actual origin of the Book of Mormon. Most adherents to the Latter Day Saint movement view the book as a work of inspired scripture. The most common theory accepted by adherents is that promoted by Joseph Smith, who said he translated the work from an ancient set of golden plates inscribed by prophets, which Smith discovered near his home in Palmyra, New York in the 1820s after being told to go there by the angel Moroni, a prophet in the Book of Mormon narrative. Besides Smith himself, there were more than 11 witnesses who said they saw the plates physically (three claiming to have been visited by an angel as well) in 1829. There were also many other witnesses, some of them friendly to Smith and some hostile, who observed him dictating the text that eventually became the Book of Mormon.
Nevertheless, critics have explored a number of issues, including (1) whether Joseph Smith actually had golden plates, or whether the text of the Book of Mormon originated in his mind or through inspiration; (2) whether it was Smith himself who composed the book's text, or whether an associate of Smith's such as Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon could have composed the text; and (3) whether the book was based on a prior work such as the View of the Hebrews, the Spalding Manuscript, or the Bible.
- 1 Theories of authorship
- 2 Purported sources
- 3 See also
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
There are differing views on the origin of the Book of Mormon.
- Miraculous origins theories generally accept Joseph Smith's own account that he translated an ancient record compiled and abridged by Mormon, a pre-Columbian resident of the Western Hemisphere who recorded the spiritual history of generations of his people, and the teachings of their ancestors, the Hebrews.
Variations on the miraculous origin theory include the view that the work is a divinely inspired narrative regardless of its historicity (i.e. "Inspired Fiction"). or that the book was written by Joseph Smith through a process known as "automatic writing."
- Joseph Smith as the sole author, without intentional assistance. One line of thinking proposed by several authors is that the Book of Mormon is a "primary source" reflecting events in Smith's own life.
- Theories of multiple authors argue Smith collaborated with others to produce the Book of Mormon. These theories generally cite Book of Mormon scribe Oliver Cowdrey or Sidney Rigdon as potential co-authors.
Miraculous origin theory
According to the accounts of Joseph Smith and his associates, the original record was engraved on thin, malleable sheets of metal with the appearance of gold and bound with three rings at one edge. The leaves were engraved on both sides with considerable skill. According to the account presented in the book, the prophet-historian named "Mormon" abridged the [mostly religious and non-secular] records of the local civilizations from the preceding thousand years. Mormon then delivered the account to his son, Moroni, who added a few words of his own and concealed the plates about AD 400. At the end of Moroni's ministry (approximately AD 421), he placed these plates along with several other items in a stone box in a hillside (now named the Hill Cumorah) near Palmyra, New York.
Then, by Smith's account, on September 21, 1823, this same Moroni, then a resurrected being, appeared to Joseph Smith Jr. to instruct him about this ancient record and its destined translation into the English language. Smith was shown the location of the plates (including the other items in the box), but was not immediately allowed to take them. After four years of meeting with the angel and being instructed, he was finally entrusted with the plates. Through the power of God and the Urim and Thummim, which were ancient seeing stones hidden along with the plates, he was able to translate the characters (which, according to the Book of Mormon, were related to 600 BC Egyptian with Hebrew influence) into English. Joseph Smith was commanded to show the plates to several people and no one else. Accounts by these individuals are recorded in the front of the Book of Mormon as "The Testimony of the Three Witnesses" and "The Testimony of the Eight Witnesses."
Additionally, Joseph Smith taught, and most Mormons believe, that the provenance of the Book of Mormon was prophesied by Biblical scripture.
Rigdon's son John, discussing an interview with his father in 1865, states:
My father, after I had finished saying what I have repeated above, looked at me a moment, raised his hand above his head and slowly said, with tears glistening in his eyes: "My son, I can swear before high heaven that what I have told you about the origin of [the Book of Mormon] is true. Your mother and sister, Mrs. Athalia Robinson, were present when that book was handed to me in Mentor, Ohio, and all I ever knew about the origin of [the Book of Mormon] was what Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith and the witnesses who claimed they saw the plates have told me, and in all of my intimacy with Joseph Smith he never told me but one story."
Apologists of the Book of Mormon do not find the instances of purported plagiarism troubling; to the contrary, they feel that the repetition further proves the authenticity of the Book of Mormon—that God reveals similar, if not the same teachings, to all people since, as the Bible states, He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” and that the repetition fulfills prophecy that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”. LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball further stated, "Prophets say the same things because we face basically the same problems.""[For example,]...warnings must be repeated. Just because a truth is repeated does not make that truth any less important or true. Indeed, the opposite is true."
According to the Smith-as-Sole-Author hypothesis, the Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith, Jr. without the intentional complicity of anyone else. These theories argue that the simplest explanation is that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself.
It's argued that the Book of Mormon reflects experiences in Joseph Smith's life. For example, Lehi's Dream in the Book of Mormon has parallels with a dream Joseph Smith Sr. had (as recorded in 1845 by Lucy Mack Smith).
The Golden Plates were sometimes called the "Golden Bible," in early descriptions. The label "Golden Bible" actually predates the Book of Mormon, as legends of such an artifact existed in Canada and upstate New York while Joseph Smith was growing up in Vermont. Smith companion Peter Ingersoll later claimed Smith had told him of the legend of the Canadian Golden Bible.
According to this family of theories, Smith was aided in the creation of the Book of Mormon by one or more co-authors. Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery have been posited as possible authors or co-authors. Both Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery had more formal education and these theories argue that either could have helped Smith author the book.
The author David Persuitte, in suggesting evidence for the multiple-authors theory points to a revelation, dated to March 1829, that apparently limited Smith's power to translation. Persuitte argues that the wording indicates at least one other collaborating but secret author since such a self-imposed limitation would make sense "if he had some partners who had imposed it upon him in order to prevent him from gathering too much power to himself."
In contrast, co-authors Jerald and Sandra Tanner argue the early text of the revelation merely demonstrates that "Joseph Smith was not planning on doing any other work besides the Book of Mormon".
Oliver Cowdery was a third-cousin of Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph's mother. A pastor who lived near him, Ethan Smith, had written View of the Hebrews a work that is sometimes argued to have been a source for the Book of Mormon. Cowdery served as scribe during the transcription of the Book of Mormon and he served as one of the three witnesses to the golden plates.
Sidney Rigdon was a Baptist preacher who became one of Smith's earliest followers. Rigdon served as a scribe for the production of the Book of Moses, received revelations jointly with Smith, and carried the title "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator". After Joseph Smith's death, Rigdon led his own faction of Mormons and continued to announce revelations.
However, there is little or no extant evidence that Joseph Smith knew of or was in contact with Sidney Rigdon until after the Book of Mormon was published. Some witness accounts place Rigdon in upstate New York in 1825 and 1826; Most histories state that Rigdon learned of the Book of Mormon from Parley P. Pratt, a member of Rigdon's Kirtland, Ohio congregation, who had been baptized around September 1830 in Palmyra. Upon Pratt's return to Ohio, Rigdon reportedly learned of Smith and the Book of Mormon and was baptized. According to these histories, only after his own baptism did Rigdon travel to New York, where he first met Smith in December 1830 (nine months after the Book of Mormon's publication).
The King James Bible
|King James Bible||Book of Mormon (1830)|
|"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up" (Malachi 4:1)||"For behold, saith the prophet, ... the day soon cometh that all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned" (1 Nephi 22:15)|
|"[T]he axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire" (Matthew 3:10)||"[T]he ax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire" (Alma 5:52)|
|"[B]e steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works" (1 Corinthians 15:58)||"[B]e ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (Mosiah 5:15)|
In The Book of Mormon, Nephi explicitly quotes the Book of Isaiah. Segments of the Book of Mormon, for example 1 Nephi chapters 20-21 and 2 Nephi chapters 7, 8, and 12-24, match nearly word-for-word the chapters 48-49, 50, 51-52:1-2, and 2-14 (respectively) of the King James Translation (1611) of the Book of Isaiah. In addition, 58 quotes from Isaiah found in the Book of Mormon are paraphrased versions of those found in the King James Bible. Also, Mosiah chapter 14 matches KJV Isaiah 53, 3 Nephi chapter 22 matches KJV Isaiah 54, 3 Nephi chapters 24-25 match KJV Malachi 3-4, and 3 Nephi chapters 12-14 match KJV Matthew 5-7. In total, there exist 478 verses in the Book of Mormon which are quoted in some form or other from the book of Isaiah.
The majority of modern scholars have accepted that the sources used for the King James translation are no longer the earliest or most reliable sources (e.g. see Alexandrian text-type and Dead Sea scrolls). The Book of Mormon claims to have been written over 1100 years prior to the King James version of the Bible, but it contains some of the same errors. One example is which is quoted nearly word-for-word in . The passage concerns believers holding snakes and drinking poison; however it does not appear in many early manuscripts and is widely believed to be composed in the 2nd century. Additionally, the book reflects KJV literary and linguistic style. The KJV was the most commonly used translation of the Bible when the Book of Mormon was produced.
|Apocrypha||Book of Mormon (1830)|
|"We will assay to abridge in one volume.... labouring to follow the rules of an abridgment.... But to use brevity ... is to be granted to him that will make an abridgement." (2 Maccabees 2:25-31)||"I make an abridgement of the record ... after I have abridged the record.... I had made an abridgement from the plates of Nephi.... I write a small abridgement." (1 Nephi 1:17, Words of Mormon 3, 5:9)|
|"They commanded that this writing should be put in tables of brass, and that they should be set ... in a conspicuous place; Also that the copies thereof should be laid up in the treasury" (1 Maccabees 14:48-49)||"And I commanded him ... that he should go with me into the treasury ... I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass" (1 Nephi 4:20,24)|
|"Then the king, in closing the place, made it holy ... many men call it Nephi". (2 Maccabees 1:34,36)||"And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore we did call it Nephi". (2 Nephi 5:8)|
|"And it came to pass ... I dreamed a dream by night" (2 Esdras 13:1)||"And it came to pass ... Behold, I have dreamed a dream" (1 Nephi 8:2)|
Spalding's Manuscript Found
In 1834, E.D. Howe in his book Mormonism Unvailed (sic) introduced a theory which claimed Smith plagiarized material from the manuscript for an unpublished novel by Solomon Spaulding. Howe had the manuscript in his possession at the time of publication. Spaulding's story, called Manuscript Story, revolves around a group of seafaring Romans who sail to the New World around two millennia ago. Critics long speculated that Joseph Smith had access to the original script, which was lost soon after the Mormonism Unvailed was published, and that he plagiarized heavily from it in writing the Book of Mormon. The only known manuscript, Manuscript Story, was discovered in 1884 and now resides at Oberlin College in Ohio. Once the manuscript was available for study, most critics discarded this theory because the "extensive parallels" previously thought to exist consisted only of a few details: intercontinental seafaring, the existence (and use) of a seer stone, and the discovery of records under a stone (Latin parchments in the Spaulding manuscript, golden plates with "reformed Egyptian" writing according to Smith). Most of the other purported similarities, attested to by various witnesses in affidavits gathered by Doctor Philastus Hurlbut. Historian Fawn Brodie expressed suspicion regarding these statements, claiming that the style of the statements was too similar and displayed too much uniformity.
Much confusion and premature dismissal of the theory has resulted from the 1884 manuscript, entitled "Manuscript Story." The confusion comes from the fact that entitled "Manuscript Story" was a different document than "Manuscript Found", which has ironically still not been found.
View of the Hebrews
One purported source is the book View of the Hebrews, written by Ethan Smith (pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont, no relation to Joseph Smith). It is argued that several passages and many thematic elements in The Book of Mormon share strong parallels with the work View of the Hebrews, published in 1823, with an expanded edition in 1825, by Ethan Smith. Examples of alleged parallels include:
|View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith (1825 edition)||Book of Mormon (1830)|
|"[T]hose far distant savages have (as have all other tribes) their Great Spirit, who made everything" (p. 103)||"Believest thou that this Great Spirit which is God, created all things ... And he saith, Yea, I believe that he created all things" (Alma 18:28–29)|
|"[T]he places ... are noted; among which are 'the isles of the sea'". (p. 232-233)||"[W]e have been led to a better land, ... [W]e are upon an isle of the sea" (2 Nephi 10:20)|
|" 'I will hiss for them' God is represented as hissing for a people. ... [To] behold the banner of salvation now erected for his ancient people.... This standard of salvation." (p. 235,241–242)||"[M]y words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the House of Israel." (2 Nephi 29:2)|
Ethan Smith was a pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont, where he was pastor to Golden Plates witness and Book of Mormon scribe Oliver Cowdery. View of the Hebrews was published in 1825, five years before the publication of the Book of Mormon.
In the early 20th century LDS apologist B.H. Roberts authored a manuscript titled Studies of the Book of Mormon, in which he compared the content of the Book of Mormon with View of the Hebrews. Roberts' conclusion was that, assuming a hemispheric geography theory for the Book of Mormon, sufficient parallels existed that future critics could claim that View of the Hebrews could have provided a structural foundation for the Book of Mormon story. The manuscript was private and shared only with church leadership at the time he did the analysis. Publicly, Roberts continued to support the Book of Mormon.
Roberts' list of parallels included:
- extensive quotation from the prophecies of Isaiah in the Old Testament;
- the Israelite origin of the American Indian;
- the future gathering of Israel and restoration of the Ten Lost Tribes;
- the peopling of the New World from the Old via a long journey northward which encountered "seas" of "many waters;"
- a religious motive for the migration;
- the division of the migrants into civilized and uncivilized groups with long wars between them and the eventual destruction of the civilized by the uncivilized;
- the assumption that all native peoples were descended from Israelites and their languages from Hebrew;
- the burial of a "lost book" with "yellow leaves;"
- the description of extensive military fortifications with military observatories or "watch towers" overlooking them;
- a change from monarchy to republican forms of government; and
- the preaching of the gospel in ancient America.
David Persuitte, in his book, Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon, presents a large number of parallels between passages in View of the Hebrews and in the Book of Mormon, but notes no instances of direct copying. However, the parallels between the two books that Persuitte presents cover a broad range of topics, including religious ideas about the responsibility of the American people in convincing the Indians of their "Israelite" origins and converting them to Christianity. Moreover, Persuitte quotes from View of the Hebrews Ethan Smith's theory about what happened to the ancient Israelites after they arrived in America. That theory is also essentially a summary of the basic story line of the Book of Mormon, including the idea that the ancient Israelite immigrants to America split into two factions: a civilized group and a savage group that subsequently exterminated the civilized group. Persuitte also quotes from the two books several similar descriptions of structures built by the civilized faction and wars that were fought between the two factions, as well as numerous other similarities. According to Persuitte, the ideas that can be found in View of the Hebrews are sufficient to have "inspired" Joseph Smith to have written the Book of Mormon had he read it. Joseph Smith himself mentioned Ethan Smith and cited passages from View of the Hebrews in an article published in the Times and Seasons in June 1842.
Unlike the Spaulding "Manuscript Found" hypothesis, evidence shows that Joseph Smith was personally familiar with the View of the Hebrews within his lifetime. In 1842, Smith explicitly quoted from View of the Hebrews in an article published in the Times and Seasons.
Additionally, Book of Mormon scribe Oliver Cowdery may have been familiar with View of the Hebrews. Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith were distantly related through their mothers (3rd cousins, 1 time removed). Cowdery was educated and trained as a typesetter/printers assistant in the 1800s and worked at the Poultney Gazette in the summer of 1823 (the paper became known as the Northern Spectator in December 1823), the year that Ethan Smith published the first edition of View of the Hebrews. Cowdery's family, including father William and stepmother Keziah, were noted as being longstanding members of Ethan Smith's congregation in Poultney when he arrived and assumed leadership in November 1821. Even prior to his book's publication, Ethan Smith advocated his views regarding the origins of Native Americans in sermons to his congregations. In 1825, Ethan Smith published the much-enlarged second edition of View of the Hebrews, the same year that Cowdery left Poultney for New York State.
The Wonders of Nature
Critics claim that Smith based several passages and thematic material in The Book of Mormon on material he found in The Wonders of Nature, published in 1825 by Josiah Priest. Examples of alleged parallels include:
|The Wonders of Nature by Josiah Priest (1825)||Book of Mormon (1830)|
|"a narrow neck of land is interposed betwixt two vast oceans" (p. 598)||"the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land" (Ether 10:20)|
|"From whence no traveller returns" (p. 469)||"from whence no traveller can return" (2 Nephi 1:14)|
|"Darkness which may be felt.... vapours ... so thick as to prevent the rays of the sun from penetrating an extraordinary thick mist. ... no artificial light could be procured ... vapours would prevent lamps, etc. from burning. ... [T]he darkness lasted for three days." (p. 524)||"[They] could feel the vapour of darkness, and there could be no light ... neither candles, neither torches, ... neither the sun ... for so great were the mists of darkness ... [I]t did last for the space of three days." (3 Nephi 8:20–23)|
The Golden Pot
The Golden Pot: A Modern Fairytale is a novella by German author E. T. A. Hoffmann, first published in 1814. It has been suggested as an inspiration for the story of the Golden Plates. Much of the narrative occurs in the imagination of the protagonist Anselmus. Alleged similarities include:
- Anselmus encounters Archivarius Lindhorst, the last archivist of Atlantis.
- Archivarius Lindhorst is a guardian of ancient treasures (like Moroni)
- Significant events occur on the fall equinox
- Anselmus receives a gold record and asked to decipher the writing on it.
The Late War
The Late War is an account of the War of 1812 which is written in the style of the King James Bible. The 2008 work Mormon Parallels and a 2010 work have discussed possible similarities between the two works. In 2013, The Late War was the subject of discussion among both ex-mormons and mormon apologists.
- Price 2002, p. 68
- Dunn 2002, pp. 29, 33 Dunn concludes, “It is clear that Smith's translation experience fits comfortably within the larger world of scrying, channeling, and automatic writing.”
- Vogel 2004
- Words of Mormon 1:3-6 http://scriptures.lds.org/en/w_of_m/1
- Book of Mormon Introduction: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/introduction
- According to
- See Joseph Smith—History 1 for a complete record of Joseph Smith's account.
- Mormons believe that the following biblical passages prophesy or otherwise support the provenance of the Book of Mormon: Psalm 85:11; Ezekiel 37: 15-20; John 10: 15-16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Revelation 14:6-7
- Spaulding 1996
- McConkie, B.R. (1966). Mormon Doctrine. Deseret Book: Salt Lake City.
- Hebrews 13:8, KJV
- 2 Corinthians 13:1, KJV
- Kimball, S.W. (Apr., 1976). Ensign, p. 6
- Kimball, S.W. (1981). President Kimball Speaks Out, p. 89.
- Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 58. , Hal Hougey, The Truth About the "Lehi Tree-of-Life" Stone (Concord: Pacific Publishing Co., 1963)., Grant H. Palmer, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002) 70-71., Dan Vogel, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2004)
- Bushman 2005
- Harrod, Allen F (2011-11-08). Deception by Design. ISBN 9781449727970.
- David Persuitte, Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon, 2d ed., p18
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, pp. 67–75, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987), Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, pp. 84–85, ISBN 99930-74-43-8
- Persuitte, David (2000), Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (2nd Edition), McFarland & Company, pp. 155–172, ISBN 0-7864-0826-X
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 72, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987), Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, pp. 73–80, ISBN 99930-74-43-8
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 68, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Tvedtnes 1984
- see the New International Version Bible, 1984, Mark 16: "[The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.]"
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 71, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987), Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, pp. 72–73, ISBN 99930-74-43-8
- Brodie 1971, pp. 46–49
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 69, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Roberts 1985
- Roberts 1985, p. 326
- B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1909], 3:89-90.
- Grant H. Palmer, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2002), 60–64.
- Persuitte 2000
- Joseph Smith, ‘’Times and Seasons’’ 3:15 (1 June 1842): 813–815.
- LDS Ancestral File Database.  Cowdery ancestry,  Smith ancestry. Smith's great-great-great grandfather and Cowdery's great-great grandfather was John Fullmer, born January 11, 1656
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (2010). Joseph Smith's Plagiarism of the Bible in the Book of Mormon. UTLM.
- McGuire, Benjamin L. (2013). "The Late War Against the Book of Mormon". Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (7): 323–355.
- Schaalje, G. Bruce (November 2013). "A Bayesian Cease-Fire in the Late War on the Book of Mormon". Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.
- Brewster, Quinn (1996), "The Structure of the Book of Mormon: A Theory of Evolutionary Development", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 29 (2): 109–140.
- Brodie, Fawn M (1971), No Man Knows My History, New York: Knopf, ISBN 0-679-73054-0.
- Bushman, Richard L (2005), Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 1-4000-4270-4.
- Dunn, Scott C (May 2002), "Automaticity and the Dictation of the Book of Mormon", in Vogel, Dan; Metcalf, Brent Lee, American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books): 17–46, ISBN 1-56085-151-1.
- Faulring, Scott H (June 2000), "The Return of Oliver Cowdery", The Disciple as Witness: Essays on Latter-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute), retrieved 2007-05-19.
- Givens, Terryl (2002), By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture That Launched a New World Religion, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-516888-7.
- Howe, Eber D (1834), Mormonism Unvailed, Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press.
- Jessee, Dean C. (1970), "The Original Book of Mormon Manuscript", BYU Studies 10 (3): 259–278.
- Mauss, Armand L (2003), All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-02803-1.
- Midgley, Louis C (1997), "Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?: The Critics and Their Theories", in Reynolds, Noel B, Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: the Evidence for Ancient Origins (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies): 101–139, ISBN 0-934893-25-X.
- Persuitte, David (October 2000), Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon (second ed.), McFarland & Company, ISBN 0-7864-0826-X.
- Price, Robert M (Fall 2002), "Prophecy and Palimpsest", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 35 (3), retrieved 2007-04-30.
- Roberts, Brigham H (1985), Brigham D. Madsen, ed., Studies of the Book of Mormon, Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-01043-4.
- Skousen, Royal (May 2001), "The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon: Typographical Facsimile of the Extant Text", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) 1, ISBN 0-934893-04-7.
- Skousen, Royal (January 2001), "The Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon : typographical facsimile of the entire text in two parts", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University) 2 (1), ISBN 0-934893-05-5.
- Skousen, Royal (March 2001), "The Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon : typographical facsimile of the entire text in two parts", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University) 2 (2), ISBN 0-934893-06-3.
- Skousen, Royal (2004), "Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University) 4 (1), ISBN 0-934893-07-1.
- Skousen, Royal Skousen (2005), "Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University) 4 (2), ISBN 0-934893-08-X.
- Skousen, Royal (2006), "Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon", Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University) 4 (3), ISBN 0-934893-11-X.
- Smith, James E (1997), "How Many Nephites?: The Book of Mormon at the Bar of Demography", in Noel B. Reynolds, Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited (Deseret Book Company and Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies), ISBN 0-934893-25-X.
- Sorenson, John L (1985), An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book and The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, ISBN 0-87747-608-X.
- Southerton, Simon G (2004), Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon Church, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-181-3.
- Spaulding, Solomon (1996), Reeve, Rex C, ed., Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript, Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University.
- Tvedtnes, John A (1984), "Isaiah Variants in the Book of Mormon", Featured Papers (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute), retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Vogel, Dan (2004), Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-179-1.
- Tvedtnes, John A. (2010), "Was Joseph Smith Guilty of Plagiarism?", FARMS Review (Maxwell Institute) 22 (1)
- Nicholson, Roger (2013), "The Spectacles, the Stone, the Hat, and the Book: A Twenty-first Century Believer's View of the Book of Mormon Translation", Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 5 (1)