Daily Archives: 23 January 2013

Wikipedia’s Deconstruction of Martin Harris

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Editor’s note: This blog post is a reprint Roger Nicholson’s two-part article in Meridian Magazine (part 1, part 2), and is published here with their kind permission.

The Martin Harris We Know

Every Latter-day Saint who has attended Sunday School is familiar with the story of Martin Harris. We learn that Martin was a relatively wealthy man for the area in which he lived, and that he mortgaged his farm to finance the publication of the Book of Mormon. The importance of this act cannot be underestimated,

The cost of printing 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon was $3,000—a huge sum (approximately $73,000 in today’s economy). It was simply impossible for the Smith family to raise even a small fraction of that amount. But Martin… proved his devotion once again by pledging his valuable farm to cover the tremendous expense.[1]

We also learn of Martin’s honesty. Despite his support for the prophet, Martin still wanted assurance that Joseph Smith was truly able to translate the ancient record contained on the gold plates. Martin carried a transcription of some of the characters from the plates to Charles Anthon, and Dr. Anthon fulfilled Biblical prophecy by claiming that he could not read a sealed book.

We also know that Martin was far from perfect. He was, in fact, referred to several times in the revelation comprising Doctrine and Covenants Section 10 as a “wicked man,” Continue reading

Mormon FAIR-Cast 126: Anti-Mormon Criticisms of the Book of Mormon

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Why does the Book of Mormon say Christ was born in Jerusalem? Why does a French word appear in the text of the Book of Mormon? Didn’t Joseph Smith simply borrow Book of Mormon names from the Bible? Why was the Book of Mormon written in Reformed Egyptian? Are there any other instances of such writing? How can one believe the Book of Mormon when so many of the Book of Mormon witnesses left the Church? Why did Nephites build temples outside of Jerusalem? Isn’t the mention of coins in the Book of Mormon an anachronism? Why do the words “church,” “synogogue,” “book,” and “Jesus Christ” appear in the Book of Mormon? Did crucifixions and crosses exist before Lehi left Jerusalem? Wasn’t Joseph Smith fooled by the Kinderhook Plates? Did Elder B.H. Roberts lose his faith? Why haven’t Book of Mormon cities been found? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on May 29, 2011, Martin Tanner responds to these questions.

This recording was used by permission of KSL Radio and does not necessarily represent the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of FAIR.