Tom discovered that he does not need special qualifications to analyze the text of the Book of Mormon. He found plenty of simple evidence that shows it is “easily seen as a product of its time.” He feels that the lack of support from church leadership negates any claims from apologists and cites that the church’s appeal to faith as an authority to determine truth is faulty at best. He’s written multiple articles detailing this, find links in his profile!
I have a two year technical degree and work in the ammonia refrigeration industry and hold a national certification in that field. It does not qualify me as a Book of Mormon scholar. Then again, it does not take a scholar to defeat the Book of Mormon, or the believers and apologists that support it. I was a Mormon.
Even the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defeat their own scholars by making no official endorsement of any of the contrived “evidence” offered by LDS apologists that infer the Book of Mormon is valid. Any apologist organization of the Church, official or arm chair, hedges their articles and contributions with disclaimers that the opinion stated is that of the author alone. The hesitant lack of an official endorsement is the worst indictment of all.
The Brethren, as they are sometimes referred to, appeal rather to faith and prayer over real world evidence (or lack thereof) as the ultimate authority to determine the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. In actuality, they really don’t have much of a choice. In this they are safe since subjective methods of faith and prayer cannot be scientifically scrutinized. Which begs the question; why have Book of Mormon apologists in the first place?
When the need to believe in the Book of Mormon is removed it is easily seen as a product of its time. The fact that it speaks of divinity does not make it divine. When read in context of the 19th century social landscape the Book of Mormon story becomes a melodrama of the era. When compared to verbiage and text of contemporary works the Book of Mormon emerges as an amalgam of political and religious sermon.Tom Donofrio
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