Origin of The Book of Mormon

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, Jr., 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 character from the Book of Mormon. Besides Smith himself, there are 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 are 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.

Read more about Origin Of The Book Of Mormon:  Summary of Theories, Joseph Smith's Own Account of The Authorship of The Book of Mormon, Purported Plagiarism, Smith As A Plagiarist of Contemporaries: The View of The Hebrews Theory, Smith As A Plagiarist of Contemporaries: The Spaulding–Rigdon Theory, Similarities of Some Segments To The King James Version, Church Views of Purported Plagiarism, One of Smith's Colleagues As Author, See Also

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