Book of Mormon Internal Evidence (2): Categories

One way to analyze whether the Book of Mormon is authentic is to do an academic study of its authorship. There are at least 21 categories of internal evidence that establish, to a certainty, that the Book of Mormon is not an early nineteenth century work of fiction. It is too complex, too consistent, too realistic, and too inspirational.    

  • 1.  Dozens of Consistent Geographical Locations
  • 2.  Multiple Complex Migrations and Journeys
  • 3.  Multiple Overlapping Chronological Systems
  • 4.  Foreshadowing, Fulfillment and Flashbacks
  • 5.  Economic Systems and Weights and Measures
  • 6.  Complex Structure of the Plates
  • 7.  Realistic Military Battles and Strategies
  • 8.  Realistic Political Theory and Governmental Organizations
  • 9.  Memorable Stories
  • 10. Unique and Realistic Individuals and Characterization
  • 11. Diverse Writing Styles and Multiple Authors
  • 12. Beautiful Poetry
  • 13. Literary Imagery and Personification
  • 14. Scores of Editorial Comments Inserted in the Abridgment
  • 15. Memorable Speeches
  • 16. Complex Allegories
  • 17. Ancient Hebrew Literary Styles
  • 18. Profound Doctrinal Insights
  • 19. Major Recurring Doctrinal Themes
  • 20. “Scriptural Compression
  • 21. Classic Quotes and Profound Verses

When I was in college, I devoted about 18 months to an almost full-time study of the Book of Mormon. I read through the Book of Mormon twenty-one times researching each of the above categories. For example, I read through the Book of Mormon one time just analyzing military strategies. Then, I read through the Book of Mormon one time just analyzing characterization, and so on. I did this twenty-one separate times. 

I tried to mentally combine and overlap all twenty-one categories. The results were inescapable. The complexity, consistency, realism and inspiration of the Book of Mormon are overwhelming. No one could have fabricated this book in the early 1800’s, especially not the uneducated Joseph Smith. (I will be discussing these categories in future articles.)

Even with my college degrees, my Honors English background, a lifetime of education and research, and decades of experience as a teacher and professor, I could not duplicate the Book of Mormon in my lifetime. This is true even if I could use charts, outlines, and internet research. 

To think that the uneducated Joseph Smith authored the Book of Mormon in about 63 days, without charts, outlines, re-reads, reviews, edits, and research tools, is absurd.

This may sound really weird, but the greatest obstacle in doing my secular literary analysis of the Book of Mormon was the Spirit of the Lord. For example, as I tried to study military strategies, chronologies, or poetry, the Spirit kept interrupting my thoughts with impressions about doctrine. It got to the point where I literally prayed, and I asked the Lord to keep the Spirit away so that I could concentrate on my secular academic analysis.  

Of course, the ultimate analysis is spiritual. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.”

This is Number 2, of 27 Articles.


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