Post Author: Darrell
In the most recent LDS General Conference, Jeffrey R. Holland gave an impassioned talk regarding The Book Of Mormon. As defense for the truthfulness of The Book Of Mormon, Holland cites the fact that he has yet to hear of any acceptable explanation for its origin aside from God. First of all, I vehemently disagree with this position. There are many reasonable explanations aside from God for the rise of The Book of Mormon. Nevertheless, I would like to assume for a moment that Holland is right. What if we could not explain the origin of The Book of Mormon? Would this prove its truthfulness? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “No”.
In order to examine this question, one must understand that Holland’s challenge demonstrates a serious error: the conflating of 1) making an argument that something is true/false with 2) providing an explanation for how it did/did not happen. When we seek to demonstrate the truthfulness/falseness of something we use arguments to show that it is true or false. However, these arguments do not need to demonstrate how the subject does/does not work. For example, I know that the sun provides heat: I walk out in the sunshine everyday, and it warms my body. People have known this truth about the sun for thousands of years, and this knowledge does not depend upon demonstrating how the sun provides its heat. I can know that it is true without knowing how it does it. In fact, the search for how it does this is seeking an explanation for a truth that has already been established.
The same can be said for The Book of Mormon. While it might be fun to speculate as to exactly how it came about, I do not need to know this in order to know that it is not true or from God. God has told us several things about Himself in The Bible. Paramount among these is the fact that He and His Word are eternal and unchanging. Therefore, we have a sound basis for judging The Book of Mormon to be false, for its teachings and the church(s) which follow it lead people to follow a God and Gospel that contradict the God and Gospel of The Bible. As a result, if I were to hold the Book of Mormon as true, I would have to discard what God has told me in The Bible.
For information regarding how the teachings of the Book of Mormon and LDS Church contradict The Bible, you can see my posts here, here, here, and here. In addition, stick around… there will be more to come.