Exploring Claims of

If you have ever read the Book of Mormon or if you have never read the Book of Mormon, you have probably heard the theory that Joseph Smith plagiarized it. In this theory many critics have highlighted a handful of books which they claim are the original sources for The Book of Mormon. To combat this theory, I have taken the pains to study and review these books personally and then compared them to text of The Book of Mormon.

It seems that there are several books that are spotlighted as the origin of the book in question. Among them are The Solomon Spaulding Manuscript titled Manuscript Found! While another is the View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith. There are many others aside from those featured below (like The History of Mexico, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Westminster Confession, and Wonders of Nature) that I would like to eventually read and make similar comparisons. From the books featured blow, I have carefully pulled out similarities to The Book of Mormon and have set them on display for you to see and decide for yourself if Joseph Smith did indeed plagiarize TheBook of Mormon. 

I wish to say here that I did not chart every single similarity that I found. That would be like me trying to argue that one book is more like Harry Potter than another because the protagonist also wears glasses. It would have to be pointed out that 61% of the population wears glasses! This similarity therefore becomes moot and is no longer worth noting. I ran into many of these “glasses” similarities and pitched them because they were too common. For example: Spaulding’s main character points out his belief in heliocentrism on page 21 [of the linked source] which compares to the same belief stated in The Book of Mormon in Helaman 12:15, and since this theory was embraced between the 1500-1600’s I decided it wasn’t worth pointing out at all (except that I just did). I am therefore only presenting to you those passages that are unique and pose possible questions of debate. 

View of the Hebrews is a nonfiction work, written by a man named Ethan Smith (no relation to Joseph Smith) and it was published in 1823. Ethan Smith was a United States Congregationalist minister, who argued that the Native Americans were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.

In the early 1800s, a Connecticut man named Solomon Spaulding wrote a fictional story about ancient Romans who came to North America. Some critics of the Church have claimed that Joseph Smith used this manuscript to write the Book of Mormon. Spaulding’s Manuscript titled Manuscript, Found is, coincidentally, about a man who finds ancient scrolls hidden under a rock.

The Late War, Between the United States and Great Britain is an educational, nonfiction text written by Gilbert J. Hunt and published in New York in 1816. It gives an account of the War of 1812 in the style of the King James version of the Bible.

In 1828, Washington Irving wrote the book Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. This book was the most popular treatment of Columbus in the English-speaking world until the 1940s. It is one of the first examples of American historical fiction.

The Travels of Marco Polo

Please be patient as I complete this research and transfer it onto this website!

1769 Edition of the Holy Bible

Please be patient as I complete this research and transfer it onto this website!

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