Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?


The Book of Mormon does not claim to be fully inspired. It says that if there are errors in it they are the errors of men not God. Mormons answer that God can inspire a man to write a book that errs as long as it admits it and refutes its errors. God inspiring you to write only means you write what God wants not that God agrees with all you say.
For sceptics the issue of error is the main reason why the book is best ignored. Nevertheless it does contain prophecies and revelation which it does say are inspired. 
It claims that God told Adam and Eve to reproduce. But it explains they could not do this unless they ate the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat. So Adam and Eve got two commands from God. One to be fruitful and multiply. The other not to eat of the tree that magically would make reproduction possible. Only two choices. Either way they were going to sin. Reason says that if you cannot sin unless you have a choice between right and wrong. The Book of Mormon praises Adam for eating the fruit and says that Adam fell from grace so that men might live and have joy. The Bible says the fall of Adam and Eve was the worst disaster imaginable for humanity and required the terrible death of Jesus to address it. The Book of Mormon commits a grave heresy and sin by celebrating that sin. When the book fails to prophesy the past how can it prophesy the future? It worships an evil God who punishes a sin he forces his children to make and who through cognitive dissonance virtually praises the sin. To worship such a caricature of God is really to worship Satan and to celebrate the doctrine that he was to blame for Adam and Eve eating of the fruit. It portrays God as worse than Satan.
Smith lost the first 116 handwritten pages of the Book of Mormon. They were never recovered and it is believed that Martin Harris’ wife, Lucy, burned them.
The First and Second Books of Nephi were the last to be written because Smith after he lost the book of Lehi continued where he had left off and then claimed to have translated the replacement meaning these two books of Nephi at the end. The books contain a prophecy written after the event. By then the three witnesses had seen the golden plates and a copy of characters off the plates had been shown to Charles Anthon both of which events were presented as prophesied in the Book of Mormon. These prophecies are false prophecies even though they came true because there is no reason to think that they were made before the event when they were only “translated” after. Deuteronomy 18 which Smith fully accepted and even let it alone in his Inspired Translation of the Bible makes it clear that the criteria for judging a man to be a true prophet of God has to be rigid in the extreme meaning that God himself will work to perfect the prophet’s work and watch over his failures to prevent them doing any harm to God’s work.

Thus the Bible demonstrates that the Book of Mormon contains false prophecy. It also demonstrates that the Anthon testimony and the testimony of the three witnesses which were of foundational apologetical importance in primitive Mormonism are of no validity where God is concerned. I mean that even if there were plates and real hieroglyphs the failures are sufficient to show that if any being from another world was behind the work it had to be Satan. It would mean that Smith only imagined he was in touch with God and that he was insincere for only frauds give out prophecies after the events and there was no way God would speak through him. The Bible may say that Saul and Solomon were prophets who fell away but it is one thing for a prophet to fall away from the faith later in life but for a prophet to fall away too fast and even during his mission shows that that prophet was a fraud. David Whitmer in his book, The Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, argued that Smith was only employed as an inspired translator of the Book of Mormon and had been rebelling and undermining the word of God from the start. Whitmer thinks he can admit this and still believe in the Book of Mormon. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Smith was as much a prophet when he received the words appearing miraculously on the stone or the Urim and Thummim as he “translated” as Isaiah was when he felt that God was speaking through him.
The Mormons want to rely on Whitmer’s testimony of the Book of Mormon and then they reject this one. They just treat apologetics like items on a menu. Paul said that the Lord God does not confuse anybody and when God is perfect he will make the proofs available so that even the simple person can see the work. It follows then that the word of God should be very easy to identify. The Book of Mormon is hard to prove to be the word of God when you consider the complicated pros and cons. This is why a book can only be the word of God if,

A) Its prophecies can be proven beyond dispute to have been made before the event.

B) If none of the prophecies can be deliberately fulfilled.

C) If the fulfilment can be proven. For instance, it would be easy to predict that Anthon will authenticate the characters of the plates and to just send somebody to him to do it and still say he did it if he did not so you need proof. We have neither an affidavit from Harris or anybody else that the meeting between them went as Smith said.

D) If its text could never have been altered. The Book of Mormon could have been altered before publication. The “translation” could have been rewritten.

Cowdery and Smith proofread the book carefully before sending it off at a few pages a time to the printer. All they had to do was rewrite the book and burn the original. Inserting new pages with alien material would have been easy enough. Both Smith and Cowdery were found guilty of counterfeiting.

Smith wrote that the three witnesses were the special witnesses for God had made them that (History of the Church, Vol 1, pp 52-53). But they failed to be convincing therefore the prophecy in the Book of Mormon that three would be chosen was false. There is nothing stopping anybody from counteracting Smith by getting three witnesses who have references to their honesty from employers and the parish priest but who they know would lie for them and producing an entirely different Book of Mormon from Smith’s – perhaps one that denies that Jesus was the Son of God! The prophecy was a failure.

One wonders how the existing Bible is supposed to show that the Book of Mormon is true like the Book of Mormon says when Smith rewrote the Bible and added whole new sections later. It is like using an affidavit with half the paragraphs missing to convict a man of murder.

1 Nephi 10:4 says that the Messiah will come six hundred years after Lehi left Jerusalem and we find this birth dated for 1 AD in the Third Book of Nephi. This is wrong for Jesus was born before Herod died in 4BC according to Matthew’s gospel. The Book of Mormon even says about the star appearing which is straight out of the New Testament. The New Testament sees the star not as a star as we would know it but as like a shining guide in the sky that even hovered low over the house where baby Jesus was. The Book of Mormon follows the common misinterpretation that the star was just a star.


2 Nephi 5 has God saying he will cause the Nephites to hate the Lamanites whose skin he has darkened and he cursed the seed of any who interbreeds with them.  This is not just racism but religious racism.  The Book of Mormon can't get morality right so how could it predict the future?

2 Nephi 10 says that God said that when the Jews returned to their land they would all be Christians and the scattered Jews would all return to it. The Jews are back in their land today and do not believe in Jesus. The divine portions of the Book of Mormon are full of error.

The prophecy that the Catholic Church would remove covenants and portions from and rewrite the Bible after the deaths of the apostles (1 Nephi 13:26) is simply not true. There is no record of Rome having done such a thing. The Roman Catholic Church was formed gradually after the Bible was assembled. Later in the same revelation the coming forth of unknown records to the Gentiles in the last days is predicted and these records are said to prove the truth of the Bible which is referred to as the first record. The result will be that the things that have been excised from the Bible will be made known. But the Book of Mormon contains all the basic doctrines of orthodox Christianity including everlasting Hell and the divinity of Christ and the virgin birth and so on. The only new stuff of any importance is that America is the Promised Land and will be forever free.

2 Nephi 3:14 says that those who try to destroy Joseph Smith will not succeed. Smith was shot dead in 1844. In 3:8 God promises that Joseph Smith will do only what he commands and will be admired by God for his holiness. Smith was a thief who forged banknotes, used women in his covenant of plural marriage and a murderer. He also made alterations to the Book of Mormon and other revelations. His translation of some papyrus fragments to produce the Book of Abraham was a proven hoax.

Smith said that the Kinderhook Plates were genuine and even translated them. In fact the plates were a hoax with which it was planned to make him make a fool of himself. The Church protests that he didn’t for the Plates were definitely fakes and holds that the Mormon sources of the time were wrong. But there is not a shred of evidence that the sources erred. The Church history and official newspapers said Smith regarded the Plates as genuine by a prophetic gift from God and stated that they were the religious writings of Ham the son of Noah. The Church says that the entry in its history volumes was taken out of the diary of William Clayton and was not from Smith. The Church says that recording keeping was far from professional at that time. The Church says it doesn’t have a translation for the plates and that Smith made no attempt to buy them and holds that this indicates that Smith knew they were fake. He did not need to purchase for he published facsimiles of the images on the plates. The translation was probably just a few notes before the official version would be put together. The Mormons are so sure then that Smith never thought God could translate the plates through him and they are the ones that argue from the scanty documentation of the times that it was just gossip that he did! This obstinacy is disturbing. If the translation by Smith was really hearsay then why did he never lay this rumour to rest for it was a very serious matter? Top Mormons believed in what the Church History said and they would know. There was a lot of interest in the plates and Smith would have discussed them with them. If people were going to make up stories about Smith finding a new scripture then why such an unimportant person as Ham? Why not Nephi or Alma from the Book of Mormon? Then you will ask why Smith chose Ham. But Smith made changes to the Bible to make it seem that Mormonism was taught in the days of Adam so now his game was to make it look as if it was taught in the days of Noah after the global flood.

Mormons cry “Hearsay” when anything bad is brought up about Smith and then they resort to outright speculation which is more unreliable than hearsay could ever be.

Nephi had a vision of the future Virgin Mary as an exceptionally white and fair woman (1 Nephi 11:13). But Jews are not whites.

1 Nephi 11:13 says that Nephi saw the Virgin Mary in a vision of the city of Nazareth. But Nazareth was at most a hamlet at this time if it existed before 70 AD at all. The word village appears at Mormon 4:22 so don’t let the Mormons tell you that the Nephites had no word for village or hamlet. Anyway, God should have known that the word city meant hamlet and should have translated it as hamlet or village.

Mormon had to write as little as possible for his book was to be an abridgment of the Nephite scriptures called the Plates of Nephi. He was writing on the plates of Mormon. Yet he mentioned that the fullest account of what Jesus said was on the Plates of Nephi.  God told Mormon to write no more on these plates to try the people (3 Nephi 26:11). The people are ourselves. Mormon was writing for us. This implies that these Plates of Nephi would come forth and be translated. This never happened. Jesus said that if the people believed the Book of Mormon they would come forth and if they did not they would not come forth (3 Nephi 26:9). But we read between the lines that the people would believe and the Plates of Nephi would be found. The Mormons believe in the Book of Mormon so where are these plates?
In Mormon 8, a prophecy is given that says what conditions will exist when Jesus returns to earth which is meant to warn that it could be anytime and we do not know the hour. That is what you are getting at when you deal with the question of when the Lord will return and refer to signs that don’t tell you exactly when meaning you should be prepared at all times. This indicates that there is a conflict between the book trying to avoid saying when Jesus will come back and it saying he can’t return until the Plates of Nephi are deciphered. His coming cannot unexpectedly happen as long as the Plates of Nephi stay in the ground.

1 Nephi 14 and especially verse 27 shows knowledge of what would be in the Book of Revelation about the great whoring Roman Church sitting on the many waters and is about the period in that book. If the Church were going to rewrite the Bible like it was accused of doing in the Book of Mormon then it would have rewritten that. But we know that if the Book of Mormon is true then Rome did not interfere with the Revelation. None of this makes any sense. And no scholar or decent tradition supports the assertion of verse 27 that the revelation was the work of John the Apostle. God would not have predicted such a thing when it was so badly substantiated. Mormons say that God can say what he likes. But extraordinary claims require simple and perfect and extraordinary evidence and God knows that. He knows he should avoid controversy where possible. And it does not matter if John wrote the Revelation or not as long as God is the ultimate author. Nephi receives a revelation that John will write about all that so Nephi is told not to bother. This contradicts the Book of Mormon’s advice to trust it rather than the Bible.

Ether 5 has Moroni saying that there are parts of the plates he is finishing for his father Mormon that are to be sealed and left untranslated and that three witnesses would see the set of Plates by the power of God. Moroni wrote, “And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record – and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day” (Ether 5:4). This clearly suggests that only three will see the plates. Moroni added words to 2 Nephi 27 which said the same thing. The three witnesses were Harris, Cowdery and Whitmer. But Smith chose another eight witnesses. The three witnesses material said that they would bear witness but David Whitmer’s mother and an old man and a young man in Salt Lake City said they saw the plates.
The verses say the record can stand up for itself as well. That directly implies that rational and archaeological but not biblical (for the Bible is polluted) evidence will support the book. But not one person in the Book including Jesus himself has been proven to have existed. The book makes serious archaeological blunders and the rational and archaeological evidence does not exist. The testimony from God that the book is true is just a feeling and the rule is that you must study in your mind if the book is true first before you can get it. Even if evidence starts appearing from now on the Book of Mormon is still a hoax for the Book requires that the evidence must be recognised FROM THE START!!!

Also when Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer saw the Plates Harris was not present and he saw the plates some time later (The Case Against Mormonism, Vol 2, page 40). But this is not as good as three persons seeing the same thing at the one time which the prophecy would have intended. The prophecy promises that the visions of the plates would make the three sure that the plates were real and the Book of Mormon true. But the fulfilment had them less sure. And the visions would not have been enough to convince them that the Book of Mormon was true because the Book said the Devil could deceive. Mormons would agree that Bernadette seeing Mary at Lourdes and Estelle Faguette seeing the Virgin Mary at Pellevoison doesn’t amount to two witnesses for they didn’t see her together. One or both of them could still have been making it up or imagining it.

Critics of Mormonism argue that the Book of Mormon contains many prophecies which are so detailed that they were clearly written after the event. They say we know the bible prophecies were prophecies for we can prove they were written before the event. (They ignore the fact that the gospels could have been written to fit the prophecies though the events probably did not.) They say the Mormon prophecies tell too much while the Bible ones tell only a few things and are guarded and tend to be obscure. For example, 1 Nephi 10 says has Lehi predicting the time when John the Baptist will come and that he will speak of Jesus and baptise him and that he will be a voice shouting in the wilderness and who says he is not worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals and who will baptise in Bethebara beyond Jordan and say that Jesus is the Lamb of God who will remove the world’s sins. Mormons point to Jesus saying that he will be hated by the people and killed on a cross and hit and spat on and will rise after three days which was a detailed prediction before the event. But for a sceptic the objection that too detailed a prophecy that was not provably written before the event was written after is valid. Lehi’s prophecies bear too large a resemblance to the King James Bible.
Joseph Smith made many revisions to the Book of Mormon that were not warranted by the original text or the Printer's Manuscript. He effectively kept revising. Jacob at 2 Nephi 10:3 says, “it must needs be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name—should come.” So that is the first time the name Christ is ever revealed. This contradicts an earlier text which speaks of Christ. Smith deleted the reference to Christ probably because there was a contradiction. He changed it to “justice of the Eternal God & Mosiah, who is the Lamb of God.” Mosiah is a misspelling of Messiah. Smith did not realise that Christ was not a name but a title and that Messiah meant the same thing!
The Book of Mormon is not the Word of God and fails to show the signs of being God's word. 

A GATHERING OF SAINTS, Robert Lindsay, Corgi, London, 1990
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ASK YOUR BISHOP, Ira T Ransom, 317 W 7th South, Brigham City, UT 84302
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CHANGING OF THE REVELATIONS, Apostle Daniel McGregor, Church of Christ, Independence, Missouri
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CONCISE GUIDE TO TODAY’S RELIGIONS, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1983
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NEW LIGHT ON MORMON ORIGINS, Rev Wesley P Walters, Utah Christian Tract Society, 1967
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WHY THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS ESTABLISHED ANEW IN 1929?, Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Independence, Missouri
Excellent refutation of the claims of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon

Barry R Bickmore


MORMONISM UNVAILED: MORE EVIDENCE THAT IT IS TRUE. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry


This shows that when Smith translated the book of Abraham he invented hieroglyphics where there was a piece missing from the papyri. The characters Smith added make no sense to translators. Yet he translated these imaginary hieroglyphics! His mother and close associate David Whitmer spoke of Joseph copying characters of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon before he translated and that like the Book of Abraham Smith often produced two lines in the manuscript with the translation of a single character which shows that the whole Book of Mormon thing was a hoax.
by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Gathers evidence that indicates that it was possible that Smith was insane and had manic depression.


A ridiculous rebuttal that has been taken into account for this book and refuted.

Excellent refutation of the reliability of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon