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Mormon's Codex: A Preview of Sorenson's Magnum Opus

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Abstract: The following was taken from Daniel Petersen's Sic et Non Blog. It was written by John L. Sorenson and I felt that such an awesome post had to be shared verbatim. Most of  what is written about the Book of Mormon's ancient american setting, by Mormons and non-Mormons, isn't very good. One of the few exceptions has been John L. Sorenson, used with permission:) This document serves to introduce readers to the content of Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, and, Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, Maxwell Institute Press), to be released in September 2013. The Preview conveys the intent of the book and provides a sample of the technical details included in the 800+ page hardbound volume and the digital edition. [Mormon’s Codex: A Summary, a 125-page e-book (44,751 words) which will soon be available at JohnLSorenson.com, makes major points of the book’s argument accessible in a concise and portable format, but it does not includ…

Joseph Smith's Earliest Opinions Regarding Book of Mormon Geography

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After the Prophet Joseph Smith translated Mormon's metal codex, he naturally had assumptions about where it all took place. Here is a sampling of some of his earlier opinions, taken from the Joseph Smith Papers website. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of this topic, I refer you to Matt Roper(Click Here).

"The Camp passed through Huntsville in Randolph County which has been appointed as one of the Stakes of Zion, and is the ancient cite of the City of Manti and pitched tents at Dark Creek"(JSP).

"The whole of our journey, in the midst of so large a company of social honest men and sincere men, wandering over the plains of the Nephites, recounting occasionaly the history of the Book of Mormon, roving over the mounds of that once beloved people of the Lord, picking up their skulls & their bones, as a proof of its divine authenticity"(JSP).

"When we arrived at Col. Lyman Wight’s, who lives at the Foot of Tower Hill. {a name I gav…

The Nephite Religions

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In his book Did God Have a Wife, William Dever reminds us that there has always been a difference between "book religion" and "folk religion". The Bible is essentially a "revisionist history", with Deuteronomist historians projecting their own religious sensibilities unto the history of their forefathers. The Bible doesn't describe religion as it was, rather as how they thought it should have been. Real Israelite religion consisted of the things the Deuteronomist historians condemned.

The Book of Mormon is an ancient book, written by the Prophet Mormon in the early 400's AD. Mormon was writing about a culture and religion that existed hundreds of years in his past. I suspect that Mormon shared similar limitations and weaknesses with the writers of the Bible. He was part of what had usually been an ethnic and religious minority.

Like the Deuteronomists, he described the history and religion of his forefathers in very idealistic ways. What the Book…

The Book of Mormon Volcanoes

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3 Nephi, Chapter 8 describes the destruction that occurred in the Americas, at the time of The Savior's death. Is the Book of Mormon describing a volcanic destruction? The description of the cataclysmic destruction in 3 Nephi corresponds to the kind of destruction caused by volcanic activity during the same time, in Mesoamerica.

Anachronisms Prove Old Testament From 1600's

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The following is a satirical allegory about anachronisms in the Book of Mormon. It is not meant to be offensive or insensitive. The whole point of this post is to illustrate that anachronisms do not a forgery make.
I have lost my testimony of the Bible, especially it's Old Testament. It's supposed to be the translation of ancient Jewish writings but I know it is no older than the 1600's. Now I know what you are going to say: You can travel to Jerusalem. You can travel to Egypt. You can travel to Babylon. Well, ever heard of the Crusades?
King James's ancestor, Richard the Lionheart, and who knows how many Europeans, did and they fought in those lands, perfect source material for King James.Why do I reject the "Old" Young Testament as an ancient Jewish work and know it is a modern fiction from the 1600's? One word: ANACHRONISMS. An anachronism is something out of place in time, and the so-called Old Testament has many of them.
Steel
Ancient Israelites didn&…

Fundamentalist Assumptions and The Limits of Archaeology in Testing the Book of Mormon

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Some questions that many have about the Book of Mormon and archaeology or genetics are questions, in part, created by oversimplified and fundamentalist assumptions about the Prophet Joseph Smith and scripture. Some of these assumptions were pronounced by the earliest Mormons and passed on as folklore.

One of these fundamentalist assumptions is that the Book of Mormon is a history of the Indians, that Indians are simply "dark skinned Jews". Forget that the books in the Book of Mormon are royal lineage histories. In each lineage history, the record focuses on the elites of one royal house, with little attention given to the rank and file. Forget that the book's own internal geography describes an area the size of Pennsylvania, not North and South America. It never was a history of the Indians, even if Mormons said it was.

Another fundamentalist assumption is that the Lehites and Jaredites represent distinct cultures and civilizations, apart, alone in ancient America. This…