Mormon Quotes

History

Brigham Young
Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire....Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers.... Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. 'And is that religion popular in heaven?' it is the only popular religion there.
Brigham Young, The Deseret News, August 6, 1862
Brigham Young
Just ask yourselves, historians, when was monogamy introduced on to the face of the earth? When those buccaneers, who settled on the peninsula where Rome now stands, could not steal women enough to have two or three apiece, they passed a law that a man should have but one woman. And this started monogamy and the downfall of the plurality system. In the days of Jesus, Rome, having dominion over Jerusalem, they carried out the doctrine more or less. This was the rise, start and foundation of the doctrine of monogamy; and never till then was there a law passed, that we have any knowledge of, that a man should have but one wife.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 12:262
Joseph Smith
I insert fac‑similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.
Joseph Smith, Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 5, p. 372
Boyd K. Packer
One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for 'advanced history', is himself in spiritual jeopardy. If that one is a member of the Church, he has broken his covenants and will be held accountable.
Boyd K. Packer, The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect
Alexander Campbell
This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in N. York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies ‑ infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of freemasonry, republican government, and the rights of man. All these topics are repeatedly alluded to.
Alexander Campbell, Millennial Harbinger, p. 13, Feb. 7, 1831
Fawn Brodie
In more recent times the half‑dozen leading Egyptologists who have been asked to examine the facsimiles agree that they were ordinary funeral documents such as can be found on thousands of Egyptian graves.
Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, Fawn Brodie, p. 175
Michael Coe
Let me now state uncategorically that as far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing the foregoing to be true, ... nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon... is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.
Michael Coe, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1973, pp. 42, 46
Michael Coe
I haven't changed my views about the Book of Mormon since my 1973 article. I have seen no archaeological evidence before or since that date which would convince me that it is anything but a fanciful creation by an unusually gifted individual living in upstate New York in the early nineteenth century.
Michael Coe, correspondence between Bill McKeever and Michael Coe
Daniel C. Peterson
The Book of Abraham is a lesser‑known text in the Mormon canon of Scripture. It's part of what's called the Pearl of Great Price, and it purports to be a document written by the hand of Abraham that was recovered by Joseph Smith, translated [from] a group of papyri that he recovered while living in Kirtland, Ohio. The papyri were lost for a long time, ... and eventually the papyri came back to the church, and people were saying, now this is a real chance to test Joseph Smith's claims as a translator, as a prophet: Do the papyri match up with what Joseph Smith gave us? And the answer is no; ... they don't, if you translate them in a conventional Egyptological way, give you the text of the Book of Abraham.
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Daniel C. Peterson
We have possibly about 11 or 12 percent of the papyri that belonged to that collection, ... so it's very possible that there was a text that would be translatable, even by a conventional Egyptologist, into the Book of Abraham, but we don't have it now. But even that seems to me not altogether necessary. We know that Joseph didn't translate in the way that a scholar would translate. He didn't know Egyptian, ... so he was getting it by revelation. That even opens up the possibility to me that even if Joseph thought he was getting it from the papyri, he may not have been. How would he have been able to know? I'm not saying he wasn't. My own preferred solution to this is to say that he was, and the papyrus is missing. ...
Daniel C. Peterson, PBS, The Mormons
Parley P. Pratt
Six plates having the appearance of Brass have lately been dug out of the mound by a gentleman in Pike C. [County] Illinois. They are small and filled with engravings in Egyptian language and contain the genealogy of one of the ancient Jaredite back to Ham the son of Noah.
Parley P. Pratt, Apostle Parley P. Pratt, as quoted in Ensign, Aug. 1981, p. 73
William Clayton
I have seen 6 brass plates ... covered with ancient characters of language containing from 30 to 40 on each side of the plates. Prest. J. [Joseph Smith, Jr.] has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found and he was a descendent of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.
William Clayton, William Clayton's Journal, May 1, 1843, as quoted in Trials of Discipleship, p. 117
B. H. Roberts
In the first place there is a certain lack of perspective in the things the book relates as history that points quite clearly to an underdeveloped mind as their origin. The narrative proceeds in characteristic disregard of conditions necessary to its reasonableness, as if it were a tale told by a child, with utter disregard for consistency.
B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, by B.H. Roberts, p. 251
B. H. Roberts
If from all that has gone before in Part 1, the view be taken that the Book of Mormon is merely of human origin... if it be assumed that he is the author of it, then it could be said there is much internal evidence in the book itself to sustain such a view.
B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, by B.H. Roberts, p. 251
B. H. Roberts
There were other Anti‑Christs among the Nephites, but they were more military leaders than religious innovators... they are all of one breed and brand; so nearly alike that one mind is the author of them, and that a young and underdeveloped, but piously inclined mind. The evidence I sorrowfully submit, points to Joseph Smith as their creator. It is difficult to believe that they are a product of history, that they came upon the scene separated by long periods of time, and among a race which was the ancestral race of the red man of America.
B. H. Roberts, Studies of the Book of Mormon, by B.H. Roberts, p. 271
Wesley P. Lloyd
At his [B.H. Robert's] request Pres. Grant called a meeting of the Twelve Apostles and Bro. Roberts presented the matter, told them frankly that he was stumped and ask[ed] for their aide [sic] in the explanation. In answer, they merely one by one stood up and bore testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. George Albert Smith in tears testified that his faith in the Book had not been shaken by the question.... No answer was available. Bro[.] Roberts could not criticize them for not being able to answer it or to assist him, but said that in a church which claimed continuous revelation, a crisis had arisen where revelation was necessary. After the meeting he wrote Pres. Grant expressing his disappointment at the failure... It was mentioned at the meeting by Bro. Roberts that there were other Book of Mormon problems that needed special attention.
Wesley P. Lloyd, Private Journal of Wesley P. Lloyd, Aug. 7, 1933
Thomas Ferguson
After many years of careful study, the real importance of Book of Mormon archaeology has dawned on me. It will take but a moment to explain. The Book of Mormon is the only revelation from God in the history of the world that can possibly be tested by scientific physical evidence.... To find the city of Jericho is merely to confirm a point in history. To find the city of Zarahemla is to confirm a point in history but it is also to confirm, through tangible physical evidence, divine revelation to the modern world through Joseph Smith, Moroni, and the Urim and Thummim. Thus, Book of Mormon history is revelation that can be tested by archaeology.
Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson to the First Presidency, April 10, 1953, Ferguson Collection, BYU
Thomas Ferguson
One cannot fake over 3000 years ... of history and have the fake hold water under the scrutiny given the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is either fake or fact. If fake, the cities described in it are non‑existent. If fact — as we know it to be — the cities will be there. If the cities exist, and they do, they constitute tangible, physical, enduring, unimpeachable evidence that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that Jesus Christ lives.
Thomas Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson to the First Presidency, March 15, 1958, Ferguson Collection, BYU
Dee F. Green
The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists.... If one is to study Book of Mormon archaeology, then one must have a corpus of data with which to deal. We do not. The Book of Mormon is really there so one can have Book of Mormon studies, and archaeology is really there so one can study archaeology, but the two are not wed. At least they are not wed in reality since no Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography. Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful (nor any other location for that matter) were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but we have already seen that twenty years of such an approach has left us empty‑handed.
Dee F. Green, Mormon archaeologist, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, pp. 77‑78
Ray T. Matheny
I really have difficulty in finding issue or quarrel with those opening chapters of the Book of Mormon [i. e., the first 7 chapters which only relate to Lehi and his family around the area of Jerusalem]. But thereafter it doesn't seem like a translation to me.... And the terminologies and the language used and the methods of explaining and putting things down are 19th century literary concepts and cultural experiences one would expect Joseph Smith and his colleagues would experience. And for that reason I call it transliteration, and I'd rather not call it a translation after the 7th chapter. And I have real difficulty in trying to relate these cultural concepts as I've briefly discussed here with archaeological findings that I'm aware of.... If I were doing this cold like John Carlson is here, I would say in evaluating the Book of Mormon that it had no place in the New World whatsoever. I would have to look for the place of the Book of Mormon events to have taken place in the Old World. It just doesn't seem to fit anything that he has been taught in his discipline, nor I in my discipline in anthropology, history; there seems to be no place for it. It seems misplaced. It seems like there are anachronisms. It seems like the items are out of time and place, and trying to put them into the New World. And I think there's a great difficulty here for we Mormons in understanding what this book is all about.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archeology," August 25, 1984
Ray T. Matheny
The Book of Mormon talks about ferrous and non‑ferrous metallurgical industries. A ferrous industry is a whole system of doing something. It's just not an esoteric process that a few people are involved in, but ferrous industry.., means mining iron ores and then processing these ores and casting [them] into irons.... This is a process that's very complicated...it also calls for cultural backup to allow such an activity to take place.... In my recent reading of the Book of Mormon, I find that iron and steel are mentioned in sufficient context to suggest that there was a ferrous industry here.... You can't refine ore without leaving a bloom of some kind or impurities that blossom out and float to the top of the ore... and also the flux of limestone or whatever is used to flux the material.... [This] blooms off into silicas and indestructible new rock forms. In other words, when you have a ferroused metallurgical industry, you have these evidences of the detritus that is left over. You also have the fuels, you have the furnaces, you have whatever technologies that were there performing these tasks; they leave solid evidences. And they are indestructible things.... No evidence has been found in the new world for a ferrous metallurgical industry dating to pre‑Columbian times. And so this is a king‑size kind of problem, it seems to me, for the so‑called Book of Mormon archaeology. This evidence is absent.
Ray T. Matheny, Speech at Sunstone Symposium 6, "Book of Mormon Archaeology," August 25, 1984
Ray T. Matheny
While some people chose to make claims for the Book of Mormon through archaeological evidences, to me they are made prematurely, and without sufficient knowledge. I do not support the books written on this subject including The Messiah in Ancient America, or any other. I believe that the authors are making cases out of too little evidences and do not adequately address the problems that archaeology and the Book of Mormon present. I would feel terribly embarrassed if anyone sent a copy of any book written on the subject to the National Museum of Natural History — Smithsonian Institution, or other authority, making claims that cannot as yet be substantiated.... there are very severe problems in this field in trying to make correlations with the scriptures. Speculation, such as practiced so far by Mormon authors has not given church members credibility.
Ray T. Matheny, Mormon scholar and BYU professor of anthropology, letter dated Dec. 17, 1987
M. T. Lamb
It is not necessary here to repeat the passages in the Book of Mormon which describe such civilization.... It is only needful to show that nothing could be wider from the truth, unless all ancient American history is a lie, and its ten thousand relics tell false tales. It may be stated in a general way that there never has been a time upon this western hemisphere within the historic period, or within three thousand years past when a uniform civilization of ANY KIND prevailed over both continents. We are to learn now: First, that a Christian civilization has never existed in Central America, not even for a day. Second, the people of Central America, as far back as their record has been traced (and that is centuries earlier than the alleged beginning of Nephite history), have always been an idolatrous people.... The entire civilization of the Book of Mormon, its whole record from beginning to end is flatly contradicted by the civilization and the history of Central America.
M. T. Lamb, The Golden Bible, by M. T. Lamb, p. 366, 370, 373
Hal Hougey
We conclude, therefore, that the Book of Mormon remains completely unverified by archaeology. The claims Mormon missionaries have made are fallacious and misleading.
Hal Hougey, Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, pamphlet by Hal Hougey, p. 4‑6, 1976
Steve Johnson
In 1949 [actually 1946] California lawyer, Tom Ferguson, rolled up his sleeves, threw a shovel over his shoulder, and marched into the remote jungles of southern Mexico. Armed with a quote by Joseph Smith that the Lord had 'a hand in proving the Book of Mormon true in the eyes of all people,' Ferguson's goal was: Shut the mouths of the critics who said such evidence did not exist. Ferguson began an odyssey that included twenty‑four trips to Central America, eventually resulting in a mountain of evidence supporting Book of Mormon claims.
Steve Johnson, Transcript of the advertisement for The Messiah in Ancient America by Thomas Ferguson, 1988
A. H. Sayce
It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith's impudent fraud.... Smith has turned the Goddess [in Facsimile No. 1] into a king and Osiris into Abraham.
A. H. Sayce, Joseph Smith as a Translator, F.S. Spaulding, p. 23
Richard Packham
In light of the many linguistic blunders and erroneous translations made by this man who claimed to be a divinely inspired "translator," it is difficult to see why anyone with any understanding of linguistic phenomena would accept his claims. Joseph Smith was quite ignorant of languages, in spite of his boasting of his abilities and divine inspiration, and when one examines his linguistic claims and his supposedly divine linguistic accomplishments, one must conclude that if his god inspired him, his god was as poor a linguist as he was. Mormonism's claims fail on many other fronts besides linguistics. But even a few of the gross linguistic errors as discussed here should be sufficient to show that Smith's claims are no more than the boastings of an ignorant (although charismatic) human being.
Richard Packham, A Linguist Looks at Mormonism
Michael R. Ash
"Ox" or "oxen" is mentioned six times in the Book of Mormon (Ether 9:18; 1 Nephi 18:25; 2 Nephi 17:25; 2 Nephi 21:7; 2 Nephi 30:13; Mosiah 13:24). Some critics charge that this is an anachronism because, they claim, an "ox" is a castrated bull — something that would be impossible to find in the wild (see 1 Nephi 18:25). Ox, however, also refers to members of the subfamily Bovinae, in the Bovidae family, which includes Asiatic buffaloes, African buffaloes, cattle, and bison. A glance at a good encyclopedia will reveal the listing of other "wild ox" such as the yak, banteng, and the wild North African ox. Some LDS scholars have suggested that the Book of Mormon "ox" may refer to the tapir, camelidae, or perhaps bison.
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
Could the Nephites have used the term "horse" for deer or some other animal? It is not impossible considering the above examples. Figurines, for example, of the pack bearing South American alpacas — which is related to the camel — have been unearthed as far north as Costa Rica. An early pre‑Spanish incense burner discovered in Guatemala shows a man riding on the back of a deer. A stone monument dating to 700 A.D. shows a woman riding a deer. Another similar figurine was found in central Mexico, and until recently, many people in Siberia rode on the backs of deer. In such cases the deer served as "horses."
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
Michael R. Ash
For the first 85 years of the church, the accepted geographic model among most Mormons was the hemispheric model — the whole of North and South America. It was also commonly believed (as noted in a previous installment) that Joseph Smith had received revelation that Lehi landed in Chile.
Michael R. Ash, Deseret News, "Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: True scholarship vs. wishful thinking"
Michael R. Ash
There have been a number of horse bones discovered in America that might date to Book of Mormon times. The surviving remains from such finds are currently undergoing testing to determine their antiquity.
Michael R. Ash, Animals in the Book of Mormon
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