There are a multitude of modern words found in the Book of Mormon.
The first word that will probably attract the attention of an ordinary reader at the beginning of the book (page 4), is the name of Lehi's third son, Sam.
Here is a boy six hundred years before Christ who has the unmistakable Yankee nickname for Samuel. There is certainly nothing Hebraistic about this name, nor does it sound like any Egyptian name we ever heard; possibly, however, by putting the Hebrew and the Egyptian languages together, or by adding to the Egyptian "the learning of the Jews," this name, "Sam," might be manufactured. This is not, of course, offered as conclusive evidence of the modern origin of the book. The writer, however, confesses that it started in his own mind a very grave suspicion in that direction.
But there are many words used in the book that have a Greek or a Latin origin later than six hundred years before Christ, and many others wholly modern. The following are only a few:
But some of the above words will not allow of such an explanation. For instance, the word "faculties." "Arouse the faculties of your souls," page 120 (N. Ed. 134). "I myself have labored with all the power of faculties which I have possessed," page 206 (N. Ed. 230).
This use of the word is wholly modern. The ancients knew nothing of such a division of the mind or soul into faculties. And, hence there could have been no word found upon those ancient plates, that conveyed any such meaning.
It is true, we cannot certainly tell just how far the people, upon this continent may have advanced. A good Mormon brother suggests that the Nephites were a wonderful people, and may have made discoveries here upon this continent such as put to the blush all the Old World progress in science and art. This may be so, but the Book of Mormon is entirely silent upon the subject of Rail Roads, Telegraphs, Telephones, steam power of any kind, or labor-saving inventions of any character -- and even of Universities of learning, or Colleges of any sort. On the contrary the general outline of Nephite and Lamanite history as presented to us, suggests rather a sort of semi-civilized people constantly vibrating between the "goody" Christian and the perverse savage -- often changing from the one state to the other in a single year. And a still more damaging fact is, that no advancement or progress in civilization is presented to us during the one thousand years of Nephite history. Nephi himself was a greater prophet than any who came after him, and the nation during his life time attained at least as high, if not a higher degree of culture than it ever afterwards reached.
We may therefore safely take the Jewish civilization of Zedekiah's time, six hundred years B.C., as the highest civilization reached upon this western continent, according to the Book of Mormon; since the colony never reached a higher standard, than was attained when they left the City of Jerusalem. We, therefore, insist that the arguments of this chapter are valid against the Book of Mormon, and therefore that the existence of so many modern words, conveying thoughts and ideas wholly modern, and that belong to a civilization never before attained upon this continent is a clear proof of fraud.
But aside from this, there is at least one of the above words whose presence in the Book of Mormon in several places, p. 149 (N. Ed. 166), can by no possible special pleading be reconciled with the idea that the book came from God. It is the word "immortal" joined to the word soul, "immortal soul."
This expression is not only modern in its use, not found in any of the ancient languages, not found in either the Old or New Testament, -- but is, in fact, directly at variance with the plain statements of the New Testament. It is a popular expression of modern invention, designed to express a solemn Bible truth, but unfortunately puts into the word immortal a meaning that does not belong to it. Immortal means, "not subject to death." It is applied, in the Bible, to the body after the resurrection; but not applied to the soul here in this life, because the Bible expressly represents the soul of the sinner as already dead "in trespasses and in sins." It has no spiritual life, which in Bible usage is the only real true life, until it has been regenerated by the Spirit of God or made alive in Christ. Hence the word immortal is not a proper word to describe the soul here, for instead of being "not subject to death," it is in one sense already dead. The popular meaning of the word is that the soul will never cease to exist, which is true; but the word immortal is not the right word to express that truth.
The use, then, of this word alone, as applied to the soul, in the Book of Mormon, would be an indisputable proof that the book is modern in its conception and make-up, and could not be from God, for God cannot contradict himself. He could not possibly be beguiled into the use of a word that would contradict the teachings of the Bible. Mr. Smith could use this expression, because it is a common everyday expression. But God could not use it, for He knows better, -- and hence He could not have inspired the Book of Mormon.
MODERN REVIVAL SCENES
It is well known that in Western New York, sixty or seventy years ago, during the boyhood and youth of Joseph Smith, strangely exciting revival scenes were frequent, notably among the Methodists of that day, and in connection with camp meetings, and that in just such exciting revival scenes, Mr. Smith himself received his first and his strongest religious convictions. Many a time he had witnessed men and women fall down under the influence of the truth, and remain apparently unconscious for hours, sometimes for a day, and in rare instances for three days together -- and then suddenly reviving, rise up and break forth into the most extravagant expressions of joy and praise to the Saviour who had redeemed them. Being somewhat ignorant of Bible truth, and particularly of revival methods generally, he was easily led to suppose that these strange weird scenes were models, real models of a true conversion.
Hence when it became desirable to describe in the Book of Mormon a genuine revival or an individual conversion, nothing would be more natural than for him to draw upon his own observations and experience for the model. And accordingly we find that nearly every instance of a conversion related in the Book of Mormon is cast in this one particular mold. The man or the woman, under intense emotions falls down, and remains in an apparently unconscious state for periods varying from a few hours to three days, and then suddenly,reviving, breaks forth into ecstatic expressions of joy and praise to the Saviour. A few instances may here be given:
Alma, one of the principal characters of the book, after being reproved by an angel for his great wickedness,
"And it came to pass after they (the people assembled) had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort: for, said he, I have repented of my sins and have been redeemed of the Lord, behold, I am born of the Spirit." -- pp. 201-2 (N. Ed. 225).
On pages 262-265 (N. Ed. 290-293), we have an account of a large number of conversions, beginning with one of the kings of the Lamanites, named Lamoni:
. . . Now when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy."
The fact is our angel so blindly copies those exciting camp-meeting experiences with which Mr. Smith had become familiar, that he falls into ridiculous blunders, so very evident as to give the whole thing away. For instance, when the queen above mentioned, came out of her swoon she cried with a loud voice, saying:
But there are other indications that the religious experiences of the Book of Mormon were borrowed from the modern camp meeting. The book abounds in modern camp-meeting expressions. The following are a few out of a great number of illustrations which easily betray their parentage:
"They are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love." p. 282 (N. Ed. 312).
"They were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction." (Idem).
"The chains of hell which encircled them about were loosed and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love." p. 221 (N. Ed. 246).
"My brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love." p. 222 (N. Ed. 247).
"For the arms of mercy are extended towards them." (Idem).
"Lay down the weapons of their rebellion." p.275 (N. Ed. 305).
"Behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late." p. 425 (N. Ed. 486).
"By the power of their words many were brought before she altar of God, to call on His name, and confess their sins." p. 255 (N. Ed. 283).
OTHER MODERN IDEAS
"Shall he save his people in their sins?" p. 220 (N. Ed. 266).
But here in this paragraph a man gets himself into trouble and finally suffers the penalty of death for publicly teaching that "priests ought not to labor with their hands, but be supported by the people," precisely the thing that the law of Moses absolutely and unconditionally required. Surely the writer of the above could not have been an ancient writer, but a modern man with a very strong desire to hit hard the modern custom of a salaried ministry.
While Joseph Smith was yet a youth, before the Book of Mormon was given to the world, the whole country was strangely stirred up upon the subject of secret societies. A man by the name of Morgan had left the Masons and revealed their secrets. He was afterwards mysteriously put out of the way and his death publicly charged to that fraternity. Whether the charge had any foundation or not, the whole country became excited over it, and the subject of secret societies received an "airing," such as it had never secured before -- churches were divided, many of them rent in pieces on this account. The controversy became very bitter in many places and long continued.
The State of New York being the scene of the Morgan affair, became the centre of all this rancorous controversy. The Book of Mormon gave our redoubtable angel an excellent opportunity to "air" his views, which were of course exceedingly radical. Accordingly, we find the subject frequently mentioned -- and so mentioned, that a person at all familiar with the character of the controversy, as it was carried on in the State of New York, will find no difficulty in identifying a large number of the pointed deliverances in the Book of Mormon.
The subject is first mentioned among the jaredites, only a few hundred years after the flood, and traced back to Cain who killed his brother Abel:
"And it came to pass that they formed a secret combination, even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked, above all, in the sight of God; for the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth He will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it from the beginning of man."
"And now I, Mormon, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites, and they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi; and whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed." pp. 530-1 (N. Ed. 587-8).
"And it came to pass that they did have signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant; and thus they might murder, and plunder and steal, and commit whoredom, and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God; and whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world, of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which have been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen."
Very much the same conclusions must be reached by a careful examination of the prophet Mormon's, declarations upon the subject of miracles and infant baptism.
In his old age he is alleged to have written some fatherly letters to his son, Moroni -- giving him advice as to how he shall preach the gospel, and how successfully to meet the errors which, as he thinks, are creeping into the flock. Among other things he bitterly and fiercely assails those who teach that the day of miracles had passed -- and those who claimed that infants should be baptized. A careful examination of the previous history of the Nephites and of the doctrines taught in the Book of Mormon will make so clear the modern complexion of the whole matter as to give it almost the appearance of a burlesque, rather than a sober discussion.
For instance, read the following on page 513 (N. Ed. 567):
Now it needs but a moment's thought to be convinced beyond a doubt of the modern origin of all this.
1. For a complete demonstration that the above quotation from Mark was quoted word for word from our present English version of the Bible, and not from the original language in which it was spoken, see farther on in this chapter.
2. We have already called attention to the utter folly of writing about speaking with tongues and interpreting languages -- when there was but one language in use anywhere upon this continent, according to the Book of Mormon.
3. The two other quotations from the Scriptures: "For do we not read that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever;" and "in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of changing," are only found in Heb. 13:8, and Jas. 1:17. As neither of these epistles was in circulation upon this continent fifteen hundred years ago -- and as the words are quoted precisely as found today in our modern English version of the New Testament, the evidence is conclusive that the "we" in the above extract, ("do not we read,") was a modern we and not an ancient prophet by the name of Mormon. For the ancient Mormon had no such Scriptures to "read," -- Joseph Smith and his angel had.
4. But still farther: the assumption is wholly gratuitous that any such question could have been raised in those early times. It is a modern question, brought forward prominently by the Mormon church of today. In fact, it is quite inconceivable that any doubts on the subject could ever have been entertained by a people who had for a thousand years enjoyed such instruction upon that subject as is found all through the Book of Mormon.
And the same things may be said of the arguments presented on pages 557-8, against infant baptism. It is true that the practice of baptizing infants prevailed from a very early period upon the Eastern continent. But here in this Western world during olden time, the Latter-Day Saints had things their own way from the very beginning. The instructions upon the mode and the subjects of baptism were plain and unmistakable from Nephi down to Mormon. It is impossible to suppose after a thousand years of the clearest possible revelations, that any professing Christian could, for one moment, have seriously entertained the notion that infants must be baptized.
The whole thing is modern. The arguments used against the practice are the arguments of today, and not such as would have been presented in any other age of the world.
The same modern "we," who read from our King James' version of the New Testament what the Apostle James and the author of the Hebrews wrote at least thirty years after Jesus Christ is represented to have left this Western continent -- and who had in his possession a modern copy of the gospel by Mark, and read from its sixteenth chapter to prove that miracles should not cease -- it is this same "we" who with modern phrase and modern arguments assails the practice of infant baptism.
The same redoubtable angel, who, to slap modern clergymen in the face for receiving salaries, could manufacture a man of straw, and cloth him in ancient garb, and give him an ancient date -- has evidently done the same thing in these other instances -- for the purpose of setting forth his opinions upon the subject of secret societies, infant baptism, and the question of the continuance of miracles.
The law of the circulation of the blood was first discovered by Harvey about the year 1619, A.D., and the fact that the skin has "pores" could not have been known in the very nature of the case until after the invention of the microscope. Therefore this passage professedly spoken by King Benjamin (125 B.C.), Must be counted a fraud. See page 150 (N. Ed. 167):
But upon page 293 (N. Ed. 324), the prophet Alma, while laboring to convince the skeptic Korihor that there is a God, proceeds in genuine modern style with his argument:
SOME ADDITIONAL SELF-BETRAYALS
Upon page 55 (N. Ed. 59), Shakespeare is quoted by the old man Lehi, father of both the Nephites and the Lamanites:
But the following quotations give the thing away beyond the possibility of explanation. In the heat and excitement of his speech, the author forgets himself for the moment, forgets the ancient role he is acting, and tells the truth:
"Wherefore all those who are proud and that do wickedly, the day that cometh shall burn them up saith the Lord, for they shall be as stubble." page 98 (N. Ed. 110).
This same man Nephi quotes the Apostle Paul also in the past tense as follows:
FOOTNOTES:  The following is at the conclusion of one thousand years of Nephite civilization.After describing the barbarity of the Lamanites, who forced the Nephite women and children to eat the flesh of their own husbands and fathers! Mormon proceeds to say:
"And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people (Nephites) in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners, and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue; and after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts (!) because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery (?). 0 my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization; (and only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people), but 0 my son, how can a people like this, whose delight, is in so much abomination, etc." Could a better evidence of the unreal mythical, unnatural, character of the Book of Mormon and its alleged civilization be presented than the above finale of a professedly highly cultured and Christian people?  See Mrs. Smith's History of "Joseph Smith, the Prophet." pp. 74-77.
Lamb, Rev. M. T., The Golden Bible. Is It From God?, Ward and Drummand, New York, 1887, pages 218 - 239.
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