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Last updated: 25th July 2021
When accounting for all the evidence, what is a plausible alternative explanation for the Book of Mormon? If it wasn’t inspired, then how did 23-year old Joseph Smith manage to dictate all 269,510 words of the Book of Mormon without any notes? If it wasn’t inspired, then how did Joseph Smith achieve such incredible and complex internal consistency while dictating the Book of Mormon (120 examples documented here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here)? If it wasn’t inspired, then how did Joseph Smith sustain a blistering pace of dictating the whole Book of Mormon in around 60 working days? If it wasn’t inspired, then how did Joseph Smith manage to imitate so many different writing styles in the Book of Mormon? If Joseph Smith didn’t dictate the Book of Mormon, then why are most errors in the original manuscript based on mishearing, and most errors from the printers manuscript based on misreading? If Joseph Smith was simply reciting the Book of Mormon from memory, then why does the evidence suggest he was unfamiliar with the text? If Joseph Smith had previously written the Book of Mormon in his own time, then where are all the drafts and revisions? If Joseph Smith had previously written the Book of Mormon in his own time, then how did he keep it a secret from his family? He didn’t even have his own room. How would Joseph Smith find the time to write the Book of Mormon on his own? Where are all the “try works” of Joseph Smith? How could Joseph Smith manage to write the Book of Mormon with all its complexity when contemporary critics admitted that he had limited education? Doesn’t Joseph Smith’s ungrammatical 1832 account of the first vision show that he wasn’t capable of writing the Book of Mormon himself? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, was he just pretending to not know the pronunciation of names that he selected or made up himself? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, why was its design and structure a surprise to him? If instead, the Book of Mormon was written by someone else with expertise in Hebraisms, Mesoamerica etc., then who was it and what is our evidence? Why would someone with expertise in Hebraisms, Mesoamerica etc., anonymously fabricate a long and complex story, then exclusively share it with a farm boy who isn’t interested in books? If someone else wrote the Book of Mormon, then how did Joseph Smith memorize it before dictating? It’s certainly not a short book. If someone else wrote the Book of Mormon, did they also supply golden-looking plates or did Joseph Smith have to source them separately? Why has no-one ever come forward as the author? Why has no descendent of the author ever come forward now that the church has so much wealth? If Joseph Smith knew the Book of Mormon was a hoax, why would he dedicate his whole life for the cause and then die a martyr? If we follow the evidence, then aren’t the alternative explanations of the Book of Mormon only the most plausible on the prior assumption that God does not exist? If Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon through “ automatic writing“, then where did all the words come from? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, why make it so long? Excluding Bible quotes it has 258,000 words (compared to 184,000 words in the New Testament). Why wouldn’t Joseph just write a much shorter book and take less chances on being exposed? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, why did he make it so structurally complex rather than a simple collection of books like the Bible? How could Joseph Smith write Jacob 5 on his own? Was he an expert in olive horticulture? Most people can’t even follow the storyline let alone understand the symbolism and intricate details. If the Book of Mormon was a hoax, then wouldn’t Joseph Smith have been able to still translate when Martin Harris swapped out the seer stone? Why couldn’t Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon after a quarrel? Why are there examples of the imperative request formula (politeness formula) in the Book of Mormon like in Near Eastern epistles? Where did Joseph Smith learn the Book of Mormon should include simile curses like in the ancient Near East? How did Joseph Smith manage to make Lehi’s final words resemble discourses used by dying patriarchs in ancient testamentary literature? Did Joseph Smith know that King Benjamin’s farewell address in the Book of Mormon resembles ancient semitic discourse? How do we explain Abinadi’s use of ancient Near Eastern concepts in his testimony of Christ? How did Joseph Smith know to put the title page of the Book of Mormon at the back, rather than the front? How did Joseph Smith manage to convince 8 witnesses that the gold plates, which they held, were genuine? Why would Joseph Smith take a chance on using witnesses? Wouldn’t it be safer to avoid witnesses completely? Why should we dismiss Friar Diego de Landa’s observations on the Yucatan as evidence for the Book of Mormon? How did Joseph Smith not get confused while dictating the Book of Mormon when the storyline started to include flashbacks within flashbacks? Why do native language families from Central America to SW USA (Uto-Aztecan) share over 1500 cognates with semitic languages, in a pattern consistent with two migrations of people from the Old World to the New World in the right time frame to fit the Book of Mormon account of Nephite and Mulekite migration? How did Joseph Smith manage to maintain such symbolic significance throughout the Book of Mormon regarding the sword of Laban? What is our evidence that Joseph Smith had amassed a vast frontier library of alleged sources of the Book of Mormon? If Joseph Smith copied the Book of Mormon from the View of the Hebrews, why did he use it as evidence for the Book of Mormon? Was Joseph Smith pretending to not know Jerusalem had walls around it? If Joseph Smith really was pretending to not know Jerusalem had walls around it, then how did he know Jerusalem’s relative elevation and the region’s topography? Why does 1 Nephi 6 say the pillar of fire “dwelt” on the rock, rather than sat or rested? Is it because the Hebrew verb “yashab” means to dwell, inhabit or sit? Why does Alma 49:22 curiously say that arrows were “thrown”? Is it because the Hebrew verb “yara” means to throw, shoot or cast? Where did Joseph Smith learn about the names, relative amounts and functions of ancient weights and measurements? Why think it is coincidence that there is evidence for a great destruction in the land northward at the time of Christ’s death? How did Joseph Smith know about Christopher Columbus’s self-described motivation for voyaging to the Americas, when it was relatively unknown at the time? How did Joseph Smith find out about sheum? Why would Joseph Smith say that Ammon cut off arms rather than heads? Why does the Book of Mormon contain so many subordinate clauses which wouldn’t be expected in English? How did Joseph Smith know about primordial monsters? Has anyone completed Hugh Nibley’s Book of Mormon challenge yet? How did Joseph manage to include so many Hebrew wordplays in the Book of Mormon such as: Abish, Alma, Aminidab, Ammon, Benjamin, Cast out/give place, Enos, Ephraim, Gideon, Hermounts, Iron rod as the word of God, Ishmael, Jared, Jershon, Joseph, Joy/boasting, Judah/Jews, Laman, Mary, Mormon, Moronihah, Mosiah, Nahom, Nephi, Noah, Obscurity and dust, Onidah, Rod/ruler, Sebus, Zarahemla, Zeezrom? How could Joseph Smith know that the word “ Rameumptom” has Hebrew roots meaning a high/holy stand? Why is there a “blatant pun” on the name Moses in the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, before the Egyptian meaning of Moses’s name was known to scholars? How did Joseph Smith know there were “chief marketplaces” in ancient Mesoamerican times? Or how did he know there were many prophets in Jerusalem when Lehi was preaching? How did Joseph Smith know to gender the noun “justice” as male, and “mercy” as female in Alma 42:24, which matches the Semitic form? How did Joseph Smith manage to create similarities and dissimilarities in the three accounts of Alma’s conversion which are consistent with their having been written by a single individual, but in different settings and at different stages of his life? How did Joseph Smith (while dictating) manage to list a lengthy genealogy in Ether 1 and then discuss each person in reverse order throughout the rest of the book? Why does the Book of Mormon contain so many cognates that wouldn’t be expected in English? How did Joseph Smith know the legal context for a curse of speechlessness? Why does Jacob’s sermon so closely resemble the ancient Near Eastern covenant/treaty pattern and the ancient Israelite autumn festival? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, would we expect it to show familiarity with the ancient Israelite Passover tradition but not explicitly name it? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, why would he include Nephi killing an unarmed man in the first few pages? Surely this would cause many to immediately reject the book so why include it right at the start? Yet how come Joseph Smith knew so much about Exodus 21:13 and Biblical law to make the story legally justifiable? How did Joseph Smith know about the Near Eastern custom of chopping down the tree after a hanging? Why are there Hebraic conditionals in the Book of Mormon? How would Joseph Smith have been educated on ancient warfare, including military exemptions? Or guerrilla warfare? Or total warfare? Or watchtowers? Or cimeters? Did Joseph Smith guess that there were extensive defensive fortifications used in Mesoamerican warfare? Where did Joseph Smith learn to describe armor consistent with patterns in the ancient Near East and Mesoamerica? How come the accounts of war in the Book of Mormon occur at the exact seasonal times we would expect? Why does the Book of Mormon describe the ferocious Gaddianton robbers as wearing lamb-skin? Would we expect this rich symbolisms if Joseph Smith wrote the book himself? Why did Joseph Smith choose to include a steel sword in Jerusalem when this was thought to be anachronistic in the 1820’s? How was Joseph Smith so educated on Israelite law and justice in the case of Seantum’s confession? Where did Joseph Smith find the time to worry about the progressing symbolism of fine apparel? Or find time to maintain a chronological order of events in different parts of the book, such as Mormon’s letter to Moroni? Why are there so many conjunctions in the Book of Mormon that we wouldn’t expect in English? How impressive is it that the Book of Mormon phrases “bands of death” and “chains of hell” can’t be found in the English translations of the King James Bible, yet they show up in the Bible’s underlying Hebrew? Was Joseph Smith aware that 3 Nephi 19:24-26 alludes to the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24–26? Where did Joseph Smith find the name “Ammonihah”? Is it a coincidence that Hebrew forms of the name have been found on seals dating to the seventh century BC? How did Joseph Smith manage to select so many Book of Mormon names such as Aminadi which are built on the most common Egyptian name at the time (Amon/Ammon)? How did Joseph Smith know that a steel bow would require new arrows? How did Joseph Smith make up or choose over 200 names not found in the Bible, many with ancient origins, such as Gidgiddoni? Or over 150 named locations? What should we do with the evidence from the Popol Vuh? Why would Joseph Smith take a chance on Nephi using the “driven snow” description when it was contrary to popular belief that it snows in Israel and Jerusalem? Why did none of the Book of Mormon witnesses recant their testimony even though they were hostile to Joseph Smith and the Church? Does the Book of Mormon’s usage of proskynesis suggest that the author was sensitive to, and intimately familiar with, the nuances of this practice’s ancient symbolism? Why are the works of Shakespeare, Tolkien, and Rowling used to explain away the Book of Mormon, when none of those authors claimed to dictate their work or use their first draft? How was Joseph Smith so meticulous in the usage of sacred numbers such as Lehi’s seven tribes? Or symbolic numbers such as 10? And the significance of the number 12? How did Joseph Smith know about different types of hand gestures in Mesoamerica? Or hand gestures consistent with Near Eastern texts? What are we to make of the similarities between Moroni 2-6 and the early Christian document known as the Didache? How impressive is it that the four “Kish” names in the Book of Mormon are associated with features of “Kish” from ancient Mesopotamia (kings, conquerors, city-builders, and those who sought power)? Why would Joseph Smith, a patriotic American, frame the American revolution in the Book of Mormon as a story of deliverance rather than of resistance? How did Joseph Smith manage to use biblical content with such sophistication such as Isaiah and Micah in 3 Nephi? Where would Joseph Smith have read about codices in stone boxes? Or the use of engraved images in Mesoamerican culture? How do we explain the Book of Mormon’s usage of the number 24? Why think that Book of Mormon ocean crossings are unlikely when new world figurines suggest ancient contact with Egypt? How did Joseph Smith know to dictate “ Ramath” instead of the usual “Ramah” the Book of Mormon version of Isaiah 10:29? Or the additional “it” that does not appear in the Greek or Hebrew texts of Isaiah 48:11? Or the absence of “Ariel” in Isaiah 29:7? How do we explain the significance of the switch between “how” and “what” in 1 Nephi 7:11? Or the confusion between “things” and “words” in 2 Nephi 6:8 and 33:4? Would we expect paired tricola in the Book of Mormon if Joseph Smith wrote it himself? Why are there so many prepositional phrases rather than adverbs in the Book of Mormon (consistent with Hebrew)? How does the Book of Mormon manage to be so consistent in its doctrinal message, such as how Nephi formulates a set of principles that informs every major sermon in the rest of the book? What are the odds that the only bow-wood obtainable in all Arabia only grows in the very region where Nephi’s broken bow incident would have occurred? Would we expect the system of government and judges in the Book of Mormon to be so un-American and so far removed from Joseph Smith’s own experience? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, wouldn’t we expect it to be less favorable to kingship like the political climate in early 19th century America? Why would Joseph Smith take a chance on saying the Jaredites used iron? Or silk? And thrones? Should we think nothing of the pattern of time used in 4 Nephi when nothing is reported to have happened? How did Joseph Smith ensure that the Book of Mormon’s use of “remember” and “forget” is “ extensive, internally consistent, and strikingly similar – in both frequency and range of meaning – to their use in the Bible”? Do descriptions of the gold plates just coincidentally match materials used in ancient America? Would Joseph Smith have known an emphasis on preserving and hiding important texts has roots in the old and new world? Is it luck that the destruction of apostate cities is perfectly inline with the law given in Deuteronomy? Did Joseph Smith know that the sealed portion of the gold plates fits within the many ancient traditions of sacred texts which are off limits for the unworthy or uninitiated? Should we consider as evidence for the Book of Mormon the fact that it, like other ancient documents, is “ doubled, sealed and witnessed“? Why would Joseph Smith take the risk in saying that Irreantum means “ many waters”? Why is Abinadi’s interpretation of Isaiah 52:7 the same as early Jewish and Christian texts unknown when the Book of Mormon was published? What do we think about the name “ Aha” not being known from the Bible or other Hebrew-language sources, but new documents confirming that it was in use long before Lehi’s day? Why would Joseph Smith go against the trend and say that one of King Zedekiah’s sons survived, which has been supported by recent scholarship? Why would Joseph Smith take a risk in saying the Nephites wrote using reformed Egyptian when there was no precedent (but discovered recently)? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, would we expect to see the archaic rhetorical device of enallages? Is it just coincidence that Moroni delivered the plates to Joseph Smith during the Feast of Trumpets? Why does the Book of Mormon contain examples of plural amplification? What are we to make of the Seal of Mulek? Is it a coincidence that the Nephite interpreters are so similar to the Urim and Thummin? How did Joseph Smith manage to dictate the Book of Mormon whilst including three independent dating systems with remarkable accuracy? How did Joseph Smith know to include prayers after eating rather than before? How did Joseph Smith get all the types of ancient Israelite sacrifice correct? Where would Joseph Smith have learnt about infant baptism in Mesoamerica? How did Joseph Smith write the Book of Ether with all its complexities and source documents? Why is the list of supposed anachronisms in the Book of Mormon continually getting smaller? If it was written by Joseph Smith, wouldn’t it look clumsier over time rather than being proved stronger? Why would Joseph Smith take a chance on mentioning barley in the Book of Mormon? Is it a coincidence that Mayans believe (and the Book of Mormon teaches) that children who die go straight to heaven? Why did Joseph Smith surprisingly use “Alma” as a male name in the Book of Mormon when it is traditionally female? Is it because it’s consistent with ancient texts? Was Laban’s “fifty” just a random number or did Joseph Smith know about Old World customs? Are all the references to human sacrifices and cannibalism just randomly consistent with ancient practices? How did Joseph Smith know there needed to be a three-day journey before Lehi’s sacrificial offering? Did Joseph Smith guess about the ancient practice of reading out long scriptural texts? Why does the Book of Mormon include Hebrew puns ( such as a garb of secrecy)? Did Joseph Smith really go to such lengths to fool us? How did Joseph Smith manage to construct and maintain a complex and consistent geography (over 500 references) while dictating the Book of Mormon but failed to grasp the geographical scheme in statements after it was translated? Should we ignore the supporting evidence that the Lachish Letters provide to the Book of Mormon? How come Joseph Smith didn’t commit a blunder when referring to thieves and robbers? Is it coincidence that there are Mesoamerican traditions of darkness and seismic events when Christ died? Where did Joseph Smith learn to write such varied forms of chiasmus? If Joseph Smith took the time to deliberately include potentially over 430 instances of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon (30 of which are at least 6 levels deep), then why didn’t he ensure that someone actually noticed them? Why are there Hittite names in the Book of Mormon such as Akish? Why think it is a coincidence that ancient Near Eastern traditions (not found in the Bible) agree with the Book of Mormon that a remnant of Joseph’s coat survived? Why does the Book of Mormon contain evidence of ancient covenant styles? Why are Nephite and Jaredite courtships in the Book of Mormon so far removed from 19th century American notions of romantic love? Why was Joseph Smith named after his father even though he wasn’t the first son? Was it to fulfil a prophecy in the Book of Mormon? Would Joseph Smith have known that imagery of planting a tree in your heart has deep Mesoamerican roots (pun intended)? Where did Joseph Smith find out about execution practices of North and Central American cultures going back to pre-Columbian times? How did Joseph Smith know about droughts causing snake infestations? Why would Joseph Smith make dictation difficult for himself by including so many editorial promises in the Book of Mormon? Would we expect Joseph Smith’s first ever book to include editorial previews and summaries? If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself, would we expect to see examples of subscriptio in the text? Did Joseph Smith take the time to subtly use white/light so consistently and in line with ancient tradition? How come the story of crossing the ocean in Ether has such similarities to ancient documents found since the Book of Mormon was published? Why did Joseph Smith take a risk in claiming that some Native Americans have West-Eurasian origins? Why would Joseph Smith take a chance in saying that Shiz could walk around beheaded? Why does the Book of Mormon include so many “Christian” elements before the coming of Christ, which was not found in the Bible but discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Is it coincidence that the organization of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve (revealed in D&C 107:22-23) follow the same organization now discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Why did Joseph Smith take a chance on mentioning the “ great spirit” if it was believed to be anachronistic? Or take a chance on saying John the apostle didn’t die? Did Joseph Smith even realise that the writers of the small plates followed meticulously the instructions of Nephi? How did Joseph Smith know there were swine in Mesoamerica? Was Joseph Smith aware of all the repetitive resumption in the Book of Mormon (a technique commonly used by biblical authors to interject commentary)? How did Joseph Smith know about ancient practices regarding preservations of sacred texts? Why do other ancient documents support the Book of Mormon’s idea that the ancient Joseph prophesied of Moses and Aaron? Did Joseph Smith include colophons in the Book of Mormon because they were used extensively in Egyptian documents? Why do we see evidence of antenantiosis in the Book of Mormon? Why does the Book of Mormon use the word “swallow” in certain contexts? Was this the result of research into ancient Canaanite mythology? Why would Joseph Smith risk mentioning the building of temples outside of Jerusalem before the discovery of the Jewish community at Elephantine? How did Joseph Smith know he had to make some passages in the Book of Mormon “ wordy“? What should we make of Mesoamerican groups reporting that ancestors came to the Americas from across the seas? How do we account for Biblical passages in the Book of Mormon that do not agree with the available manuscripts available at the time, but found by recent scholarship? Why would Joseph Smith go to such effort to make realistic ancient items such as the Liahona only for them to disappear? Why did the early Saints understand these objects to be connected to the ark of the covenant? How did Joseph Smith know about ancient calendrical patterns? Why does the Book of Mormon speak 40 times of “ the land of Jerusalem” rather than the “city of Jerusalem” (as contained in the Bible) which is a phrase found in the Amarna Letters and the Dead Sea Scrolls, both found after the Book of Mormon was translated? Why is there gradation in the Book of Mormon just like the Old and New Testaments? Why does the Book of Mormon contain the classical rhetorical device of merismus? Why does the Book of Mormon use so many English words to describe what could have been translated as “the law” ( statutes, judgments, ordinances, and commandments)? Why does the Book of Mormon include the expression “it came to pass” much more than the Bible translators used it from the original Hebrew? Why are there connections between the ancient alphabet in Arabia and the characters on the Anthon Transcript? Why didn’t Joseph Smith include things that were at the cutting edge of science and history when it was published? Why include things that were generally not accepted? Is it luck that the Brother of Jared used shining stones which tradition says Noah also used? Why does Lehi’s poem in 1 Nephi 2 match features of ancient Bedouin desert poetry? Where did Joseph Smith learn to create other profound examples of ancient Hebrew poetry, such as Ammon’s majestic refutation of his brother’s accusation of boasting? What should we make of the fact that the Book of Mormon is distinguished from 19th century religious texts by having over 100 names for Christ? Why would Joseph Smith include the use of cement in ancient America when it was unprecedented at the time but now discovered to be correct? How did Joseph Smith know so much about ancient Arabia if there were no library books available to him on the subject? Why is the Nephite political and economic structure similar to that of Israelites? How did Joseph Smith know so much about olive culture, which was not known in 19th century New England? Are we to believe he was an expert on this topic as well as ancient writing styles, ancient traditions, the geography of the near-east… etc? Did Joseph Smith consult Jewish and Samaritan texts claiming that Moses was translated? Why would Joseph Smith choose to fabricate an ancient book on gold plates rather than scrolls which would be much cheaper to produce? Why do descriptions of coronations in the Book of Mormon fit the time period? How did Joseph Smith know about the “ without a cause” issue in 3 Nephi 12:22? Why is there a relevant political statement when Nephi makes a new bow? Why would Joseph Smith take a risk in using metal plates when it was not known at the time that this was a well-established method of record keeping anciently? Why is Nephi’s description of Laban authentic and realistic? If Joseph Smith knew the Book of Mormon was a fraud, why did he and his associates take comfort in reading from it in Carthage Jail before they died? How did Joseph Smith know the place name “Shazer” would fit so well? Why are names used in the Book of Mormon consistent with new discoveries of common names in the region of Palestine? Was it luck that Nephi gave to Zoram the most solemn of all Semite oaths? If the characters from the gold plates that Martin Harris showed to Charles Anthon were believed to be a fraud, then why did he immediately agree to fund the Book of Mormon when he returned? Is it coincidence that population size and fluctuations in the Book of Mormon resemble patterns of known historical populations? Why would Joseph take the risk of saying the plates were buried in a stone box if at the time it would have been considered ridiculous? Why are there no complex numeric forms in the Book of Mormon, like biblical Hebrew? Why does the Book of Mormon include 38 points of the Year-Rite? How did Joseph Smith know about burning cities and killing the inhabitants in ancient Mesoamerica? Why did early critics of Joseph Smith consider him a “blockhead” but later critics consider him a genius? Which one is it? How did Joseph Smith create multi-layered sermons such as Alma in Ammonihah with a repetitive play on remember/forget, a complex example of chiasmus, and references to the words of Lehi and Nephi all in the same verses? Why would Joseph Smith have taken the chance to mention in the Book of Mormon a river that continually flows into the Red Sea? Why, after 25 years of literary research, has Royal Skousen not found anything to prove the Book of Mormon is false? If the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from another book, why didn’t anyone flag this up at the time when it was published? Why should we dismiss the possible connection between the Jaredites and the advanced ceramics found in the same region? What are we to make of all the people who sincerely claim a witness from the Holy Ghost? Why does the Book of Mormon contain so many construct states that would not be expected in English? Is the Narrative of Zosimus just an incredible coincidence? Or elevated highways? Or Nephi’s garden tower right next to the highway? Or large stones with engravings? Why does the Book of Mormon contain examples of nouns missing after numbers (such as “Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word”)? Did Joseph Smith know this was biblical Hebrew? How did Joseph Smith know about a random oasis in the Arabian peninsula that was believed to be nothing but desert? Was the name of NHM (Nahom) just a lucky guess? Or the valley of Lemuel? How did Joseph Smith know that Nahom is the only place you can turn eastward on the incense trail? Why did Joseph Smith say that Laman and Lemuel beat Nephi and Sam with a rod rather than using their fists? Did he know about the cultural significance of beating with a rod? How did Moroni manage to quote each of the farewell speeches from the small plates in his last chapter? Would we expect “prophetic perfect” in the Book of Mormon if Joseph Smith wrote it himself? Why would 11 men put their reputations on the line by being witnesses to the Book of Mormon if they really knew it not to be true? Why take the risk, why not just see the plates or the angel but not put your name to it and take the safe option? How do we explain the fulfilled prophecies written in the Old Testament? Were they all just lucky despite the outrageous odds? How do we explain the “White God” that different native American tribes recount stories of? What are we to make of the New Testament gospels and the writings of Paul which were written within a few decades of Jesus’s death? Wouldn’t someone have noticed that the Biblical accounts were not accurate if they were in such wide circulation at the time? How do we explain the evidence of the empty tomb and other minimal facts of the New Testament? Isn’t the New Testament too embarrassing not to be true? How do we explain the huge growth of the early Christian church in such a short period of time (under great persecution) after Jesus died? How could Joseph Smith describe angels in such detail? Did he think he saw angels? How do we explain Joseph Smith’s visions experienced with other people? Why did they agree on the details? How do we account for the miracles Joseph Smith performed by the power of Christ’s priesthood? What are we to make of the rich doctrines and complex revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants? Why did witnesses remark that Sidney Rigdon was exhausted after seeing the vision of D&C 76 whereas Joseph Smith wasn’t? Was it just to make the experience sound more believable? Why could no-one else make a revelation for the Doctrine and Covenants like Joseph Smith? Was it luck that Dr. Smith (who saved Joseph Smith’s leg and potentially his life) was likely the only physician in the United States in 1813 who had the expertise to successfully deal with Joseph Smith’s bone disease? What should we make of the claim that Joseph Smith’s name “ should be had for good and evil among all nations“? Was this just an arrogant guess from a young farm boy? What made him think all nations would hear about him? In an age of internet and technology this is still highly unlikely for anyone to claim. How did Joseph Smith correctly predict the American Civil War (and many details) nearly 30 years before it happened? Should we ignore the testimony of the twelve apostles relating to the Doctrine and Covenants? Why believe it was it a lucky guess when Joseph Smith said the Saints would be “ driven to the Rocky Mountains…(and) become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains”? How do we account for the Stephen A. Douglas prophecy? What are we to make of Joseph Smith’s other fulfilled prophecies? Would a man responsible for the biggest fraud in history be the same man who after being tarred and feathered, preached a sermon on forgiveness? How did Joseph Smith reveal a code of health that was not known to be effective at the time? Why did Joseph Smith’s family believe his story? Wouldn’t they be the first to see through the lies? Why has stylometrics shown that the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants are different to Joseph Smith’s own style of writing? Why do ancient texts (unavailable to Joseph Smith) support the Book of Moses’ claim that Enoch saw men’s deeds? Why does the Book of Moses resemble the Apocalypse of Abraham (which was translated long afterwards)? If Joseph Smith had gotten names in the Book of Abraham from his environment, then why did he choose the name Shulem rather than Shillem? How did Joseph Smith know that Enoch saw all generations? Why do ancient texts translated long after the Book of Moses agree that Enoch wept? How did Joseph Smith correctly guess Mahijuah/Mahujah? Was it a lucky guess that the Book of Moses’ claims Enoch was a “lad” at 65? Why does the Book of Enoch support the Book of Moses’ claim that Enoch was given the right to God’s throne? Why does the Book of Enoch (translated after the Book of Moses) claim that the Lord’s House shall be called Jerusalem? How did Joseph Smith know that Enoch was in possession of Adam’s Book? Is it a coincidence that the Book of Enoch also claims (like the Book of Moses) that Enoch’s Book was to be restored? Why do ancient texts (unavailable to Joseph Smith) agree with the Book of Moses’ claim that Enoch was clothed in glory? How did Joseph Smith know that Enoch saw the saints arise? Did Joseph Smith know that other books also claimed that Enoch saw the return of Zion from Heaven? Was it a lucky guess that other ancient books support the Book of Moses claim that Enoch saw the chains of Satan? How did Joseph Smith know that Abraham wrote a book of scripture if ancient texts supporting this were only discovered later and it is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible? Why do ancient texts unavailable to Joseph Smith also claim (like the Book of Abraham does) that Abraham was to be sacrificed? And also agree that Abraham was saved by God before being sacrificed? How did Joseph Smith know that Terah worshipped idols? And that he sought to kill his son, Abraham? But that Terah repents afterwards? Why does The Book of the Cave of Treasures support the Book of Abraham’s claim of the pervasive nature of idolatry in Abraham’s day? Is it luck that The Ancient Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan also claims (like the Book of Abraham) that children were being sacrificed to idols? What should we make of the fact that the Book of Noah supports the Book of Abraham’s claim that Abraham had access to sacred records from the patriarchs? Why do ancient texts not available to Joseph Smith agree that the Book of Abraham’s claim that Abraham received the priesthood and was a High Priest? Why does The Story of Abraham our Father from What Appended to Him with Nimrod, agree with the Book of Abraham claim that Abraham preached against his fathers’ idolatry? How did Joseph Smith know Abraham taught astronomy? Why do ninth-century Hebrew documents agree with the Book of Abraham that it was God who taught Abraham astronomy? Why do other books support the Book of Abraham’s claim that Abraham was desirous to be one who possesses great knowledge? Why does the Genesis Apocryphon from the Dead Sea Scrolls claim (like the Book of Abraham does) that God is the one who warns Abraham that the Egyptians will want to kill him to get his wife? Did Joseph Smith know that other books also claimed that God showed Abraham the heavens and those in the premortal existence? Why does the midrashic Hebrew text, Tanna debe Eliyahu support the Book of Abraham’s claim that Abraham was honored by kings – or on a throne? How did Joseph Smith know that Abraham experienced two famines during his life and not just one? How did Joseph Smith know about Libnah in the Book of Abraham? Or know that Abraham possessed the Urim and Thummim? Is the meaning of the eye symbol in Figure 3 of Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham a lucky guess? Why wouldn’t Joseph Smith agree with the Bible that Abraham was 75 when he went into the land of Canaan? Joseph Smith’s claim that he was a prophet with visions etc was either truthful, deceitful or delusional. Are there any other options ? Why would Joseph Smith publish revelations chastising him? Doesn’t this meet the criterion of embarrassment? Why think that the restoration was a fraud to make Joseph Smith lots of money? If that was his goal then why did he die without a fortune? What should we do with over 150 accounts of Brigham Young’s transfiguration of looking and sounding like Joseph Smith at conference in 1844? How do we explain the visions of the Latter-day prophets who have seen and spoken with the Savior? Are they lying or deceived? What are we to make of the special witnesses of Christ when they testify of Jesus and his divinity? Isn’t it an enormous burden to carry, in claiming that every single “ perception of God” is untrue? Isn’t it more reasonable to believe that at least one perhaps is an actual experience of something bigger than us? If there isn’t already something out there “bigger” than us, then isn’t humanity likely to go extinct? If we trust in our own superhuman potential, then shouldn’t we also trust that we have a compassionate creator? In our universe, isn’t it true that there are very probably civilizations “that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like”? Is it luck that the universe appears to be fine tuned for life only for a relatively small amount of time? How sure are we that someone didn’t create the universe? In a multiverse, wouldn’t God almost certainly exist? If nothingness cannot scientifically exist, then doesn’t that mean there was something before the Big Bang? Is every single “miracle”just a lucky coincidence or is at least one partly responsible by something beyond us? If human rights can be self-evident and unassailable, then why can’t God be self-evident and unassailable? How do we explain the Cambrian explosion and the sudden formation of complex life? Why are some of the greatest men of science believers in God? Why do “Atheists become emotionally aroused when daring God to do terrible things”? How do we explain near-death experiences? Aren’t they proof that we have a spirit? Why think that the shift to home-centered learning before COVID-19 (and church closures) was just a coincidence? Why does statistical analysis show a correlation between higher education and loyalty to Latter-day Saint beliefs? If the gospel was a fraud, wouldn’t the scholars and those who are more educated leave first?