How did Joseph Smith produce the Book of Mormon if he didn’t translate it by the gift and power of God? Alternative theories have been put forward but none account for all the evidence. The simplest explanation is that Joseph Smith created the book on his own, but while this may have been a popular theory at first, it has become more apparent how complex the book is and more apparent that the content is far beyond what we would expect from Joseph. Another explanation is that the book was a combined effort from Joseph and some others around him such as Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery, but there is simply no evidence of anyone else being involved.
To defend any of these theories we have to ignore the historic evidence. After nearly 200 years there is still no plausible alternative explanation for the Book of Mormon which accounts for all the evidence.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland remarks:
For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator.– Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – Safety For The Soul
If Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, how did he do it?