View the full PDF (420+ pages)View PDF

Why would Joseph Smith correct mistakes by simply restating the point?

If the gold plates were genuine we would expect the writers to sometimes make mistakes. In Alma 24:19 we read:

And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.

Tyle Griffin points out how this type of error correction would be expected on the plates: 

I love telling my students, “This book is so good that even when it’s wrong, it’s right.” For instance, you’re probably familiar with the passage in Alma 24 when Mormon tells you, “And thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace.” And then he says, “Or, they buried the weapons of war, for peace.” You unpack that and you say, “What in the world just happened there? What did he say that for?” And you picture him scratching or engraving in the metal plates, and I know everybody in this room has done that, where you’ve been writing along or typing along and your brain gets ahead of your hands, and what happens? You write things out of order. I can picture Mormon looking down the corridor of time at you with your laptops and your word processors and your erasers and him going, “Oh, if only you knew how hard it is when you let your head get ahead of your hands.” So he has to fix it with words.

To me, that might not prove anything to anybody else, but to me, if a farm boy is making the story up, and if he says to his scribe, “Thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace,” what would any farm boy do at that point as he recognizes, “Oh, whoops! Scratch that Oliver, take that out. Make it, ‘Thus we see they buried the weapons of war, for peace.’” But if he’s translating an ancient record, he’s not going to scratch it; he’s going to keep it.

Tyler Griffin – Book of Mormon Geographical References: Internal Consistency Taken to a New Level

If Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon, why didn’t he ask the scribe to cross this part out rather than use words to correct it?


Add a Question
Thank you for your submission