While there is no doubt the biggest influence Joseph Smith used for the Book of Mormon is the bible, research has shown that this was by no means the only source that Joseph Smith used in crafting the book of Mormon.
As I have said before the Mormon church portrays Joseph Smith as an unlearned, uneducated young boy incapable of producing something like the book of Mormon. What I want to look at here is one main response to that.
While Joseph Smith was growing up it became evident that he was particularly gifted as a storyteller full of imagination. His Mother Lucy Smith said this.
“During our evening coversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of the continent, their dress, mode of travelling, and the animals upon which they ride; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them.” (Lucy Smith: Biogpraphical sketches, p. 85. Occuring before Alvins death in November 1823)
So if Joseph Smith really was someone capable of at least in part making up much of the storylines going on in the book of Mormon how could that be proved?
Well like the bible the book of Mormon is believed to have been wrote by many different people with different personalities and writing styles you would have thought. One problem we see with that is recurring sentences or Smithism’s as they have been called going through the book of Mormon and indeed other Scriptures. By this I mean common phrases or terms that were used by Joseph Smith that we see repeated in the Mormon Scriptures, particularly the book of Mormon.
So by Smithism’s I mean traits or phrases that Joseph Smith used in various places that would show or at least support the view that he authored each of them.
Here are some basic examples.
Lets look at the phrase “Would that ye should”
Alma 38: 5
5And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your atrust in God even so much ye shall be bdelivered out of your trials, and your ctroubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day
3And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the aplates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these bplates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered incignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God.
2Wherefore, in my days, I would that ye should know that I fought much with the sword to preserve my people, the Nephites, from falling into the hands of their enemies, the Lamanites. But behold, I of myself aam a wicked man, and I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done.
And finally from another book of Mormon Scripture
Doctrine and Covenants 46:7
7But ye are commanded in all things to aask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all bholiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, cconsidering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and dthanksgiving, that ye may not be eseduced by evil fspirits, or doctrines of devils, or the gcommandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
We see this with some other short phrases too which I will briefly list here for you to look at as you want.
“It must needs be”
1 Nephi 15:33; Alma 32:28; 3 Nephi 5:1; D&C 48:3
Dwindled in unbelief
2 Nephi 26:15; Heleman 15:11; Ether 4:3; D&C 9:3
2 Nephi 9:15; Alma 34:9; Mosiah 13:27; D&C 9:3
So there are some basic examples which I admit could be put down to coincidence or whatever, however this very much carries on to more clear sentences in many places.
The main two I know of are, Or in other words and Exceedingly great
So starting with Or in other words.
Preface to 1830 Book of Mormon
And if I should bring forth the same words again, or, in other words, if i should translate the same over again…..
1 Nephi 8:2
27And because he said unto them that Christ was the aGod, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him thebimage of man, and it should be the cimage after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of dGod, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
16Therefore, blessed are they who ahumble themselves without being bcompelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized withoutcstubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.
3 Nephi 6:20
20And there began to be men ainspired from heaven and sent forth, standing among the people in all the land, preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people, or in other words, the resurrection of Christ; and they did testify boldly of his bdeath and sufferings.
Doctrine and Covenants 10:17
Doctrine and Covenants 61:23
23And now, concerning my servants, Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, let them come not again upon the waters, save it be upon the canal, while journeying unto their homes; or in other words they shall not come upon the waters to journey, save upon the canal. (See also D&C 95:17)
Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, Luke 6:29
29And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also. (see also Luke 17:37)
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, Mark 9:3
And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses or in other words, John the Baptist and Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
Then we move onto Joseph Smiths personal Diary
Joseph Smith’s 1835 Diary, An American Prophets Record, p.51
Information was what I most desired at this time and with a fixed determination to obtain it, I called upon the Lord for the first time in the place above stated. Or in other words, I made a fruitless attempt to p[r]ay.
Joseph Smiths 1838 Liberty jail letter, Times and Seasons, vol. 1. no.6.p.83
I say unto you that those, who have thus vilely treated us, shall like Haman be hanged on their own gallows, or in other words, shall fall into their own gin and ditch, which they have prepared for us.
For Exceedingly great, please look at these references.
1 Nephi 8:12, 23; Mosiah 4:11; Ether 11:4; Moroni 10:11; D&C 108:3; D&C 109:23; D&C 127:10; Joseph Smiths diary, An American prophets record p.5
Thank you to UTLM.ORG for putting in the research work for this article, that is a website absolutely packed with more information like this.
When you think about it we all have our own little phrases and words that we use on a regular basis and anything we write if you maybe look at past school assignments or job applications etc you will see a pattern of terms and phrases you use. Joseph Smith was no different like this and it comes out all through the scriptures he wrote. There are many more like this and I would encourage as ever anyone reading this to look into it for yourself. As I have not listed many other examples like this for the sake of space.
Your eternal life is way too important to just carry on trusting in the Prophet or your feelings when they are multiple sources showing that in the very least Joseph Smith made up some of what he wrote, or at the most he made up it all.