Ep 27 – Who Wrote the Book of Mormon – Part 2


Posted October 14th, 2013

Glenn and Randy continue the discussion on who wrote the Book of Mormon and are joined by Dr. Craig Criddle, a professor at Stanford University who believes the Book of Mormon had several authors. The discussion centers around the “Spalding–Rigdon theory” of Book of Mormon authorship.

  • Iambecomedeath

    These two episodes were my first real exposure to the Spaulding-Rigdon Timeline. After the two podcasts and a brief reading at exploringmormonism.com I started to think that the whole theory was pretty thin and based mostly on events that possibly happened. I started to give me seminary flashbacks and I had the urge to pray to know if these things are not true.

    Then I realized that this theory may require a lot of assumptions, but it requires less mental gymnastics than the mainstream explanation.

    Overall, I feel like knowing how the BoM was written is not pertinent to my salvation. It is more important that I have a testimony of its turthlessness.

    Back on a serious note, I did have a question about “wordprinting” discussed in these two podcasts. How prone is this technique to false positives? If you compared the wordprint of a 100 random authors to the BoM how many would come back a match, even though we know the random authors had nothing to do with the book?

    • Stay tuned for episode three in which we discuss the validity of wordprinting (among other things)…

  • peeej

    It would be interesting to do a word print analysis using ‘Antiquities of Freemasonry’ by George Oliver (1823) and the Pearl of Great Price. Antiquities is full of phrases and ideas that are part of Mormon theology and practice.

  • Mindog

    The Spalding-Rigdon thing always seems unnecessarily complicated. It requires a lot of travel, a lot of trust between duplicitous strangers, a lot of fortuitous chance, and a lot of access to materials where there’s no immediate and specific connection. While Joseph as a single or at least primary author doesn’t. A lot of things tied to Spalding or Rigdon or Campbellite theology were in air at the time. Joseph was heavily involved in investigating various churches and he did travel in the region quite a bit. I have no doubt that Oliver was a major influence and would have brought Ethan Smith’s influence with him. While distantly related, he was related well enough for him to be staying with the Smith’s. And at least that connection is easily documented. We also have bits of information from Lucy Mack about Joseph describing the ancient inhabitants culture and stories during the years preceding the publication. So it seems to me that would be plenty to create the book without having to have direct sources.

  • BO

    So far the Who Wrote the BoM series is one of my all time favorites.
    I doubt Criddle is looking at the boards, but I would be interested to know if he has any intention of running wordprint on the The History of the Late War between the United States and Great Britain by Gilbert J. Hunt.

    Great thread about the new info presented at the exmo conf on this Mormon Discussion thread.


  • Pingback: MormonLeaks | Podcast Interview with Craig Criddle, Monday, October 14th, 2013()

  • William Covington

    The ‘Book Of Mormon’ is a nineteenth century product, and the book needs to remain in the nineteenth century. The Book Of Mormon is irrelevant to the 21st century.