Prediction Of Apologetic Responses To The Criddle Wordprint Study

So, what if the non-Mormon academic community agree with these wordprint studies in more or less the same fashion they did the Mormon related DNA research? Here are a few of the strained arguments in support of the Mormon position that I expect to see trotted out before the Book of Mormon is eventually acknowledged to have been fictional, and Mormons begin to read it metaphorically, if at all. Consider in that regard how often you hear reference to the Book of Abraham in Mormon circles, and most of them don’t even know how flawed that document is.

Feel free to add the many I have no doubt missed. Those folks need all the help they can get.

• The wordprint analysis selects the most probable of authors from among those offered. Though the match is very high in some cases to Ridgon and/or Spaulding and it is unlikely that a more probable author could be found for some chapters, this is still possible. So, it is possible that if J. Smith’s authorial voice could be composed he would be found to be the more likely author. OJ got off a murder charge on this kind theory. Why shouldn’t it work for J. Smith’s authorship of the BofM?

• Once J. Smith’s voice has been composed from his most recently released personal writings, and that is found to be a poor match for the BofM text, it could be pointed out that he “translated” the BofM when he was nearly illiterate, and hence his wordprint as a relatively mature person who had learned an immense amount should not be expected to match the revelatory voice he used to dictate the book. So this disproof of Smith’s involvement is far from conclusive.

• The revelatory process God used in Smith’s case re. the BofM was less precise than previously believed. Smith may have gone into a trance like state, and channelled voices that may have been in his consciousness as a result of various influences. God would not care about a detail like this, and as pointed out below, may His reasons for allowing this to occur. This might come to be called the “Multiple Author Channelling Theory”, or “MACT”. I think I copyright that before anyone else uses it. I tried to make “Channelling Revelatory Authors Perspective” work (“CRAP”), but couldn’t get there.

• Rigdon’s voice may be similar to a typical preacher’s voice from Smith’s day, and there is evidence that Smith spent a lot of time as a young person listening to this type of preacher. So, it is not surprising that one or more of the voices Smith channelled sounded a lot like Rigdon. Smith may have been attracted to Rigdon and vice versa because of the natural resonance they had for each others voices and ways of thinking. God may have put this Rigdon-like voice in Smith’s head to create the attraction that eventually brought them together.

• The way wordprints that match various authors show up in the book in material attributed to one person, such as Mormon, could be explained by MACT, and Smith not having control over which showed up. The voice is not important. The truth of the concepts is important. The much maligned (by Mormon apologists) literature regarding automatic writing could be used to support MACT.

• The conceptual truths in the book should not be discounted because the voices used do not correspond to what we would expect from normal human interaction and writing. This was an inspired process, and hence subject to different rules.

• The stronger the evidence against the BofM, the greater a test of faith this is for God’s elect. Therefore, the more non-believers and apostates are convinced that the BofM is not true, the more important it is for believers to maintain their belief on faith. This is like Mother Teresa. He clung to her faith in what appears to be the almost complete absence of spiritual or other confirmation for decades. And she did not even have the truth we Mormons have (warning – don’t think about that example too carefully if you want to hang onto your Mormon faith).

• And finally (drum roll), with a tip of the hat to the young earth creationists, God caused Smith to use different voices in his translation to test the faith of believers.

Believe it or not, I could keep going. There is no end to this garbage. But I am out of time.

So, after increasingly bizarre arguments are trotted out for a while and most of the few faithful Mormons who look at the issue decide it is just too hard from them to figure out what is going on, the BofM will gradually fade out of use with Mormonism. Kind of like the Book of Abraham already has. Eventually, some obscure papers will be published by people at BYU about how the BofM is not reliable from an historical point of view, and nothing will be said about that by the Mormon leaders who in a round about way told them to write the articles. And a generation later, when the issue comes up again for some reason (maybe one of Mitt Romney’s kids runs for the US presidency), the BofM will be remembered and a prophet will mention on Larry King Live (with Larry still barely alive and running the show) that the Mormons “don’t really teach that any scripture is literally true. There are many kinds of truth, and each is as important in some ways as the others.”

And that will be the end of that.

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