“Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred, or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens.”In other words, the whole of Mormonism rests on the truthfulness of a 14-year-old money-digger who dabbled in the occult.
Sorry, but I would rather base my beliefs on the word of GOD, not the Book of Mormon. You see, many people have seen the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts which make up the Christian canon. But where are the "golden plates" that Joseph used to "translate" the Book of Mormon? Apparently, the angel Moroni has them. As a matter of fact, who has ever seen the "plates"? Martin Harris, who acted as Joseph's scribe, said,
These plates were usually kept in a cherry box made for that purpose in the possession of Joseph and myself. The plates were kept from the sight of the world, and no one, save Oliver Cowdery, myself, Joseph Smith, Jr., and David Whitmer, ever saw them. (Early Mormon Documents, vol. 2, p. 306).
Ever hear kids argue, one says they got a new toy or something. The other kids say, "Yeah? Prove it! Let's see it!" The child making the claim says something like, "Nah, you don't deserve it!" Usually because he knows he's caught in a lie. Kinda like Joseph.Also, consider this: In the Book of Jeremiah, (long story short) the prophet dictates to his scribe Baruch. The scroll is read to king Jehoiakim, who doesn't cotton too well to what Jeremiah prophesied. So he burns the scroll. What does Jeremiah do? Does he panic? Of course not! He trusts in GOD, and GOD leads him to dictate a new scroll, word for word, by way of the Holy Spirit. Contrast this with this catastophe that befell Joseph Smith:
Joseph... inquired of the Lord to know if he might do as Martin Harris had requested, but was refused.... Joseph inquired again, but received a second refusal. Still, Martin Harris persisted as before, and Joseph applied again, but the last answer was not like the two former ones. In this the Lord permitted Martin Harris to take the manuscript home with him... Mr. Harris had been absent nearly three weeks, and Joseph had received no intelligence whatever from him... we saw him [Harris] walking with a slow and measured tread towards the house... Harris pressed his hands upon his temples, and cried out, in a tone of deep anguish, "Oh, I have lost my soul! I have lost my soul!"
Joseph... sprang from the table, exclaiming, "Martin, have you lost that manuscript?..."
"Yes, it is gone," replied Martin, "and I know not where."
"Oh, my God!" said Joseph, clinching his hands. "All is lost! all is lost! What shall I do? I have sinned..." He wept and groaned, and walked the floor continually... what could I say to comfort him, when he saw all the family in the same situation of mind as himself, for sobs and groans, and the most bitter lamentations filled the house. However, Joseph was more distressed than the rest... he continued, pacing back and forth, meantime weeping and grieving, until about sunset...
The manuscript has never been found; and there is no doubt that Mrs. Harris took it from the drawer... (Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, 1853, pp. 117,118,120-123)
I'll be adding sermons in the next couple weeks that deal in-depth with the problems of Mormonism. Suffice it to say for now that I hope you don't get caught up in it. It's kinda like a rip current. It looks smooth on the surface. But, much like the rip current can drag you far from shore, Mormonism will drag you far away from the truth.