I have heard of Hugh Nibley creating a list like this but I don’t know if this is his list.

I have heard that calling the Book of Mormon a fake would be like arguing that a large diamond found by a farmer in his field (in the first half of the 1800’s) was a fake.  It would be easier to find a genuine diamond in the field than a fake, in part because the technology for creating fake diamonds did not exist back then.

Regardless of the merits of such arguments, here is a list of conditions that the Book of Mormon was translated under and later produced.  Just as a thought exercise, see if you could write a book like this under the same circumstances:

1.    You must be between twenty-three and twenty-four years of age.

2. You cannot be a college graduate. In fact, you can have only three years of formal schooling.

3.    Whatever you write must be on the basis of what you know and not what you learn through research.

4.    You must write a history of an ancient country, such as Tibet , covering a period from 2200 BC to 421 AD.

5.    You must include in your writings the history of two distinct and separate nations, along with histories of different contemporary nations or groups of people.

6. Your writings must describe the religious, economic, social, and political cultures and institutions of these two nations.

7. You must weave into your history the religion of Jesus Christ and the pattern for Christian living.

8. When you start to produce this record covering a period of over 2,600 years, you must finish it in approximately eighty days (less than three months).

9. When you have finished, you must not make any changes in the text. The first edition must stand forever (this does not include grammatical errors, etc.).

10. After pauses for sleep and food, if you are dictating to a steno­grapher, you must never ask to have the last paragraph or last sentence read back to you. You must start right where you stopped previously.

11. You must add 180 proper nouns to the English language (William Shakespeare added thirty).

12. You must announce that your “smooth narrative” is not fiction, but true, yes, a sacred history.

13. In fact, your narrative must fulfill the Bible prophecies; even in the exact manner in which it shall come forth, to whom given, and its purpose and accomplishments.

14. You must publish it to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, declaring it to be the Word of God.

15. You must include with the record itself this marvelous promise:  “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will mani­fest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

16. Tens of thousands must bear record to the world for the next 170+ years that they know the record to be true. Because they put the promise to the test, the truth is manifested to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

17. Thousands of great men, intellectual giants, and scholars, must subscribe discipleship to the record of its movement, even to the point of laying down their lives.

18. There can be no flaw, whatever, in the entire book (except in grammar, or other errors of man in transcribing, etc.).

19. Your descriptions of the cultures in these civilizations, of which you will write about, is not known when you publish your manuscript.

20. Yet, you must not make any absurd, impossible, or contradictory statements.

21. Even so, many of the facts, ideas, and statements given as true in your record must be entirely inconsistent with, even the direct opposite of, the prevailing belief of the world. Yet very little is even claimed to be known about these civilizations and their thousands of years of history.

22. Three honest, creditable witnesses must testify to the whole world that an angel from heaven appeared to them and showed them the ancient records from which you claim your record was translated.

23. Eight other witnesses must testify to the world that they saw the ancient records in broad daylight, and that they handled them and felt the engravings thereon.

24. You must talk a friend into financing your book with the under­standing that he or you will never receive any monetary remuneration from it. This person must mortgage his farm to have it printed. You must sell the book at cost or less.

The Book of Mormon meets all of these requirements.  You might call the origin of the Book of Mormon a miracle.  I know I do.

Comments Welcome

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