Tag Archives: Differences

Comparing Isaiah and the Book of Mormon (Part 2)

The following is a list of differences between chapters of Isaiah found in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and the King James version (KJV) of the Bible. The list will include comparisons between”Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5″ (2 Nephi 6:16-18/7-8) and Isaiah 49:24-26/50-51/52:1-2.

Text that is found in the BOM but not in the KJVwill be bolded, underlined and italicized. Text that was excluded from the BOM that was found in the KJV will have a line through it.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 6:16-18) and Isaiah 49:24-26

24 (Isaiah). “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”

25. “But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 7) and Isaiah 50

1. Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors is it to whom I have have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you?…”

2. “wherefore, when I come came, there was was there no man?; when I called, yea, there was was there none to answer?

3. “O House of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink stinketh, because the waters are dried up there is no water; and they die because of for thirst.”

4. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel. When ye are to him that is weary, he waketh morning by morning…”

5. “The Lord God hath appointed opened (it is changed back to “opened” in later editions) mine ear, and I was not rebellious…”

8. “And the Lord He is near, and he that justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth…”

9. “For Behold, the Lord God will help me. And all they which who is he that shall condemn me?, behold lo, all they they all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”

10. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord; that obeyeth the voice of his servent; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

11. “…walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks which that ye have kindled…”

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 78) and Isaiah 51-52:1-2

1. “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.”

2. “Look unto Abraham, your father; and unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

4. “…and I will make my judgment to rest for a light thing (deleted in later editions) of the people.”

7. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written is my law…”

8. “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord: awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old…”

11. “…and come singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy: and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

12. “I am he; yea, I even I am he that comforteth you: Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man which that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made like unto as grass;”

15. “But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of Hosts is my his name.”

16. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have hath covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Behold, thou art my people.”

17. “…thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out;”

18. “and There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons that she hath brought up.”

19. “These two sons things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword: And by whom shall I comfort thee?”

20. “Thy sons have fainted, save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets…”

21. “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and but not with wine…”

22. “Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury…”

23. “But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which I have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over…”

Isaiah 52: 2 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem…”

Comparing Isaiah in the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Part 1)

The following is a comparison of Chapter 6 in the First Book of Nephi (1 Nephi 20-21) in the original 1830 edition text of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and Isaiah 48-49 of the King James version of the Old Testament. In several instances, prophets in the BOM quote from Old Testament prophets, whose writing were contained on the plates of brass. There are several differences between the King James version of the revelations of Isaiah and the text provided by Nephi in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the BOM. It should be noted that much of the text (excluding spelling errors) in the 1830 edition and today’s 2013 version of the BOM are nearly identical. Some differences include changing the word “which” to “who” and adding “or out of the waters of baptism” in 1 Nephi 20:1 in later additions of the BOM (most likely to provide clarity to the meaning “waters of Judah”).

Text that is found in the BOM but not found in the Old Testament will be bolded, underlined, and italicizedText that is included in the Old Testament and not found in the BOM will have a line through the text. The chapters will not be reproduced in their entirety, but all changes aside from spelling errors will be noted.

“First Book of Nephi: Chapter 6” (1 Nephi 20)/Isaiah 48

Verse 1.”Hearken and hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear but not in truth, nor in righteousness-”

2. “Nevertheless For they call themselves of the Holy city, but they do not and stay themselves upon the God of Israel, which is the Lord of hosts; yea, the Lord of hosts is his name.”

3. “Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did shew them suddenly, and they came to pass.

4. “And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck was an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;”

5. “And I have, even from the beginning, declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed them it thee; and I shewed them for fear lest thou shouldst say, Mine idol hath done them; and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”

6. “Thou hast seen and heard see all this; and will ye not declare them it? And that I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.”

7. “They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not, they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them.”

8. “Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time, that thine ear was not opened…”

9. “Nevertheless, for my name‘s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from for thee…”

10. “For, behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”

11. “For mine own sake, yea even, for mine own sake, will I do this it; for I will not suffer how should my name to be polluted…”

12. “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; for I am he; and I am the first, and I am also also am the last.”

13. “Mine hand hath also also hath laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: and when I called unto them, and they stand up together.”

14. “All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him: yea, and he will fulfill his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon be on the Chaldeans.”

15. “Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, even I have spoken, yea, I have called him, to declare I have brought him…”

16. “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was declared, have I spoken there am I; and now the Lord God, and his spirit, hath sent me.”

17. “And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel; I have sent him am, the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldst go, hath done it.

19. “Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof…”

20. “…with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth…”

21. “And they thirsted not; when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he cleaved clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.”

22. “And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also, There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.”

“First Book of Nephi: Chapter 6” (1 Nephi 21)/Isaiah 49

1. “And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and driven out, because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, which are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me…”

4. “…I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain; yet surely, my judgment is with the Lord…”

5. “And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb that I should to be his servant…”

7. “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nations abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

8. “Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, O isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee my servant for a covenant of the people…”

9. “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that sit are in darkness, Shew yourselves…”

12. “And then, O house of Israel, behold, these shall come from far…”

13. “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of them which are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for they shall be smitten no more: for the Lord hath comforted his people…”

14. “But, behold, Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me; but he will shew that he hath not.

15. “For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

17. “Thy children shall make haste against thy destroyers; and they that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee.”

18. “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee. And as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee even as a bride doeth.”

19. “The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall again in thine ears say shall say again in thine ears, the place is too strait for me…”

21. “…Behold, I was left alone; these, where have had they been?

24. “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives delivered?”

26. ” And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood…”

 

Exaggerated Similarities between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon (Part V)

SIMILARITY #6:  A SACRED BOOK LOST OR BURIED BY THE NATIVE AMERICANS

This similarity, like the others, fails to account for the complexity of the Book of Mormon and the contradictions between the two works. VOTH claims that the Native American tradition about a sacred book that was taken from them is similar to the Lost Tribes of Israel being exiled and fulfilling the prophecy of Amos 8:11-12. The BOM claims that the Nephites had brass plates that contained the writings of the prophets up until the reign of Zedekiah and were used to preserve the commandments of God and preserve the language of the people while in the Americas. I will now give a more in-depth analysis of the differences between the two works to show that Joseph Smith did not copy Ethan Smith’s work.

VOTH states:“Doctor Boudinot gives it as from good authority, that the Indians have a tradition ‘that the book which the white people have was once theirs. That while they had this book things went well with them; they prospered exceedingly; but that other people got it from them; that the Indians lost their credit; offended the Great Spirit, and suffered exceedingly from the neighboring nations; and that the Great Spirit then took pity on them, and directed them to this country” (Smith,1825, http://www.thechristianidentityforum.net/downloads/View-America.pdf, p. 47 [p. 115]). This tradition, according to VOTH, is no doubt proof that the Native Americans have a memory of their time in ancient Israel and their being exiled. Because of their wickedness, they lost the word of God and were attacked by the surrounding nations, but God had mercy on them and directed them to the Americas.

This quote comes as an isolated paragraph in a long list of “evidence” proving that Native American traditions have their origin in ancient Israel. He continues by stating that the Native Americans have traditions of the “longevity of the ancients” (p. 47) [p. 115] such as Adam and Methuselah, that there was a great flood and those who survived built “a great canoe” (p. 48) [p. 116], that they built a high place and “lost their language” (p. 48) [p. 116], that their ancestors “had a common father” with “twelve sons”, like the Biblical Jacob (p. 48) [p.116], that they had a “sanctified rod, which budded in one night’s time” like the rod of Moses (p. 48) [p. 116], they have feasts similar to pentecostal feasts (p. 48) [p.116-117], they never eat the “hollow of the thigh” of what they kill (p. 48) [p. 117], they give the first of their harvests to the Great Spirit (p. 49) [p. 119], they offer burnt sacrifices (p. 49) [p. 119-120], they have traditions of Abel being murdered by Cain (p. 49) [p. 120-121], they have a high priest who wears sacred ornaments and is anointed with bear’s oil (p. 49) [p. 121], the high priest makes a yearly atonement for sin (p. 50) [p. 121], they fast, abstain from sex and purify themselves before going to war (p. 50) [p. 122], they bury their dead with their fine belongings (p. 51) [p. 125], etc. Based on these descriptions from VOTH, it seems that Ethan Smith is using a shot-gun approach to find every single Native American tradition that bears any similarity to the traditions of ancient Israel. It is no wonder, then, that the Book of Mormon and VOTH would deal with such similar subject matter, even though they are completely separate and unique works.

Ethan Smith argues that the Native American traditions of a sacred book that was taken from them is in fulfillment of Amos 8:11 about the Lost Tribes of Israel having a famine of “hearing the words of the Lord.” He never argues that the Natives had the Old Testament with them in the Americas, but that these traditions refer to their time spent in ancient Israel (p. 47) [p. 115].

Ethan Smith gives more details about this Native American tradition:

It has been stated that the Indians have a tradition that as they once, away in another country, had the old divine speech, the book of God; they shall at some time have it again, and shall then be happy” (p. 53) [p. 130]. Once again, VOTH argues that the Native Americans believed they had a sacred book in their homeland, and not in the Americas.

Not only does VOTH argue that the Natives are referring to the Bible that was taken away from the Ten Tribes of Israel when they became exiled, but he also argues that the Native Americans may have had Jewish Phylacteries that were worn on the forehead in ancient Israel. He states:

An old Indian informed him that his fathers in this country had not long since had a book which they had for a long time preserved. But having lost the knowledge of reading it, they concluded it would be of no further use to them; and they buried it with an Indian chief” (p. 90) [p. 223]. Ethan Smith goes on to argue that this preserved book may have been Phylacteries, or pieces of parchment that were worn on the forehead which contained select verses from the books of Moses. Ethan Smith then goes on to argue that such a phylactery may have been found in his present day, but they somehow were misplaced by those who found it.

Ethan Smith describes the phylacteries further: “The writer conversed with Rev. Mr. Frey (the celebrated Jewish preacher in this country) upon this subject; who could give no account of the incident from any Jewish custom. He in formed that the Jew s have a custom of burying their leaves of phylacteries when  worn out and illegible; as they had also any old leaf of a Hebrew bible. They would
roll it up in some paper, and put it under ground from respect. But these leaves were w hole and good, and w ere sewed up (as has been stated) in thick raw hide, and with the sinews of some animal; a thing which no Jew in Christendom would have done.” (p. 90) [p. 222]. The description bears no resemblance to the origin of the Book of Mormon or the Brass Plates, nor any of the other records mentioned in the Book of Mormon or LDS history.

We conclude then the wearing of these phylacteries was a noted custom in Israel at the time of their final expulsion from Canaan. And it is natural to believe that Israel, being in exilement, would preserve these fragments of their better days with the utmost care. Wherever they went then, they would have these phylacteries with them. If they brought them to this country, they would keep them with diligence. They would most naturally become some of the most precious contents in their holy ark…old Indian in Stockbridge to Dr. West, that his fathers had buried, not long ago, a book which they could not read. And it may give a striking view of the vigilant care of the Watchman of Israel, who never slumbers…to bring to light that outcast people, who were to be exhibited to the world in the last days” (p. 90-91) [p. 223-225]. The fact that the Lost Tribes of Israel had the writings of Moses before being exiled, and that the Native Americans may have had Jewish Phylacteries shows that this similarity is nothing like the sacred records spoken of in the Book of Mormon.

The Brass Plates most resemble the supposed ancient Native American traditions, but the similarities are very broad and do not suggest that ideas had to have been stolen from VOTH in order to write the BOM. The Brass Plates found in the BOM are a complicated record different from anything described by VOTH. The two accounts of sacred books differ significantly in time, location, content, and purpose.

Lehi was commanded to get the Brass Plates from Jerusalem. “For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 3:3). This occurred around 600 B.C. which was after the expulsion of the Ten Tribes.

Plates of Brass contain (1 Nephi 5:10-16):

  1. The “five books of Moses,” gave an account of creation, Adam, and is a record of the Jews to the reign of Zedekiah
  2. The prophecies of Jeremiah
  3. A genealogy of Lehi’s and Laban’s fathers
  4. Lehi prophesies that the Brass Plates will go to all the nations of his seed: “These plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindred, tongues, and people who were of his seed. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time…insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.” (1 Nephi 5)
  5. The Brass Plates are similar to the Bible but the Brass Plates have more records. (1 Nephi 13:23) “The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews…and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many
  6. Nephi took the sacred records with him when his people fled from the Lamanites: (2 Nephi 5:12)= “And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass…
  7. The Brass Plates were important in preserving the language of the people. (Omni 1:14)= “And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
  8. They were written in the language of the Egyptians. (Mosiah 1:4)= “For he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings…

The Brass Plates refers to many scriptures and prophets that are not found in Bible: (1 Nephi 19)

  1. Prophecies of Joseph: There will be a remnant of his seed that will be preserved. A seer will be raised with the same name.
  2. 3 Nephi 10:17= “Behold, our father Jacob also testified concerning a remnant of the seed of Joseph. And behold, are not we a remnant of the seed of Joseph? And these things which testify of us, are they not written upon the plates of brass which our father Lehi brought out of Jerusalem?
  3. Prophecies of Jacob: Saw a ripped portion of Joseph’s coat, which had been preserved, and prophesied that a righteous branch would be preserved while the rest would be destroyed.
  4. Prophecies of Zenos: Christ will be buried in a sepulcher/three days of darkness which would be a sign of his death to those on the Isles of the sea. (Alma 33:13) “Ye must believe what Zenos said; for, behold he said: Thou has turned away they judgments because of they Son.”
  5. (Alma 33:3-11) Prophecies of Zenock: God will come to earth and will be killed by wicked and will be raised up/ (Alma 33:16) “For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou has bestowed upon them because of thy Son…and because the people would not understand his words they stoned him to death.
  6. Prophecies of Neum: Jesus will be crucified.
  7. Ezias: Prophesied of Christ, along with Zenos, Zenock, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

In Summary:

VOTH lost book:

  1. Identified as possibly referring to the Phylacteries used by ancient Israelites.
  2. Identified as the Bible, but it was lost after the expulsion of the Ten Tribes from Canaan because of their wickedness.
  3. The ten tribes may have brought phylacteries to the new world.
  4. They forgot how to read them and then sealed them up in leather bags and buried them.
  5. They were written in Hebrew.
  6. They were most likely carried in small sacks, which is similar to the Ark of the Covenant.
  7. They were possibly written on old dark yellow parchment similar to Arab parchment (p. 91).

BOM Plates of Brass:

  1. 5 books of Moses
  2. Prophecies from Moses to Jeremiah and reign of King Zedekiah
  3. Genealogy of Lehi’s fathers
  4. Written on brass plates
  5. Written in Egyptian
  6. Additional prophecies from unknown prophets Zenos, Zenock, Neum, Ezias, and unknown prophecies from Joseph and Jacob.
  7. Prophets prophesied of Jesus Christ, his death, and his Resurrection.
  8. Brought from Jerusalem to the Americas.

Exaggerated Similarities between the Book of Mormon and View of the Hebrews (Part IV)

Similarity #5: The Great White Bearded Leader (Quetzalcoatl)

The similarity here is that VOTH goes into great detail in describing a legend that the Native Americans have about a white, bearded legislature who brought in a golden age of plenty and happiness, and had a somewhat supernatural origin. The BOM makes a similar suggestion, saying that the resurrected Jesus Christ came to the Americas in 34 A.D. to teach a portion of the Native Americans his gospel.

While there exist generic similarities between the two works, the conclusion that they come to about who the legend is about, when it occurred, and how it occurred are very different. I will give descriptions of the Legend of Quetzalcoatl as described in VOTH and a description of the coming of Jesus Christ to the Americas in the BOM. Quotes are take from the 1825 version of View of the Hebrews (EthanSmith, http://www.thechristianidentityforum.net/downloads/View-America.pdf) and from the 1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

1. The Description of Quetzalcoatl in VOTH:

1. The name Quetzalcoatl means “the serpent of green feathers” (Ethan Smith, p. 83)[p. 204]. This, according to Ethan Smith, refers to Moses and the Brazen serpent. “The name of the serpent of green plumage being given to this legislator, leads the mind to Moses’ brazen serpent in the wilderness.” (pg. 84)[p. 207]

2. He was a white, bearded man who was the leader of a religious sect that would punish themselves physically. “[He] was at the same time (in their own description) “a white and bearded man.” “He was high priest of Tula, legislator, chief of a religious sect who inflicted on themselves the most cruel penance.” (p. 83)[p. 205]

3. He made them pierce their ears and lacerate their bodies, which represent some Mosaic rituals. “Introducing the custom of ‘piercing the ears;’—reminds of the noted law of Moses, of boring the ear of the servant who was unwilling to leave his master. This teaching to lacerate the body with prickles and thorns, is a striking Hebrew figure of the many self-denying services demanded in the Mosaic rituals” (p. 84)[p. 207]

4. He led them to this country and taught them. “Though their ancient ‘legislator’ is called by a name importing the serpent of green feathers; yet he was an ancient man, a white man and bearded; called by Montezuma, a saint, who led them to this country, and taught them many things. Who could this be but Moses, the ancient legislator of Israel?” (p. 83)[p. 206]

5. His reign brought on a golden age of plenty and happiness. “The golden age with spontaneous harvests, naturally suggests the seven years of plenty in Egypt; and may include also and especially) the happy period during the theocracy in Israel.” (p. 84)[p. 208]. This golden age eventually ended. “The close of this golden age strikingly exhibits the expulsion of Israel from that happy land.” (p. 84)[p. 208]

6. He preached peace and offering the first fruits of the harvest as a sacrifice. “He preached peace to men, and would permit no other offerings to the Divinity than the first fruits of the harvests.” (p. 83)[p. 205] “alludes to the preaching of the gospel under the Old Testament; and to the signal institution of the offerings of the first ripe fruits” (p. 84)[p. 208]

7. He retired to a volcano and walked bare foot. “This legislator’s retiring to the place of a volcano, and a speaking mountain, most naturally leads to the mind to Moses retiring, in the land of Midian, to the back side of the wilderness, to the mount of God, where God spake to him in the burning bush, and in after days made the same mountain appear like a tremendous volcano indeed, as well as like a speaking mountain;–when from the midst of the terrible fire, and sound of thetrumpet, God commanded his people in the giving of the law. This legislator’s walking barefoot, naturally alludes to Moses’ ‘putting his shoes from his feet,’ at the divine direction, before the burning bush” (p. 84)[p. 207-208]

8. He disappeared and would return again one day. “He disappeared, after he had declared to the Cholulans that he would return and govern them again, and renew their happiness.”(p. 83)[p. 205-206]

9. The Leader was given a drink by the Great Spirit and gave him the desire to travel and made him immortal. ““The Great Spirit offered Quetzalcotl beverage, which in rendering him immortal,
inspired him with a taste of travelling [sic], and with an irresistible desire of visiting a distant country called Tlapallan.” (p. 83)[p. 205]

10. The figure taught the people in the arts, sciences, and fasting. “He dwelt twenty years among them, taught them to cast metals, ordered fasts, and regulated the intercalations of the Taltic year.” (p. 83)[p. 205]

2. The Description of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon

1. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to the Americas in 34 A.D. after a great destruction in the land “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.” (3 Nephi 9:15)

2. He taught that sacrifices should end, and instead offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. “your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:19-20)

3. He descended out of heaven and was wearing a white robe. “They saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them.” (3 Nephi 11:8)

4. The people felt the prints of the wounds in his nails, feet, and side. “And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet.” (3 Nephi 11:15)

5. He gave the people the power to baptize and commanded them to be baptized. “I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.” (3 Nephi 11:21).

6. He preached peace among the people. “And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been…” (3 Nephi 11:28).

7. Jesus quotes Matthew chapters 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, Malachi 3-4, and Isaiah 54. (3 Nephi 12-14)

8. Jesus’ coming fulfills the words he spake saying that he would bring other sheep not of the fold in Israel. “And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold…” (3 Nephi 15:21).

9. The people no longer followed the law of Moses. “And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God…” (4 Nephi 1:12).

10. The people had a reign of peace that lasted almost 200 years. “And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride…and from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.” (4 Nephi 1:24-25).

Similarities between the two works:

1. This figure taught them peace and gave them laws.

2. He was white (BOM only describes a white robe, VOTH says white skin and white beard)

3. There was a time of great plenty and happiness among the people, or a golden age.

4. This figure would come again in some future day

In summary, the similarities between these two works are very generic. If VOTH never existed, people could still argue that Joseph Smith plagiarized from the well-known legends of Quetzalcoatl, or Messianic prophecies in Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianism). The Savior archetype is also found in countless works of literature spanning centuries of human civilization. Such Messianic doctrine of a great ruler who ruled people in peace and then would return at some future date are shared by many different religions and theologies, which makes the generic similarities between these two works inconsequential.

Differences between the two works:

1. VOTH claims that these legends are hearkening back to memories of Moses in ancient Israel. The BOM argues that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after his resurrection.

2. VOTH claims that the golden age was the 7 years of plenty in Egypt and during the theocracy of Israel. The BOM says that the people in the Americas lived in righteousness and had all things in common for 200 years.

3. VOTH claims that the figure told them to offer the first fruits as sacrifices. The BOM claims that Jesus forbade the people to sacrifice anymore.

4. VOTH claims that the figure taught the people to pierce their ears and lacerate their bodies. The BOM makes no such claim.

5. VOTH claims that the figure retired to a volcano. The BOM makes no reference to Jesus retiring to a volcano.

6. VOTH claims that preaching peace and offering the first fruits is a reference to the gospel in the Old Testament. The BOM argues that the Law of Moses was done away and Jesus taught his Gospel instead.

7. The BOM says Christ established baptism, organized a quorum of twelve disciples, gave them the proper name of their church, and granted immortality to three Nephite disciples. The VOTH makes no references to any such events.

8. VOTH claims that the legislator was a man who was granted immortality by the great spirit after drinking a sacred beverage. The BOM argues that Jesus Christ was the resurrected Son of God and offered the sacrament of wine and bread to the people.

9. VOTH argues that the ending of the golden age was the expulsion of Israel from their lands. The BOM argues that their time of peace ended because of pride, the division of the people into classes, and wickedness.

10. The BOM argues that Jesus Christ’s coming to the Americas fulfilled a New Testament prophecy that he would gather in sheep that were not of the people in Israel. VOTH makes no such references to Christ’s New Testament prophecies in this chapter.

11. There is no record of Jesus teaching the people to cast metals or other scientific endeavors.

In summary, the differences between VOTH and the BOM outweigh the similarities. The generic similarities can be found across many sacred texts and religions, and nothing of uniqueness is found in VOTH that cannot be found in some other sacred work, tradition, or savior archetype. The BOM contradicts VOTH on most key points describing the nature and purpose of this sacred figure. This amount and nature of the differences suggests that VOTH was not a source of inspiration in concocting the BOM, but is rather a document that contradicts the claims of the BOM.