Many times those who so adamantly oppose The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will deploy a “Big List” tactic to convince members or other individuals that the church is not true.
What we wanted to do here is the exactly same thing only in reverse. Ultimately one doesn’t become truly converted without a testimony being born by the Holy Ghost but we figured if they have their “Big List” we ought to produce one of our own. Sometimes you just need to play a little offense and not constantly be on the defensive. On their own, no one piece of evidence can be held as a standard as to the truthfulness of the church. However, collectively put together, this list goes a long way in providing other non spiritual proofs as to why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.
“In addition to Joseph Smith, 11 official witnesses and several unofficial witnesses testified to the existence of the plates and, in some cases, to dramatic supernatural confirmation of their truth. Meticulous research on these witnesses has confirmed their good character and the veracity of their accounts” – LDS.org
2- Why Involve Witnesses at All?
If you are going to conspire this great conspiracy of making up “Golden Plates” and the whole back story of the Book of Mormon, why involve any witnesses at all that could just spill the beans and ruin the whole foundation of the church?
Was it just blind luck that the rare place name Nahom in the Book of Mormon, identified as the place where Ishmael was buried, turns out to correspond to an ancient burial site right where the Book of Mormon says it is? Jeff Lindsay
4- Scriptures Written on Gold Plates
“What is more, although the Prophet’s critics found his claim of angelic visits and gold plates ridiculous, we now know that the writing of religious texts on metal plates (sometimes on gold), was an authentic ancient practice. Indeed, the ancient practice now is known to have occurred at precisely the era and place from which Book of Mormon peoples came. In fact, with the Copper Scroll and other materials from the Dead Sea, we have an almost exact parallel: like the ancient Nephite plates, these materials were sealed up in a hillside just prior to military disaster, to preserve them for a future time.” – LDS.org
5- Martin Harris
Why would a prosperous man who by many accounts from non-Mormons was a respectable and man full of integrity stand by his testimony when it only brought harm to him.
6- Joseph Smith
How could Joseph Smith make up dozens of names in the Book of Mormon that would later be shown to be authentic ancient Semitic names?
7- River Laman
How does one account for the recent discovery of a plausible candidate for the River Laman, continuously flowing into the Red Sea as the Book of Mormon indicates, in spite of the repeated claims of critics that no such river exists? Reference
8- Reform Egyptian
“The Book of Mormon claims to have been written in “reformed Egyptian” (Morm. 9:32). Most who have studied the subject conclude that this signifies writing the Hebrew language in modified Egyptian characters. In recent years, we have learned that several ancient documents were written in precisely that fashion.” – LDS.org
9- Never denied their witness of the plates
How did Joseph get several of the witnesses of the original golden plates to never deny their experiences with the golden plates even after they were angry with him and when some of them left the church?
10- Pace of Translation
“The title page of the Book of Mormon declares that it was to come forth “by the gift and power of God.” Recent evidence and scholarship indicates that this is exactly what would have had to happen. In addition, the evidence indicates that the translation and dictation of the book were accomplished in roughly 63 working days—a torrid pace that, with neither rewrites nor corrections, produced nearly 8.5 pages (of our current English edition) daily.” – LDS.org
11- Joseph Being Unlearned
Further, there is no evidence at all that Joseph Smith did any scholarly research, or even that he read very much, before the Book of Mormon appeared. In fact, he may not even have owned a Bible at the time of translation. Joseph Smith had spent the bulk of his time as a youth cutting trees, burning brush, clearing rocks, and plowing. He had received at most a few months of formal schooling. His mother later recalled that, even into his late teens, “he seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of our children.
His wife Emma reports that, in the late 1820s, Joseph ‘could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book of Mormon. … The larger part of this labor [of translation] was done [in] my presence and where I could see and know what was being done. … During no part of it did Joseph Smith have any [manuscripts] or book of any kind from which to read or dictate except the metalic [sic] plates which I knew he had.’ ‘If,’ she said, ‘he had had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me.’
And, she added, writing to her son: ‘I am satisfied that no man could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.’
12- Sacred Texts
How did Joseph Smith know about ancient practices regarding preservation of sacred texts?
13- Different Authors
“In recent years, rigorous statistical analysis strongly indicates that neither Joseph Smith nor any of his known associates composed the English text of the Book of Mormon. In fact, research suggests that the book was written by numerous distinct authors” – LDS.org
Why do other ancient documents support the Book of Mormon’s idea that the ancient Joseph prophesied of Moses and Aaron? – Jeff Lindsay
Why does the Book of Mormon contain numerous, carefully crafted examples of ancient Hebrew poetical forms that Joseph Smith could not have known about? Reference
16- Cultural Differences
And research shows that the book does not seem to fit the culture of early 19th-century America. There is little of the military romanticism of Joseph Smith’s America. Instead, we see grimly realistic portrayals of war’s devastation and suffering. And in the story of the Gadianton robbers we have a detailed, realistic portrayal of a prolonged guerrilla struggle—lacking any trace of fife and drum, uniforms, or parades—published well over a century before the guerrilla theorists of the 20th century put pens to paper.LDS.org
17- Hebraic Roots
Why does the Book of Mormon contain numerous language structures pointing to Hebraic roots? (See, for example, the Hebraic conditionals that were in the original Book of Mormon manuscript, wherein “if … then … ” clauses are written as “if … and …” – perfectly good Hebrew but awkward English. That wasn’t part of Joseph’s dialect of English, nor part of the King James Bible, so how would an unschooled forger be able to come with that sophisticated Hebraism? These were later replaced with more proper English “if … then …” clauses in the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon.) – Jeff Lindsay
18- Sariah’s name in the Book of Mormon
The name of Lehi’s wife, Sariah, previously unknown outside the Book of Mormon, has been found in ancient Jewish documents from Egypt – LDS.org
What other church better follows the Biblical model of emphasizing the bilateral covenant nature of the Gospel?
If there was no apostasy in the Church of Jesus Christ, then what happened to prophets? They were a crucial part of the original Church.
21- Prophets continued
Just where in the Bible does it say that there would be no more prophets after the Bible was complete?
Just where in the Bible does it say that there would be no more prophets after the Bible was complete?
Just where in the Bible does it say that the Bible was complete? (And if you do point to a verse about the goodness and power of the scriptures, hoping to make it mean that the Bible was complete, why did God’s servants keep writing additional verses, chapters, and books after writing a verse allegedly implying that the text was complete?)
Where in the Bible does it say that God would cease following His ancient and well established pattern of speaking to man through His chosen prophets? – Jeff Lindsay
The name Nephi just happens to fit the very time and place of the where that name was first mentioned in the Book of Mormon.LDS.org
26- Nephi’s slaying of Laban
Nephi’s slaying of Laban and the justification given to him by the Lord for doing so can now be seen as instruction that focused on the culture of Nephi’s era. LDS.org
27- Christopher Columbus
1 Ne. 13:12 is a passage generally applied to Christopher Columbus. But as Daniel Peterson points out:
Many have been accustomed to see in Columbus merely an adventurer seeking to open trade routes to the East Indies. But with the recent publication of Columbus’s private Book of Prophecies, we see how accurate the Book of Mormon’s description of him is. He said he was guided by the Holy Spirit, and he was eager not only to spread Christianity but to fulfill biblical prophecies. Among his favorite passages were John 10:16, with its reference to ‘other sheep,’ and the passages of Isaiah concerning the people on the ‘isles of the sea.’ These are the very passages that the Book of Mormon applies to itself.LDS.org
28- Lehi in the Desert
Daniel Peterson goes on and states:
In his 1952 essay “Lehi in the Desert,” Hugh Nibley illuminated Lehi’s land journey from Jerusalem by placing it along the coast of the Arabian peninsula. 27 Since that time, Latter-day Saint scholars and explorers have refined our understanding of that route through actual visits and systematic surveys of the area, enabling us to identify likely Book of Mormon locations in Arabia. 28 The Book of Mormon account of Lehi’s Arabian sojourn is remarkably accurate to numerous specific geographic conditions, but no scholar in the 19th century, let alone Joseph Smith, could have known of it. LDS.org
29- King Benjamin’s Address
Daniel Peterson states:
King Benjamin’s classic address in Mosiah 2–5 occupies roughly 11 pages in the current English edition, which means that Joseph Smith may have dictated this doctrinally rich text of nearly 5,000 words in a little more than one day. Recent research shows that the sermon is intimately linked with the ancient Israelite Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement, as well as with archaic treaty and covenant formulas and early Near Eastern coronation festivals. 36 Even the physical setting of the speech—delivered while the king stood upon a tower (see Mosiah 2:7)—is ritually appropriate to the occasion. But the Prophet Joseph Smith could not have learned this from the English Bibles or any other books available to him
“What other Church better follows the Biblical model of revelation guiding the Church?
What other Church better follows the Biblical organization given for the Church?
32- Baptism for the dead
If Joseph Smith just made up the idea of vicarious baptism for the dead, why do numerous ancient documents validate the LDS claim that this was an authentic early Christian practice?
At a time when all Christian churches taught that temples were no longer needed, how did Joseph so effectively restore the ancient temple concept on his own?
34- Temples to Early Christians
If the Temple is not meant to be part of true Christianity, why does the Bible teach that it was important to early Christians? Why does it prophecy that it will be important in the future?
35- Faith, Grace and Works
What other church better corresponds with early Christianity in terms of teaching the true relationship between faith, grace, and works?
36- Oneness of God
If the modern concept of the Trinity is true, then why does the different LDS view on the oneness of God find such strong support in the writings of the earliest Christians?
37- Baptism for the dead
Who authorized the changes in the ritual of baptism that occurred since the New Testament Church?” Jeff Lindsay
38- Alma 7:10
Alma 7:10 predicts that Jesus “shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers.” Is this a mistake? Everyone knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not in Jerusalem. But it is now plain from modern evidence that Bethlehem could be, and indeed was, regarded anciently as a town in the “land of Jerusalem.” – Reference
39- Dead Sea Scrolls
A recently released text from the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example—a text claiming origin in Jeremiah’s days (and therefore in Lehi’s)—says that the Jews of that period were ‘taken captive from the land of Jerusalem.’ Reference
The Book of Mormon has multiple examples of this ancient literary structure/technique. Alma 36 being a good example.
41- Names in the Book of Mormon
Jershon, for instance, designates a place that was given to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi as a “land … for an inheritance” (Alma 27:22). In Hebrew, Jershon means “a place of inheritance.” Reference
42- Olive Tree
Daniel Peterson states:
The allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5 shows a clear knowledge of olive cultivation far beyond what Joseph Smith, growing up in the American Northeast, could have possessed. But it is entirely consistent, in impressive detail, with what we learn from ancient manuals on olive cultivation.
43- Easter Island Inhabitants
Easter Island’s population had 10% Native American DNA, and some European as well. MSN
44- Hidden Cities in North America
Many critics have claimed that there is no possible way that you could have so many large cities as has been recounted in the Book of Mormon. However there has been a big discovery in terms of these “Hidden cities”.
As Professor Kennedy states
‘It’s what I call ‘hidden cities,’ ” says professor Kennedy, “I use the term because these were very big places. There were more people, we now know, in Cahokia across from St. Louis, than there were in London or Rome. There were major population centers in what now are Nashville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. There were tens of thousands of architectural consequences that are now hidden behind our junk and our architectural achievements.’ Reference