Would any of the hosts be willing to dig a bit deeper into the discussion surrounding Shermer’s comments on the claims of Mormonism? I didn’t quite wrap my head around the arguments. Specifically, I’m interested in learning how our claim differs from the Mormon claim solely on the merits of the evidence. Our claim is that the evidence regarding historical events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection is utterly compelling for a number of reasons. Through the documentation of eyewitness accounts, (in both Biblical and secular sources), we can verify Christ’s person and works, verify death by crucifixion, and certify that his real self was seen post-crucifixion fully functional again. Shermer’s question was, in essence, “how is our evidence of those claims different than the evidence given by the Mormons?” Dr. Riddlebarger offered for one, that some math had been done on the weight of the golden tablets and found them to surpass the weight a normal human could carry around. I’m not as smart as you guys, but I don’t understand that argument, because the claim that it’s implausible for a person to determine to carry 800lbs of gold seems like the lesser claim when set next to ours (that a person was resurrected from the dead). Additionally, the DNA evidence of American Indians vs. Hebrew DNA was mentioned, and I’m sure the Mormon’s have some way around that.
So despite the miraculous and implausible nature of our claim, we believe it. We believe it ultimately because God has purposed to lift the veil from our eyes so that we no longer suppress the truth in unrighteousness, but from a human perspective we believe it based on the fact that we have good documents of eyewitness accounts, all the surrounding facts lend to the truth of our claim, and it cannot be disproved. The question is then, however implausible the Mormon claim is (heavy gold, DNA discrepancies, etc.), if they too have good documents (eyewitness accounts and affidavits), and nobody was around at the time to produce a document disproving Joseph Smith’s claims (I don’t know either way), what arguments can we use to show the claims must be false?
Also, thanks so much, all of you, for your dedication to this teaching ministry. It’s one of my most treasured blessings.