Thursday, November 17, 2016

BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES by Guest Author Heber Tenney

I don't typically publish works from others in full, but my brother Heber Tenney sent me an essay that was too good not to publish and share today:

Heber Tenney
Brother Wilcox
BOM T, TH, 2:00
16 November 2016
You Cannot Hide the Truth

            Since the original copies of the book were published back in 1830, Anti-Mormons and critics have vehemently attacked the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was aggressively persecuted for having published the Book of Mormon; antagonists claimed that he had written the book himself and lied about having been guided by God. There is an old saying which states “The truth always reveals itself”. With regards to the Book of Mormon, the same principle holds true. While critics may preach against the book’s divinity and have repeatedly strived to hide the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the truth that the Book of Mormon is inspired scripture from God, always seems to come to light and prove itself.
            C.S. Lewis once said “Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish”. The biggest evidence that the Book of Mormon is the word of God comes due to a witness from the Holy Ghost. However, as Lewis proclaimed, it is not bad to have rational arguments because these arguments can allow us to obtain a special witness. Sometimes people are close minded and refuse to believe something when it appears illogical or irrational to them. Rational arguments can help people break down those hard-hearted barriers so that the spirit may testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to them. One of these rational arguments in favor of the Book of Mormon has greatly affected my life and helped me to be even more firm in my testimony; this evidence is word printing.
            Word prints are the equivalent of finger prints for writers. Everyone on earth has a finger print that is unique to them and only them. Writers and Authors are the same, they possess a distinctive writing style that is exclusive to only them. John Hilton III describes word print as “writing patterns that are different and distinct from those of other authors”. The way authors use conjunctions, or how they use words such as: the, a, as, or of, give each of them a literary thumb print by which we can identify them as the writer. Researchers from BYU embarked on a project to determine whether or not Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. To determine if he was the author of the book they did a word print analysis.
            What the researchers found, gave even more proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet guided to translate the Book of Mormon. First off, the analysts found that each book in the book of Mormon, whether it be, Nephi, Alma, or Moroni, has a unique word print. So, in other words, the person who wrote the Book of Alma is not the same person who wrote Moroni. This proves that the Book of Mormon is not the product of a single author, rather many different authors. Since there are multiple authors, Joseph Smith could not have written the Book of Mormon by himself. Anti-Mormons claim that Oliver Cowdrey could have helped write portions of the Book of Mormon, but the researchers concluded that it is “indefensible to propose Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdrey as the author of the Book of Mormon”. Neither Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdrey’s word prints matched with any of the authors of the Book of Mormon.
            A person may try to fake their word print and try to write in a style they think will disguise their writing style but this has been proven to be inutile. John Hilton III showed why this is a pointless effort when he explained “Even when writers try to change the way they write, their word print follows them”. The way our minds organize our thoughts is impossible to hide, eventually, somewhere in our writing our word print will still leave its mark. Joseph Smith couldn’t have written the Book of Mormon by faking his writing style throughout the entire book because his word print would have shown at some point in the text and it never did.
            Word print has not only been used for religious purposes but also has been used by the FBI for finding criminals. In the 1980’s there was a criminal known as the Unabomber, who was an American domestic terrorist. In 1995 this terrorist wrote an article in the New York Times anonymously, the FBI worked with experts from BYU to see if the word print from this article matched any of the word prints of their possible suspects. John Hilton III explained that his grandfather, who was working for BYU at the time, helped the FBI with this investigation. The Unabomber was later ratted out by his brother and his identity was revealed as Ted Kaczynski. Given the fact that the FBI was willing to trust word print in order to capture one of the most wanted criminals in the United States, goes to show the reliability of word print.
            The rational arguments that word print gives us in support of the Book of Mormon have been important to my personal testimony that the book is true. I have known since I was eight years old that the Book of Mormon is the word of God because I felt a strong burning in my bosom that I knew came from the Holy Ghost, there was no other explanation. Since that day when I felt the Spirit so distinctly, I have stayed firm in my testimony and received other witnesses confirming that the Book of Mormon is true. While I was on my mission in Mexico, I confronted many Anti-Mormons and people who tried to convince me that the Book of Mormon wasn’t true and that Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet. I never let these people hurt my testimony, but sometimes I would have little slivers of doubts, not necessarily doubts, rather, more so a fear that they could be right. I guess what I’m saying is that I would psych myself out a little. Thankfully, the Savior allowed me to feel the spirit, which confirmed that what I had felt before was true and those fears went away.
            When I learned about word print, my testimony of the Book of Mormon grew even stronger. Those slivers of fear and doubt that I have had due to some of the world’s rationalities are now irrelevant because I have rationale in favor that the Book of Mormon is true. These rational arguments aren’t the foundation of my testimony but they help me to think about the gospel from a logical standpoint as well. Once you analyze it, its logically impossible that Joseph Smith could have written the Book of Mormon, Joseph never knew that word print was going to be invented and used as a way to link authors to their literary works. Even if he did somehow magically know that it would be invented, it would have been impossible for him to have changed his word print for each individual book within the Book of Mormon, never making any mistakes. It’s simply, irrational to believe that Joseph Smith was some psychological genius who could predict the future, create the Book of Mormon and hide the fact that he wrote it. The truth would have come out at some point that he was the one who wrote the book, but it never has and never will because Joseph Smith didn’t write the Book of Mormon, he translated it by the gift and power of God.
            Along with the other rational arguments in favor of Joseph Smith such as: the time he took to translate the book, his level of education, and the fact that the 11 witnesses never denied their testimonies, word print shows that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who was called to bring forth the Book of Mormon. I feel more confident now when I am asked to defend my belief in the Book of Mormon because I have not only a spiritual argument, but also a rational one. I know without any doubt in my heart, that the Book of Mormon is true and that our Heavenly Father gave us this sacred book of scripture to give us peace and guidance in these last days.

Work Cited
Hilton, John. Little Book of Book of Mormon Evidences. Deseret Book, December 8, 2011.
"Ted Kaczynski Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

I love this article and agree with the evidences of word printing.  I know the gospel is true. I love that it has been shared throughout the ages and across the continents. The Book of Mormon is evidence to me that God loves ALL his children and wants them to all know about their Savior Jesus Christ.