When a distant cousin of one of the three founders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) co-authors a book with two other prominent scholars proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that: 1) the Book of Mormon is a hoax, and 2) the so-called prophet of the LDS, Joseph Smith Junior was a scalawag, you would think that the mainstream media (MSM) would be headlining the story. Instead, the MSM has done its best to bury this book, and suppress the truth. Not only has the MSM ignored the book, even some prominent conservative talk show hosts have dismissed it in their zeal to boost the presidential campaign of prominent Mormon, Mitt Romney. Despite the attempts to suppress it, the book, "Who Really Wrote The Book Of Mormon? - The Spalding Enigma," by Wayne L. Cowdrey, Howard A. Davis, and Arthur Vinick, is a stunning indictment of the founders of the LDS, and thoroughly destroys the entire foundation of the Mormon faith itself. This makes it a must read book for every thinking person on the planet.
The good news is that this is a very readable book. The authors present a compelling narrative of the characters and events involved in the creation of Book of Mormon. By relying on the appendices and end notes, they leave the story uncluttered by all of the details concerning the location and additional content of the historical record that they have unearthed to utterly refute the lies of Smith and his co-conspirators. Author Wayne L. Cowdrey does not spare his infamous ancestor in exploding the myths that where created by Smith, along with Rigdon and Cowdery. Like a good detective story, we are led from clue to clue, each piece of evidence building on the others to create in the end an avalanche of proof that the Mormon faith is founded on nothing but a web of deceit and lies, motivated primarily by Joseph Smith Junior's aversion to physical labor and poverty, and secondarily by his seemingly insatiable lust for new bed-partners.
The Mormon faith rests on a series of alleged visions and visitations by God and various other biblical figures and angelic beings that Joseph Smith Junior claimed to have had beginning in 1823.LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley has stated, 'Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Marvelous Foundation of Our Faith," Ensign, Nov. 2002, pg.78). Further, Mormon Apostle John Taylor stated, "And if God had not spoken, if the angel of God has not appeared to Joseph Smith, and if these things are not true of which we speak, then the whole thing is an imposture from beginning to end. There is no half-way house, no middle path about the matter; it is either one thing or the other."
(Journal of Discourses 21:165) After reading, "Who Really Wrote The Book Of Mormon," it is clear that, based on aforementioned standards established by these Mormon leaders themselves, the Mormon faith must fall. It disintegrates completely under the unbiased examination of competent scholarship and a careful examination of the facts, documents, and evidence offered by the historical record. Joseph Smith Junior had no visions, no visitations by God or angelic beings. He was, indeed, a con-artist of no small talent by early 19th Century standards. That the fraud he perpetrated for self-enrichment and the satisfaction of his carnal desires should still be in operation at the beginning of the 21st Century is truly an American tragedy.
With painstaking research - thoroughly documented in nearly two-hundred pages spanning an Afterword, seven appendices, and exhaustive notes that will enable any unbiased researcher to recreate their work - the authors lay before the reader a story of fraud, theft, plagiarism, chicanery, and unvarnished lies by the three fathers of Mormonism: Joseph Smith Junior, Oliver Cowdery, and Sidney Rigdon. (Note that there are alternative spellings for all of these names, as was common in the early 19th Century when they were spinning their web of deceit. Cowdery is the ancestor of scholar and author, Wayne L. Cowdrey.)
The story begins with a disabled, educated Revolutionary War veteran, Solomon Spalding. Spalding received a BA from Dartmouth in 1785, and a Masters Degree in 1788. He was a minister in the Congregational Church. Eventually, he migrated westward to the area near the Pennsylvania - Ohio border, where he settled with his wife, Matilda. Due to his physical incapacity, he decided to write a book, which he hoped would generate enough income to provide a living for himself and his wife. The book he decided to write was what we would today include under the heading of science fiction or fantasy - "A Manuscript Found" was written in semi-biblical style and told the imaginary story of the lost tribes of Israel arriving in the New World in an age long before the birth of Jesus Christ. Spalding never succeeded in getting his manuscript published - it was stolen by Sidney Rigdon, smuggled to Joseph Smith Junior, and ultimately altered and renamed to reappear as the Book of Mormon. Even though we start out knowing the ending, the story of how it all came about is still compelling, and the authors move us skillfully through the trail of clues and evidence to arrive at the unavoidable truth - Mormonism is a complete and utter fraud.
"Who Really Wrote The Book Of Mormon - The Spalding Enigma", by Cowdrey, Davis, and Vainick - Copyright 2005 - Published by Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, Missouri.
***** Five out of Five Stars for "Who Really Wrote The Book Of Mormon"