Chapter 3: Joseph Smith's Credibility

Chapter 3: Joseph Smith's Credibility

I know spiritually and intellectually that Joseph Smith did not compose the Book of Mormon. The unique words of almost sixty individuals; plus the fact that the Book of Mormon was recorded in sixty-five working days; plus the fact that it contains Hebrew poetic forms and styles; plus the plainness and consistency of the doctrine; plus its inspiring readability; plus external evidences; plus the promise of Moroni to all who read with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ, will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true—all this adds up to a slam dunk for me. And although the idea to do the same word analysis with the Pearl of Great Price was intriguing, I thought of it more as an addendum to my Book of Mormon research and felt some—well more than some—anxiety. What if there were no unique words? What if the entire Pearl of Great Price was in Joseph Smith’s vocabulary? It would not change the fact that he was the Prophet of the Restoration, but neither would it add to the body of evidences.
Since completing the research, I have come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon project was the experience and training I needed to prepare me for the Pearl of Great Price project. I realize that my fear about taking on another big project was a lack of faith, and I think you will agree with me when you see what lies ahead. Prepare yourself for a barnburner, a blockbuster, an avalanche of evidence that is more than I could have hoped. I don’t know what beats a slam-dunk as a sports image except perhaps a grand slam or a hole in one. 
To prepare you for the evidences and so you will be aware of the bar the Book of Mormon project set, here is the list of fifty-eight individuals and the number of unique words each uses. The big numbers for Alma2 and Isaiah are impressive but no more so than some of the smaller numbers. Here are two examples: The father of King Lamoni, whose name is not given in the Book of Mormon, is quoted for very few words, yet three of them are unique to him—generosity, insist, and rooted. Even more noteworthy is that generosity and insist are only found this one time in all scripture. The other example involves a single word. At one point in King Benjamin’s sermon, he asked the people how they felt about what he had taught. They answered aloud with one voice: “O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men” (Mosiah 4:2). In these fifty-one words is a word that is only found this one time in the Book of Mormon. The word is apply, which is just one of thousands of illustrations.
Unique Words per Person Quoted in the Book of Mormon

Person Quoted or Speaking in First-person
Number of Unique Words or Phrases
Abinadi
19
Alma1
19
Alma2
271
Amaleki
3
Ammon1
1
Ammon2
34
Amulek
20
Angel of the Lord
7


Brother of Jared
2
Enos
7
Ether
62
Gideon
4
Gideon’s men
1
Giddonah
1
Giddianhi
3
Gidgiddoni
2
God /Lord
2
Helaman2
167
Helaman3
35
Isaiah
297
Jacob
76
Jarom
9
Jesus Christ
59
John the Baptist
2
King Benjamin
41
King Benjamin’s people
1
King Lamoni
13
King Lamoni’s servants
1
King Lamoni’s wife
3
King Lamoni’s father
3
King Limhi
23
King Noah
2
King Noah’s people
1
Korihor
2
Laman and Lemuel
4
Lamanite Guards and Aminadab
2
Lehi
28
Malachi
17
Mormon
75
Captain Moroni
38
Moroni
51
Mosiah
24
Nephi1
140
Nephi2
47
Nephi3
79
Nephi4
10
Nephite Soldiers
3
Omni
1
Pahoran
8
Samuel the Lamanite
16
Sariah
Sherem
1
Shiblon
2
Unbelievers
3
Zeezrom
1
Zeniff
15
Zenos
19




























































I wonder. Do people who think Joseph Smith composed the Book of Mormon understand how much detail he would have had to keep in his brain to create unique vocabularies for almost sixty people? Even with the aid of a computer, the task would be extremely complex. How could he remember to use insist, generosity, rooted, and apply only one time plus about 1,700 other words just once. 
Because of the evidence in the Book of Mormon, logic would suggest that unique voices in the Pearl of Great Price would follow the same pattern, even though the number of pages and number of individual voices is substantially shorter and smaller. Prepare to be amazed as evidences of Joseph Smith’s credibility as prophet, seer, and translator continue to accumulate. But to appreciate the results of these findings, an overview of how the Pearl of Great Price came to be needs to be explored.

(c) Marilynne Todd Linford, 2017

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