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As I read the writings of Alexander von Humboldt, for example, and compare the rich and detailed information on plants, animals, and minerals to the information in the Book of Mormon, it is pretty obvious that Joseph was not relying on von Humboldt, otherwise he was missing huge opportunities to add "instant scientific credibility" to his text.

Or in reading James Adair, I am struck with how many alleged evidences Adair conjures up to suggest that North American Indians were derived from Hebrews, but none of these are to be found in the Book of Mormon.

), and if they were, ask if there is at least some hint that he actually used any of the books.

In light of the growing body of impressive evidences of authenticity supporting the Book of Mormon, critics are increasingly striving to find hints in various books of Joseph Smith's day that might have suggested material for Joseph to use.

There is little direct evidence that his literary skills extended much beyond a cursory acquaintance with a few books. 73, 84.] And in the same source quoted by Paul, Joseph's mother notes that Joseph had not read the Bible all the way through by age 18.If the Book of Mormon really is derived from other nineteenth century writings, why is it so curiously different, and so able to become increasingly plausible over time?In fact, the Book of Mormon makes much more sense as an ancient Semitic record composed in Mesoamerica than as nineteenth-century fiction. Sorenson, "The Book of Mormon as a Mesoamerican Record" in Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins, ed. Reynolds, (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1997), pp. In this monumental survey, Sorenson offers an interesting footnote about the knowledge that Joseph could have gleaned from writings available in his day, which I quote fully on a page at https://As Joseph's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, wrote in her biography of the Prophet, Joseph was a "remarkably quiet, well-disposed child." He "seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of the rest of our children, but far more given to meditation and deep study." [Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet (Liverpool: S. Providing a plausible origin of the Book of Mormon is becoming an impossibly difficult task for those who claim that Joseph drew upon his vast knowledge of books and the Bible to fabricate it.When critics provide lists of books that allegedly could have inspired various concepts in the Book of Mormon, we should ask if these books were available to Joseph Smith (e.g., were they even published in the United States in Joseph's day?

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