Getting it wrong, recounting Mormon history

So I picked up a book from our university library.  I thought I would take advantage having access to the Library until the 15th to read stuff I am interesting rather than stuff I HAD to read.  So I found The Antebellum Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1820 to 1860 written by David A. Copeland.  I was very intrigued by this book because he had a section on 1844 and Joseph Smith.

So as I was reading the introduction I was very excited, only to find out Professor Copeland made what can only be called an elementary mistake.  Jordan W. over at Juvenile Instructor observed these mistakes in non Mormon books which do not focus on Mormonism. At least it seems like it to me (Page 235):

The death of Joseph Smith ended a religious journey that began when the Vermont-born prophet uncovered a set of golden tablets near Palmyra, New York around 1827.

I have to admit I was very dubious about the used of “tablet” until I looked up the dictionary definition and it appears to cover it, still I think plates makes more sense but I cannot say it was a bad choice. So with this little oddity solved I then found this which honestly had me wondering if he only read the last three chapter headings of the Book of Mormon.

Smith’s tablets were something new.  Written in a hieroglyphic-type text that Smith could read, [and here is where things go so wrong] the tablets told how Hebrews had traveled to North America after the fall of the Tower of Babel and of how evil subsequently triumphed over good in the New World.

Now you can see things are really looking off.  Yet it is mildly understandable… or it was anyway: 

The evil finally succumbed to God’s prophet -Mormon-and his son Moroni.

So there you are, on the first page some real big errors.  It makes the Book of Mormon sound like a novel than a scriptural book.  Worse it makes the rest of the chapter seem suspect because of what I can only call an elementary mistake.  Why is it that people can screw up such basic facts when writing academic work?  I mean the last line any missionary could have straightened him out on. Strange.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: