The Book of Mormon.
IT is a marvel beyond comprehension that in the light that shines upon the world in this nineteenth century, a sect should have been founded and attained the proportions of the Mormon church upon so flagrant a fraud as that concocted by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Smith's story was that an angel had placed in his hands a number of gold plates upon which was written a record of the ancient inhabitants of America, and at the same time gave him a pair of miraculous spectacles with the aid of which he was able to read the hieroglyphics inscribed on the plates, and that he read them off to Oliver Cowdery, who wrote them down. This is Smith's account of the origin of the Book of Mormon. It was at first certified to by Oliver Cowdery and two others. All three of them, however, before they died, confessed that their testimony in corroboration of Smith's story was false. The fact is now fully attested that the Mormon Bible was written by one Solomon Spalding, a retired clergyman, and was a romance written in the style of the bible and founded upon a theory then much mooted that the American Indians were descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Spalding sent his manuscript to a printing office in Pittsburg where Sidney Rigdon was employed. Rigdon copied it, and he and Smith jointly conceived and carried out the idea of making it the bible of a new sect. Spalding died before Smith published the Book of Mormon; but his widow remembered it fully, as did a number of persons to whom the author had read it.
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