- Mormon Classics E-Texts Presented by Dale R. Broadhurst -



Book of Mormon Authorship
(2nd. edition, revised e-text version)

by: Vernal Holley,

(UT, self-published, 1989.)

Entire contents copyright 1989 by Vernal Holley.


Contents  &  notes  |   Part 1:  pp.   5 - 24   |   Part 2:  pp.  25 - 47   |   Part 3:  pp.  48 - 70


 



  BOOK  OF  MORMON 
 AUTHORSHIP: 
 A  Closer  Look 




By

Vernal Holley


A comprehensive study of the similarities
between the Book of Mormon and
the writings of Solomon Spaulding.





Second edition revised and enlarged


 
[02]



Dale R. Broadhurst's Introduction to:

Vernal Holley's
Book of Mormon Authorship:
A Closer Look



In 1989 Vernal Holley of Roy, Utah, issued a "revised and enlarged" second edition of Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look. The title page of his interesting little booklet says that it is:  "A comprehensive study of the similarities between the Book of Mormon and the writings of Solomon Spaulding."

Though it is hardly comprehensive, Holley's work is significant in that contains numerous (and elsewhere unavailable) textual excerpts and citations in support of the Spalding Theory for Book of Mormon authorship. Holley's booklet is here reproduced as an authorized e-text for web-publication via The Sideny Rigdon Home Page's "Mormon Classics" section and the on-line Library of The Spalding Studies Home Page. This reformatted and slightly revised version of Holley's work was first placed on the world-wide web in 1998, with the permission and support of its author and copyright holder.
( Entire contents copyright 1989 by Vernal Holley. )





The Response to Holley's Work: A Quick Review

Since the appearance of Holley's first edition of Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look, nearly sixteen years ago, his ideas in regard to Book of Mormon structure, content, and authorship have received widespread notice both within and without the Latter Day Saint community. Holley's work has been reviewed and discussed both in printed works and in several electronic news-lists and on-line news-groups. Generally speaking, "anti-Mormons" have found his reporting to be of intererst and of use, particularly in their modern efforts to construct Book of Mormon geographies that are non-supportive of traditional Latter Day Saint viewpoints.

Mormon defenders and apologists have tended to fault Holley on his highly speculative opinions and his using less than a professional methodology in conducting his historical and textual research. However, Holley's low-keyed approach in questioning old Mormon assumptions has generally been non-confrontational; so his admittedly speculative opinions have not drawn the harsh responses Mormon writers usually reserve for their more hostile opponents. Since Holley does not credit Joseph Smith with the authorship of the Book of Mormon (as do many contemporary non-Mormon critics), he occasionally finds himself sharing a small patch of common ideological ground with Mormon defenders. Given this refreshingly non-confrontational reporting environment, Holley has been content to address some of the criticisms expressed against his published views by offering new, updated editions of his booklet. Other criticisms he has simply ignored. This lack of any significant response on Holley's part, to the various problems and errors perceived by critics of his reporting, represents the author's greatest shortcoming in publishing his "findings."

The sort of views Holley expresses in support of the Solomon Spalding Authorship Theory have not been in vogue among the critics of Mormonism for the last several decades; so both the scholars and the popular writers defending or attacking the Book of Mormon have geberally passed over this portion of his reporting without offering much in the way of beneficial comments. This is an unfortunate oversight, as Holley has highlighted numerous original insights and possibilities regarding a possible connection between the Mormon scriptures and the little-known writings of the Rev. Solomon Spalding. Until all of his claims and questions have been very carefully investigated and intelligently answered, a good many of the "Spalding issues" he has raised remain unresolved and subject to further investigative consideration.

In 1989, in an article appearing in the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, LDS writer L. Ara Norwood wrote an in-depth response to the first printing of Holley's work. This review is on-line at the FARMS web-site. Norwood's generally upbeat review was followed four years later by Michael T. Griffith's somewhat less commendable attempt to refute Holley's work. Griffith's "The Book of Mormon and Solomon Spaulding" comprises an entire chapter in his 1993 Refuting the Critics . . . and is also available on-line as a condensed e-text.

Although several other responses to Holley's work might be cited here, on-line viewers can discover these for themselves among the numerous web-links and on-site references to this and related subjects, available via The Spalding Studies Home Page. Some discussion of on-line reviews of Holley's work at the may be found in my Sciota Revisited" paper at the Spalding Research Project web-site. Citations for several of the published responses to Mr. Holley may also be found in my Addendum to Holley's Bibliography section of this e-text.

Apart from some unauthorized excerpts appearing on certain web-sites, only this slightly modified second edition of Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look is currently available as an on-line e-text. Once Mr. Holley has exhausted his printed supply of the third edition of his work, that updated text will will be put on-line as a replacement for this second edition copy. Prior to the electronic re-publication of the third edition, copies may be obtained directly from Vernal Holley, (#188) 3800 S. 1900 W., Roy, UT 84067. Questions regarding his work and other personal messages intended for Mr. Holley should be sent to him directly.

General comments on and inquiries regarding this e-text may be sent as e-mail to Dale R. Broadhurst, site host for The Spalding Studies Home Page and The Sidney Rigdon Home Page.


 



[03]





  BOOK  OF  MORMON  AUTHORSHIP: 
 A  CLOSER  LOOK
 



By

Vernal Holley


A comprehensive study of the similarities
between the Book of Mormon and
the writings of Solomon Spaulding.



  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS
 
     
  Front Cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01
  The Response to Holley's Work: A Quick Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02
  Notes and Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04
     
  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05
      (Joseph F. Smith Statement on Spalding MS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06
     
  Solomon Spaulding  (biographical sketch) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07
     
  Spaulding's Manuscript (Manuscript Story) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08
     
  Joseph Smith, jr.  (biographical sketch) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 09
      (The Vermont Connection - Smiths & Spauldings) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 09
     
  Indian Origins (Ethan Smith, etc.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     
  Similarities (Spaulding's story & Mormon story) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
      (Finding The Records) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
      (The Sea Voyage) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
      (The Promised Land) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
      (Unusual Worship) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
      (The Solar System) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
      (The Exploration) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
      (Cultural Technology) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
      (Theology -- A Divine Reformer) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
      (Government -- Money) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
      (Fortifications) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
      (Stolen Daughters) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
      (Titles -- Tribes) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
      (A Seer Stone) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     
  The Wars (Spaulding's story & Mormon story) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
      (The Helaman War) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
      (Battle at Hill Riplah) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
      (The Letters) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
      (The Last Great Battle) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
      (Blood & Carnage -- Single Combat) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     
  Literary Style (Spaulding's story & Mormon story) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
      (Archaic & Biblical Language) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
      (Chiastic-style Writing) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
      (Invented Names) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
      (Word Combinations -- Common Phraseology Lists) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
      (Redundancies) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
      (Parallelism) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
      (Contradictory Thoughts) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
      (Indecision) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
      (Poor Grammar & Composition) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
      (Other Stylistic Similarities) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
     
  Second Great Awakening, Campbellism, And Spaulding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
      (Kentucky Revivals: 1800-1801) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
      (Revival Language in Book of Mormon) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
      (Pennsylvania Revivals) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
      (Campbells & Spaulding in Washington Co., Pennsylvania) . . . . . . . . . . 40
      (Campbellite Theology in Book of Mormon) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
     
  The Howe Book   (Mormonism Unvailed, 1834) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
      (D.P. Hurlbut's Efforts) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
      (Orson Hyde Preaches in Conneaut, Ohio) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
      (First Statements for the Spaulding Authorship Claim) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
     
  Smith's Writing Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
      (His Inability to Convey Ideas in Writing) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
     
  Stylistic Wordprints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
      (BYU Study Results Questioned) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
     
  Wordprint Comparison  (Holley Study of the Texts) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
      (Six Texts Comparison Chart) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
      (Smith Unlikely to Have Written Book of Mormon) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
      (Spalding's Wordprint: He is the Most Likely Author) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
     
  Smith, Stowell & Knight  (Coming Forth of Book of Mormon) . . . . . . . . . . 48
      (The Nephite Records: Stowell & Knight) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
      (The Canadian Revelation: Stowell & Knight) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
      (Knight's History -- Early Visits with Smith) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
      (Judge Noble's 1842 Letter: Stowell & Knight) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
      (Joseph Smith at Hartwick, Otsego Co.?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
      (F.G. Mather and J.B. Turner Accounts) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
      (Smith's Travels in New York and Pennsylvania: Maps) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
      (Map Printed in 1834 Shows "Smith's New York") . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . map
     
  Book of Mormon Geography (A Great Lakes Area Setting?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
      (Spaulding's Story Has a Great Lakes Area Setting) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
      (The Geography: LDS and Turnabouts and Equivocation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
      (Where is Hill Cumorah?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
      (Sea East & Sea West = Lakes Ontario & Erie?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
      (Hill Onidah = Oneida, New York?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
      (River Sidon in Northwestern New York?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
      (Narrow Neck of Land Adjacent to Niagara Falls?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
      (Nephite Lines of Fortification in Northwestern New York?) . . . . . . . . . . 58
      (Narrow Strip of Wilderness Near Niagara Falls?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
      (Land of Minon = Minonion Indian Lands in New York?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
      (Waters of Ripliancum in Ontario?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
      (Maps of the Great Lakes Region ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
      (Actual Place Names and Locations in the Spaulding Story) . . . . . . . . . . . map
      (Proposed Book of Mormon Lands Locations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . map
      (Hill Ramah = Rama, Ontario?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
      (Book of Mormon Cities = Modern Locations?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
      (Book of Mormon Angola = Angola, New York?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
      (Book of Mormon Teancum = Tenecum (Tecumseh), Ontario?) . . . . . . . 63
      (Book of Mormon Gideon based on Delaware Indians' Gideon?) . . . . . . . 63
      (Book of Mormon Kishkumen = Kishkiminetas, Pennsylvania?) . . . . . . 64
     
  Travels of Solomon Spaulding (continuation of biographical sketch) . . . . . 64
      (Attended Dartmouth About the Same Time as Ethan Smith) . . . . . . . . . 64
      (Shared Ideas on Indian Origins with Ethan Smith) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
      (Traveled Throughout Much of the Great Lakes Area) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
     
  Conclusion (Similarities to Numerous to be Only Coincidences) . . . . . . . . 65
      (Careful, Patient Study Required to See all the Similarities) . . . . . . . . . . . 66
      (Connection Exists Between Spaulding and Book of Mormon) . . . . . . . . 66
      (How Did This Relationship Come About?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
     
  Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
     
  About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70




 
[04]




ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

To Dale R. Broadhurst I owe a special debt of gratitude for the use of his unpublished research on this subject, including his map showing Joseph Smith's New York State in 1829. He also assisted with the maps depicting my concept of the Book of Mormon lands. His work is on file in the [Manuscripts Section of Special Collections at the Marriott] Library of the University of Utah.   Dale R. Broadhurst Papers (Accn 913)
 







NOTES  ON  THE  SECOND  EDITION

1998 Electronic Text Version
(Updated and re-posted, May 1999)


This 1998 e-text was prepared using a photo-reproduction of Holley's published Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look, Second Edition, 1989 (Revised & Enlarged). This electronic copy of the published edition follows the original text almost exactly. The only major changes are those which were introduced as by-products of html design, formatting, documentation, and linking operations. These changes include textual reformatting, the repeating of titles on several pages pages, the addition of graphics, etc. Also, numerals and additional text were placed at the top and bottom of most pages to facilitate hyper-text linking.

Some minor cosmetic changes were also introduced to the original text in the critical apparatus (bold footnote numbering, etc.). Some color-coded highlights have been added to certain words appearing in quotes from the 1910 printing of Rev. Spalding's Oberlin MS and from the 1950 LDS edition of the Book of Mormon. These colorings (in tan hue for certain words quoted from Spalding and in magenta hue for certain words quoted from the Book of Mormon) in no way change the intent or purposes of the copyrighted text(s) and should not be viewed as being an intentional misuse of limited fair use reproduction rights granted under U. S. and international copyright provisions.

In a few minor instances spelling, capitalization, and other related orthographical changes have been introduced into this e-text. In those cases where the wording of the text itself has been emended, the new reading has been set apart from the rest of the sentence by placing it within square [  ] brackets. A small number of bracketed textual additions of a somewhat more substantial nature have been inserted into some paragraphs and footnotes. These very few substantial emendations were approved by Mr. Holley as clarifications to the content and meaning of his original composition. In a few cases they reflect changes to the text as published in Holley's third edition of the booklet. These additions should not be included when citing and excerpting for reference in other publications, except where absolutely necessary and then only when accompanied by appropriate reference to their 1998 e-text source.

The text appearing on pages 03 and 04 of the original, printed edition was combined, and supplemented with a hyper-text "Table of Contents," along with these "Notes" for the e-text's page 04. Page 02 was blank in the original. That space has been filled in the e-text with a brief introduction written by Dale R. Broadhurst. Pages 70, 71 and 72 were also blank pages in the printed original. The short "About the Author" which now appears on the last page of the e-text (page 70) was taken from a note appearing in Mr. Holley's third edition of the work and supplemented with information obtained in Dale R. Broadhurst's August 1998 interview with Mr. Holley. The bibliographic information from pages 67 to 69 of the original was combined, to which a short "Addendum" was added. Pages 60 and 61 of the original were combined in the e-text and supplemented with some introductory comments relating to the maps reproduced there. The graphics for those maps, as well as those found on page 53, were re-drawn in color by Dale R. Broadhurst. The 1834 map found on page 53 is a new addition to the printed original and is not copyrighted by Mr. Holley. The three small graphics which appear at the tops of most pages in the e-text are also new, non-copyrighted additions.

  The authorized html file designations of this e-text are: vernP0.htm and its three associated files, vernP1.htm, vernP2.htm, and vernP3.htm. Mr. Holley authorizes this 1998 e-text of the second edition of Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look to be made available on-line only at the following www URLs and their associated sub-directories: http://Home1.gte.net/dbroadhu/Restor/,  http://SidneyRigdon.com/Classics1.htm,  and HTTP://WWW.concordance.COM/.  Reproduction of these files, or of renamed copies of the files, or any other files containing more than fair use quotation from the texts contained in these files, is expressly prohibited by the author.




Copyright © 1989 by Vernal Holley. All rights reserved. The reproduction or utilization of this work or any part thereof in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including electrostatic copying, photo-copying, and recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system is forbidden without prior written permission.


top of page

continue reading on: p. 05



Return to Mormon Classics:  E-Texts Index
Visit The Spalding Studies Home Page:  Introduction  |  On-Line Library
last revised: May 12, 1999
















end