04 aprilie 2016

Christopher Nemelka: My Take

I no longer remember the context, but a few years ago someone told me about the sealed portion of the Book Mormon supposedly being translated. I found it online, glanced through it, and dismissed it almost immediately as a fake, and thought no more about it.

It has come up again recently, and so I decided to take a better look at it and Christopher Nemelka, the guy who claims he translated it. Apparently he has a bit of a following, and a few people are taking his work seriously.

There are a couple problems with just writing him off like everyone else does. If you do a google search on his name, you will come up with a bunch of anti-Chris Nemelka sites filled with vitriol and malice. The tone of a lot of the criticism is exactly like the tone of much of the anti-Joseph Smith stuff. I'm sure that fact alone makes him and his followers feel vindicated. And of course, if you simply dismiss Nemelka's work as fraudulent, he can just point out that you can't judge the work if you haven't read it (the way many LDS often respond to critics regarding the Book of Mormon).

So I decided this morning I would delve in and decide whether the "Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon" has merit on its own terms, regardless of who the author is. I wasn't able to read all 600+ pages, but I got through enough of it to make a reasonable judgment, I believe. Here are a few key observations.