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BeliefNet: Senator Probes Forgery Charges Against Book of Mormon

When it's time to relax, some senators play golf. Others pour themselves a drink.

But Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, isn't inclined toward the greens and his faith preaches against alcohol.

Instead, he's spent time on and off for the last seven years building a defense of the Book of Mormon, one of the key tomes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three-term senator whose job puts him at the center of political power has now delved into a different debate: whether the book Mormons believe was revealed by an angel to their founder Joseph Smith in the 1820s is authentic.

"I live in a world where sometimes you have to respond to conflicting opinions," said Bennett in an interview. A former missionary and bishop and the grandson of a past president of the church, the senator turns 76 this month (Sept.).

Bennett says "Leap of Faith: Confronting the Origins of the Book of Mormon," was sparked by the "shallow treatment of a serious subject" by media who covered the church and its scripture around the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Scholars outside the Mormon faith also have strong doubts about the Book of Mormon's historical accuracy because they find scant evidence of the large groups of people it says roamed the earth centuries ago.

Read the rest of this story at beliefnet.com
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