Opposition to Mormonism started early

Many critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claim the advent of the Internet and free access of information created their critical view of Mormonism. A new collection of early writings about the Book of Mormon, however, demonstrates that new technology isn't a prerequisite for attacking the church.

The Internet now has a tool that shows negative views of the Book of Mormon surfaced right at the beginning of the Restoration. A new collection titled "19th-Century Publications about the Book of Mormon (1829-1844)" is accessible online at lib.byu.edu /dlib/bompublications as part of the digital collections at BYU's Harold B. Library.

This database includes almost 600 publications and about one million words -- all searchable by keywords. According to a press release from BYU, the goal was to include everything published during Joseph Smith's lifetime relating to the Book of Mormon.

The collection was jump-started by the pioneering work of Francis W. Kirkham, the late author who wrote a book defending the Book of Mormon. Kirkham collected rare newspapers beginning in the 1930s. Matthew Roper, research scholar at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and head of the project, collected and assembled Kirkham's and other sources for more than 10 years.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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