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The Striking Similarity Between Book of Mormon Witnesses and Jesus' Apostles

“I am convinced,” wrote Mark Twain, sarcastically dismissing the testimonies of the Book of Mormon witnesses in his 1872 book “Roughing It.” “I could not feel more satisfied and at rest if the entire Whitmer family had testified.”

It’s a funny comment, and Twain, a professional humorist, was definitely going for laughs, but his jest scarcely constitutes a serious engagement with the historical data.

However, that hasn’t stopped critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from using Twain’s witticism as if it represented a rigorous and adequate scholarly response. The witnesses to the Book of Mormon, they say, were just too provincial and too closely interrelated to be credible.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art
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