My good friend, adopted father, and all-around-good-guy Richard Packham (despite the fact he is a recovering lawyer) has taken a LOT of his time to explain to those investigating Mormonism just exactly WHAT the missionaries will not tell you. He made a statement on his Web site, recently, that I found VERY relevant.
The majority of the reviews on Amazon.com about the trade edition of the Book of Mormon, available from Doubleday, are from Mormons (“It’s the best book ever! Even my DOG knows this book is true! You’re life will change!”). These reviews exhort the reader to ignore anything else they might hear, or read, and just pray about it. So what if the directions say NOT to stick your fingers in the blender. What do those guys know? Instead, just pray about it. Don’t read the directions. Blenders never bite back. Blenders NEVER accidentally get turned on, say, when you lean forward to look inside at the ice chip that is blocking the motion of the rotors, and accidentally hit the on button with ones, er, ah, never mind. Here’s what Richard said:
Hundreds of books have been written by Mormons to support the claims made in the Book of Mormon. Hundreds of others have been written to expose the book as a work of fiction. Interestingly, the defenders of the book’s claims generally urge readers of the book not to read anything about the book – especially anything negative – but rather they urge the reader simply to pray to God and ask whether its claims are true. Unfortunately, it seems that God occasionally tells readers that it is true, but apparently he tells many other readers that it is a hoax. Why else would one find dozens of copies in the ten-cent bin at every thrift store in the country? Or perhaps most people feel that they do not need God’s help in confirming that they are reading a fantasy tale – however religious it may sound – and not a description of real life or real events in a real place.