There are a few passages from the Book of Mormon I honestly felt were divine. Some were so significant, they even cemented my testimony, in a way. One such verse is found toward the front of the book,
“I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).
Very profound, far reaching, and multi-faceted… it must be divine.
That, or plagiarized.
On 23 February 1824, in The Christian Baptist, volume 1, page 54 we read:
“With an open bible in my hand, I must say that God never called a man to any work for which he was not fully qualified, and in the performance of which he was not successful.”
This was published five years before Joseph Smith coined ‘First Nephi.’
Then, there’s this verse from the Apocrypha; found in the Smith family Bible:
“And she said unto them, Command the gates of the city to be opened unto me, that I may go forth to accomplish the things whereof ye have spoken with me. So they commanded the young men to open unto her, as she had spoken” (Judith 10:9).
I give ‘The Prophet’ high marks for re-wording this, so it wasn’t quite as clumsy, but the sentiment and inspiration were not original.
Mark Twain said it best,
“All ideas are second-hand.”
In this respect, Joseph Smith magnified his calling.