|A representation of Nephi fashioning the plates for what became part of the Book of Mormon|
(From LDS.org. Thanks, Elder Bednar!)
I was just thinking about proving the Book of Mormon. Of course I know it's not possible. That seems to me to be the point. Just imagine for a minute that you're God, and you are trying to get the point across that the only way you can get your children to come back to you is to trust you? So you give them a book of instruction that essentially explains their situation and pleads with them to trust you. If the whole point is trust, would you give explicit, irrefutable evidence that your book is true or you would ask them to experiment upon it themselves and learn that they can trust you because it works? Especially in the light of the fact that trust/faith seems to be essential in really learning something for yourself, and changing from a fallen/dark being into an enlightened being.
Same with the Book of Abraham. I wonder about people who really expected a translation that matched Joseph Smith's? First of all, that was never going to happen.
I happen to endorse the Nibley view that Joseph Smith saw something else in the scrolls than what was on them, hearkening back to another time. Real events that were tangentially related to the text in the manner explained in the text. Which is to say that the facsimiles are pieces of the Abraham story which have been floating around Egypt for a while the names, places, circumstances have changed.
Either way, Abraham or Mormon, there will never be proof when faith is what is required.
|Facsimile No. 1 from The Pearl of Great Price|