One Response to the “Inspired Fiction” Theory That Attempts to Provide a Non-Supernatural Explanation for the Existence of the Book of Mormon
By Ken K. Gourdin
I’m on record here as saying that the only thing more preposterous to me than the actual account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon are the alternate theories that attempt to provide naturalistic, non-supernatural explanations. Some, including members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have attempted to explain the book’s existence by appealing to an “inspired fiction” theory.
“Sure,” proponents of non-supernatural theories (including the inspired fiction theory) may say, “the events described in the Book of Mormon may not actually have happened, but, still, the Book of Mormon is valuable for the spiritual truths it contains and the lessons it presents.” I agree that the Book of Mormon’s primary value lies therein, but I’m unprepared to concede that it is nothing more than a fictional account.
Pointing to other things I have posted on the Blog, in one discussion of the inspired fiction theory at Mormon Dialogue and Discussion [sic], I responded:
If the Book of Mormon purports to say that Moroni was/is a real person, if he purported to appear to Joseph Smith as a resurrected being, and so on, then, whatever the deficiencies (real or perceived) in the historical record, in my mind, the “Inspired Fiction” theory creates more problems than it purports to solve. According to the theory, it seems as though the Lord said, “Okay, what’m I gonna need to get this ‘Restoration’ thing off of the ground? Well, first, I’ll need a set of imaginary ‘plates,’ and then I’ll need a holographic ‘Angel Moroni’ …” and so on.
Notwithstanding their allegedly-“imaginary” nature, I certainly can relate well to many of the people in the Book of Mormon, much better than I would be able to if I thought they were simply fictional characters.