Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Tall Tales

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Did Joseph Smith tell "tall tales" of ancient Americans before finding the Gold Plates?

A FAIR Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 64 (hardback and paperback)

The book asserts that Joseph Smith was a teller of "tall-tales" about American Indians. The following quote from Lucy Mack Smith's history is used to back up this assertion:

Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals which could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare, and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life with them.

The hardback edtion claims that these stories occurred "before any golden plates had been found." The paperback edition modifies this to read "before he obtained and translated any golden plates."

Author's Sources

Endnote 24, page 511 (hardback) page 509 (paperback)

Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for many Generations (Liverpool: S.W. Richards, 1853), 85, reprinted in Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1996), vol. 1, 296.

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