Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Paul Mouritsen


Book of Mormon, Criticism, Freemason Influence, Language, Modern Church, Restoration


Some critics of the Book of Mormon claim that Joseph Smith drew certain terminology from his nineteenth-century environment. In particular, they suggest that terms such as secret society and secret combination may reflect anti-Masonic rhetoric from the period or even that the term flaxen cord has Masonic overtones. This article traces many varied uses of secret combination in nineteenth-century writings that have nothing to do with the Masons. The appearance of these terms in the Book of Mormon does not weaken the historical claims of the Book of Mormon.