Solomon Spalding Controversy

1816 – Wrote Manuscript Found

1830 – Smith declared BOM as God’s word

Those who knew Spalding launched investigation claiming he was the source

LDS Church successful dismantling most of the controversy for years until 1976

1976 – 3 men exposed original manuscript, wrote Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?

  • Handwriting analysis was done – numerous pages confirmed as Spalding, written verbatim with Book of Mormon


John Spalding, brother of Solomon Spalding

“It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or lost tribes.  It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi…I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprise I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c. as they were in my brother’s writings. ” (History of Mormonism, pp 278-280)

Martha Spalding, sister-in-law of Solomon

“…the names of Nephi and Lehi are yet fresh in my memory, as being the principal heroes of his tale…disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them to separate into different bands, one of which was called Lamanites, and the other Nephites…I have read the Book of Mormon which has brought fresh to my recollection the writings of Solomon Spalding…The old, obsolete style, and the phrases of “and it came to pass,” &c., are the same.”

(History of Mormonism, pp 280-281)

John N. Miller, employee of Solomon, 1811

“…Many of the passages in the Mormon book are verbatim from Spalding, and others in part.  The names of Nephi, Lehi, Moroni, and in fact all the principal names, are brought fresh to my recollection by the Golden Bible.”

(History of Mormonism, pp 282-83)

Aaron Wright, Justice of the Peace in Conneaut

“…The historical part of the Book of Mormon I know to be the same as I read and heard read from the writings of Spalding…the names…are the same without any alteration” (p 284)




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