Some people call Historian Don Bradley an apologist for his seemingly too rosy view of the Book of Mormon. Some apologists think he is stretching to far to explain what is potentially in the lost pages of the Book of Mormon. What does Don have to say about this?
Don: One thing I would point out that they may not be aware of is my personal history, when it comes to these subjects. Actually, when I started this project, I was in the church, but I was very much a doubter. I wasn’t coming from a place of belief. Subsequently, I came to be completely disillusioned. For a good several years, I left the church officially. I had my name removed from the church records, and was out of the church for five years before returning. The thing is, I’ve continued this project in basically the same kind of way the entire time. So, if they’re thinking that it’s a question that the question of what was in the lost pages is somehow uniquely tied to a worldview perspective, they’re mistaken. My worldview has changed dramatically across the course of doing this project, but the project itself has continued and the findings that I made while I was out of the church, about was in the lost pages, still hold water for me. I didn’t change my mind about those or anything.
Part of the reason why it’s possible, in the first place, to shift worldviews but continue the same historical project is that the project isn’t about ancient Nephites in Mesoamerica. I’m not doing faith-based archaeology or something looking for Zarahemla. As you were indicating, I’m trying to figure out what was in a certain lost manuscript. Now, while it’s controversial whether there were Nephites, it’s not controversial that there was an initial Book of Mormon manuscript that got stolen. So what I’m trying to do is figure out what was in that manuscript. So for that question, it’s really irrelevant whether one thinks that we’re Nephites or not. For that question, It’s iirrelevant whether there were Nephites or not. It may be very important for other issues, but it’s not important for knowing what was in the lost pages.
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