Many people are unaware that a great deal of source material has been identified which contributed to Joseph Smith’s authorship of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon appears to be a “remix” of many source materials available to Joseph Smith in the early 19th century. This has been well established by scholars and historians, and you can even read the original source materials now for yourself, thanks to modern tools such as Google Books.
The fact that the Book of Mormon is a remix is actually in line with the basic elements of creativity:
For example, Star Wars has many elements of other movies and stories from the past, all the way down to the opening titles:
The Book of Mormon was authored by Joseph Smith as he took many pieces of books, scripture, revival sermons, news, and notions from his environment, and “remixed” them into the stories we now call the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, this is rather plain to see now that entire sections of many of these sources have been shown to exist verbatim or nearly verbatim in the Book of Mormon, and many of the parallels appear to be obvious. Because authors never create anything in a vacuum, they are influenced by their environments. Many elements from Joseph Smith’s environment have been shown to exist within the Book of Mormon and our other LDS scriptures.
Continue to Book of Mormon Origins.
For a more comprehensive explanation, see Part 2 of the Gentle Awakening Presentation Series.