1. Now Alma said unto him: Enough! Here is enough and to spare to convict thee in the court of God. Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Savior? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that a Savior shall come.
2. And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that a Savior cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
3. But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?
4. And Korihor did answer: The burden of proof is upon he who doth make the claim. The grander declaration requires a grander evidence for convincing the wise. Elsewise even the steadiest of minds may be swept about upon every wind of speculation.
5. A humble heart is not one which sayeth, I know that I know; rather the humble heart is one which sayeth, I merely want to believe, nevertheless I will not be fixed and steadfast in mind until greater knowledge shall be verified.
6. How shall truth be recognized save it be by principles of honesty, reason and logic. Are these not the tokens of true messengers? The burden of proof is thine. Wherefore, I do not claim, nor feel compelled to acknowledge any doctrine beyond experience, reason and careful understanding.
7. Any man’s belief may have equal merit; and only a test applied by unbiased souls yielding consistent results may resolve the deeper mysteries and bring belief out of darkness and elevate belief into pure knowledge. I say this is the method by which the creator hath given man to generate light. Indeed such an approach to learning can turn belief into knowledge that might even generate lightning.
8. That which createth all things, knoweth all things, hath power over all things, I do not call God because of the corruption of the word. For thy priests are not the only ones who do use that word to rule over peoples. There are many others that pretend to understand mysteries of which they are actually ignorant.
9. For who knoweth, but even the highest dreams of the wisest man may be a plowman’s foolishness unto such a Creator, yet should such a Creator condescend to speak to a plowman, he would explain in terms that the simple man could understand.
10. Wherefore it is evident that none of thine fallacious teachings are granted unto thee by any God of Truth, nor a God of Justice nor even Mercy. For thou canst give no reason for thine belief save to say that Believe First is required and then thou shalt see.
11. It is an answer that is no answer at all. If thou knew a God of knowledge thou would have a ready answer to give for the convincing of any question.
12. And likewise, if thou had humility at all thou would be quick to say I knoweth not, what thinketh thou? Yet thou hast no such reply save to say: I know that I know. Therefore, thou hast no knowledge save the emotions of thine own desires.
13. For your sakes, I do not call that power or that intelligence God, for all of ye of all spiritual persuasions have rendered the word meaningless by thine contradictions and by thine holy wars.
14. Should that Creator condescend to appear among us for a moment, perhaps it shall appear in the form of a man or perhaps in the form of a woman, to appease our anxious hearts; nevertheless that angelic form may not be the full scope and measure of such a being. Though it appeareth as a man today, shall it remain in that visage tomorrow?
15. And who is to say that it is not a dream of thine own heart’s creation? For why doth the heathen report visions of his own under worldly Gods and never of the Savior of whom ye do long to see? Shall we plead that we are special and they in error? 16. How are we to know that it is not their vision which is the true God? Wherefore, even the brief vision doth not have power to fully convince any man in certainty. Such certainty can only be had in consistency, which consistency your Gods do not presently enjoy.17. And furthermore, as all men are strong in their conviction, the matter shall not be settled by he who doth have the greatest conviction of belief. For all men are of equal conviction and are confident in their own emotions. Wherefore, should we rely on the spirit which doth cause us to feel within our hearts and shed our many tears? Nay, but it is only by the sound reasoning and assuredness of tested facts that we shall resolve any matter together.
18. Now, Alma did cause Korihor’s words to make an end and did raise his hand to the court. And hereby the words of Korihor were made to pause. Alma did declare; Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.
19. And now Korihor said unto Alma: Wilt thou ignore the points I speak and debase thyself with an attack of my personage?
Perhaps I am a vile man of lowest denomination, nevertheless are my words of truth? As ye have not brought me unto trial on charges of crime, but only on belief, why ignore my words? Consider the words of the man and not his character. If I have spoken lies, expose the lie; but if I have spoken truth why speak only of the man?
20. Furthermore, Belief is no Virtue. For Belief is only that which a man thinketh is real. But knowledge is that which hath been proven to be true. Wherefore a man may think error because he may believe anything, yet still it may be proven error by future evidence. Wherefore, why should thy God demand belief of any man?
21. For if Loyalty unto Belief could be a godly trait, and this loyalty maintained despite all evidence to the contrary, then ought not any dogma be acceptable unto passing the trials imposed by God? Yea, even the heathen believeth despite all evidence to the contrary, why doth God not honor their belief? Therefore, why sayest thou unto me, that I must believe anything beyond reason and evidence that might exceed the capacity of mine own understanding?
22. There shall be no punishment for unbelief by a God of Justice and Mercy. Do not even ye dwell in unbelief against the multitude of Gods preached by the heathens? Wherefore thou art indeed a skeptic unto the heathens and thou art a skeptic unto all they who are not of thine persuasion. Thou art filled with unbelief in regards to many things. Yet thou doth provide no more evidence then the heathens in support of thine own claims.
23. But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had evidence enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me more evidence, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motions, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
24. And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these witnesses?
25. And Korihor said: Hast though heard nothing which I have spoken? I deny the authority of thy Priests who do corrupt themselves by the burdens they place upon thy people in the name of God; a God which if real according to thy doctrines is a most capricious and vile God and unworthy of worship. I withhold my judgement of the nature of that which created all things and hath power over all things, until such time as further evidence, reason, logic and consistency in virtue is made manifest.
26. And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed.
27. But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy reasoning and by thy clever words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more.
28. Now Korihor said unto him: I say again, I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God according to the nature of the being that thy priests do teach.
29. And I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God for your doctrines are filled with fallacies and your actions are lacking in consistency, reason and truth; and except ye release me from this false imprisonment and grant me freedom to speak as I believe, I shall never desist in resisting your false authority.
30. What crime have I done? Thou hast charged me with blasphemy against nothing save it be your own belief. And thou hast provided no evidence under the Law of the Judges, but rather thou hast built thyself up to be a judge according to the Law of the Priests. And thou knowest that there is no evidence to convict me, neither in the Court of the Judges, nor the Court of any God, but only in the court of thine own authority. Wherefore, I deny all which shall proceed from the declarations of thine throne.
31. Now Alma said unto him: Evidence?! This will I give unto thee for evidence, that thou shalt be struck dumb, according to my words; and I say, that in the name of God, ye shall be struck dumb, that ye shall no more have utterance, for if thou were to speak further, ye would continue to blaspheme against the church of God.
32. Now when Alma had said these words, he did quietly take counsel with the Chief Judge. Thereafter the Chief Judge did make gesture unto the guards of the court. And the guards did take Korihor and removed him from the proceedings for a time.
33. It was whispered among the people what might become of him, but none did know for certainty. But among the counsel and the audience, it was remembered that his sentence had been issued that he shall be struck dumb, that he could not have utterance, according to the words of Alma.
Posted by Mormon Skeptic