Read the tract, "The Dissapointment of B. H. Roberts"
Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon
Quotes from the book:
"The challenge [presented to us as we were training for our missions] was, simply, to find an alternate explanation to the supernatural origin of the Book of Mormon. As a sincere and earnest young missionary, I was sure that such an explanation could not be found. I now feel differently and have, in fact, tried to articulate such an alternate explanation in the pages that follow." (Preface, first paragraph)
"Unknown to most Mormons for more than half a century, LDS church leader, theologian, and philosopher Brigham Henry Roberts proposed a compelling alternative explanation for the Book of Mormon in the 1920s. Finally published in 1985 as Studies of the Book of Mormon, Roberts's thought-provoking analysis suggested that the book's general outline, as well as every major concept, had come from another book, A View of the Hebrews, published a few years earlier and written by Ethan Smith (no relation to Joseph Smith), a knowledgeable theologian of the day. A View of the Hebrews subscribed to the popular 400-year-old folk belief that Native Americans descended from the lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Roberts explored the legend in depth, noting the Book of Mormon's potential debt to Ethan Smith and identifying Joseph Smith's New World scripture as the most enduring representative of the theory that Native Americans were Israelites. Earlier in his life, Roberts had vigorously defended the Book of Mormon, but now his private analysis contained fierce irony, evidence of his expanding incredulity. In public he continued to champion the book's ancient historicity." (preface, xi)
"In this book, I will argue that Joseph Smith, both knowingly and unknowingly, injected his own personality, conflicts, and solutions into the book he was dictating. Thus I hypothesize that the Book of Mormon can be understood as Smith's autobiography, that we can discern repeated psychological patterns in Smith's transformation of his childhood and youth before 1829 into Book of Mormon stories, and that these observations can contribute to a psychological understanding of Smith." (Introduction, xxvii)
"In these Book of Mormon stories, the heroes are Joseph Smith's alter egos; other people from his real life are diminished or presented as evil. I hypothesize that Smith's motive is to gain power over people and reverse his childhood helplessness, particularly during his surgery." (p. 65)