The most incredible example of Mormon ability to overlook error, in my opinion, is the tremendous number of changes that have been made in the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon was ostensibly translated from gold plates Joseph Smith found through the direction of the angel Moroni. The Book of Mormon has been heralded as the most perfect book ever written. Mormon leadership continually affirms that it has never at any time been changed. President Joseph Fielding Smith said that only "sons of Belial" would assert that there have been thousands of changes on the Book of Mormon (The Improvement Era, December 1961, pp. 294-295).
The fact is, there have been thousands of changes in the Book of Mormon. Many are important doctrinal changes. Anyone who wants to prove to himself that the Book of Mormon has been extensively altered can easily do so. All he has to do is examine the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon and compare it to the latest edition.
The 1830 edition is easily available. Brigham Young University and the University of Utah have copies. Copies are on display at major temple visitors centers. I saw a copy displayed at the 1982 Eastern Idaho State Fair.
One of the easiest ways to see the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon is to purchase Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1, published by Wilford C. Wood (who is a Mormon) in 1958. This book is available in most Deseret bookstores. Another source is the photo-reproduced 1830 version, published by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, founders of the Modern Microfilm Company of Salt Lake City. In a work entitled 3,193 Changes in the Book of Mormon, the Tanners reproduced the 1830 version, marked to show the changes made in the 1964 edition.
Plagiarized from the Bible. The Book of Mormon borrows copiously from the Bible. More than eighteen chapters of Isaiah are contained in it. And hundreds of parallels exist between the Book of Mormon and the New Testament so much that Mark Twain quipped that the Book of Mormon "seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history, with the Old Testament for a model; followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament" (Roughing It, p. 110).
The most telling proof of plagiarism is the fact that the author of the Book of Mormon copied the King James Version verbatim right down to the style of print. When the translators of the KJV translated from Hebrew to English in the Old Testament, they added clarifying words, italicizing them to let the reader know they were not in the original text.
The author of the Book of Mormon apparently did not realize this. Consequently, in the hundreds of verbatim passages from the Bible, the Book of Mormon includes the italicized words. example Though the book was ostensibly translated from plates written in reformed Egyptian, which were copies from the original Hebrew writings, the only way to account for the italicized words is that the book was not translated from gold plates at all, but rather from a King James Bible.