April Sixth

April Sixth
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April Sixth
Author John C. Lefgren
Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1980

April Sixth

Reviewer S. Kent Brown Reviewer C. Wilfred Griggs Reviewer H. Kimball Hansen

John C. Lefgren's April Sixth purports to be a scholarly work that attempts to show that both the birth and resurrection of Jesus fell on April sixth and that the Church was organized exactly 1830 years to the day after Jesus' birth. However, if one seeks a careful summary of the "latest evidence" (p. xv) promised in the "Foreword," he has come to the wrong place. The work literally abounds in unjustified assumptions, misinformation, and misunderstandings on a number of levels.

First of all, the general methodology is unscholarly. In his "Acknowledgments" (p. vii), Lefgren describes his general method of working: "The original inspiration for this book came in Finland one evening in the early spring of 1977 when I was reading the eighth chapter of Third Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Since that evening I have searched for the chronological harmony of April sixth." To even the most casual reader, the problems attending this method are blindingly obvious. To set out to prove a point rather than examine all the evidence before drawing a conclusion is to go at it backwards. When working on a scientific or historical problem—Lefgren seemingly labors on both fronts—one neither constructs the theory before the experiments nor prior to carefully sifting the sources. To do otherwise makes the case in advance and most often proves only the investigator's preconceived notions.

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