A Parable for Critics of the Book of Mormon Written by Hugh Nibley
Long ago, a young man once claimed he had found a large diamond in his field as he was plowing. He put the stone on display to the public free of charge, and everyone took sides. A psychologist showed, by citing some famous case studies, that the young man was suffering from a well known form of delusion. Historians showed that other men have also claimed to have found diamonds in fields and have been deceived. A geologist proved that there were no diamonds in the area, but only quartz. The young man had been fooled by a quartz. When asked to inspect the stone itself, the geologist declined with a wary tolerant smile and a kindly shake of the head. An English professor showed that the young man in describing his stone used the very same language that others had used in describing uncut diamonds. He was, therefore, simple speaking the common language of his time. A sociologist showed that only three out of a hundred and seventy-seven florist assistants in four major cities believed that the stone was genuine. A clergyman wrote a book to show that it was not the young man, but someone else who had found the stone.
Finally, an indigent jeweler named Snite pointed out that since the stone was still available for examination, the answer to the question of whether it was a diamond or not had absolutely nothing to do with who found it or whether the founder was honest or sane; or who believed him; or whether he would know a diamond from a brick; or whether diamonds had ever been found in fields; or whether people had ever been fooled by quartz or glass; but was to be answered simply and solely by putting the stone to certain well known tests for diamonds. Experts in diamonds were called in. Some of them declared it genuine. The others made nervous jokes about it and declared that they could not very well jeopardize their dignity and reputations by appearing to take the thing too seriously. To hide the bad impression thus made, someone came out with the theory that the stone was really a synthetic diamond-very skillfully made; but a fake just the same. The objection to this is that the production of a good synthetic diamond 157 years ago would have been an even more remarkable feat than the finding of a real one.