Recently I met with Trevor, a 20 year old young man, to find out what the delay was in processing his mission papers. After some probing he admitted that he doubted the authenticity of The Book of Mormon. He had done some research online and had concluded that it was utterly ridiculous to believe that the ancient people of America spoke and wrote in Egyptian. He pointed out an article on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_Egyptian) which states that "No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered. No non-Mormon scholars acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or a "reformed Egyptian" script as it has been described in Mormon belief.”
As a Stake President I knew just how to handle this concern. I explained to Trevor that non Mormon scholars are at a huge disadvantage in that they do not know that Reformed Egyptian was in fact just as common a language as Hebrew amongst the native people of America.
We turned to Mormon chapter 9 which explains:
32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.
I further explained to Trevor that to those of us (such as myself) who are familiar with Hebrew and Egyptian it is plain to see that the English version of The Book of Mormon is a translation from those ancient tongues.
At this point I could see that young Trevor was still a tiny bit skeptical so I pulled out a copy of this month’s Ensign. I explained that with all the Anti Mormon persecution we are experiencing on websites such as Wikipedia these days’ leaders have found it helpful to occasionally educate members on the scientifically proven evidence of the gospel. We turned and read from the article entitled "This Text Is Hebrew" (http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/07/latter-day-saint-voices?lang=eng).
In it we learn of a member who was sitting next to an unnamed Jewish Rabbi and got him to read from the pages of The Book of Mormon. After reading part of the book something very faith promoting happened; the Rabbi suddenly stopped and stated, “This text is Hebrew.”
Needless to say Trevor completed his mission papers without delay and is very much looking forward to serving in the Peru Chiclayo mission. I assured him that he will likely become familiar with some of the older native languages which would have evolved from the Hebrew and Egyptian tongues spoken by the descendants of Lehi.